First published in November 1989, Coming Out: A Lesbian Newsletter was created by and for lesbians in Columbia. According to its first issue, the newsletter’s mission was to fight against the community’s alienation and “create a greater sense of connectedness” among lesbians in the area. For nearly a decade, Coming Out published local news stories, resources, a calendar of events, classifieds, and ran advertisements for Columbia’s LGBTQ-friendly businesses. The newsletter also served as a forum where lesbians could exchange their ideas, opinions, and experiences. Coming Out often featured articles, poetry, as well as other creative expressions articulating the intersections of feminism and gender identity.
Publications such as Coming Out shed light on Missouri’s vibrant LGBTQ communities outside Kansas City and St. Louis. Despite Central Missouri’s conservative politics, gay and lesbian groups built safe spaces within the region. At a time when LGBTQ members faced loss and backlash in part by the AIDS Crisis, Coming Out is an example of LGBTQ Missourians’ efforts to cultivate inclusive and accepting communities across the state.
Categories: Arts & Culture, Business & Economy, Civil Rights, People
Collection Name: Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America
Contributing Institution: University of Missouri-Kansas City