The Resignation Letter of Stella Rush
from the position of Associate Editor for ONE magazine
July 23, 1961
This letter was sent to the directors of ONE, Incorporated by Stella Rush, popularly known as “Sten Russell.” It is reprinted unaltered and in its entirety. A copy of this letter is on file with the HIC archives.
July 23, 1961
To ONE, Incorporated—–
Attention: Don Slater, Bill Lambert, George Mortenson, Joe Aaron, Eve Elloree, Tony Reyes, and any Corporation Member whom I may have missed.
As I stated to Don Slater on the telephone Wednesday, July 12th, it is with deep regret that I feel that I must resign from the Editorial Board and the Corporation. It has been my privilege to serve on the former for the past year and one quarter, and the latter for the past five years.
My health is a prime factor in this decision, as the emotional conflicts engendered by such events as the last ONE Institute and my frequents disagreements of a very serious and basic nature with some of the policies pursued by the Editorial Board and the Corporation affect it considerably.
I wish particularly to express my deep appreciation to Don Slater, who, in spite of the great need for helpers, would rather see me a live friend of ONE than a very dead Corporation member. It is hard not to be deeply moved by such sincere concern for one’s individual personality.
I now stand relatively in the same position as Henry Hay, who referred to himself in the July 1961 issue of The Ladder as a member of the “loyal opposition” to ONE, with those infinite compounded differences that define one person from another.
I trust that you will remove my pen name, Sten Russell, from the masthead of ONE Magazine as soon as it is possible to do so……and that you will not consider the second pen name, Ellis Radick, the personal property of ONE, simply because it has not been published elsewhere as yet. I desire to continue writing for ONE Magazine and The Ladder under these two pen names.
I consider the pen names of a writer his personal property unless it was specifically understood at the outset that the writer was taking over a “property” name already belonging to a publication which expressed a function of the publication. I think it is unfortunate that ONE chooses to consider certain of the editorial pseudonyms as “property” creating the impression that the editor (in this case, the Feminine Editor) has not changed physical bodies and therefore is of a schizophrenic nature and should be sent to the nearest mental institution. I feel that it is even more unfortunate that some of the male members of the corporation feel justified in writing the most drastic opinions under this feminine pseudonym if a feminine editor happens to be lacking at the moment. By drastic opinions, for example, I mean those written on the fiercely controversial subject of “Homosexuality and Overpopulation.”
It was extremely interesting to find out recently that Alice Horvath did not write the Alison Hunter editorial of February 1960 on “homosexuality and overpopulation.” She tells me that she left the Editorial Board to go back to school October 1959 and had written no editorials or articles of that nature which might have been held over as late as February 1960 … that it was not her style … nor her opinions on the matter. Considering the fact that Marilyn and I held diametrically opposed positions to this “celebrated” editorial and that we were not permitted to counteract it editorially because we had been told that 1. Alice Horvath had written it as Alison Hunter and that 2. the Editorial Board was unanimous at the time it was written (supposedly) and since 3. Marilyn was now Alison Hunter….therefore 4. I could not counteract it editorially but must write my different views article and under a different pen name than Sten Russell because an editorial and an article by the same person couldn’t seem to appear in the same issue, which appeared reasonable at the time. Since I personally consider the opinion voiced in the February 1960 editorial to be suicidal and with Fascist (a school of thought and action inimical to the liberty of all citizens) undertones and of the same school as the Lambert editorial which was relegated to ONE Confi as a personal opinion … I find this particular development distressing on more levels than I care to enumerate, or you would care to hear, I am sure.
Nevertheless, I still consider ONE Magazine as having great potential for good for both the homophile and society and as a sounding board for the opinions of many different types of homosexuals, lesbians, and sexual variants and others who are concerned with problems these may or may not present.
Certainly, I shall always hold a small flame in my heart for the good that my association with all the members and friends of ONE has done for me personally.
Ex-Associate Editor, 7-12-61