In 1960, a lesbian who dared not disclose her name beyond her initials wrote a letter of hope and exhortation to a small magazine known as The Ladder.
When we holler long enough and loud enough we will be heard...
Our priestess Sappho wrote:
Let me tell you
This: Someone in
Some future time
Will think of us (1)
Has it been true then, that ever since Sappho lesbians have thought that future generations would remember? That lesbian lives, loves, thoughts, art would pass on? And have their descendants fulfilled this desire? I think I can safely, but regretfully, assert that not only do the generations know nothing of lesbians living before us, but neither do lesbians in particular.
It's ironic that "Y. A." would quote Sappho, whose work is--for the most part--unknown and fragmented, in a magazine that today--for the most part--is unknown and unread. Yet The Ladder was the only regularly published lesbian magazine from the mid-fifties to the second wave of feminism in the late 1960s. Lesbians have even less written history than women as a whole. We are hurting ourselves when we forget what little we do have.
When I read The Ladder, I'm astonished how the world of lesbians changed over the 16 years that The Ladder was published. I remember this when I am told that "real change takes time," and that I should be patient with slow movement of the system which I am supposed to be working within.
Sometimes I read The Ladder as a story of lesbians from another time, impressed by the mainstream culture of their time. They had a different self-image than my lesbian/ feminist friends. "Looking like a woman," and finding a permanent "mate" overwhelmingly occupied the romantic stories. The early discussions of whether or not homosexuals are "sick" and can be cured alienates me from these women. Yet, as my parents debate such things, no doubt these questions have bearing on my life.
On the other hand, many of the articles pertain to current problems and controversy: our children, "man-hating," coming out, breaking up, identifying celebrity lesbians.
I am kin to these women. Often they sound like lesbians I know. I know this is because I'm like them. I'm white and middle-class, I'm out, I like magazines, and I read a lot. I would have subscribed to The Ladder.
[The Ladder] is the single most important manifestation of the organized American Lesbian resistance movement. (2)
The Ladder was the first (3) regularly published lesbian periodical, appearing monthly or bimonthly from October 1956 to September 1972. It grow from a 16-page mimeographed, typed newsletter to a 56-page, typeset, illustrated, little magazine. It began as the newsletter of the first known formal U. S. organization of lesbians, who called themselves "Daughters of Bilitis.'' The newsletter contained club news, fiction, poetry, non-fiction essays, and speeches. Through the years its contents reflected the self-image and interests of DOB members, but it retained its commitment to subscriber-submitted fiction and poetry, book reviews, and news of anything in the media containing reference to lesbians, or possible lesbians.
The Ladder grew out of a socia1 group, an alternative to the gay bars of San Francisco. However, its primary audience was the sole or paired lesbian in remote towns. Most lesbians still endure a period of life when they believe they are the only women (or pair) to "feel this way." So it was when The Ladder appeared:
[I]t seems that a magazine basically by and for others in the same group as I am would be even more helpful in overcoming the lost and lonesome feelings I seem prey to at times.(4)
One doesn't often have a chance to express one's views to the public on the subject of lesbianism or homosexuality of any kind. Now, as I try to write I find it difficult because of never having even breathed this type of existence to acquaintances, friends, or family. When I first learned that there was such a publication as The Ladder I was most eager to be a subscriber. ? I, like most others, live two lives, one for the benefit of the public and the other for myself. (5) The majority of the so-called "normals" will not accept us on any basis and so we live in a sort of make-believe world, a secret, exciting world, but a bit frightening too. When The Ladder comes to my door once a month I live in that secret world for approximately 20 or 25 minutes while I read each and every word and marvel at the work that is being done to alleviate the pain of falseness that most of us endure just for the sake of not being called queer. (6)
One gay historian believes that the DOB differed from other gay organizations of the fifties because it "preserved a commitment to the personal needs of lesbians.'' (7) This personal, more than political, purpose shaped The Ladder. The audience for the magazine was not the politically active lesbian, or the out homosexual woman, or even the closeted bar dyke. According to founding editors Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, the audience was "the lonely isolated lesbians away from the big cities."(8) Though many of the early issues contain long transcripts of addresses to the club and other San Francisco homophile organizations, I think it was the fiction, poetry, biographical sketches, and book reviews that held the readers' interest. The "Readers Respond" section of this era rarely contained comment on the political or psychological articles. The readers responded most to articles with a strong, personal, lesbian voice.
When you are thus "alone" you look anywhere for evidence of people like you. When everything in the culture about lesbians was bad newsevidence entered into indecency trials, newspaper reports of bar raids, psychological articles of deviate sexuality, and sordid novelsthese lesbians looked at their own sweet loves, wrote down their own stories, and offered them to each other.
Though I was never one to take an ostrich view of things, still I must hesitate when such things as our way of life get down to black and white state of things--in print yet! (9)
Though the magazine's production values improved as time went on, (10) its format remained consistent over the years, though growing in both pages and density. (11) A typical issue would have one or two short stories (usually of the romance genre), an essay about "sexuality" by an expert (psychologist, minister, anthropologist), an historical biography about a famous or infamous woman who was probably a lesbian (or one who passed as a man), several book reviews by "Gene Damon" (Barbara Grier) or other contributors, news of homophile (12) political and legal activities, poems, and letters from readers. "Cross Currents" was added in 1963; it began as "Here and There" and contained any information about lesbians, gay men, feminist actions, rumors of possible lesbians anywhere. By the end, "Cross Currents" would run four or five pages covering news about lesbians, gay rights, media appearances of "out" gay people, and feminist actions.
With the sixth issue Barbara Grier began her column of short book reviews. First anonymously and then under the pseudonym "Gene Damon," Grier compiled her list of any book with "pertinent" content. Grier used "pertinent" idiosyncratically to indicate any reference of a possible lesbian character, be she predatory, suicidal, or wedded to a man by the book's conclusion. Eventually The Ladder published these columns as a bibliography, The Lesbian in Literature. Before she stopped writing them for the The Ladder Grier had reviewed more than 2500 books. Grier served her readers well; in those days they faced hundreds of cheap paperbacks which alluded to Sapphic Love, but only fulfilled male fantasies. Bravely she waded through them, offering reviews of the good and the less good:
59. Halo in Brass by John Evan. Bantam Books, 1958 (25¢): Bobbs-Merrill 1949: A Very fast-paced Lesbian mystery. Young Laura disappears in Chicago and her parents hire a private detective to find her. She is described as a very pretty, wholesome girl with no time for boy friends and lots of girl friends. Starting with the mannish Bertha Lund, and covering a lot of territory before the denouement, this little story runs hot and cold and is very, very gay. A treat for the lesbian literature habitue as well as the who-dun-it fan. (13)
65. Girls of the French Quarter by John B. Thompson. Beacon Books, 1954: A sensational expose story with one chapter devoted to overt Lesbian action between a society girl and a street wanton. Not very good. (14)
In a featured review of We Two Won't Last, by "Ann Aldrich," Grier wrote: "This tone of personal self-hatred is probably the most serious fault of this and all her books. It is apparent to the Lesbian reader that Miss Aldrich is simply not very happy and for the moment one is tempted to feel pity. There are few things worse to have to live with than self-hatred and Ann Aldrich is steeped in it. Unfortunately for the rest of us, she is highly intelligent and articulate and thus able to disseminate much misleading data which is damaging to all homosexual women." (15) Aldrich also wrote lesbian pulps under the name "Vin Packer," among others. Ironically, this Aldrich book mentioned in The Ladder (unfavorably), first brought the magazine to the attention of Alma Routsong (pseudonym Isabel Miller), who wrote one of the first lesbian novels with a happy ending, Patience and Sarah. (16)
Unfortunately, most of the lesbian paperback originals that made up the bulk of the "Lesbiana" columns are not longer accessible to us, unless they exist in private collections, or have been re-issued by Naiad Press as "classics." Some libraries may still have some of the better ones, especially public libraries, where books are often purchased by lesbian librarians. If a lesbian were to explore only the "Lesbiana" columns of all The Ladder contents, she would find enough pertinent reading material to keep her occupied for most of her life.
I have recently been more than occupied reading, browsing, and skimming the rest of the magazine. In 1975, Arno Press (now defunct) published a complete, bound photo-reprint of The Ladder (17) which is available to me in my local university library. I discovered the following interesting items:
Records" the world's first lesbian recording company, was named after a lesbian
pulp novel. (18)
Here is the "Lesbiana" review:
Oliva by Olivia. William Sloane Associates, New York, 1949: A 16 year-old spends a year in a French finishing school near Paris, where she learns more about human relationships than found in her school books. "Olivia'' is a poignant story, delicately told, by an older woman looking back on her childhood. It is the story of youth and first awareness. The French movie, "The Pit of Loneliness," by Colette is actually an adaptation of "Olivia" for the screen. (19)
• Marion Zimmer Bradley, known today as the author of Mists of Avalon and the Darkover books, was a successful science fiction writer and editor during the early years of The Ladder. She not only frequently corresponded and contributed to The Ladder, but also compiled, with Grier, a "checklist" of "pertinent" books. (20) Bradley also wrote articles on the subject of lesbians married to men. She thought that married women should confide their lesbianism to their husbands, but thought that lesbianism didn't mean that women couldn't keep their marriage vows. The essays and letters were obviously a description of her own situation, and are disturbingly objective in tone. I found her opinions interesting in light of current discussions of "Lesbians Who Sleep with Men." (21)
• In 1968, Rita Laporte (22) wrote "An Open Letter to Mary Daly" after reading Daly's The Church and the Second Sex.Laporte chastised Daly for remaining silent on lesbians (just like the straight feminists were doing at the time), and proceeded to tell Daly what she could learn from lesbians. (23) This, or similar argument must have reached Daly, as she later made lesbians the very center of her thealogy in Gyn/Ecologyand Pure Lust. At this time in history, the word "lesbian" only rarely occurred associated with the political theory and movement of "feminism."
• I had always heard that Maxine Feldman's "Angry Atthis" was the first lesbian recording, released in the early 70s. It may have been the first explicitly lesbian recording, but The Ladder advertised Lisa Ben's (24) 45 RPM: "2 Gay folk songs... 'Cruising Down the Boulevard' and 'Frankie and Johnnie.' " (25) I have never heard mention of this recording anywhere else, but Lisa Ben does sing "Frankie and Johnnie" in Before Stonewall, documentary movie about lesbians and gay men's lives before 1968.
• One of the most popular lesbian books of the 1980s is Different Daughters by Louise Rifkin, an anthology of essays by mothers of lesbians. The mothers are mostly straight, mostly religious, and only part of the time accepting or tolerant of their queer offspring. It's a nice gift for Mother's Day, or upon the occasion of your coming out to Mom. In probably another first, Barbara Grier's mother published "My Daughter is a Lesbian" in 1958. She wrote that though she did not understand her daughter's "association" with her "mate," she thought "there are no two more normal persons alive than my daughter and her charming associate." (26) Her tone and thoughts surprised me; I found them quite similar to the mothers in Different Daughters.
From the first issue The Ladder mentioned lesbians raising children.
"Raising Children in a Deviant Relationship:" This heretofore untouched subject has been broached by members of the Daughters of Bilitis in several discussion sessions.... It is surprising to learn how many women are raising children in a deviant relationship.... To be of any assistance to those who are meeting this problem, we need more data and more research into the various facets of such a relationship. If you are interested or if you can help us in this project please let us hear from you. (27)
Later issues reported on the progress of, what would be called today, a "lesbian mothers' group."
• In April of 1960 Laurajean Ermayne listed eleven "films with at least a tinge of interest for the Uranian." (28)Even this small list excited her, because, as she writes, "in 1947, when I was assisting Lisa Ben with Vice Versa contributions, we knew of only four films that qualified in any way: Escape to Yesterday, ... Turnabout, ... Children of Loniliness, a miserable excuse for a movie of any nature, and Club Des Femmes... . "Club Des Femmes, (1938), according to Vito Russo, offers only a "lesbian sub-plot" (29) and was severely censored before being released in the U.S. Laurajean Ermayne described the thrills of the movie with a passion similar to that expressed by lesbians watching Desert Hearts(1986) for the first time: "I, personally, shall never forget the tender scene when the Almond-eyed Lesbian, newly awakened to her nature, bends over the shoulder of Josette... and begins, 'Ma soeur...' (my sister)." (30)
• The Ladder editor Helen Saunders ("Sandy") wrote "Me vs. Taxes" deploring the injustice of paying taxes as a single wage earner when married heterosexuals enjoy tax relief. "Society may choose to condemn homosexuality. But those of us who live together and own property and join in our community's interests are householders and have a right to consideration under the constitution. Shall we all become cousins?" (31) The next issue contained a story by Del Martin called "Me vs. Insurance," which described the difficulty she and Phyllis Lyon had in getting both names on their insurance policies. Insurance companies have changed since then, but I wonder if they would have but for the resistance of these lesbians, facing a world unprepared for "alternative families" long before liberated straight women began living with their boyfriends in the 70s.
• The "Readers Respond" feature was often where readers speculated on the "sisterhood" of entertainers and authors. Here's on offering: "I'd like to bring to the attention ofThe Ladder readers two more singers whose work is both relevant and lovely. The first is Chris Williamson (and this is the title of her first album). She wrote the lyrics herself and collaborated with other women for the songs on this album. Very special attention should be paid to the song, "Waiting." (32)
The letter also mentioned Diane Davidson. Both women are today entertainers and out lesbians.
"There is much more in these pages. There is a history of a very oppressed people who did not wish to stay oppressed and who worked to do something about it. (33)
The Ladder itself contains several articles about the history of the DOB and the history of the magazine, even one describing how the staff put it together every month. The content of the magazine changed slowly as lesbians changed, however, and changes in editorship usually brought significant changes to the staff and the magazine.
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin were the newsletter's founding editors, Lyon for the first four years, then Martin for another three. Barbara Gittings, who later went on to found the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, began her editorship in March of 1963 and continued until December, 1966. About a year later, the subtitle "A Lesbian Review" appeared on the cover for newstand buyers.
Throughout these editorships, a prominent display of "The Purposes of the Daughters of Bilitis" appeared in every issue. These were, in brief: "education of the variant," "education of the public,'' "participation in research projects," and "investigation of the penal code. "
After Gittings left, Helen (Sandy) Saunders, a long-time DOE officer, began editing. Sandy and her partner Sten Russell had worked on the magazine from the beginning, writing and doing production. Russell contributed many of the reports from meetings of other homophile organizations. Sandy's editoria1 voice was "cheerful: as one correspondent put it, though at times a bit flip. She instituted a series of columns written by her cat, Ben Cat, which are amusing and very lesbian. While Sandy was editor, the "Purposes of DOB" were modified to suit a changing self-definition influenced by incipient feminism:
The organization and the magazine's editors were becoming aware that lesbians were women rather than a third sex to be classed with male homosexuals. The word "Lesbian" was generally substituted for "variant" or"homosexual" and a new goal was addedto provide "the Lesbian a forum for the interchange of ideas within her own group. (34)
The last editor was Barbara Grier, who encouraged publication of feminist perspectives. Grier began editing in September 1968. She immediately put the magazine on a bimonthly schedule and increased the number of pages to 48. Major changes in women's lives are clearly apparent in these issues:
The metamorphosis the magazine underwent around the late 1960s is representative of the metamorphosis that occurred in many middle-class lesbians who had come out in earlier decades. While many of them had recognized their choice of a lesbian life to have feminist roots, they seldom articulated it because they believed they were unusual. The books said that most lesbians were born or made in childhood, and the world agreed. With the rise of the second wave of feminism, the perception which they had kept virtually a secret was suddenly expounded everywhere, and new feminists recognized that lesbians had much to teach them. (35)
Two years later, after the DOB national convention, The Ladder split from the DOB, and became profoundly lesbian/ feminist.
The "new" Ladder, "although it maintained a firm distinction between lesbians and heterosexual women, had its roots in lesbian feminist consciousness, whose expression the growing women's movement encouraged." (36) In the Aug/Sep issue the familiar DOE "Purposes" are gone, and so is "A Lesbian Review." Inside the front cover is a new manifesto, probably written by Rita Laporte.
Initially The Ladder's goal was limited to achieving the rights accorded to heterosexual women, that is full second-class citizenship. The Lesbian knew. And she wondered silently when her sisters would realize that they too share many of the Lesbian's handicaps, those that pertained to being a woman. The Ladder's purpose today is to raise all women to full human status, with all of the rights and responsibilities this entails; to include ALL women, whether Lesbian or heterosexual. (37)
This is the last issue of THE LADDER After 16 complete continuous years of publication, there are to be no more issues. (38)
Two years after splitting from the DOB, The Ladder folded.
Grier says she ran out of money: "lack of money, which hounds all magazines not supported by advertising revenue" (39) forced her to end production.
But why wasn't there any money? Faderman writes that the magazine couldn't change fast enough. "Younger women associated The Ladder the politics of adjustment." In other words, The Ladder was perceived as a magazine for butch and femme married ladies who wanted to be accepted by the establishment. But by 1972, just a few years after Laporte's letter to Mary Daly, being lesbian had become the "practice" of feminist theory: "Any woman can be a lesbian." (40) I think that Grier and Laporte knew exactly what was happening to lesbians and baby dykes out in the world, but not enough of those feminist lesbians knew about The Ladder. Already the little pioneering magazine was being forgotten.
But perhaps it was the familiar infighting that helped kill The Ladder: Before the last DOB national convention, according to John D'emilio, "Old Timers were especially furious at what was happening to the magazine." Martin and Lyon write of this period in their book Lesbian/Woman:
As time when on it was evident that the winds of change were affecting The Ladder well as the DOB, its publisher. Gene Damon [Grier] and Rita Laporte felt strongly that DOB should align itself solely with the women's movement. They felt that the homophile movement was too male oriented and that the Lesbian's salvation lay in working for equal rights for women. (41)
Sten Russell told D'emilio that the election of Laporte was "a damned debacle, a damned disaster." The political activities of the DOB notwithstanding, the organization and the magazine it sponsored had always focused on The Lesbian, the Lonely Lesbian, the Lesbian Just Coming Out. According to Russell, "The women's lib movement was coming very much to the fore [with] a whole new bunch of people who were talking a language we didn't understand." (42)
Martin and Lyon use passive verbs to describe what happened before the DOB national convention that year:
As the 1970 National Convention approached it became obvious that there was disaffection between, on one hand, the national president and The Ladder editor [Laporte and Grier], and on the other, the rest of the organization. The culmination came when the entire physical production and mailing of the magazine was moved to Reno, Nevada, and placed in the hands of the chapter there. Faced with this fait accompli the National Convention the organization decided to let The Ladder go. A legal fight to retain it would have taken too much of the organization's time and money and probably would have effectively killed the magazine. (43)
D'emilio gives a few more details:
When DOB members, including Martin and Lyon, laid plans to recover control of The Ladder the 1970 convention, Laporte and Grier simply boycotted the gathering, made off with the organization's membership and subscription list, and began publishing the magazine independently. Without The Ladder subsidize, DOB has little reason to maintain its national structure. The membership sadly agreed to dissolve the national organization, letting each chapter survive as best it could. (44)
The Ladder also survived as best it could, but only another two years. After the last issue, Grier and Collette Ried edited three anthologies from The Ladder: Lavender Herring [feminist essays], Lesbian Lives [biographies], Lesbian Home Journal [ stories]. (45)
A few years later, Grier and her friend Donna McBride were approached by two longtime supporters of the magazine with the idea to begin a lesbian book publishing company. That idea became Naiad Press, the oldest and largest lesbian publishing house in the world. According to an interview in Hotwire, Grier and McBride not only infused their new press with a lifetime of publishing experience and financial backing, they also brought The Ladder's readership. The first book Naiad published was written by one of the financial backers, and most of the sales were to women on The Ladder's subscription list. (46)
Every Magazine Is New Until You've READ It!
BACK COPIES STILL AVA1LABLE (47)
Speculations on why The Ladder folded aren't as important as wondering why lesbians haven't read it today. Arno Press also folded, but you can still buy the complete reprinted set The Ladder from Ayer Press of New Hampshire for only $328.50. Several University of California campus libraries hold it so I'm sure it must be available across the country. However, the set I read had been checked-out no more than three or four times in 15 years.
Most of lesbian history is oral, passed on from lover to lover. Yet, every oral tradition contains its silences. (48) I know so many lesbians who have found their true voice only through writing their words down. We must honor this by reading as well as writing. The lesbians of The Ladder though they sometimes seem quaint and backward, more often remind me that we are telling each other the same stories over and over. For some stories, this is our strength; yet without an institutionalized, widely known "lore"' can we truly deepen our understanding of ourselves? I believe that we lesbians must write, we must read, and we must remember. Hollering isn't enough.
1. " Y. A., California," an anonymous correspondent to The Ladder, vol 4, no. 4, pg. 23. Sappho 53, translation unknown.
2. Jonathan Katz, Gay American History, Lesbian and Gay Men in the U.S.A, Avon, New York, 1976, pg 507.
3. The first known periodical for lesbians, Vice Versa was typed out on six carbons(thirteen copies per issue), by "Lisa Ben," from June 1947 to February 1948. Though The Ladder reprinted many poems and stories fromVice Versa I haven't yet found it described or referred to therein. An interview with Lisa Ben and an in-depth description of Lisa Ben's reviews of movies with lesbian characters appears in Gay Almanac by Jonathan Katz. Lisa Ben is also interviewed by Leland Moss, in Gaysweek, Jan 23, l97S, pp. 14- 16.
4. "B.M. of Battlecreek MI," "Readers Respond,"The Ladder, vol 1, no 5, pg 16, (1956).
5. Just this past year lesbian entertainer Lucie Blue Tremblay released a recording containing the song "Two Lives" on this very theme, as well as other secrets and desires.
6. "Niki" of Minnesota, "Readers Respond," vol 4 no. 5, (1960).
7. John D'emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities, Univ of Chicago, 1983, pg 104.
9. "T.F. of Seattle ,WA," "Readers Respond," The Ladder, vol 1 no. 2, pg 15 (1956).
10. The Ladder measures 5.5 inches by 8.5, the size of a standard piece of paper, folded and trimmed. The office went through several typewriters; sometimes several are used in the same issue. For most the its life, The Ladder was typed, often in all capital letters, with typeset or "rub on" headlines and typeset "slugs" for monthly features like"Lesbiana" and "Readers Respond."
11. By the last volume, every page was crammed with two columns of tiny type, and very little white space around headlines or between stories. For our relief there were a few photos in the last two volumes, but for the most part, graphically the magazine is quite inhibiting. However, the subject matter, "lesbian anything" is more than enough to hook me.
12. "Homophile'' was the word used by some gay men and lesbians to describe themselves in this era. The word was an alternative to "homosexual" a psychological term, and to the slang terms for "gay people" used among themselves.
13. Gene Damon, "Lesbiana," The Ladder, vol 2, no. 8, pg. 18 (l958). For several years, the reviews in "Lesbiana" were numbered. Later she used a more narrative format.
14. Gene Damon, "Lesbiana, " The Ladder , vol. 2 no. 9, pg. 16 (1958).
15. Gene Damon, "We Two Won't Last," (book review), The Ladder, vo1 8 no. 1, pg. 18 (1963).
16. Alma Routsong (Isabel Miller), in Gay Americans, Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. Jonathan Katz, Avon, 1976, pg 656.
17. Arno also reprinted The Mattachine Review, a primarily male homophile magazine of 1950s.
18. Judy Dlugacz, "If It Weren't for the Music, Fifteen Years of Olivia Records," Hotwire, vol 4, no. 3 (July 1988), pg, 28. "One day Meg [Christian] came running down the stairs saying, 'Gee I have this novellette Olivia, this would be a good name'... We liked the idea of taking from difficult roots and creating something beautiful... sort of owning the history of the way in which our culture has survived over the years, which is not always the best of ways.... We decided to take that name and turn it into something better.
19. Gene Damon, "Lesbiana," The Ladder, vol.1, no 10, pg. 19 (l958).
20. Checklist: a complete cumulative checklist of lesbian, variant, and homosexual fiction, in English, or available in English translation, with supplements of related material, for the use of collectors, students, etc. Rodchester, TX, 1960.
21. See Out/Look, Winter 1990,cover story.
22. The last DOB president.
23. Rita Laporte, "An Open Letter to Mary Daly,"The Ladder, vol. 13, no. pg. 24.
24. Who also published the first lesbian magazine. See above.
25. The Ladder; vol. 4, no. 9, pg. 19.
26. Mrs. Doris Lyles, "My Daughter is a Lesbian,"The Ladder, vol 2 no. 10, pg. 4 (l958)
27. The Ladder , vol. 1 no. 1 pg. 9 (1956).
28. Laurajean Ermayne, "The Sapphic Cinema," The Ladder, vol. 4 no. 7, pg. 5 ( 1960).
29. Vito Russo, The Celluloid Closet, rev. ed, Harper & Row, 1987, pg. 59.
30. Ermayne, pg. 8.
31. Helen Saunders "Me vs. Taxes," The Ladder, vol 2, no. 8. pg. 10 (1958).
32. "C. F., New York, " "Readers Respond," The Ladder, vol. 15, no 11&12, pg 51 (1970).
33. Gene Damon, "The Ladder, Rung by Rung,", introduction to the reprinted edition of The Ladder, Arno Press, 1975.
34. Lillian Faderman, Surpassing the Love of Men, William Morrow & Co, 1981, pg. 382. This book contains an interesting discussion of The Ladder in the context of lesbian literature through history.
35. Faderman, pg. 383.
36. Faderman pg 378.
37. The Ladder, vol. 14, no. 11 & 12, pg. 2, (1970).
38. "Editorial," The Ladder, vol. 16, no 11&12, pg 3, (1972).
39. Damon, " The Ladder, Rung by Rung. "
40. Which became a lyric on the first lesbian LP, Lavender Jane Loves Women by AlixDobkin, Kay Gardner, Patches Attom (1975).
41. Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Lesbian/Woman, Glide Publications, 1972, pg. 253.
42. D'emilio, pg. 229-30.
43. Martin and Lyon, pg. 253.
44. D'emilio, pg. 229-30.
45. Faderman, pg. 407. All three were published by Diana Press (Baltimore) in 1976.
46. Sue Gambill, "Naiad Press,"Hotwire, vol. 3, no. 2 (March 1987) pg. 18. Grier claims in this article that by "demise" of The Ladder the magazine had become "a 72-page, slick glossy magazine." The largest issue is the last, containing 56 pages.
47. The Ladder, house ad, vol. 12, no. 7, pg. 23, (1969).
48. I first heard about silences inherent in oral traditions from Amber Hollibaugh, panelist, "Writers as Activists, " Out/ Write 90, The First National Conference of Lesbian and Gay Writers, San Francisco, March 4, 1990.