VLR: Question 2

I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about “Lipstick” and how it came about.

– Rachel Spangler

So, as I mentioned, my penname in CURVE is “Lipstick.”  She is a sassy, no-nonsense femme who dishes advice alongside Dipstick in the column Lipstick & Dipstick.  She is nothing more than an inflated part of myself, I guess, although I joke that Gina is much more patient and loving than Lipstick.  And it’s true, but I guess there is no way getting around that those ass slaps in the magazine come directly from me, too. 🙂

My friend Kathy and I hatched the idea for a she said/she said column, branding it Lipstick & Dipstick, and brought a bunch of our friends together. A round table of sorts.  We invited people in our world we respected. Other writers, artists, etc.  We pitched them the idea, as well as had them read some sample columns.  They gave us great feedback and the confidence to push forward.  We did a photoshoot, put a marketing packet together and sent a few out to colleagues we’d been writing for, asking for marketing blurbs.  One of the first people we sent it to was our friend/Executive Editor at CURVE (at the time): Diane Anderson Minshall. Initially, we were planning on syndicating.  She asked us if there was any reason we didn’t want to be in CURVE.  Of course the thought had occurred to us!  We just figured it would (hopefully) be the end of the road.  We never thought it would be the beginning!  CURVE brought us on (we were ecstatic!) in 2004 and we’ve been happily married ever since.

At the end of last year, Avalon Media purchased CURVE from Frances Stevens and we’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to stay on with Merryn Johns as our new editor.  She is delightful.  Since the launch in 2004, we have published a spin-off book, Lipstick & Dipstick’s Essential Guide to Lesbian Relationships, had a successful blog for many years, have been public speaking—on college campuses, for large corporations (Nike World Headquarters), emceeing the main stage for San Francisco Pride with a crowd of over 200,000 people.  It’s been a blast and Dipstick and I continue to dish out advice to lesbians from all over the world.  We had a reality show in the works for many years—even shot a pilot episode, where instead of actually writing women back in the magazine, we show up at their door—but when the recession hit, it sort of lost steam.

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