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Curve Magazine: 15 Years of Lesbians in Print

Lesbian Magazine turns 15

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Picture of Curve Magazine staff
Kathy Belge

Curve Magazine celebrates 15 years of Lesbian Publishing

Fifteen years ago, Frances Stevens lamented to her friends that there was no quality national lesbian magazine in the United States. The men had The Advocate, but there was woefully little coverage of anything lesbian. The ambitious 21-year-old Stevens decided if things were going to change, she would have to take matters into her hands.

She spent a year working three jobs, saving money, researching and writing her business plan. When no banks would offer her financing, she turned to the queer community. No one thought a national lesbian magazine would fly. So Stevens applied for a handful of credit cards, took a huge risk and started the magazine herself. She had exactly enough money to put out three issues of the magazine: not long to prove herself.

But Stevens hunch was right. Lesbians were eager for a high quality, glossy magazine that spoke to the issues most important to them. Originally launched as Deneuve magazine in 1991, Curve changed its name after a trademark dispute with French actress Catherine Deneuve. Fifteen years later, Curve is the best-selling lesbian magazine in the US, reaching more than 23,000 subscribers each month.

The girls from Curve are celebrating being “almost legal” all year long and kicked off the party with a week of events in Portland, Oregon in May 2005. Here are some photos of the Portland Curve magazine 15th anniversary celebration.

Check out Curve's website for more anniversary events and subscription information.

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