1. During the 1950s, being an out gay woman was rarely heard of and nearly impossible.
Out lesbians faced job termination, arrest if caught at a reputed gay bar, even forced conversion therapy. The American Psychiatric Association didn’t remove homosexuality from their official list of mental disorders until 1973.
2. If you were in the closet, but didn’t want to risk heading out to the gay bars, you had very few options for socializing.
7. At first, the group had trouble recruiting members. How do you advertise a secret club?
10. Early editions were a dozen or so hand-stapled pages long, produced on a typewriter, copied by a mimeograph.
Most of us need a refresher on what a mimeograph is. It’s okay.
12. The DOB’s official statement was printed on the inside of every issue until 1970:
1.Education of the variant…to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society…this to be accomplished by establishing…a library…on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions…to be conducted by leading members of the legal psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.
2.Education of the public…leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices.
3.Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists, and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.
4.Investigation of the penal code as it pertain to the homosexual, proposal of changes,…and promotion of these changes through the due process of law in the state legislatures.
17. Unfortunately by 1972, the publication had run out of funds and it’s long run finally came to a close.
18. The impact of the DOB on the lives of women was described by historian Martin Meeker:
“The DOB succeeded in linking hundreds of lesbians across the country with one another and gathering them into a distinctly modern communication network that was mediated through print and, consequently, imagination, rather than sight, sound, smell, and touch.