The queer friendly mags, zines and titles that should be on your book shelf by now
At a time when queer-as folk are more represented than ever, the myth that every problem has been solved is that – still a myth. There are barriers to be broken, stereotypes to be smashed and equality to be achieved. But in the meantime there are a lot of quality words out there for you to read and arresting imagery to indulge yourself in. From a cult-status zine for the gay glitterati to a queer experimental art annual, if it’s something away from the straight conforming you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered – with seven of our favourite.
Encapsulating the journey between gay youth and gay adult life, Hello Mr is a clean-cut mag just for “men who date men”. If you fit that specification and love stylishly arresting portrayals of sex, love intimacy and pursing the unexplored, Hello Mr issue 6 will get your senses darting with glee. With filmmaker Matt Lambert’s arresting portraits, tips on talking to strangers and ever-relevant fashion spreads, Hello Mr pushes publishing boundaries and serves up an intimate read to inspire in an ever hetero-normative world.
Who doesn’t like butt? That’s perhaps why London and Amsterdam-based Butt magazine has tantalized so many. Active since 2001, the now international read has reopened queer narratives time and time again, bringing together alt gay guys, infamous personalities and culture’s most notable names into one legendary set of pages. Connecting fashion, sex, and art, they say with a good sense of irony, Butt’s past interviewees include John Waters, Hedi Slimane, Ryan McGinley, Terry Richardson and too many more butt-lovers. What’s more, is if you miss an issue, catch the interview archive online and revel in all of Butt’s anti-clichéd musings.
Having achieved something of a cult status, Meat zine is the gay pinup publication for classic, British gentlemen. With a passion for diversity, the Meat pages offer up beautiful untouched portraits of a diverse selection of regular blokes. While the read is certainly unique to its kind, each issue’s release doesn’t go distributed quietly – it’s a full-throttle knees-up every time, with London’s finest DJs in action with the capital’s gay glitterati, bears, club kids and cubs-next-doors in attendance. It’s the perfect party zine.
Hailing from the queer depths of Brooklyn, Cakeboy is the independent publication for America’s gay youth. With gritty photography and in-depth scribes, the mag is just what this generation needed. If raising $5,000 to fund the upcoming issue isn’t an achievement itself, its impressive roster of those featured is – designer Sophie Andes Gascon, photographer Campbell Addy, activists Wen Liu and Furay Chang and trans model turned performer Sawyer DeVuyst to name a few. But what is a cakeboy, exactly? According to the mag, he’s a “disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Streisand ticket-holding, friend of Dorothy.”
Originally a down-to-earth DIY newsletter, GAYLETTER has come a long way since it sprouted in 2008. Now in its third official printed release, the read has no doubt become a queer staple for the bookshelf. According to the GAYLETTER boys, fresh from the printers issue 3 has been a hit already: “The people that already have it are gagging all over the world.” They wish they could fit everything into the magazine, but gayletter.com contains all of the missed interviews, party snaps and videos the mag’s pages missed.
THE HAPPY HYPOCRITE
An annual journal with a twist, The Happy Hypocrite reminds us annuals aren’t just for tweens. Published by London’s Bookworks, the read features many queer contributions, and in its eighth year is showcasing the theme “Fresh Hell”, brought straight to you from fossil fuels. Led by founder Maria Fusco and guest-editor Sophia Al-Maria, The Happy Hypocrite’s ethos is experimental art writing. With thought-provoking digital chat about the state of the environment, this is an important read for those of you concerned about the future of Earth.
Perhaps one of London’s most exciting projects showcasing and supporting everything queer is @Gaybar. The produce of Hannah Quinlan Anderson and Rosie Hastings, @Gaybar not only pens a state-of-the-art zine, but the duo host Soho-esque gay bar parties, performance art exhibitions, queer readings and mass film screenings flaunting the best international queer video artists and activists around. What’s so special about this productive pair, however, is their recent activism surrounding the Stonewall film controversy. Their ‘wet protest’ forgot the hetero-patriarchy and paid homage to the trans women, lesbians and queers of colour erased from the memories in the movie. @Gaybar is a publication with true revolutionary roots.
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