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50 years of Seattle Gay News

First established in 1974, Seattle Gay News is one of the longest-running LGBTQ+ newspapers in the world.

An assortment of multiple black and white images are collaged over and around each other, depicting people from the lat 1970s in festive wear including lots of fringe, gowns, dance clothes, and more.

This Seattle Gay News issue from 1979 reported on a Mardi Gras-themed Coronation Ball at the Seattle Center.

Photo courtesy of the Washington State Library

Table of Contents

Seattle Gay News (SGN) has been publishing and preserving voices and stories for 50 years, becoming an essential resource + lifeline for Seattle’s LGBTQ+ community.

What has SGN seen and shared in its service spanning half a century? Here are some of our favorite headlines and quotes that transport us back into the pivotal moments of our local LGBTQ+ history:

A snippet of an article from 1977 bears the headline "Gays Discuss Work Discrimination" and a photo of several people sitting at a table with a podium microphone, under which a caption reads "Minority Panel at Gays and Work Forum."

The “Gays and Work Forum” wanted to address a split in the ongoing movement fighting for Queer rights and liberation.

Photo courtesy of the Washington State Library

“Gays Discuss Work Discrimination”

March 5, 1977 — In a landmark symposium at the University of Washington, over 90 people met to brainstorm methods to combat workplace discrimination for gay and lesbian minorities. This became a stand-out moment because it connected the experiences of homophobia and sexism, rather than treating them as two separate issues.

“Being angry, being sexy”

July 2, 1999 — Seattle Gay News published a review for “The Drag King Book” by Del LaGrace Volcano and Jack Halberstam. The review explores the global influences of the drag king community, noting the way the book represents “real performers having fun, being angry, being sexy, getting ready, [and] hanging out” — that’s our kind of show.

“Ways we come together to ensure equal rights”

April 25, 2014 — Ten years ago, Seattle Pride was gearing up for its 40th anniversary and narrowing down its ~60 nominations for potential Grand Marshals. George Takei was selected as the celebrity grand marshal, along with eight dedicated local activists for community grand marshals like Miss Gay Filipino and Empress of Seattle Aleksa Manila.

Explore more LGBTQ+ history

In honor of SGN’s 50 years in print, Seattle’s Central Library at 1000 Fourth Ave. will be hosting an exhibit through Sunday, Aug. 25 showcasing the newspaper’s works thus far.

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