Eric Leven

While we're at it...

Filed By Eric Leven | November 12, 2008 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Media, The Movement
Tags: Gabriel Rotello, gay activists, gay history, Kendall Morrison, memory lane, Outweek Magazine

Man, there's this pulse in the air. Something is happening and I feel very proud and inspired by the gays. OutWeekMagazine.jpgI thought this might be a nice opportunity to share some Gay history while allowing those who were active during that time the chance to walk down memory lane.

Take a look at the Outweek Magazine archives: All 105 issues of OutWeek Magazine from 1989-1991 are available online. Definitely check it out. Feel the pulse, embrace it and let it surge.

THE MAGAZINE

OutWeek Magazine was the seminal lesbian and gay publication during the peak era of AIDS activism in the late 80s and early 90s.

Founded by Gabriel Rotello and Kendall Morrison, it employed a staff of about 30 people in Manhattan during its tumultuous two-year existence.

OutWeek redefined the role of the activist gay press, not only by reporting the news but also by frequently making news itself. Its aggressive coverage, incisive commentary and in-depth investigative articles on gay rights, politics, AIDS, the arts and popular culture made it a must-read publication far beyond the usual scope of gay magazines.

Several of the most contentious controversies of that era were sparked by OutWeek. The magazine pioneered the use of the word 'queer,' which was highly controversial at the time. It was closely associated with the AIDS activist group ACT UP, and several of its staffers and contributors helped to co-found the group Queer Nation.

Many of OutWeek's editors were committed to sharply challenging the then-pervasive culture of the closet, and a sideline of that commitment - the advocacy of 'outing' prominent gay and lesbian celebrities - began in Michelangelo Signorile's "Gossip Watch" column and was one of many things that made OutWeek a household name and a lightning rod.

OutWeek was committed to an inclusive vision of queer life, and was the first major national publication to bill itself as a 'lesbian and gay' magazine.


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Anthony in Nashville | November 12, 2008 4:10 PM

I had read that their archives were available online, but had not visited. Thanks for the reminder.

What a fantastic resource. I spent a LOT longer there than I should have. I had to force myself to leave.

I'll be back. :)