Once upon a time, there a was a magical, mystical land called New York in the ’70s. It was a land that existed for a brief period of time and across a tiny downtown cross section of Carefree and Gay. And while perhaps it wasn’t quite as wonderful to be alive back than as many of us imagine (wearing more than two pieces of ‘not your gender’ clothing was illegal, remember?) it still comes with a level of mythos that carries its own weight. Oh, to be alive in the time of Rose’s Turn, of Oscar Wilde Bookshop, of Dyke, A Quarterly.
Which brings us to today’s tale of a time gone by.
Dyke was a lesbian quarterly that put out limited, zine-like issues, hand-drawn, thoughtfully produced, and full of open-hearted testimony about what it meant to be a lesbian in the radical political climate of the ’70s. Liza Cowan and Penny House published the small-bath magazine as a way to make queer female and POC voices heard–and to just get real about lesbian identity and politics.
And it was beautiful. From Dyke’s first issue in 1975 to its last in 1978, Dyke showed the world the power of what a queer, radical, intersectional identity could be. And for that, we’re forever grateful.