back to June 2004 QMH show


A Historic Project of Edythe Eyde

In 1945, Edythe Eyde, a young secretary from northern California, set out for Los Angeles to escape her overbearing parents. It was there that she first met other women like her, and it was there that she first put her ideas about homosexuality down on paper in her own "magazine" for lesbians, which she produced using sheets of carbon paper on her office typewriter. Beginning in mid-1947, Lisa produced nine editions of Vice Versa, which she distributed to her friends, who, in turn, passed them on to their friends. Although Lisa was able to produce only ten copies of each edition, her publication was almost certainly read by dozens, if not hundreds before it disappeared into history...

This essay above is excerpted from Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990, An Oral History by Eric Marcus, HarperCollins, 1992.


"Vice Versa" was the first GLBT "magazine" published by Lisa Ben between June, 1947, and February, 1948.
"Lisa Ben," a pseudonym for "lesbian," was not actually used in writing "Vice Versa." No names
appear in those nine volumes. She started using that name only later, when contributing articles for "The Ladder."

And Lisa Ben is also a hero of mine because she did some of the earliest gay parodies, done by a gay person.

       

In 1960 the lesbian organization Daughters of Bilitis released a 45 rpm record of two of her songs.
The ad above appeared in the September 1960 issue of One, The Homosexual Viewpoint.
The photo of her above is from 1996. Below, the VERY rare 45 rpm record.

        

   Below are the lyrics for "Frankie & Johnnie," a piece of history,
it's a copy Lisa Ben typed and sent to me, along with two letters

 


Below, photos of photos, taken at an exhibit at the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

 

   Click to read every issue of Vice Versa

Above & below (1951) courtesy of the ONE Archives

From a Facebook post of mine...

  

Our Pioneers Wrote Science Fiction...in the 1940s

In Los Angeles Jim Kepner helped found One Magazine (1953) and the One Institute; and Edythe Eyde (aka Lisa Ben) created the first lesbian publication in the country, Vice Versa, in 1947. And before that they wrote science fiction fantasy. Kepner used the name Jyke and Edythe was Tigrina the Devil Doll.

I knew most of this already, but today stumbled upon a 6-minute radio interview with One's current Director Joseph R. Hawkins that I encourage you to check out, here

http://www.scpr.org/programs/offramp/2015/09/04/44365/how-gay-rights-got-its-start-in-science-fiction/

Trivia: before I moved to Houston I took a cross-country trip, in 1980, and when I got to L.A. I had a brief visit with Jim Kepner, and gave him, for the One Institute, the then-complete run of Norfolk's Our Own Community Press, of which I had been Editor.