In 1972, the last issue of the Methodist magazine Motive was issued in two parts:
one for lesbians and
one for gay men.
The publication is unique both for the fact that the United Methodist Church publication offered itself as a 'pulpit' for the early voices of gay and of lesbian liberation and for the fact that these voices were only three years down the road from the pivotal and iconic experience of Stonewall.
Methodist support for the emerging gay activist community in Washington, DC had also emerged 7 years earlier when Dr. Leroy S. Graham, chaplain of American University (with strong ties to the Methodist Church), helped Jack Nichols of the Mattachine Society of Washington launch the Washington Area Council on Religion and the Homosexual. The council met regularly at American University.
During the 1960s, the United Methodist Church's youth magazine motive became increasingly identified with the counterculture, feminist, and anti-war issues. By 1971, the church had decided to close down the youth magazine. The two sole issues of 1972 were dedicated entirely to LGBTQ issues and politics. A member of Washington, DC's Furies Collective had been a member of motive's editorial board. Roy Eddey, who had also been an editor at motive's Nashville office had moved to New York City and had close ties to the gay liberation community. Eddey, who co-authored the lead editorial in the men's issue, took the lead in convincing the Nashville office to do a gay liberation issue and in bringing out the final issues of motive
Two of Washington, DC's prominent early 70s innovative gay and lesbian collectives, the Furies Collective on Capitol Hill and the Skyline Collective near Dupont Circle, played a prominent role in writing, compiling and publishing both editions. Seven members of The Furies, a lesbian separatist group centered on a Capitol Hill townhouse, contributed articles and poetry, and two Furies contributed photos and other images. The Skyline Collective, on S Street NW, was a division of DC's Gay Liberation Front. Members of Skyline helped with writing and compiling the gay men's edition of motive, working closely with members of New York's Gay Liberation Front.
The original intent was to publish a single issue on gay liberation as the magazine's final issue. For political reasons, the issue was split into a lesbian/feminist volume and a gay men's volume.
Roy Eddey and Michael Ferri wrote in the editorial for the gay men's liberation issue:We know we exist. We are gay and we are proud. motive, even with its long history and affiliation with the United Methodist Church, has come out.The four members of the Furies (Joan E Biren, Rita Mae Brown, Charlotte Bunch, and Coletta Reid) who took responsibility for the project wrote in the editorial for the lesbian/feminist issue:
And gay people have brought it out. Virtually every aspect of both the Lesbian/Feminist and the Gay men's issues have been produced by and for Gay people. Lesbians and gay men have written all the articles and poetry in our respective issues, have crfeated the art work, and done all of the editing and technical layout and production; a lesbian collective [Sojourner Truth Collective, Atlanta, GA] has printed both issues ...
We have tried to bring together in this issue a collection of articles that reflect part of our personal history and future direction ...Motive, a monthly magazine published by the United Methodist Church for over twenty years, is no more. This is its final issue. Throughout Motive's history, radical dissension within limits was tolerated with a few slaps on the wrist, but the church fathers really squirmed when the special issue on women appeared in March-April 1969. In the aftermath of the controversy over the women's issue, the church began to reduce its support of Motive and Motive decided it could no longer function under the church. Motive could not survive without church money so the staff and editorial board decided to close up shop--using the remaining resouces of the magazine to put out one final gay issue. The Furies, a collective of twelve lesbians in Washington, D.C., which included a member of the old Motive editorial board, assumed editorial responsibility for the lesbian issue...Activist Perry Brass, whose article "In America, All Men Were Created Straight", is part of the men's issue recalls that the motive issues "... got around hugely. In those days, movement newspapers and magazines got around far more than their circulation numbers: they were read, reread, passed around, discussed, xeroxed, sent abroad -- so their thought content became a part of the culture in a way that rarely happens now."
We are not progessional publishers or editors. We are political lesbians who wanted to create a magazine that would communicate our ideas to you. It was exciting to have the resources for our own magazine. We were determined that from start to finish lesbians would do it all...
The lesbian edition: The gay men's edition:
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