Magazines, those literary relics of yesteryear, typically welcome the reader and introduce her to the thematic content of that particular issue via the “Editor’s Letter.” I love reading Editor’s Letters; they exhibit such mastery of culture, such linguistic flair. It is usually the only moment, too, that you hear the voice of the creative force behind the magazine—the voice of the magazine itself—speaking directly to you, the reader, within its pages.
While there were only 12 issues of Velvetpark Magazine, that single dozen of issues spanned five years of a significant cultural sea-change within the lesbian community. During that time, 2002-2007, a handful of U.S. states began legalizing gay marriage. We got The L Word. At the same time, the U.S. was embroiled in unnecessary and extravagant wars abroad; we were subjected to the various, insidious tyrannies of the Bush Administration at home.
It was at this time Grace Moon lent her voice—her time, and her energy—to a generation.
In 2002, Velvetpark was born. Catalyzed by a seemingly lighthearted desire to remedy there being no lesbian magazine in NYC, Moon and a high school friend, collaborated to foster the “lesbio-eco system.” Here is her first Editor’s letter, in full:
When [my high school friend] called me out of the blue last fall I had no idea that the reunion of our friendship would bring us together in the pages of a magazine. Since graduating from high school in Honolulu, Hawaii, 16 years have past. Despite having pursued vastly different career goals (she had become an electrical engineer and an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and I a struggling artist in New York) we still had something in common—we had both come out. On her last visit to New York she asked me, “Why isn’t there a lesbian magazine out in New York?” I had no answer to that query. I began asking the same question to numerous NY lesbians of various backgrounds, and the overwhelming answer was “Lesbians don’t go out, they stay at home and nest.” Nest??!!
The absurdity of that statement rallied us into action. In a short period of time, with the ingenuity, sure-footedness and grace under pressure of many talented dykes, straights and our beloved “les-bros” (lesbian loving gay brothers) Velvetpark was born.
Here we are at the start of a beautiful new relationship; ready to