In one of those oddly time-warp internecine battles, Michael Petrelis is mad at a HRC staffer for saying allegedly un-nice things on a confidential listserv of bloggers, activists and Gay Inc. about a recently deceased LGBT activist in NYC.

What caught my attention, however, was a PDF Petrelis posted of Outweek’s 1991 Swimsuit Issue. What a fascinating piece of LGBT media history it is and a real cause for reflection about LGBT media life 19 years later. The magazine would fold a few months after this issue–which ran 100 pages–but you can see how really “queer” the magazine was and how many important names from LGBT journalism and cultural history are featured.

I was emerging from the closet in Lawrence, Kansas when Outweek first started in 1989 and I remember reading the magazine cover-to-cover.  Having picking up  The Advocate, with its California sensibility, at the local headshop and progressive bookstore throughout the 1980s, Outweek seemed like something totally different in terms of politics, viewpoint, and perspective on gay life.  It was New York, not Los Angeles or San Francisco.  It was grungier and angrier and queerer.

Flipping through the swimsuit issue–in between work by Gabriel Rotello, Michelangelo Signorile and Garance Franke-Ruta–was book reviews, classical music reviews, a story about Madonna, reports on ACT-UP.  There was news from all over the country, photographs that included men and women of all colors, a complete lack of celebrity stories, and tons and tons of advertising.

Take a look at the contributor list and check out the entire Internet archive. Enjoy reminiscing.

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