Founder Franco Stevens is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the iconic national lesbian publication, Curve Magazine, and along with her wife Jen Rainin, brought the party to Houston this weekend.
Photo by Paula Beltrán Franco Stevens and Jen Rainin. See a slideshow
Stevens and Rainin joined Mayor Annise Parker's Sustainability Director Laura Spanjian in leading a Saturday morning cleanup of Japhet Creek. The fit was a natural one since Rainin is co-founder of Sweet Travel, a travel company catering to women looking to have fun in the company of other women while affecting change.
Curve Magazine will celebrate its 20th anniversary this October in San Francisco where it's based, but given the turnout of their Houston event this weekend, it's clear the magazine has struck a chord with women everywhere.
At a happy hour at Bocados Mexican Restaurant that turned happier when Mayor Annise Parker walked in, HairBalls met with a misty-eyed Stevens while she reminisced about some of her most memorable moments of the past 20 years.
Franco Steven's Top Five Moments:
1. Showing the Naysayers:
"One of the most incredible moments of my entire life has got to be when the first issue came out. I was working at a law office and the box came in and I opened it in front of co-workers and there it was, an actual magazine. I felt like I had just birthed a baby."
2. Accidental Multi-Tasking 1991:
"Six or eight months into the zine I got a photographer's pass to this tennis match Martina Navratilova was playing. I took pictures courtside, it was awesome. But by George, I was somehow going to ask her if she would do an interview for the magazine. I was waiting by the entrance to the locker room and I was starting to get so nervous and afraid I would blunder this one question that I wrote it down on my pad exactly 'Will you grant us an interview ...?' And so she walks through and she grabs the pad like she's gonna give me an autograph, and she's like: 'Are you asking me a question, or do you want an autograph?' And I'm like, 'both?' And she says, 'Okay I'll do it'."
3. A Star Comes Over in 1993:
"Melissa Etheridge was the first celebrity cover we did and that was and is still such a big deal."
4. Spring Cleaning 1998:
"When Amy Ray [of the Indigo Girls] said she was gay on the cover of the magazine, that was amazing."
5. Single White Female 2010
"Chely Wright was on our June cover this year. We knew like eight months in advance that she was going to do this with us. We had to keep it completely under wraps and it was really hard." [Wright is the first country music artist to come out.]