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Ahead of the Curve Franco Stevens
Courtesy of Ahead of the Curve

A new documentary tells the story of the first ever glossy lesbian magazine

The new trailer for Ahead of the Curve asks the important question – do you know the difference between parsley and pussy?

A lucky run at the horse track starts off the story of Curve, the best-selling lesbian magazine ever published. Founded in 1991 by Franco Stevens, Curve, originally published under the name Deneuve until they were sued by Catherine herself, set out to tell the stories of its community that weren’t being told and give the world something it was severely lacking in – glossy lesbian magazines. 

Now a new documentary is charting 30 years of Curve from the early groundbreaking days when few advertisers would pay for ads and no celebrities would give an interview, to today when a perilous climate in the publishing industry threatens to bring the magazine to an end. Directed by Rivkah Beth Medow and Stevens’s wife Jen Rainin, Ahead of the Curve combines archival footage from the past 30 years with discussions with LGBTQ+ activists and celesbians including Melissa Etheridge, Jewelle Gomez, and Lea DeLari. 

Exploring questions of lesbian visibility, legacy, intersectionality, and the relevance of Curve in the face of accelerating threats to LGBTQ+ community, Ahead of the Curve offers not just a story of a magazine but a portrait of how life has changed for the community in the last 30 years and a look at where we are at now. 

“Franco’s magazine was born in a time when writing the word “lesbian” on the cover of a publication was a triumph,” Rainin says in a statement. “Franco’s contribution to the lesbian community inspires me, and it vexes me that like so many stories of influential queer women, her story is largely unknown. I feel a deep responsibility to tell Franco’s story as completely and honestly as possible to honor my community and our rich history, and to tell the story of a strong female role model who, in manifesting her own dream, made space for hundreds of thousands of others to have a chance at theirs.”

The documentary will open in cinemas and digitally from June 4. Until then tide yourselves over with the trailer featuring a young Stevens telling this fantastic joke: “Do you know what the difference is between parsley and pussy? I don’t know, I don’t eat parsley.” No mention as of yet if Jenny Schecter nemesis and Curve writer Stacy Merkin will be making an appearance. 

Watch the trailer below.