Gay Press

johnie staggs profile

Johnie Staggs

After moving to San Jose from rural Oroville in 1974, Johnie Staggs was emboldened with a vision for liberation. Together with Rosalie ‘Nikki’ Nichols, Lesbian Voices was founded that year as a quarterly journal for feminist-lesbians. Complementing Lesbian Voices was Ms. Atlas Press, which was established by them. It would …
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rosalie nichols profile

Nikki Nichols

Rosalie Nichols, who went by Nikki, was born in Sacramento and came to San Jose after attending Sacramento and San Francisco State Universities. In 1975, she and her partner Johnie Staggs opened Ms. Atlas Press, a bookstore and publisher, on West San Fernando Street near downtown San Jose. It carried …
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Lesbian Voices (1974-1978, 1980-1981)

Established by the San Jose group Sisters of Sappha in 1974, Lesbian Voices was the preeminent feminist lesbian quarterly in Silicon Valley. Publication was suspended in 1978, as owners Johnie Staggs and Rosalie ‘Nikki’ Nichols redirected their efforts towards a self-described political fight against fundamentalists. In 1980, Lesbian Voices would resume publication for one year before permanently ending.
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Ms. Atlas Press (1975-1995)

Founded in July 1975 by Johnie Staggs and Rosalie Nichols, Ms. Atlas Press opened as a commercial printing operation and bookstore in downtown San Jose at 53 West San Fernando. Ms. Atlas Press distributed Lesbian Voices, a literary quarterly containing short stories, poetry, and essay, that was internationally distributed as far as Egypt, Northern Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and New Zealand. They were recognized by the LGBTQ+ community as a center for books by gay authors, gay lifestyle, and literature that informed the gay community of what was happening politically and socially abroad and locally. The publisher ended up doing most of the printing for the gay community.

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Lambda News (1976-1983)

Created as Lambda Association’s eponymous newsletter arm in 1976, Lambda News–run by Dan Relic–was one of the first examples of local gay press in Silicon Valley. Evolving from a simple newsletter, Lambda News reported on local gay organizations, businesses, and events around Silicon Valley. Originally a purely volunteer-run paper, Lambda News faced constraints that led to Relic taking it over as a private venture to ensure its future viability. In April 1983, Lambda News dissolved as a result of low ad revenue and disorganization.

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Our Paper/Your Paper (1982-1995)

In the wake of Lambda News’ worsening prospects, Our Paper/Your Paper was first published in September 1982 by Lambda News alumni Steve Century, David DeLong, Al Bonvouloir, Winn Crannell, Johnie Staggs, and Rosalie ‘Nikki’ Nichols. Seeking to define the gay suburban communities of the South Bay, Our Paper/Your Paper was intended to offer a platform distinct from the gay press of San Francisco, which dominated the entire Bay Area in the years prior.

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Entre Nous (1986-2002)

Beginning in 1986, the Feminist Lesbian Social Group published their monthly newsletter, Entre Nous, as a way for lesbians in Silicon Valley to share their ideas and perspectives.

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On the Scene! (1986)

In 1986, Al Ratee, Stanley Dorfer, and Herbert Booth created On the Scene! as a community newspaper serving the entire Bay Area. Their intention was to create an informational and family-oriented paper.

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Outlook Video (1987-present)

A monthly, volunteer-run newsmagazine committed to increasing the number of creative voices in the LGBTQ+ community, members work on all aspects of the show, such as producing field reports, scripting, anchoring, camera work, studio production, directing, editing, and post production.

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South Bay Times (1988-1990)

With Our Paper/Your Paper rising to prominence throughout the 1980s, there was little alternative gay press in Silicon Valley. John Follesdal, Wayne Herriford, Richard Kendall, and Ted Sahl (who already had worked extensively on other gay press in the area) started a new paper, South Bay Times, that sought to be not only financially solvent but beneficial to the local lesbian and gay community.

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OutNow! (1993-2009)

First published by Chris Thomas in 1993, OutNow! began as a newspaper dedicated be the South Bay’s source for gay news. Mark Gillard brought OutNow! out of debt in 1998 and restarted it as a magazine (eliminating the exclamation mark). Troy May took over in 2006. OutNow was forced to stop printing in 2009 during the Great Recession.

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Point Newspaper (2000-2004)

Started by George Gonzales in November 2000, Point was made with the intention to invigorate and connect the diverse communities of Silicon Valley. After Gonzales’ passing in late 2004, Point ceased publication.