WOMEN IN THE LIFE
These traces of Black Lesbian history at Whitman-Walker were found in various issues of the magazine Women in the Life.
“Started in late 1993, and early 1994, Women in the Life, LLC., an events management company, carved out safe spaces for Black lesbians to interact through dance parties, concerts, and open mic poetry sessions. Long before social media existed, Women in the Life connected Black lesbians in D.C., across the northeast corridor, across the United States, and ultimately around the world. Women in the Life magazine started out as a four-page newsletter and evolved over a ten-year period into a 26-page glossy cover magazine that was saddle-stitched and printed on heavy stock paper. If it affected Black lesbians the magazine covered it: art, politics, literature, history, relationships, family, and sexuality. Black culture. Black pride. Black life. As the artistic arm of the Women in the Life brand from 1993 to 2003, Women in the Life magazine focused on an audience in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region that few, if any, mainstream or LGBT media outlets considered in their coverage. Women in the Life distributed the magazine free of charge at local social events and at other outlets, many of which are no longer in existence, including: Sisterspace and Books, Whitman-Walker, the Black Lesbian Support Group, Lammas, Lambda Rising, Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill, Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer, DC LGBT Center, Blue Penguin, The Phase, Hill Haven, the Brass Rail, Kramerbooks, The Mill and the Hung Jury. Beaver Press, a woman-owned publishing company on Oglethorpe Street NW Washington, D.C., was contracted to print the magazine. Women in the Life sold subscriptions and distributed the magazine nationally at bookstores. At its peak, Women in the Life magazine reached hundreds of thousands of readers across over 40 cities, supporting and affirming queer communities of color during a crucial period in American history and the LGBTQIA+ movement for equal rights.”