To promote equal rights and equality for all sexual and gender minorities, advance the intellectual life of LGBT people, and educate a broader public on LGBT topics.
With the publication of the first issue in the winter of 1994, The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review* rushed into a huge vacuum in gay and lesbian literary culture — a void that stretched all the way from The Atlantic and The New Republic to The New York Review of Books. Nowhere in Gaydom was there a publication for the literate non-specialist, offering the best writing and thinking our culture had to offer, covering a wide range of topics, handsomely produced, and always a pleasure to read.
This was the kind of publication The G&LR set out to become — all based on the hunch that there was a critical mass of curious, intelligent lesbians and gay men out there capable of supporting such a magazine. The fact that it’s still going strong and we’re about to celebrate its 25th anniversary attests to the existence of such a readership, one that wants to be challenged by the play of ideas and to explore our issues insightfully and in depth. Of course, to appeal to this community, this journal would have to be keenly edited and smartly produced.
The G&LR has become the place where the big debates about gay and lesbian culture and politics are often played out. “It’s our intellectual journal,” remarked Larry Kramer in The New York Times.
The G&LR, now in its twenty-ninth year of publication, has a circulation of about 8,000 regular subscribers and is widely regarded as the leading GLBT cultural and intellectual magazine in the U.S.
Each issue is organized around a theme, such as “The Science of Homosexuality,” “Human Rights around the World,” and “Virtual Communities,” and includes about a half-dozen essays in a wide range of disciplines as well as reviews of books, movies, and plays. A few poems also appear in each issue, along with letters to the editor, an artist’s profiles, and an international spectrum column. The goal is always to cover a topic from a range of perspectives by featuring a number of the leading contributors in the field.
The importance of The G&LR as a national forum was recognized by Library Journal after our first year of publication, which dubbed us “the journal of record” for the discussion of gay and lesbian topics. The New York Times ran a major feature article in the magazine, highlighting its role as a major force in current gay and lesbian intellectual life.
* While originally published by the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus, in 1998 the magazine was reorganized as a nonprofit organization with no official ties to the University, so in 2000 the name was changed to The Gay & Lesbian Review/Worldwide.