To kickoff our LGBTQ pride celebrations this June, we’re exhibiting Current Issues: The Gay Blade Vol. 1, No. 1-6, 1969 in the gallery space at Ace Hotel New York. First published in October of 1969 as a single-sheet, hand-distributed newsletter appearing in gay bars around D.C., it’s the longest-running LGBTQ paper in the United States, still running as The Washington Blade and named by the Times as “one of the most influential publications written for a gay audience.” In its early issues, we find reports on civil rights issues and police harassment, roommate and job referral services, invitations to community dinners, legal advice and classifieds ads. Grown from the vitality and perseverance of queer culture and community, The Gay Blade helped citizens organize in their struggle for equality, while both supporting and documenting the mundanities of everyday life and survival.
To see the full selection of early issues, and read more about the Blade (unrelated to Zorro), stop by the gallery and pick up your own copy of our handmade zine featuring some of our favorite issues.
Stay tuned for more on pride this month here.