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All about Baxter

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John Short
“Jim Baxter was one of the very first N.C. gay rights advocates that acted upon his vision. When he started The Front Page, there was not a strong feeling of community in the Raleigh-Durham area since there was no real communication or way to disseminate ideas or events. The bylines in the first issues were printed under assumed names, if that gives an indication of the levels of fear and danger associated with being publicly gay at the time. He and his newspaper were there at the very beginnings of many LGBT organizations that have prospered in later years.

An activist at heart, his determination and long struggle for civil rights have been rewarded with a visibly better environment in N.C. for the LGBT community. As we of that generation see the newer generations coming out and being proud, we can be proud that our own struggles and risks toward a better N.C. have been worth it.

It’s important for the younger generations to remember and honor those who came before them. Jim Baxter and others like him have been the wind beneath their wings.”

Don King
“If Jim Baxter was as good a businessman as he is a dedicated gay activist, right now he’d be living in Monte Carlo. Jim has been an inspiring spirit for a lot longer than many of us have been alive. For someone to persist that long is simply remarkable. He’s obsessed. And I’m glad he is.”

Mandy Carter
“Where do I begin to thank you for so many years of service to North Carolina’s LGBT movement and community by way of The Front Page? I first met Jim Baxter and got introduced to The Front Page when I moved to Durham in 1982 to join the staff of the then War Resisters League/Southeast Regional Office. That means I’ve maintained both a personal friendship and professional relationship with Jim and The Front Page for the past 24 years. And I am truly thankful. When you think about the history and growth of our LGBT community and movement here in North Carolina we know that we can find it in the pages of The Front Page. And personally knowing that, like me, Jim Baxter is a pack rat means that he has every single issue since the beginning.

“Isn’t it great to know that The Front Page outlasted Sen. Jesse Helms! When The Front Page started, Helms sat in the U.S. Senate representing the state of North Carolina for 30-way-too-many-long years of bigotry and intolerance. Fortunately for us, Helms didn’t seek re-election after his fifth six-year term. It is now the year 2006 and as The Front Page has come to its conclusion we sit in a Helms-free North Carolina!”

Mark Kleinschmidt
“I have only the highest respect for Jim Baxter and what The Front Page has meant to the gay and lesbian population in North Carolina. I remember moving to Chapel Hill in 1988 and coming out in 1989. I have fond memories of how anxiously I and my friends awaited every issue of The Front Page. It was virtually our only source of connection to the larger LGBT community. Because we were ignored by the mainstream media, the paper was my first source for learning about issues our community was facing around the country.

“Even as the paper aged and we all became less reliant on it as a source of news information, it remained the most important way of identifying businesses in our community that we knew would welcome gay patronage. Any time I needed professional services, was seeking a roommate or just wondering what stores most deserved my gay dollars, I went directly to The Front Page.

The value Jim’s work has had for the LGBT community in North Carolina is immeasurable. He helped define the community in North Carolina and made sure that its newest members knew that it was a welcoming and supportive one.”

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