Sarah Pettit

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Sarah Pettit (6 August 1966 – 22 January 2003) was an American journalist, LGBT activist, and editor. She was known for being the founding editor of Out (magazine) alongside Michael Goff.[1]


Pettit was born in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands[2] where her father worked as a banker for an international banking corporation. She was raised in Paris, London, and Bad Homburg, Germany.[3] She went to Phillips Exeter Academy and then earn a bachelor degree at Yale University, in Comparative Literature in French and German[4] in 1988. She died on January 22, 2003 in New York City, due complications with lymphoma diagnosed less than a year before.


Pettit's activism career began while at Yale, where she was instrumental in successful student efforts to add sexual orientation to the university's nondiscrimination clause.[5]

In 1989, Pettit publishing career started when she became the arts editor for the now-defunct OutWeek a controversial weekly gay and lesbian magazine that stirred national debates for its tatics around gay rights activism and “outing” public figures[6]. Pettit stayed with the paper until it went out of business in 1991.

In 1992, she joined Goff to create Out (magazine), where she extended the magazine's cultural and political focus, attracting an unprecedented range of advertisers, like Calvin Klein (fashion house) and General Motors, which had not previously appeared in gay publications.[1]


  1. Iovine, Julie V. (2003-01-23). "Sarah Pettit, 36, a Founder of Out Magazine". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  2. "Sarah Pettit". IMDb. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  3. "News and Features | An unordinary life". Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  4. Staff, Newsweek (2003-01-21). "Sarah Pettit, 1966-2003". Newsweek. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  5. "Remembering Sarah Pettit. (Curvatures). - Free Online Library". Retrieved 2023-01-29.
  6. "Sarah Pettit - NLGJA". Retrieved 2023-01-21.

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