“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
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.”
“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.”
“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
“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