It has al­ways been my in­ten­tion that DNA be a cel­e­bra­tion of all the best things about be­ing a gay man. It starts with the cover. The sex­u­alised male body is still a ma­jor taboo in our cul­ture – es­pe­cially when it comes to men look­ing at other men. So who­ever is on our cover, the sub­text is al­ways the same – look and en­joy with­out fear or guilt or shame.

In­side the mag­a­zine, on our web­site and so­cial me­dia, it’s all about the peo­ple, places, mu­sic, movies, icons and, yes, the swimwear we love. And packed with eye candy! This is­sue is no ex­cep­tion but… an un­ex­pected theme emerged as we were edit­ing this month. De­spite all our progress to­wards ac­cep­tance and civil rights, we are still, con­stantly, un­der at­tack. It’s po­lit­i­cal, so­cial and eco­nomic and it’s there, just be­neath the sur­face of our ev­ery­day lives.

The War­wick Row­ers pose nude to raise aware­ness of ho­mo­pho­bia in sport. There’s no full­frontal nu­dity, but their on­line im­ages are cen­sored.

For ex­am­ple, I in­ter­viewed pho­tog­ra­pher Paul Free­man about his two new Lar­rikin books. They’re great; very sexy im­ages that cap­ture naked men in a rough-and-ready nat­u­ral­ness. They’re beau­ti­ful, quite in­no­cent im­ages re­ally – noth­ing rev­o­lu­tion­ary. And yet, the US tech gi­ants that con­trol our on­line lives take is­sue with Paul’s work and he finds him­self cen­sored, banned and barred from ad­ver­tis­ing.

It’s a sim­i­lar story for the War­wick Row­ers, also in this is­sue. You’re prob­a­bly fa­mil­iar with their an­nual fundrais­ing cal­en­dars in which the boys of the row­ing club pose nude to raise money and aware­ness around ho­mo­pho­bia in sport. There’s no full-frontal nu­dity and it’s all, again, rather in­no­cent and taste­ful. But even they find their on­line im­ages cen­sored.

But th­ese are triv­ial is­sues com­pared to those faced by LGBTIQ peo­ple in Uganda or Rus­sia. In our Rain­bow Riot fea­ture this month, we re­veal how a mu­sic project in Uganda ended with a hostage-tak­ing siege, re­mind­ing all in­volved that LGBTIQ peo­ple are not tol­er­ated in that coun­try – let alone al­lowed to ex­press them­selves cul­tur­ally through some­thing as uni­ver­sal as mu­sic. Still, it’s an in­spir­ing story be­cause it feels like progress, how­ever small, is be­ing made.

And Rus­sia… well! Young gay kids be­ing beaten by se­cu­rity forces may be the pre­vail­ing im­age we have of modern LGBTIQ Rus­sia, but it hasn’t al­ways been that way. Our story Free, Gay And Rus­sian looks at the his­tory of ho­moac­cep­tance and ho­mo­pho­bia in that coun­try. It also sug­gests that progress to­wards greater rights and free­doms is com­ing with the ac­tivism of a new gen­er­a­tion.

This month sees the re­lease of the muchan­tic­i­pated fea­ture film, Boy Erased. It deals with the prac­tice of “gay con­ver­sion ther­apy” in which LGBTIQ kids are “coun­selled” into pray­ing the gay away. Of course, it doesn’t work. Worse, it’s psy­cho­log­i­cally dam­ag­ing and has longterm health im­pli­ca­tions in­clud­ing self-harm and sui­cide. The film, star­ring Ni­cole Kid­man, Rus­sell Crowe, Lu­cas Hedges and Troye Si­van, is at­tract­ing great re­views, and we take our own peek.

So, I apol­o­gise if th­ese sto­ries seem a bit grim (did I men­tion we re­call the life and sad death of River Phoenix, too?). They are, nev­er­the­less, worth read­ing.

Else­where this is­sue you’ll find a lot more up-lift­ing and cheer­ful stuff. Hi­lar­i­ous New York pop star Pillo Bytr has heaps to say about be­ing queer and his idols Pete Burns, Ru­Paul and Child­ish Gam­bino. We chat with the ac­tor Ethan Panizza, who plays a gay AFL star on Play­ing For Keeps. Marc An­drews re­views an al­bum from a gay Brit that he says, “Will change pop for­ever”! Heady stuff.

Fi­nally, there are two shoots in this is­sue – Mario and Johnny – and they are both spec­tac­u­lar! What­ever your taste in men, I think you’ll ap­pre­ci­ate the beauty of th­ese two mod­els. Com­ments to my in-box, on the DNA web­site and our so­cial me­dia are, as al­ways, most wel­come!

Next month, it seems mad to say, is the Swimwear Is­sue, which means we’re at De­cem­ber al­ready. I can’t wait to shoot the swimwear story and share it with ev­ery­one next month. I prom­ise tons of be­hind-the-scenes shots and video!

Un­til then, happy read­ing. An­drew Creagh Found­ing Edi­tor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.