S.O.M. (Save Our Magazine)

One of the great advantages of the dog days of summer, if you are lucky enough to get time away, is the chance to read for pleasure. Books and magazines get stacked up on my nightstand throughout the year and summer finally provides some time to make a dent in the stack. A few weeks ago, my family spent a week in heat and sunshine, and I spent many hours lounging with some of my reading favorites, which includes, of course, our community’s own Curve magazine.

This year Curve is celebrating 20 years of bringing the lesbian community news about and for us and our allies. Curve’s publisher and founder, the fierce and fabulous Frances Stevens, aka Franco, started Curve at age 22 because she was disappointed that there was no quality lesbian magazine in the U.S. From its humble beginnings as a ’90’s black-and-white magazine that Franco peddled on Castro streetcorners, Curve has grown into the nation’s best-selling lesbian magazine, read by more women than any other national gay or lesbian publication—all while remaining independent of corporate ownership.

For two decades I’ve relied on Curve to bring me stories and perspective that I don’t get anywhere else and I’ve always taken for granted that my magazine would arrive every month, like clockwork. But there may soon be a day when Curve doesn’t show up. Franco told me recently that Curve is in trouble. The economy has hit publishing hard, we all know that. Many newspapers and magazines have folded in the downturn. We know that being in this business is tough right now, but our community needs Curve to survive. There is no other national lesbian-focused magazine left. Curve is the last one. Our last magazine devoted to our lives, our loves, our culture, our future.

You can help save it. We hope. For the price of two weeks of coffee drinks at Starbucks, you can get a year of Curve. But new and renewed subscriptions may not be enough. So if you have the means and the interest to help Curve through this rough patch, you can make a contribution here. If we all step up and do what we can, it may be enough to keep alive this community treasure.

Next summer when I pack my bags with my favorite reads, I want that bag to include copies of our lesbian magazine.

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