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 …
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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Ted Sahl

Ted Sahl began his 30-year career photographing the gay and lesbian community in the South Bay in 1978 “through a combination of curiosity and accident.” After the San Jose City Council approved a proclamation for Gay Pride Week, the photographer stumbled upon a confrontation between members of the Moral Majority …
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Whayne Herriford on the South Bay Times

Whayne was one of four founders of the South Bay Times (SBT) newspaper in 1988. SBT covered all the local LGBT news and covered the local events and social life. Unfortunately due to personal issues and the death of one of the founders, SBT was only published for two years, …

Kathy Wolfe

PIONEER OF LGBTQ+ VISIBILITY Kathy Wolfe, Founder and CEO of Wolfe Video, remembers a time when movies about our LGBTQ lives were not readily available through multiple media outlets. Today’s LGBTQ+ younger community may not know that Kathy played a vital role in kickstarting the visibility of our community in …

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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.

In addition, Johnie and Nikki wrote and published Lesbian Voices, a literary quarterly containing short stories, poetry, and essays that was internationally distributed as far as Egypt, Northern Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and New Zealand. They also worked with Dan Relic to produce Lambda News, a local gay newspaper. When Lambda News started to falter, they created Our Paper, Your Paper, a local gay paper that also included important national news for the community. 

Ms. Atlas Press was the official printer for the Santa Clara County Democratic Party, and both Johnie and Nikki were deeply involved in the struggle for gay rights through the existing political process.

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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, Whayne 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.