A Tale Of Two Magazines: One & Tomorrow’s Man. From The Mr. Magazine™ Vault

August 8, 2022

A Tale of America’s First Two Gay Magazines

This is a story about what many consider the first two gay magazines in America.  It is a bicoastal story for one (no pun intended) was born on the west coast and the other in the Midwest only to move at the ripe age of two to the east coast. Both died before they reached the age of 20 but the impact they left on the publishing industry and on their audience is unforgettable. One was out, and Tomorrow’s Man was in the closet. Onelaunched in January 1953 in Los Angeles and TM launched in December 1952 in Chicago.  One sold out of the 500 copies that it printed and TM skyrocketed to the largest selling bodybuilding magazine on the nation’s newsstands selling 100,000 a month.  One  labeled itself  first as “The Homosexual Magazine,” and later as “The Homosexual Viewpoint,” and TM was labeled as “America’s first homosexual directed photo magazine.”  One was published from 1953 to 1967 and TM was published from 1952 to 1971.  

The genesis behind the idea for this blog (think of it as a preface to a possible book)  is an article written by the editor of  Drum magazine in 1965. What follows are excerpts of the aforementioned article: 

The Story Behind Physique Photography

From Drum, October 1965, Volume V, Number 8

By Clark P. Polak

“The first issue had a scant 32 pages and measured a tiny 3-3/4 inches by 5-3/4 inches, selling at the then high price of 20¢. Today it has 48 pages and sells at the now low price of 35¢. Then was almost 14 years ago, the magazine was Tomorrow’s Man.

Conceived by Irvin Johnson in his Chicago Health Studio gym as an additional medium for promotion of his already successful high protein tablets, vitamin supplements and other so-called body building products, the first book was mailed to a few hundred enthusiasts.

But Johnson had bigger ideas for his little book. He managed to convince the monolithic American News Co. (now disbanded) that TM was really a body builder’s handbook and within two years his dream came to fruition with TM selling an amazing 100,000 copies per month.

The current best sellers, Strength and Health, plus many more of the ilk, were no competition to America’s first homosexual directed photo magazine, though TM has now dropped from its hey-day top.  Others have now joined the bandwagon, but TM sales, always respectable, are again rising.”

So here are the facts about Tomorrow’s Man magazine (the older of the two by one month) and One magazine…

Tomorrow’s Man magazine:

Tomorrow’s Man magazine from the collection of Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni

Tomorrow’s Man

Dec. 1952

Vol. 1, No. 1

20 Cents

32 pages 

3-3/4 inches by 5-3/4 inches

A New Approach To Bodybuilding

Published in Chicago, IL

Tomorrow is yours… pages 2 and 3

“You are standing on the threshold of a new life… a happier healthier existence.  The men who cross this threshold will be stronger, more efficient men, ready to assume roles in the world of tomorrow. In a world torn by strife, the demand for greater strength of mind and body is not only pressing, it is vital.

Whether you take the challenge… whether you open the door or pass it by… depends on you.  Tomorrow can be yours, but the choice is up to you. 

This magazine is dedicated to that better tomorrow. It is dedicated to the young in spirit who will be tomorrow’s men. It is dedicated to men willing to accept something new and revolutionary…

Thus we dedicate this magazine to Tomorrow’s Man. In these pages you will find new ideas on building mental and physical strength.  They are “new” only because they are just now coming into use.  Actually, they are as old as common sense. But “old men” have refused to accept them since they do not conform to old teachings.

We think you will enjoy TOMORROW’S MAN. We hope it will help you find increased physical and mental strength. We know it can… if you’re young enough to accept a “young idea.”



THE Before and After pictures on pages 12 and 13 speak for themselves.  They prove that the Johnson System really works.

The training program you undertake now will determine what you will be two or three months from now.

If you are really sincere, you can start your training now. Just send me a note saying “Send me full information about Johnson’s Scientific Body Building and Nutrition Course.”


22 E. Van Buren

Chicago, 5, Ill.

Table of contents is on page 7 with Irvin Johnson listed as editor and publisher. The magazine is published monthly with a subscription price of $2.00. Cover price 20¢.

One magazine:

One magazine from the collection of Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni collection

One magazine

“… a mystic bond of  brotherhood makes all men one.” — Carlyle

Vol. 1, No. 1

January 1953

Published monthly.

20 Cents  per issue, two dollars a year.

6 inches by 7 inches

28 pages

Published in Los Angeles, CA

Editorial Board: Martin Block, Dale Jennings, Don Slater. Contributing Editor: Donald Webster Corey. Business Manager: William Lambert. Circulation Manager: Guy Rousseau.

Letter to you:

ONE is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the service of humanity. Its hopes are high. Its plans ae big, but the moral support and practical backing of ONE’s readers must be had, if it is to go forward and achieve great things. There must be many and substantial financial contributions for supplies, for printing, for legal counsel, for equipment needed. The subscription rate cannot cover the cost of production, and advertisers brave enough to support such a publication may be few for some time to come.

If you cannot personally with us working side by side, your check or money order will put you into the front line. Let us show the world what we can do. It is now up to you, ONE’s readers, for this magazine will continue to go forward as fast you permit. 


Page 3

In the June 1953 issue of One the price became 25¢ by now and the total pages still at 28 and the subscription is $2 a year. 

 On the inside front cover this was written: 

“Everyday come orders for those two historic issues, One’s first and second, January and February 1953.

Everyday we regret we had only enough cash to print five hundred copies each.

Everyday we say, “The minute we get a little ahead, let’s reprint those two.” Then the printer, paper-supplier, binder and plate-maker all gleam with high-priced delight….”

On the last page of the June 1953 issue One identifies itself as such:

“ONE is a non-profit California corporation formed, “to publish and disseminate a magazine dealing primarily with homosexuality from the scientific, historical and critical point of view, and to aid in the social integration and rehabilitation of the sexual variant.” It is also “concerned with medical, social, pathological, psychological and therapeutic research of every kind and description pertaining to socio-sexual behavior,” and aims “to promote among the general public an interest, knowledge and understanding of the problems of such persons.”

One: The Homosexual Magazine tag line appeared for the first time on the cover of the  January 1954 issue and was later changed in 1957 to The Homosexual Viewpoint.

Tomorrow’s Man was heavily driven by photography, largely semi-nude man posing in different forms of bodybuilding. One, on the other hand, was text heavy with very little photography used.

To be continued…

Comments, ideas, responses, feel free to email me at samir.husni@gmail.com or comment in the space below.

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, Ph.D.

Founder and Director

Magazine Media Center

Preserving the past, present, and future of magazine media.

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