Queer news history: An excerpt from ‘Pink Ink: The Golden time for lgbt mags’

This might be an excerpt from

Pink Ink: The Golden Era for Lgbt Magazines

by Bill Calder,
out today.


the guy late 20


100 years ended up being a golden age for Australian gay publications and tabloids: significantly more than five million duplicates of publications happened to be imprinted annually at its top, with earnings approaching eight million dollars annually.

However there was not even a leaflet before 1969, because homosexuals decided not to dare submit from inside the weather of energetic oppression.

Expanding liberal attitudes within chapters of broader community, and, at a functional amount, change of censorship guidelines, generated lesbian and homosexual writing feasible. Determined by occasions in the us, the tapping of typewriters on a number of sheets of report lifted the veil of privacy around homosexuality. The initial magazines had been frequently gestetnered newsletters or smudgy pornography available in brown paper bags, but an exciting assortment of sounds ended up being quickly heard.

The writers happened to be a varied and vibrant lot. They made use of print news to advance homosexual activity intends, despite following different visions and goals for how they watched a significantly better globe for gay and lesbian folks. Some desired to publicise where in fact the most useful parties were presented; some to combat the political fight; yet others to demonstrate new techniques for lesbians and gay males to reside their particular schedules.


ew writers started periodicals or publications to make money: they were frequently activists, industrial place marketers, or players in personal world. Their unique guides allowed conversation of what it meant to be gay or lesbian around australia; offered good viewpoints concerning homosexuality to counter dangerous popular attitudes; and introduced men and women collectively through individual classified ads and information regarding taverns as well as other neighborhood activities. They reflected the arguments, and at instances dangerous schisms that took place around the lesbian and gay society.

To settle the debts, editors extended their own operations to draw visitors and advertisers. All had been compelled to deal with the business side regarding procedure, which often caused stress between their original targets for a better globe together with must run the business enterprise.

An integral resolution for this stress came through following the advertising and protection of community just like the main governmental job. This allowed writers to freely develop synergies with marketers that assisted build and develop society infrastructure, for instance the taverns, celebrations, and smaller businesses.


ut of simple origins a market became, but one which faced problems from federal government censors, conventional marketer disinterest, in addition to HELPS crisis that advertised the schedules of several crucial writers. Beating these problems, lesbian and gay publishing expanded rapidly, generating shiny coffee-table mags and printing countless papers yearly towards the end of this twentieth century.

The remarkable development of this sector stands as a testimony into dramatic change in popular society’s attitudes towards homosexuality, and even, modifications within the homosexual neighborhood it self, during the last decades of finally 100 years.

Gay media ended up being a vibrant power within its very own to magnify and initiate change. The development provided on the society’s development and allowed motion some ideas and info on area activities to get to and influence a much bigger market. The everyday search for business task, in particular advertising profits and circulation retailers, generated an array of direct relationships with mainstream society that challenged prejudice and assisted to normalise homosexuality.

Along with its progress and increasing influence emerged new issues. There were struggles between ambitious mass media moguls for power over region that generated an audacious failed takeover, and following failure, of the majority of the sector. But it recovered.

And online changed it-all.


For almost 20 years Bill Calder edited and published Australian homosexual newspapers and magazines, such as Melbourne’s Brother Sister when you look at the 1990s, and a lot more recently Bnews. Formerly he had been the senior news journalist in the Melbourne hours. This book lies in his recently completed PhD investigating the annals of gay and lesbian guides around australia.