RFD (magazine)

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RFD
RFD-magazine.jpg
Editor RFD Collective
Categories American gay-related lifestyle magazine
Frequency Quarterly
Publisher RFD Press, Inc.
First issue Autumn 1974
Country USA
Based in Hadley, MA
Language English
Website www.rfdmag.org
ISSN 0149-709X

RFD: A Country Journal for Gay Men Everywhere is a reader-written magazine focused on gay country-living and alternative lifestyles. Founded in 1974, the magazine has been edited at various locations and by different communities over the course of its existence. While predating the Radical Faeries movement, it has long been associated with Faeries. The magazine is currently published on a quarterly basis from New England.

Origins[edit]

The magazine began with group of gay Iowans who attempted to place an advertisement in the countercultural Mother Earth News about organizing a gay-centered commune, Running Water Farm.[1][2] The request was rejected on the basis that they did not run gay advertisements.[1] The initial organizers of the commune decided to start their own magazine as a means of communicating with other rural collectives and radical faeries and gay men living outside of cities.[2] Stewart Scofield presented this idea for a magazine to reach out to rural gay men to the Rural Caucus of the first Midwest Gay Pride Conference in Iowa City in May 1974.[1] By that fall a collective of gay men centered in Iowa City had created it and they allied with the Women's Press there to print it.[1] Its first mailing address was Grinnell, Iowa, where Stewart lived. The Midwest/Northwest connection happened with the first issue and involvement from lovers Carl Wittman and Allan Troxler journeying back to Wolf Creek, Oregon from their roots in North Carolina.[1] Very quickly collectives in both locations took turns producing the quarterly.[1] The Running Water collective took on primary responsibility in 1980 giving RFD its first "comfortable headquarters."[2]

According to Donald Engstrom, one of the early Iowa-based founders, the collective wrote to, and sent copies of the early issues, to every gay campus group they could find as well as to gay friends far and wide. The first issues of the magazine continued in this "pass along" basis with very passionate response from readers hungry for a gay publication out of the mainstream. The magazine has billed itself as "a country journal by gay men"[3] "for country faggots everywhere."[4]

Publishing history[edit]

The early founders, described in issue #6 as "a collective of Iowa faggots" published RFD for its first two years. The magazine was then published in Wolf Creek, Oregon for many years before moving to North Carolina's Running Water Farm in the early 1980s. Publication moved to Short Mountain Sanctuary in Liberty, Tennessee in the mid-1980s and then in 2009 to a small collective associated with Faerie Camp Destiny in New England.

RFD had not originally been about Radical Faeries—it had been in existence for years, created originally for rural gay men, but it has, in the last nearly twenty years, come to be synonymous with the RFs. Many think that RFD stands for "Radical Faerie Digest," but those who were there then insist that it was taken from just what everyone else thinks of when they hear the initials: "Rural Free Delivery." It was for and about rural “sissies”. A continuing source of delight for me is that in each issue, RFD is also assigned an additional meaning (Really Feeling Decadent and Ranting For Days are possibilities). . .[5]

— Khrysso Heart LeFey, A bit of History of the Radical Faeries

Among the notable writers featured in RFD has been the poet Essex Hemphill.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Sears, James Thomas (Jul 1, 2001). Rebels, Rubyfruit, and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South. Rutgers University Press. pp. 142–147. ISBN 9780813529646. 
  2. ^ a b c Wilson, Warren (December 19, 1998). "History of the Radical Faerie movement in W. North Carolina and its Presence Today". Retrieved 20 June 2012.  (based in part on Patt, Rocco (Running Water Farm co-founder). Personal Interview. 8 Dec. 1998.)
  3. ^ Issue #12 cover
  4. ^ Issue #3 cover
  5. ^ A bit of History of the Radical Faeries