River Bend Vision was a non-profit organization with the goal of “reaching out and providing a means of communication to gays and lesbians.” Their magazine/newsletter was published monthly beginning in June 1989, then bi-monthly from September 1990 through December 1991. We have an incomplete run (missing June, July, August, and November of 1989) in our collection.
The publication was started by Jack L. Johnson, a Moline native who had just moved back to the Quad Cities after living in San Diego and San Francisco. He saw a need for more openness towards people in the LGBTQ community and a way for them to connect with each other outside of the bar scene.
Each issue contained a directory of services that catered to the gay and lesbian community such as nightclubs, video stores, and book stores. Other sections in the magazine included personal ads; opinion/letters to the editor; local and national news about legislation affecting the community; gay and lesbian history/herstory; original writing in the form of poetry, short stories, and comic strips; book, movie, music, and business reviews; safe sex and medical advice, and even some recipes.
Issues were mailed to subscribers in plain white envelopes and the subscription list was confidential. Only first names were used and code numbers were used to answer personal ads. Discretion was of the utmost importance.
This title was published at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Browsing through these issues you get a sense of what it was like for the gay and lesbian community in the Quad Cities at that time.
(posted by Cristina)
- Penner, Diana. “Q-C man launches voice for gays – and steps out of the closet.” Quad-City Times, July 3, 1989.
- River Bend Vision