Gay Times Magazine - - CONTENTS: -

“In the cur­rent state of Amer­ica, if you don’t have a mes­sage that you’re push­ing out, if it’s not some sort of ac­tivism, then why are you do­ing it?” That’s a quote that looms heavy in our Septem­ber cover fea­ture with Hol­ly­wood’s most out­spo­ken LGBTQ ally, Chloë Grace Moretz. Her fan­tas­tic new movie The Mise­d­u­ca­tion of Cameron Post aims to shine a spot­light on the bar­baric prac­tice of gay con­ver­sion therapy that con­tin­ues to be a huge prob­lem across the globe.

It’s a stark re­minder of how far we as a com­mu­nity have to go to achieve to­tal equal­ity. But be­ing a cre­ative group of peo­ple, we are very re­source­ful when it comes to us­ing art as a way of mak­ing real so­cial change.

With such a wealth of queer cre­ative tal­ent out there right now, we’ve found our­selves with six cover stars for our Septem­ber is­sue. Yes, we know it’s tra­di­tion­ally sup­posed to be a more fash­ion-led nar­ra­tive, but with this much LGBTQ bril­liance want­ing to talk about their projects, we’ve ded­i­cated it to them in­stead. That’s a trend we’re more than happy to push.

Art as ac­tivism is the thread that weaves through the ed­i­to­rial in this is­sue. From the long-awaited de­but al­bum from MNEK, to Hun­gry’s unique in­ter­pre­ta­tion of drag, each of our Septem­ber Six are us­ing their craft to high­light not only is­sues we as a marginalised com­mu­nity face, but also the chal­lenges they en­counter within the com­mu­nity them­selves. Most im­por­tantly, how­ever, they are do­ing it us­ing the power of en­ter­tain­ment to in­spire a new gen­er­a­tion of LGBTQ youth.

The im­pact pop cul­ture can have on mo­bil­is­ing con­ver­sa­tion is sorely un­der­es­ti­mated far too fre­quently. Hav­ing openly gay pop­stars like MNEK and Jake Shears re­leas­ing al­bums that thrive with sto­ries of same-sex love is in­valu­able. Rus­sell Tovey con­tin­ues to be a high-pro­file openly gay ac­tor op­er­at­ing in an in­dus­try that has a his­tory of hid­ing queer men. As Drag Race’s ap­peal grows even big­ger, it has in­evitably be­come an en­try point for main­stream so­ci­ety into queer cul­ture. How many straight peo­ple did you see on so­cial me­dia this year ask­ing what a Van­jie was? We bet they know now. And else­where, Hun­gry’s avant-garde drag is push­ing the art­form into new realms.

That be­ing said, none of the in­cred­i­ble tal­ent that adorns our pages would be able to con­tinue push­ing the gay agenda so openly and freely if it wasn’t for the ac­tions of the LGBTQ com­mu­nity’s OG trail­blazer Mar­sha P. John­son. As a trib­ute to the ac­tivist – who would’ve turned 73 on 24 Au­gust – we take a look back at the story be­hind the leg­end. Mar­sha was a key fig­ure in the Stonewall Ri­ots move­ment that gave birth to the an­nual Pride pa­rades we cel­e­brate to­day. It’s be­cause of this very spe­cial woman of colour that you’ve been free to cel­e­brate your queer­ness in the streets of cities all over the world this sum­mer, wear­ing your finest rain­bow-coloured out­fits, and en­joy­ing mo­ments of queer bliss. Never for­get that. Mar­sha’s im­pact on queer his­tory is im­mea­sur­able.

So while we pay homage to the lady that paved the way for queer lib­er­a­tion as we know it to­day, we are also ac­knowl­edg­ing how art as ac­tivism will help us mov­ing for­ward to am­plify LGBTQ voices. “There are bil­lions of fuck­ing gay peo­ple and their sto­ries haven’t been told,” Rus­sell says in his bril­liant cover in­ter­view. Here at Gay Times we’re will­ing and wait­ing to give ev­ery last one of them the cover fea­ture they de­serve. In the mean­time, get stuck into the six we have wait­ing for you on the pages ahead – as well as the wealth of queer tal­ent inbetween.

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