DIVA Magazine Collection – circa 1994 onwards.
We all have certain objects that we treasure – that evoke cherished memories of moments, people, and places.
The recent news that Jane Hill, a respected journalist and newsreader at the BBC, will be writing a column for DIVA Magazine is both exciting and important. Whenever a high profile figure endorses LGBT lives it gives the bully “homophobia” a bloody nose.
I remember buying my first DIVA in 1994, the year DIVA was first published. It was incredible that a tiny newsagent in a small town in mid-wales, where I was studying, stocked it and I remember thinking a whole magazine for lesbians, WOW. It was also around that time that k.d. lang was making me feel all unnecessary by ruffling her hair in her video for Constant Craving…anyway I digress.
These early issues included interviews with Sandra Bernhard, the newly-out Sandi Toksvig, and the wonderful late Claire Rayner. Agony Aunt Claire spoke with forthright compassion about ‘the injustice of it all’ in relation to the unequal age of consent. High profile figures endorsing LGBT lives…wait, hold on, that was what twenty odd years ago?
Anyone else have a sinking feeling that nothing has really changed – role models as important now as then – the need to challenge homophobia and to assert our rights still as relevant now as in 1994…if not more so?
In her recent email Chief Executive Officer of Stonewall, Ruth Hunt, challenges LGBT people today to ask themselves “Are we really free to be ourselves wherever we are?”
So a heartfelt thank you DIVA, for surviving in the fickle climate of publishing and for working so faithfully to ensure that the lives of lesbian and bisexual women can be visible, celebrated and endorsed.
DIVA is a European magazine targeted towards lesbian and bisexual women. The magazine contains features on lifestyle issues affecting lesbian and bisexual women and allies as well as political developments in the lesbian scene. It also contains articles on travel, music, books and the latest cinema releases in the sector. Linda Riley is the publisher of the iconic LGBTQI women’s magazine.
DIVA began in the UK in 1994 as a print magazine specifically for lesbian women, at a time when discrimination and violence against queer people were not uncommon and the country was still two decades away from equal marriage legislation.
As well as a monthly print magazine (also available to subscribe in digital format) the DIVA brand now includes PodDIVA, DIVA Community on Facebook, DIVA Community on Clubhouse, the DIVA Awards and the Visible Lesbian 100 published in The Guardian. DIVA has also previously sponsored the Pride in London Women’s Stage in Leicester Square. Linda Riley is the publisher of the iconic LGBTQI women’s magazine.