Regarded as the founder of the first US lesbian publication, Edythe Eyde embodied the vital enthusiasm needed to run a magazine. She produced nine newsletter-esque magazines in 1947-8 called Vice Versa, all from her desk at her daytime secretary job. In a tedious, repetitive process Edye would make carbon copies while typing the original, using the office machines. California law did not allow mail to circulate information about lesbians, so Eyde delivered her magazine by hand to her Los Angeles community of queer women, encouraging them to pass it onto her friends when they were done reading. In the first issue, Eyde wrote: “Such a publication has never appeared on the stand […] Why? Because Society decrees it thus. Hence the appearance of VICE VERSA, a magazine dedicated, in all seriousness, to those of us who will never quite be able to adapt ourselves to the iron-bound rules of Convention […] This is your magazine.”
Later on, when writing for publications such as The Ladder, Eyde adopted the pen name Lisa Ben (as in an anagram for “lesbian”? Yeah? Never mind). She was inducted into the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Hall of Fame in 2010, and received the NLGJA’s first Lisa Ben Award for Achievement in Features Coverage in 2015. She died later that year.
Women Who Paved the Way: Writer Edythe Eyde – https://www.advocate.com/women/2017/3/19/women-who-paved-way-writer-edythe-eyde
Vice Versa: America’s First Lesbian Magazine, Made in Los Angeles – https://thepridela.com/2017/05/vice-versa-americas-first-lesbian-magazine-made-los-angeles/
Vice Versa by Lisa Ben – http://queermusicheritage.com/viceversa0.html
–Charlotte ‘Fozz’ Forrester