Monday, August 15, 2011

GLC Voice origins

By Tim Campbell
Former Publisher and Editor

The GLC Voice newspaper was born out of two other gay newspapers that appeared in Minneapolis-Saint, Minnesota a little earlier.

Antecedent newspaper attempts

First, the Northland Companion put out two issues: November 1978 and December 1978.

Leonard Richards put up the money because he wanted to use the paper to endorse himself for some low level government office he ran for. The only ads were for himself as a political candidate. Bruce Brockway did the work and organized a board of advisors (but not board members)that included, I believe, State Senator Allen Spear and local lobbyist Steve Endean. Activist Campbell was not invited.

Brockway and Richards knew each other through the Libertarian Party. They were both radically opposed to all forms of government. Some time prior to putting out the Northland Companion, Richards and Brockway were arrested for showering from a balcony counterfeit US money onto a crowd on the ground floor of the Crystal Court in the IDS Tower. (Seventh and Nicollet, Minneapolis.) This author, Tim Campbell, was not associated with the Northland Companion.

Second, Positively Gay. PG put out six issues, June-September 1979 with an "extra" in August about an unheard of raid on one of Minneapolis' popular gay bathhouses. Press runs of 15,000 copies.

Back in 1979, “positively gay” was quite in as a phrase and as a concept. It suggested the emergence from the closet into the openly gay community of educated, middle-class, professional gays—ones who presented good role models. Brockway edited the first four issues of Positive Gay himself. Richards was no longer putting up any money.

Brockway was a concert level pianist and a recent graduate student in piano at the University of Minnesota. He studied under Duncan McNabb. Brockway’s personal dream was to go on tour performing the works of one single composer whose name I have forgotten. Brockway also worked for Burlington Northern Railroad, but was only “on call” most of the time

In September 1979, Brockway hired Tim Campbell as editor of Positively Gay, promising a salary of $1,500 a month. Brockway and Campbell put out the September and October 1979 issues of PG together. Unfortunately, Brockway soon ran out of cash and was unable to pay Campbell, the typesetter or the printer.

Consequently, Brockway proposed to “give” Campbell the newspaper in lieu of back salary--under the condition that Brockway would retain the name “Positively Gay.” Brockway wanted to be able to use this name in some future possible enterprise.

PG did not have much to give: some layout sheets, some Xacto knives, some cutting boards, some layout wax and wax heaters, some border tapes, and lots of white out. Campbell accepted Brockway’s proposal.

The GLC Voice newspaper debuted in November 1979. Campbell picked the name GLC Voice the night before press time. He and Brockway enumerated that issue Volume I, Issue 7. They put both logos on the top of page one: GLC Voice / Positively Gay.

Campbell chose the name “the GLC Voice” hoping it would suggest “ the Village Voice.” In his mind, the letters G-L-C stand for gays, lesbians and civilisados (Spanish for civilized people). Most issues of the newspaper carry the motto “A Twin Cities newspaper for gays, lesbians and civilized others.”

Campbell had no problem dropping the name Positively Gay. On the contrary, for many of the showgirl gays disliked the expression “positively gay.” They had been open and out for years and felt targeted by the phrase. They complained it meant nothing more than a self-loathing, “Butcher than thou!” attitude.

Although Campbell was no drag queen, he had started leading the gay pride marches in Minneapolis. Those marches were not considered very “positive” by some gay lobbyist types. Those rag-tag marches were in fact hated by some important but closeted gays in government who were counseling the young lobbyists. It became obvious in the mid-70s that more conservative local gay lobbying types there were going to drop the pride marching.

In addition, in about 1976 Campbell organized a protest rally at the State Capitol for which no one showed up but drag queens, transsexuals and the press. Plenty of press. This street theater made Campbell popular with the media, particularly with cameramen. Unfortunately, it also assured Campbell’s reputation for causing a negative image of gays. No, Campbell did not mind changing the newspaper name one bit.

GLC Voice press run facts

The GLC Voice hit the stands once a month the first year. In 1981 it started coming out twice monthly. The press run was 15,000 per issue, except when there was not enough advertising to pay that big a print bill.

Personal computers with 64K of memory, a floppy disk drive and a very basic word processor appeared on the market in about 1981. LaserJet printers with scaleable fonts came on the market in about 1986. Both of these technological advances made it possible to put out a newspaper more cheaply. The GLC Voice took advantage. Brockway continued to help with layout, distribution and keyboarding for the GLC Voice for about one year. In final analysis, Campbell never paid himself more than $1,000 per month.

Back issues archived in four libraries

Issues of the GLC Voice are archived at the downtown Minneapolis Public Library, Special Selections; at the Minnesota State Historical Society: at the Quatrefoil Library; at the Tretter Collection, University of Minnesota; and at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

A chronological index of all the headlines in the GLC Voice is available on-line at A computer searchable MSWord file of that index is available at the Minneapolis Downtown Library Special Collections or by contacting


Bruce Brockway died of AIDS in about April 1984. He got lots of news coverage as the first person in Minnesota diagnosed with this disease. Thanks to Brockway’s newspaper work, gays in Minnesota had plenty of news about AIDS from the earliest stages of the epidemic. That undoubtedly saved many gay lives in Minneapolis.

Leonard Richards, some years after Bruce Brockway’s death, was convicted of murdering his own sister over money left by their mother and of murdering the lawyer whom he hired to defend himself against those charges.

Tim Campbell, currently 71, has retired to Houston and keeps a blog of oil portraits and commentary on gay rights at in addition to

Tim Campbell
Houston TX

August 14, 2011

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