15 Years in Review
1982/Baton Rouge: We busily
cut and pasted the last remnants
of what was to be the first issue of this mag on our kitchen table. It was 4:30am and this was the end of a 24 hour stint of painstaking labor, from hand setting type on an old Olivetti manual to peel off and stick lettering for the ads. It certainly had crossed our minds this night if Ambush was going to be worth all this grief.
We believed that this paper could make a difference, uniting the entire state through one publication. Our previous two publications had dealt with various parts of Louisiana, except New Orleans in both cases.
In the early days of Ambush, we were mostly closeted in the northern part of the State. New Orleans was a shining beacon of what freedom could mean to most of us; to be gay and to live gay. Was this an impossible task for the rest of Louisiana?
How could we have known then that Ambush would play such a major role in the big picture. The mag provided an entertainment and news source that had never existed reaching the backroads of the State with new information, new ideas, a new way of life for many, who believed they had no hope. Ambush grew up in an era when roadtrips were a way of life, leading us across Louisiana from Baton Rouge to Alexandria, Monroe and Shreveport and to Lafayette, Lake Charles, Houma and New Orleans.
We also virtually knew nothing about something called Karposi Sarcoma and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. In an age of outlandish behavior and carefree living, how could anything affect our way of life? Never could we have imagined what a little known, rare disease called AIDS today would do to our entire community. The human loss, the loss of all that talent and creativity, would forever change the face of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. We all would go through living hell not knowing our community was only the first to be hit by this dreaded disease. After all it was a gay disease. It could not happen to the rest of the World.
With the ability to always survive the worst, the GLBT community rallied around various AIDS service agencies. These groups have worked tirelessly to educate the public with safer sex programs, and massive programs caring for the ill, teaching both the gay and straight communities that the World can co-exit with AIDS.
1985/New Orleans: A move to the Crescent City was on the horizon for us. Taking a job offer at the St. Louis Crepe Shoppe, now Petunias, we felt sure the move would also be beneficial to the success of Ambush. The format changed from an 8 1/2 by 11 glossy to newsprint, a format which made the mag profitable for the first time.
Ambush has flourished and thrived becoming first a Gulf South regional, and now boasts the only Louisiana GLBT mag with an extensive national and international circulation. The mag also has the largest paid GLBT advertising base in Louisiana with practically 100% of Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans bars as regular advertisers.
Ambush has also led the way among local publications with an editorial policy of inclusion. All aspects of the diverse GLBT community have been included in Ambush since its humble beginnings. The "competition" waited until the last several months to a year or so, now that it is "in", to cover the leather, drag and bar scene extensively. And of course, let's not forget all those pictures, always an Ambush feature. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
However, none of what we have achieved through Ambush would have been possible without its solid advertising base. We both take this opportunity to thank each and every advertiser, those who have supported us since the beginning, to those who support us on a regular basis, and to those who support us in holiday issues. Your faith in Ambush has shaped this publication into what it is and stands for today, community and commitment.
From its support of the NO/AIDS Task Force, NO/AIDS Walk, Buzzy's Boys and Girls, Belle Reve/Esprit, Artists Against AIDS, PFLAG Scholarship Fund, Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans, Pride New Orleans, Gay Appreciation Awards, Halloween XIII, Art Against AIDS, NOMA's Odyssey Ball, Krewe of Apollo, Krewe of Petronius, Lords of Leather, LAGPAC and so many others, the Ambush reputation speaks for itself.
It is imperative that we all support those things which make a difference in our everyday lives, defining what the gay lesbian bisexual transgender experience means to each of us. As the millennium approaches, we eagerly await the unity and progress the future holds for our very diverse and talented community.