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About this project



Trade Paper is a cataloging project run for fun by Jory Dayne, a designer and illustrator in Los Angeles. I’m interested in documenting the ads that listed addresses in the Los Angeles area in old gay rags. When these ads were first produced, the idea of a global, easily searchable atlas of the known universe was non-existant — the magazines and publications they appeared in served as ad hoc indexes to gay spaces and businesses for an audience that often couldn’t ask for them by name.

Cataloging these locations at a remove of decades with modern tools and databases allows us to see surprising relationships that would have, at the time, been invisible to but a few: bar spaces that changed names and owners but kept the same clientele, mail order businesses run under handfuls of names, out of the same P.O. Box.
Places have a very long memory. Many of the addresses listed in these ads still relate today in some way to their business then, though they have changed hands many times since. Leathermakers in Hollywood, a specialty chaps producer in the 70s and 80s is now a bespoke book bindery trading in speciality leathers; Paul Valli Barbers in Studio city is now a dryBar salon. Though time erodes and erases what was once there, standing in place and imagining what and who was there before is still a powerful act. It’s an opportunity take stock of the changes in our community between now and then, for good or ill.


Things to keep in mind about this project.

The ads listed here appeared in magazines and publications that are very much a product of their time, with all the prejudices, tropes and tendencies of their original authors. The authors and their audience were overwhelmingly white, cis-males who placed a high value on the style, trappings and clichés of a butch, hyper-masculine lifestyle. While Trans and QPOC people very much existed during this time, they seldom make appearances in these publications, nor are they really catered to. Click here to see a page of all the ads I’ve found that feature known BIPOC (at time of printing, a whopping (1) one). 

Things to keep in mind about the curator.

The author of this site is a white, masc-presenting queer, working during COVID-19 quarantines, primarily from material in his own haphazardly compiled collection. There are obvious limitations of depth, breadth, and resources. While I am not particularly enchanted by the leather or macho lifestyle, I am interested in preserving the graphic language defined and designed by queers and homosexual individuals. Because I like to visit the addresses in person to see what is currently there, I am currently focusing on the greater LA area. I would love to expand this to include other cities. I welcome corrections, anecdotes, scans, et cetera! 
 
Goodies & Downloads

︎ Hi-res, super-pulpy wallpapers







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Trade Paper is a cataloging project run for fun by Jory Dayne, a designer and illustrator in Los Angeles. I’m interested in documenting the ads that listed addresses in the Los Angeles area in old gay rags. Read More ︎