|Former editors||Merryn Johns, Diane Anderson-Minshall, Gretchen Lee, Katie Sanborn|
|Founder||Frances "Franco" Stevens|
|Year founded||1990 (as Deneuve)|
|Company||The Curve Foundation|
Curve is a global lesbian media project. It covers news, politics, social issues, and includes celebrity interviews and stories on entertainment, pop culture, style, and travel.
Founded by Frances "Franco" Stevens in San Francisco in 1990. While working at A Different Light Bookstore she noticed that bookstores and newsstands had few lesbian publications to offer, so she decided to do something about it.Curve was first published as Deneuve magazine. To fund the publication, Stevens applied for numerous credit cards, then took the borrowed money to the race track, winning enough money to cover the first three issues. The lifestyle magazine reported on the lesbian scene, fashion, fiction, music and film, and rumors from the lesbian community. The first issue of Deneuve hit the newsstands with Katie Sanborn as managing editor and sold out in six days.
Stevens caused controversy by “putting the word lesbian on the front cover because that meant every time somebody wanted to buy it, they were essentially coming out to anyone standing around them, anyone who saw it in their house.” Over time, the magazine secured mainstream advertising deals, and famous faces like tennis player Martina Navratilova and singer Melissa Etheridge posed for the cover.
The magazine was rebranded as Curve in 1996 after a trademark dispute with French actress Catherine Deneuve.DJ Page Hodel hosted the “Alive and Kicking” legal aid benefit to help the magazine overcome the financial impact of the lawsuit.
Curve has been considered a perennial leader in reporting on a range of cultural issues, often writing about topics that were then picked up by mainstream media. Before the marriage equality movement picked up steam, Curve published an article about negotiating partner benefits in the workplace, in the December 1993 issue. Curve wrote about cybersex in 1995. In 2003, Curve was early in reporting on pregnancies within the queer community. Curve had a feature on gender queer fashion in Brooklyn, titled “Tomboys Rule Brooklyn” in the September 1996 issue.In 1999, Curve launched a website with online subscriptions, videos, books, and discussion boards.
Diane Anderson-Minshall was editor-in-chief when the magazine was acquired in October 2010 by Australian media company, Avalon Media.Under the ownership of Avalon Media, Curve was headquartered in Sydney with Merryn Johns as editor-in-chief and reported its circulation at 52,237, and a 182,831 readership with a median household income of $85,372. Founded by Silke Bader, Avalon Media also published Lesbians on the Loose (LOTL) and Bound magazines in Australia.
In 2021, Curve magazine was re-acquired by Founder Franco Stevens and donated to The Curve Foundation, with its mission to “empower lesbian, queer women, trans women, and non-binary people to share culture and stories, connect with each other, and raise visibility.”
Curve was featured on the Showtime television series The L Word when a fictional writer for the magazine interviews Jenny Schecter, one of the characters, about her book.[ citation needed ]
Ahead of the Curve is a feature documentary film that tells the story of the founder of Curve magazine, the magazine’s rise to fame and its aspirations for the future of lesbian and queer media. The film is co-produced and co-directed by Jen Rainin and Rivkah Beth Medow, with music composed by Meshell Ndegeocello.
Ahead of the Curve premiered at Frameline, the San Francisco international LGBTQ+ film festival, in 2020 and received the Grand Prix du Jury at the Image+Nation Film Festival. The film also received Audience Awards for Best Documentary at aGLIFF, Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and the Connecticut LGBT Film Festival.
Ahead of the Curve was released in theaters, digital platforms and DVD on June 1, 2021.
In a 2000 interview with Curve, Sinead O'Connor commented, "I'm a dyke… although I haven't been very open about that and throughout most of my life I've gone out with blokes because I haven't necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a big lesbian mule. But I actually am a dyke." However, soon after in an interview in The Independent, she stated, "I believe it was overcompensating of me to declare myself a lesbian. It was not a publicity stunt. I was trying to make someone else feel better. And have subsequently caused pain for myself. I am not in a box of any description."
In May 2007, actress Michelle Rodriguez criticized Curve and accused its editors of attempting to "out" her. Rodriguez stated, "As far as rumors go of me coming out, I guess Curve magazine took it upon themselves to out me on the premise of their own suspicions.... to put words in someone's mouth and place people in categories affects them for sure, especially in this business." [ citation needed ] Rodriguez has denied those claims as well.[ citation needed ]Her comments ended up angering many in the gay community and some even accused her of being homophobic.
In the July/August 2007 issue of Curve, editors responded to this criticism by stating: "If you read the article, you will see that the author did not, in fact, 'out' Rodriguez; rather, the article stated both that "Rodriguez has never publicly come out" and "Rodriguez has said she is not a lesbian."[ citation needed ]
Launched in 2021, The Curve Foundation amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people, creating a searchable archive from the 30 years of magazine issues, and supporting journalists in the tradition of Curve magazine.
Franco Stevens’ path to launching The Curve Foundation is documented in the 2021 film Ahead of the Curve.
LGBT or GLBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which began to replace the term gay in reference to the broader LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. The initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an umbrella term for sexuality and gender identity.
The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association is an American professional association dedicated to unbiased coverage of LGBTQ issues in the media. It is based in Washington, D.C., and the membership consists primarily of journalists, students, educators, and communications professionals.
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The Frameline Film Festival began as a storefront event in 1976. The first film festival, named the Gay Film Festival of Super-8 Films, was held in 1977. The festival is organized by Frameline, a nonprofit media arts organization whose mission statement is "to change the world through the power of queer cinema". It is the oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world.
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Dyke TV was founded and created by Ana Maria Simo, playwright and cofounder of Lesbian Avengers; Linda Chapman, theater director and producer; and Mary Patierno, independent film and video maker. The first episode was aired on June 8, 1993 in New York City. The last episode aired in 2005. Dyke TV produced national documentary television programming. New episodes were produced weekly for the shows 12 years on air, and ran for a half hour. In January 2005, the last five episodes ran for an hour. It was broadcast on nationwide cable TV weekly from 1993 to 2005, reaching over 6.5 million households nationwide, as well as being screened at national and international film festivals. In 1994, Dyke TV was awarded a Hometown Video Festival Award.
Frances “Franco” Stevens is the founding publisher of Curve Magazine, a leading international lesbian lifestyle magazine, and the subject of the 2021 documentary film Ahead of the Curve.
While You Weren't Looking is a 2015 South African drama film directed by Catherine Stewart. The film examines the struggles experienced by lesbians living in suburban South Africa compared to those living in townships.
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Ahead of the Curve is a 2020 American biographical documentary film co-produced and co-directed by Jen Rainin and Rivkah Beth Medow, with music composed by Meshell Ndegeocello. The film is based on the true story of Franco Stevens, one of the most influential women in lesbian history, and the founding publisher of Curve Magazine, a leading international lesbian lifestyle magazine. Portraying themselves in the film are, Franco Stevens, Kim Katrin, Denice Frohman, Amber Hikes, Andrea Pino-Silva, Melissa Etheridge and Jewelle Gomez. The documentary premiered in June 2020 at the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival.