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Hot new


couple Marcus
and Robin
When Strictly
met X Factor

RuPauls Drag
Race winner

30 OF

Her most revealing
interview yet Positive
COX! The teen
Why Orange Is still with HIV
the New Black taking on
the system
Neon Trees Michael
Tyler Glenn talks
growing up gay Alig on
and Mormon life after

Ella Henderson / Kristen Chenoweth / Michelle Collins / Bright Light Bright Light
pucker up!
Assistant Editor RYAN BUTCHER
Design & Art Direction MARK KING
Editor-at-large JOHN MARRS
Pug-at-large TOBY

Thanks to HILLARY ANGEL (Visit Palm Springs),

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2014 GAY TIMES All rights reserved ISSN: 0950-6101


Education and rehabilitation.
Surely two basic rights?
Everyone should be given the
chance to learn, and for those
that perhaps didnt learn
the first time, that second
chance should be given to
those willing to learn from mistakes.
[54] With that in mind, this issue we welcome two
new gay male columnists to GT.
The first is 19-year-old Luke Alexander. You
may have seen him on television and in the news.
rst features The sexual story of this particular teenager
06 Fitty at the front 44 Marcus and Robin
is compelling because, as he takes on the UK
14 Mikey Walsh 54 Bianca Del Rio
government in his fight for better sex education,
18 Conchita Wurst 58 Bright Light Bright Light
he himself says that had he been better educated,
24 Michelle Visage 64 Laverne Cox
he wouldnt be in his current situation.
26 Sweetie, Darling? 68 Neon Trees
The second is 48-year-old Michael Alig. You may
76 Hedwig and the Angry Inch
also have seen him on television and in the news
news a man who has just been released from prison
28 Northern Ireland style for manslaughter, albeit a fairly well documented
30 News debate 83 Summer sun
crime. He writes here about his long road to
32 Michael Alig: Second Chance 90 Colour is in
rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
36 30 Things: Sport
Everyone deserves a second chance. Youll learn
39 Ben Cohen entertainment what Luke is doing with his, and hopefully stop
40 Heroes: Gloria Gaynor 94 Music
to consider that for Michael, gay life has almost
99 Print
been preserved in a time capsule since he was
102 Stage: Kristin Chenoweth
sentenced in 1997. Hes never had a mobile phone
[18] 104 Screen
107 Geek
before, for example. But this isnt the first time a
former prisoner has written for or appeared in GT
108 Tech
and it wont be the last.
Both have difficult tales to revisit before being
real life able to move on, both have made mistakes but
havent we all? At least both are willing to use
112 The Guyliner
their particular situations to help others learn,
115 PJ Brennan
and thats something that none of us should take
116 Real Life: Positive Luke
for granted, or deny. Q Darren Scott @darren_scott
120 Home life
122 Edd Kimber
123 Alan Rosenthal
124 Fit with Chris Jones
127 Paul Thorn

travel E
128 Letter from T ISSU E
130 Palm Springs NEX AL

GT434 JUL 2014



Recall Recall? You might recognise a few
of these faces (and torsos). The boyband
Recall graced these hallowed pages a few
months back, making them the first-ever
popstars to claim our Fitty at the Front
crown twice in a year. Probably. Anyway,
they have a brand new line-up now, and
theyre coming to a Pride event near you.
Just try not to rip their t-shirts though, eh
lads? Theyll be running out at this rate,
and wouldnt that be a shame... #RIFLDOUHFDOO

[first] 7
[first] rock hard


Leather jackets, tattoos and bad
boys oh my! The classic glam
rock musical Rock of Ages has left
now the 30th longest running show,
massive UK tour. With a cast led by
a scantily clad Ben Richards, star of
from the stage. And with classic
seats and dancing in the aisles. But
Countdown just yet the show is
touring until November. Q

Until 22 November,

gin, gin, where do we begin?

Gin. Weve had
it once or twice,
believe it or not.
But weve never
had the ol mothers
ruin from a bottle
inspired by the late,
great Alexander
McQueen and
triple-distilled in a
copper pot. Yes, a
copper pot. D1 gin is
available throughout
June in branches
of Harvey Nichols,
and is enthused
with juniper berries,
coriander, orange
and lemon peel,
almond, liquorice
and even angelica
root... whos
Angelica? Anyway,
all you need to know
is its delicious.
Obviously. Q

Grab a bottle while stocks last,


You always remember your #FirstSNOG... Its time to

pucker up, because Harry Styles wants to have your
#FirstSNOG. Yes, thats right. So does Nick Grimshaw.
And Boy George. And Sam Smith. No, this isnt a
game of shag, marry, avoid, but SNOG yoghurts new
campaign to celebrate 25 years of Stonewall, and the
right to snog whoever we want, whenever we want.
Join your favourite celebs in downloading the new
SNOG app and uploading a decorated selfie to its Insta-
Exhibition. Then just keep tweeting it at @Harry_Styles
until he loves you. Q Get involved by downloading the app from iTunes
Who could resist
waking up to this
buff boy clasping
his oar each
morning? Well,
now you can! Sort
of. After years
of success and
thousands of
pounds raised for
charity, the Warwick
Rowers calendar
crew are bringing
us a special edition
portrait of their most
popular boy, Laurie.
These limited
edition prints are
available in a range
of different sizes
and will look great
when, ahem, well
hung on your wall.
And we managed
to get through all
that without making
Blimey. A limited
number of prints
are now available,
priced from 95 to
295, plus delivery.
For more, visit,
@naked_rowers Q

oar-some SPEED
From 5 June
Dawn French has
brightened up many
her own has had
From 5 June
travel all the way
to Budapest this
month to catch Brit
From 18 June
Grab your popcorn
and head on out,
because this
month sees the
2122 June
Never turn down
anything free. A rule
for life. West End
22 June 17 July
Get a taste of
performing arts this
June with the City
of London Festival,
its fair share of ups singer George Ezra annual Edinburgh Trafalgar Square, showcasing the
and downs. She RQWRXU+HVSOD\LQJ International Film has performances best in music, art,
GLVFXVVHVOLIHV venues nationwide Festival make its from musical faves architecture and
loves and losses in before his hotly- return, bringing the like Billy Elliot and OPIURPDURXQGWKH
her new marathon anticipated debut best in cinema from :LFNHGDQGLWVDOO city. Just look out
comedy tour, 30 Wanted on Voyage around the world to on stage and avail- for the giant Bowler
Million Minutes. is released on 30 6FRWODQGVKLVWRULF able to watch for Hat arena in central
dawnfrenchtour. June. georgeezra. FDSLWDOHGOPIHVW free. westendlive. London. Obviously.
com Q com Q Q Q Q 11
[first] pride and joy [07/14]

Pride! Root out that rainbow flag and shimmy

on those short shorts, because pride season
2014 is here. Its our time to celebrate the camp,
the alternative and the down right ridiculous CUCUMBER
and there are pride parades everywhere from
Toronto to Todmorden. Heres our top picks...
2029 June
The annual World Ofcial news from
Pride celebration behind-the-scenes
is heading for
Toronto this year, of the new Russell T
with Canadian
queen of cheese
Davies drama!
Carly Rae Jepsen
headlining. Wonder
Following the key casting
ZKDWVKHOOVLQJ" news of Vincent Franklin
com Q
and Julie Hesmondhalgh
---------- in Cucumber Russell T
1822 June
Scotland recently
Davies new Channel 4
passed same-sex drama about 21st century
marriage into law
hurrah! Pride Scotia
gay life details of the spin-
will be hosting a off series have now been
major party, and
fringe events, in announced. Banana will
the historic capital also be made up of eight
Edinburgh, to
celebrate a year episodes, further exploring
of progress. pride- the world of Cucumber with
---------- self-contained half-hour
16 August stories. And with the cast
X Factor lads Union
J are headlining of the initial four episodes
WKLV\HDUV&DUGLII including Freddie Fox,
Mardi Gras. Band
member Jaymi Fisayo Akinade, Andrew
Hensley recently Hayden-Smith, Letitia
planning to wed Wright, Georgia Henshaw,
bf Olly in 2015. Hannah John-Kamen and
Big Reunion divas
Eternal will also Lynn Hunter, you can pretty
be performing. much officially colour us
cardiffmardigras. Q excited. Russell has written
---------- episodes one, two and eight.
2225 August
Manchester Pride Charlie Covell has written
is back this year
and spreading
episodes four and six,
itself all over the while none other than Sue
August Bank
Holiday weekend.
Perkins has written episode
,WVWKHKLJKOLJKW three. Matthew Barry
of our summer.
and Lee Warburton have
com Q written episodes five and
seven respectively.
Lewis Arnold will direct
the first four episodes,
with Luke Snellin taking
the helm on episode five
and Al Mackay directing
episodes six and eight. Q
Cucumber and Banana are due to air in
early 2015

[mikey walsh] THE CONTINUING
OF GYPSY BOY column [rst]

cleansing about vocalising it, or

seeing it there in black and white,
that helps us to process it better.
We all go through different
types of trauma as we grow up.
Life altering events have a way
of seeping into our bones and
continue to have an effect on us
our whole lives, no matter how
vivid they may be. Some of these
can be fixed with time and effort,
others can be a lot tougher to
mend, and some we have to learn
to forgive and live with.
Theres no magic wand and bad
things do happen to good people
who dont deserve it. Dont tell
me Snow White didnt go on
through life without shuddering
whenever she passed a broom, or
a pair of dirty clogs.
The best we can do is accept the
things that we cannot change and
This whole Love from Poltergeist. But I digress. recognise that despite the effect
Many life
yourself if you ever No matter how hard I try, Im theyve had on you, theyre over.
want to be loved just a naturally self-deprecating Theyre not happening to you
books will
thing. Is it really a case of just person, and I hate myself for that. anymore. Theres only so long
forbid you
loving yourself thats gonna bring I over-think everything, I cant you can blame another witch for
to speak
the guys flocking I mean, really? stand not pleasing people and your problems.
Im trying to think if Ive ever Ill always be the Rhoda in every I wish I had the capacity to
about your
actually met a person who friendship or relationship I have. repress it all and forget, putting
truly loved themselves and Its totally un-pc to say out loud, all my energy into the gym or
who wasnt either 40 minutes but I cant actually remember a shagging it all away on Grindr,
but just
into an ecstasy triple-drop or a single day in my life when I didnt but that wouldnt be very me.
borderline psychotic. suffer with low self-esteem. The point is; to have baggage,
you dont
Ive tried for many years to Too many life affirming to be insecure, to have low self-
say out
practice the art of loving myself methods and books will forbid esteem or even to admit out loud
loud that
and have FAILED dreadfully. you to speak openly about that you get lonely is not a terrible
you feel
Ive no patience for meditating, I your negative feelings, but just thing, and it doesnt make you a
like shit
believe in nothing bar life after because you dont say out loud bad person in any way.
love, of course and Ive even that you feel like shit doesnt And if the theory is right, that
mean its
read The Secret cover-to-cover in mean that its not true. we must love ourselves before
not true
a bid to absorb just a single shred It may surprise you (not), that were able to have a chance, then
of positivity. Ive had quite a bit of therapy, Id like to know how so many
I did love the theory of The as well as the odd bit of mental of us still manage to find great
Secret the idea that you can devastation and rehabilitation relationships regardless of how
imagine things happening and two buggery books full, for fucked up we are.
they just happen. I remember a start. Most of this came from If youre going to love yourself
a film called Teen Witch that thoroughly believing that any ill for anything, love your traits. Its
practiced that very same theory. feeling is much better out than in. these that make you beautiful and
Sadly, it wasnt as big a hit as Whether youre offloading to a TRULY individual.
The Secret was, but well worth stranger on a bus or writing it all The lovers come and go, but
a watch. If only for the terrible down, its better vented than to youve got to live with
white man rap and Zelda be left to fester inside of you. Get @thatbloodymikey yourself for a long time.
Rubenstein, the little midget lady it all out. Theres something very Take care of you. Q


*OFFER ENDS 12/12/2014
[first] down the aisle [07/14]


Move over Kim and Kanye, its the wedding weve all been waiting for Modern Familys Mitch and Cam. Our favourite on-screen gay couple
tie the knot in a two part nale for season ve. In typical Modern Family style, it doesnt quite go according to plan, but luckily Nathan Lane
making a special appearance as wedding planner Pepper is on-hand to hold things together. And there might just be one or two other
familiar faces showing up on the day, too. Over the years weve laughed and cheered along with Mitch and Cam. But did we shed a tear as
they exchanged their vows? Dont be daft. There was just something in our eye... Q Modern Family: The Wedding airs on Sky 1 on 16 and 23 June

Bag it up Who doesnt love the smell of high-quality

leather in the morning? No, not like that. Get your minds
out of the gutter. Anyway, for those of us who want to add
a touch of the luxe to our daily routines, thankfully theres
I Love 2 Love, an online boutique specialising in leather
jackets and accessories. What caught our eye is the
Barneys bag range, made from 100% leather. Whether
its their messenger bag or overnight holdall, now you
can carry your stuff around and look the business while
youre doing it. Q Prices for Barneys bags start at 110, available from

the beautiful game

For the next few weeks well be Could you tell us a little bit more about they want to live, so that they can reach
watching dozens of athletic bodies your and culture? You refer to yourself their highest potential in life.
running up and down a pitch, all as living as a third gender, right? Yeah! Do you see yourself as a role model?
in the name of sport, of course. Its very basic, if youre a guy and you have Erm, sort-of. Im hoping that the FA and
Yes, its World Cup season once more female characteristics, its called the American Samoa Association will give
again. But youd be hard pressed to faafafine, and thats from male to female me permission to be an advocate. But it
nd a better role model in football transgender people. Faafafine translates wont be much help across the Pacific, as
than 25-year-old Jaiyah Saelua into the way of the woman or womanly. all the cultures are similar. I think the rest
the worlds rst transgender Gays, transsexual, transvestites, theres of the world needs to learn from Polynesia.
professional footballer. We were so many sub-categories. In the Samoan I feel like speaking to people is good, but
introduced to the 6ft centre-half culture its just one word. I dont want to encourage too much. I still
in Next Goal Wins; a heroic and Its incredible that there can be such an dont know how differently people can
genuinely funny tale of an underdog acceptance in one culture, yet we live in react in different countries. I dont want to
team persevering against all odds. a world thats completely different. Are encourage someone to come out, be him or
We caught up with the beautiful you shocked by all the prejudice in the her self, and put that person in danger.
and humble Jaiyah to ask what its Western world? Its shocking that I had to What would you say to people who
like to be an inspiration to so many. educate myself about the issues that the are struggling with homophobia or
world has on trans women. Acceptance transphobia in their day-to-day life?
How does it feel to be the first ever is the foundation of our culture. Religion Prioritise yourself, but be aware of the
transgender professional football and faith in God was there before the negative that people may give to you so
player? I had to educate myself about the missionaries came through Samoa, so it that youre not in danger. Remember to
issues in the world with trans athletes, was easy for us to accept. Respect God, acknowledge the people that support
especially in soccer. I didnt know it was respect your family and respect everyone you, and just keep going and reach for
such a big issue. After realising, it made else, no matter where theyre from. That the stars. Q
me appreciate the fact that I come from a includes trans people. Respect the fact that
Next Goal Wins is out now on DVD.
society and community thats so accepting. they are who they are and let them live how, @NGW_Movie, @jaiyahs


A month of footy
madness lies
ahead as the 2014
World Cup sweeps
into Brazil. From
12 June, you can
expect wall-to-wall
coverage of men
from 32 different
countries, all
battling it out on the
on, by odds of
probability, we know
that SOME of them
have to be gay.
How brilliant would
it be for a player to
come out during the
tournament? We
can only dream...
this seems like
a good enough
excuse to look at
David Beckham in
his tight white H&M
swimwear range.
Goal, back of the
welcome. Q 19

In her most Its been a frenzied few weeks
for this drag queen from Austria. In
sodomy which would itself be a
great band name.
revealing the time it would take the rest of us Its so ridiculous! For me a perfect

interview yet, to make a cuppa, Conchita Wurst

had captured the hearts, minds
world would be when we dont have
to talk about sexuality, where youre
Eurovision and votes of a continent. Her Bond- from, what you believe. Is this

star Conchita style belter, Rise Like a Phoenix,

bagged a winning 290 points, and
the worst thing in the mind of the
politicians? They must have a very
speaks out has since charted everywhere from happy life, because actually were

about teen Sweden to in a somewhat unlikely

outcome Russia.
not talking about politics, were
talking about the most normal thing
bullying, drag But just a few short months ago, in the world: the allowance to love

dreams and this small-town drag act couldnt

have been any further from a
who you want to love.
But places like Russia giving
the Hollywood pop idol. A potent mix of Russian me five points, it was a statement.

hunks she politicians and Twitter trolls

saw her ridiculed; accused of
In the Russian telephone ranking I
was on top. I think thats a very big
wants to date turning the show into a hotbed of thing. I want to perform in Russia.

[rst] 21
To tell them that they are not alone. boys, and of course I thought there
The whole community around the was something wrong. The most
PREACH! world is standing behind them. difficult time started when we all
Conchita on They have to trust that if they open turned teenagers. You have to
their mouth, then we can change struggle with yourself, with your
something. body, and apparently you learn
I think shes stunning. Shes
Conchita isnt one to let adversity how to name a boy who is like little
Mama Ru! Theres a list of people
get in the way. Her first attempt at Tom. This is the time when it started
Id love to meet, and Mama Ru is
Eurovision fame ended in failure, to be very tough for me.
right at the top of it.
when she finished runner-up in After years of wearing womens
the Austrian pre-selection. Just 12 clothes, particularly those of his
months later, 200 million would tune mother, Tom eventually took to
There are places in the most
in to see her become the first LGBT trying drag.
horrendous countries where
winner for almost two decades. I started doing it from the age of
Im not warmly welcome. But
It hasnt sunk in yet. Im 14 and just on special occasions. It
you cant judge tolerance or
watching the videos on YouTube, happened because a friend of mine,
intolerance just on a country.
People think for themselves. and its like watching someone else whos a make-up artist, he said
win the Eurovision Song Contest. It youve got a beautiful face to be a
Hotbeds of sodomy seems so surreal and the first time drag queen. So he painted me, and
This was the best hashtag ever. we were on top of the ranking, I I loved it from the first second.
They think that a drag queen is said to my friends, take a picture, Tom beams with joy when
so powerful to change each and because it was the first time Austria speaking of his parents influence
every one in a country? I never was in the lead for well over 40 on Conchita. But learning their son is
received such a big honour! years. And we did we grabbed different was challenging for them.
---------- our iPhones and took pictures. But I think the first time she [Toms
Trans it didnt change. And I was crying mother] saw me in drag, she saw
Im not trans. I always enjoyed the whole time! me at my graduation ball. They had
acting like a girl. I really love Everyday I have to remind myself a tough time learning that their son
to be a boy, and I have to say, I that this is real. Going into the is gay and, you know, I grew up in a
really love to be gay. I wouldnt competition I just wanted to please very small village. My parents have
have it any other way. myself, because Im my own worst a small business, a hotel, and they
---------- critic. I wanted to be in a good thought that the opinions of others
Nights in place. But now Im not just in a good is more important than their own.
Always Sex and the City! Not place, Im in the best place. The They thought they have to listen to
everyone liked the movies. They best place ever. what others say, and that it is truth,
said they were shit. But I loved Life wasnt always like this. and they had to learn that it isnt
them! In three months I watched Tom Neuwirth, the man behind that way.
them at least ten times. My drag persona Conchita, grew Though it took time to adjust,
friends say Im Samantha. up in Gmunden, a small town in Conchita would never have been
Upper Austria. People werent without the strong support of mum,
My dream men so understanding then, and Tom Helga. As she tells GT of their
would endure long years of ridicule close bond, the Eurovision queens
Hugh Jackman and bullying. carefully massacred eyes begin to
I just love hairy men, and grey
I would go to kindergarten in a glisten over.
sides. I love the older man!
skirt, and also to school. When I This is so emotional. My biggest
wanted to do it, my parents would fear is the day when my mum will
Brad Pitt
just say well, OK, we dont have die. Shes been there from the
Brad, with a little more chest hair.
enough time to discuss why he start. Ive got a tattoo of her on my
He would be perfect then.
does this now. From a very little back. Shes the most important
age, the little kids, they dont person in the world to me. I love
Tom Hanks
have words for the thing that was her so, so much.
Between Tom Hanks and Tom
different about this boy. The teenage struggle would all
Cruise, Id say Hanks. Hes got a
I realised that there was be worth it, as Conchita is now
great personality!
---------- something different at about 11 the most in-demand singer on the
and that Im not like the other continent. After winning, she was


invited by the Austrian Chancellor

to perform to tens of thousands in
Vienna, attended the Cannes Film
Festival, and is due to headline the
Life Ball, an iconic night among
Austrias high society.
But is there a man lucky enough to
tame the phoenix?
No, and Ive actually not had any
offers! The boys from Greece were
just stunning, and I had a little flirt
with them! But, I dont know why,
in drag Im flirty. But I would never
kiss someone in drag. Never ever
go to bed with someone in drag.
Thats not to say that, as Europes
most recognisable drag act, many
men havent tried. Guys have
asked to have sex with me as
Conchita, yeah! You know, its an
honour, I like it. But at the end of
the day these are really separate
things, because my love life and
my emotional life is just for Tom.
Conchita is the working queen. I
love to flirt in drag, but I always
would think, I dont want you to
fancy this drag persona, I want you
to fancy Tom.
Even Lady Gaga had been
reported to want a piece of this
Viennese girl, with press reports
that shes due to support the Born
This Way singer on her UK tour.
I dont know where the Gaga
rumours came from. I read it in the
newspapers, and I said to Ren (my
manager), I was like, Ren! Ren
you check your e-mails again! But
no Gaga e-mails.
Lady Gaga might not have sent
an invite yet, but millions around
Europe have welcomed this humble,
principled and hugely talented drag
queen into their hearts. Whether
its the struggle to be and act as you
want, or the belief in a better, freer
world, Conchita Wurst is far from
a mere bearded lady she is a
symbol of progress.
Not that she would dare to admit it.
Im not an icon. Im just Conchita,
and I give whatever I have.Q

Rise Like a Phoenix, is available to download

now,, @conchitawurst 23
[first] lifes a drag [07/14]

Question Michelle,
what is one thing
that RuPaul has
taught you over
the years? From

Answer There are

copious amounts of
things learned from
St Ru, but one that
sticks with me on
the day-to-day is
and metaphorically
Like Ru says, what

h e l e people think about

you is none of your
also very tough not
to be too hard on

iM c isage yourself, but we all

can master this one

My darlings, Ive and dig my claws into them!
only just touched Another way to get your fix is
down back in the US my brand new podcast with my
and already I miss all of my UK bestie RuPaul. Theyre available
Glitterazzi. Im planning my next on iTunes, theyre free and theyre
trip as we speak. So many exciting called Whats The Tee? if youve
things in the pipeline for the Haus ever wanted to be a fly on the wall
of Visage, and I cant wait to share while Ru and I have a regular old
all of these with you. Id like to kiki then this is your opportunity.
thank all of the clubs who booked We talk about EVERYTHING AND
me, and everyone who came out MORE, no holds barred because,
to support me, for making this one were literally just sitting there at
trip Ill never forget! THANK YOU Rus kitchen table sipping tea and
from the bottom of my little, black, spilling the T.
heart. You can read my tour diary But Id better go and unpack my
Keep t and trim Bearded in the next issue of GT... cases! Yes babies, this diva has
men are so last season its I cant believe another season is to do all of her own laundry. As a
all about bearded ladies this done, can you?! It seems as soon as matter of fact, heres a little Visage
month. But for those guys RuPauls Drag Race starts airing, Fun Fact: I LOVE doing laundry, its
its over! I seriously want to do it all therapeutic for me. I love making
who want to keep their facial year round. It needs to be on telly dirty, smelly things transform into
forrest trimmed and pruned, as much as TOWIE is. bright and clean smelling garments
the Remington Vacuum Beard Want me to tell you a secret? Im and I LOVE me a tumble dryer with
and Grooming kit ought to do super excited because we start dryer sheets! I need to stop talking
the trick. After this, all youll shooting season seven of Drag about it, Im getting too excited
need is a posh frock and Race within the next couple of Until next time, get me on Twitter,
weeks. Im delighted because I @michellevisage, and
an audience of around 200 get to see 14 brand new girls that at michellevisage.
million, and youll be set to Ive never laid eyes on before com. XXX MV Q
rise like a phoenix yourself. Q
Shes been a
schemer in
Londons East End,
a sassy vixen on
the Corrie cobbles
and even gave
us a scorching
case of Sunburn
remember that?!
Telly glamourpuss
and all-round
Michelle Collins dips
a dainty hand into
GTs sweetie jar.
And she loves it


e t
Da ie,
rlin g?

Youve got a new autobiography out, Ive got an adult daughter now? you do? I would get rid of the word
but how would you feel if you were Yeah, I do actually. Its very funny guilt so nobody felt guilty about
on a date and the guy started reeling having teenagers though, because anything anymore. I would stop people
facts from your book back at you? you think, if anyone else spoke to me from gobbing in the street. Id make all
That would be very weird. Its a bit like like that, Id tell them where to go. Its men, even if theyre straight, be like
when I went for dinner with someone difficult being a teenager. I think my gay men. Youd abolish the aggression,
and they said to me, Can I just ask you hardest years were between 15 and 17. all the fighting. And religion, Id get rid
one question? Have you still got your Youre finding yourself in this world, of religion. Thats definitely a first. Id
swimming costume from Baywatch? youre finding yourself as a woman, still want a free-thinking society, but
and I was like, What? And he said, youre growing up, youre finding Id get rid of religion because I think
Well, you were in Baywatch werent identity, youve got all this pressure on that causes a hell of a lot of problems.
you? and I went, No. He said, Well, I you. My daughter hates confrontation, And, yeah, Id make everyone gay
Googled you and you were. I told him, so the more she doesnt say anything, apart from my boyfriend. [Laughs].
Well, you shouldnt Google me then, the more I shout. I end up like a EastEnders or Corrie? I have to say
should you! Dont ever trust Wikipedia. screaming banshee [laughs]. Corrie, cos Im still in it, arent I!?
If you could be any fictional What was teenage Michelle like? I And Im hoping to work for ITV again
character, who would you be? Jane was very much a punk, and a non- [laughs].
Tennison in Prime Suspect. Or Liz conformist, and always did things to When you found out that Cindy
Taylor in Whos Afraid of Virginia try and well, get attention, I think. Beale was dead were you livid or
Woolf or [laughs] I was obsessed Teenagers didnt really have a voice whatever? I was working away,
with Oliver as a kid. I always liked like they do now. Music was OK, but actually, doing Sunburn, so I was quite
that character of Nancy, you know, the wasnt very exciting, so when punk happy. I was a bit shocked that I didnt
flawed, slightly tart with a heart. Very came along it was so different, and know. Someone just phoned me, a
warm, but a bit of a bad girl. it wasnt just a fashion, it was a new writer of mine, and said, Oh, by the
If you could be in a play or musical culture. It was an intelligent culture. It way, Ive been at your funeral today.
you havent done yet, which one had something to say; there was more I said, What, Cindys? Shes dead?
would it be? Well, were still trying beneath the swearing and Sex Pistols. and he went, yeah, and shes just
to get a Dusty Springfield musical off Its weird, when I see someone my been buried as well. Shes definitely
the ground. I had the rights, then I lost age, you can tell if they were a punk or dead and buried. So I was a little bit
them, now were trying to get them back not. I think so, anyway. surprised; a bit miffed.
again. They ARE doing a musical, but If you were a kangaroo, what would Tell us your most embarrassing
ours would be more the darker side of you keep in your pouch? Oh God, drunken moment. Oh God, theres
Dusty. The side that not a lot of people well itd have to be a phone, wouldnt been a few in the past. They all merge
know about, really. When Dusty went it? Im not a hugely materialistic into one! I do remember, years ago, I
to America, and sort of disappeared for person so itd have to be my daughter, was sitting in Soho with a friend of mine;
about eight years. Its a really bizarre my dog, my phone, a pair of trainers, it was a really beautiful hot summers
thing, because they were talking about my best shoes... day. We were drinking white... I dont
Nicole Kidman playing Dusty, Kate ...Does this pouch have its own drink white wine anymore because it
Winslet playing Dusty, and all these postcode? [Laughs] ...and my sends me doolally. Then we walked
Hollywood A-Listers, but we were boyfriend. Its a big pouch, its a down the road and suddenly it just hit
thinking thats just not really Dusty. double-fronted pouch. me, and I fell. All these photographers
Tell us whats on the CD in your car If you could go back to live in any came running towards me; it was awful.
right now? The Bodyguard by Whitney period in history, which would it be I fell right in front of Caf Nero on the
Houston [laughs]. Theyre my singing and why? I think women have had it so corner of Old Compton Street. What was
songs in the car. Lisa Stansfield, Been tough over the years, so maybe being really lovely is all these guys that were
Around the World. I really am a Radio part of the Bloomsbury Set. You know, outside said to the photographers, Get
4 person. Womens Hour, I love all that. Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West, lost. Leave her alone, and they put a
I only listen to my CDs really when my where the women around it were sort guard around me until Id got up.
daughter comes in the car, she just of brave. I suppose those sort of women And finally Madonna or Kylie? I just
changes everything and puts Capital were quite predatory in a way and think Id probably have a better night with
or Kiss on, anything to drown me out. people were slightly scared of them, Kylie than with Madonna. So, Kylie. And
Then shell put her headphones on, so but they all seemed to be having a we both have the same hairdresser, so we
Im stuck listening to this bloody music wonderful time. They looked amazing could sit and talk hair, couldnt we? Q
and Im like, Hey! and were extremely talented.
Do you have to pinch yourself to go, If you ruled the world, what would This is Me, is out now, @missmcollins 27


WHAT WEVE DONE ON SAME-SEX elections, one candidate campaigned changing for the better.
marriage says something positive on a manifesto of re-criminalising Being an open, frank gay
about the country we are, the respect homosexuality. Meanwhile, Minister public figure has come at cost for
we have for each other and the values for Health Edwin Poots argued Andrew, being subjected to some
that are important to us. Those were that same-sex adoption defies the of the most virulent homophobia
the words of David Cameron in this natural order of raising a child. just for being himself. When
magazine, three months ago, on the Its a stance which has penetrated attending a pride festival in Derry
historic introduction of same-sex Stormont. Iris Robinson, MP and wife Londonderry, he found himself the
marriage to England and Wales. of then First Minister Peter Robinson, subject of aggressive ridicule from
Scotland passed marriage equality compared being gay to paedophilia another man. I was walking with
into law in February. But for our gay in a newspaper interview given promotional material for the event,
counterparts in Northern Ireland, the in 2008. I cant think of anything and an individual started hurling
prospect remains a distant ideal. more sickening than a child being homophobic abuse and rocks at me.
When a vote came up in the abused. Its comparable to the act The confrontation left Andrew
Northern Ireland Assembly, of homosexuality. I feel repulsed by shaken and angry. He went on to
Stormont, 51 of their 94 politicians both. Mrs Robinson later admitted find homophobic slurs graffitied
voted against equality. It was the having an affair with a teenage boy across the front of his house. These
third time in just 18 months that they shed known since he was nine. arent the scenes we associate with
had taken a vote on marriage rights Its no wonder, then, with such bile modern Britain, yet parts of the
for gay couples, and the third time finding its way into the mainstream, country remain on very different
the Assembly rejected it. Northern that there are next to no political wavelengths. While the incident
Ireland is now the only part of the UK figures who are out. One trailblazer wouldve crippled the confidence
which has not passed a law to legalise who is, however, is Andrew Muir. of many, for Andrew it spurred a
same-sex marriage. That means that He recently became the mayor of willingness to change things.
if you get married in England, you North Downs, a borough near Belfast, The attack felt insulting, it felt
can travel just a few miles, within the making him the nations most senior hurtful. but it also motivated me.
same country, and your marriage will gay politician. Ive been involved in politics since
no longer be recognised. Since coming out in 1996, Ive an early age, since secondary
While its a country largely now experienced harassment and school, and Ive been involved in
at peace after decades blighted violence, he tells GT. In recent community activism as well. I feel
by terrorism, its politics remain years I havent experienced so that it motivated me to campaign
framed by a particular take on much of that, though, which I think for equality and pick up a voice
religious doctrine. In the recent local shows progress. Things have been for people. But still, in 2014, there

are no openly gay MLAs or MPs in
Northern Ireland.
The conspicuous lack of gay public
figures has held progress back.
While in other nations theres been an
increasing number of high-profile out
public figures, the six counties of NI
have few representatives in the public
sphere arguing our corner.
Weve had this situation for politics
in Northern Ireland where [LGBT
issues] felt irrelevant. Homosexuality
was de-criminalised in 1982, so its
taken a while for people to have the
confidence to come forward to an
electorate, to a party and also an
election. Theres a visibility issue for
gay and lesbian people, not seeing
themselves in public. But its a barrier
to everyone: if you go through life
without meeting different people then
you will have an outlook on life which
is very introverted.
When Andrew got elected, it was
heralded as a real step forward a
chance to prove that you can be gay
and in the public eye.
My election as mayor shows that
the country has changed. The local
elections have a wide range of openly
gay and Catholic candidates from a
number of different political parties,
and thats something I havent seen
before. But we look to England,
Scotland and Wales and see the
progress theyve achieved. We can
achieve that here, but its just going
to take a bit more work in terms of
society. You have to remember we
were very recently a nation of conflict,
and a lot of difficulties come with that.
Times are changing. Jeff Dudgeon,
the man who won a landmark court
case to decriminalise homosexuality in
NI 30 years ago, was last month elected
to Belfast City Council. Meanwhile a
recent poll found that 73% of under 35s
support marriage equality, and that
overall support has shifted from two
thirds against, to two thirds in favour.
Whats clear is that a situation
whereby gay men are given rights in
one part of the country, but denied
them in another, is tantamount to
lunacy. Its long overdue that Northern
Ireland delivered equality. Q 29
[debate] [news]

While the rest of
the UK benets
from equality
laws, Northern
Ireland has
resisted change.
Two campaigners
give their own
DOGMATIC Stephen Donnan EXTREMIST Fergal McFerran

Its nearly six years to the day since I came out to Views that would often be considered extremist
my parents. Like many people in Northern Ireland, across the rest of the UK find a much stronger platform
my parents are deeply religious and conservative, in our region. The individuals and parties advocating
and to say that it was a difficult time for us would be hateful and bigoted policies arent ranters on the
an understatement. That seems so long ago and the periphery here; theyre part of the mainstream.
journey that I started back in May 2008 has brought my While the right of same-sex couples to marry in
family and I a very long way, and my relationship with Northern Ireland has been denied by the devolved
them has never been stronger. I wish I could say that Stormont Assembly for a third time, this is not the only
Northern Ireland has made a similar journey and that prominent issue which separates the LGBT community
the political reality for LGBT people matched that of of Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. There are
those in the rest of the UK, but I cant. so many battles to fight in this region.
Northern Ireland remains the only part of the In Northern Ireland, sexually active gay men were
UK without equal marriage. Our equality laws banned from donating blood for life. A similar ban
in relation to discrimination protections for which existed elsewhere in the UK was rightly brought
employment, housing and access to goods and to an end in November 2011 and new regulations were
services are the same as England, Scotland and introduced which allowed men who have sex with men
Wales, but thats not thanks to the NI Assembly. to donate if they refrained from sexual activity for a
The devolved government here has not passed period of more than a year. Yet the Minister of Health
one law that has benefitted the LGBT community; in our devolved Assembly has sought to maintain the
everything weve been given so far has been down ban here. But what happens when blood stocks get
to successive Labour Governments in Westminster dangerously low in Northern Ireland? We import blood
or the courts. Religious dogma still dominates our from the rest of the UK where gay men can donate,
legislative process and societal attitudes, and serves albeit after a year of abstinence.
only to halt progress for LGBT people. Current regulations in Northern Ireland would deny
Ive no doubt in my mind that those inconsistencies in same-sex couples from being allowed to jointly apply
the law will be challenged successfully in the courts as to adopt. In July 2013, news broke that the Minister
our politicians are powerless to act, while the DUP (the of Health here had spent around 40,000 of public
party that campaigned to Save Ulster From Sodomy) money to finance a legal bill opposing same-sex
wield a veto over any legislative change that could let adoption. The High Court in Belfast ruled against him.
the gay men of Northern Ireland have the same rights Determined to pursue his bigotry, he then took his
that gay men just miles away expect. case to the Supreme Court in London only to have his
I believe that I was lucky to have had such a strong appeal rejected a second time.
network of support within Belfast when I came out. People often say that rights for LGBT people here
However, many young people arent so lucky and I in Northern Ireland have only improved because of
want to change that. Only by getting involved with the hard fought court battles, or because the Westminster
political process and challenging prejudice when government has forcefully implemented them. Its
we see it can gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender about time politicians in Stormont listened to the likes
people influence change and bring about the level of of NUS, and began making our region a home for gay
equality that we deserve. Its only a matter of time. Q and lesbian people, as much as everyone else. Q

[michael alig] SECOND CHANCE:
YEARS IN PRISON column [news]

successful in some way. investigating NYC Clubland and

So yeah, one could say that I crave specifically in our clubs, which
attention. were labelled by the authorities as
On the other hand, what I was doing drug supermarkets. At the time, it
in my early years in NYC wasnt was not uncommon to walk through
without merit. I was spearheading a Limelight at one of our cheekily-
nationwide, colourful yet subversive named Emergency Room events
youth movement called the Club and have an employee dressed as
Kids, whose zany antics dancing a doctor hand you a prescription
on tables and running around for cocaine, Xanax or ketamine,
Manhattan dressed in diapers or which a guest could then trade in for
even naked outrageous, in- a single dose of the real thing at a
your-face style that often included makeshift doctors office in the VIP
At 10am on 5 May 2014 room. Traipsing through another
I walked out the door of painting our bodies, covering our
of our clubs, the super luxurious,
Mid-State Correctional genitals in feathers and wearing
almost unbelievably huge Tunnel,
Facility in Marcy, New York, after sky-high platform shoes, and fuck-
meant passing zonked-out Club
having served 17 years in prison the-rules mentality made us the
Kids, unconscious after having
for the killing and dismemberment darlings of 90s media, where we
ingested a cocktail of drugs
of a friend and drug dealer, Angel were featured in newspapers, on
including heroin and the powerful,
Melendez. It was a senseless and magazine covers and day-time talk
hypnotic Rohypnol, or even
horrific crime that, whether or not shows including Geraldo and Joan
stepping over a group of immobile,
warranted, drew an exorbitant Rivers. Being a Club Kid usually
zombified revellers who were either
amount of attention from the media meant coming from a small town
too high on downers to move or
and even Hollywood where a where being creative or different
even passed out cold, on the floor.
barrage of books, documentaries was frowned upon, and acting weird,
New York City had never before
and a full-length film featuring or gay, or just not fitting in with the
seen such decadence, not even at
Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin crowd could mean being picked on,
degenerate (however fabulous!)
and titled Party Monster turned bullied, or even physically hurt. The
nightspots like Studio 54. Friends,
an already sensational crime into Club Kids provided a refuge, a place
and even I myself, overdosed on
something of an urban legend. where your uniqueness was not
several occasions. Going out was
Although I participated in most only tolerated, but celebrated. Love
no longer fun, but a kind of twisted
of the resulting media onslaught, yourself! Be yourself! You were now
ritual of waking up at 5pm then
granting interviews, talking part of a family. getting fucked up for the next 24
to writers and film directors, Along with the success and to 48 hours before passing out and
Ive always been ambivalent notoriety of the Club Kids came, doing it all over again.
about the attention and notoriety unfortunately, massive amounts of As for the club scene, it was the
surrounding my story. On the one drugs, often given to us for free at beginning of the end.
hand, I couldnt seem to help it: Im clubs and parties, either in NYC or By late 1995, the Drug Enforcement
addicted, in a way, to being seen many times in other cities around Agency was repeatedly threatening
and talked about. Its something the world where we were flown in our clubs with closure for not
innate, my family says, stemming to provide colour, excitement and doing enough to curb drug use and
from an inner craving to be noticed a bit of naughtiness. Though in sales. In fact, we were paying drug
by my father, who left the family hindsight most of our bad behaviour dealers hundreds of dollars a night
when I was five and was never was relatively innocent, and in the to host events. Not street dealers,
really a part of my life. Theres beginning, at least, none of us were but mostly small-timers, Club Kids
probably a bit of truth to this really addicted to drugs, it wasnt and drag queens who sold, more
Before committing my crime, I long before the temptation and easy often than not, to have a good time
was directing four of the largest accessibility turned many Club and support their own habit.
nightclubs in NYC: Limelight, USA, Kids, including myself, into full- One of these dealers was Angel
Palladium and Tunnel, garnering blown junkies. Melendez, a 25-year-old Club
quite a bit of publicity this time, The recklessness and Kid from New Jersey who often
thankfully, for the right reasons flamboyance of the Club Kids spent time in my apartment with
and every time I was mentioned in soon aroused the attention of other Club Kids in exchange for
a magazine or newspaper, I sent the authorities. By 1995, after a supplying drugs. He wasnt a bad
the clipping to my father. I wanted crackdown on nightlife instituted guy, but we sort of looked down
to show, prove to him, that despite by then Mayor Giuliani, the Drug @Alig_Aligula on him because he was part of the
being a gay college dropout, I was Enforcement Agency was actively scene at Webster Hall, a rival club

[michael alig] SECOND CHANCE:
YEARS IN PRISON column [news]

that we considered uncool. party who were asking where full 12 years later that I decided
My hope
In March 1995, we got word the Angel had been all this time. finally that enough was enough.
is that by
DEA was coming to our clubs on a I spoke with the Manhattan DA I had committed a senseless,
in August, 1996, as rumours were
telling my unforgivable act while on drugs.
specific Saturday to arrest 30 or so
drug dealers. They were going to going around Clubland linking
story, I will To continue getting high while
threaten them with jail time unless Freez and I to the crime. But the
be able to in prison was to say, I dont care
they turned states evidence and authorities believed it was some
make a about what I did. The thought
testified that we were allowing kind of twisted media hoax, and difference seemed so obscene, so disgusting
them to sell drugs at Limelight, didnt take it seriously. in some to me, I decided then and there that
Tunnel and our other clubs. My In a halfhearted attempt to get young no matter how painful it would be, I
job was to call and tell them not to sober, I checked into rehab in persons simply had to stop. Maybe the pain
show up and to explain why. But Denver, Colorado. But soon my life. of the withdrawal would actually
Angel ended up coming that night friends and drug dealers were Perhaps be cathartic. Make me feel better
anyway, arriving at around 2am. flying from NYC to bring me hearing about myself for facing reality for
There was a scene when, on my cocaine, Special K and crystal it from a once, rather than covering and
instructions, the doormen turned meth. Because of the amounts person taking the easy way out with drugs.
Angel away. Hed shown up with of drugs I was using, I wasnt like myself Which brings me to where I am
friends from out of town and wanted cognitive, alive enough to fully who has today.
to show them the club. Are you at comprehend what Id done. The actually As part of the plea agreement I
least going to pay me for the night? drugs kept me from having to face signed, Im not to attempt contact
lived the
he grumbled. Hed accumulated the truth. But I was afraid to stop with Angels family. I know
life might
several nights wages that were using. I feared having to face the that theres nothing I could say,
make nothing I could do to ever bring
kept in envelopes with his name on horrendous thing wed done.
them, in the safe. Again, though, That spring, Angels remains
my story them any closure. Theyll have to
we wouldnt let him in because of washed up on the shores of Staten
resonate. suffer with their loss for the rest of
the threat of a DEA raid. Its for Island, and by December, the
All I know their lives, and for that, I will be
your own good, I said. High on police arrested me in a New Jersey is some eternally sorry.
tranquillisers and alcohol, Angel motel room I was staying at with my good has Meanwhile, three weeks ago, I
left, angry and embarrassed. boyfriend, Brian. to come was released after spending 17
A few hours later, Angel showed But even in prison, I continued of this years in prison. Picked up in a
up at my place in Midtown, the using drugs. Continued running, van driven by friends and taken
apartment I was given as part of masking my problems. back to Manhattan, where Im
my salary at Limelight. I want my I was punished severely for lucky enough to have been given a
money, he demanded, still woozy my drug use in prison. Every second chance. I have never felt so
from the pills. Take me now to time my urine tested positive for fortunate and grateful for anything
pick it up. My mind was shot as opiates, I would receive 12 months in my entire life.
I was coming off a four-day drug of solitary confinement the Im determined to not take any
binge on Special K, heroin, crystal typical punishment for getting of it for granted. To try and give
meth and Rohypnol. high. One particular institution back now, to speak out and help
What happened next was a called Southport, an entire facility other young people who are in
senseless shoving match which of solitary confinement, was the same situation I was: feeling
resulted in the much documented particularly barbaric. Inmates at hopeless, addicted to drugs and
crime I referred to earlier. You Southport, many in single, solitary not knowing where to turn. My
can look it up its still all anyone rooms for years at a time, resorted hope is that by telling my story, I
seems to want to ask about, to throwing urine and faeces at will be able to make a difference
although something I wish I never prison guards when they were in some young persons life.
have to speak about again. But I served their meals. All night long Perhaps hearing it from a person
feel that if I didnt, people would you would hear other inmates like myself who has actually
judge me further still as though I banging their heads against been there, who has actually
felt it didnt matter. metal toilets or even the floor. lived the life and isnt just some
At the time, we were more Losing their minds, really, from random counsellor, might make
concerned about going to hell, the intense and long-standing my story resonate. All I know
than jail. In order to alleviate the isolation. But even this wasnt is that some good has to come
guilt, I confessed to friends. But I enough to force me to stop using. of this. I have caused untold
did so in a manipulative, matter-of- In fact, the way I rationalised it at devastation and destruction in
fact way so they would think I was the time, now I had all the more many peoples lives,
making it up. Freez and I killed reason to get high. and now it is time for
him, we told friends at a dinner It wasnt until March, 2009 a me to give back. Q

The voice
a nation.

Join us for Dublin Pride Festival - June 14th - 29th 2014

Dublin welcomes you for the Pride Parade on 28 June 2014, the pinnacle of the two-week Pride Festival. After marching through the
city's main streets, the parade will arrive at the scenic Merrion Square, one of Dublin's gems. Here, the Pride Village will cater for all
your needs, providing you with entertainment, food, drink and zones for your family and friends, or the family you make as a couple.
The international Panti Bliss - the voice that galvanised a nation - from the Irish tradition that gave the world the meaning of boycott
and monster rallies will take to the Main Stage. Joining her will be Dara MacGann from Britain's Got Talent and Darragh McGaclin
from The Voice of Ireland. There will be a play area for the small kids and a fun fair for the ones too old for the sandbox. There will be
dance music for the Latin soul and those too young for the bar. It's free for everyone to attend and it gives you that feeling as only
Dublin can - a small community on a grand scale.

After Pride Village, when the sun goes down, move on to sample some of Dublin's eclectic,
engaging and sheer electric gay venues.

Dublin Pride Parade Saturday June 28th

Kindly supported by
back of the net

Theres no keeping Robbie Rogers

us away from sport.
With the World Cup
upon us, GT looks
back at the 30
most important gay
moments on and off
the pitch

[01] Michael Sam scored the biggest

touchdown of his career when he
was drafted to the NFL last month,
becoming the leagues first out gay
player. He celebrated by smooching
his boyfriend live on national telly.
[02] Hes not the first gay player
in American football, though. Dave
Kopay hit headlines when he came out
in 1975, albeit after he retired...
[03] Speaking of the Americans, it
was only back in 2011 when the NBA,
MLB, NHL and NFL adopted non-
discrimination policies that include
sexuality. What took so long?
[04] Going, ahem, down under,
scrum-ptious Ian Roberts became the
first major Australian athlete to come
out in 1995, revealing all in a gay mag,
which we obviously encourage.
[05] Speaking of rugby, Wales
Gareth Thomas announced he was gay
in 2009 while still an active player. I
dont want to be known as a gay rugby
player, he said, I am a rugby player,
and first and foremost I am a man.
[06] Do we need to say anything
more about Tom Daley? The boy
wonder made a splash and inspired
millions when he revealed his
relationship with Dustin Lance Black.

[07] And fellow Speedo-clad diver
Matthew Mitcham chalked one up for
the gays when he bagged the gold at
the Beijing Olympics.
[08] Derrick Gordon became the
first gay mens Division 1 basketball
player when he came out this year...
[09] ...and he said he was inspired
by NBAs Jason Collins, who in 2013
became the first out gay athlete from
one of the four major US professional
team sports.

[10] Moving east, we wouldnt [20] Queens Park Rangers ace

expect a Baltic country to name

gay figure skater Ondrej Nepela
Joey Barton led the charge to
boot homophobia out of football
as athlete of the century, but with Stonewalls rainbow laces
Slovakia did just that back in 2000. campaign in 2013...
[11] Fast-forward to present day, [21] ...but it came after he was
though, and weve got Putins caught calling Brazils Thiago Silva
anti-gay laws putting the Russian an overweight ladyboy. Tut-tut.
Winter Olympics in the spotlight [22] Steven Davies became the
for all the wrong reasons. We first international cricketer to come
should be proud, though, we made out as gay in 2011. Howzat?
our voices heard regardless. [23] That same year, the BBC
[12] WWE legend Stone Cold called Swedish footballer Anton
Steve Austin body-slammed bigots Hysn a global one-off when he
when he supported same-sex became only the second active 7 years ago
Issue 346, 2007
marriage this year. I dont give a professional footballer to come out. Cover star George Michael tells his side
shit if its two guys, two gals, guy- [24] The first was, of course, of his recent escapades, while Channel 4
marks the anniversary of the Sexual Offences
gal whatever it is if its same- Norwich City star Justin Fashanu Act with a whole month dedicated to the
sex, more power to them. in 1990. He sadly took his own life passing of the bill and its repercussions.
[13] And it came just after current eight years later after accusations
WWE star Darren Young came out of sexual assault. Justin denied the
as gay the first major promotion claims in his suicide note.
pro-wrestler to do so. [25] Thankfully, homophobia
[14] Back to more men beating isnt tolerated these days. In 2011,
on each other, UFC star Joseph basketball star Kobe Bryant was
Benavidez said: It would be cool fined $100,000 for homophonic

to see a gay guy beat the shit out of language towards an official in a
somebody if someone in the sport landmark ruling...
[26] ...and that same year, RS S
came out. Busting a stereotype, YEAYTIME
he called it. entire Brazilian volleyball team
[15] Anyone remember the 80s? Sada Cruzeiro was fined $30,000
We all beamed with pride back in after fans made taunted an out gay 23 years ago
1982 when the world saw the first player on the opposing team. Issue 154, 1991
At the forefront of equality, footballer Justin
Gay Games in San Francisco. [27] Regarded as one of the most Fashanu talked to GT about the reasons and
[16] The 80s also saw retired high-profile gay athletes ever, John the reactions to his coming out, while 11
couples took to Londons Trafalgar Square to
American footballer Ed Gallagher Amaechi came out in his memoirs raise awareness for queer weddings.
attempt to commit suicide after after his retirement from NBA.
struggling with his sexuality. He Trailblazer doesnt cover it.
survived the attempt, and went on [28] Footballer Robbie Rogers
to speak out and campaign against announced his homosexuality and
homophobia and sport. retirement at the exact same time
[17] Brooksides lesbian kiss in 2013, but he returned to the
made it to Londons Olympic pitch three months later setting an
Opening Ceremony in 2012, example for millions of fans.
making it the first same-sex kiss [29] And lets not forget Thomas
broadcast in Saudi Arabia and Hitzlsperger, who became the
other Middle Eastern countries. most high-profile footballer to
[18] Yet in just 2000, a lesbian ever come out this year, to further
couple were ejected from LAs the debate about homosexuality
28 years ago
Dodgers Stadium for kissing. among sport professionals. Issue 94, 1986
[19] In 1999, the International [30] Ending on a high, in 2006, Kicking off summer in flamboyant style,
we featured the annual Carnival in Rio De
Olympic Committee ended its a Sports Illustrated survey found Janeiro, where drag takes centre stage.
mandatory gender testing, paving that the majority of athletes would Asides from all the hot Brazilian boys,
the way for trans athletes to welcome a gay team mate. Its only
compete in the games. going to get better from here. Q 37
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[benjamin cohen]
for equal marriage. Unfortunately,
Mr Silvester is far from the only
crackpot homophobe in UKIP.
Other candidates and serving
politicians have compared
homosexuality to paedophilia,
bestiality and mental illness. While
UKIP is not the only party to suffer
the misfortune of homophobic
members, as a percentage of the
overall numbers, UKIP appears to
deserve a gold medal.
While Britain is advancing so
much when it comes to LGBT
rights, the rise of a party where
so many members are opposed to
equality fundamentally disturbs
me. Not because UKIP might rise
to power in Westminster, because
they wont, but because their
popularity might cause gay rights
critics or sceptics in other parties,
particularly the Conservatives,
On 23 May, the United he doesnt really care about one We might to attribute UKIPs rise to its
Kingdom awoke to way or another. become a opposition to equality. This could
a quite disturbing The growth of UKIP over recent dirty little have some impact on the future
reality, as UKIP stormed to lead months has had a lot to do with its secret direction of the Conservative Party,
the results of the European opposition of gay rights, as the come the which should be so proud of its role
Elections. Held under proportional only major British mainland party general in passing same-sex marriage,
representation and with a pitifully to object to same-sex marriage. election, but for whom, we might become a
lower turnout than a general Ive discounted the BNP because and not dirty little secret come the general
election, it certainly doesnt mean the party has become little more a group election, and not a group who has
that we could wake up in 2015 with than a joke, in part because of its who has benefited from possibly the most
a Farage-led government, but it morally and financially bankrupt benefited universally positive policy that the
sends a warning, particularly to the leader Nick Griffin, and in part from Coalition has delivered.
LGBT community. because Farage has stolen so possibly We need to have parties that
First, let me lay some cards on many of its voters. However, the most champion our rights at home and
the table. Not all UKIP members the bulk of UKIPs growth has universally fight for equality abroad. We need
are homophobic and I know quite come from a mainstream party, positive leaders who understand the unique
a few gay guys who defected the Conservatives, whose policy the challenges of the LGBT community
from the Tories and Labour to leader, the Prime Minister David Coalition and are prepared to invest political
UKIP because they fundamentally Cameron, decided to champion has capital in righting the inequalities
believe that Britain would be same-sex marriage as one the delivered that we experience in society in
better outside of the European partys hallmark domestic policy general. What we dont need are
Union, despite it being the worlds achievements. politicians who are prepared to
largest economy. Nigel Farage, Camerons support of the rights shelter any members, candidates
regardless of his posturing, is a of us gays to get married allowed or elected representatives who in
libertarian and has enough gay Farage to draw in disenchanted any way believe that because were
and bisexual people working for Tories, like Tory-turned UKIP gay, we should be considered
him that its unlikely that hes a councillor David Silvester. He second class citizens. If this is not
bigot. The problem is that so many was the much derided UKIPer a reason to turn out and vote next
of his party members are bigots. who claimed that David Cameron year, for any party who supports
And rather like some religious caused the floods that devastated us, our liberty and our
leaders, he finds himself opposing large parts of the country in the @benjamincohen equality, I dont know
policies that on a personal basis winter because he campaigned what else is. Q 39



song, she confesses, as I dont Youll note that shes a religious

GT celebrates Gloria sing karaoke and Ive only ever gal, as many of her fans are.
Gaynor, the Grammy- seen it two or three times. But Ive And we know theyre not polar
award winning heard that I Will Survive is the opposites, or necessarily
queen of disco who number one karaoke song in the conflicting groups, but we cant
gave the gays their US and several other countries I help but wonder if shes ever had to
most important consider that quite an honour. defend her more flamboyant fans.
I Will Survive is so much more No, I havent had to defend having
mantra to date than a song. And not just for the a large gay following to anyone.
we will survive gays. Its spawned a book called Everyone who knows me knows
At first I was afraid, I was petrified We Will Survive, where Gaynor has that I dont categorise or judge my
You cant read those words without collected and curated the stories fans. Its an honour and a privilege
going into the dramatic overture of people affected by adversity to be able to perform for and
that is I Will Survive. And we have and helped by the song. One please such a diverse fan base. I
Gloria Gaynor, the living queen particularly harrowing story has think its a testament to the power
of disco to thank for making this stuck by her. An African man, and broad appeal of music, song
b-side (before radio DJs took who when just seven-years-old, and all the elements that go into a
to spinning the flip side) such a witnessed his entire village being great recording.
massive hit. And a gay anthem massacred, including his younger Phew. Personally, singing dogs
at that. Of all the songs on earth, siblings. I cant even begin to aside, our favourite use of I Will
none better capture the bitterness imagine what that must have been Survive is Valerie Cherish giving it
of a break-up and the mental like for someone so young. He was a all shes got at the end of an episode
turnaround you have to go through baby himself and having to endure of The Comeback, but Gaynors
to survive. Because despite how experiencing this on his own, preferred use in pop culture is in
you feel at the time, you do survive. let alone being without a family, keeping with her faith and sincerity.
When you have such a ubiquitous and having to try to make it in the My favourite use of I Will Survive
mega-hit, you inevitably hear it world with no one to rely on. Its an is celebrating recovery from any
everywhere. From college radio to unfathomable hardship. To know adversity, she says, we all suffer
Topman changing rooms, nowhere that my song has helped this young hardships in life and there are any
is safe. We asked Gloria herself man, even after the fact to begin to number of ways to overcome, still
the strangest place shes heard feel whole again, is an unbelievable theres no denying the power of a
her music, she immediately had us privilege that Ive been given. great lyric and melody, that gets
laughing. Though weve yet to get our down into your spirit and uplifts,
I am a big fan of Will Smith and hands on a copy, we ask if theres encourages, and empowers you to
have been since the The Prince of any advice gay readers can take make it through and be triumphant.
Bel Air, she says, I saw Men In from We Will Survive. Yes, that Disco itself faced its own
Black one, two and three. When I forgiveness and gratitude for Gods prejudices back in the day, from
saw the dog singing I Will Survive in many blessings are prerequisites the momentary but damaging
the second one, I felt Id seen it all. It for survival. The book contains Disco Sucks movement. But the
was hilarious. stories that could happen to recent revival has completely
Of course, the one place youd anyone, at any time in their lives. outstripped any backlash you
expect to hear it is at karaoke, Anyone can gain insight into how to need only look at what Horse
though you wont catch Gloria up on overcome many different, difficult Meat Disco have been doing for
the mic anytime soon. Im afraid and even traumatic circumstances evidence. Describing the enduring
I dont have a favourite karaoke that life can throw at you. appeal of disco is an easy one for 41

Gloria. Its upbeat, positive music experience. There was a cast of brings about excitement in the

that helps people celebrate life. great actors and singers. They people preparing the event. When
Its music that puts people in a were wonderful and so much fun to OF the event finally happens, its the
good mood and helps you shake work with, but it was a lot of work. I YEAYTIME big payoff. I feel like the gracious
off the stress that work, children, greatly admire stage actors. hostess at a wonderful party.
and sometimes just life in general She hasnt played to a gay crowd Excitingly, there is new music
can generate. You need an outlet. since around 2007 (It was Gay from Gloria on the way she was
Music can give you that. Disney, and it was great fun, recording a cover this month
Its easy to forget that Gloria everyone had a fantastic time.) she thinks fans will love. But we
was behind making another gay but shes still performing, and you finally ask Gloria when shes
anthem massive, namely I Am have a rare opportunity to catch her going to grace the UK with her
What I Am, plucked from the at a festival this summer as shes presence. Its been a while. Id
La Cage aux Folles musical and playing EXIT in Serbia. Needless love to come to the UK for some
spread among dancefloors of the to say, shes pretty excited about shows. Its been a few years since
disco era and subsequently in meeting and singing to her public Ive performed there and I have a
hormonal bedrooms closer to again, but especially the communal lot of friends there that Id like to
home, finding a remixed late 90s experience. I love doing festivals, invite to my shows and whod like
renaissance on a certain Queer she says, because the atmosphere to see me. To UK fans I want to
As Folk soundtrack. But despite its is always so electric and people say, the most important thing you
musical heritage, the diva has no always have a good time. can do in life is to seek truth and
plans to start treading the boards. We ask her what its like playing
surrender to it. Q
I did a short two week stint in to such big festival crowds.
Smokey Joes Cafe on Broadway Its just like when you prepare Gloria Gaynor will play EXIT on the main
years ago, she tells us, Thats a party for friends and family. All stage 11 July, the festival takes place 10-13
July overlooking the River Danube in Novi
been the extent of my stage acting the preparation up to the event Sad Serbia,


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What do you get when you cross Strictly Come
Dancing with The X Factor? Only the hottest couple
to come out of the celebrity world since Tom Daley
wooed Dustin Lance Black. And who can take credit
for singer Marcus Collins and dancer Robin Windsors
eight-month romance? GT, of course. Because if we
hadnt got Robins kit off for the steamy cover of our
Naked Issue, they might never have happened

[cover] 45

couplings fall into two camps
the showmance, a mutually
(and often financially) beneficial
relationship where two people
extend their flagging 15 minutes
of fame with regular appearances
in celebrity mags.
The second category is a twosome
who, without fanfare, quietly and
genuinely fall head over heels for
one another. Marcus and Robin are
clearly in the latter.
In between scene set-ups and
an everyone look at my cock and when they dont think GTs looking,
tell me if it looks weird? Does it they entwine fingers, make each
look flat? Am I looking a bit pubey? other chuckle, or give each other a
Wearing no underwear under jeans reassuring pat on the shoulder, rub
looks sexier doesnt it? Are you on the arm or peck on the cheek.
fucking laughing at me? Theyre clearly besotted.
No Marcus, were laughing with And whom do they have to
you. Actually, its hard not to, thank for this? Well GT is taking
because Marcus Collins asks a lot full credit, thank you very much.
of questions. When hes not asking Because when Robin appeared on
a lot of questions, hes talking ten the cover of our annual naked issue
to the dozen. And when hes not last year, Marcus couldnt help but
talking, hes filling the room of take notice.
GTs London hotel with laughter Marcus tweeted me to say, Youre
and a grin so white, it makes Rylan looking really good, well done!
Clarks infamous gnashers look recalls Robin. Wed first met at
like Shane MacGowans. ITV studios a few years ago, when I
Marcus rise to fame was as swift passed Marcus in the corridor and
as any contestant travelling on The asked for a photo because he was
X Factor conveyor belt. When he very handsome. From then on, there
first hit our screens in 2011, mentor was no contact whatsoever till I
Gary Barlow helped transform appeared on the GT cover.
the gay Liverpudlian from local I thought he looked amazing,
hairdresser to finalist, eventually adds Marcus, My family watch both
being pipped to the winners post X Factor and Strictly where all the
by Aldis Girls Aloud knock-off, guys are good looking, but there was
Little Mix. one who always stood out for me.
Three years later, and hes cosying Before that tweet, both Marcus
up to his Strictly Come Dancing and Robin were still coming to
boyfriend Robin Windsor for GT. terms with recent break-ups. Robin
We kept our relationship quiet had been engaged but split up
for about three months, begins last August, while Marcus was two
Robin. We waited until we knew it months out of a four year stint.
was going to last before we made It was strange going back into
it public. Then we were rumbled in the world of dating, admits Robin.
Venice by a bunch of British ladies After my last relationship ended,
in a gondola. They took a photo of us I was on the rebound and on the
and tweeted it, so immediately we warpath thinking, I must find a
posted one ourselves to clarify it. boyfriend. Deborah Meaden [his
From past experience, celebrity Strictly dance partner last year] 47
told me to get myself together, always be us. We were exclusive
concentrate on work, forget about from day one and it was never even
men and enjoy life. As soon as I did questioned. That day I met Marcus,
that, Marcus came along. it was just Marcus.
Marcus adds: Id been single Marcus: We talked about our
for two months and forgot about previous relationships, the good
relationships, as the end of the last and the bad, if wed been hurt and
one left me a bit downhearted. I how we got through it. From that
tried dating and it wasnt really conversation I knew what Robin
for me. But I didnt send Robin that wanted and needed in his life was
message with any expectation that stability and for someone to be
hed message me back. there to do the things I hope I do
Thankfully he did, and after for him. We dont ask each other for
swapping numbers and days of anything, its a natural reaction to
texting, Robin took a train to Derby want to look after the other person.
to watch Marcus perform. Weve both had relationships
I was absolutely bricking it, where other people have taken
admits Robin, I was so nervous, I advantage of that.
felt like a 12-year-old girl. But from When did you realise you were
the very first moment that we met in love? Robin: It was New Years
there was something special in the Eve and we were with a big group
air. When our inhibitions dropped of friends. I looked at Marcus and
it was like wed known each other thought, Oh my God, Im falling
for a while. That kind of instant in love with him, but its only been
connection has never happened a month. My fear was that if I said
to me before. Were a good eight it, he didnt feel the same. Id have
months in now and Ive never had taken that as a huge rejection. Then
that feeling before. Its still there as the clock struck midnight, he told
every day when I wake up with him. me he loved me first.
One hour and many frames of Marcus: I was shitting myself so I
photographs later, Marcus and waited until I was drunk and lost
Robin are back in the jeans our all my inhibitions. Even if he was
photographer talked them out going to tell me it was too soon,
of. And theyve been joined on I was going to say it regardless.
a curiously-shaped circular bed But he said, I love you too, and by
by yours truly its like theyve the way, were going to Venice for
hired a male escort but have been Valentines Day.
shortchanged by a nerd with a Robin: I thought the honeymoon
dictaphone. Not that theyd ever period would last two to three
consider inviting a third into their months and wondered whatd
mnage--deux, theyre far too happen when it was over. But
traditional in their views of what a were way beyond that and it still
relationship should be. continues.
Marcus: If you meet the right person
Youre both in the entertainment you should always feel like that.
industry, which is populated by a Are you a physical couple in
lot of gay men. Can monogamous public and in private? Marcus:
relationships work in this People notice us because were
business? Robin: Theres no on TV, even if were going to
question about it, theres no other the shops. So public displays of
way but monogamy for us. I speak affection when youre two gay men
from experience; way back I was who are well know are well
in a relationship where monogamy its an awkward thing. I feel theres
wasnt the biggest thing and it enough attention on us so we dont
didnt work. Its just us and itll really do anything in public. We do

[cover] 49
[cover] 51

things subtly. And at home, well, yet. He has great ideas and we
Im not that good in bed. bounce off each other.
Robin: Oh you are! Marcus: Figuratively and literally!
Marcus: I used to just lie there if I
could get away with it and do the Away from their relationship, theres
minimum! So Ive been learning more to them than that bloke off
a lot. Im not that confident doing Strictly and that bloke off The X
new things, so Ive been growing Factor. Robin and dance partner
as a person and finding out who I Kristina Rihanoff have started their
am sexually. Its nice to share that company Bespoke Ballroom, where
with someone you love and want to they teach couples a wedding dance
spend the rest of your life with. and even perform for them on their
The rest of your life indicates big day. Hes also back for a fifth
this is for keeps. Will you stint on Strictly later in the year.
be walking down the aisle Meanwhile Marcus has released
eventually? Marcus: Weve talked dance single Sweet Thing, is writing
about what our ideal wedding would his second album and launches a
be like to get some insight into what tour in September. He also plans to
the other is thinking. And our dream open a salon in Liverpool for people
wedding would be somewhere needing help after losing their hair
like Downton Abbey, something through illness or chemotherapy.
fabulous in a British estate. But are we likely to see arch rivals
Robin: We both know where this Strictly and X Factor come together
is heading and that this is for the as the first same-sex couple to hit
long term. Its a case of being the the ballroom?
right time. Ive always wanted to get I can dance, but Id be learning
married to the person I love and that ballroom dancing from scratch,
fairytale is getting closer every day. admits Marcus. Its something
Marcus: Im not going to rush into Id certainly give a go. Its about
anything. I want to know him inside waiting for the right time for the
out, I want to see him at his best and public to be ready to see a same-
at his worst, so I know Im capable of sex couple dancing together. Id
picking him up if I need to. happily dance with a woman, but
And do you see children in your for it to make a point, Id like to be
relationship? Both: Absolutely. the person that would dance with
Marcus: Having kids is something another man. But I wouldnt want
Ive always dreamed about and I to do it with Robin. I tried to give
never thought it could become a him a driving lesson and that was
reality until now. If we did get a lady horrendous so I dont know how
to carry the child for us, shed have wed fare together.
to be mixed race so we dont know I wouldnt want to see him dance
who the father is. But Robin has ten with another man, adds Robin.
years on me so my swimmers are Ive seen couples whove worked
going to be quicker! together, and it puts a huge strain on
Does that age gap worry you? you if youre together teaching all
Marcus: No, in our heads were day and then going home together.
both 30. We levelled it out. My best The stress would be too much and I
friend is 51 so Ive always mixed with wouldnt want to do it.
people older than me. Im an old soul The first time youll see us dance
who likes old things and old people. together is at our wedding. We
Robin: Oh thanks! But we do have imagine our invites will be in the
the same goals and we want to post. And on that note, wed better
achieve the same things. Hes a go out and buy a hat. Q
huge support for me and the new
@MarcuscollinsUK, @Robinwindsor,
series of Strictly hasnt even started 53
Not today,

An interview with Americas Next Drag Superstar, Bianca Del Rio

For those glued to season six of
RuPauls Drag Race, this years
competition was all about one
contestant: Bianca Del Rio. Her
effortlessly hilarious displays of
quick-witted brilliance, timing,
the complete lack of patience for
unnecessary drama and the reveal
of a softer and more nurturing side,
Bianca in the world as we speak to
her? Im in a cab, traipsing through
New York City. The glamorous life
Fergie sang about. Totally. Well,
look at it this way, its better that Im
in the back of a cab than driving
one, but anythings possible!
In the aftermath of the finale, our
preempted idea of how Biancas last
endings this year. They filmed all
three of us winning and then they
filmed a tie between me and Adore.
So it was kind of weird because you
just didnt know, everybody thinks
they know, but you cant trust 1,600
people in a live audience to keep a
secret; especially gays! Filming
four different endings, is that quite
found us all like putty in the hands few days have been are confirmed. strange? Initially I thought it was
of this seasoned queen and not Insane, but in a good way. You going to be a problem, and then
in the least bit surprised when know, I really cant complain. A when I was standing there and I
Bianca was crowned Americas lot of my friends are like, Are thought, whether or not this is real,
Next Drag Superstar. Three days you tired? Are you upset? Are you this is my ten minutes of actually
after the finale of Drag Race aired crazy? No, Im grateful. Its been a winning, so it did mean something
in the US and fresh from her recent whirlwind and we filmed the show to me. It did feel genuine. It was
victory, we caught up with Bianca last summer, so its been a year of one of those things where we
to congratulate and have a good ups and downs and not being able already won by getting to that
old chinwag. That friendly and now to talk about it, so now its freeing. point in the show, and I know thats
familiar voice picks up the phone Now its like, Yay! Lets go. a very pageant answer and kinda
and cheerily greets us. Where is They filmed four different Kumbaya, but its true. Wed all

[drag race] 55
gone through this enormously long,
amazing journey that I really would
have not had an issue with either
one of them winning.
The weird thing is the show brings
like a grocery list or something
random that shell just send you.
Youre like, What is this? And shes
like, Wasnt me! Shes a lunatic and
I love her.
A video of
out good and bad in people. Its a
heightened situation and I think that
people handle stress completely
differently. We go through it day
by day, whereas youre watching it
With a spate of Drag Race
contestants releasing music after
their time on the show, would
Bianca be tempted to release an
album? No. I mean, comedy is
hate. T hat s
week to week, we dont get to hang
out with each other. I didnt know
what each person was going to bring
to each challenge which was kind
fine, but I think theres too many
of these rancid bitches from past
seasons that try to sing. We have
enough horrible queens who sing.
what people
of exciting and scary because you
might have thought this persons look
was a mess, yet when they get on
the runway they might be a brilliant
lip-sync artist, or they might be a
We have Britney Spears, who
doesnt sing, we have Katy Perry
who sucks, why add to it? Theres
already Rihanna and all those who
do horrible albums successfully,
want. Ive
brilliant singer, so you kind of never
knew. Overall Ive been able to get
to know them now and get to see
them in real life, and I think a lot of
why should I contribute to it? Im
going to do the world a favour
by not doing it. But what about
a single Not Today, Satan a
never had
them are extremely talented. Then
its a heightened situation, people
go crazy because of the show, its
documented and theyre going to
use it. So in the end, I think it could
favourite Bianca quote from the
show. Well thats a possibility!
Not Today, Satan. Where I just
ramble on and on and on. Thats a
t his many
have been any of us, everybody had
the potential, its just how you handle
the situation when youre there. Its a
true test of self. Its a test of self on a
major level. The Olympics of Drag.
Bianca is currently in the process
of crowdfunding for a feature
length film, Hurricane Bianca.
I started it before the show and
then I decided to audition. Then
Totally. Its mindfucking.
Being aware that Bianca is friends
with the legendary Lady Bunny, we
wondered if theyd had a chance
that kind of snuck up on me and
we had raised $35,000, and then
I had to leave to go film the show
and we couldnt tell anybody. So I
want ing me
to catch up since the crowning
ceremony? Oh God. Not yet! Bunny
and I have this thing where shell
call me at three in the morning and
say something foolish and hang
think everybody thought Id taken
$35,000 and went to Mexico to
buy some tits or something and
become a transexual. So now its
amazing and great that I can say,
to read t hem
up. Thats Bunny. Bunny is insanely
genius and I love her to death.
She always calls me up, shes like,
Bianca is a fag! and she hangs up.
hey this is whats been going on
and definitely, were going to make
this happen by next summer. One
of the rewards for donating is a
or be mean
Thats the kind of thing that she
does to me and I call her back, I
go, What do you want? Wasnt
me, girl! Who was it, because I
have 20 other people in my phone
Personalised Insult Video. A video
of hate. Thats what people want.
Ive never had this many people
wanting me to read them or be
mean to them, its quite lovely.
to t hem, it s
called Lady Bunny? No. Its you.
She just recently started texting,
because she was not a texter, which
is insane. So on occasion youll get

Im the fourth out of five kids and
I was always different, was told I
was different, knew I was different, I
didnt necessarily know if it was gay
quite lovely
[drag race]

specifically or anything that serious.


I didnt experience much bullying.
When people say, were you bullied?
No, it was called high school. I was
called a fag before I was a fag, but
luckily I fell into theatre and met
some amazing people that kind of
guided me through it, and through
all of it, if I hadnt have had those
experiences I wouldnt be a strong
individual today. I dont harp on
that type of path and Ive never
really been a cry baby, so for me
Im just grateful, I wouldnt change
anything. One of things thats been
amazing about travelling and
working now is Ive done some stuff
at colleges, and theyre hiring a
drag queen to come to their college
to do a show. So weve come a very
long way from when I grew up, but
by no means was it a bad thing for
me. I think if it would have been
different, I would be different, so Im
grateful the way it all worked out.
Not to downplay what other people
have experienced, but for me I
didnt have a sad story and I never
sat back and told my family, Hello?
Gay. But my brother, whos not,
never sat down and said, Hey, I like
girls. So its just been what it is.
Nearing the end of our fabulous
conversation and Biancas cab
journey through New York, how will
Americas Next Drag Superstar be
spending her day? Im actually
going to do glamorous laundry
today. Im home until Saturday so I
have a lot to do and I have dogs, so
I have to take my dogs out. Samson
and Delilah, theyre long haired
chihuahuas, and theyre very
mad at me because I havent been
home. Im going to spend some
time with them and Im going to the
chiropractor. Old people problems!
These flights that Ive been on have
been treacherous to my back, sitting
for that long, so thats my glamorous
life today. Doing it all while
wearing the crown? Im doing it all
with the crown! Sceptre and all. Q, @thebiancadelrio 57

Hot on the heels of his
brilliant new album, we
catch up with Bright
Light Bright Light to talk
all things synth-pop, Sir
Eltons sense of humour,
London vs New York
and putting the gay
experience into song
right Light Bright Light
or Rod, as hes known
is in New York. Its where
he mostly lives now, and
were hitting him with all
our theories about his latest album Life
Is Easy. Jumping between SoundCloud,
chatting on Skype and sparking
speculation on Twitter, there is one
undeniable truth to put out there. Its a
fantastic record. And it has one of our
favourite songs EVER tacked onto the
end, the bitter sweet crying-at-the-
discotheque song Happiness. Weve
listened to that more times than we
care to mention, and this pleases Rod.
Flattery aside, we hit him with our first
observation, a happy one. Its a very
synthy pop record.
There is a lot of synth in there, he
concedes, but theres more human
touch, Ive got strings on a couple of the
tracks. The guitars I really wanted to
have, because the last album [his debut
Make Me Believe In Hope] did feel very
studio based to me, because thats what
I could record at the time.
We also found several lyrics jumping
out at us, sounding like a cross
between a self-help book and the
chastising of ex lovers.
Its actually about falling in love with
life again, he says, I suppose self-help
is right, because it was from a time
when I was having a really shit time
in London and I was really unhappy
with things, and it was about making a
move to make myself happy again. Its
assessing what the problems are and
picking yourself back up. Youre the
only one who can sort yourself out.
It would be easy to try and pin-point
a muse for all these things, like when
artists say yeah this album was inspired
by my drug addled ex-boyfriend. But
theres no such singular figure.
Well the person would be New York
and London I suppose. I really fell out
of love with London, so its moving from
something that makes you very unhappy
to something that makes you happy.
The move isnt permanent, more of an
affair, Rod laughs. Its like a mistress.
Basically Im splitting my time pretty
much evenly between them.


Which is quite handy as hes only

If Im not enough, then going to be touring with ELTON
fuck off. Have fun nding Oh yeah! Its fucking crazy. Its
completely amazing and Ive known
someone hotter and since November, and I havent been
able to say anything. Its been a really
cooler. And when they tense couple of months
It came around in part to the song that
leave, have fun spending they recorded together for the album, I
Wish We Were Leaving. Now we dont

the night alone. Theres know about you readers, but whenever
we hear that someone has recorded a

no end to what people duet, we imagine its a bit like the Band
Aid (1984) video, crowded round a

will do to keep chasing microphone, headphones nestled in a

bad haircut, trilling away at the high-

the next best thing notes and concentrating very hard.

Rod laughs at the suggestion, saying
Its not far off really. I was in the studio
with him when he recorded the vocals, I
went down to Atlanta and it was amazing,
it was so much fun watching him just sing
in the studio, just in a little booth with my
lyrics, nailing it first time.
Hes gone from protg to mates
in one swoop, talking together,
swapping industry and life advice,
making Rod laugh. We ask him if Sir
Elton tells jokes.
Yeah, hes really funny! Hes so
funny. Weve got quite a similar sense
of humour, I think. Its really nice
seeing the laughter and the humour
and the cheekiness underneath this
professional persona.
Whether Bright Light Bright Light will
get to duet with Elton on tour is yet to
be seen. The duet itself belongs to the
more atmospheric synth-pop on Life
Is Easy, but theres a darker, clubbier
sound to the album with songs like
I Believe and the deceptively harsh
lyrics to Good Luck.
Yeah its a total cunt song, says
Rod, making us laugh. You can be as
forgiving and seeing other peoples
perspective as you want, but sometimes
youre just oh fuck you honey.
And this is where our final theory
comes into play, that BLBL (knowingly
or not) has captured some of the
inherent loneliness of the modern
gay experience. Theres a lot of
unattachment in the way gay men relate 61

to one another. Even when youre with

people and dancing.
I have a real problem when people
wont switch an application off when
theyre out with friends or theyre
in a bar, he says. You can see
people on their phones all the time,
Facebook, Grindr, Twitter, Scruff
all these kinds of things and youre
like can you just not appreciate the
moment for one fucking evening?
Youre completely missing the fact
that youre with people that youve
chosen to spend time with, and there
are people you can talk to in real life
all around you. There is the culture
of always looking for the next best
thing, youre looking for someone
better, someone hotter or somebody
more like you or someone newer.
So the song [Good Luck] is OK
well if Im not enough, then fuck off.
Have fun chasing whoever across
the city, have fun finding someone
hotter and cooler who makes you
have this amazing night. And then,
at the end of it when they leave
you, and theyre doing exactly the
same thing that youre doing, then
have fun spending the night alone.
Theres no end to what people will
do to keep chasing the next best
thing. Do you know what I mean?
Every single gay with a smartphone
will have some idea. Its not a central
theme on the album, more of a sad
shadow that lurks in the corners.
I didnt really think of it being a
particularly gay thing, but really I
suppose it is. Or not specifically a
gay thing, but being very prominent
in the gay world. Its a problem that
a lot of people have. You can meet
someone but you have no idea if
theyre going to stick around
But then you inevitably see them
everywhere anyway.
Oh of course you do! Even in Tesco,
Christ. Q


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Laverne Cox is a woman on the transgender woman to be played by
move. So were going to 28th and a black transgender woman, and the
8th avenue, please, if youd just implications have been profound.
make a left here, she politely asks Raised in Mobile, Alabama,
the cab driver. During the course Laverne made her way to New York
of our interview, Laverne will travel City to study dance and drama at
across Manhattan, for more press, Marymount Manhattan College. If
and more work, a sign of just how you ask the cast whos most likely to
much her life has changed since burst into a dance, theyll say me,
the show Orange Is the New Black she laughs. And though she still
premiered on Netflix last July. likes to put on some Beyonc and
The show itself has been a massive get [her] Partition on at the gym,
success, gaining more viewers than acting became her main artistic
other Netflix originals House of outlet, with appearances on Law and
Cards and Arrested Development. It Order, HBOs Bored to Death, and in
follows the story of Piper Chapman, various independent films. Laverne
a woman who is sentenced to 15 trained for many years, including
months in a federal prison on a under The Actors Studio member
drug trafficking conviction from Susan Batson, but it wasnt until
ten years ago. Once inside, Piper she joined Brad Calcaterras LGBT
meets a coterie of women who specific class, Act Out, that Laverne
are struggling with incarceration truly confronted the internalised
and the effect its having on them. transphobia and racism that held
These are women who are trying her back.
to recover their own sense of It was a way to speak the truth
humanity, a sense of connection, of who I was in a safe place. I think
according to Laverne. Almost what Brad does a great job of is
immediately Lavernes character, creating a safe space where I was
Sophia Burset, was one of the most able to reveal parts of myself that
talked about on the show, and thats I had a lot of shame about. And the
hard when youre on a show as healing process has allowed me to
good as Orange Is the New Black. step into an audition room with a
You see, Sophia was the first black sense of worthiness. Without shame. 65
It was life changing. even though shes still married,
That confidence allowed her her family has been majorly
to snag the role of Sophia on compromised because of her
OITNB, a coup for the transgender actions, and possibly irrevocably
community, which eventually led harmed.
her to be honoured at the 25th With season two, Laverne
GLAAD Media Awards in Los promises us a new side to Sophia,
Angeles this year. Until then, while a lighter side. I was excited to
transgender characters were being play the material. There are some
featured in film and television scenes that just made me laugh so
more frequently, very rarely were hard I couldnt get through them
actual transgender people given and there were scenes that made
the opportunity to play these parts. me cry so much I couldnt get
On the show, Sophia is serving through them. Thats the show in
a sentence for credit card fraud, a nutshell, people.
the only means to pay for the The discussion moves on to a
gender reassignment surgery controversial subject. Recently,
she so desperately wanted. We Logo, the network that airs RuPauls
learn the circumstances of her Drag Race in America, made the
incarceration in episode three of decision to remove language from
the first season, directed by Jodie the program that some in the trans
Foster yes, that Jodie Foster. In community felt was offensive. Ru
a series of flashbacks, we watch fought back against the criticism


Sophia struggling with her identity of his show on comedian Marc
while working as a fireman. And Marons podcast, claiming These
surprisingly, for some, her wife are fringe people who are looking
stays with her after the surgery, for storylines to strengthen their
speaking to something bigger identity as victims.
about love and the human condition Laverne is deliberately careful
that transcends gender and sexual in her answer and rightly so. As
identity. Viewers connected, an artist, Im always going to be
Laverne says, in different ways for supportive of freedom of expression
different reasons. and I never want to police language.
Someone I just met said they But Im also a person who believes
were slayed at the end of season that language is a place of struggle.
one when Sophia gets the Christmas I believe that language matters,
card from Michael [her son]. She and the language that he uses has
said it killed her. Other trans women consequences especially in a
said that the scene where Crystal political and historical context.
[her wife] helped me get dressed And besides, for Laverne, there
for the first time that moment are much bigger issues facing the
really connected. I do think its transgender community. Take, for
about love, longing and loss. I think example, the recent case of Monica
for Sophia too, shes just trying to Jones, a black transgender woman
be OK with herself. In some ways who was convicted of manifesting
she is, but she also understands prostitution in Arizona. If you
that there are consequences. That dont know what manifesting


prostitution means, dont worry,

youre not alone. Its essentially
a baffling law that allows police
to profile and arrest someone for
repeatedly stopping and engaging
someone in conversation.
That wasnt getting the same
sort of press that this was getting,
Laverne says. And not that
one is more important than the
other, but I want to talk about the
criminalising of trans bodies and
how we move past that as a society.
Those are the conversations that
will really serve us.
And what about transphobia
within the gay community itself? I
think its important to understand
that homophobia and transphobia
are a part of an oppressive gender
binary system. If we are really
interested in ending homophobia
we have to look at transphobia
and patriarchy. A lot of the
roots of homophobia are really
about gender. We attach gender
expectations to individuals and
think that they should or shouldnt
do something. Gender oppression
affects all of us. How often do we
hear within the gay community, He
was too feminine? This is part of a
system that does not celebrate the
feminine or admit that the feminine
is real; it devalues the feminine.
Speaking with such effortless
clarity, Laverne has also reached
her destination. She thanks the
cab driver, thanks myself, and sets
off on the next chapter of her life,
one that many will be watching
and rooting for. My journey more
than anything else, beyond me
being a trans person, is that Im
an artist. Thats what sustains me
and gives me life and a sense of
myself, she says. That journey,
and all that it entails, is providing
a voice for many people who
previously felt silenced and that is
an accomplishment itself. Q

Orange Is the New Black season two is on

2 1S T


Who is Tyler Glenn? Asides from being the

frontman of Neon Trees, the hottest band breaking
out of the US, he just so happens to be a recently
out and proud gay man who grabbed headlines
on CNN, Rolling Stone, MTV and across the world
thanks to the unique story of his devout Mormon
upbringing. Now, Tyler tells GT about coming out
on the worlds stage, balancing gay with religion
and why hes denitely not a sex addict. Honest. 69
while writing Teenager In Love, one coming out is a big deal, but at the
of stand-out highlights of the album, same time, I understand more and
that he decided to open up about his more now that Im an openly gay
sexuality for the very first time. man, whos also a singer and also has
I told Tim first because I felt a kind young fans come to his shows. Im
of closeness while making the record not afraid of being made an example,
and felt like hed be interested in but at the same time, I never wanted
knowing what some of the songs it to be like a salacious, gossipy
were actually about, explains Tyler. thing. I joked that I wasnt doing
On Teenager In Love, I was like a very good job of hiding it, and I
eve all got our own coming out this song is about a gay man and guess there are a lot of people who
story. For some, it was a case of his struggle with falling in love with think that a guy who wears a quilted
sashaying out of the womb with a a straight man, and he thought it suit on stage must be a little dandy.
feather boa and a copy of Madonnas was interesting, but I dont think he Tyler tells us he remembers having
Like a Prayer, while for others, it thought I was coming out to him. But I crushes on boys in kindergarten. I
was much more subtle, with years just laid it all on the line with him and didnt know necessarily the sexual
spent fancying the same sex and said I want you to know, Im gay and act, but I did know there was an
never acting on it. The point is, Ive known since I was six. emotional connection there, he
like snowflakes or a Miley Cyrus Tim gave me a really lovely explains. But he tried to ignore
concert, no two gay men are the response. He said I love you, and his feelings, instead following the
same. But youd be hard-pressed to Im excited for you. And Id never path he thought was expected of
find a more unique coming out story really associated love or excitement him having a girlfriend. I was
than that of Neon Trees frontman or being happy with being gay until living this double life and it got very
Tyler Glenn. then, because itd always been taxing after a while, he laughs. I
After wrapping up a tour in the something I had to hide or make had a girlfriend in high school that
autumn of 2012, Tyler found himself sure no one knew. When I heard I loved and lost my virginity to,
miserable and ready to give up that from him, I totally flipped and and I did have a couple of long-
music altogether. After experiencing I wanted to tell everyone who was term girlfriends after that, too. It
something of a breakdown, the important to me. wasnt until my 20s that I started
California native cancelled all of He told his band after that. They experimenting sexually with guys,
Neon Trees activities for the rest were great; any emotion that was and thats when the switch went on
of the year and decided to see a shown was about my wellbeing and I realised what Id been missing
therapist for the first time. I began and that I was OK, he says. But as from my other relationships. That
to realise that Id always bottled an enigmatic frontman of a band full attraction that wasnt always
things up, he tells GT, and that its exciting fans on every continent, there. I knew back then that this was
OK to have freak-outs and moments what had to come next was telling who I was, I just didnt know how to
of anxiety. That its better to deal with the rest of the world. And howre deal with it.
it and move on. you going to do that? Well, in the There are some who might raise
When he came out of the other pages of Rolling Stone, the most- an eyebrow at the timing of Tylers
side, he began writing songs established and respected music announcement right before the
with his long-time friend and magazine on the planet, obviously. release of a new album, after all. No
collaborator Tim Pagnotta, for what Did I expect it to explode as matter how brilliant Pop Psychology
would become his bands third much as it did? Not at all. To me and may be and if you havent heard it,
album, Pop Psychology. But it was my bubble, we still dont think that it is brilliant the extra publicity is

[music] 71
[music] 73

never going to hurt. But asides from Im waiting for an out gay popstar been in favour of gay marriage,
saying he owed it to the record whos allowed to put on a show, and and is ignorant still. But I definitely
and the fans to be honest about it doesnt mean its a gay show. believe in God, and I definitely
himself, it was actually the writing Adam Lambert is a great believe that God isnt anti-gay
of the record thats brought Tyler example of a musician whos marriage.
to this comfortable place in his life, finding success, but at the same I think my obsession with
and brought him to talking about time, only a few years ago he sex and my obsession with the
it with GT today. Its interesting kissed a man and made a sexual psychology of sex has always
because music has led me to having gesture, which I dont think was come from the way I was raised
the confidence to come out, he any more intense than Britney and my religion. My parents raised
explains. I dont lie when I say Spears and Madonna kissing, but me really well, because we act
my first real crush, my first real yet he got a lot more controversy. as Mormons, but we always had a
obsession, my first real passionate As much as people like him and balance and there was an honesty.
relationship was with music. Jake Shears and Elton John are And that comes down to the family
The record is 100% me and my successful, I still feel like pop itself, and not so much the doctrine
perspective, and a lot of the songs culture takes risks with gay issues. and the church. I never learned
do discuss love in the modern age. Im not claiming to be the guy about homosexuality growing up
We have a lot of technology now, that changes that, but at the same and I never learned that it was
but its created a way of life where time, I hope to get to the point wrong. That wasnt a topic that
were not communicating at all. And where people think hes gay, but it came up, so Mormons dont learn
thats interesting for me to write doesnt mean its gay music. Its just every Sunday in church to hate
about, especially as a recently out his sexuality and lets move on. homosexuality and be against it.
gay man whos trying to navigate Tyler didnt just come out as gay, Its very much the teachings of
the waters of, yknow, do I use though. There was another word, Jesus Christ, and thats always
social apps or gay apps to find a and another facet of his personality been my core belief. When I say
guy? For me and my experiences of that mainstream media around Im Mormon and Im gay, thats
love, its always been hook-ups, but the world seemed to pick up on; me saying that Im accepting both
I also have plenty of straight friends that of his Mormon upbringing. sides of myself but Im figuring it
who use Tinder and they feel like Homosexuality and religion are all out at the same time.
its window shopping, so its always two bulls constantly locking horns; So there we have it. Tyler
going to be an interesting topic to the unstoppable force meeting the Glenn: enigmatic frontman, pop
discuss. immovable object, so to speak. sensation, Mormon and recently
Its not only the music thats Weve even debated whether or out and proud gay man and... wait
brought Tyler out of the closet, not you can be religious and gay on a minute, obsession with sex?
though. Our platinum blonde these very pages. Im not a sex addict! [Laughs]. I
frontman feels like he has a Sex has always been a hot topic have an obsession in a way that... I
responsibility; a responsibility with religion, Tyler wades in, think its fascinating. Im fascinated
to be a proud gay musician whos and, yknow religion has always in the way that its such a huge
seen by society as not just making accepted sex because its such a topic and we always have to know
music for gays. powerful thing, and its creation, about peoples sex lives. For me,
I do appreciate Macklemore, but its also something that can thats the obsession. I dont want it
he says, and I do appreciate cause a lot of stress. Now that to come out like Im an addict!
Lady Gaga, and Cyndi Lauper Ive come out, Im more open to We believe you, Tyler. Thousands
and Madonnna, and countless things like gay marriage, and I do wouldnt, but we believe you. Q
other straight or sometimes bi support it. And theres that sort of
musicians, if theyre actually bi shift with me with being gay and
Pop Psychology is out now,,
or not [laughs]. But I do feel like having a religion thats not always @neontrees, @tylerinacoma





After stints in Londons West End,

Germany, Canada and even on the
silver screen, the award-winning
Hedwig and the Angry Inch has
nally made it to Broadway. Creators
John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen
Trask tell GT about the heroism
of Hedwig, lift the lid on the hotly-
anticipated sequel and explain just
why Neil Patrick Harris was born
to play the role of a transgender
German rock chick
Hedwig has always been ready for I try to make things about stuff
Broadway, but Broadway hasnt been that confuses me, John says. I
ready for her, asserts American grew up in a certain military world
writer, director and actor John and in a place where [being gay]
Cameron Mitchell from New York. was very dangerous. And I didnt
Until now, that is. really understand that. I learned to
Since opening in April with Neil find myself through rock and roll,
Patrick Harris as the titular lead, theatre and film. I was saved by it.
an acclaimed revival of Hedwig Hedwig is a much more extreme
and the Angry Inch the ground- version of me.
breaking rock musical written by The musical evolved from there,
John with musician and lyricist opening off-Broadway in 1998
Stephen Trask has packed out New to healthy praise, if not huge
Yorks Belasco Theatre. Directed by audiences before becoming a film
Michael Mayer, its been nominated in 2001, directed by and starring
for eight Tony Awards. Ive never John. Stephen stresses that, in
seen anything like it, marvels spite of its growing cult popularity,
Stephen, when we speak. Its the timing for Hedwig to be a big
overwhelming how enthusiastic hit hasnt been right until now.
audiences are. Certainly, just before 9/11 wasnt
Its been quite a journey for a great point to release the motion
Hedwig, the fictional, fabulous and picture, he says.
furious transsexual punk-rock singer Whats interesting is that, from
who grew up in East Berlin before the beginning, it was very much a
the Wall came down. A botched Broadway show, John observes.
gender reassignment accounts for It has all the structural traits it
the Angry Inch of the shows title, engages the audience, it uses
and the name of her backing group comedy, song and dance. Its a
as she sings the story of her life. crowd-pleaser. But the content is
Partly based on a babysitter John had different in terms of who its about
while his US Army Major father was and what shes been through.
stationed in Germany, the character Hedwig like its star didnt fit
began experimentally: rocking into any neat boxes. Musicals about
out in New York drag-punk club transsexual punk-rockers that
Squeezebox, where Stephen headed combine gender and politics and
the house band, with John himself in quote Plato? Still only one.
her high heels. And rock and roll in theatre 77
tends to be watered down, John For John, the shows sense of
adds. The band isnt on stage universality is absolutely pivotal.
and it has a kind of half-rock thing People of all genders and
about it. Certainly, Rent wasnt sexualities can relate to her. Its not
very rock and roll. It wasnt until a statement, its not Drag Race. Its
musicals like the stage adaptation a metaphor, he says emphatically.
of Green Days rock opera Anyone who thinks of it as anything
American Idiot started appearing more is abusing it.
that he thought Broadway might be Undoubtedly one of the biggest
ready for Hedwig to do her thing. factors in Hedwigs current success
Stephen also credits the shows is Neil Patrick Harris, who played
repeated staging across the US and womaniser Barney in hit sitcom How
worldwide with keeping it alive and I Met Your Mother until it ended
building its reputation. John and earlier this year. Hedwig could
I have only licensed the project to have been revived six years ago, in
small theatre companies who have time for its tenth anniversary, but
something interesting to bring to it was more about waiting for Neil
it, he reveals. That DIY approach to be ready, John says. He can do
we brought to it has carried on. anything. Plus, hed bring in people
Some productions have run for who didnt know the show and might
longer than a year. He likens need someone to let them know its
Hedwig to a touring band, which not scary.
finally had its big break. But casting Neil wasnt simply
But Hedwig hasnt lost her about hooking in big audiences
outsider edge. Everythings got with a big name. No stranger to
a little bigger, but not so that it musical theatre, hes a talented and
pulls apart the central premise, versatile performer. He becomes
stresses Stephen. A script re- spectacular, which you need on
write explaining how shes ended Broadway, to fill the house, John
up on Broadway finds the singer says. But hes still able to get small
performing on the set of big-budget when he needs, and quiet, and
flop Hurt Locker: The Musical, after tender. Hes like a thoroughbred
giving the theatre-owner a blow-job he can go the distance.
to get the gig. This is her moment, Stephen praises Neils commitment
but it could all collapse, John says. to getting Hedwig right. This
Shes on top of it now, but barely. wasnt necessarily something hed
Since Hedwig first hit the stage, thought of doing before, he says.
trans and gender identity issues Hed never really thought about
have moved much more to the wanting to move around the stage
forefront of public awareness. But like Tina Turner or Iggy Pop, or
John is adamant that she shouldnt hold the mic like Joey Ramone. And
be viewed as a mouthpiece for I dont think it had ever crossed
any movement. Shes a gender of his mind to do those things while
one because it was accidental; it wearing six-inch heels.
wasnt a choice, he says. But she But practising in those heels
makes do. She finds a wholeness and doing unbilled gigs with the
within the trauma and that is new Angry Inch Band has paid
universal. off for Neil. Rave reviews have
Stephen echoes this in what been followed by a Tony Award
he sees as essential to Hedwigs nomination for his performance.
appeal. However unique she is Hes loving it, Stephen says.
as a person, hers is a very human And hes learning very quickly
story, he says, of trying to learn that almost anything can happen,
to love yourself and wanting to and as long as he responds to it
make a connection. in character, it was supposed to

[stage] 79

happen. He laughs. We used to changes in his own life has

have things falling from the ceiling seen him reflecting more fully
and lunatics talking to the stage. on his younger years as a gay
Stephen calls Neils Hedwig man. While he would never
less sad than Johns. There was wish the AIDS-stricken 80s on
a knowing and lonely quality to anyone, it was very political
Hedwig, when John did it; Neils to be open [then], he muses.
Hedwig is tougher and has more There was a strange privilege to
armour, he reflects. Shes understanding the preciousness
much more interested in just of life, and the specialness of
entertaining you and not showing that group of people who came
that lonely side until the end, together to help each other.
when it hits just as hard. In contrast, John characterises
Having seen various Hedwigs this centurys combination of
strut their stuff, John didnt find acceptance and digital culture as
it that strange to watch Neil having blandised queer culture.
play a role he had originated, Wryly, he says, I wish theyd put
in a production directed by their phones down. It wouldnt
someone else. It mostly just be a surprise if these thoughts
feels like a great relief, because figure somewhere in his new
its incredibly hard. He found it show. From Hedwig to the titular
hugely rewarding, but it was so Brooklyn salon in his hardcore
exhausting that I quit acting right comedy-drama Shortbus [2007]
after that. as a metaphor for the importance
Nonetheless, he admits to a of social and artistic community,
little bit of excitement upon Johns work encompasses
seeing Hedwig on Broadway for everything Im thinking about at
the first time. So, while hes not the time.
keen on doing a long stretch, Right now, this also includes
maybe later in the run Ill step looking ahead to a hoped-for
in for a bit, if we keep going, he West End transfer for Hedwig (Im
says. Because if I dont do it now, sure Hurt Locker: The Musical
Ill probably never do it. would fail there, too) and his next
Hedwig, the passing of time film, an adaptation of Neil Gaimans
and ageing are on Johns mind at 70s-set short story How to Talk
the moment, as he and Stephen to Girls at Parties. To be shot in
continue to work on a much London, its like Romeo and Juliet,
darker sequel. Keeping pace with but instead of Montagues and
real life and Stephen reveals Capulets, its punks and aliens,
mixing in science-fiction and the he says.
supernatural, as well as reflecting And John isnt done with
the pairs changing lives and London. Hes planning to bring
interests, it will catch up with the his monthly New York club night
singer 14 years on. Mattachine named after the
This new (as yet untitled) show first queer rights group in the
promises to be as unique as the US over here. Its kind of a pre-
first. Its about the decline and digital dance party, he explains.
fall of the world, Hedwig and God We play a lot of old stuff and
and death, John says, sharing a everyones dancing in an old-
few of its far-from-minor themes. school way.
If the first half of your life is And you never see anyone on
about finding out who you are, the their phone. Q
second is about asking: How much
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is currently
time do I have left?

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its just justin


Were going to ignore those
questionable N Sync days of
bleach-blonde highlights and
combat trousers to say that Justin
Timberlake is probably one of the
most stylish men of the 21st century.
Suit and tie aside, ol Trousersnake
knows how to look good. Which is
why we were particularly excited
when we came across the new
autumn/winter range from his
brand William Rast, which he
founded back in 2005 alongside
childhood best friend Trace
Ayala. Originally comprised only
of denim, William Rast has now
expanded into a complete lifestyle
collection, grounded in the iconic
imagery of American denim and
biker culture. If you can manage
to look past the hot tattooed model
in the new campaign which we
admit, is a struggle youll find
a collection of modern twists on
traditional tailoring: including
deconstructed blazers, leather
jackets and a strong focus on woven
shirts. Playful yet sophisticated
garments with attitude are the
order of the day, guaranteed to
help you bring SexyBack. Q

For more, check out 83
summer lovin

Franklin & Marshall
draw influence
from US surf and
skate trends of
the 80s with their
latest offering of
t-shirts and tie-dye
shorts; oozing off-
duty West Coast
cool. Graphics
influenced by
surfboard motifs
have been paired
with sun bleached
colour pops and tie-
dye fades to create
sportswear perfect
for hazy summer
afternoons or for
when youre hitting
the beach. Q

Christian Louboutin Coeur de Collection Christian Louboutin

is possibly one of the most luxurious footwear brands around.
Take the mens Coeur de Collection, which steers away from
the muted colour palette and minimal design of the womens,
highlighting bright colours and celebrating the summer.
The Yacht Spikes spin on the classic boat is truly nautical
inspired, with its white rubber soles and rope detailing. The
designer has also added his own unique touch to the classic
style, with the use of tone-on-tone spikes and metal eyelets,
making it oh so very Laboutin. Q


creamtheofcrop No gels or foams for this luxury

new Dove Men+Care Expert Shave


Tamagotchi slip-ons No, this isnt a new shoe with its own electronic
monster you have to feed and bathe every six minutes its actually a
snake print mini-collection from Dune, bringing a hint of luxe both to
the high street and your summer. These slip-ons are a perfect blend
of bold colours and leather, which is so totally on-trend right now,
making them a seasonal essential. Sporty white soles teamed with
contrasting snake print is the perfect statement, whether youre going
casual or partying the long nights away. Mix these with monochrome
pieces to bring a touch of summer to your outfit. Q

change your linens

Uniqlo continues
to provide natural,
luxury fabrics at
affordable prices
with its new range
of linen styles for
men and women.
This collection is the
perfect combination
of function and
elegance, keeping
you comfortable
while looking cool,
even in the heat of
the summer. Not
only that, but the
range comes in a
variety of fresh new
colours. With the
garments made
from linen, it means
you can switch
seamlessly from a
casual afternoon
at the pub to a
formal dinner party
without having
to get changed.
versatile collection
maintaining the
feel. Q

Sisley Summer We all know how important it is to protect

your skin over the summer. Luckily, Sisley have just launched
two brand new age-minimising facial sun creams to keep
you looking tip top. The Sunlea AGE comes in factor 15 and
30, and fights against glycation and elastosis the two major
factors when it comes to skin ageing. It also protects against
free radicals and cellular DNA, as well as fighting against
wrinkles and loss of firmness. When it comes to looking after
your skin, you might as well go for the best, eh?




MiPac has teamed explore themes

up with young of British life and
British designer Kit London living.
Neale to create a Inspired by his
range of summer south London
bags including home, we see
rucksacks, duffel PRWLIVLQXHQFHGE\
bags and tablet Elephant and Castle
cases. The three juxtaposed with

mini collections RUDOUHIHUHQFHV


HDFKGLVSOD\.LWV from the British


signature bright Museum, and


graphic prints from the repetitive use

his AW14 range, of a rat print in
UVWVKRZFDVHGDW monochrome and
London Collections: yellow. So very
Men in January. London, dahhhling,
This season sees so very cool.
Kit continue to Q 87
block party

Bright block
are used on
all summer

01 essentials,
whether its
outerwear, like
backpacks and
plimsolls, or
accessories like
bucket hats and
mix your colours
welcome. Q

ASOS is really bringing
it home for the later
summer months with
a focus on bright
colours, orals and
monochrome, with
versatile pieces perfect
for the beach, festivals
and parties alike


02 Monochrome
is easy to wear,
so it should be
no surprise that
it continues to be
on trend for SS14.
Replenish your
wardrobe and
keep up to date
with jersey shorts
and a retro t-shirt.
Sweaters should
be worn around
the waist and
paired with hi-tops
for that street
wear look. Q

has two distinctive
looks for high
summer: either
bold prints or soft
separates. All-

03 over prints should

be the key to your
wardrobe, though,
contrasted with
pastel shades
and lightweight
fabrics. Then just
a decent pair of
sandals. Q 89

Dont be scared of
colour. It can be fun!
Go eye-poppingly
crazy or use sparingly
as a feature in your
neutral pad. Whichever
its time to brighten
up for summer
The cushion
Lemon lightning, Ferm
WORDS MARK KING Living KIDS Cushion, 28,

The bench The shelving

Relax and get mellow on Panels that hide or highlight,
yellow, Jonah Upholstered Lichen Large Modular
Bench, 249, Shelves, 469,
---------- ----------

COLOUR The dining chair
Light and bright,
The storage
Graphic grids, Orange
Iron Storage Shelf, 60,

Chair, 125.50,

The coat rack

Colour-coded coat
hanger, Retro Coat
Hooks, 15,
The sofa
Colour block modernism
in a collaboration with
the Design Museum,
Lovebird sofa, 1,999,

The coffee
Colour stronger than
caffeine, La Cafetire
Red Classic Espresso
Maker, 19.95,

The chandelier
jealous, Popping Pink

The kettle
Hot water in hot colours,
Bugatti Vera kettle,

Years of television property shows,

with their insistence on neutral,
neutral, neutral, have made people
nervous of using strong colour.
If youre scared about creating a
space that resembles a childrens
programme set, dont be shy about
getting advice from the experts. Its
Habitats 50th birthday this year,
The drawers
so they certainly know how to put
Antiques go Pop colour together to make it cool and
RI'UDZHUV contemporary. Get geometric with
your lines and shapes and restrict
your palette to a few complimentary
or contrasting shades. And its easy to
repaint a wall for a totally new look. Q

Yellow Miles small shelving unit, 200. Jade vase, 50. Harris single
seating unit, 300. Harris ottoman, 250. Miles narrow shelving unit,
300. Turk vase, 35. Maury vase, 20. Balto yellow vase, 30

The picnic set

---------- 91



How much do we love our
future husbear Franois
Sagat? All the more for his
incredible new photoshoot
as Madonna. Its the cover
for new specialist magazine
Loverboy who say they
love a bit of dirt, a bit of
trash and lots of gloss. Why,
its as though we were made
for each other! Q
Loverboy is published quarterly and available at, @loverboymag 93

Phantogram Voices Their

sees Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter
write indie songs for pop snobs,
or dance music for people with
ingrown toenails. There are strange
echoes of trip hop, even though the
band are from an entirely different
time and place (now / upstate New
York). When Josh gets a turn on the
mic, things get a bit Flaming Lips
or a reverb-abusing Arcade Fire.
But like a true gay clich, we prefer
the female singer, as Sarah comes
into her own on the oddly titled
Bill Murray, excelling at beautiful,
thudding weepiness. QQQQQ

Gabby Young and selling point is the

Other Animals One amazing summery
Ed Sheeran X Foot in Front of pop the Oh Land
Ed Sheeran has undergone an extreme the Other Gabby collaboration is
specialises in Xanadu-tastic and
makeover (musically at least), and we were circus-y cabaret %ODFN<D\DV3DLQW
somewhere between perfect beach-side
The Tiger Lillies and accompaniment.
with its whiff of Maroon 5, falsetto, oh oh oh Annie Lennox. The QQQQQ
oh-ing and use of the very un-English phrase upbeat oom-pah
tracks are what Acollective Pangea
set the tone. You can give a lot of credit to the Paloma Faith would Listening to this
co-writing and production from Pharrell Williams, sound like if she was vibrant mixed bag
still having fun and of genres (usually
EXWLWVQRWDQLVRODWHGLQFLGHQW not trying to be a within a single song)
We get more of Sheeran, well, rapping. On Proper Chanteuse. is the equivalent of
QQQQQ walking into a charity
paper it sounds like a terrible idea, but Ed has shop. Everything Dolly Parton Blue Smoke Dolly
a cool, effortless approach that sidesteps the Yuksek 3DUW\QH has potential, from
Vol 1 Much like wonky alt-indie Parton is at it again, churning out
fellow French label to Duran Duran some heartstring-plucking country.
this Yuksek lead and Coldplay twang, hoedown violins, gospel choirs
(OVHZKHUHLWVPRUHWKHWUDGLWLRQDO6KHHUDQ compilation with choruses the fun
IDUH$UH/RYHLVSHUVRQDOKRVSLWDOEHVLGH electro-cool club is in the rummaging and a whole lotta heartbreak. When
stuff and Thinking Out Loud is a straightforward
soulful ballad that veers on the cheesy. GLUWOLNHDSKRHQL[VKHVSUDLVLQJ
:KHQKHVQRWH[SORULQJQHZGLUHFWLRQV(GV the lord and asking him for wings,
best at his most simple; just a boy with a guitar or making a mockery of the French
confessing all. In fact, the song The One is a language which she does with a big,
prime example. A falsetto-driven folk number VDXF\VHOIGHSUHFDWLQJZLQN6KHV
about drinking too much and never leaving a even teamed up with Kenny Rodgers
beautiful songs ever written about drunkenly being old friends that might have you
stumbling home. QQQ QQ secretly sobbing into your arid hanky.


ou know when you hear a (read: fun) dance acts; Felix Da Housecat, very heavy political discourse with
back story about a band or Fischerspooner, Miss Kittin, Vitalic, whistleblowing her clit, thats just perfect

indeed a Belgian DJ duo Green Velvet, Tiga all a glittery for the album, the way we wanted to
and think theyre taking footnote in the history of dance music. So go. Maarten adds, weve been fans of
you for a ride? Well apparently Mumbai how do Mumbai Science feel about this Peaches forever, we love her lyrics. She
Science actually were scientists. If dirty word? completely aced it, because its really
market research is a science. Ten years ago we were finding our way uncompromising.
Its not a joke! Its real! claims in the club scene and when we went out We ask the pair to face the biggest
Maarten with mock offence. We were we partied to those tracks, says Jonas. electroclash criticism and place
real scientists, before we started DJing So I really dont think that its a bad themselves on a scale of one to
professionally. We actually worked in a word, but with all genres its different. No pretentious. They laugh.
science lab where we did experiments matter what you call yourself, people like We love to be pretentious, says Jonas,
on consumer psychology. I wish this was to say you dont fit in that box. We just like but properly pretentious so that people
a joke, but its very real. My favourite to call it Mumbai Science music. We made see that we dont mean it at all. Were
experiment I did was with Jelly Beans and what we like and what we liked to party two very normal guys. Theres a tension
how people reacted when they ate the to. And electroclash was one of the bigs between being very serious sometimes
worst kind. To cut this long story short, things that we partied to, definitely. and very playful at other times, people
people do not like nasty Jelly Beans. They even managed to rope in one of will never really know where to place us.
Its such a sad story, Jonas adds the pioneers of the genre on their debut Are we serious right now?
genuinely. Or mockingly. But if they album (and all too knowingly titled) Oh, who cares. Dj Vu is easily one
were scientists, theyve accidentally Dj Vu, a guest rap and collaboration of the best dance albums out this year.
gone and created a formula to revive with Peaches. The song Whistleblower And fingers crossed it doesnt become
all the good bits of the much maligned is typically filthy and funny as Jonas another electroclash flash in the pan. Q
genre of electroclash. Were talking explains, its about sex and Edward
about all those early 2000s pretentious Snowden. The way she combines the 16 June,, @mumbaiscience

Mumbai Science 95

until I was married and had kids.

We put aside our jealousy long
enough to talk about her debut
album, the songwriting process
for which started a year ago in
London and included a stint with
a whole string of names in LA.
But her surroundings had the
opposite effect to the sound you
can expect. Its strange, the
songs that Ive written in the UK
sound a lot like they wouldve
been written in America and
vice versa. I think its because
when youre in the UK and youre
sat in the rain, you write a happy
Which is strange, because from

Ell a
the songs weve heard, she seems
to write a lot about heartbreak. I
draw off different emotions, she
says, even if Im having a bad
day just because Im having a

his isnt the end for me!
Its just the beginning!
someone at The X
services but do them differently.
Which is a pretty intense experience
for a 16-year-old recently voted off X
Its even
things like
being able
hormonal day that can lead to
a song sounding like its a break
up song, but its not. Theres no
formula to it at all. If there was a
formula it would be WINNING. You
only have to listen to her incredible
debut single, Ghost, co-written by
none other than US hit machine
Ryan Tedder, recorded in his house
on her 18th birthday.
Theres no popstar worth their salt
who hasnt done G-A-Y. And without
Factor must have this Factor contestant. to buy your the X Factor billing, Ella Henderson
written in tear-stained ink to hold One of the things that marked Ella own sofa. is planning a spectacular return to
up as a queue card for every single out right from the start was the fact It sounds the iconic nightclub.
contestant that gets kicked off she wrote her own songs. And her silly, but at You know what Id love to do?
the show. And it turns out to be a label Syco have pretty much given the age of she tells us, thinking out loud, I
bitterly ironic statement for 99% of her free creative reign, something 18 I never did Believe on the show and when
those involved in the whole messy shes verbosely grateful for. The thought Id I sung that at G-A-Y, they were all
process. But not for our Ella. Ella first time I think I realised was when be where I screaming. And obviously Cher is
Henderson is the 1%. I sat down with Simon Cowell for the am now incredible. Id love to collaborate
Shes had more than a year to deal first time in his office and he said to with her, do a performance where
with the rejection, which is so often me, I just want you to enjoy this. she does the original and I do my
a blessing in disguise. I came away And enjoy it she is - her version, but it intertwines with one
from the show and had no idea what enthusiasm for her new found another. Almost like a mash up of
was going to happen, she tells us, life spilling out - describing her me and Cher. Who knows. I was
and literally the next day I had a countless achievements. Its even speaking to her last year so maybe
phone call and the opportunity to things like being able to buy your next time shes in the UK Ill have to
get pitched for four different record own sofa, she laughs. It sounds meet her. Fingers crossed gays,
labels She likened the decision to silly, but at the age of 18 I never fingers crossed. Q
choosing between four different five thought Id be where I am now. Its
star hotels, who all offer the same things I never thought Id care about HOODKHQGHUVRQFRXN#HOODKHQGHUVRQ

La Roux Let Me Down
Andrew M Pisanu People throw the phrase
WORDS %2%+(1'(5621

Gently),1$//<,WVDVORZ heartbreakingly beautiful quite a lot at

GHEXW$QGZKLOHWKHUHVDWLQ\ELWRIJHWDJULSJRLQJ performances and piano balladeering. But
RQLWVDGUHDP\JURZHUQ Jane Badler Volcano despite the emotionally tortured elements
to his song-writing, hes a devastatingly
charming man to chat to. You wouldnt guess
Q Dana International Ma Laasot?,WFDPHRXW hes an Essex boy who began his early
ODVW\HDUEXWLWVVWLOORQKHDY\URWDWLRQFKH]*7$ musical career stealing time on his sisters
WKXQGHULQJVOLFHRI(XURGLVFRZLWKDQH[RWLFLURQLF piano. A whole lot of music tuition in between,
,VUDHOLVDPSOHWRERRWQ Robyn & Ryksopp Do It he relocated to Hampstead, he says to be
near DH Lawrence, and continues to make
heartbreakingly beautiful piano ballads.
KXUWLQJVRJRRGQ Christina Perri Burning His latest EP is rammed with four of them,
Gold$VVRQJVZLWKDS\URPDQLDWKHPHJRLWV from a midlife crisis waltz that pontificates on
QR)LUHVWDUWHUEXWFRXOGEHWKHEDVWDUGRIIVSULQJ getting a Francois Sagat hair-tatt, to a number
RI%XUQLQJ'RZQWKH+RXVHDQG6HW)LUHWRWKH about the complex emotions that come
from hooking up in less salubrious places
and a gorily intense song called Lobotomy.
WKURXJKRXW\RXUKDQJRYHUQ Shakira Dare (La La Though people are quick to equal any gay
La),WVJRWWKDWVSHFLDOEUDQGRI(XURYLVLRQFUD]\WR pianist with Rufus Wainwright, he shares the
XVHGLQFRKHUHQWO\DQGDIDLOVDIH/D/D/DFKRUXV added bonus of being pleasant to listen to.
Q Bassment Jaxx Unicorn<RXFDQWDFFXVH
Pisanus comically dark compositions tread
that fine melancholic line, managing to be




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WORDS $/(;0$16),(/'

Wilde Stories 2014: The Years

Best Gay Speculative Fiction
Steve Berman A collection of truly
only one rule the main character
must be anything but straight. Steve
Berman has edited together tales
from a host of different authors in
this collection, showcasing the very
a Roman emperor taking on the dark
magic of the Nile River to resurrect
much something for everyone here.
Like the gay literature equivalent
something you like. QQQQQ

Be Brilliant web comic are now

My Buddy: World War II Laid Bare Everyday Andy available together
Dian Hanson Andy Cope Rather LQDFWLRQDOERRN
7RWKLQNRI:RUOG:DU,,LVWRWKLQNRIGHDWK than getting bogged shop in the heart of
down in self-help 0DQFKHVWHUV&DQDO
and persecution. Not the cheeriest opening jargon and, heaven Street, this hilarious
WRDERRNUHYLHZZHNQRZEXWLWVDOODERXW forbid, breathing collection includes
exercises, Be never before seen
FRQWH[W:KDW'LDQ+DQVRQKDVWULHGWRGRZLWK Brilliant Everyday stories, a guide to
My Buddy is create something beautiful out of provides simple, the End of the Road
thought-provoking universe and more. The United States Vs Pvt
fascinating results. creative stories
designed to put a Blood PH Davies Account from Inside the
0DQ\ZDUEXGGLHVZKLOHJKWLQJVLGHE\ smile on your face Cecil Black, a Courtroom Clark Stoeckley The
side and depending on each other to survive, and a spring in your \HDUROG
step. Funny and vampire living with life of private Chelsea Manning has
formed intimate friendships that most of us FXWWLQJLWVQLFHIRU $,'6WDNHVFHQWUH been anything but. Private, that is.
FRXOGQWSRVVLEO\IDWKRP$QGZKHQWKH\ZHUHQW a self-help book not stage in Blood. But
to talk down to us, RQFH\RXUHSDVW The transgender US soldier was
risking their lives on the front line, they relaxed for once. QQQQQ the initial premise, sentenced to 35 years in prison after
together and released tension with lighthearted WKHUHVVWLOOSOHQW\WR
End of the keep you hooked. KHULQYROYHPHQWLQWKH:LNL/HDNV
tomfoolery often naked. Most men documented Rainbow: The :KHWKHULWVWKHIHDU scandal, charged with 22 offences
this side of war with photographs kept hidden Omnibus Edition of dying, vampirism,
Matt Cresswell, a love story or gay including aiding the enemy. Artist and
away until their deaths. Lee Thomas and history, this little :LNL/HDNVDFWLYLVW&ODUN6WRHFNOH\
Photographer Michael Stokes has spent years Thom Vollans e-book near enough
searching for these images, building an archive of of this delightful QQQQQ extraordinary drama in one of the
more than 500 snapshots of soldiers and sailors most important trials in American
the world over living each day to its fullest, unsure history by drawing and writing in
of when they might take their last breath. A side real time from inside the courtroom.
RIZDUZHYHQHYHUUHDOO\VHHQEHIRUH This is about as compelling and
something we could all learn from. QQQQ Q anyone captivated by this astonishing
real-life tale. QQQQQ 99
MOVING, RAUNCHY AND Londons Favourite Adult Pantomime!


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With a year-round programme of comedy, drama, musicals and pantomimes, Above The Stag is Londons
award-winning theatre with a focus on gay shows. Enjoy a drink in our fabulous bar before and after the show.

Twitter: @abovethestag Arch 17, Miles Street, Vauxhall, London SW8 1RZ
Facebook: Above The Stag Theatre Above The Stag Theatre is a Registered Charity No.1154069

Forbidden Broadway Angela

Lansbury, Elaine Paige and
Whoopi Goldberg all love it
probably the most fabulous
theatre poster imaginable.
Forbidden Broadway has been
running for 32 years, spoofing
the oddities and hilarities of other
West End hits. Its satire at its most
camp, and its coming back to
London for one more summer. Q
19 June 16 August,

Until 4 October 24 June 5 July Until 21 June 20 June 26 July Until 24 June
Annie Get Your Meet Christeene. Some animals are Thatcher divides Oppression is often
Gun is bringing the 6KHVWKHJHQGHU gay, get over it! the gay community a life experience
Wild West on a UK blending, booty- 7KDWVWKHPHV on her legacy, even that unites gay men.
nationwide tour. pounding punk, sage of Sex With after death. Now Opus No7 tells the
It was a big hit on ZKRVRZQLQWR Animals, a new the Hampstead VWRU\RI6WDOLQV
%URDGZD\DQGLWV London direct from show exploring our Theatre is brushing brutal oppressive
bound to be a Brit- the gloryholes of DQLPDOVIULHQGV up the story of the regime, through his
ish treat too after Texas. Her show naughty lives. Fol- PLQHUVVWUXJJOH systematic attack
all, Anything You The Christeene low Ryan Good, the digging deep into on Soviet Jews,
Can Do, I Can Do Machine comes bisexual lion (obv), the battled lives the and censorship of
Better. That, and straight from the as he discovers that men lived. A story SHRSOHVOLYHV)URP
other classics, will gutter of musical the Animal King- of politics, power Dmitry Krymov,
be belted out by theatre, where all dom is as ravenous and the face of RQHRI0RVFRZV
Jason Donovan. an- the best fun is had, as us mere men. injustice in 80s Brit- most profound new
niegetyourgunthe- obviously. thehopeheatre. ain. hampsteadthe- talents. northern- Q Q com Q Q Q 101
then rising up through the regional
Ask Kristin Chenoweth how theatre ranks before bagging a
she accounts for her big nay Tony in the 1999 musical Youre A
Good Man, Charlie Brown.
huge gay fanbase and she Four years later she was cast

yelps with delight: I dont as good witch Glinda opposite

Idina Menzels troubled Elphaba
know! What is it? It could have in Wicked. Did she know it would

something to do with the fact be such a phenomenal hit? Yes,

I did, she laughs. I did! I knew
the woman who came to fame the moment we opened in San

in Wicked on stage and Glee on Francisco. We got very mixed

reviews the whole time but I just
TV can sing, act, dance and is knew it was going to be a story that

altogether a pint-sized bundle would touch people. The world is

full of Elphabas and Glindas and its
of fabulousness, and when I interesting because you question
who actually is the wicked one.
tell her this she yelps again. Thats a question in life. We look at
Well, I hope Im fabulous. people and go Wait, are they nice
or are they mean?
Then theres the theme of being
This Broadway baby with the tiny rushes to the phone like a tornado an outsider, which resonates with
frame, Minnie Mouse squeak and sweeping Dorothy out of Kansas. gay audiences. Of course it does,
rafters-rocking singing voice mulls Shes breathless, with an Oklahoma because anybody who has been
it over, then adds: I have a lot of twang that makes you sound like persecuted any community or
Broadway fans and that makes me yeeeeew, and very excited about group knows what that feels like.
very happy. I also think the gay (finally) doing a full show in London. Glindas a bit of a diva, so how
world appreciates what I try to bring Im gonna do sort of an about Kristin? Not backstage
to the party, you know? I appreciate evolution of whats being going and not in a theatre, but put me
them being proud of me. Does that on since I was a little-bitty in a long line and Im not good at
make sense? girl, is her adorable way of waiting, she giggles. Nor is she
It sure does. Especially when this describing An Evening With anything like April Rhodes, the
self-described non-judgemental Kristin Chenoweth, which plays drunken ex-McKinley High pupil
liberal Christian speaks up for the Royal Albert Hall for one night and complete hot mess she
gay causes, as she often does. Ive only this July. Youll hear gospel played on the first two series of
been very outspoken about being a and country, and of course therell Glee. She says everything wrong
person of faith and also outspoken be Broadway and opera. Theres and shes completely inappropriate
about gay rights, Kristin, 45, disco in there too and I dont just but you love her anyway. I got to go
explains, which in America stand around; I have three singers back for the 100th show and it was
doesnt always gel. So its been and dancers who join me and we wonderful to be back in her skin
awesome to have that community put on a real show. just for a second.
reach out to me and say We love But it wont be all razzle-dazzle I mention how lovely Matthew
you, thank you, were proud of camp. Theres a conception about Morrison is and Kristin coos.
you and not just for singing and me that Im peppy all the time and Hes gorgeous, he can sing
dancing, but for speaking up for Ive had no badness in my life, but and hes kind. He doesnt suck
civil rights. As for the haters, she thats not true at all, says Kristin, in any way. Shes a friend and
sighs and says: Its always funny to who writes movingly in her 2009 a fan. Other idols include the
me because thats the antithesis of memoir about being adopted. Im a usual suspects Judy Garland and
what God is all about. real person, not just a happy-all-the- Barbra Streisand, whom she got
Chenoweth, who originated the time person. to meet backstage at one of the
role of Glinda in Stephen Schwartzs Shes been at this showbiz lark latters shows. Jealous as hell. I
hugely pop-u-lar Wizard of Oz for as long as she can remember, tell her I hate her and she laughs:
prequel, is running late for some performing gospel songs and acting I know, but I sometimes hate
unspecified appointment and she in school plays from an early age, myself because when I met her I


just froze. I was with a friend who

was even more nervous than I was
and my friend actually bowed.
I was like Youre never coming
anywhere with me again.
Kristin is also a fan of the not-
so-tiny Sean Hayes, who was her
co-star in the 2010 Broadway
revival of Promises, Promises.
She leapt to his defence when
Newsweek writer Ramin Setoodeh
claimed that Sean, who came out
in The Advocate that same year,
wasnt convincing in a straight

role. It was, said Kristin in a
written response, horrendously

homophobic and, she tells me,

Setoodeh couldnt have been
more wrong. I was so proud of
Sean because hed never done

Broadway before, but he was up
for the challenge. I was glad I was

the one who got to hold his hand,
but I was also the one who got to
w itness the greatness that came

f rom the perfect person playing

Chenoweth hasnt done a

Broadway show since, although
she wouldnt rule out returning
to Wicked, maybe as Madame
Morrible in ten years time. Or
maybe I should say 20 years,
she laughs. I mean, please! Why
am I rushing it?
Speaking of rushing, this
liveliest of legends-in-the-making
has to dash so theres just time
to ask if shes excited about her

London show. Hell yeah. Ive
been there before and I sang for
the Queen, which was incredibly
special. Ive also sung at various
events, but a Royal Albert Hall
show has always been on my
bucket list and I cant wait.
And is she nervous? You bet! I
know Im going to have diarrhoea.
I do a Kristin-style screech. But its
OK, she reassures me. Itll be right
before the show, not on stage. Q

An Evening With Kristen Chenoweth is at

the Royal Albert Hall, London on 12 July.
Tickets are available from

The Art of the Steal The heist Her Disc:HYHKDGVH[YLDRXU

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cast (Sam Shepard, Don Johnson) and a couple of PRUHOLNHDFXQQLQJSLHFHRISUH
surprises, this looks like an A-list B-movie. Q HPSWLYHSURSDJDQGD$WOHDVWLQ



Belle Cinema 12 Years a Slave was

a harrowing experience, especially

from a fashion standpoint: 12 years
is more than enough time to put
on the true story of the daughter
of a British admiral and an African
servant, this costume drama looks at
slavery from a refreshingly elegant
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As I Lay Dying Mighty Aphrodite

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worst car crash to happen to the House of talks as if they have Season 2 Disc
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WE REALLY Get out your library card!
warfare all puppet mastered by The British Library is hosting Comics
SHOOK THE the immortal sorcerer Lo Pan. Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK,
PILLARS OF With a young(-er) pre-Sex and
the City Kim Cattrall and Kurt
showcasing the countrys biggest comic
book exhibition and offering a rst-ever peek
HEAVEN DIDNT Russell (again ask your mum. at their gargantuan comics collection.
Alongside the usual suspects are treats
WE WANG? Specifically about the arms) as
Jack Burton, the mulleted trucker
from the personal collections of Neil
---------- Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Dave Gibbons, and
cum action man, who ploughs the
Weve dedicated a lot of column Mark Millar, including original artwork and
Pork Chop Express through the scripts for Judge Dredd, Sandman, and V for
inches to BOOM! Studios in the last
12 months. And rightfully so. seedy streets of San Francisco. The Vendetta. The list is endless, and traces the
Whether its Grace Randolphs film was hammy, over the top and entire history of the British comic book. Q
breakaway hit series Superbia or brilliant, in all the best possible &RPLFV8QPDVNHG$UWDQG$QDUFK\LQWKH8.UXQVXQWLO$XJXVW

the continued genius of Pendleton ways, and were expecting more of

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Bravest Warriors, theyve always What were hoping for in this
given us something to rave about. ongoing Big Trouble in Little
So when they teased a Big title is a bit of expansion. The
Trouble in Little China comic, we possibilities are endless! Big
quite literally lost our glob. Trouble in Little Shoreditch? Big
You see, BOOM! has just signed a Trouble in Little Glasgow?
deal with 20th Century Fox, which Forging on from the last shot of
means their range of licensed the movie, and telling some of Jack
comics is going to explode (see Burtons adventures outside of
what we did there?). And this China Town instead of just retelling
would be the first comic adaptation the one that we all know.
of John Carpenters classic martial With the promise of a return for
arts fantasy flick. lots of the movies familiar faces,
If you dont know the story this much needed dose of 80s
(shame on you go ask your mum) nostalgia written as a comic book
its a timeless tale of romance, sequel is a no-brainer. Q

idle hands


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Murdered: Soul Suspect The film is a breezy rom-com
Game of the Month stitched together with great
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Shooters be damned, but
when theyre done well
they still provide a hell of a
gaming rush, and the Sniper
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others only dabble in with its
Q previous outings. Q


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---------- 109

Tom Oakley
Oxford, 21,

readers lives
readers dilemmas

negative thinking or self-doubt.

The main issue here is your ex is
thriving and having a gay old time,
all without you and with no regard to
the way he hurt you. But, remember,
you are only privy to the good stuff he
shares, the things he wants people to
see. Who knows what happens when
he closes his laptop the insecurities,
the worries, the tears. Beyond the
glamorous locations, hedonistic
cocktails, career highs and fabulous
times, lies the mundane: bills to pay,
spots, trips to the loo. Perhaps even,
him over right this minute too. But why
should you care?
The blunt edge comes now: you
are wasting your time over this and
preventing yourself from achieving
anything of your own. How can you
ever hope to match or better his
life and career should mean nothing to
person. I cant seem to get over you, because, if I may be frank, it looks
I hate my exs that our break-up had no effect like yours means nothing to him. The
on him at all. If anything, it was best revenge you can serve this shark
success the beginning of a fantastic new is to make your own life a success.

he doesnt era for him. Meanwhile, I was left

broken by our relationship, and
Cut the constant comparisons, delete
him off all social media, avoid places

deserve it feel like I still havent made it in

my career like Im useless and
make bettering yourself the focus of
---------- itll never happen. It doesnt seem your energy. Get on with your life and
I almost feel stupid writing this. fair. I know I shouldnt care but achieve, and do it for you, not bragging
My ex and I broke up about its driving me crazy. rights on Facebook. Take comfort that if
three years ago, and I cant stop Michael, by e-mail he truly is as reprehensible as you say,
thinking about him. I dont want truth will out. While it may seem like this
to get back with him; he was a The Guyliner replies As acerbic cat lands only on his feet, goodwill can
liar and cheated and made me raconteur Gore Vidal once said: run out pretty quickly eventually his
miserable. The problem is that Whenever a friend succeeds, a mask will slip and people will see him
he has gone on to big success little something in me dies. With an for what he is, and the successes will
his life seems more glamorous enemy, it can be even more gut- become fewer and far between.
he looks like hes having a successes is reaching you, but I going to do next is concentrate on
fantastic time. He has the job of assume social media is involved. your own aspirations and totally forget
his dreams and loads of friends. Social media is a wonderful thing, but @theguyliner about this social-climbing moron,
It couldnt happen to a nastier can be dangerous for anyone prone to right? Right. Q

need advice?

Need some good old-fashioned advice on matters of love, life or relationships?
E-mail me in total condence on I cant
respond individually and your e-mails may be edited for use in the magazine.
We wont use your real name or publish any contact details.
The Coffee Snob Its make you nervous. You come

hard to say exactly to dread the pong of freshly

when coffee became a fetish. brewed coffee, holding your
It seems like only yesterday it nose like youre driving by a
was perfectly acceptable to field full of cow dung in a
drink endless cups of watery convertible.
slop made from claggy
granules, topped up with The solution Switch to tea. Swap
hip-expanding white sugar. out his Colombian Gold Roast for
Since the arrival of big coffee Mellow Birds and see if he notices
chains, of course, weve the difference.
turned to lattes and espressos, ----------
and are asking for types of The Anti-Dancer
coffee by name. Moldovan
[02] Theres the old adage
Wheelbarrow Roast? Why, that you can tell how good
certainly. And thats fine; it someone is in bed by how well
gives us something to think they dance. Remind me to show
about while we queue you my ballroom trophies some
patiently behind the man time. Ahem. Anyway, one way
ordering a very specialised that people who ARE bad in bed
Frappuccino. But for some disguise this fact is by
men this isnt enough for becoming an Anti-Dancer.
them coffee isnt just a means Were not talking a simple
of keeping your eyes open and aversion to clubbing, which is
your belly warm, its a way of perfectly fine we cant all
life. They caress their spend four days on the dance
espresso machine with the floor, can we? This guy wont
fervour of a closeted teenager dance ever. Not weddings, not
finding Zac Efrons wang in birthday parties, nothing. He
their hands. They tell you wont even do drunken swaying
about the beans. You find to power ballads at four in the
yourself nipping to Starbucks morning in your living room
in secret, because the mere when its just the two of you. He
sight of that mermaid on your wont gently nod his head to the
paper cup sends the Coffee strains of Katy Perry on his
Snob into paroxysms of morning commute. Nothing gets
horror. How can you drink his hips or his head moving.
that stuff? hell wince. People who dont like dancing,
Thats not proper coffee! dont like FUN its practically
The more he bangs on and on science. Even a bad dancer can
about how special this latest look good if theyre enjoying
blend of coffee is, and how themselves enough. Dating an
hes going to get up really Anti-Dancer means making a

ALL early to enjoy an authentic

cortado at the farmers
fool of yourself at parties alone,
or watching all the disco-

THE MEN market, the more you crave

the ordinary. You find
dancing from the side-lines as
you keep your non-frugging

YOU yourself sweating like a

junkie in your local
paramour company.

SHOULD supermarket aisle, grabbing

jars of instant own-brand
The solution Take dance classes
together. In an effort to put him

NEVER coffee called things like

Whoops Mum! Super Value
at ease, pretend that you too are
abysmal at cutting a rug. And try

DATE Coffee-Flavoured Powder.

The word artisan starts to
not to have an affair with your
dance instructor. Q 113
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[pj brennan]
the door closes behind me.
Being a gay uncle, you get a few
more minutes to hold the baby if
shes in a good mood because, lets
face it, When are you gonna get
an opportunity to do this yourself?
Youre right, Distant-Cousin-I-
Dont-Know, this chance may never
come again. If the baby is in a bad
mood, you can give her straight
back, because youre too gay and
overwhelmed to know what to do.
Again, this is using a stereotype
to your advantage. You just mince
about with the baby at arms length
repeating, Shes gone poo, what
do I do? Someone will come along
so you can sit in the corner and get
back on Tinder with a glass of red.
But the most beautiful thing about
being a gay uncle? Having moments
in time captured in my heart that
lift me out of the deepest, darkest
Uncle PJ my niece, they know better. Especially Aunt The most thoughts Im having. Remember to
Maddie, likes to shout Linda, she just smiles and waves at beautiful bring your Batman cape, Ill wear
when were playing family functions now. thing my Riding Hood cape, and we can
together. She says it, like, a lot, and When I pick Maddie up from about play together, Maddie whispers as
yet it still makes my throat tighten day care, Im convinced that the being a I say goodbye. I have to stop myself
a bit every time. Im blown away employees have been informed that gay uncle? from crying because why would that
by how amazing and human she Im Maddies cool, well-travelled, Having make you cry, Uncle PJ?
is, how old Ive become, and how gay uncle. Ive added cool and moments Maddie likes to show me a face
happy I am to simply be an uncle well-travelled myself, because in time that makes her dad laugh when hes
and not a parent. its what the layman does anyway captured taking a picture of her. Its a sort of
When youre the gay uncle, when youre a gay, am I right? I in my heart vacant stare with a slack jaw that
because of whatever preconceived definitely have an air about me like that lift me only the most amazing and talented
notions people hold, you dont often Im Neil Patrick Harris himself at out of the and fantastic and perfect niece
get the usual harassment of, So the day care centre. I mean, how deepest, would be able to create at will at
when are you going to settle down, cool am I that this three-year-old is darkest three-years-old. I close my eyes on
huh, PJ? Start having some kids literally screaming because shes thoughts the train into Manhattan, I see her
When this does happen, though, I that excited to see me? Maddie Im having funny face, and I smile or even laugh
try biting my tongue till it bleeds. stands there and screams for the to myself. This is rare for me; she is
If thats unsuccessful, I remove first minute she sees me, and in that powerful in my life, apparently.
my imaginary hoop earrings minute, I understand how the Pope We can feel quite lonely, us gays,
and begin to slick down my hair, feels. This power, as a gay uncle, is cant we? For me, gay uncle has
gathering my imaginary ponytail immense! Goodbye, Mr. Brennan! a better ring to it than just single
together, in anticipation for the the Long Island ladies exclaim as I gay man. It makes me feel not so
upcoming verbal ass whooping Im escort my niece through the front alone. Or just uncle, really, thats all
about to give Aunt Linda. Well, for door. Dont worry, Ill be back, I I need. That, and the full nights of
starters Aunt Linda, its not even say, and their faces beam. Again, sleep I get being just the uncle and
legal for me to settle down in most Im convinced this actually happens, not the parent. Its one of the few
states, okay? And as for adoption though Ive never seen it with my things about ageing that Im finding
actually, Dad, hold my drink. Aunt own eyes. Im assuming their mental not just tolerable, but kind of lovely.
Linda needs some schooling. Ive faces beam on the inside. God, I It redefines so much
only had to do this once or twice; hope that gay uncle comes back, I @peejaybrennan about life, and thats
my family has learned their lesson, think I hear one say to the other as incredible. Q 115
If you were scrolling past these pictures
on a social dating app, what would
you think? Fit, right? Would you swipe
left or swipe right? Would you even
consider the fact that a 19-year-old
was living with HIV? Luke Alexanders
life was turned upside down when
he was diagnosed one year ago. And
now, after coming to terms with his
status throughout the past 12 months,
hes taking on the government and
demanding better education about the
virus in schools. This is his story WORDS LUKE ALEXANDER

Think about life at who had more than three notes in dying men and Freddie Mercurys
18-years-old; that his wallet. My prerogative as an last appearances as a skinny AIDS
gleaming milestone 18-year-old gay man had finally patient echoed through my mind as
where the world and all its come at an unfair and sudden price: they broke the news to me that my
possibilities seem so eternally a life changing HIV diagnosis after routine blood test, taken at a HGL
attainable. Childhood instantly just a few months of thoughtless testing tent at Birmingham Pride
overwritten by the independence behaviour, and there was nothing I the week earlier, had come back
of adulthood and where the envied could do about it. inconclusive and partly-reactive
gift of youth had never appeared Among the horrific fear and for the HIV virus. Rushing to my
more empowering, significant and guilt consuming my emotions, I regular clinic with the terrifying
uncontrived. I grasped this long- developed such anger towards thought of dying alone embedded in
awaited bull by the horns and rode myself. I was always the intelligent my mind proved just as inaccurate
full throttle into a new life of partying one; the one who always carried and concerning when two rapid
and social interaction among a condom in his wallet and tests also returned inconclusive. In
Birminghams gay club scene. frequently said no to drugs. How the midst of panic and unanswered
Four months later, I received did I not see the horrific symptoms questions, more blood would be
the shattering news that Im HIV- Id experienced for the last two drawn from a franticly shaking arm.
positive. Somewhere between months? How on earth did this It would take five days to receive the
innocently going out with friends happen to me? I knew barely news that no one wants to receive.
and losing almost a stone in anything of what a life with HIV This may be just a cruel scare or
weight, the fun-loving teenager entailed; would it be long or short? a life changing diagnosis I of
I once knew had become blindly Healthy or bedridden? Supportive course, received the latter.
obsessed with drinking, club or secluded? Images of the late My family and friends were as
drugs and casual sex with any man Princess Diana holding the hands of devastated as I was, and I decided

[life] 117
immediately that I would not allow men as it had done for me. Taking causes such as The Mac Aids Fund.
myself to be consumed by the back control over something so Its understandable how we
shock and fear of the future, and seemingly uncontrollable became associate illness and disease with
the more I knew of the virus I had, the best decision I ever made in the older demographics of society;
the better. Avoiding the advice of my life, the validation I received but often fail to see that viruses like
doctors and sexual health nurses, I shook my emotions to the core; I HIV do not see age, race, gender or
shunned sleep to research into the couldnt believe the support I was sexuality. We must all remember
depths of virology, immunology receiving from all over the world that despite stigma towards gay
and the prognosis of what my life in the weeks that followed. men, black Africans and injection
had now become. This resulted in The second best decision I made drug users; HIV can affect anyone,
the realisation that living with HIV followed a few months later; I and it has certainly affected me.
did not entail an early grave in had felt constantly lethargic as Most people learn of my HIV status
this century, and that I would use the virus in my body continued and give an astonished look of
this diagnosis as a wake-up call to its terminal route of destruction. sympathy and injustice; How did
change my life for the better. While on holiday with friends in the you get that? Youre only 19?, Can
Three weeks later I was sitting Netherlands, I made the decision you still have a relationship?, Do
in a friends garden discussing to promptly start treatment upon you have AIDS?, and my personal
my newly acquired status when my return. The NHSs guidelines of favourite: How long do you have left
on your treatment?
One year on from being infected
with the HIV virus in April 2013,

We fail to see that and I can say with no ego that

my outlook on the value of life
viruses like HIV do not has changed more than I ever

see age, race, gender thought possible, and I believe it

is still changing now, with every

or sexuality. HIV can blog post I unload my everyday

thoughts into and every concerned
affect anyone, and or interested person I speak to

it has certainly about the disease. Quite a lot of

people will raise their eyebrows

affected me when I smile and say that Im proud

to be HIV-positive, and for all the
life-prolonging pills and condoms
she asked me somewhat gingerly starting life-long treatment seemed I would save over the next 60-odd
if HIV was transmitted through unimportant and something to be years; I wouldnt trade my status
saliva. I remember thinking challenged; and despite the fact I for the foolish boy I was just a little
that if someone so bright and was diagnosed early and did not longer than 12 months ago. The
intelligent could ask that, I knew require treatment, I needed to take realisation that youre actually
something had to be done about control over my health as I had done mortal, at such an impressionable
HIV education, especially to the with my stigma. Starting my one- and fragile age where something
under 25s who seemed to know pill-a-day drug regime has since so potentially detrimental like HIV
nothing of the illness and how its given me a fully suppressed viral is barely thought about, has made
transmitted and treated. With the load that I achieved last Christmas, me who I am today.
inspiration of a well-known HIV with an immune system described I can proudly say that living with
blogger, just eight weeks after my by my doctor as through the roof. HIV has induced an empathetic
diagnosis, I proudly published Since starting my blog, I have re- nature towards people, and shifted
my own blog to the public via joined further education in the hope my childish lifestyle into one
social media: Positive Luke was to study at university in 2015, found with purpose and motive at such
born. I defiantly refused to live a job and even limited smoking a young age; for after all, age is
in a world where the outdated to social gatherings. Ive been so just a number, and HIV doesnt
stigma of HIV/AIDS would control lucky to appear on television, to stop life from progressing onward
me and who I disclosed my status write for publications about being without something as
to, nor did I want this disease to a teenager living with HIV, as well necessary as a simple
go unnoticed to other young gay as presentations for globally-known smile. Q@PositiveLuke

[life] 119
pets, parents and partners

Ciaran & George

Tweets apart


Cheese-cake There are usually enough %XWWKHUHZDVRQH

fruitcakes at a wedding without having to eat one, OLYHGLQGLIIHUHQW
too. Paxton and Whitfield, the cheese makers, XSPHDQWKHGKDYH NHHSVPHJRLQJ:H
have got a new take on the traditional cheesecake WR\IURP,UHODQG
creating a cake, actually made of cheese. DQGLWVDORQJZD\ -XVWWREHWRJHWKHU
And after a session of Agadoo and some soppy GDWHEXWZHERWK RWKHUKDSS\FRXSOH
speeches, whats a little more wedding cheese? Q NQHZLWZDVWKH

Thats so Fetch Online supermarket Ocado has
launched a special pet store called Fetch further

enamouring us to them, as they just know we love

our critters as much as (or more than) our kids.
The standalone store has more than 8,000
products, perfect for any pet in your life, and offers
next day delivery. Theyve nally made Fetch
happen Q )HWFKFRXN



Its been three that I did children from the care
years since we first system need so much support
welcomed two little and help in getting to grips with
boys into our home and became life. But we had a very supportive
a family. It wasnt an easy ride. school and network of friends, all Boys will be boys. Unless they want to be girls. Or
We had a lot of problems we of whom made sure that the boys Spider-Man. Or Barbie. Now theres Rockabye-
had to wait for two years to be are now beginning to flourish. Baby, a new kids clothing range ready to let your
matched with our boys. This Once the boys had settled I was little ones express themselves, even if that doesnt
was mainly because, as a couple suddenly a stay-at-home dad fit into the norm. They do outfits for babies through
of dual heritage, it was felt that with, I felt, little or no purpose. to eight-years-old. Q URFNDE\HEDE\FRP
any child placed with us should Now my partner and I share our
reflect our parentage. The
government later changed the
ethnic requirement rules, and
suddenly we were inundated
with profiles of white children,
all of whom needed a family.
experiences with other would-
be adopters through the LGBT
Spectrum Group at Barclays
and with Hackney Council the
social services that originally
approved us to be adopters, and
born this way
It was while we were looking were so supportive throughout
through our pile of profiles that I our journey.
came across the two that were to Being a dual heritage family has
be ours, KC and TJ. Social workers been great too. We visit Singapore
tell you that you will feel an each year so they can experience
immediate bond with your children their Papas culture, which of
when you see them, and its fair to course is now part of their own
say that we did. The social workers lives. We have Christmas with
approved of the match, we met my family here in the UK and
the foster carers, who we got on celebrate Chinese New Year with
really well with, and were officially Dylans family. Q
matched with the boys.
I took time out of my job to look EORJDWUHODWLYHVWUDQJHUV
after them and it was a blessing EORJVSRWFRXN



It may seem quaint, but to me there are few Lemon and Raspberry dough comes together into a uniform
things better during the summer months Melting Moments mass. Roll the dough into small balls
than a picnic. It might be just you and your Makes 15 (sad I know, but I weigh them so
boyfriend on a romantic date, or a bunch Dough theyre all the same size, 20g each)
of mates on a slightly boozier version in 250g unsalted butter and place onto the prepared trays,
the park. Either way, its a great way to 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste a couple of centimetres apart. Dip
Zest of two lemons a fork in flour and press onto each
while away a few hours in the sun. Like
250g plain flour cookie, flattening slightly. Bake
any good event, a picnic needs food and
85g icing sugar the cookies in the preheated oven
these melting moments are perfect. Quick
40g custard powder (or corn flour) for about 30 minutes or until just
and easy to make, theyll also last a few
1/4 tsp salt lightly browned at the edges. Allow
days. Here Ive made them in lemon and to cool on the trays for 15 minutes
raspberry flavour, but theyre great to 75g unsalted butter before transferring to a rack to cool
play around with. Maybe add some cocoa 150g icing sugar fully. To make the filling, beat the
powder to the dough or fill them with 1 tsp vanilla bean paste butter until light and creamy then
Nutella? Whatever way you make them, Pinch of salt slowly beat in the icing sugar until
theyll definitely go down well at any picnic. 3 tbsp lemon curd the mixture is light and fluffy. Add
Raspberry jam the vanilla, salt and lemon curd and
---------- beat for a further few minutes until
Preheat the oven to 160C (140C the buttercream is really light. To
fan) and line two baking trays with assemble the cookies, spread or
parchment paper. To make the pipe the buttercream onto half of the
biscuits, beat the butter, vanilla cookies and spoon some raspberry
bean paste and lemon zest in a large jam into the middle, sandwiching
bowl until smooth and creamy. In a together with a second cookie. Kept
separate bowl, whisk together the in a stored container these will keep
remaining ingredients. Mix the dry for up to three days. Q
ingredients into the butter in two or Author of The Boy Who Bakes and Say It
three additions, just mixing until the With Cake, @TheBoyWhoBakes


Monday can make even the most JULSHWRPDWRHVURXJKO\FKRSSHG
un-DIY inspired of us embark on WEVSFKRSSHGDWOHDISDUVOH\
a spot of home improvement?
Indeed, after several months of
Bring a large pan of salted water to
ignoring a nagging drip from one
the boil (the water should taste salty
round to changing its crumbling
devein the prawns (run a knife along
washer today. Although this may
the back of the peeled prawn and
sound like a simple job, thanks to
some ill placed pipes and screws,
boiling, add the linguini and cook as
per the instructions on the packet.
but even I felt a certain sense of
Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a
DFKLHYHPHQWDIWHUWRGD\VRSHUDWLRQ large frying pan and add the sliced
not to mention an unexpected garlic, chilli and crushed fennel
interest in the power tool aisle in my seed. After a couple of minutes,
local Homebase... the garlic will start to turn golden.
2QHDGYDQWDJHRIDWULSWRWKH',< At this point, add the tomatoes
store is its proximity to my favourite and the prawns. Cook for a couple
oriental supermarket, where I can of minutes before adding the
never resist buying some seafood vermouth/wine. Season with a little
from the frozen section. And, true to salt and black pepper and cook on a
form, this time I emerged with some high heat for a few minutes until the
EDE\FXWWOHVKDQGDSDFNRIYHU\ sauce has reduced a little and the
large tiger prawns, perfect for an prawns are cooked. Stir through the
Italian inspired dinner. parsley. Taste for seasoning. The
pasta should now be cooked; drain
Serves two in a colander and add to the frying
Wine Time The ridiculously
VPRRWK3LQRWJULJLR ---------- pan with the sauce. Stir to combine
Australians love their
is perfect for a BBQ JGULHGOLQJXLQL
wine, and we love and serve with some more freshly
them for making it
particularly [yellow Sauvignon blanc IUHH]HWKHVKHOOVDQGKHDGVIRUVWRFNV ground black pepper. Q
works a treat at DQGVRXSV
tail], who bring two of
their expanding range
rain to stop. Available WVSFUXVKHGGULHGFKLOOL available on Amazon, @alanrosenthal3
biggest supermarkets
this month. LQ6DLQVEXU\VQ 123

average joe-mo


need advice?

Whether youre wanting to look good on the beach, shed a few pounds or just
live a healthier lifestyle, e-mail me on or tweet me
at @ChrisJonesGeek. I cant respond to everyone and your e-mails or tweets
may be edited for use in the magazine. We wont publish any contact details.
[get fit]
Weve all seen other magazines Press down, up, down, triangle, H[WUDSRXQGV
with naked men covering them. start, up. Press-up! WRSRII" Joe, via
The ones with headlines like Press-ups are a relatively basic e-mail
get bigger pecs in 17 easy exercise. Yes, they do require some Answer In all
ways and washboard abs sort of upper body strength, but honesty? Cut out
beer until you go on
by Christmas. Truth is, they theyre a fantastic way to get what the \RXUKROLGD\,WVQRW
expect you to live a certain pros and bros call a pump. Its what the most welcome
way. The way of a cover model. we all seek.
[ask chris] advice, but we all
know how many
Groan, right? RIGHT! Your starting position should be with Question ,P empty calories are
going to Ibiza in in booze. Keep your
Those magazines are great your toes and palms being the only WZRPRQWKVWLPH diet the same, except
for the pictures (oh, come on parts of your body that are in contact DQG,YHNLQGRI lower your carb
OHIWLWDOLWWOHODWH intake marginally,
now), but who has the time, with the floor. Looking straight ahead, WRZRUNRQP\ if possible, and
money and effort to live like and keeping your bum in, move EHDFKERG\,V make sure you have
that 24/7? The majority of slowly towards the floor. [":KDWUHP\ FOLFKpEXW,QGLW
us have full time jobs and Elbows should be slightly bent and EHVWFKDQFHVIRU does WONDERS for
VKHGGLQJDIHZ your metabolism. Q
probably busier social lives, so should come down to no more than
finding time to work out can be 90 when at your lowest. Your chest
heard. If its not the office job should be about a fists width away
giving you stress, its social from the floor, then back up again.
Weve all heard that breakfast is the most
important meal of the day. And it is. Especially
engagements, relationships The main problem with this exercise
if youre exercising. Bio-Synergy has released
all sorts of things take an is stabilisation. Weight should be
its new range ActiVemen, which has been
impact on time dedicated to, evenly distributed. Your back and developed by Olympic gold medal rower James
not just being healthy, but abdominal muscles should be under Cracknell, alongside very buff TV presenters
looking good. control and kept in a straight line with Ben Sheppard and Reggie Yates. Oatein Power
Before I get stuck in, let me your shoulders, hips and legs. Up is, as the name suggests, a blend of high
confess something. Im not a To be more advanced and quality oats and whey protein, which acts as a
certified personal trainer and adventurous, you could try a great start to any day or a healthy snack. Each
I definitely dont have ripped diamond or close hand press-up. serving is packed with slow release energy
abs. Im a fitness fan and, like Go to your starting position for a and protein to maintain energy levels, keeping
all of us, I like to look and feel classic press-up, but then move your
hunger at bay and also refuelling muscles.
With beta-glucans to help regulate cholesterol,
good why else do we have hands closer together and make the
calcium for energy and protein for growth,
Instagram accounts? shape between your index fingers
I have to say, you cant go wrong if youre
These pages are for those and thumbs on opposite hands form looking to fuel up in the morning. Q
out there who dont buy health a diamond when formed together.
magazines that harp on Now, try lowering yourself with your
about body mass indexes and hands in this position.
detailed exercise regimes. Youll REALLY feel your chest pop.
This is for the normal everyday Especially running down the centre.
Joe, who just wants to look good The pec can rarely get worked out at
in a t-shirt at the pub. the gym in there, so its a great way
Fitting in exercise is tough. to work the finer parts of the muscle.
Dont get me wrong, Id love to So, going back to saving time,
be a big ol muscle unit, but I try doing these two variations first
get paid to sit at a desk in a busy thing in the morning. Literally, roll
day job and still have friends out of bed and do them. As a male,
who make me happy, so that youll notice your testosterone is
dreams a dream. at one of its, uh, highest points in
I dont have a magic solution the morning, so youll benefit. Aim
for this time problem. But there for ten or until failure. Rest for 30
are ways for those of you who seconds, then attempt another ten.
struggle with a gym schedule to Youll notice in a week how earlier
maintain some kind of muscular they become until youre doing 50
shape to your body, and for those plus every morning.
complete newbies out there, to Anyone can fill out a t-shirt. We can
start shaping up. Behold be super. Q 125
Most HIV infections are from men who
dont know their status. *HIV in the United Kingdom: 2013
Report, Public Health England.

Know the Facts. Use Condoms. Test for HIV.
Disclaimer: No assumptions should be made about the HIV status or views of the models featured in this ad. GMFA projects are
developed by HIV-positive and HIV-negative volunteers. Support GMFA by making a donation at:
Photo Design: 2014 GMFA. Charity no: 1076854. Company limited by guarantee: 2702133. GMFA_UK GMFA.UK

[life] HIV:
[paul thorn]
concern yourself too much with it.
All any of us have is NOW.
Gratitude for what we have
today costs nothing. Its really
not difficult to get, either.
And Im not talking about the
fleeting feeling of something
being nice, but really feeling
gratitude deep down in your
guts. Crack this and the rewards
are beyond most peoples
imagination. And personally, I
can imagine quite a lot!
Heres what to do. You
can write a gratitude list on
anything. I keep a dedicated
notebook for mine. I used to be
in a very negative place and, at
first, I found it difficult to think
of anything to be grateful for,
so I had to keep it very simple.
I wrote down the obvious Im
alive, I have my senses, I have
Is your glass half- to live with. It taints everything, Its so all my limbs, I have somewhere
full or half-empty? blinkering us to all thats good easy to get to live, etc. Over a short
If you happen to in our lives. trapped period of time, the list got
be reading your copy of GT in a I used to think that having into a way longer, and the actual practice
bar right now, I dont need to be more would make me happy. of thinking of writing it stopped feeling
tweeted an answer. What I mean Once I had attained whatever I that is like a chore, mainly because
is, are you a half-full or half-empty had set my heart on, there was negative what I actually got from writing
sort of person? Theyre essentially always an eventual feeling of when them was so positive.
the same thing. The difference disappointment, because any living with I can easily write more than 50
between them is merely the way satisfaction gained was always HIV, to things in my life to be grateful
we perceive ourselves and the short lived. not feel for now, and the feeling Im
world around us. The power Id then start looking for the satisfied left with when I come to the
of gratitude never ceases to next quick-fix and focus my with life, last items on the list is one of a
amaze me, and getting some can efforts on getting it as soon as almost like heightened sense of satisfaction
completely change your life. humanly possible. When youre a kind of for everything I have in my life.
Writing a list of things that you living with HIV, there can be this grief When we are grateful for what
are grateful for, often or even on sense of urgency about almost we already have, and really feel
a daily basis, can cause a positive everything. Its not a good way it by acknowledging it, the world
shift in the way you think and feel to live. I was always chasing around us becomes a different
in a very short period of time. something, so much so that it took place. Writing a gratitude list can
I have written a gratitude list me away from the now, and my set you up for the day ahead and
regularly for nearly 20 years. In ability to live in and enjoy the influence the way you behave,
my darkest moments this simple current moment. think and feel.
exercise has really saved me, Someone very wise once asked The most exciting thing about
mainly from myself. me where my feet were. I didnt practicing this tool on a regular
Its so easy to get trapped understand for a long time, but basis is that it makes you open to
into a way of thinking that is then realised the question was receive even more to be grateful for.
negative when living with HIV, where was I in THAT particular If we cant be grateful for what
to not feel satisfied with life, moment of time? we already have, then why the
almost like a kind of grief. Its a Put very simply; what has hell should anything
personal hatchet job that isnt an passed is history and the future @paul_thorn else that is good come
easy mental and emotional state hasnt happened yet. Dont to us? Q 127
[rights] [life]


of this law, but they never reached
RIGHTS OF GAY MEN FROM AROUND THE GLOBE IN 2014 My fellow countrymen have mixed
feelings about LGBT people and
their rights. Many of them support
a few of them say harsh things,
organising pro-traditional family
petitions or protests against same-
sex partnerships. When I talk to the
opponents and explain my story,
and they assure me they have
understand this idea of accepting me
but not the LGBT people in general
people follow our Nordic standard of
private life and not wanting to have
too much information or trouble.
Most countries tend to celebrate
gay pride with parades. However, in
Meelis Sld my country, this is not the case. One
explains: During the YES of the reasons is our individualist
Same-sex sexual activity legal
Soviet occupation, Equal age of consent mentality and thinking that sexuality
homosexual behaviour was forbidden Anti-discrimination laws in employment, the provision of is not something that you have
goods and services and in all other areas (inc. indirect
everywhere in the Soviet Union. This discrimination, hate speech) to express publicly. On the other
repressive legislation prevailed until Gays allowed to serve openly in military hand, I think that we are too shy and
Right to change legal gender
1 June, 1992. However, the situation still afraid of the possible negative
seemed to be more liberal in occupied reaction by society. Unfortunately we
Estonia than in most other parts of the NO GRQWKDYHSULGHSDUDGHVLQ(VWRQLD
former Soviet Union. Gay men who Same-sex marriage +RZHYHUWKHUHVWKH%DOWLF3ULGH
Recognition of same-sex couples
had no public sex or political problems Both joint and step adoption by same-sex couples event once every three years.
were not persecuted. Usually, no Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples In terms of politics, in 2006 Hans
more than ten men were imprisoned Glaubitz, the Dutch ambassador
per year. Up to the mid-1980s, there ,GRQWKLGHP\VH[XDOLW\\HWQHLWKHU to Estonia, asked to be assigned
ZDVDQXQRIFLDOJD\EDULQ7DOOLQQ do I emphasise it. I have lost some of to another country after his male
Also, there was at least one cruising my friends, but those who are close partner suffered repeatedly racist
area in both Tallinn and Tartu. to me now are much more important and homophobic abuse on the
Nowadays, if someone asked me and valuable. I work as a religious streets of Estonia. He asked to be
LILWV2.IRUVDPHVH[FRXSOHVLQ journalist and there are many people transferred to the Dutch consulate in
(VWRQLDWRKROGHDFKRWKHUVKDQGV who pray the gay away, but a lot more Montreal due to the insults that took
LQSXEOLF,ZRXOGQWUHDOO\NQRZWKH people support and encourage me. place in Tallinn against his partner,
answer. We live in the Baltics, but we ,NQRZWKDW,FDQWPDUU\LQ(VWRQLD Ral Garca Lao, a Cuban dancer.
often consider ourselves a Nordic neither can I register my partnership Tessa Martens, a spokeswoman
country. A place where people keep or adopt children, but my boyfriend for the Dutch foreign ministry, said
their feelings inside. We enjoy our is from a country where all this is WKHUHZHUHVRPHVHYHUHLQFLGHQWV
SULYDF\DQGZHGRQWUHDOO\ZDQWWR possible and we can have a normal of racist and homophobic abuse
So if there was a public display of outside of my fatherland then what HQRXJK6KHGHFOLQHGWRJLYH
affection, this manifestation of love FDQ,GR",GSUHIHUWRVWD\LQ(VWRQLD details, but said the incidents were
will be noticed for sure. and I hope that the development of the sole reason for
As a gay man, I live a quiet life and the partnership law will continue soon. 0U*ODXELW]VWUDQVIHU
PRVWRIWKHWLPHHYHU\WKLQJLVQH There have already been a few drafts request. Q



ts a tale of two holidays for features individual rooms and
the price of one in a visit suites in a relaxing environment of
to one of our new favourite lush foliage.
destinations. To Palm Palm Springs is lovingly
Springs, California, for glorious described as where LA goes to
weather, Hollywood glamour and relax and we can see why. Mist
kitschy deliciousness. Then to is piped onto the sidewalks from
the White Party for some raucous, the side of restaurants, eclectic
breathless, topless torso-based art galleries, costume stores
gorgeousness and more and quirky sculptures. But by
homosexuals than you can shake a nightfall, this vibrant atmosphere
feather boa at. explodes and features some of
Just a two hour drive from Los the best lighting work since,
Angeles there sits a resort city well, most of Madonnas recent
like no other. An intoxicating videos. Beautifully highlighting
combination of desert playground, the mid-century artwork and
tranquil retreat and eye-popping delicately bouncing off palms
scenery, the touch of its gay and brickwork, its done in such a
population (estimated to be a way so as not to obscure the view
whopping 40%!) is felt across the of the stars. And what an epic,
entire place. From the masses of gloriously clear view, particularly
LGBT-friendly businesses, chic when you veer off the main strip.
boutiques, trendy bars and frankly It doesnt take long to reach a
fabulous eateries, who knew that place where you truly feel the
lashings of campery would be so vast expanse of the landscape
rampant in the Californian desert? around you, unburdened by
Located in the Coachella urban sprawl. Although due to
Valley, Palm Springs has one the aforementioned lack of street
of the highest concentrations lights, maybe take a torch with you
of LGBT-ers in the US, which after sunset. It IS the desert.
has undoubtedly helped craft a Walking around Palm Springs
vibrant, creative town that looks at night is when you really get the
as gorgeous as the landscape sense that sleepy stoner vibe its
surrounding it. As if viewed rocking in the daytime finally gets
through a permanent Instagram up off the couch, puts on a dress
filter, the combination of and struts its stuff. Live music drifts
grandiose palm trees, sprawling, across the night air alongside
sand-strewn scenery and the the smell of Cuban cigars from
imposing, breathtaking beauty the local lads sitting outside the
of those often snow-capped tobacco shop. Diners laugh in the
mountains is a feast for the senses. open fronted windows of a diverse
Its most certainly worth taking range of bars and restaurants,
a trip on the rotating tramway with watering holes ranging
( to marvel at from hipster joints, dive bars,
those hills and canyons, offering luxurious lounges and everything
eye-boggling 360 views from in between, with nary a sliver of
massive heights. pretentiousness between them.
The heavy presence of gayers has Palm Springs also has a
also ensured a massive number of history littered with the glitter of
men-specific resorts, a number of Hollywood. This is where the A-list
them clothing optional for those came to play in the days of the
who like to be fully liberated while studio system, and a number of
watching some gorgeous fellas stars have had and continue to
frolicking in the pool. We stayed have their homes and getaways
at the lovely Triangle Inn, which here. Sonny Bono was famously the 131
palm springs

mayor of Palm Springs in the late 80s the sheer scale and production of event... Good LAWD, Saturday
and early 90s, once more making it the event. We also just happened night! After chinwagging with
a celebrity hideaway. You absolutely to have our cherry popped on the Lance Bass of N Sync (Dont trip
must take the Gay Icons Tour (Red- partys 25th anniversary talk about over that name we just dropped, and marvel at homes a baptism of fire. theres plenty more ahead) we
of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Originally set up by Jeffrey headed to the White Carpet to
Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra and many Sanker as an antidote to the AIDS watch Chi Chi LaRue gossip with
more, with plenty of juicy stories crisis of the 1980s, this circuit Carmen Electra and the gorgeous
and massive constructions to gawp party has grown and flourished to Lisa Vanderpump from the Real
at. Celebs still frequent the town, unprecedented levels in the last Housewives of Beverly Hills. The
of course, with notable names and quarter of a century. The little party White Party has made a reputation
talent from all over the world flying of good cheer has become the of serving up divas, both household
in to relax or perform. We saw Ugly beacon of buffed, bronzed studs and names and those on the precipice
Betty star Alex Mapa do stand up at good-time Gretchens, attracting an of international stardom, and has
the exquisite Copa (Coparoomps. eclectic crowd of partygoers of all welcomed Lady Gaga, Mary J Blige
com) and he even personally gave us ages. Taking place in the recently and Kesha at previous events.
a porno DVD called Bangers and Ass revamped Renaissance Hotel, we This time it was the turn of Ariana
cos were British, innit. checked in and took up residence Grande who seriously wowed the
The first half of our trip gave us by the gigantic pool, marvelling crowd with an absolute spectacle
of a performance. Via our view
from the stage we witnessed a sea
of twisting torsos, shimmying to
the DJ talents of Danny Verde and
Walking around Palm Steve Redant (together at last) and

Springs at night is a laser-led visual production that

leaves any other clubbing event

when you really get weve been to 100% in the shade.

Just when we thought the White
the sense that sleepy Party couldnt top Saturday, they

stoner vibe its rocking go and outdo themselves with

the Sunday Circus Icon T-Dance.

in the daytime finally a massive outdoor playpen of

fairground rides, food, drink,
struts its stuff and a massive stage featuring
up-and-coming artists. Even West
Hollywoods infamous The Abbey
the perfect chance to relax, reflect, at the sights, sounds and meeting got in on the action with a mini
unwind and shake off the shackles some truly lovely people across the pop-up version of the iconic bar. A
of grey, big city life back home in following four days. ride on the ferris wheel provided
Blighty and then came the White Fooling ourselves into thinking stunning views of the sun setting
Party! Oh yes, it was time to switch wed be eased in gently on the across the Palm Springs canyons
from serene to sensory overload as first night, that prediction was and when club diva Deborah Cox
the entire homo populous of the West proven joyously incorrect as we strutted her stuff across the stage,
Coast poured into Palm Springs in a launched crotch-first into the with that booming voice and party-
cacophony of short shorts, barely- underwear party. Hard-bodies and starting tuneage, we say with no
there tit slings and the right to bare heaving pecs bumped, grinded shame that we were shuffling as if
(seriously defined) arms. and twerked their sexy selves to possessed by the demon of dance.
We have to admit, when we got the some outrageously dirty beats and The awe-inspiring fireworks
call to come and check out the White a crowd so imbued with positive provided the perfect finale to
Party we had absolutely no idea vibes and friendly fellas, it was the event, with our emotions
how ridiculously epic this gathering impossible to resist getting swept ranging from oooh, thats nice,
would be. We knew this party was up in the mayhem. to woooooooow, stimulation
a star-studded, divalicious, beat- After a daytime of cackling with overload to Omigod, I think i just
tastic roaring flame to a homosexual our new friends at the daytime pool saw Jesus.
moth, but were just blown away by party, we geared up for the main Being straight up, this particular

holidaymaker has never really
considered himself a full on circuit
queen but the White Party proved
you dont have to be to really let
go and enjoy the experience. With
eight parties across three days
and more than 30,000 visitors from
across the world, you can go full
throttle and attend them all or you
can pick and choose which parties
to attend. Either way, youll have
a blast. We highly recommend
having a slap-up breakfast
at Pinocchios in the Desert
( on a Monday
morning. A retrolicious, ridiculous
camp melee of pink parasols and
bottomless Champagne for under
four dollars for breakfast (well, it IS
Palm Springs. Go ahead!) and the
best potatoes in town.
While Palm Springs does have
an airport, European visitors may
find it easier to fly into LAX and
take a gorgeous, scenic drive
from LA. Youll know youre close
ABOVE PALM SPRINGS POOL when you see the wind turbines
BELOW VIEWS OVER THE that dot the landscape. We flew
with Air New Zealand, probably
our new favourite airline. Great
food (some of the best weve
had on a flight), quality in-flight
entertainment and amazing air
stewards delivering friendly
service. Air New Zealand is the
one, sweetie!
One things for certain, we
absolutely fell in love with both
Palm Springs and the White Party.
We dont know what the best
part was: the stark beauty of the
majestic mountains dominating
the skyline at every turn or the
orgy in our hotel room. Whatever
floats your proverbial boat on
vacation, its all possible in the
ultimate homo-leaning desert
playground. Q

GT travelled with Air New Zealand who



To advertise in this section contact Ash Allibhai Tel 020 7424 7434 E-mail
Deadline for next issue 17 June


Legends Hotel is one of the nest gay hotels and venues in the
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Deadline for next issue 17 June



This upmarket residential property development
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