Do you know what LOTL stands for?

An acronym for the magazine’s original title, Lesbians on the Loose, LOTL changed its name several years ago to reflect a growing and diverse readership, and also to embrace the title its readers fondly used.

Founding Publisher and Editor of LOTL, Frances Rand, tells her story…

Many lesbians today could not imagine life without LOTL, but there was a time back in the 1980s when we had to rely on word of mouth to find places where we could meet each other.

Issue One of Lesbians on the Loose in January 1990 was to have been four pages with free advertising, but Mardi Gras came on board with a paid ad and we went to eight pages.

We added colour and more pages and ran some fabulous stories and interviews. Many celebrities were coming out and we spoke to Melissa Etheridge, Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Kerryn Phelps, and Janis Ian.

While we had our fair share of celebrities, LOTL was community-focused and most of our stories were about ordinary lesbians; lesbians who had been discriminated against, such as the couple who were refused family cover by insurance giant MedibankPrivate.

Over the years I have often been asked why I chose the name Lesbians on the Loose. (An American travel guide publisher said that it was her favourite name next to US gay mag, Homo on the Range).

Some readers found the word ‘lesbian’ confronting when we first published. However the title was about the magazine’s philosophy – being out, proud and having fun – and no one ever forgot the name.

Nevertheless, it was a mouthful and was shortened to LOTL fairly early on in the piece.  Subscribers, including those in Muslim countries, always had copies mailed with LOTL on the envelope.  One schoolteacher told us that when asked what was inside she said, “Languages Other Than Latin”.