Lisa Ben, editor of the first lesbian magazine

Lisa Ben, was one of the first lesbian celebrity who created Vice Versa and wrote parodic song. 

Important dates

  • November 7, 1921: birth of Edith D. Eyde  in San Fransisco, California.
  • 1940’s: composing music and singing in Lesbian bars
  • 1947: publish the first of nine edition of Vice Versa
  • December 22, 2015: death of Lisa Ben
  • November 9, 1914: birth of Hedwig Kiesler in Vienna, Austria
  • 1930: first movies under the direction of Georg Jacoby
  • 1931: arrival in Berlin where she will appear in several movies and an advertising campaign
  • 1933: Ecstasy will earn her a sulfurous reputation
  • 1938: Louis B. Mayer convinces Hedwig Kiesler to follow him to the United States and change her name for Lamarr
  • 1942: patent for the frequence-hopping system she invented with Antheil
  • 1945: Hedy Lamarr leaves the MGM and founds a production company
  • 1962: an update version of her invention is installed on Navy ships
  • 1997: Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award and Bulbie Gnass Spirit of Achievement Bronze Award
  • January 19, 2000: death of Hedy Lamarr

Now, you may all think that you know the story of Frankie and Johnny, but chances areyou’ve just heard the censored version.

Edith D. Eyde was born in November 7th 1921 but you probably know by her pen name Lisa Ben, an American editor, writer and songwriter. She created the world’s first lesbian magasine “Vice Versa”.

 Vice Versa was produced and published locally for one year in Los Angeles during the late 1940s. Composing music and singing in lesbian bar she became more and more popular. Eyde is recognized as a pioneer in the LGBT movement.

In June 1947, Lisa Ben increased awareness of gay issues by publishing her own magazine. She felt isolated in the strict heterosexual world of the late 1940s, so she also hoped to establish a personal acquaintance network through the magazine. Ben put magazine by together herself while working slowly, using carbon paper and a typewriter to make copies.

From June 1947 to February 1948, nine monthly editions were created and distributed in Los Angeles, including dramas, movies and book reviews, poetry, short stories, editorials and annotated bibliography about lesbianism. But not only.

If a part of the public was indifferent or hostile to Vice Versa, Edith decided to make magazine both interesting and its entertainment level as high as an ordinary mass magazine.  Ben stopped producing Vice Versa because her company closed and she was forced to find a new job. However, the first small battle on homophobia has been successfully carried out, and Vice Versa does bring readers an awareness of homosexuality issues.

Ben herself continued to be active in the gay community. Lisa was an active critic of female impersonators, began in 1948 to write gay parodies of popular songs.

In the following years, she also performed as a musician in lesbian bars. She died on December 22nd, 2015, leaving behind her a huge influence on the lesbian community of California and now more.

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