Saturday, May 25, 2013

before stonewall, after 1899 part 5 : one magazine part 1

On January 13, 1958 the U.S. supreme court handed down it's first pro-gay ruling in One Inc.v. Olesen. The case pertained to the question of whether or not One Magazine was ''lewd'' material or not and there for unsuitable to send through the mail. One Magazine was the first Gay magazine in the U.S. to be distributed nationwide. The court ruled that talking about and/or reporting on homosexuality was not in and of itself lewd and/or sexual material.
    Today we take The Advocate, Out, Genre and all other LGBT magazines,  newspapers and journals for granted but very few of us know that One Inc. v. Olesen made them all possible. It all started in January 1953 when a group of Gay activist, whom I'll talk about later, decided they needed a slick, polished and professional magazine for Gays, or ''homophiles'' as they called themselves, along the lines of Life and Look magazines. African-Americans, or Negroes as they were then called, had recently launched Ebony magazine in the late 1940's, so it was now time was the gays to do the same. Gays had had different hurdles to overcome, however. They're kind of love was illegal in every state. President Eisenhower had recently signed an executive order barring Gays from federal employment and the U.S. military had recently purged some 400 Gays from service in 1950.
    In light of all this, these activist went full speed ahead with One Magazine. I personally love the story of One Magazine. I will continue it with my next post. See you then!

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