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Lesbian History – DYKE A Quarterly

29 Oct Posted by in Guest Writers | 5 comments
Lesbian History – DYKE A Quarterly

Penny House and I had been best friends since we were four years old. It was 1975, we were in our mid-twenties, had just recently come out, and were ready to take on the world.

All over the United States Lesbians were getting together to make culture – music, theater, art, film, poetry and all kinds of media. In New York we were right in the thick of it and enjoying every minute. We decided that making Dyke A Quarterly would be our contribution.

DYKE was my second magazine. I had recently edited and published a much smaller feminist / Lesbian magazine called Cowrie. Before working in print, I had joined the staff of WBAI FM Pacifica Radio in NY, producing, among other things, the feminist and Lesbian shows, Elektra Rewired and Dyke Salad. As a free form radio host, I had the pleasure of inviting all kinds of feminist and Lesbian artists and activists to join me on air for my five hour weekly live show.

One of these guests was musician Alix Dobkin, who had been a successful folk musician and was now on hiatus, raising an infant daughter, and preparing for a huge shift of musical focus. A couple of months after that first show we came out together and were partners for six years during this amazing epoch of Lesbian Culture.

After college, Penny had been working as a concert producer for Women’s music events. Her life – long love of literature and art made her segue to magazine editor a natural transition.

DYKE A Quarterly lasted for three years, publishing a total of six issues. DYKE was well known at the time, considered not only important and informative but also highly controversial.

We toured the country with Alix, visiting bookstores and Lesbian communities, selling the magazine, making friends, and some enemies along the way.

Now, in 2010, thirty five years after we started DYKE, we have been working on taking the DYKE archive online. As the site designer, I’m trying to make this archive as user friendly as possible. I am annotating most of the articles, adding my memories, links, and commentary, even additional graphics.

One of our reviewers said, “DYKE Magazine is more honest in print than most people dare to be in the privacy of their own living rooms”

Please take a look at Dyke A Quarterly and add your memories and comments to the living history archive.

Liza Cowan runs Small Equals, a little shop in Burlington, Vermont. Small Equals features customized gift building with our own Keepsake Card Kits, plus an assortment of wonderful small goods, from vintage to postmodern, all selected with a curator’s eye. Visit and

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