1) According to Estelle Freedman in No Turning Back, medical authorities often viewed same-sex relationships as pathological in nature. German sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing referred to women who experienced same sex desire as being “revolting, disgusting, shameful, monstrous” and used the word “invert” to describe them. He, and other doctors, believed that this desire could be “cured” and that “inverts” could revert back to heterosexuality. Interestingly, many independent women at the time were also assumed to be lesbians. Women’s rights advocates as well as celibate women were scrutinized as being possible lesbians.
2) LGBTQQIA stands for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and ally.
3) According to The Advocate’s writer’s guidelines, the magazine is “A biweekly newsmagazine with a focus on the breaking news, news analysis, and developing arts & entertainment stories that involve out gay and lesbian people or are of direct interest to a national readership of out gay and lesbian readers.” The magazine is focused on North America, where its main distribution is, and covers news stories rather than lifestyle (fashion, travel, etc.) stories.
The magazine serves a dual purpose; to inform the LGBTQQIA community about news and entertainment stories relevant to the community, and to serve as an integral part of that community. Through wide distribution, even members of the LGBTQQIA community who are not part of a physical community can be a part of the larger community and feel solidarity with its activism. Additionally, the magazine can act as a point of reference for issues that people would like to act on. Whether documenting legislative defeats or highlighting a particular activist’s work, The Advocate enhances community bonds. As Freedman points out, “both victories and defeats served to intensify the identity category.” The stronger that identification, the more likely an individual member of the community will become active on issues that concern the whole community.