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THE BBC'S
MAJOR NEW
DR AMA BY
P AT R I C K G A L E
ONE BRITISH
MAN TORTURED
F O R B E I N G G AY
LET’S GO
OUTSIDE!
CRUISING
THROUGH THE
P O L I T I C S X P O P X PA S S I O N = YEARS
DECLAN MCKENNA THE WORLD’ S
WO R ST P L ACE S
ACTIVE T O B E G AY
STEPPING INTO THE
R I N G W I T H F I R S T D AT E S ’
HOST FRED SIRIEIX
OUR EDITOR-
IN-CHIEF JOINS
{ WORLD EXCLUSIVE } T H E G R E AT P r E P
D E B AT E

ALIVE
AND
KICKING
07

9 771353 187052

THE WALKING DEAD’S DANIEL NEWMAN


OVERCOMES BULLYING, TRAUMA AND
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. Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (reg no. 288527) and in Scotland (SC039986).
We’re testing more,
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JULY 2017
ATTITUDE.CO.UK

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F E AT U R E S

44 DANIEL IN THE LION'S DEN


Hot redhead Daniel Newman tells us
p44 about being a gay action hero and his
close calls with death and addiction
p54 p112
54 GLITTERATI
Rising pop star Declan McKenna might
or might not be attracted to boys but he
does love make-up and glitter
60 WAR TORN
Eh` d`]ZUVcd WR]] Z_ ]`gV `_ eYV SRee]VÍV]U
and the affair reverberates across the
decades in a new BBC drama
66 COTTAGE INDUSTRY
Love them or hate them, cruising and
cottaging are part of our history
72 WORLD'S APART
We might have it (pretty) good here in
the UK but spare a thought for those in
REGULARS countries where it's still illegal to be gay
76 A BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW?
9 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S LETTER Is PrEP a wonder drug or a curse? Matt
10 THE WORD ON THE STREET 4RZ_ eR\Vd YZd `h_ ^VUZTZ_V e` Í_U `fe
146 BIG IN A WIG Maisie Trollette

AC T I V E
A LIST
112 FEATURE 10 rounds with Fred Sirieix
14 AGENDA 117 ACTIVATE Fitness news
Things we like this month 118 FOCUS Fitness tips from Matt Lister
21 CLIFF JOANNOU It's criminal p124 121 REAL BODIES
22 THE RULES Partying 1967 style
23 Q&A Rainbow Riots
25 BALLROOM BLITZ Kiddy Smile T R AV E L
26 DANNY LEE WYNTER Hate lives on
29 THE BIG ISSUE AcZUV R_U ac`Íe 124 FEATURE Cuba libre
30 LEO RICHARDSON Full of the joy 129 JUST THE TICKET Travel news
of Springs
31 BEARING UP Grizzly Bear are back
32 PAUL FLYNN Manchester will heal LIFE
34 MUSIC
35 FILM 134 REAL LIFE Surviving torture
36 BOOKS 137 MAN OF THE MONTH
37 CULTURE CLUB Naked Civil Servant 139 NO PLACE LIKE HOME
39 BIG GAY FOLLOWING Audra McDonald p72 140 A PROBLEM SHARED
142 BUDDY BRILLIANT
143 TABLE FOR TWO
STYLE 145 STEPPING OUT

86 TREND Bed time


90 CRUSH Stretch out with Cristiano
93 SKINCARE SPECIAL
96 GROOM Saving face
98 FASHION Sheer perfection p146

6 JULY 2017
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EDITOR IN CHIEF MATT CAIN matt.cain@attitude.co.uk
EDITOR CLIFF JOANNOU cliff.joannou@attitude.co.uk
MEET THE TEAM
DEPUTY EDITOR ADAM DUXBURY adam.duxbury@attitude.co.uk ¤WHICH GAY FIGURE FROM HISTORY
ASSISTANT EDITOR TIM HEAP tim.heap@attitude.co.uk
INSPIRES YOU MOST?
CHIEF SUB EDITOR HUGH SOHN hugh.sohn@attitude.co.uk

EDITOR AT LARGE MATTHEW TODD matthew.todd@attitude.co.uk


DARREN STYLES,
SPORTS EDITOR MARK MCADAM mark.mcadam@attitude.co.uk
PUBLISHER, MD
TRAVEL EDITOR/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER MARKUS BIDAUX
Oscar Wilde. To live as
markus.bidaux@attitude.co.uk
yourself in the face of
persecution and prosecution
ART DIRECTOR GARY SIMONS gary.simons@attitude.co.uk is the greatest challenge
DESIGNER LUCY HENDEL lucy.hendel@attitude.co.uk any gay man can face, and
that he stood proud in a
FASHION AND GROOMING DIRECTOR JOSEPH KOCHARIAN
gale of contempt — able
joseph.kocharian@attitude.co.uk
to give lie to his critics in
JUNIOR FASHION EDITOR NICK BYAM nick.byam@attitude.co.uk
such an erudite fashion — is
FREELANCE FASHION ASSISTANT UMAR SARWAR
enthralling. His definition
umar.sarwar@attitude.co.uk
of “the love that dare not
WEB EDITOR JOSHUA HAIGH joshua.haigh@attitude.co.uk speak its name” when
WEB EDITOR ROSS SEMPLE ross.semple@attitude.co.uk on trial in 1895 is at once
WEB EDITOR WILL STROUDE will.stroude@attitude.co.uk eloquent and heart–rending

HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS MIKE BUCKLEY mike.buckley@attitude.co.uk


HUGH SOHN,
COMMERCIAL MANAGER ANDY GODDARD CHIEF SUB EDITOR
andy.goddard@attitude.co.uk 020 3598 6741 Harvey Milk had the guts to
FASHION MANAGER JOANNA HILL stand up and be counted
joanna.hill@attitude.co.uk 01342 872041 when many of us were still
SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER SEAN LINEKER hiding. Aged 17, I paid my
sean.lineker@attitude.co.uk 020 3598 6743 first visit to San Francisco
DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGER just as his successful
HYWEL KENNEDY hywel.kennedy@attitude.co.uk 020 3598 6744 campaign for oice was
gathering steam. The Castro
INTERNS PETER BEVAN // DANIEL FINCH // CALLUM PEASE
was a different place to
today and politics was very
different too. So was being
ATTITUDE MEDIA LTD, gay. Milk helped change all
A DIVISION OF STREAM PUBLISHING LTD three — and paid the ultimate
price for his bravery

MANAGING DIRECTOR DARREN STYLES NEXT ISSUE JACK MAY, WRITER


COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR CRAIG LEWIS
AVAILABLE Alan Hollinghurst. His
OPERATIONS DIRECTOR NIGEL RUSSELL
20 JULY novels aren’t without their
EVENTS MANAGER LESLEY HARRIS
problems, but as I read
PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE TOM DOYLE
his work was the first
time, the thought of being
ATTITUDE MAGAZINE 33 Pear Tree Street,
gay stopped feeling like
London EC1V 3AG attitude@attitude.co.uk
a burden and a problem
and started feeling like
something to be
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Copyright © Attitude Media Ltd 2017 all rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be
reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. Unsolicited
contributions must be accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope if they are to be
returned. We cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs or for
material lost or damaged in the post. Letters submitted to Attitude or its editors are assumed PHOTOGRAPHY by Daniel Jaems
to be intended for publication in whole or in part. The mention or appearance or likeness
of any person or organisation in articles or advertising in this publication is not to be taken
FASHION by Joseph Kocharain
as any indication of sexual, social or political orientation of such persons or organisations. Daniel wears denim jacket and
Newstrade distribution by COMAG Specialist, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 t-shirt by Diesel, jeans by 7 for
7QE. Tel: 01895 433600. Published by Attitude Media Ltd. Printed by Wyndeham Bicester all Mankind

8 JULY 2017
A LETTER FROM
THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

This month, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partial


decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, it’s
important to take the opportunity to share our stories, so that we
can grow and move forward — as individuals and as a community.

All year, I’ve been recording a series of podcasts


to mark the anniversary. I’ve chatted to influential
gay men, including Paul O’Grady and Ian McKellen, drama about two interlinking gay love stories from
about what it was like growing up gay before the past and the present, and an insight into the
decriminalisation. I’ve heard about the horrors of colourful history of cruising and cottaging. We’ve
the Aids crisis from Julian Clary, what it was like for given over our regular strands Stepping Out (p145)
Russell T Davies to make his first forays on to the and Real Life (p134) to the stories of gay men who
gay scene in Manchester, and how Stephen K Amos were brave enough to explore their sexuality before
struggled to reconcile his homosexuality with his the start of decriminalisation in 1967.
Nigerian heritage. We bring things right up to date with my piece on
I decided to call the series Attitude Heroes because PrEP, considered by some to be the final frontier in
I firmly believe that just to live openly as a gay man the fight for equality in the UK, and a look at the
in the circumstances each of my guests described, reality of life for gay people in parts of the world
constitutes an act of heroism. that still haven’t implemented decriminalisation, as
As I’ve recorded the series, it’s struck me how well as a fantastic travel article from Cuba, a part of
outrageous it is that, for the most part, my guests’ the world that’s rapidly changing with regard to its
stories — and the stories of other gay men like them attitude towards LGBT+ people.
— still haven’t been told. For so long, gay men were Oh, and if all that isn’t enough, we have the first
absent from British literature, film, TV and theatre. Of major interview with smoking-hot star of The Walking
course, things are much better now but we still have a Dead, Daniel Newman, who came out earlier this
lot of catching up to do. year, something that still isn’t easy for an actor
I’ve often said that one of the hardest things working in the mainstream entertainment industry.
about growing up gay is that we’re one of the few Yes, there are parts of the magazine that are less
minorities that grow up without parents from that heavyweight than others but they all offer some sort
same minority. So it can be difficult to learn from the of insight into one of the many different aspects
experiences of previous generations — and to form of the gay experience. And in their own small way,
any understanding of our identity as gay men. each page validates our existence as gay men and
Of course, the internet has made this easier and I strengthens our sense of self — and our ability to feel
know from talking to our readers that attitude.co.uk confident in who we are.
can form a major part of that. But at the same time, While you’re reading, spare a thought for those gay
I think it’s important that Attitude in its original men living before decriminalisation in the UK who
format, together with its sister title Winq, continues didn’t have a magazine like this to enjoy but were
to share the experiences of gay men of all ages. still brave enough to be themselves. Not to mention
In this issue, we bring you a feature on a major BBC the LGBT+ people currently doing so in other parts of
the world.
Because, to my mind, they are all heroes.

MATT CAIN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


@AttitudeMag @MattCainWriter

JULY 2017 9
DAN Not taking your sexuality for granted
GARY A sense of community you wouldn’t have had otherwise

ADAM Being part of a


community that respects
JOSH To express and looks out for each
yourself and other, and comes together
be truly who to fight bigotry in the world
you are without
judgment

ANDREW I can
the
word
suck as many dicks
as I want without
fear of jail

Fifty years after


decriminalisation,

on the
what’s the best
thing about
being gay?

TOM As well as
the community’s
love, acceptance,
and sense of
street
belonging, the
double wardrobe
WHERE: BRIGHTON
and beards are
pretty great!
AS TOLD TO // PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL CHAPMAN

10 JULY 2017
the word on the street

BEN As someone who’s


gone through conversion
therapy, the best part is
being my authentic self;
unapologetically me

KEVIN Freedom to
love and be open

IAN I’m part of a


ROB fab community full
of love, support
It means that you get to live your life in a wider and good sex
range of colours than anyone had envisioned before

JULY 2017 11
 ‘SENSATIONAL’ 
North West End Attitude Guardian

308444JULY -19 AUGUST


930 650* www.charingcrosstheatre.co.uk
* a £3 booking fees apply to telephone and online bookings www.yankmusical.co.uk
{ F I L M // T V // M U S I C // O P I N I O N // N E W S // P E R F O R M A N C E // B O O K S // B OY S }

JULY
2017

HE’S WORKED WITH GEORGE MICHAEL AND BETH DITTO, AND QUEER
PERFORMACE ARTIST KIDDY SMILE IS KEEPING NINETIES BALLROOM ALIVE p25

JULY 2017 13
AGENDA

{ F E S T I VA L }

CURIOUS FESTIVAL

Get your tickets now for this five-day LGBT+


arts festival in Newcastle, which runs
from 5 until 9 July and offers numerous
opportunities to celebrate queer culture in
the North East. On 6 July, head to the ARC
Stockton for a show of queer performance,
featuring Timberlina as hostess and the
exhilarating dance piece “A Blighted Life,”
by Gavin Coward. If you’re feeling more
active, why not head to Northern Stage for a
Vogue Ball on 8 July, with the beats of DJ Ian
Harrington to help bring the house down.
Self-styled “anti-drag-queen” David Hoyle
(left) joins trans writer/performer Kate
O’Donnell at Baltic on 9 July.

curiousfestival.co.uk

gendaT H E T H I N G S W E LOV E T H I S M O N T H

{ T H E AT R E }

{ FA S H I O N }
3 REASONS
REPLAY HYPERFLEX DOUBLE UP TO CHECK
Replay have had a lot of success with their OUT HIR
Hyperflex denim (it’s got 100 per cent elasticity
After winning critical acclaim in
which means you can really move in it). Now
New York, Hir makes its way to
they’ve added to the family with their Double
London. Here are three reasons to
Indigo. Undergoing dual-surface dyeing, they’ve check it out:
produced some intense and classic blues and
some lighter shades which, let’s face it, is what It tells the story of Isaac,
you want from your denim. Available this spring-
1 // who gets home from
summer in stores and online. serving in the Marines to find
his mum has given up on the
replayjeans.com American Dream, his dad is
unable to work after having
a stroke and his sibling has
transitioned.
{ PRIDE }
It’s written by Pulitzer
FIFE PRIDE 2017
2 // Prize finalist Taylor
Mac, who’s at the forefront
We love it when new of alternative responses to
places celebrate all things American culture.
rainbow. And on Saturday
It tears apart the kitchen
1 July, Fife will hold its 3 // sink genre by challenging
first ever Pride event, gender expectations and
celebrating those who blow more than bagpipes. Held subverting all notions of the
in Kirkcaldy, it includes a colourful typical American family.
parade down High
Street, plus bands, AMONG KIRKCALDY’S Hir runs at the Bush Theatre,
MOST FAMOUS SONS ARE
games for all the family GORDON BROWN, WHO IN London, until 22 July
and a great deal more. ADDITION TO BEING PRIME
MINISTER WAS THE TOWN’S
We have no doubt it will MP UNTIL HIS RETIREMENT bushtheatre.co.uk
IN 2015, LESBIAN CRIME
be a Fife out of five day. WRITER VAL McDERMID,
AND SMOKING-HOT
COLDPLAY BASSIST GUY
BERRYMAN

14 JULY 2017
ONE TO WATCH

MARK
“CAPTAIN
KIDD” WINMILL
Australia’s leading boylesque
superstar and Las Vegas King
Of Burlesque 2011, Mark
has toured the globe spreading
a unique Aussie flavour at festivals
and theatres. Blending circus,
burlesque, clowning and risqué
showmanship, he has featured in
productions such as Feasting on Flesh,
at Sydney Opera House and is the
co-creator of the award-winning
Briefs. Now he’s set to return to the
Udderbelly Festival at London’s South
Bank, with Briefs: Close Encounters,
from 14 July until
30 September.

briefsfactory.com
ELVIS DI FAZIO

JULY 2017 15
AGENDA
{ FA S H I O N }

WEAR YOUR LEVI’S WITH PRIDE

Levi’s have a long-standing history of


supporting the LGBT+ community. In
1992, LS&Co was the first Fortune 500
company to offer benefits to same-sex couples,
and in 2007 became the only California business
to file an amicus brief with the California
Supreme Court, supporting same-sex marriage.
For the past four years they have been producing
their limited-edition Pride collection. The fourth
collection has the theme Fight Stigma and is
inspired by the Aids memorial quilt (to which
LS&Co added their panel in 1988) and is a
reminder of all who have lost their lives
to the illness.
{ EXHIBITION }

Available at levi.com and selected Levi’s


ULTIMATE ANGELS
stores now. All proceeds go to two of the
company’s LGBT+ partner organisations:
This July a dual show entitled Ultimate Angels will unite
the Harvey Milk Foundation and
the visions of photographer Byron Newman and artist
Stonewall the Community Foundation
Aphrodite Papadatou at The Herrick Gallery on Piccadilly,
London. The pair use different mediums to present their
representations of transgender communities, one in Paris in
the early 1980s, the other in London in all its present-day
glory. The show runs from 10 until 24 July.

herrickgallery.com

{ ART }

THE ART OF REFLECTION

Renowned gay sculptor Andrew Logan will open an { L I T E R AT U R E }

exhibition of contemporary art at the National Trust’s


POLARI 10TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Buckland Abbey in Devon, in July. The Art of Reflection
interprets the history and spirit of the abbey in 18 Logan
Polari, the award-winning
sculptures, placed in 13 selected locations throughout
LGBT+ literary salon, turns
the house and gardens, including the Great Barn, Kitchen
10 this autumn and to
Garden and the historic Cart Pond. The exhibition,
celebrate, founder and host
one of the largest ever staged by the National Trust in
Paul Burston will be taking
collaboration with one artist, is curated jointly by Buckland
the salon on a 16-date tour
Abbey and Andrew Logan, with work
across the UK. With support from
selected from five decades of the
Arts Council England, the tour
artist’s career. The exhibition
kicks off at Bradford Literature
runs from 1 July until February
Festival on 7 July, and guest
next year.
performers include Dean Atta,
Jake Arnott and Attitude’s own
Paul Flynn and Mathew Todd.

polariliterarysalon.co.uk

PAUL BURSTON
WORKED FOR THE
LONDON GAY POLICING
GROUP GALOP AND
WAS AN ACTIVIST WITH
ACT-UP BEFORE MOVING
INTO JOURNALISM. HE
EDITED, FOR SOME YEARS,
THE GAY AND LESBIAN
SECTION OF TIME OUT
MAGAZINE

16 JULY 2017
AGENDA

{ HISTORY }

50 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
{ L I T E R AT U R E }
PROGRAMME WITH BFI

FROM PREJUDICE TO PRIDE The BFI has announced a


comprehensive programme to mark
From Prejudice to Pride: A History of the LGBTQ+ Movement, by the 50th anniversary of partial
activist, broadcaster and London’s first night czar Amy Lamé is out decriminalisation. It includes a
now. It’s an inspiring retelling of the LGBT+ movement’s struggle major two-month film and TV season
for civil rights, exploring key events including the trial of Oscar titled Gross Indecency, a new online
Wilde, the Stonewall riots, the Aids crisis and the changing laws BFI Player collection called LGBT Britain
that have had such an impact on queer life. on Film, a UK-wide touring programme of
archive film kicking off at Pride in London, and an international
touring programme of classic LGBT+ shorts.

bfi.org.uk

AMY LAMÉ,
ORIGINALLY FROM NEW
JERSEY, MOVED TO
LONDON IN 1992. SHE IS
CO-FOUNDER OF THE CLUB
NIGHT DUCKIE, WHICH
SHE HAS HOSTED EVERY
SATURDAY AT THE ROYAL
VAUXHALL TAVERN FOR
21 YEARS. SHE ALSO DJS
AT VARIOUS CLUB NIGHTS

PARK CIRCUS AND ITV STUDIOS


ACROSS THE
CAPITAL

CLASSICS: Prick Up Your


Ears, and above, Sunday
Bloody Sunday

{ F E S T I VA L }

QUEER SPIRIT FESTIVAL 2017 { F E S T I VA L }

LGBT COMMUNITY FESTIVAL


This summer will see the second Queer Spirit Summer Festival take
place in Wiltshire. From 26 until 30 July, spiritual groups and
As a part of the run-up to this
individuals will celebrate the passion, love and creative spirit
year’s Norwich Pride, the LGBT
of LGBT+ people. Based on spiritual practice that connects
Community Festival will provide
with, respects and supports the Earth, the festival will include
the queer community with an
ceremonies, rituals, workshops, discussions, yoga, tantra,
opportunity to celebrate our lives
shamanism, healing-spaces, drumming and more.
and culture. For 10 days at the
end of July, the Catherine Wheel
queerspirit.net/festival
bar and its customers, together
with other LGBT+ venues in the
city, have organised events across
Norwich as well as an exhibition,
talks, walks and a picnic. The
festival runs between 20 and
31 July. As the city’s most famous
resident, Delia Smith, would say:
“Let’s be having you...”

lgbtcommunityfestival.org.uk

18 JULY 20
THEATRE ROYAL STRATFORD EAST presents

A hilarious new romcom play – think The Inbetweeners mixed with


a modern A Midsummer Night’s Dream – with an all trans cast.

Quote
ATTITUDE95
for
10% off*
TICKETS £12-£25
8 – 29 JULY STRATFORDEAST.COM
020 8534 0310
VAT No. 233 3120 59 Charity No. 233801 Reg No. 556251
*Stratfordeast.com for terms and conditions. Offer valid on all performances and price points of Summer in London.
Discounted ticket are subject to availability.Offer can be revoked at any time, and is not valid in conjunction with any
other offer or retrospectively. Offer expires at 11.59pm on 16 July.
OPINION

BONKING
Legal since 1967!
Enjoy! (Just be safe)

OLD GAYS
They fought battles
so that we can enjoy
all that bonking
UP
today. Respect. WHAT I LEARNED f Saudi Arabia, Qatar
decriminalisation…
WIMBLEDON
law once persecuted
Forget the
The fragile male ego h h us
strawberries, it’s
all about when to answer for thousands of older
they change their Buggery (anal sex) en alive today who
sweaty shirts was made illegal and their young lives
punishable by death ng their identity also
SPIDERMAN: in 1533 by King fered in the Eighties'
HOMECOMING Henry VIII, a man so ds crisis, watching
Brit actor Tom desperate to assert iends die.
Holland can shoot
his masculinity he When you see
his web over our
worked his way hem at Pride, take
skyscraper any day
through six wives a minute to say
AMERICAN HORROR (executing two of ello. The freedom
STORY them) in an effort to enjoy today was
We’re buzzing about produce an heir wor ng they could once
the new season, of continuing his 54 magined.
based on the US His effort to be the p will try to hijack Pride
election. If only it fragile male ego ever YZdjVRchZ]]Î`T\e`
wasn’t so true to life
unchallenged until D d the UK to remind
Trump came waddli huge leaps that
Had Henry not they made in
been such an support of the

{ U P & D OW N }
WHAT WE’RE ROCKING
AND BLOCKING
insecure twunt, so
desperate to pass
on his miserable
genetic makeup
CLIFF gays. But their
efforts have been
embarrassingly
slow. Twenty

POLITICS
and assert his
masculinity,
things would have
worked out much
JOANNOU years ago, on
1 July 1997,
the European
Commission

We’re over it now.


]VddY`cccZÍTW`c Why I won’t be "celebrating" published
the gays. (Ya’ ZedÍ_UZ_Xd
Parliament is the only decriminalisation
thing that can be listening, Donald?) following the
hung and not get us It was bum sex — not case of Sutherland
excited love — that was taboo v United Kingdom. Without this case,
It’s interesting to consider how the it’s unlikely we would have achieved an
FLYING-ANT DAY concept of two men being in a loving equal age of consent in 2001, just 16
That weird, once-a- relationship was never technically years ago. Yes, shockingly, it took until
year, 24-hour assault illegal. It was the bum-sex bit that the the 21st century for us to gain true
of flying insectoids.
law of the land decried as unspeakable. sexual equality.
And then they’re
(Oral sex was added in the 1828 Pardon me? Fuck off
gone, until next “ALL THAT
year. Like a bad Tom Offences Against The Person Act). This year, the government announced
Cruise movie HYV_eYVÍXYeW`cXRj^RccZRXV RUNS pardons for men arrested under its vile
gathered pace, religious institutions THROUGH MY old laws. A pardon, excuse me please?
SWEATIN’ started to actively challenge the MIND ARE THE Fuck you. They deserve an apology.
ON PUBLIC idea of love between two men as EYZd Zd R ^`^V_ee`cVÎVTe_`eTV]VScReV
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unconscionable. As galleries, media and the rest are
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It may be twice as long as many of h`_Äe Í_U ^V TV]VScReZ_XeYV
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your crack. It’s like delusions of being a progressive FACED" #( ;f]j "*'( E`TV]VScReVZde`Í_U[`j
the worst orgy ever country, just 50 years ago the in the moment. All that runs through
government considered gay sex to be my mind when I think about that date
FIDGET SPINNERS an act worthy of imprisonment. Men are the centuries of injustice millions of
The world is falling were even offered aversion therapy — gay men have faced, and continue to
to pieces so the essentially torture — to force them to face around the world. Until we are all
Illuminati devised "change." (See feature, p134). free, none of us are free.
them to distract us
This is something that wouldn’t be
out of place today in countries such @CliffJoannou

JULY 2017 21
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iii DOWNLOAD
The tablet edition of Attitude.
With a moving cover, extra
photo galleries, interactive
music, film and tv reviews,
and much, much more
INTERVIEW

RAINBOW
RIOTS
ACTIVIST PETTER
WALLENBERG { Q & A }
TELLS US ABOUT
AN ALBUM
HE’S PRODUCED,
FEATURING ARTISTS
FROM UGANDA,
MALAWI AND JAMAICA
— SOME OF THE MOST
DANGEROUS COUNTRIES
TO BE QUEER

How did the Rainbow Riots project


come about?
It started as a protest. The Jamaican
dancehall artist Sizzla, who has
been banned from festivals because HOUSE OF LOVE:
his lyrics incited violence towards Petter Wallenberg
with some of the
LGBT+ people, was coming to play
artists on the album
in Stockholm and a few friends and I
protested. It grew into a network for
LGBT+ rights globally and I gave it the gender-fluid South “I smuggled wigs to stormed in with machine guns and
name Rainbow Riots. As the whole African artist Umlilo, arrested and beat several people,
thing started with hateful messages and Brayo Bryans, Kowa,
the trans performers including our performers. It was
in music, I had the idea of using Shivan and others who in Uganda. It sounds very scary. It felt like being in a war.
music to do the opposite: to spread are artists from the extreme, but that’s A war against LGBT+ people. But it
empowerment. As a producer and LGBT+ movement in the reality” didn’t stop this project — it made us
composer, I wanted to make an album Uganda. There are a stronger.
where I gathered queer voices from lot of Ugandan voices on this album. What other difficulties have you
some of the world’s most dangerous They are not all recording artists, faced in putting this album together?
places to be LGBT+. So I packed my some are poets. The whole idea is to Working on this project has been like
bags and went out there. give voice to people who are often being in an underground resistance
The album is quite an eclectic mix. silenced. Rainbow Riots also features movement in a war. A war where we
I am known for making house Ugandan trans women, who are use drag, make-up and rainbow flags
music under the moniker House of ostracised by families and face a lot of as weapons. I smuggled wigs to the
Wallenberg, and Rainbow Riots is a total discrimination. In this project they are trans performers in Uganda. It sounds
departure and new artistic direction. performers, dancers and celebrated extreme, but that’s the reality. Some
Some of the countries featured on icons. It’s about using creativity to of our team were almost arrested for
the album, such as Jamaica and create a platform for human rights. wearing rainbow make-up. That’s how
Uganda, are big music countries so It sounds like it’s been quite a dangerous it is. The rainbow flag in
it’s inspiring to explore that. It’s also dangerous album to compile. the West is a fun, party symbol — but
about reclaiming music ned in Uganda.
you will find tracks, suc message do you hope people
single and campaign tra way from it?
UN’s global goal Equal R the main messages is that of
are inspired by danceha h. We must never forget that
normally associated wit hts didn’t come without a fight.
I wanted to turn that ar l band together we can create
want to spread the mes In the West, we may finally
are everywhere and we on our rights but they are never
culture. You’ll hear Mis teed. The pendulum can swing
P, a Jamaican dancehall k the other way.
who is also a gay activis
rapper Ivy B, from Mala Rainbow Riots is out now

JULY 2017 23
D OW N LOA D T H E

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INTERVIEW

STRICTLY
BALLROOM
THE QUEER PARISIAN
PERFORMANCE ARTIST,
KIDDY SMILE, IS KEEPING
HIS DREAM ALIVE
WORDS: ANTHONY LORENZO // PHOTOS: SYLVAIN LEWIS

KIDDY SMILE IS MAKING SURE the spirit


of the ballroom culture of the Eighties
and Nineties keeps burning, fiercely. His
performance art encompasses not only
ballroom, but also takes in production, “What counts is
singing, rap and video. Visuals are key to any
artist, and his look — tall, black and butch —
the impression you
is as significant as the art he creates, given leave. People
how body politics operates in society. might forget who
His Let a Bitch Know video cemented Kiddy’s won but will
place as a cultural barnstormer, especially
in the black LGBT+ community. On his mind
remember an
while making the video was what he wished outfit or a move”
he’d seen — what he needed to see — while
growing up, when his stature set him apart immediately. “I didn’t speak a lot of English.
from his peers. I didn’t really get to talk to him,” he says of
“I did get picked on a bit when I was very George, who gave him his first job, “but it was
young. I started dancing when I was 14, but I really nice. He called to tell us himself that
was doing hip-hop, which was very masculine. we were going to shoot the video. We did that
People picked fights because I was effeminate. and a live show. It was a great experience.”
But then I grew up. People soon knew not to His own work carries emotional depth
come for me. I did use it as a shield, because among the retro-party Nineties vibes.
it’s necessary. Now people think shit about Teardrops In the Box is a video he produced,
me, but they won’t say it. I’m 6ft 3in tall.” wrote and starred in, which explores the
Growing up in what he describes as the relationship between a mother and her gay If it does, then I don’t mind it. It’s better
“black, Arabic, poor” Parisian suburb of son. It isn’t autobiographical, but Kiddy that you’re a brown person, from the LGBT+
Grossay, he had to be tough. That toughness understands the need to tell stories struggling community. You can be one or the other but
was channelled into a creative outlet in the people can relate to. it’s better if you’re both!
ballroom, where fierce competitions to win “You’ll notice the greens when the mother “I wouldn’t mind black women using words
are waged by people each as fabulous as the is leaving, and the pink when he finally has like ‘shade’. Black women are exposed to
next. It’s a real competition space for himself. The pink this, because they live with other people of
for many, but community is, of course, associated with colour, it’s not alien to them. What I don’t get
spirit always comes first gay men. That’s when he is people who don’t even like black people
for Kiddy Smile. “No one is can be himself most. It was a using the language and other elements of the
competing with hate; we good way of doing it. I never culture.
love the competition. Some OUT OF
want my videos to look too “We got a call to do a show for Moschino,
people are more competitive THE BOX: slick, too polished. They and we of course chose black girls because it’s
than others. To me, Kiddy Smile’s have to be relatable and ballroom. We tell them, if you want the true
new video,
competition winning and Teardrops in authentic.” Authenticity is experience that is what you’re gonna get. I’m
a trophy don’t mean shit. the Box in the firing line a lot these always going to push for people of colour.”
What counts, what matters, days, and I wondered about As our chat ends, we talk about gender and
is the impression you leave. Kiddy’s take on appropriation. Is it a bad ballroom categories. What’s his?
“People might not remember who won what thing that the ballroom lexicon is entering “I am a butch queen. A butch queen is a gay
after a competition, but they will remember mainstream culture? man who is not necessarily masculine or
VIDEO DIRECTOR: KAMEL

that fabulous outfit, or that move.” “This makes me cringe. I mean I’m not in feminine, but goes back and forth. I don’t
Kiddy’s own ballroom fierceness is evident a position to cringe; I’m French! We have know what they call it in gender studies!”
in that he attracted George Michael and Beth borrowed from America but it’s about
Ditto to his work. Both singers booked him whether the culture applies to your lifestyle. Teardrops in the Box is out now

JULY 2017 25
OPINION

DANNY LEE TV is marking 50 years of


decriminalisation with a range of

WYNTER
programmes, from drama such as
Man in an Orange Shirt, (see feature
p60) to documentaries like Not
Guilty, which tells the stories of
15,000 British men living with
Fifty years on we’re still not free of the hatred, shame or stigma criminal records for offences
committed under long-defunct laws.
Here’s our pick of the best…
IT’S 3PM ON A SPRING day “MY MIND RETURNS TO BEING 13 YEARS COURTING
in Chichester. A car speeds by.
OLD IN BIOLOGY CLASS WHEN A FELLOW DISASTER: Daniel
Through an open window the driver Mays as Peter
makes a gun with her fingers before PUPIL SAID I’D END UP LIKE ONE OF Wildeblood

aiming it at me and pretending to MADONNA’S DANCERS AND ‘DIE OF AIDS’”


pull the trigger. The passengers
laugh, #BlackLivesMatter clearly
having not yet reached East Sussex.
Standing there shocked, I’m
reminded of being a child and on The ways in which British gay Against The Law, BBC2
my way to see my maths tutor. On people and British gay black people A factual drama based on one of the
that occasion, a car sped by and the are still challenged on a daily basis most explosive court cases of the
driver called out the N word. cannot be underestimated. People’s 1950s. The story focuses on gay
A week after this more recent continuing unacceptance has the journalist Peter Wildeblood, played
event, I’m walking along the beach power to drag us back to the shame by Rogue One star Daniel Mays,
in The Witterings, also in East we were forced to carry around whose lover, RAF serviceman Eddie
McNally (Richard Gadd), under
Sussex — an area which narrowly during childhood.
pressure from the authorities, gave
voted in favour of Brexit. I pass As I write this, I’m sitting in my evidence against him. The drama
a group of adults drinking dressing room at the Chichester presents Wildeblood’s tumultuous
outside a pub. They clock my Festival Theatre, where I’m journey from broken man to
three-quarter-length jeans performing in a play. At one point determined gay-rights campaigner
and bright red Converse in the story the child actors are and includes real-life testimonies of
trainers and make a directed to make a collective the time (see p134).
concerted effort through noise of disapproval towards my
their laughter and grimacing character, a gay school teacher. 50 Shades of Gay, Channel 4
Actor Rupert Everett focuses on how
to show they disapprove. I On opening night I was
much has changed in gay culture
own the moment and wave stopped in my tracks by one over the past 50 years. He
back at them, yet my mind of the children who was encounters personal stories, ranging
returns to being 13 years suddenly gesticulating a limp from men in their eighties who
old in biology class when a wrist whenever the headmaster cottaged with palace guards, to
fellow pupil said I’d “end up mentioned my name. Aside from young transgender people coming
like one of Madonna’s dancers thinking, “Wow, there goes one out as the “only trans in the village” in
and die of Aids.” bold little actor in the making,” I felt rural Britain.
Even though my life has humiliated. It took me back to my
Britain’s Great Gay Buildings, C4
evolved since these earlier school days and the strangers — and,
Presented by Stephen Fry, seven
events, and although I’d like worse, members of my family — who famous gay celebs visit the buildings
to believe cruel words or gestured at me in the same way. that best define the history of gay
looks of disdain can no longer I was not born into a set of Britain, including the Reverend
affect me, in truth, that shit circumstances that initially Richard Cole looking at the
sticks with you. celebrated me. I fought to become hedonistic past of top London
As we mark 50 years since who I am. And, like many others, I’m nightclub Heaven.
the partial decriminalisation still fighting. As we reflect upon the
of homosexuality in England freedoms afforded to so many of us, Olly Alexander: Growing up Gay,
BBC 3
and Wales, and organisations perhaps one of the last big bastions
Years & Years frontman Olly
such as Stonewall and Act For of acceptance comes from ourselves. Alexander explores mental health
Change continue to support The shame runs bone deep. It’s up within the gay community, as he
those who are marginalised to us to face it each day. To deny its opens up about his long-term battle
due to race or sexuality, it’s a existence would be a lie. with depression and joins young
good time to take stock of people with similar issues.
where we’re at. @dannyleewynter

26 JULY 2017
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NEWS

PRIDE NOT PROFIT — LET’S PUT THE


MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTHS ARE
Corporate sponsorship of Pride has always and companies court our communities, want
been a controversial subject but to grow into to show support and are visible at our events.
This is a very different situation than that
the world-class event that the community which would have met activists holding Pride
demands, it’s become absolutely necessary. as recently as 30 years ago.
There is also the debate about whether
However, as PHYLL OPOKU-GYIMAH argues, that
corporate brands are actually truly invested
doesn’t mean stripping Pride of its original message in the LGBT+ community. Is it just lip service
that big brands want to be publicly seen as
LGBT-friendly? I don’t
EVERY LITLE
HELPS: Tesco are always think so, because
UK BLACK PRIDE is now at the forefront of sexism, homophobia and one of the main they are promoting
sponsors of Pride
representing BAME LGBT+ people nationally transphobia. However, we acceptance of the
and internationally. We recently supported are small in number and community within their
the setting up of a Paris Black Pride and have face double, triple or more own businesses.
built a reputation worldwide. discriminations. With the right
We are also a central part of the Pride UK Black Pride gets bigger approach, there is a
London festival, with thousands attending our every year — and these formula that can work
festival celebrating BAME LGBT+ people and events need to cover the for all of us: activists,
cultures, with our friends and family from costs of performers, equipment, security and the community and the corporate brands.
across the community. cleaning-up afterwards. Therefore, corporate UK Black Pride’s approach has been
Last year, we flew in queer Black Lives sponsorship has a valuable role to play. effective. We will only source ethical
Matter activists from the US who have been We could charge people to attend but companies. We constantly reinforce the
at the centre of the refounding of the Civil this would be defeating our purpose — in a message that Pride came from the Stonewall
Rights Movement in America. This is a world that makes LGBT+ BAME people feel riots and it is important to claim spaces that
historic movement that has parallels with the unwelcome, all are welcome at UK Black Pride. are otherwise closed to us.
likes of Martin Luther King. And entrance fees must not be a barrier to We must never forget the protest element
However, we started from humble that. of Pride events, or allow it to be sidelined.
beginnings, with a small group of community Sponsorship provides another advantage. UK Black Pride always ensures that the
activists who felt marginalised at times It says to all the employees of corporate sponsorship we have goes back into building
by the majority white LGBT+ culture that companies that our communities are an asset our communities. And we are determined
we find ourselves in. For many years, we to be valued. To any BAME LGBT+ employees, that there is a strong message of equality
kept the organisation going ourselves. This this is the right message to be sending out. It is and justice which underpins the very reason
meant sacrificing our personal time a positive that the culture has changed we exist. With a strong social message at the
and own money, sometimes centre, there is no reason why Pride events
without the support of the can’t be funded by our allies who want our
wider community. So,
“WE KEPT THE message to be heard all the more clearly.
we understand better ORGANISATION Join us on Sunday, 9 July when UK Black
than most that GOING Pride celebrates all our diversity at Pleasure
profit must not come OURSELVES. Gardens, Vauxhall, for Pride in the Park,
before people. We cannot lose our sense of working with Pride in London.
THIS MEANT
community.
We want the eradication of inequality.
SACRIFICING OUR ukblackpride.org.uk
That means tackling a number of prejudices PERSONAL TIME AND Phyll Opoku-Gyimah is co-founder and
and discriminations, from racism to OWN MONEY” executive director of UK Black Pride

JULY 2017 29
OPINION

admit I can be a little tightly wound


LEO IN sometimes and I had a lot going on
with work. I was hesitant about taking
LA LA LAND the days out to relax. But my friends FIT, DREAMY,
told me to get over myself and 10 SWOONSOME…
seconds later I was packed and ready to NICK BATEMAN IS
go. This is mainly because all you need EVERYTHING WE LOOK
is a pair of swim shorts and sunscreen. FOR IN AN INSTAGRAM
As soon as we drove into the desert OBSESSION
oasis, I felt my shoulders relax.
Everything is slower. It’s like a hit of
Lana Del Ray song. Or both.
ss through town, you see
, quirky interior design
cool hotels. Tattooed
Channelling his ng at The Ace and for those
Rock Hudson, L have watched HBO’s The
The Parker is where Valerie
RICHARDSON h ayed by Lisa Kudrow) stays
to a holiday hot he visits. But the real star of
weekend was the pool house
two hours from stayed in. If you can get
beloved by gay ugh people together, this is
He’s a smart man who makes
e way to do it.
men for decade We made cocktails, played
smart statements

music, laid out on an


WHEN I LEARNED inflatable pink flamingo.
THIS ISSUE would mark All the stress of LA seemed
the 50th anniversary of to disappear — especially
partial decriminalisation o when one friend revealed
homosexuality in England had bought $20 women’s
Wales, I started thinking a uits from Amazon and we all
the parallels with the US,
particular, Hollywood. I be LAID OUT ON AN
explore the safe havens th FLATABLE PINK
gay community has create AMINGO AND
the years; places we go to NCED AROUND
ourselves, free from judgm
This led me to Palm Spri
THE MUSIC” If man’s best friend loves him,
Since the 1920s, Palm Sp em on and minced around why shouldn’t you?
has been known as Hollyw music.
playground. Back in the da w what you’re thinking:
stars such as Marilyn Mon bunch of faggots”. And that
Frank Sinatra were contra rue. But that’s the whole
to a movie studio, they we eryone needs somewhere
only allowed to be two hou e themselves completely,
away from Los Angeles in they can fully embrace
there was a last minute re gay — just like those
or photo call. This made P ovie stars did all those years
Springs the perfect getawa ven though my friends and
It was also a haven wher e to hide who we are as they
gay, lesbian and bisexual s l great to be somewhere
could be themselves, away ave to worry about looking
prying eyes. There are fam ng judged. And that’s exactly
stories of then-closeted st Springs can still provide. And he makes breakfast.
such as Rock Hudson, Tab pause to think of those gay Enough said
Hunter and Liberace, esca ame before us, those who
there with their male love ut shaped the world we live instagram.com/nickbateman
I visited Palm Springs remember the ones who
recently with a bunch of ed” Palm Springs. 
friends. It was sort of last
minute. I’m the first to _richardson

30 JULY 2017
INTERVIEW

BEAR
caters to a conservative fanbase, but
even then I’d say fuck it! Surprise them
and shake it up. I’m always on the side
of “come out”, but I also respect and

NECESSITIES understand it’s a personal decision.


Do you think that LGBT+ musicians
have a duty to speak out and

OF
champion queer causes?
ED DROSE, THE VOCALIST AND People with public platforms and
audiences have a duty to speak out
GUITARIST WITH INDIE ROCK GROUP
about issues that are important to
GRIZZLY BEAR, TALKS ABOUT THEIR

LIFE
NEW ALBUM, HIS DISLIKE OF TWITTER
AND CHAMPIONING QUEER CAUSES
them. I’m always disheartened when
I see peers remain mum about police
brutality or the past election or
whatever. Everyone can put a flag up
and say, “thoughts and prayers” but
IT’S BEEN FIVE YEARS since people should have a backbone and
psychedelic indie rock group Grizzly
Bear released their fourth studio “I don’t miss Twitter one
album. But this summer they bit. I find it toxic and our
are set to break their silence and
release Painted Ruins. We caught up
stupid-ass president
with the band’s vocalist, guitarist and uses it like a fool”
keyboardist Ed Droste, one of the
few out frontmen in rock music. speak out. That said, I don’t
think LGBT+ people owe
What can fans expect from anyone anything. But the
the new album? more role models there
A fresh, diverse sound, with are out there in the public
some of the best lyrics we’ve eye, the easier it is for the
made. The songs range from young kids in conservative
pop to meditative to folk. regions of the world.
How much of the five years In a post after the
since your previous release Orlando shooting you
has been spent working on said you’d never marched
new music? in a Pride parade. Have
A good two years were spent you done so now?
on and off working on the I still haven’t. I passed
new stuff, and all the other through one in NYC ages
demos that may never see ago but it was so crowded.
the light of day. As for other I want to march but the
projects, I did some songs with timing with this album
other artists and worked on and promo work means
Bernie Sanders’ presidential I might miss the LA
election campaign. one. Hopefully, I’ll be
Do you miss Twitter much in a city with a parade
since deleting your account? soon and can join.
Do you think it’s beneficial or What does the rest of
detrimental for artists? 2017 have in store for you
I don’t miss it one bit. Twitter and what destination are
shines when someone is funny, you most looking forward
but generally I find it toxic. to on your world tour?
It’s hard to say whether it’s This year is mostly music,
detrimental. Our stupid-ass music, music, which is
president uses it like a fool, more than I could ever
but great social and political ask for. As for a
movements have come out of Twitter. favourite spot, I
You’ve previously said that you think appreciate any place where an
gay rock stars worry about audience cheers and hoots and hollers.
coming out due to losing But I hope we get to play South
BEARING HIS SOUL:
their fanbase; are things Ed Droste (in yellow), with America again. People there go nuts.
getting better or worse? fellow band members
(clockwise) Christopher
TOM HINES

It’s a lot better. It seems mostly a Bear, Daniel Rossen and


Painted Ruins is out 18 August.
non-issue unless you make music that Chris Taylor rcarecords.com

JULY 2017 31
#OBSESSED

PAUL FLYNN
+HURLF 0DQFKHVWHU LV JRLQJ WR EH MXVW ´QH © DV ZH DOO DUH

MY TRAIN ARRIVES at York at “BOOKSELLER ANDY WAS AT THE CONCERT.


6.25pm on Wednesday, 24 May. I
HE ESCAPED BY HURDLING OVER BARRIERS
walk from the station to the local
Waterstones bookshop, past the castle
— AND WAS AT WORK THE NEXT DAY”
to the Minster. In the shop I am greeted
by an assistant, who swiftly reveals Manchester, my home city, for another
himself to be the future of gay. promotional booking. The terrorist VARADKARFILES
To the straight eye, Andy might just assa r of innocent people hangs
be another bookseller. B ation, until the future This month, Leo Varadkar
better. When you are a . “It’ll be fine,” Andy became Ireland’s youngest
gay, you recognise the f ter, before mentioning and first gay prime minister.
not just from its dispos he Ariana Grande Promising plans to improve
fantastically open signa ped by hurdling over and strengthen the Fine Gael
Party, he launched a strategy
Andy runs the booksh as at work the next
to accelerate the economic
reading group. He has a recovery of rural Ireland, and
of the crest of the old L tood heroic in the proved that sexuality is no
Gays Support the Miner edy. Because I was in barrier to success in politics.
his left arm because his hat night, scanning And he still managed to keep
film is Pride. His hair is media, trying to unravel on top of his geraniums.
and he wears round, wi f the unfathomable
framed glasses. He love that had taken place,
Perry and is three-quart n’t get to see any of
UNEXPECTED
the way through writin mergency services, CRUSH OF THE
first, unsolicited, young hoteliers, cabbies, MONTH
novel. strians, security details
I’m in Waterstones to oncert-goers who
interviewed about a bo e Manchester look its
I’ve written. The event on one of the worst
is Andy’s doing. He’s pu in its history.
little displays of the boo s my chance to
and posters of the even sly thank them. “Bless
around the shop, includ y to Andy, because
one on the disabled toi ump in my throat and I
door. He has organised of anything better.
guy called Connor to co ws rolled on Monday
along and do the interv knew — because we
assembled a list of ques — that an Ariana
SAM THE EAGLE
him to ask about Chech ert would not be full Frankly, we don’t give a damn
Farron, and trans right g women and girls, if he is a felt bird with an arm
In the 30 minutes bef riana is an amazing stuck up his arse. Who are
speaking at this event, ct. We knew that there we to judge Sam’s lifestyle?
grassroots gay/lesbian/b ignificant quota of This Muppet simply oozes
transgenderism makes gay there, too. Ariana masculinity. With a strong brow,
the soil beneath us. I co f artist to whom our large wingspan and a plumage
the emails sent, posters wn. that plays on Trump’s limp locks,
Sam has an innate authority
photoshopped, refreshm rive at Waterstones in
that screams dominance.
picked and chairs assem r, a stone’s throw from Playing a teacher, a captain,
that we can share our s he attack, I’m greeted and a policeman over his career,
a way the British educa future of gay. In all he most certainly ruffles our
system has not yet er Manchester, our feathers.
WORDS: DANIEL FINCH

deemed us worthy. turns.


Andy is 23. After
the event, I’m talking You: From Prejudice to
to him. I’m about to cat t now

32 JULY 2017
MUSIC

“LET’S FACE IT, IF


YOU SONG ISN’T
CO-WRITTEN BY ALBUM REVIEWS
ED SHEERAN THIS WORDS: ADAM DUXBURY
YEAR, IS IT EVEN
A SONG?” XXL
The Album

¤Europe’s
longest-running
men-only gay party has finally
released its first album: a
double mix chock-full of the
kind of hedonist bangers
you love to get down to on a
gloriously sweaty night out
under the arches. The first
side is mixed by XXL founder
Mark Ames and focuses on
HITTING THE club classics with a disco vibe.
Resident DJ Paul Morrell steps
in on side two for a more
MOTHER LO upfront house selection and an
exclusive track with
Boy George. Out now 4/5
JAMES BARR GETS FINDING THE BEST SUMMER
TUNES DOWN TO A FINE ART
TLC
TLC

I JUST VISITED the Queer British Art Your Song is a melodic summer house ¤“It’s been a long
Exhibition at Tate Britain with my hit with loved-up lyrics co-written by time coming,”
mum, and her only complaint was: Ed Sheeran, because let’s face it: if your sing T-Boz and Chilli on lead
“Why have you brought me along? You song isn’t co-written by Ed this year, is single Way Out. They’re right,
it’s been 15 years since the girls
should’ve come alone and met a nice it even a song?
behind No Scrubs released any
man.” My own mother, a cock block. Rita’s also confirmed her Charli XCX
music at all. But they’re back
Oh well, maybe I’ll meet someone & Raye hook-up Girls as the next single — minus Lisa (Left Eye) Lopez
now Pride season has arrived. Either from her long-awaited second album, — with a Nineties time capsule
way, I’m back with the hottest happy saying the pop three-way is the new of smooth R&B on their “final”
gay anthems for your party playlists Spice Girls… The ratchet Spice Girls. album. Haters and Perfect Girls
this summer. Gay bait Nick Jonas is also back, are watered-down TLC, but It’s
Carly Rae Jepsen just dropped her THIRST QUENCHED. Remember I Told Sunny is a disco-tinged summer
new song and if, like so many of us, You features Birmingham Pride star joy and Start a Fire is smooth as
Anne-Marie & Mike Posner in a f**k. Their biggest hits might be
you find it really hard to be vulnerable
behind them but this is still
when dating, Carly’s cute-as-Zac-Efron chilled house creep on their exes.
a nostalgic joy ride.
lyrics will do the work for you. Cut To If you’ve ever lost all your friends in 30 June 3/5
The Feeling is a loud and proud pop the club and ended up swiping dating
masterpiece full of throwback Lucky apps in a corner at 4am, you’ll relate
FEELINGS: Main LONDON
Star synths, glitter and so much joy. I to the new tune from Norwegian
picture, Rita Ora, GRAMMAR
wanna cut to the feeling, the bedroom top Carly Rae collective NEIKED. Call Me gives you Truth is a
and then the “let’s get fat together bit.” Jepsen, above, feels and couldn’t be a more perfect,
NEIKED Beautiful Thing
Meanwhile, Rita Ora is returning bouncier, fresher 2017 hype if it were
to what she does best — no, not the sung by an avocado. The follow up ¤Second albums
dating famous people thing or the to Sexual features a sexually liberated are notoriously difficult, and
45-second appearances in a 50 Shades vocal from Swedish singer Mimi and when they follow a Brit-
movie — but amazing pop! Rita’s finally it’s ready to be one of your favourite nominated, double-platinum
debut, even more so. But by
dropped new music and it’s on repeat. songs this summer.
going back to the drawing
I’m also loving Halsey and Lauren
board and expanding their
Jauregui’s new hook-up — two of my fragile, beautiful sound, London
PSST! favourite up-and-coming pop stars are Grammar have managed to
repping bisexual women and I’m here come back with something
. and queer for it. Strangers features satisfyingly fresh yet familiar.
Check out There For You, the new song heartbreakingly real lyrics, “She The songs still soar but there’s
from Martin Garrix and Troye Sivan. It’s doesn’t kiss me on the mouth any more scope and bravery,
another adoringly honest vocal from Troye, more,” but despite the mood kill, it especially on standouts Hell
who says he plans to prove that you can be to the Liars and Who
makes me super happy to hear a song
queer, live your life and be happy. so liberated in gender equality that I
Am I. Out now 4/5
had to share it.

34 JULY 2017
FILMS

FYI

Life is a
OKJA Rollercoaster
Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, — and how
Paul Dano, Seo-Hyun Ahn different it would
have been if
¤Any film that allows Tilda Colin Farrell
hadn’t failed
Swinton to play malevolent
that audition for
identical twins is worth the
admission fee. In this engagingly
bonkers eco-fantasy, Tilda Times
SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT Boyzone...

Two heads up an evil corporation SOFIA COPPOLA’S REMAKE OF THE CLINT EASTWOOD
that’s breeding giant, genetically CIVIL WAR CLASSIC IS TENSE AND FASCINATING
mutated pigs for maximum profit.
But one feisty tyke (the adorable WORDS: GUY LODGE
Ahn) is out to save them. As a
bonus, Jake Gyllenhaal, er, hams
it up as a David Attenborough FILM THE BEGUILED
for the Fox News crowd. OF THE Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning
28 June 3/5 MONTH
¤ Sofia Coppola’s sixth film finds the reigning queen of auteurist cool playing
confidently with our expectations. This sensual, tingling adaptation of Thomas
ALSO THIS MONTH Cullinan’s novel — previously filmed with Clint Eastwood in 1971 — has all the
woozy melancholy and gorgeous pastel styling we associate with her brand. But
SONG TO SONG who thought her dusty-rose dreaminess would ever get this blood-stained? Coppola
Michael Fassbender, Ryan brings a bracing feminine perspective to a Southern gothic tale of sexual repression
Gosling, Rooney Mara and retribution during America’s civil war, as Colin Farrell’s injured Union soldier
¤Enigmatic auteur Terrence finds shelter in an all-female seminary and promptly sets tensions bristling.
Malick’s whispery, esoteric style Coppola keeps the politics of violation and vengeance fascinatingly ambiguous,
has divided people in recent while Nicole Kidman’s brittle headmistress adds a delicious flourish of
years, but everyone can agree camp to proceedings, and Kirsten Dunst brings the heartbreak. 14 July 4/5
on the ravishing beauty of his
images. Throw in eye candy
Michael Fassbender and Ryan
BABY DRIVER
Gosling and all should be fine.
It’s just a shame that the cast Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm,
is set adrift in an inauthentic- Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Flea
feeling meditation on love and
corruption. ¤If you were worried that Edgar Wright had
7 July 2/5 sold out to Hollywood by making a heist
thriller with multiple car chases, some of
DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE the Brit’s signature quirk has survived in
David Lynch this otherwise slick ride — which plays a
¤If the return of TV’s Twin bit like Drive for dorks. Cherub-faced Ansel
Peaks has you hankering for Elgort stars as the aptly named Baby, a young
another dive into David Lynch’s but gifted getaway driver whose crimes are
imagination, this fascinating led entirely by the music pumping through
documentary will do nicely. his headphones, and you can bet the man
It may be an interview-based
responsible for Scott Pilgrim vs the World has
study of the director’s peculiar
helped him compile one hell of a playlist.
artistic process but it winds up
as eerily elusive as any of the Borrowing liberally from early Tarantino, it’s
master’s films, peppered with fast, funky stuff, if not quite as much raucous
uncanny imagery and fun as Wright’s closer-to-home efforts; we’ve
anecdotes. 14 July 4/5 sped far past the scruffy humour of
the Cornetto trilogy. 28 June 3/5

JULY 2017 35
BOOKS

MAKING THINGS FIGHTING PROUD: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE


GAY MEN WHO SERVED IN TWO WORLD WARS
Stephen Bourne/IB Tauris
THREE AND EASY ¤ EYZd cVgVR]Z_X _Vh YZde`cj `W hRceZ^V 3cZeRZ_
ScZ_Xd Z_e` W`Tfd eYV de`cZVd `W eYV XRj ^V_ hY`
SHORT NOVEL ABOUT TWO MEN IN LOVE — AND THE WOMAN dVcgVU Z_ eYV Rc^VU W`cTVd R_U `_ eYV Y`^V
THEY BOTH CARE FOR — IS A LIFE-AFFIRMING TALE front during both world wars — men who were
SRee]Z_X S`eY eYVZc RUgVcdRcZVd `_ eYV SRee]VÍV]U
WORDS: ULI LENART R_U eYV ac`daVTe `W SVZ_X T`fce^RceZR]]VU `_TV
eYVj cVefc_VU Y`^V dY`f]U eYVZc Y`^`dVifR]Zej
SV UZdT`gVcVU EYVdV e`fTYZ_X `WeV_ Wf__j R_U
BOOK TIN MAN Z_daZcZ_X a`cecRZed `W dVcgZTV^V_ RcV R eVdeR^V_e
OF THE Sarah Winman/Tinder Press e` eYV ViecR`cUZ_Rcj ScRgVcj dRTcZÍTV R_U Y`_`fc
MONTH
dY`h_ Sj eYV ]RcXV]j f_cVT`X_ZdVU bfVVc ^V_ hY`
¤ This beguiling short W`fXYe W`c eYVZc T`f_ecj 7c`^ UZRcj RTT`f_ed `W
novel from the author of ]`gV R_U T`fcRXV Z_ S]ZekVU`fe =`_U`_ e` dVTcVe
the international bestseller hRceZ^V RWWRZcd Wc`^ Y``\fad Z_ eYV ]`hVc SRc
When God Was a Rabbit `W eYV CZek e` cV]ReZ`_dYZad W`c^VU Z_ A@H TR^ad
SVXZ_d hZeY R aRZ_eZ_X `W "& df_Î`hVcd Fighting Proud T`_eRZ_d R hVR]eY `W RSd`cSZ_X
SVZ_X h`_ Z_ R cRWÎV Sj R h`^R_ hY` ^ReVcZR] :eÄd a`ZX_R_e R_U a`hVcWf] 27 July
SV]ZVgVd eYRe ^V_ R_U S`jd RcV TRaRS]V `W
SVRfeZWf] eYZ_Xd EYV_ hV ^VVe eh` S`jd
6]]Zd R_U >ZTYRV] hY` T`f]U_Äe SV T]`dVc, THEN SHE WAS GONE
eVV_RXVcd hY` Í_U ]`gV R_U eV_UVc_Vdd Z_ Lisa Jewell/Century
VRTY `eYVcÄd Rc^d EYVj SVT`^V ^V_ SVW`cV
^VVeZ_X 2__ZV À R_ VgV_e eYRe TYR_XVd ¤ EYZd Zd R adjTY`]`XZTR]]j RdefeV V^`eZ`_R]]j
_`eYZ_X R_U VgVcjeYZ_X DVe Z_ @iW`cU RfeYV_eZT eYcZ]]Vc Wc`^ =ZdR ;VhV]] DVe Z_ ?`ceY
R_U daR__Z_X eYV eYcVV UVTRUVd Wc`^ eYV =`_U`_ Ze eV]]d eYV de`cj `W "&jVRc`]U 6]]ZV hY`
DVgV_eZVd f_eZ] eYV ?Z_VeZVd Tin Man is the Zd ScZXYe SVRfeZWf] R_U YRd YVc hY`]V ]ZWV RYVRU `W
dV_dZeZgV]j e`]U de`cj `W eYcVV aV`a]V hY` YVc EYV_ `_V URj dYV a`ad `fe e` eYV ]ZScRcj R_U Zd
]`gV R_U TRcV W`c VRTY `eYVc Rd cV^V^SVcVU _VgVc dVV_ RXRZ_ EV_ jVRcd ]ReVc YVc ^f^ =RfcV]
Sj 6]]Zd R ^VeR]h`c\Vc R_U eYV eZ_ ^R_ `W Zd deZ]] ac`TVddZ_X eYV ecRf^R Sfe YRd_Äe XZgV_ fa
eYV eZe]V 6]]Zd cVTR]]d eYV URj >ZTYRV] RccZgVU Y`aV `W Í_UZ_X YVc URfXYeVc =`dZ_X 6]]ZV YRd T`de
Z_ YZd h`c]U eYV S`_U YV W`c^VU hZeY YZd =RfcV] YVc ^RccZRXV UZdeR_TVU YVc Wc`^ YVc `eYVc
V^aReYVeZT ^`eYVc R_U ]ReVc hZeY YZd hZWV TYZ]UcV_ R_U UVeRTYVU YVc Wc`^ ]ZWV EYV_ `_V URj
2__ZV R_U eYV RWWVTeZ`_ eYRe dfdeRZ_d eYV^ dYV ^VVed R TYRc^Z_X decR_XVc 7]`jU R_U ]`gV R_U
Rd eYVj Xc`h `]UVc 3fe ]ZWV Zd _`e eYRe dZ^a]V ]RfXYeVc dVV^ a`ddZS]V RXRZ_ 3VW`cV ]`_X 7]`jU
R_U eYZ_Xd Z_VgZeRS]j TYR_XV 2 _`gV] RS`fe Z_ec`UfTVd YVc e` YZd _Z_VjVRc`]U URfXYeVc DYV Zd
\Z_U_Vdd R_U Y`aV ]`gV R_U ]`dd e`]U hZeY R_ f_fdfR] TYZ]U decR_XV]j RUf]e SVj`_U YVc jVRcd
R UZdRc^Z_X dZ^a]ZTZej R_U Y`_Vdej DRcRY 2d =RfcV] XVed e` \_`h R j`f_X XZc] hY` Zd eYV Z^RXV
HZ_^R_ hcZeVd hZeY R_ Vg`TReZgV acVTZdZ`_ `W 6]]ZV hYV_ dYV hRd eYRe RXV R]] eY`dV f_R_dhVcVU
R_U R TRaeZgReZ_X efc_ `W aYcRdV 2 SVRfeZWf] bfVdeZ`_d eYRe YRgV YRf_eVU YVc T`^V Î``UZ_X
]ZWVXZgZ_X S``\ eYRe hZ]] T`_deR_e]j dfcacZdV SRT\ EYZd Zd R T`^aV]]Z_X R_U ScZ]]ZR_e]j ViVTfeVU
j`f 27 July de`cj, R aVcWVTe aRXVefc_Vc 27July

ALSO THIS MONTH


THE MUSIC SHOP spirit Unity Street; a parade of independent shops that is
Rachel Joyce/Doubleday facing closure due to an evil development company, and
¤ The Music Shop is the new novel from the bestselling the occasional bit of falling masonry. Then one day Ilse
author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Ostensibly Brauchmann, a glove-wearing German with a penchant for
it’s a story about the healing possibilities of music, second DIY and bright green, faints right outside the shop — possibly
chances, the redemptive power of kindness and love, and because the plot has made her come over all queasy. Frank
a few other equally saccharine sentiments. Opening in beholds this strange beauty, with eyes as black as vinyl,
a vinyl-only music shop in 1988, we’re introduced to the falls in love and so begins an irritating romance. Missed
floppy-fringed Frank — a man who knows exactly which track opportunities, loneliness and emotional destitution ensue,
you need to hear to magically solve all your life’s ills. Frank years of disappointment pass, but everything gets put right in
is orbited by a cast of unconvincing and rather annoying the end by a flash mob, and, of course, the healing power of
shopkeepers from the down-at-heel but full-of-community- music. Disappointing. 13 July

All LGBT+ titles available from Gay’s the Word bookshop, 66 Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AB. gaystheword.co.uk

36 JULY 2017
JOIN THE CLUB

culture club
Illegal gay life was laid bare brilliantly by John Hurt in THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT

I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT that some OV E R


examples of queer culture — Tales of
the City, The Swimming-Pool Library, TO YO U . . .
Giovanni’s Room — are like cod liver
oil. You should be reading or watching Your thoughts on
The Naked Civil
them, and they are unquestionably
Servant
“good for you.” But it’s that “should”
that often puts me off. Courtroom victory
The Naked Civil Servant is one of and final scene are
those truly iconic moments in queer fine moments and
culture that we should have all seen. Hurt is masterful.
But what if we just don’t want to? @ElonDann
Should we really force ourselves to
Bold, enlightening
watch it?
and one of the top
To commemorate the late, great
10 LGBT+ dramas
John Hurt and 50 years since the ever.
partial decriminalisation of male @nigelfitz
homosexuality (in England and Wales),
the film (original Doctor Who producer Crisp wasn’t
Verity Lambert was the executive accepted by his
producer, fact fans) has been granted own community
a high definition Blu-Ray release. So, due to his
feminine ways and
the timing is certainly right to discover
campness. We
The Naked Civil Servant if you haven’t
need to accept
already. And, after rediscovering it each other if we
myself, I can tell you that, even if you want others to be
don’t fancy watching it, you absolutely accepting.
must force yourself to do so. @garyrb1976
Based on the autobiography of Broadway, such was his belief in the a flamboyant gay man. He is rewarded
Soho “Stately Homo” and bon part. “[Wood] said, ‘How dare you take with violence, police harassment and The scene when
viveur Quentin Crisp, the film was a poxy little English television [show] unemployment in the straight world QC is with the
sailor is very
first broadcast on ITV in 1976, instead of a third lead on Broadway’. and brutal rejection from the gay
touching. He is an
documenting Crisp’s search in the I said: ‘I’m terribly sorry, but I don’t one. In the film, Crisp is considered a
equal and is being
Thirties and Forties for his “great dark think it is a poxy little English shameful “giveaway” to other gay men. accepted. That has
man.” During this period, of course, television [show]. I think it’s a terrific While gay men no longer need to stayed with me.
homosexual acts were very much a piece, and I have to do this’.” hold secret dance parties, I wonder @NigelHall111
criminal offence. Hurt turned out to be right and it just how much times have really
In the 1970s, fledgling actor Hurt made him a star. Crisp himself later changed for camp gay men on
was warned not to take the role. “They remarked, “I told Mr Hurt it was “masc4masc”, “no femmes” dating GET
I N V O LV E D
said [I’d] never work again, it was difficult for actors to play victims, but apps.
such a dodgy subject at the time,” he he has specialised in victims. When I agree that we absolutely should
Next month:
recalled later. Nevertheless, he ditched he stopped playing me, he played celebrate The Naked Civil Servant, but “Can I get a
a role in Peter Wood’s Travesties on Caligula, which was only me in a sheet. not because it’s cod liver oil and good Business Woman
Then he played [John Merrick in] The for us to be reminded of our LGBT+ Special?” We
Elephant Man, which was only me with history, but because it’s funny and celebrate 20
“ACTOR JOHN HURT HAS a paper bag over his head.” heart-breaking, is endlessly quotable, years since the
Hurt’s astonishing performance release of Romy
SPECIALISED IN PLAYING and features a career-defining
and Michele’s
and Crisp’s astonishing wit aside, performance by Hurt, one that the
VICTIMS. AS JOHN MERRICK High School
The Naked Civil Servant continues actor later revisited in the equally
IN THE ELEPHANT MAN, HE to hold up a mirror to gay culture. wonderful An Englishman in New York.
Reunion. Tweet
your thoughts
WAS ME WITH A PAPER Crisp rejects any notion of him being So, do yourself a favour and watch @junodawson
BAG OVER HIS HEAD” transsexual, embracing his identity as them both.

JULY 2017 37
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Audra McDonald
THE MULTI-AWARD-WINNING STAR IS PLAYING TROUBLED
MUSIC ICON BILLIE HOLIDAY ON STAGE IN LONDON THIS
SUMMER, BUT AUDRA HERSELF IS SOMETHING OF AN
ENDURING SYMBOL OF STRENGTH TO GAY MEN

{ B I G G AY F O L L O W I N G }

WORDS: SIMON BUTTON

SHE’S THE MERYL STREEP of


musical theatre, with six Tonys to
Meryl’s three Oscars, and while La
Streep can sing, Audra McDonald can
really sing. She’s one of Broadway’s
leading lights, bagging those Tonys
for Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A
Raisin in the Sun, Porgy and Bess and
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
— the Billie Holiday show that she’s
bringing to London after a New York
magazine critic hailed her take on the
tragic singer as “one of the greatest
performances I ever hope to see”.
Born in Berlin to American parents
when her father was stationed there
with the army, Audra grew up in
California, studied the arts in high
school and classical singing at New
York’s prestigious Juilliard School.
By the age of 24 she’d conquered
3c`RUhRjhZ__Z_XYVcÍcdeE`_j
Award, playing the traditionally white
role of Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel,
marking herself as an ahead-of-her-
time champion for diversity.
2fUcRh`c\dZ_EGR_UÍ]^e``
most recently singing up a diva storm
in the Beauty and the Beast remake. When you’re playing a character as Judy Garland and now Lady Gaga:
9RgZ_XÍ]^VUeYV5Zd_Vjd^RdYYZe intense as Billie Holiday, how do you extraordinary artists who are also open
in the UK, she was planning to make shake her off after the curtain call? to their vulnerability and I think that
her West End debut over here in When I started playing her, it was resonates. I’m drawn to artists who are
Lady Day last year but had to cancel affecting me at home, so now when a not only strong but also vulnerable and
when she became pregnant. Now that performance finishes I say the words: “I show endurance over whatever they
she’s given birth, Audra’s heading to will see you tomorrow,” meaning, “You have to deal with.
London for that delayed stage debut. stay here Billie, Audra’s going home.” Doing musical theatre, you must have
Holiday’s an enduring gay icon. Why been surrounded by gays for a lot of
do you think that is? your professional life.
You’ve got people like Billie and Yes, but I also have gay people in my ›

JULY 2017 39
family so it’s always been the norm tons of godchildren and was quite
for me. I’ve grown up with gay people obsessed with them and maternal
— they are my family, my friends, my towards them. That was a bit of a shock.
colleagues, my neighbours. As for She famously went off the rails due to
having gay fans, maybe it’s because drink and drugs. What keeps you on
I’m in the theatre and also because I’ve the straight and narrow?
been vocal about rights for the LGBT+ [Laughs]. Children, although sometimes
community. you want to drink because of them. No,
Speaking of which, earlier this year I’ve wanted to be a performer my entire
you did Symphony Pride in San life so that’s kept me on the straight
Francisco to raise money for LGBT+ and narrow ever since I was a little girl.
causes. How was it? If I hadn’t got good grades in school,
It was glorious, the most amazing my parents would have pulled me out
night, being with [conductor] Michael of the performing arts theatre I was
Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco involved with. So I’ve always known
Symphony, with everybody in the that performing is a privilege. I have to
orchestra wearing rainbow colours. respect it and not take it for granted,
The pianist had a rainbow tie made and that means taking care of myself.
out of beads he’d got in New Orleans. It’s driven by the fear of not being able
I told him how fabulous it was and he to do this for a living but [laughs] if I
gave it to me. The audience was electric didn’t have this career and children
and it all came out of the fact that the then I’d be a mess.
symphony had cancelled concerts in What prompted you to pursue a
North Carolina to protest against that showbusiness career?
ridiculous law preventing transgender It’s all I’ve ever known how to do. I
people using the [toilets] of their was diagnosed as a hyperactive child.
choice. They said: “We will not go there Everyone said I was overdramatic, and
but we need to do something,” and my parents got me involved with a
Symphony Pride was born. junior performing troupe as a way to
PHOTOS: EVGENIA ELISEEVA / AUTUMN DE WILDE

Researching Lady Day, was there channel my energy when I was around
anything you were surprised to learn nine years old. That set me on this path.
about Billie Holiday? When did you discover you had such
Yes: how maternal she was. That’s not amazing vocal pipes?
the first thing you think of when you [Laughs]. Well, I don’t think of myself
think of Billie — you don’t think of a as having an amazing voice because I
mother-type figure — but she wanted come from a very musical family where
desperately to have children. She had everybody sings and most everybody

40 JULY 2017
BGF

{ THE CREDENTIALS }
plays the piano. As far as my family is
“I PASSED BEYONCÉ AT THE
concerned, my voice is cute but both
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST my grandmothers have fantastic voices
PREMIERE AND SHE SAID: and my dad was a musician and all his
‘NICE TO SEE YOU’. ALL sisters sing. It’s what the McDonalds do.
I COULD SAY BACK WAS, You broke down barriers by being the
first black woman to play traditionally
‘QUEEN’. NOTHING ELSE
white roles in Carousel and 110 in the
CAME OUT” Shade. Was that a conscious move on
your part?
I just wanted to play the roles I wanted
to play and I never thought of them in
terms of colour. I just thought about
roles that were right for me and I still
do. You can do that to your heart’s
content and it’s important that you do,
but unless someone takes a chance on
you, you are going to be performing it
in your living room. Having [the British
theatre director] Sir Nicholas Hytner Date of birth: always come backstage. [Her daughter]
take that chance when he colour-blind 3 July 1970. Melissa’s people contacted my agent
cast me in Carousel was the jumping-off Place of birth: and asked if I’d perform. I was out of
point for me. Berlin, Germany. town at the time but I ran right back.
Of all the people you’ve met, who have Best known for: What’s the campest thing you’ve done
Being the six-time
you most been excited about? on stage or screen?
Tony award-
I’m not very articulate when I’m in I don’t think you could get any more
winner whose
Barack Obama’s presence, and the first performances flamboyant than my character in Beauty
time I met Julie Andrews she was so in Broadway and the Beast [Madame Garderobe] in
lovely and sweet and took time with musicals, from terms of costumes. She really takes the
me. Then, when I passed Beyoncé at the Carousel to Lady cake.
Beauty and the Beast premiere, she said: Day at Emerson’s Do you have any diva demands?
“Nice to see you.” And all I could say Bar and Grill, are When I’m doing concerts I have to
was, “Queen!” Nothing else came out. the stuff of legend, have coconut water and some sort of
plus she was in The
You sang at Joan Rivers’ funeral. How chocolate/peanut butter thing because
Sound of Music
did that come about? I’m obsessed with them mixed together.
Live! on American
SETTING THE BAR She’d come to see Lady Day twice TV and starred in That’s as diva-ish as I get.
HIGH: This picture
and I wouldn’t say she was a friend this year’s Beauty Have you ever seen a drag queen
and left, Audra
plays Billie Holiday as such but she came to all my shows and the Beast live- Audra?
in Lady Day and was a real theatre buff and would action remake. I haven’t but I’d be honoured if there
at Emerson’s Bar
and Grill Least known for: was one. I’d be so honoured, I’d fall
Playing a chicken over. My husband [Will Swenson] did
on Sesame Street drag in Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
and a guest star
and he was fantastic. I was confused
on the likes of
because I was so attracted to him in
Homicide, Law &
Order and Grey’s drag queen form. It’s funny because
Anatomy. our daughter has this piece of glitter on
BGF status: That her scalp that we swear she was born
voice, those with because we can’t remove it. But
Tonys and the the other day, Will said: “I think that’s
fact she’s always glitter from when I was appearing in
refused to fit into Priscilla.”
the stereotypical
You are incredibly talented, but is
casting mould, say
there anything you’re rubbish at?
it all.
Cooking. I’m terrible. Come over and
see if you don’t end up needing some
kind of medicine after you’ve eaten a
meal of mine.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill


is at the Wyndham’s Theatre, London,
until 9 September.
ladydaywestend.com

JULY 2017 41
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JULY 2017 43
DANIEL NEWMAN

WALKI N G
T L
HAVING SURVIVED CHILDHOOD BULLYING, BEING HIT BY A CAR AND
A BATTLE WITH ALCOHOLISM, DANIEL NEWMAN — STAR OF
THE WALKING DEAD — BECAME A SYMBOL OF LGBT+ PRIDE WHEN
HE POSTED HIS COMING OUT VIDEO ONLINE EARLIER THIS YEAR
WORDS: CLIFF JOANNOU // PHOTOGRAPHS: DANIEL JAEMS // FASHION: JOSEPH KOCHARIAN

Daniel wears denim


jacket and t-shirt
by Diesel, jeans by
7 for all Mankind,
socks by Sockshop ›
Daniel wears
shirt, by Lanvin
DANIEL NEWMAN

oming out isn’t always


easy but few of us can
say they’ve done it to
an audience of millions.
But on 31 March this
year, The Walking Dead
actor Daniel Newman
decided it was time he
opened up about his
sexuality. And in just
three months, more
than 2.3m people
around the world have
watched the video he
made and posted on
YouTube. The post also
generated international
media coverage, which
led some to call it a
shrewd PR exercise. In truth, it was a spur-
of-the-moment act initiated by a visit to a
homeless shelter for LGBT+ people.
Given that he plays a recurring role in one of
America’s most popular TV series and there
are still so few out gay action stars, Daniel
knew his declaration would attract some
attention. But he confesses he had no idea it
would be on such an epic scale.
In his first major interview since coming
out, he tells Attitude that posting about his
experience was a no-brainer. “Number one, I
hate bullies, and I got picked on and beat up
all my childhood,” he says as we sit down to
chat during his recent visit to London.
He grew up in Georgia, in the notoriously
homophobic American South. But the bullying
wasn’t in relation to his sexuality. “It was
because I was a pudgy little redhead kid. And I
was nerdy and the dork. I’d always get beat up.
I felt powerless,” he reveals. Daniel wears
“Then, when I was 15, I grew and suddenly vest by All Saints,
coat by Acne at
I was 6ft 2in and my body changed so much. Mr Porter
One day I just lost my temper with a bully
and beat him up. My
whole world changed.
Suddenly, all the kids “ONE DAY I L OS T MY TEMPER WITH A BULLY AND BEAT HIM UP. MY WHOLE WORLD CHANGED.
thought I was cool and
I started to have some
SUDDENLY, ALL THE KIDS THOUGHT I WAS COOL AND I S TAR TED T O HAVE SELF -REPSECT”
self-respect and feel
empowered, not necessarily about fighting, started to open up to the networks, agents and management about
but my mentality shifted so that these bullies being bisexual they were like, ‘good God, never say that, that will kill
didn’t have power over me any more.” your career instantly’. They said basically that the rule in Hollywood
He learned to brush off comments directed is if you are incredibly flamboyant then use that to your advantage, be
at him, but would still be triggered whenever super-gay, be the comedians, do comedy roles. But if you want to be a
he saw anybody else being bullied. “I would leading man, you can’t be open about your sexuality.
lose my shit, and I would take the bully out “I just believed what they said, and compounded it with having this
and protect people… that came naturally.” small-town Irish Catholic family where it wasn’t about homophobia,
It’s apparent that Daniel, 36, is a man who it was just nobody talked about who they were sleeping with; you just
isn’t willing to sit on the sidelines. On set for don’t talk about your private life, you keep it private. So, with those
his Attitude shoot, he’s keen to offer ideas for two things together, I was like: ‘OK, I’ll have a private life and then I’ll
set-ups and shots. He’s immediately proactive, have a public life and that’s just normal. Professionals don’t talk about
no matter what his surroundings. who they’re sleeping with, so I’m not going to go into it either’.”
However, while he’s always embraced the The fact that Daniel was attracted to women made the ruse easier,
fact that sexually he is attracted to both men but he still felt conflicted when he found himself in a relationship
and women, his choice of career led him to with a guy, which is the case now. “It was very easy for me to see why
initially hide part of his identity. “When I everybody else in Hollywood was keeping silent. I mentioned that in ›

JULY 2017 47
“I WONDERED
WHY I WAS
KEE P I NG IT
P RI VATE . I WAS
my YouTube video but when I talked to this out because it was vintage or antique, things that were unique and
young girl at the homeless shelter, looking in
D I S G U S T E D THAT amazing, even though in reality it was obviously about finances, and
her eyes, I saw me as a child. She was thanking I WA S HI D ING us not having very much money. I never knew that. My father became
me for being so kind to LGBT+ people.”
He suddenly felt at odds with himself,
WHO I A M AND very wealthy, and I saw that whole world of business and wealth and
the loneliness and dark side of that. Even though my father is an
pretending not to identify as part of the IT’S IRONIC unbelievable, amazing guy who I love more than anything, it took me
LGBT+ community. “I was disgusted by being T HAT A L L THE three quarters of my life to get there. We weren’t close when I was
hidden to her, hiding who I am, and I was young. It wasn’t until I grew up and became a man that I realised how
like ‘this is so fucked up’. She was 17. And I
‘TOUGH GUYS’ responsible he was and how he has all of the true manly values such
wondered why I was keeping it private. I had A RE T HE O NE S as integrity. But he wasn’t really nurturing when I was a kid. I had the
no interest in being phoney and it suddenly
hit me: growing up, questioning [my] sexuality
D O I NG THAT” disciplinarian dad who became wealthy, and I lived with my mum who
was all art, love, dream world and hard work.
and how [I’d] fit into society, I dreamed When did you become aware that your sexuality wasn’t the regular
of seeing celebrities, actors, musicians or experience?
athletes that I admired, being out and proud I never realised that because I feel as if my sexuality is the wider
and comfortable in their skin.” experience. Ever since I was a kid I was like, “why would anybody pick
Daniel saw a dichotomy between one or the other, that’s weird.” I read somewhere that James Dean
closeted men like himself, who work in allegedly said, when asked about his sexuality, “Why would I want to
the entertainment industry, and the more live my life with one hand tied behind my back?” and I felt that sums it
effeminate gay men who were out and proud. up perfectly. I mean, when you start to research humanity and culture
“Ironically, they’re the strongest ones in and things, especially the Kinsey scale, everyone’s kind of somewhere
our culture. They’re the ones who walked on the sexuality spectrum. But obviously there are people who are 100
into a room and people knew they were per cent one thing and don’t want anything but that. You like what you
gay, and they had to fight to establish their like.
identity, rights, truth, everything, while all Who were your first sexual experiences with?
the masculine, macho guys were hiding in the My first was just messing around with friends. When you’re with your
closet. I just thought that that was so ironic, buddies and everybody’s grabbing each other and messing around
that all the tough guys were the ones who wrestling and you are like, “Oh, that felt pretty cool, like, maybe when
were keeping it private.” we’re wrestling everybody should do that again.” Then all of a sudden
parents get involved and start instilling
You grew up in a small town… rules on you like, “Oh, you can’t do that,
It was farms and horses and cowboys. But you shouldn’t do that, that’s gross, that’s
everything in my life has been dual, it’s been weird.” My parents never did that but you’d
two ways at the same time, even being a be in some sort of group and you’d hear
Gemini. I grew up in the inner city with my some sort of flippant homophobic comment,
dad; my parents split when I was six. I went to especially in the South. You’re taught to
a kind of rough, inner city school and I always think something is inappropriate or wrong.
wanted to rap. Then I left that school and It’s mind-boggling to me now, the work that
went with my mum down to the country and the LGBT+ community has done. It’s taken
then dealt with the reverse racism. It’s weird DEAD SHOT: Daniel in decades, but there’s been such a cultural
to see both sides and have my best friends be The Walking Dead shift in the past five to eight years. It’s
from both different worlds. I moved around so just a different world now. It’s so amazing
much when I was a kid, always trying to find and so magical. I was volunteering at some LGBT+ homeless youth
[my] place and identity. shelters, and I’d talk to some kids in LA or New York, and I would bring
What’s your family structure like? up something about homophobia, and they’re like, “Oh, you’re old;
It’s just me and my sister. We’re the runts of that doesn’t exist any more.” Now obviously I know they’re living in
a big Irish-Catholic family. My dad has eight a bubble. They’re in these major metropolitan cities but the fact that
brothers and sisters. Each one has between six a kid would think that or say that, [shows] it’s such a different world
and 12 kids, so we have like a hundred people than what I grew up in, and what most people grew up in: the assaults,
at our family reunions. Almost all of them are the suicides and the constant torment about finding your identity and
based in Kansas City. being comfortable in your culture. And it’s just like a miracle that our
What was it like growing up in that kind of forefathers basically created this new world where we’re making it so
family? much better for this next generation.
It was amazing, we were really tight. I was But do you think it is so much better?
blessed. It was funny, I always felt kind of like Oh, yeah. I definitely do. I think it’s leaps and bounds better.
an outcast at school and maybe in society but What about those kids in those small towns like where you grew up?
with my family I always felt so close and tight, Is it really better for them?
so that was awesome. So much. People stigmatise with dating apps and say: “Oh, it’s just for
How did your parents’ divorce, when you sex,” but it’s groundbreaking and revolutionary. When you’re being
were so young, affect you? persecuted and oppressed, you almost feel powerless, believing that
My mum would make almost everything. you’re alone. So, when people are hiding in the closet or just not
We’d have Salvation Army furniture in the visible, you don’t feel empowered. So with dating apps — those that
house, but it was always about taste so I people say are just for sex — when you look on an app and see there
literally thought she was picking everything are dozens or hundreds of people just like us within a few miles, that’s ›

48 JULY 2017
DANIEL NEWMAN

Daniel wears jacket


by Belstaff, t-shirt
by David Gandy for
Autograph, jeans by
Diesel, boots by Dune
Daniel wears suit
by Hugo Boss at MR
PORTER, t-shirt by Neil
Barrett, boots by Dune,
socks by Sockshop
DANIEL NEWMAN

a culture, that’s such power. You’re not some strange things. When you see young
weird pervert in the middle of nowhere; you’re a human kids in homeless shelters, all
being. You are equal in every way to everyone else. And of a sudden you’re around
the things that you like, hundreds of millions of other somebody who just, you know,
people agree with you. is doing the best they can to
There was a huge reaction to your coming out. survive, it wakes you up.
Yeah, it’s mind-boggling. At what point would you say
Did you tell your family you were going to do it? you fully recovered?
My family, friends and everybody around me have I think six or nine months after
always known, I didn’t ask anybody’s opinion before I the accident. I was so tired of
posted the video. lying in bed and all the surgeries, I told my
What about your agent? manager to get me an acting job, and I did
No, I didn’t ask anybody. Heroes. I could barely walk, and I had to play
Did you speak to the producers at The Walking Dead beforehand? a thug, and they were like: “Dude, you can’t
No. I literally was like, “This is something that I need to do for kids out get in a fight scene,” and I was like, “Yes I
there and for people out there,” and I don’t care what anyone’s opinion can, I’ve been through everything. I’ve been
is and I don’t even want to hear anyone’s opinion, in case they say through hell and back.” I landed the role, but
something negative. then, after that, I had to go back and have
How long was it between deciding to do it and posting that video? more surgeries, so, overall, it was many years
The same day. of recovery.
So you just jumped on it? You posed on the cover of last year’s Red Hot
Yeah, because I was like, “I don’t want to change my mind.” I knew it calendar. How did that come about?
was important, and I knew there was so many people who would say: I totally got picked on and beat up for being a
“You shouldn’t do that.” The biggest thing for me was everybody was redhead when I was younger. Everybody would
like, “Wait until after you’re successful,” like [other] actors come out say how ugly I was… and it’s changed now, it’s
after their TV show’s done. There are so many who wait until their like hot and sexy. Before, it just wasn’t. I was
fame dies down and they’re not successful any more and then they always like the poster child of getting beat up
want to capitalise on the gay audience. They’re like, “I don’t have any when I was little; everybody always wanted
fans, maybe if I admit I’m gay then I’ll make some more money.” And to beat up the redhead. I felt as if I had such
control and value in my family and none in a
social setting.
You also modelled for Bruce Weber.
“I T O TA L LY G O T P I C KE D O N A ND B E AT U P F OR B E ING A That was just awesome, Bruce was amazing.
He was just like a grandfather to me, or a
R E D H E A D W H E N I WA S Y O U NG ER. EV E RYB ODY WOU LD S AY HOW teddy bear. He was just the sweetest artist,
U G LY I WA S . I T ’ S C H A N G E D N O W, I T ’ S L I K E H O T A N D S E X Y ” and he hooked me up with some different
agents. I started going to castings, I did a ton
of different jobs with him all over — in Miami
and New York and a bunch of other places.
I just think that’s pathetic. I don’t want to judge anybody, but I was He’s a legend so the agents were like: “Oh, you
like, “My career is starting to take off right now and I’m so proud of must be some cool redhead,” so they started
my community and who we are and I’m so proud to be living in this putting me in Vogue and all this stuff in
day and age when so many people have fought and died for our rights Europe when there were no redhead models.
and to change the world.” Even if I can just do a little tiny thing of just I worked for Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein,
speaking my truth publicly, and encouraging everybody to do that, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. I was the
that’s how you solidify prosperity for a whole culture, each person token ginger!
taking that little step. In terms of romantic relationships, looking
Besides your sexuality, you’ve had other struggles in your life. You back on your history, who has stood out the
almost died in a serious car accident. most to you?
I got run over and technically died in 2009. I was walking in Hollywood I’m pretty private about all that. I wanted to
across an intersection, it was the middle of the night and it was dark, be public and represent the community but
and a drunk driver ran the red light, ran me over and crushed my I’m pretty private about who and what. I have
whole body. Fortunately, Cedars Sinai [hospital] was a couple of blocks an incredible boyfriend now. He’s taught me
away and people — there were witnesses — called an ambulance. They so much about being a responsible adult and
brought me back to life. Tons of surgeries [followed], years of physical the true value of humanity and people, and
therapy and surgery on my leg, my arm, my jaw, learning to speak being in a real relationship.
again. Do you love him?
How long was the recovery? That’s such a tough question, oh my gosh.
Years, because I had so many surgeries where I had to get, like, Yeah, he’s incredible. Yeah.
titanium put in my leg, my hip and in my arm, my jaw, my teeth. Who was your first love?
What psychological impact did that have on you? My first love was a girl from high school who
It changes your whole world. When you’re in that environment I was madly in love with. She was magical,
where people are so vulnerable and on their last legs, it gives you she was pretty cool. My thing is really about
such perspective. You wonder why the fuck you care about certain a connection with the person, obviously ›

JULY 2017 51
being physically attracted is important, very
important, but the one similarity between
my partners has been that core humanity;
who they are as a person, their strength, their
confidence. I’ve always been with really strong
people, people who dream big and are good
human beings who just care about other
people.
How would you describe your sexuality?
I think I feel closest with, I guess, the term
bisexual. But I just feel it depends on the
connection with the other person. We’re
living in a time now that’s so much about
labels. For me everyone who wasn’t “straight”
was “gay.” I just always considered myself
gay, and I mentioned that in an interview
with People magazine. They were like: “Oh, so
you’re gay,” and I talked about the girls I had
dated and they were like, “But you said you’re
gay,” so I don’t know. I hate the fact that we’re
becoming so segmented, LGBTIQ+ and, you
know, XYZ. I think we need to focus on being
one huge amazing community. And we’re
so much more powerful that way, unified. I
mean, the fact is that we’re all “outcasts” from

“WE NEED TO FOCUS ON BEING ONE HUGE AMAZING


C O M M U N I T Y. W E A R E S O M U C H M O R E P O W E R F U L
THAT WAY, UN I F I E D . THE FAC T I S T HAT WE A RE ALL
OUT CAS T S FROM WHAT SOCIET Y WAS BEF ORE”
what society was before, and we are hundreds
of millions of people which is larger then any
army. There’s so much diversity that we have,
we need to focus on our unity and not on our
division.
Am I right in thinking you also had a drink
problem?
Yes, I don’t drink any more. I do things full-on.
It’s all or nothing.
When did that first start to manifest?
I was a bartender for a while. It was a gradual
thing. It was about 10 years of just casual
drinking with friends and going out. My changing. I realised I could have killed people. It was just devastating.
problem was that I always felt sober. Then That was about four years ago. I‘ve been sober for about three years
all of a sudden I’d wake up and read terrible now.
emails that I’d written and you’d lose friends And how did you get into recovery?
one by one and be like, “What happened?” I went to Alcoholics Anonymous. They’re the greatest thing in the
So you’d have blackouts? world!
Yeah, and people were saying things such as: Do you still go?
“You were such an asshole last night,” and Yeah. It’s amazing. I shouldn’t say it but I think they should have AA in
I just couldn’t see the reality. While I was every high school and every college because, beyond just alcoholism or
drinking, I could not see reality. I started to drugs, it’s all about self-empowerment and it’s all about finding your
realise that I was becoming a different person talents in life and focusing on just helping your community. Nobody
— one I didn’t like. there wants anything from you other than to see you be successful. I
When was the moment when you realised was like, “Oh my God, this is better than any church.” It’s empowering
you had a problem? people in their darkest hour.
I was driving, and then I woke up and I was in Is it difficult to be an outwardly social gay person and actor and also
the hospital and I had totalled my car into a be sober?
bus stop. Thank God it was the middle of the No, not at all. But I think it did have a lot to do with me not being
night and nobody was there. That was life- public about who I am. Especially early on, because I’d feel so much

52 JULY 2017
DANIEL NEWMAN

Daniel wears denim


jacket and t-shirt by
Diesel, jeans by 7 for
All Mankind, socks
by Sockshop, trainers
SjRUZURdRe@WÍTV

more comfortable and in my skin with people [when] drinking, and None of them felt great other than drinking. I
having sex. just had to man up.
The drinking helped you relax. It’s part of our culture isn’t it, just to have a
Yeah, totally. You stop judging yourself. Or at least I did. drink…
And now? Yeah, and it’s so difficult to demonise
I just realised I needed to grow up [laughs]. Everything’s so much anything that everyone else is doing
better sober. It took me a while to realise that. constantly. So, it was like, “Are you going to
In what way? face another day making excuses for doing
Being conscious. Knowing what you’re doing, not having any regrets, shitty things to other people?” It doesn’t
being real with people, one on one, actually being able to give to happen all the time but two times out of 10
people and caring about them and what they want and need. you do something you regret and upset
Did you have any slip-ups getting sober? people, so are you going to keep doing that or
Yeah, a hundred. My biggest problem was I truly did not believe that I are you going to grow up, take responsibility GROOMING:
had any addiction. I needed to slow down, so I’d have one and then I’d and say to yourself: OK, I need to stop? I finally Cassie Steward using
Crème de la Mer and
be like: “Oh, I just want another one,” so then I’d have two, and then got to that point where I was like, “Enough is Ecru New York
I’d be wasted with my friends. And my friends always drink heavy. enough.” FASHION ASSISTANTS:
Nick Byam, Umar
Did you ever take drugs or was it just alcohol? Sarwar, Mark-Ashley
I’ve tried every drug, and I’m really lucky that I didn’t like any of them. The Walking Dead returns in the autumn Dupé and Peter Bevan

JULY 2017 53
Al l
hands
on Dec
CATCHY YET HIGHLY
OBSESSION WITH GL RELEVANT SONGS,
ITTER AND A LOVE AN
MIGHT INVOLVE ME LI FE THAT
N — OR MIGHT NOT.
THERE’S SO MUCH NO WONDER
INTEREST IN RISING
DECLAN MCKENNA STAR
WORDS: GILES HAT
TERSLEY // PHOTOG
RAPHY: FRANCESCO
GOMEZ DE VILLABO
A

tops my
ne question

O
t to as k 18 -year-old
lis
r- so ng w riter Declan at the
singe
. “W hen it comes m
of thin inute I’m lea
McKenna yo u do n’ t g s.” rning a
al ity ,
to your sexu You ca bout a
lf as ga y or straight. You lik e
n say th
a
lot
t
define yourse la be ls, is th at co rrec t?”
w
m o m ents ag a ga in . It only
al l as a Ca o that
want to ditch s across his Hertfo tholic schoo McKenna
seems
smile spread
I watch as a nd in D alst on rdshire lboy fr
o
ting arou for his comm m the
face. We’re sit and the G
friends SCEs while m r belt, study
ute
East London
Superstore in t ho pe is via his Y a kin g a few ing
ry’s brightes But wh
ile mo ouTube mu
record indust at e of av oc ado on a re sitti s t of his sic cha
n a pl
scarfing dow n
folky/r g their A-lev ontemporarie l.
c nne
toast. “I ’m yo un g. ocky/n els, Mc s
he agrees. boy wh ail-poli K
“Generally,” d with.” o gets sh-wea enna – a
ex pe rim en te h im cr a nky if r in g g
to Ja uitar
I’m here to be rtable and ha ke Bugg – dit you compare
s an uncomfo
There follow hi s w or ds years w
s spen
t th
ched s
c hool
g which e past
silence durin rsts out in
workin ning award couple of
r. Then he bu
hang in the ai dn ’t co m e g the A
m
s at Gla
stonbu
ross! That di circuit
and wr erican chat r y,
laughing. “G songs iting e show
ht . Je su s… ” a b o x tre
out rig he ’s tr ying g a ut socia mely c
atchy
point; y conv l issue
But I get the peats. in FIFA ersion thera s as v
young,’ he re py and aried as
stuff out. “I’m I co ul d . The la
corrup
, I’m seeing. crosso
ve
tter wa
tio
“I don’t know but s
first alb r hit from th Brazil, his big n
labe l on it if you want, u m e in
put a But fir is out die cha
s in July rts. His
difficu t things first: .
lt-to-d w h a t
stuff o efine lo about th
ut, ve a
eye. He ” he repeats life? “I’m fin t
tells m , a twin ding
e that kle in
his frie his
nds do
n’t ›

54 JULY 2017
Declan McKenna
“I’m young, I’m here to
be experimented with.
Gross! That didn’t
come out right”

56 JULY 2017
Declan McKenna

push him to
pick a label
him for who but accept
he is. I conf
I spent mos ess that ing
t of my teen But leav
stupid stuff s saying
t o f a tt ention. ’t h e just
such as bise get a lo e sn
were lying to xual people
in g so open, do a universal
themselves ever yth sidered s
“Oh my God . eing con he know
“Things are
,” he says, ap
palled. end up b ? Or is ever yone o?
ase o to
so much be prick te er y limb uts.
were even 10 tter than th
ey ntic myst limbo!” he sho
like, ‘I’m ju
years ago. Pe
ople can be in roma m y ste r y d th en
tic a n
st going to
find out’.” “Roman he adds, ts, “my
Which soun . Well…” h
ds properly “I love it ollect his thoug ow.”
how does it great - but c ith the fl
a teenage ro
work in prac
tical terms? pauses to ice is just go w —
adv ble
ck star sign As general s admira
and about to ed to Colum se! That’ t also quite
break Amer bia Oh, plea — b u
ica, he mus r y, even u’re not
t necessa “Are you sure yo irls
n o yin g .
e th e r y ou like g
an o u t w h r fan
y ab s you
being co it double stion; it
because e que
or boys ask th ssing,
base?” I
have to ‘em gue
s sa le s to keep
rt
never hu n? e says.
right De
cla is me,” h he
a . U m no, this b e c au se
“Ha h . First ,
lieve him
And I be

second because
was born in 1999, and
ngs to do other
his two favourite thi
n writin g son gs are wearing glitter
tha
football.
make-up and playing
cked his outfit
Today, he’s colour-blo
s, his nail polish
in thrift store bright
chi ppe d and his hai r is whooshed
is
t. His rock star
up for our photoshoo
e but not aggressive
vibe is intens
eerful and
or confrontational. Ch
s, “I’m always
quick to laugh, he say
nti ng wit h wh at I’m wearing.”
experime
he dis cov er glitter?
So, when did
s 10. The first
“Probably when I wa
glitter was at the
time I actually bought
the pre vio us UK tour. It got to
start of
I had dis pos able income,
a point where
of Bar ry M.”
so I got a little pot
Kenna apart
But what really sets Mc
. While today’s
lies beyond the glitter
rt act s usu ally tackle the
aspiring cha
fall ing in and out
age-old theme of
love or goi ng on a wild night out,
of
sic can — and
McKenna feels that mu
mo re. Ob vio usly, there
should — do
d at the time of the
was Brazil, release
14 Wo rld Cup , abo ut the shocking
20
ces to build
siphoning off of resour
a cou ntr y bes et by poverty.
stadiums in
the re has been his
More recently,
which he was
haunting Paracetamol,
r he read about
inspired to write afte
, a tra nsg ender girl
Leelah Alcorn
herself after her ›
from Ohio who killed

JULY 2017 57
Declan McKenna

insisted
conservative Christian parents
to a
she identify as male and sent her
before
conversion camp for “therapy”
ng
pulling her out of school and cutti
her off from friends.
“It’s devastating to hear about
his
something like that,” Declan says,
elfin featu res sudd enly tens e with
ific.
fury. “It’s heartbreaking, it’s horr
not
I wanted to say something.” And
lack of
just about the tragedy, but the
non-
media coverage. “It was almost
existent. Why? That’s not OK. ”
himself
Although he no longer counts
of six
as religious, being the youngest
ren from an Irish Cath olic family
child
ally have
living near London might actu
had something to do with his well-
developed sense of justice.
Formalised religion might be
e-up
anathema to a boy wearing mak
at a
and singing about trans rights
dad,
festival but McKenna’s mum and
care prof essio nal and retir ed
a child
community worker respectively,
“It’s devastating could well have inspired the socia
n in
l
conscience that finds expressio
to hear about his work. Which admittedly mak
es
me,
it sound pretty unsexy. But trust
something when you hear McKenna combine
his
ical
like that. It’s talent as a lyricist with large polit
dies,
themes and gorgeous lo-fi melo
heartbreaking. Not you’ll fall in love with his work
.
And you’ll fall in love with him
just the tragedy but too. Make-up, footie and a mor
love ?
al
cons cien ce. Wha t’s not to
the lack of media “I always like to think that, as who
le,
says.
the world is getting better,” he
coverage” Then he smiles, gathers up his
stuff
head s out of the door to cont inue
and
e
his rise to stardom. There are wors
people success could happen to.

Car? is
What Do You Think About The
out 21 July on Columbia Records
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POCKETMAGS.COM/ATTITUDE
OR VIA THE ATTITUDE APP *offer ends 14 September 2017
GALE f o r c e
WITH HIS NEW DRAMA, MAN IN AN ORANGE SHIRT, SET TO AIR ON
THE BBC, WRITER PATRICK GIVES US AN INSIGHT INTO ITS GAY LOVE
STORY WHILE TWO OF ITS STARS TALK ABOUT THEIR ROLES
WORDS: ADAM DUXBURY // PHOTOGRAPHS: LEON CSERNOHLAVEK

A
s England and Wales mark 50 years since the Offences Act. “It’s lovely though,” he writer, because I’m not interested in
partial decriminalisation of sex between men, adds, “especially because the first that kind of unquestioning celebration.
we’re being treated to a bevy of fantastic episode is set during the Forties and That’s not what I do; the truth isn’t
culture. Queer is the buzzword across art, Fifties and so it covers the period of pretty or comforting.”
theatre, literature and film. And on TV, the criminalisation.” True to his word, Man in an Orange
BBC is really flying the rainbow flag with its “Gay Britannia” Gale is the best-selling author Shirt opens with chaos, as handsome
season, which includes a raft of documentaries exploring of books including Notes From an British Army captain Michael
queer identity and a powerful docudrama called Against the Exhibition and more recently the Berryman, played by Oliver Jackson-
Law (see next month’s issue of Attitude for an interview with Costa Prize-shortlisted A Place Called Cohen, saves the life of a sensitive war
star Daniel Mays). Winter. He was approached by the BBC artist called Thomas March (Star Wars:
But one of the season’s highlights is undoubtedly Man in with what he calls a “huge brief; just The Force Awakens’ James McCardle)
an Orange Shirt — a two-part love story charting the ill-fated enormous”, to create a drama that during an intense firefight.
relationship between two closeted soldiers in post-war reflected the gay male experience in We’re in Southern Italy and WWII
Britain, and the redemptive journey of a young man in the 20th century. is drawing to a close but passion is
modern-day London who’s filled with shame while also The brief may have been broad, but just beginning for the two soldiers
being driven by an insatiable appetite for casual sex. Gale was quick to hone in on what he as straight-laced Berryman falls for
Attitude sat down with gay author Patrick Gale — who would not be writing. “I mentioned March’s bohemian charms.
wrote the script — to discuss how this tale of repressed love Queer as Folk and said that what you Their affair continues after they
across the generations was brought to life. won’t get from me is fabulous. If you arrive home, but this is the 1940s
“It’s one of these wonderful accidents,” explains Gale, want fabulousity go to a different and, of course, they are never going
stretching out his long limbs once to be able to waltz off happily into the
our photoshoot has come to an end. sunset together.
We’re talking about the significance Berryman’s young fiancé Flora
of showing his drama now, and the “I mentioned Queer as Folk (Joanna Vanderham) is waiting for
handsome 55 year old tells me that and I said that what you him. And despite the fact that he
Man in an Orange Shirt, which has been tells March he’s “known her for ever,
won’t get from me is fabulous.
in development for four years, wasn’t she’s like a sister to me,” he puts
originally planned to coincide with That’s not what I do; the truth aside the ardent, aching love he feels
the anniversary of the 1967 Sexual isn’t pretty or comforting” for the artist, determined to honour ›

60 JULY 2017
MAN
IN AN
ORANGE
SHIRT
MAN
“ For a lot of gay men and IN AN
ORANGE
l es bia n s the world wars were SHIRT

t heir f irst chance to exp ress


th emselves”

his promise to marry Flora. In this wars were their first chance to express the letters, she destroyed them and only told me when I
first section, we get flashes of what themselves. Under the cover of war came out to her at 21. The weird thing was she told me
life would have been like back then an awful lot can happen that couldn’t thinking [this] was a happy story, [a way of saying] ‘don’t
for closeted men. A queasy cottaging occur in normal life. Partly in London worry darling one day you’ll meet a nice woman like your
scene later gives way to that special and obviously during the Blitz, but father did. This can be just a phase’.”
world of knowing looks and subtle I think also during the intensity of In Man in an Orange Shirt, a heavily pregnant Flora
gestures that gay men used to try to battle. As long as it wasn’t named, then discovers a box full of love letters from March to her
find love wherever they could. One of it wasn’t really gay. If you didn’t stick a husband and her worst fears are confirmed. But unlike
the characters is even imprisoned after label on it, you were just friends who Gale’s mother, she confronts her husband and the event sets
being caught cruising. happen to have sex occasionally.” in motion a terrible rift and a bitter resentment that ripples
They may not have had the 50th Gale drew on his time at boarding through time, connecting us to the second half of the show,
anniversary of decriminalisation school and an “ultra-traditional as we jump forward to the present day and meet an elderly
in mind, but this landmark drama conservative” upbringing to capture version of Flora, now played by Vanessa Redgrave.
certainly captures the feeling of fear what life was like for men in the closet Her grandson Adam (Julian Morris) lives with her in
and repression, of liberation and hope, back then. But, incredibly, one of the London. He’s a vet, seemingly successful but still living in his
that coloured the daily life of gay men show’s most affecting scenes, and a grandmother’s basement. It’s not society that’s holding him
in Britain before 1967. turning point for the first half of the back because of his sexuality, however, it’s his own demons:
When I ask him why he wanted show, is based on a real event from his destructive addiction to casual sex helps feed his morbid
to explore this particular period his own family. “When my mother was fear of having a real human connection.
of gay history, Gale tells me that pregnant with me — 10 or 11 years The constant beep of a hook-up app distracts him as he
what hasn’t been covered enough is into her marriage — she discovered a dashes away from social engagements with friends and
alternative sexuality during the war. load of love letters to my father,” he family, eager for the next sexual encounter. But after each
“By all accounts it was an amazingly reveals. They were from a friend who of these ultimately hollow hook-ups, we see him scouring
liberating experience,” he says. “For a had been his best man at the wedding. himself in the shower — literally trying to scrub away the
lot of gay men and lesbians the world “She never told my father she’d found shame. When a handsome architect walks into his practice ›

D AV I D G YA S I ( S t e v e )
What drew you to the role? intrigued me, I mean [it] probably even
It was more the piece as a whole, and helped me to be able to [create] a
what I felt it was saying. I feel as if Patrick’s doorway into understanding how this
written something that is a perspective that I guy felt and loved, and thought about
hadn’t seen, certainly not on TV, before. The the world.
perspective I’m talking about is that in 2017 Did you cross over with the other
we can definitely be guilty of living within actors and crew from the first part of
our own bubble, as we’re seeing all over the the show?
world at the moment. So, for me, to still see To be absolutely honest with you, the
that struggle for self-acceptance that exists only thing I can remember was that
purely because of someone’s sexuality, even in sometimes they would do clever things
metropolitan London, was enlightening as well such as mirror certain body language.
as heartbreaking. It made me think: this is a That was quite nice to link the two
story that I feel compelled to be involved with in a way. It was something — maybe
and one that must be told. surreptitious is the word I can use —
And do you think that the way it’s affected about knowing that we’re involved
you will do something similar for those in a storyline here, and we’re linking
watching? not only through Vanessa Redgrave’s
I really hope so. Julian’s performance as Adam character but also on other levels. I
(see p64) allows us into that world and you see quite liked that.
the struggle and the torment that this human She’s a fantastic actress, isn’t she?
being is dealing with. I’m interested in the Yeah. What I find so much when I work
sections of society that wouldn’t necessarily with people who have CVs longer than
know this world, or know people within the gay my life, is their enthusiasm. [Vanessa’s]
community. If they allow themselves to watch search for the truth of the piece, I
and engage with it, then maybe it will raise would imagine, is still the same today
more sympathisers. That would be great. as it was when she first left drama
Did you see much of yourself in Steve? school. There was a real tenacity
Of all the characters I’ve ever played, he’s the too, to get it as truthful for her, as
most similar to me. The only difference that honest for her, as possible, and I really
I could find was the sexuality. And that really admired that.

JULY 2017 63
MAN
IN AN
ORANGE
SHIRT

JULIAN MORRIS (Adam)


love and to show both sides. This wasn’t
a guy who can’t fall in love because
there seems to be a chance for a happy he’s dour and dark, it’s a guy who can’t
relationship. But will he follow his bring himself to love because of his
heart, or let his demons screw up the issues. When he does, however, it’s
opportunity? Much as he might like to, beautiful and filled with light, humility
he can’t turn to Flora for help — who, and humanity. Also, the sex scenes were
we learn, has raised him herself — [challenging]. Making sure that those
because he is also hiding his true self were right was hugely important to me,
from her. But little does he know that too.
Flora has her own demons to battle Your character begins to form a
and still struggles with the emotional relationship with Steve — what
aftermath of her husband’s betrayal. obstacles do they have to overcome?
Ostensibly, this might be a show Well, the primary obstacle for Adam
about the lives of four gay men, but is himself. Because of his upbringing,
at its heart lie powerful performances because of his tense relationship with
from Vanderham and Redgrave, and his grandmother, he has a deep-seated
it’s their conflicted character who shame about his gayness. We pick him
glues the drama together. up as he is using an app to find sex,
“I think it will be very challenging [he] needs almost constant physical
for gay viewers because it forces them gratification. He can’t deny himself that,
to understand homophobia from the but the moment that something more
inside,” explains Gale, who was born intimate, something more loving, [comes
on the Isle of Wight, where his father along], he can’t handle it. He’s too
was a prison governor. Shame — both internal and external — is an important oppressed, he’s too full of shame and
As gay men, we often don’t like to theme. How does it fit into your part of the story? so he denies it to himself. Before Adam
ask the uncomfortable questions about Yeah [it is important] and I think it’s something that has meets Steve, he’s seen with at least a
homophobes; to understand the enemy changed across generations. We pick up the story in couple of other people, including this
from within. It’s an issue that Gale is Man in an Orange Shirt just after the Second World War. one guy who you think: “God, they’re
keen to address in the show. “It’s like That was a very different time for a gay man or woman amazing together.” We have this great
racism, it’s just easier to say I don’t — when hate and oppression came from outside. For session of lovemaking, as if it’s really
understand, you’re horrible, go away. me, it was really interesting to look at a story where the great fucking, and afterwards we clearly
But actually you have to understand oppression of oneself and the shame of oneself leads to have chemistry, but then my character
if you want to change the way people trauma. I think that is perhaps very true of many people is terrified by it and flees. What’s
think, you need to understand why in our society and our time. interesting about the story is that it
they’re thinking is the way it is.” Did you find this a difficult role to prepare for? looks at where that comes from, in a way
In writing and researching these Oh, hugely so. I felt a responsibility to get it right. I that is moving. I think, because of that,
two seemingly different periods of gay wanted to show Adam’s honesty and his pain, and I it makes it an important story, not just
life, Gale asks whether our lives have know I’m talking a lot about pain, because there’s also for a gay audience but also for straight
changed that much. “There must have hope there. But I wanted to show the honesty of his viewers.
been many gay men who pretended
to be straight and were married and
probably making their wives’ life a
misery and cheating on them,” he says. ultimately forgettable one-off drama. wonderfully scripted, acted and directed, but what really
“But at the same time, I don’t think It has all the hallmarks of a classic resonates are these complicated, thorny issues.
that’s changed entirely. You only have BBC production: gorgeous to look at, The characters Gale has created, and the way the actors
to look on Scruff or Grindr have teased out their complexities, stay with you long after
to see how many people are the credits roll. He offers no easy answers to these tough
hiding their faces. There are questions and we are introduced to few characters who
an awful lot of married men aren’t suffocating under dirty layers of shame, choking with
on there and they’re not poisonous secrets and living for flashes of snatched pleasure.
necessarily married to other But there’s hope too, and a chance at redemption for some
men. OK, we’ve got rights and of these people.
so on, but psychologically Can Flora make peace with the secrets of her past? And
are we better adjusted than is Adam doomed to repeat his cycle of emotional abuse,
our grandfathers were?” he cruising from one hook-up to the next?
asks me, as we discuss the You’ll have to watch one of the year’s best pieces of TV to
differences between the two BATTLES AHEAD: find out.
halves of the show. Berryman and March
SHUTTERSTOCK

Man in an Orange Shirt could continue to see each Man in an Orange Shirt airs on BBC Two soon and will be
other after the war ends
just be another beautiful but available on BBC iPlayer later

64 JULY 2017
9 9
SATURDAY 5TH AUGUSTĘĺììp©ĺĖĺ¼¯©ĺ"¯Ó„ĺ1pÔªÀ

9(
SATURDAY 5TH AUGUSTĘĺìíª¯¯ªĺĖĺG¼„ÀƯªĺGp¼ 

SUMMER OF LOVE
BIG TOP ïS"ĮñS" WWNS
_lucy spraggan_sink the pink_
_ JOCELYN BROWN _ _brüt bearstival_sclub party_
_ROZALLA_ANGIE BROWN_ _BIMM LIVE STAGE_it is still 1985 _

info & festival tickets at Brighton-Pride.org


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supported by
OUTSPOKEN:
Zia has no
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HISTORY OF CRUISING

CRUISE
SOME OF US DISLIKE COTTAGING AND CRUISING, SAYING IT PAINTS A NEGATIVE
PICTURE OF OUR LIFESTYLE. BUT FOR YEARS, WHEN HOMOSEXUALITY WAS
ILLEGAL, THIS WAS ALMOST THE ONLY WAY GAY MEN COULD MEET EACH OTHER

CONTROL WORDS: SIMON BUTTON

ifty years ago cruising and cottaging form of anonymous sex and again not all that

F weren’t the fetishes or fantasies that


they arguably are now; they were a
necessity — the only way for most
men to meet other men, albeit it a risky one.
From the early 1950s, there was a witch-
wandered into public toilets 50 yards from
his lodgings. The “furtive, anonymous and
satisfactory,” he notes.
Flash-forward to the present, and gay sex
has never been easier to arrange — as simple
as ordering a pizza, delivered to your door via
an app or served up in gay saunas around the
hunt afoot, with Conservative home secretary depressing scenario” was better than nothing, country.
David Maxwell Fyfe vowing to “rid England he says.
of this plague” as he despatched undercover “You’d spend hours trying to find SODOMITES’ WALK
policemen to prowl in parks, cruising grounds somebody, visiting one set of toilets then But cottaging and cruising have links dating
and public toilets. Their enticements led to another, enduring the cold and damp, back to at least the 17th century, with the
the imprisonment of an estimated 1,000 gay spending a lot of time waiting for a fleeting first recorded instance of entrapment being
men each year but that didn’t put a stop to sexual experience that wasn’t particularly the 1698 case of Captain Edward Rigby, who
the covert goings-on. satisfying,” he adds. was lured to a private room in a London
That’s because, a leading gay rights Luckily, Bernard was eventually introduced tavern by a man on the payroll of the Society
campaigner believes, cruising and cottaging to a barman whose place of work served as a for the Reformation of Manners, a group
represented the only way for gay men to meeting place for a small group of gay men. which aimed to suppress what it saw as
explore their sexuality. Bernard Greaves, “You couldn’t say it was a gay bar because profanity and immorality by bringing private
who, as a policy adviser to the Liberals in the the concept didn’t exist. It was full of straight prosecutions.
Seventies, became the first openly gay man people but towards one end of the room a The turn of the 18th century saw the rise
to hold national office in a UK political party, group of gay men would meet up.” They were of molly houses: taverns, coffee houses and
points out: “The idea of being ‘out’ wasn’t cautious and used Polari, [gay slang] “which I private rooms where gay men could meet.
a concept at all and it was easier to find sex didn’t understand at all at first,” he laughs. These were frequently raided by the police,
cottaging than it was in bars. They’d discuss chat-up etiquette, which but the publicity this caused only served to
“There were no gay bars as such, anyway. included approaching someone and, if they draw more gay men to the capital, with the
People lived in a straight world and lived weren’t interested, making it seem like a London Journal reporting that men cruised
straight lives.” joke. “That’s an art that has largely gone now for sex in Covent Garden, Lincoln’s Inn, St
Now 74, Bernard was born near Leek, in and very often it was the older gay men who James’s Park and a path in Moorfields that
Staffordshire. “You grew up in isolation and mentored the younger ones. Having older gay was dubbed Sodomites’ Walk.
you didn’t know anyone else who was gay. In men teach younger gay men how to survive in Public toilets, or bog-houses as they were
fact, the word ‘gay’ wasn’t in use, the word a hostile society was very important.” known at the time, were also haunts for gay
most people used at that time was ‘queer’, As an architecture student, Bernard moved men. A 1706 court report vividly details
and there was no readily available information to Huddersfield and discovered the concept Edward Barker being prosecuted for poking
or knowledge about homosexuality.” of cruising in cinemas, where there was a lot his member through a hole in a cubicle wall,
Bernard went to Cambridge University and, of furtive sexual behaviour in what were then and in 1728 John Bennet was found guilty of
aged 19, first encountered cottaging when he dark and dingy auditoria. “It was another attempted sodomy. ›

JULY 2017 67
In 1890, a case was brought against the Earl
of Euston, who had allegedly been cruised by a
CARRY ON CRUISING
male prostitute in Piccadilly and accompanied
him to a notorious Cleveland Street brothel, in
London’s West End. anybody who used public toilets for legitimate JOHN GIELGUD
His letters reveal that actor
The jury acquitted the earl but the trial and reasons,” he explains. “There were police
Sir John was a devotee of
that of Oscar Wilde for gross indecency five officers concealed in the roof and they had
men in corduroy, porn — and
years later prompted many gay men to be less pretty policemen trying to entice gay men. In cottaging. In 1953 he was
brazen. They began to rendezvous in Turkish one toilet they actually installed a secret room arrested after soliciting an
baths and swimming pool cubicles. through which they could observe men using undercover policeman in a
A few years ago, Manchester-based historian the urinals. It was disgraceful.” toilet in London’s Chelsea.
Jeff Evans learned of a raid on a “drag ball” He was fined £10 and wrote
in the Hulme DARK ALLEYS to Noël Coward: “I suppose it might have been
area of the city Unlike Bernard, I was a teenager in the 1970s. worse.”
in 1880 when Although I’ve become an old romantic, as a
about 40 men, teenager in Nottingham, I was under the age JOE ORTON
wearing women’s of consent — 21 at the time — and didn’t dare In the 1960s, while he was
being fêted as the most
clothing, were to try to bluff my way into the gay clubs that
exciting young playwright
arrested. “People I’d heard existed down dark alleys and behind
of his generation, Joe Orton
thought such discreet doorways. In addition, I had little was cruising for sex, often in
things only confidence in being able to attract other men a toilet in the Holloway Road.
happened in with my looks but the usual rules of attraction The same one was used by
London,” Evans didn’t apply when it came to cruising; no-one record producer Joe Meek;
noted, “but it was was looking for love or Mr Right. he was nicked but Orton never was.
reported in the A friend of a friend, who grew up a decade
national press. The case collapsed because earlier and doesn’t wish to be named, recalls LOUIS EAKS
so many middle-class men were arrested and The prominent Young Liberal was arrested for
they all brought barristers with them.” cruising on London’s Highbury Fields in 1970. A
After the partial decriminalisation of “YOU GREW UP IN protest, held on 27 November that year by 150
members of the fledgling Gay Liberation Front
homosexuality in 1967, there were still very
few gay bars in the UK so men who wanted ISOLATION AND was, according to Peter Tatchell, “a milestone in
gay history”.
fast sex often found it in toilets.
Dermot [who asked Attitude to withhold his YOU DIDN’T KNOW OSSIE CLARK
surname], is in his seventies and moved to
London from Ireland. Here he discovered the ANYONE ELSE WHO Fashion designer Clark, who
was killed by former lover
cottaging scene, only to be arrested in 1973 at
a urinal in Deptford. He stood next to a good- WAS GAY. IN FACT, Diego Cogolato in 1996,
couldn’t keep away from
looking guy who turned out to be a policeman
(“very pretty, nice cock as well”) and a witness
THE WORD ‘GAY’ Hampstead Heath in the
1980s. “Later went to the
— required to make any charge stick —
appeared out of nowhere. The resulting £1.50
WASN’T IN USE” Heath,” reads an entry in his
diary. “Met a wonderfully
muscular guy in ripped vest and peaked cap
fine did little to discourage Dermot.
Bernard Greaves remembers high-profile
— BERNARD cap, a banker from Victoria.”
court cases including the Wildeblood trial,
but it was only after decriminalisation that being in the bushes of a renowned cruising NIGEL WRENCH
Radio presenter Nigel Wrench was diagnosed
police action visibly increased. “They felt they ground in Croydon, Shirley Hills. “There was
with HIV in 1993, probably being infected
had to uphold morals, and while homosexual nothing lovelier than some hot action on a
on Hampstead Heath. In 2000, he caused a
behaviour between consenting adults over hot summer night,” he recalls now. “It felt scandal by writing: “Barebacking can be warm,
the age of 21, in private, had been legalised, decadent and very non-judgmental because it exciting and involving. We need to debate it.”
sex in public toilets was an ‘outrage’ and they didn’t seem to be about body images or what
were going to stop it,” he says. you looked like, just what you had to offer
GEORGE MICHAEL
Entrapment is something Bernard went when you whipped it out.”
Eight years after his
on to publicly challenge in the early 1970s, Sounding rather like Harvey Fierstein’s celebrated arrest in a Los
branding it an absolute outrage. He spent character in Torch Song Trilogy who, thinking Angeles toilet in 1998,
three months researching it and presented his he’s being judged by a guy he rejected earlier George Michael made front-
evidence to the Cambridge Evening News, which at the bar, exits a dark room with: “At least I page news again when he
gave the subject extensive coverage. “It was don’t have to cook him breakfast.” The man, was discovered cruising on
not just pursuing gay men, it was spying on in his mid-sixties, adds: “I just wanted sex, not Hampstead Heath. “Are you
pleasantries and all that game playing.” gay? No? Then fuck off!” he
screamed at a News of the World reporter in
Chris, who is now 47, discovered cottaging
2006. “This is my culture!”
when he was out shopping with his parents
in Poole, Dorset. Soon he was travelling to

68 JULY 2017
HISTORY OF CRUISING

DEPRESSING: Bernard Greaves


found cruising better than
nothing as a teenager.
Below, St James’s Park was
a cruising ground. Opposite
page, a plaque marks the spot
where protests were held at
Highbury Fields following the
arrest of Young Liberal Louis
Eakes for cruising in 1970

London where the cottages were heaving,


especially at lunch time. Public loos outside
the capital could be hit-and-miss but were
essential for married men. “I never saw so
many wedding rings,” Chris laughs.
But cottaging wasn’t only a means for
married men to find quick, easy and
anonymous sex. Pete, now 74, found his life
partner Mike while cruising a sauna in the
1970s. “We flashed each other and it was
all a bit furtive,” he recounts. “There were
attendants around and they’d tell you not to
do it.” Later the same evening Pete and Mike
got chatting, consummated their relationship
back at Mike’s flat and remained a couple
until Mike died in 2010. Pete doubts whether
a relationship could develop from cruising
nowadays, “because sex is too easy and people
are more likely to move on”.

CAUSING OFFENCE
Bernard Greaves thinks cottaging, at least in
Leicester where he lives, is on the way out
because sex in public toilets is illegal, whereas
sex in the open isn’t — unless it is deemed as
“WHEN YOU’RE IN A CRUISING
causing offence to other people. And for some
people, he sighs, cruising remains a necessity.
ENVIRONMENT SUCH AS A SAUNA OR
“There are lots of people who are still in the
closet. Using Leicester as a case in point, the
TOILETS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE
idea of being openly gay in ethnic minority
communities, or for that matter in Eastern
THERE FOR” — ZIA
European communities, is still appallingly
difficult and lots of them are using cruising up to much the same thing only in a digital I’m not so sure about toilets, though. A lot
areas and saunas.” way and that felt like hypocrisy to me.” of them are closed down or have heightened
Present-day cottager Carlo, 35, enjoys the He recalls cruising on Hampstead Heath security. There’s an infamous one a mate of
speed and convenience. “It offers one thing when he was about 16. He would also pop mine used to frequent in the British Library
all men want,” he explains, “namely a quick into the loos near a sixth-form college “just and they had a whole system going on, with
wank in the middle of the day.” He doesn’t before drama class, as you do”. But times look-outs and day-long sex parties, but then
advertise the fact that he does it, however, have changed. “The spaces I used to use, security found out and cracked down on it.”
adding: “People are ashamed of it. You can’t are nowhere near as busy now and I don’t The city used to be cruisier, Zia says. “Quite
tell people: ‘we met in a toilet’.” cruise outside so much any more because often I’d make eye contact with someone
Zia X, a 28-year-old Londoner who works it’s cold,” says Zia, who now tends to stick to on public transport and that would lead
in retail and museums and is also a writer, saunas. “Going on dates can be complicated to something somewhere, but that hasn’t
has no such qualms. “I’m very outspoken and and you’re always trying to read people’s happened in years. Maybe I’m getting older
I’ve always been open about cottaging and emotions, but when you’re in a cruising and I’m not catching those eyes.”
cruising. People could be quite judgmental environment such as a sauna or toilets you Or maybe all those eyes are glued to Grindr.
but when Grindr came along they were getting know what you’re there for.” The popularity of saunas is a reminder that
But outdoor cruising, Zia feels, hasn’t gay sex is still furtive for many people, even if
stopped. Earlier this year there was the Let’s they’ve taken it indoors. “Living in quite a
Go Outside party at George Michael’s former queer world, I assume everyone is out but
stomping grounds on Hampstead Heath going to saunas it’s like: ‘Oh wow, there’s a
“which was a celebration of him refusing to swathe of people who are in straight
be shamed into silence and to make a video marriages, with kids, who aren’t out’,” Zia
about how wonderful it is to fuck outside and says. “There are still lots of people who
it was an amazing event”. haven’t found that place to express their
Zia adds: “Many people say most of the desires openly so they use these more
activity has shifted online and that’s partly secretive places to do so. It’s a part of queer
true, but a lot of people still use the parks. life that is still very much with us.”

JULY 2017 69
A world
di f fe re n c e
ALTHOUGH THE 1967 SEXUAL oday, homosexuality is still illegal
in more than 70 countries and
OFFENCES ACT WAS NOT
an estimated 663 million people
THE LIGHT-SWITCH MOMENT live in countries — such as Sudan,
AT WHICH EQUALITY WAS Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria,
ACHIEVED IN THE UK, IT Somalia, Mauritania, Afghanistan,
WAS A MAJOR LANDMARK Qatar, and the UAE — where being gay can result in
the death penalty.
ON OUR PATH TOWARDS
In other nations, the sentences vary wildly. Chad,
FULL ACCEPTANCE. in central Africa, only criminalised homosexuality in
BUT PROGRESS HASN’T December 2016, so the length of jail terms isn’t yet
HAPPENED AT THE SAME clear. Homosexuality in Turkmenistan, central Asia,
PACE FOR GAY PEOPLE carries a two-year jail term, while in Jamaica it can
mean 10 years of hard labour, although it’s not often
LIVING ELSEWHERE IN
enforced. The Maldives banishes gay people for nine
THE WORLD months to a year, or subjects them to up to 30
WORDS: JACK MAY
ILLUSTRATIONS: GARY SIMONS lashes, while homosexuality in Gambia, Sierra
Leone, Uganda, Barbados, Guyana, Bangladesh,
India, and Myanmar (formerly Burma) can
result in a life sentence. If you’re caught
engaging in homosexual acts as an
unmarried man in Yemen, you get 100
lashes. If you’re married, it’s a stoning.

esham Mashhour, who


is now training to be a
doctor in the UK, was
born in Egypt and grew up in
Kuwait, both countries in which
homosexuality is illegal. “It’s
quite an interesting experience
living in a place where being
gay is a crime,” he tells me,
“because it’s not something
that is necessarily discussed.
People don’t say ‘oh, you’re
not meant to be gay’, it’s
just the unspoken rule. And
people have the expectation
that if you’re a man you’ll
get married to a woman,
you’ll have children. And
there’s not much room for
anything else.” ›

72 JULY 2017
WORLD REPORT
Growing up in Kuwait, and spending Kamoga Hassan came up with the idea for a queer film
holidays in Egypt, meant it was almost festival in 2014 after a series of Ugandan newspaper stories
impossible for Mashhour to get information outed people who were thought to be gay, or were believed
TARGET: Even the
about sexuality and being gay from school, Arab Spring didn’t to be “sympathisers” of the LGBT+ community. In the same
friends or his family. do much to help gay year, the country’s dictator, President Yoweri Museveni,
people, according to
“I guess the only way where you can actually Hesham Mashhour signed the anti-homosexuality bill, which came to be known
learn more about your sexuality is online,” as the Kill the Gays Bill, outside the country.
he says. “The internet is great, because 50 years ago that On the ground, the effects were stark. “As a result of this,
would not have been an option for young gay people. They many of our friends lost their jobs,” Hassan says. “We also
wouldn’t have had access to the resources that are online, saw a large number of gay and lesbian people leaving the
where you can learn more about your sexuality — and it country. In some rare cases, people committed suicide.
kind of provides some legitimacy to your sexual feelings.” Seeing all this happening, my friends and I could not just sit
And although neither Egypt nor Kuwait prosecutes and look.” The film festival was a creative outlet, a way out
homosexuality particularly rigorously, there is still a sense of of the horrific situation unfolding in Uganda — a country
constant threat, and fear. where, although the death penalty is not enforced for
The danger, Mashhour says, is that “generally people homosexuality, vigilante executions are common.
don’t get prosecuted unless there’s a time period where the The bravery of holding a queer film festival in such an
government wants to appeal to the conservative populace”. overtly homophobic country is immense and Kamoga
The most prominent case in recent times came in May admits that it comes with
2001, when 52 men were arrested on a boat moored on challenges. The first Queer
the Nile in Cairo, Egypt’s capital. The Queen Boat was a gay Kampala International
nightclub, and the arrests incited international outrage. The Film Festival was held in
men were arrested on charges of “habitual debauchery” and several venues across
“obscene behaviour”, and were allegedly beaten, kept in Uganda’s capital city,
just two cramped cells with no beds, and forced to Kampala, in December
undergo forensic examinations in an attempt to 2016. “To ensure a
“prove” their sexuality. safe and successful VIGILANT: A queer
film festival was held
“And that was essentially just to appeal to the event, we executed for the first time in
conservative populace and be like, ‘yeah, this complex strategies Uganda last year
government is actually doing something to fight including pre-
vice’,” says Mashhour. Things haven’t changed screening of attendees, announcing venues only
much since then. “You also see that a little hours before each screening, and never using
after the Arab Spring [in 2011], where more the same venue twice,” Kamoga explains.
conservative governments were voted in and
gay people definitely seemed to be the target.” espite the obvious legal dangers
It’s appalling to think what such an posed by living in countries in
environment would do to a young person which being gay is still classed as
growing up, coming to terms with a criminal act, in reality much of the
their sexuality and their identity threat is the social discrimination
as a gay man. “There were a lot of that anti-gay laws encourage. “I
difficulties, personally speaking,” think the fear that a lot of gay
Mashhour tells me. “I remember men in the Middle East face is
when I was about 15. I was really not necessarily being arrested,”
close to my mother throughout Mashhour says. “The biggest worry is
my entire life, but then all this was being exposed as gay to their families,
something that I couldn’t actually their friends, and work colleagues. You
speak to her about, and it was something I would lose your job, you would lose all
couldn’t speak to anyone about. respect from your community, you could
“And I was just building a lot of these potentially lose everything, so that leaves
negative feelings, where my identity was a lot of room for blackmail and that sort
in conflict with where I was and what was of thing.”
expected of me, and I would get panic Mashhour tells me about a school
attacks and feel extremely negative about friend who tried to come out as gay.
things – and I entered a dark space.” “He came from a Christian family from
Egypt, and his parents sent him to
n Uganda, an overwhelmingly a conversion camp in some church
Christian country in sub- in the summer, and he came back
Saharan Africa, state-sponsored a completely different person: a
homophobia can have the same lot more scared, and he stopped
damaging effect on lives, as well as speaking to me after that because
people’s mental health. I am gay. I guess he just wanted

74 JULY 2017
WORLD REPORT

Western sense, but also has no cultural framework for such


relationships, amicable body contact between two male
friends is a normal part of life.
But as the country increasingly opens up to the West,
and with the reform-minded President Hassan Rouhani re-
elected in May, could things turn around?
“I don’t think the Islamic Republic of 10 years time will
police women’s dress, execute gays publicly and crack
down on immodesty and partying; but homosexuality will
to distance himself from everything that was gay. “That’s still be illegal,” Omid says. “After all, it’s a theocracy, and
why I say things are a little bit more cultural as you’ll see though the substance of that theocracy will change, the laws
Christians and Muslims [in Egypt] ostracise their gay underpinning it will move much slower and some things
and lesbian children in equal ways.” may not change at all.
He adds: “Strangely enough, I “That said, will there be a time
think what can help gay men is that when gays are not hanged? Almost
in the Middle East there’s a lot of definitely, and probably sooner than
emphasis on privacy. So police don’t we think. Young people in Iran and,
actually search people’s homes, to a certain extent, middle-class,
that’s not actually a thing in the middle-aged people have a very
Middle East. So, in places such as different mindset, and thoughts and
Saudi Arabia you hear about big gay perceptions are changing quickly.”
house parties, and these can go on just fine because of that Although things are obviously still a long way behind the
emphasis on privacy and the private home life.” UK, the pace of change is much faster than in the West.
“The establishment will eventually give in to this,” Omid
says, but he believes that gay men may not be the chief
he same principles, unfortunately, do not apply just beneficiaries of any such liberalisation.
across the Persian Gulf, in Iran. I speak to Omid, “When straight men are worried about fighting for the
who’s lived in the UK for most of his life but won’t right to kiss their girlfriend on the street, and women want
share his surname for fear that his family back home will to rid the country of virginity tests, you can bet gay rights is
find out he’s gay. “Iran is an Islamic theocracy and will be so going to fall down the reform agenda.”
for the foreseeable future,” he says. As we in the UK mark 50 years since homosexuality began
In Iran, the gashte ershad — the morality police — patrol to be decriminalised, our greatest challenge is to keep up
the streets in search of violations of the country’s strict the fight for the countries where gay men are imprisoned,
rules. Women’s hair and bodies must be covered, men banished, whipped and executed for being who they are.
cannot kiss their women in the street if they are unmarried, If gay rights are going to slip down the reform agenda in so
and women are forced to undergo virginity tests. many countries that are modernising and struggling to find
Maybe not very surprisingly, there is zero-tolerance their place in a globalising world, we need to make sure that
towards homosexuality. Gay men can be punished with our voices are heard as loudly as
74 lashes or execution, while women face 50 lashes or the possible to keep equality on that
death penalty. agenda.
But Omid is quick to stress that the situation
is more complicated than it seems. “It is
important to note homosexuality has always
been illegal but that is way too simplistic
an understanding and has only been a
thing in the past 100 years since more
Western interpretations of sex and family
have taken over,” he says.
There is still a carry over from the more
traditional ways of life, Omid adds, where
the “boys with boys thing” still goes under
the radar. “There is a risk for people
who pursue a gay life in a more
modern sense, which is increasingly
common.”
One of the things Omid still finds
curious, when he goes back to Iran,
is how you can see men holding
hands with other men in the streets
of Tehran. In a society that not only
does not tolerate homosexuality in a

2017 75
IS THE B AT T LE FOR

P r E P
THE FI NAL
F R O N T IER ?
In this 50th anniversary year of partial decriminalisation, many gay men think the fight for
HIV prevention drug PrEP is the last battlefield in the war for equality. Currently it’s only
available on the NHS in Scotland; not in England and Wales. But other gay men believe
PrEP is too expensive and encourages us to have sex without condoms. Attitude’s
editor-in-chief Matt Cain began taking it to find out more
WORDS: MATT CAIN // ILLUSTRATION: VINCENTE MARTI SOLAR

“WHY SHOULD MY “PEOPLE TAKING PrEP “WHY CAN’T THEY


TAXES PAY FOR GIVE GAY MEN A BAD JUST SHUT UP AND
THESE SLUTS TO HAVE REPUTATION” WEAR CONDOMS?”
BAREBACK SEX?”

These are just some of the comments didn’t deserve the same rights as the rest of struggles to cope with any form of technology,
registered on Attitude’s social media feeds society. And I wanted to challenge this. let alone transferring money to Thailand. But
whenever we’ve posted stories about PrEP. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford to I was successful and a few weeks later three
And I have to admit that when I first heard buy PrEP from one of the websites that allow boxes arrive in the post.
about PrEP, I too had mixed feelings. The NHS people to source their own. Earlier this Before I start taking it, I go to my local sexual
is already at breaking point and can’t afford year, I ordered mine from a Bangkok clinic health clinic to check that it’s safe for me to
to pay for certain cancer treatments, so why recommended on iwantprepnow.co.uk. It’s do so. Several sexual health clinics in London
should it cough up for PrEP? But I was worried priced at around £40 per month and I bought and cities such as Manchester, Brighton and
that my reaction was the result of anti-gay a three-month supply. It was quite a tricky Birmingham, offer PrEP monitoring services. I
conditioning, being brought up to think I process, especially for someone like me who book an appointment at the Mortimer Market ›

76 JULY 2017
PrEP
Centre, which is part of the Central and North of people have reported nausea, diarrhoea, up the subject. Several of
West London Foundation Trust. bloating and headache. But, more importantly, them grimace at the news
The Mortimer Market Centre looks very in some cases, it can impair the function of and a few friends tell me
much like an old-style hospital rather than the kidneys and also lead to a slight reduction they “struggle with” PrEP.
the new generation of sexual health clinics, in bone density. My blood and urine are At a party I discuss the
ADVICE: Consultant
which are more akin to coffee shops or tested and I undergo a full Laura Waters subject with a gay man I’ve
lounges. But the staff are friendly and non- STI screening, involving anal known for seven years and
judgmental and the service is excellent. The and throat swabs. These feel encouraged when he’s supportive. When
nurse assigned to me is Abramo Marchesani, will be repeated after one I ask if he himself is taking PrEP he erupts in
who’s gender non-binary and month, then at six months, anger and asks how I dare suggest that. He’s
prefers female pronouns and the and then once a year. I’m so outraged at what he perceives to be a slight
name Amanda. also asked to commit to a that he causes a major scene and I have to
She tells me that between full STI check once every leave.
SUPPORT: Nurse
February 2016 and February 2017, three months. Amanda
A few days later, I tell a fellow high-
201 individuals have attended I wonder how the clinic profile LGBT+ journalist and he expresses
Mortimer Market’s weekly PrEP clinic is allowed to provide the service when the disapproval, later texting me the line: I don’t
327 times. She adds: “When we set prescription of PrEP itself has been blocked by understand how all these sluts are getting PrEP,
up this service, we thought the NHS. Laura Waters, consultant physician together with links to articles about rising
that it would be more high- in HIV and sexual health, tells me: “The STI rates among gay men and stories of
risk men who have sex with General Medical Council is very clear that a men contracting HIV despite being on PrEP.
men, people who are into the clinician has a duty to make sure patients are These are impossible to verify but absolutely
chemsex scene, people with informed of all treatment choices, whether terrifying.
a chaotic lifestyle. they’re available on the NHS or not. In terms None of these reactions make me change
“But for some reason, the of monitoring, there’s no legal obligation for my mind about taking PrEP. And as my
people that we see at the the NHS to provide it. However, there is a experiment goes on, I find myself becoming
PrEP clinic are actually men strong argument that there’s an ethical and a increasingly political about the subject.
between the ages of 30 and 60, who are quite moral obligation to provide that service.” One argument against PrEP is that it’s
knowledgeable about the risk-taking.” I leave feeling nothing but admiration for unnecessary because gay men can protect
Once my appointment is underway, Amanda the clinic’s staff, who are willing to work on themselves with condoms. But it’s not as easy
chats to me about my sexual history and how the fringes of what’s legal within the NHS to as this. Crucially, the fact is that a passive
to take PrEP. She explains that there are two do what they think is right. partner in anal sex faces much greater risk of
options. I can either take a pill every day, A few days later, I receive a text telling me contracting HIV through unprotected sex, but
which will give me protective drug levels that my kidney function is normal. I it isn’t him who has to put the condom
continuously, or through event-based dosing, take my first dose of PrEP. on; it’s the active partner. And
which involves taking PrEP in the run-up to there’s a whole host of reasons
exposure to risk. The drug will take up to OVER THE NEXT WEEK, “If I take a pill the passive partner, should he
seven days to get into my system but if I take I start telling people every day, the want to, may find it difficult
a double dose on the first day, I’ll be protected what I’m doing. Apart to persuade his partner
after just a few days. I decide to take a pill from the occasional
drug will take to do so — such as low
every day. exception, people express up to seven days self-esteem, thinking he
Amanda explains that, like any drug, PrEP disapproval or, at the very to get into my doesn’t deserve him,
can have side effects. Less than 10 per cent least, unease, when I bring or will lose him.
system”

PrEP: the facts

PrEP — Pre-exposure prophylaxis — shouldn’t be confused In the meantime, NHS England will begin conducting a three-
with PEP, Post-exposure prophylaxis, which is a course of HIV year PrEP Impact Trial this summer. It will include at least 10,000
prevention drugs that can be taken after exposure to risk. participants deemed to be at high risk of contracting HIV. In April, the
NHS in Wales announced that a similar trial would be offered to “all who
There have been two major studies into the effectiveness of PrEP. need it.”
Both the IPERGAY and PROUD studies returned results of 86
per cent, but those working in the field put this down to bad adherence: It is legal to source PrEP for yourself online and it has been
people not taking it correctly. It is thought PrEP could have the same available via websites such as iwantprepnow since October 2015.
reliability as condoms: between 98 and 99 per cent. They recommend sellers outside the EU, who can send you up to three
months of what’s known as “generic” PrEP, in other words, PrEP made by
Truvada, the brand name for PrEP, is still under licence in the EU companies that don’t own the patent in Europe.
from Gilead Sciences, so the NHS has no choice but to buy it
at a cost of £400 per month. Gilead is trying to extend the patent until Use of PrEP through sites such as these is believed to be a major
2020/21 but is being challenged by a collection of rival drug companies. factor in the drop in HIV infection in 2016 among men who have
The case is currently with the European Court. sex with men. This was reported to be about 40 per cent in London and
approximately a third across England.

78 JULY 2017
PrEP

“Straight men
PrEP frees passive gay men have told me negative but not taking Waters and ask if she’s observed any cases of
from this tricky and often that their default it. He doesn’t seem to care a patient becoming HIV+ while taking PrEP.
risky negotiation and setting is to have whether we use a condom “No, not here,” she tells me. “There were
offers them the chance or not but, telling myself some infections within some of the PrEP
to empower and protect
sex without that I’m protected, I go studies but almost all of the cases so far have
themselves. Also, when we a condom” through with it. been when people weren’t taking the PrEP
have sex without a condom Afterwards, I burst into tears. properly. Where there have been infections on
it’s demonised as “barebacking.” I feel dirty and guilty, as if I’ve let PrEP, that’s where people have had very early
But when straight people do this, it’s just myself down. I grew up in the Eighties, when HIV infection at the beginning and it wasn’t
“having sex”. In fact, when I discuss what I’m fear of HIV/Aids was at its height and I had picked up on the basic test.”
doing with straight men, many of them tell it drilled into me that I always had to wear I ask if she’s noticed a rise in the rates of
me their default setting is to have sex without a condom. Sex without a condom was a bad other STIs among gay men accessing the
a condom and they’ll only wear one at the thing. It seems I can’t shake off this idea now. clinic’s PrEP services. “We haven’t looked
insistence of the female partner. One straight Once I’ve picked myself up, I carry on and, specifically at STI rates in that small group of
man I ask, who’s in his twenties and has had over the next six weeks, date a couple of men. people,” she answers. “But we do know that
sex with dozens of women, tells me he’s never One, an architect, tells me he isn’t put off by in our clinic, as in all clinics, according to
worn a condom. the fact that I’m taking PrEP but he’d prefer to the Public Health England figures, there has
Another argument against PrEP is that it use a condom. He tells me it would feel as if been a steady increase in sexually transmitted
encourages gay men to have condom-less we were rushing into the intimate stages of a infections in men who have sex with men.
sex and therefore increases our exposure trusting relationship to have condom-less sex Is PrEP contributing to that? Probably to a
to other STIs. But when have we ever opted straightaway; we’d be skipping over rules degree, but it doesn’t change the fact that
not to treat one infection just because we that have been strictly laid out since the they were all going up before people
can’t treat others? Teenage girls are offered onset of the HIV/Aids crisis. were accessing PrEP.”
the HPV vaccine as standard by the NHS. No Another man I date, an older banker, Her words stay with me. But it’s
one suggests we shouldn’t do this because it is very supportive of my decision to take what Amanda says that has the most
doesn’t protect against other STIs. PrEP and thankful that we don’t have to impact. She tells me that when you take
And, yes, the NHS can’t afford certain cancer use condoms. We don’t and this time I PrEP it can open a whole Pandora’s box
treatments but it does pay for anti-smoking don’t experience any regret or guilt. of emotions. It can also open up part of
therapies, gastric bands for over-eaters and I’m not sure which is the right yourself you didn’t know was there, part
the contraceptive pill for straight people. approach but as it happens, neither of you that had been suppressed since
Most people I’ve spoken to agree with the relationship lasts. childhood.
principle of preventative medicine so why I’m intrigued by her comments and
should PrEP be the exception? It is estimated BY THE TIME I CAN MAKE MY SECOND discuss them with a friend who started
to cost the NHS £360,000 to treat somebody PREP MONITORING APPOINTMENT taking PrEP at the same time as me but
with HIV over the course of their lifetime. I’ve been taking the drug for six weeks. wants to remain anonymous. Although he says
Surely it makes better economic sense to offer My nurse, Amanda, chats to me about how he isn’t ashamed of taking the drug, there’s
them PrEP. it’s going and asks about my sexual activity such a stigma around it that he doesn’t want
I debate all of these arguments with and adherence to the drug. The STI tests are to risk alienating his employer.
friends who expressed strong reactions to repeated and a sample of my blood is taken He tells me that he was brought up to be so
the news that I’m taking PrEP. But what I’m to check my kidney function — and to test terrified of HIV/Aids that he didn’t dare have
not prepared for is the strength of my own for HIV. I’m told that I’ll receive my results anal sex for more than a year after coming
reaction when I start to have condom-less sex. via text within the next seven days or that I’ll out and since then has always used condoms.
receive a phone call if there’s a problem. He says he associated sex so closely with the
I’M NOT A HABITUAL USER OF HOOK-UP At the clinic, I chat to the consultant Laura threat of death and disease that he became
APPS but before I start taking PrEP I neurotic and was unable to open
create a Grindr profile and mark my himself up to a relationship. But
HIV status as negative. I monitor the what he’s found since taking PrEP is
number of approaches I receive and that he’s able to use sex to connect
the kind of things people say. When I with someone on a more intimate
start on PrEP I do the same, changing level and he’s now in a relationship
my status to “Negative — on PrEP.” I with the first man with whom he
want to see if there’s a difference and had condom-less sex. After years of
if I’m bombarded with men asking resisting relationships, he feels as if
to have condom-less sex. I’m not and his emotions have been opened up
there’s no major difference, although and he describes having sex with
I do have one man saying he wouldn’t condoms as like “wearing rubber
come near me as he suspects I’m gloves when you hold hands with
“barebacking” all over the place and someone.” Now, he says, it’s as if his
am “riddled” with STIs. sexuality has been set free.
The first time I do have condom- PROS AND CONS: Before I’ve had the chance to reflect
less sex while on PrEP is a one-night Matt Cain at his on my friend’s words, I receive a
first monitoring
stand. I tell the man I’m negative appointment phone call from the Mortimer Market
and on PrEP and he tells me he’s Centre. I’m told there’s been an ›

JULY 2017 79
PrEP

“PrEP has
changed my
life in ways I
didn’t expect:
emotionally and
politically”

were about their HIV status — and asking


about mine. What stands out now is that this
is no longer an issue or even a conversation
and the sexual activity I experience is entirely
free from fear.
Because health insurers in the US offer PrEP
and so many gay men take it, it’s become
completely normalised and there’s no stigma
attached. As I fly back to the UK, I think this is
what it should be like at home.

AS I PULL TOGETHER MY THOUGHTS for


this article, it hits me just how much impact
PrEP has had on my life. And how it has
changed my life in ways I didn’t expect; it’s
affected me emotionally and politically as well
as physically.
Broadening out my own experience to look
at the wider picture, there’s no denying that
PrEP has the potential to be a game-changer.
If all the gay men who are HIV negative go on
KEEPING TABS: It was
vital that Matt had
PrEP and all those who are HIV positive take
regular check-ups the medication that will make their viral load
undetectable (meaning they cannot pass on
the infection), we will have the power to wipe
out this disease.
anomaly in my test results. I panic. Have I Shortly afterwards, I fly to America to write If the NHS begins offering it everywhere in
exposed myself to a PrEP-resistant strain of a travel article. While there, I’m interested to the UK and all gay men who are deemed to
HIV like those I’ve read about online? see whether PrEP is viewed differently in the be at risk start taking it, there can be no slut-
US. I know from research that every gay man shaming. PrEP will become the new normal.
WHILE ON THE PHONE I’m told that I with health insurance is offered it by their The main emotion this unlocks in me
haven’t been infected with HIV but my provider and PrEP is widely believed to be is relief; if I carry on taking PrEP I’ll never
kidney function is dangerously low. I have to changing the way gay men have sex. become HIV positive. And in the same way
discontinue taking PrEP immediately and go As soon as I log on to Grindr I notice that the contraceptive pill freed so many
back to the clinic for an emergency blood test. that most people mark their HIV status as women from associations between sex and the
When the results come through a few days “Negative — on PrEP.” In fact, the first thing fear of earning a bad reputation or, at worst,
later, it seems my kidney function is back to that happens when I switch on the app is social ruin, PrEP can free gay men from the
normal. The doctors can’t work out whether that I receive an advert for PrEP on sale at the association between sex and death. It allows
there’s been a mistake in the lab or if the high-street pharmacy chain Walgreens. us to have sex how it should be experienced:
ibuprofen I was taking to ease a muscle strain During the course of my trip I have sex innocently and joyously.
has added to the PrEP and impaired my with a few men and condoms aren’t even And why should I be made to feel ashamed
kidney function. But it strikes me how easily mentioned — HIV status of wanting this?
I could suffer kidney failure and this makes isn’t discussed. I’ve no I won’t. It’s perfectly natural and a desire
me realise how important it is for people self- idea whether this is a that’s always been part of me. I’d been robbed
sourcing PrEP online to be monitored by the good or bad thing but of it for more than two decades.
NHS, just like women taking the contraceptive it’s clear that PrEP So as my three months on
pill have to have their blood pressure checked has indeed changed PrEP comes to an end, I’ve
regularly. things. In the past I’d come to a decision: I’m
A few days later, I restart my course of PrEP always been struck by going to carry on taking
with a vow to avoid ibuprofen. how up-front Americans the pills.

80 JULY 2017
PRE-ORDER ONLINE NOW

OUT ON DVD
UNE 26TH
Free Super Saver Delivery and Unlimited Free One-Day Delivery with Amazon Prime are available. Terms and Conditions apply. See Amazon.co.uk for details.
JULY 2017
FASHION & WORDS: JOSEPH KOCHARIAN
PHOTOGRAPHY: JENNY BROUGH

Primark are flexing their muscles with their


PRIMARK Spring-Summer ’17 menswear collection,
BRING showcasing a plethora of trends. We’re
particularly loving their journey back to the
IN THE Nineties, with Hawaiian prints and pastel hues
SUMMER galore. The sherbet pinks, blues and greens
have found their way on to everything from
shoes and caps to clothes, giving us a very Beverly Hills 90210 vibe —
they’ve even added some great tie-dye. Primark have the scope to kit you
out for a festival, with plenty of prints (watermelons, flamingos and stars)
in bold colours, but you can also opt for a sophisticated trip to the beach
GROOMING: Cassie Steward
using La Mer and Bumble and bumble
with pastel chinos and tailored shorts. Trusty staples such as the white
MODEL: Chris Kat at VN Models shirt are also available. Prices start at £3.50.
LOCATION: The Athens Riviera, thanks
to Discover Greece discovergreece.com
and The Margi Hotel themargi.gr primark.co.uk

82 JULY 2017
Swim shorts, £5

Bag, £5

FINISH THE LOOK


Watch, £8
As well as having plenty of
fashion apparel and staple pieces,
Primark also have a wide range of
Vest, £6
accessories to help you complete
your summer wardrobe

T shirt, £6

Shoes, £8

Jeans, £18

Available in store and at


primark.com

JULY 2017 83
GET PRIDE READY
Weather the storm (or blazing sunshine) with Lab Series' skin-care range

Pride month means that you're likely be celebrating LGBT+ life. But it also means you’re going to be
braving the elements, so it’s important that your skin is ready for whatever the weather throws at you —
be it rain, wind or sunshine. Thankfully, Lab Series have a skin-care regime to help...

A face mask can be a great pre or post-


Pride treat. If you’re feeling worse for
wear, popping on a face mask and a
X``UÍ]^ZdeYVVddV_eZR]E=4j`fhZ]]
need when you’re hungover.

LS URBAN BLUE DETOX CLAY


MASK, 100ML, £26
A purifying weekly mask
treatment with a refreshing blue
colour. Formulated for powerful
d\Z_UVe`iZÍTReZ`_e`f_T]`Xa`cVd
and help remove dirt, pollution
and excess oil. Leaves skin looking
clean, clear and healthy.

84 JULY 2017
PROMOTION

Hopefully, you’re going to be out Bumping into everyone you


in blazing sunshine all day. So know is an occupational
give yourself a little head start hazard of Pride. You’re going
with some tinted moisturiser, to want your grooming to be
with the added bonus of SPF35, on point, so make sure you
to keep your face from burning prepare your skin before you
bright red during the parade. shave, to avoid the signs of
irritation and shaving marks.
LS BB TINTED MOISTURISER
SPF35, 50ML, £38 LS MULTI-ACTION FACE
Multi-functional reparative WASH, 100ML, £19
treatment that perfects the Unique multi-action
look of skin instantly and foaming cream cleanses,
maintains it with superior exfoliates and conditions
long-term technology. the skin. Effective lathering
Universal shade adjusts to any system dissolves excess oil
skin tone. With continued use, and unclogs pores. Purifying
skin looks even in tone and beads remove dead skin
eViefcVa`cVd]``\cVÍ_VUR_U cells and impurities,
lines/wrinkles and sagging skin minimising ashiness.
appear diminished. SPF35+++ Vitamin-enriched formula
provides daily protection nourishes and reconditions
against harmful UVA/UVB the skin, prepping it for a
which cause premature aging. close shave.

Keeping hydrated during Pride is vital — and that goes


for your skin too. So drink lots of water and moisturise!

LS AGE RESCUE+ WATER-CHARGED GEL CREAM,


50ML, £46
F]ecRYjUcReZ_XR_eZRXVZ_XecVRe^V_eYV]ad ÍXYe eYV
look of wrinkles and fatigue for an energised appearance.
Being prepared is essential — It supports natural collagen, helping to reduce the
come on, you know it’s going appearance of lines and wrinkles and increase the look
to be a heavy one. So include `WÍc^_Vdd
ageing prevention in your skin-
TRcVc`feZ_Ve`YR]eeY`dVÍcde
signs of damage to your skin.

LS FUTURE RESCUE REPAIR


SERUM, 50ML, £50
A high-performance, anti-
ageing treatment that, if used
daily, helps to give your skin
a refreshed look. Featuring
a "Quad Focus" approach to
combat visual ageing, this
global serum acts as the skin's
Ícde]Z_V`WUVWV_TVe`YV]a
combat the appearance of
ageing — its more youthful
look is restored. labseries.co.uk

JULY 2017 85
Christian wears
briefs, £35,
by Versace at
ÍX]VRgVdT`^

BED
TIME
Dress your best whether you’re
wearing briefs, boxers or your
dressing gown
PHOTOGRAPHY: DANIEL JAEMS
FASHION: JOSEPH KOCHARIAN
TIGHT OR LOOSE,
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR
BOXERS AND
BRIEFS CLASSIC

Christian wears boxer


shorts, £37, by Ron
Dorff
THE ONESIE MAY HAVE
HAD ITS DAY (MEGHAN
TRAINOR, WE SAW YOU
WEARING ONE
ON DRAG RACE—
SASHAY AWAY) BUT
A HEAD-TO-TOE OUTFIT
CAN STILL WORK,
SUCH AS A CO-ORD
BOXER SHORT AND
DRESSING GOWN
COMBO

Christian wears
shirt, £30, by
Topman, trousers,
£195, by Stephen
Williams

TOTA L :
£225
Christian wears
dressing gown,
£39.50, and
shorts, £22.50,
both by David
Gandy for
Autograph at
Marks & Spencer

TOTA L :
£62

Christian wears
t-shirt, £15, by
David Gandy for
Autograph at
Marks & Spencer,
briefs, £26, by
Ron Dorff

TOTA L : GROOMING: Zoë Moore using


£41 MAC and Rodial
MODEL: Christian Bordin at
Select Model Management
FASHION ASSISTANTS: Umar
Sarwar and Peter Bevan

FINISH
THE
LOOK

Eye mask, by Bottega Socks, White briefs, by Aussiebum, Slippers, by UGG,


Veneta at MR PORTER, £170 by Happy Socks, £9 £7.99 £75

JULY 2017 89
DSQUARED2 AND K-WAY
DSquared2 always embrace a high-octane runway with plenty of juxtaposing styles, and their co-
branding project with luxury sportswear brand K-Way is no different. There are windbreakers, anoraks
and bomber jackets with oversized details such as zips in vibrant orange, reds and yellows, as well as
embroidered patches, fields of flower print, and red-and-black buffalo checks. Fun with function, just how
we like it. The collection will be available in July.

dsquared2.com

Your monthly fashion need-to-know


WORDS: JOSEPH KOCHARIAN

CRISTIANO GET
STRETCHING IN
DENIM
Not content with being the best footb
DIOR SOUND OUT on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo has b
steadily carving out a name for himse
SENNHEISER menswear. He started with underwear
The French luxury brand Dior are CR7 brand, but now he’s moved on to
trying out a new sound with audio with jeans and jackets (with the prom
specialist Sennheiser. The Dior Homme shirts to follower later in the year). Th
X Sennheiser collection has packages crafted to stretch and move, and the
that go way beyond just earphones, with Portuguese star said: “I’ve always loved
home, travel, daily and pocket options look of denim, but it frustrated me ho
so you can luxuriate in high- heavy and uncomfortable it can becom
quality sound. With wireless when you’re constantly on the move a
PXC 500 headphones,
an active person.” So, now he’s made a
there are plenty of
options for you to get
aRZc`W[VR_de`ÍeYZ^aVcWVTe]j@fee
the best out of your month, we’re ready to see him do som
music. lunges in them.

dior.com cr7.com

90 JULY 2017
TOPMAN FINE TAILORING BY
CHARLIE CASELY-HAYFORD
E`a^R_R]hRjdS`RdeRÍ_V`WWVcZ_X`WT`_eV^a`cRcjdfZedR_UeYVjÄgV
V_]ZdeVUR^R_hY`\_`hd[fdeY`he`Z_[VTeRSZe`WÍ_VddVZ_e`eRZ]`cZ_X
5VdZX_Vc4YRc]ZV4RdV]j9RjW`cUhY`YRdTcVReVU"!dfZedW`ceYV7Z_V
ERZ]`cZ_XT`]]VTeZ`_dRZU+Á:eÄdRS`feTcVReZ_XeYVaVcWVTedfZeW`cVgVcj
`TTRdZ`_Â
9VÄdcVeRZ_VUDRgZ]VC`hUVeRZ]Z_XhYZ]V\VVaZ_XeYZ_Xd^`UVc_hZeY
VgVcjeYZ_XWc`^efiVU`dZ_eVR]T`]`fcVUgV]gVeRdhV]]RdT]RddZTdZ_
S]RT\`chYZeVR_UdZ_X]VR_UU`fS]VScVRdeVUdfZedZ_^Rc``_dR_U_Rgj
4RdV]j9RjW`cUYRdR]d`Z_T]fUVUÁhVV\V_UÂdfZedeYReTR_SVaRZcVUhZeY
UcRhdecZ_X[`XXZ_XS`ee`^dR_UYRdeYc`h_Z_R]Z^ZeVUVUZeZ`_acZ_eVU
afcVdZ]\\Z^`_`D`hYReVgVcUZcVTe`_j`fÄcVX`Z_XZ_hZeYj`fc`TTRdZ`_
hVRcE`a^R_YRgVX`ej`fT`gVcVUAcZTVdcR_XVWc`^“#!!e`“#&!

topman.com

JULY 2017 91
Lqd.co.uk
SKINCARE ESSENTIAL
You put your skin through a lot, so make sure you have the tools to take care of it
EDIT & WORDS: JOSEPH KOCHARIAN

LAB SERIES GOES


ULTRA LIGHT
When you’re going through your skincare regime, you
don’t want to be adding too much and clogging your pores.
Luckily, Lab Series have produced a cleansing gel and a
moisturising hydrator gel that are designed to refresh your
skin and give you an instant cooling sensation. PRO LS All-
In-One Face Cleansing Gel foams up and lathers to clean
your face and beard. It washes off quickly and removes
dead skin cells and impurities.
The PRO LS All-In-One Face Hydrating Gel locks in
moisture to keep your hydration levels up, calming and
soothing the skin. The gel includes an oil absorbing
powder to eliminate surface shine, making sure you avoid
that over-moisturised look.

LAB SERIES Skincare for Men All-In-One Face Hydrating


Gel, 75ml, £12.50
LAB SERIES Skincare for Men All-In-One Face Cleansing Gel,
150ml, £24

labseries.co.uk

CORNERSTONE SMOOTH
SHAVING
Cornerstone know how to produce a fine razor, but they also have
plenty of products to help you achieve the closest, cleanest shave.
Their face scrub, which helps to
prevent nicks and cuts, is a blend
of cedarwood and volcanic sand
that exfoliates and helps release
ingrown hairs. Their shaving gel,
with eucalyptus oil and ginger
extract, protects sensitive skin
from razor burn, while their post
shaving balm finishes things off
with mint and honey to help
soothe, moisturise and condition.
You can get this as a custom-
made shaving plan that can be
delivered to you.

cornerstone.co.uk

JULY 2017 93
LQD EYE UP YOUR
PROBLEM AREAS
Australian brand Lqd have fused the latest
dTZV_eZÍTcVdVRcTYZ_d\Z_TRcVhZeYVeYZTR]
eVdeZ_Xe`^R\VdfcVeYReeYVj`WWVcR_
Y`_Vdeac`UfTeW`cj`fcS`Uj

LQD EYE RESTORE


EYVRcVRRc`f_UeYVVjVdZdR
^R[`cac`S]V^W`c^R_jXfjd
?`hY`hVgVc=bUYRgVR_VjV
cVde`cVdVcf^eYReeRT\]VdURc\
TZcT]VdSRXdafWÍ_VddR_UÍ_V
]Z_Vd=bUR]d`^R\VdfcVeYRe
their product is free from all
\_`h_ d\Z_ ZccZeR_ed R_U Ze YRd Lqd founders Anthony McDonough (left) and Chris Glebatsas (above)
_VgVc SVV_ eVdeVU `_ R_Z^R]d :eÄd
dTZV_eZÍT d\Z_TRcV hZeY R T`_dTZV_TV

Lqd Eye Restore, 15ml, £95, lqd.co.uk

LQD FACE HYDRATE SCRUB UP WELL WITH BULLDOG


EYZT\cZTYSfe_`eXcVRdjÀ[fdeY`hhV
]Z\VZeÀeYReÄdhYRej`fXVeWc`^=bUÄd7RTV Menswear skin brand Bulldog are on an exfoliation
9jUcReV2Z^VURe^`ZdefcZdZ_X mission. Their oil control face scrub — containing
eYVd\Z_ZeÄdXcVReW`caV`a]V charcoal, witch hazel and willow bark— exfoliates and
dfWWVcZ_XhZeYVTkV^Rc`dRTVR mattifies your skin, bringing ingrown hairs to the surface
of your face. They also continue making sure you’re not
hYZTY^R\VdeYVd\Z_]``\
over shiny, with their oil moisturiser that hydrates the skin.
RS_`c^R]]jÎfdYVU`c`eYVccVU
ZeTYjR_UUcjd\Z_T`_UZeZ`_d Bulldog Oil Control Face Scrub, 125ml, £5
Bulldog Oil Control Moisturiser, 100, £6
Lqd Face Hydrate, 100ml, £60,
lqd.co.uk bulldogskincare.com

94 JULY 2017
PROMOTION

A REAL TIME-SHAVER
Cornerstone’s handy subscription service means
getting a close shave is easier than you think

SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES ARE BOOMING


in the UK and around the world. Every week,
new companies are revolutionising the way
we do things, from finding our new lucky
pants to making sure the drinks cabinet is
well stocked with the latest bevies.
It’s easy to see why this method of
shopping has taken off: these days, our lives
are busier than ever, and with technology
at our finger tips, it makes sense to use it to
cross off a few of the items on our to-do list
with just a few simple taps.
Take Cornerstone’s flexible shaving
subscription service, for instance, which
delivers high-quality skin-care products and
German-engineered razors to customers
in letterbox-sized parcels, ensuring they’re
always prepped for the closest shave
possible. While the beard trend is still going
strong, not everyone is follicly blessed in
the facial department — and
straggly stubble is never going
to impress. And let’s face it, “I LOATHED
shaving isn’t exactly a fun SHAVING. IT WAS
exercise, just ask founder PAINFUL, IT COST
Oliver Bridge. “I’d always A FORTUNE AND I
loathed shaving: it was
HATED SHOPPING
painful, cost a fortune and I
hated shopping for toiletries,” FOR TOILETRIES”
he admits.
With that in mind, he set up Cornerstone
and has worked alongside leading razor
experts and dermatologists to create bespoke
products for pre and post-care, as well as for
the main event. Signing up is simple: just
select how often you tend to shave (from
daily to weekly), and a box will be sent every
6, 12 or 18 weeks. In your first box, you’ll
receive a free razor handle, with free initial
engraving if you wish, and you can build
your box each time to suit your needs.
Along with the all-important razor blades
(six per box), you can add a pre-shave face
scrub to exfoliate and prime your skin, a
shave gel or shave cream to guard against
razor burn and a cooling post-shave balm
to moisturise and
soothe. Each box costs FREE TRIAL
between £14, for
just the razor blades, AS A READER OF ATTITUDE , YOU CAN TRY CORNERSTONE FOR FREE
Sign up at cornerstone.co.uk/attitude to receive a free* personalised Cornerstone
and £30 for the full
razor and sensitive shave gel (worth £15), and start your day with a smooth,
monty. comfortable shave
Achieving a smooth,
*£2 POSTAGE PAYABLE. OFFER AVAILABLE TO UK RESIDENTS ONLY, ONE PER HOUSEHOLD. NOT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANY OTHER OFFER. FOR FULL TERMS
comfortable shave has AND CONDITIONS, SEE CORNERSTONE.CO.UK/ATTITUDE
never been so easy.

JULY 2017 95
SMOOTH OPERATOR
Make sure you have all the equipment you need for a clean shave,
beard trim or to add style to your stubble
EDIT: NICK BYAM // WORDS: JOSEPH KOCHARIAN

1
2 3

5
6

1. Clinique for Men aloe shave gel, 100ml, £15 2. Braun multi grooming kit, £52.49 3. Lab Series maximum comfort shave gel, 200ml, £21
4. Remington Flex360°rotary shaver, £69.99 5. American Crew revitalizing toner, 150ml, £12.95 at John Lewis 6. Aesop shaving serum, 100ml, £39 at
MR PORTER 7. Aveda shave cream, 150ml, £18.50 8. Gruum Oska razor handle, £20

96 JULY 2017
TED’S GROOMING ROOM FUDGE GOES URBAN
Fudge Urban has launched a new line-up of eight no-fuss styling products
The Attitude fashion team are to suit the needs of every individual and help them express themselves.
back in the barber’s seat at Ted’s Fudge Urban’s styling products are split into three easy ranges, Hold Up,
Matte Up and Rough Up, to provide instant styling solutions
Grooming Room, and this time
we’re trying out the “Full Service”
WORDS: UMAR SARWAR

Matte Up
Super dry products for that
messed up/matte-look effect
Matte Wax £6.99
Matte Head Master £6.99

Hold Up
Products that work
overtime to fix, tame
and rework styles that
last longer than you do
Inflatable Jelly £6.99
Ice Freeze Styling Gel £4.99
Remouldable Paste £6.99
EYV 7f]] DVcgZTV R]]`hd XV_ed e` ViaVcZV_TV eYV Í_Vde
traditions of Turkish barbering, every hairstyle is followed
by a clean shave or beard design of your choice.
The shave itself consists of several steps guaranteed to
achieve ultimate relaxation and grooming perfection.
First, balm is massaged into the face, softening the hairs
and preparing the skin. This is followed by a hot towel,
which is placed on your face for a couple of minutes. This
allows your pores to open up, while rejuvenating your
skin to feel extra smooth and plump.
This is followed by a shave or trim, depending on your Rough Up
preference. We went for a combination of an overall trim, Made of natural, gritty
with a closer shave to tidy up the edges and give a sharper or mineral textures for
Í_ZdY that messed-up look
EYV %&^Z_feV dVddZ`_ T`_eZ_fVd hZeY VRc ÎR^Z_X Texture Junk £6.99
to remove those pesky hairs, with a dash of traditional Sea Salt £6.99
Turkish drama, followed by threading and razor shaping
on the neck line.
E` Í_ZdY eYZ_Xd fa ZeÄd R_`eYVc c`f_U hZeY eYV Y`e
e`hV] R_U R bfZT\ Rc^ ^RddRXV EYV ecVRe^V_e Í_ZdYVd
with a wash, dry and style. Fudge is available at Boots, Superdrug, Tesco and Sainsbury's
HZeY "' deVad Z_ e`eR] ZeÄd dRWV e` dRj j`f]] ]VRgV eYV
grooming room fully serviced and there are branches of
EVUd8c``^Z_XC``^eYc`fXY`feTV_ecR]=`_U`_

Full Ted Service £54


The Tommy ‘N’ Turkish shave or trim £28

tedsgroomingroom.com

JULY 2017 97
Miro wears
trousers, £415, by
Wooyoungmi

Take to the beach and


show a bit of summer
skin in that golden
hour light
PHOTOGRAPHY: STEEVE BECKOUET
FASHION: JOSEPH KOCHARIAN

98 JULY 2017
Miro wears vest,
£30, by Topman
Design

Miro wears
swimwear,
£75, by Ron
Dorff
JULY 2017 99
Miro wears swim
shorts, £200, by
Dsquared2

Miro wears
swim shorts,
£85, by
Dsquared2

100 JULY 2017


Miro wears
briefs, £21,
necklace,
POA, both by
Moschino

Miro wears
knitwear,
£255, by
Vivienne
Westwood

JULY 2017 101


Miro wears
underwear,
€24.95, by
CR7

102 JULY 2017


Miro wears
t-shirt, £210,
and shorts,
£195, both by
Versace

Miro wears
swimwear,
£120, by
Versace

JULY 2017 103


Miro wears jumper, £595,
by Balmain at Matches
Fashion, shorts, £95,
by Ron Dorff

104 JULY 2017


Miro wears
bodysuit, $72,
by Rufskin

Miro wears
swimwear, £75,
by Moschino

Miro wears
swimwear,
£125, by
Pieter

JULY 2017 105


Miro wears swim
shorts, £150, by
Dior Homme

Miro wears
swimwear, £82,
by Dan Ward

106 JULY 2017


Miro wears shirt,
£110, and shorts,
£60, both by Diesel

MODEL: Miro Cech


at Premier Model
Management
FASHION ASSISTANT:
Umar Sarwar

JULY 2017 107


A Acne at MR PORTER mrporter.com
RUZURdRe@WÍTV`WÍTVT`f\
Aesop at MR PORTER mrporter.com
All Saints allsaints.com
American Crew at John Lewis johnlewis.com
AvedaRgVURT`f\

B Balmain at Matches Fashion matchesfashion.com


Björn Borg bjornborg.com
Braun f\ScRf_T`^

C Clinique T]Z_ZbfVT`f\
CR7Tc(T`^Tc(f_UVchVRcT`^

D Dan Ward danwardwear.com


David Gandy for Autograph ^Rc\dR_UdaV_TVcT`^
Diesel diesel.com
Dior Homme dior.com
Dsquared2UdbfRcVU#T`^
Dune Uf_V]`_U`_T`^

F FudgeWfUXVac`WVddZ`_R]T`^

G GruumXcff^T`^

H Hugo Boss at Mr PORTER mrporter.com

L Lab Series ]RSdVcZVdT`f\


Lanvin store.lanvin.com
Levi’s levi.com

M Marks and Spencer ^Rc\dR_UdaV_TVcT`^


Moschino moschino.com

N Nike at MR PORTER mrporter.com

P Pieter aZVeVc`WÍTVT`^
Primark acZ^Rc\T`f\

R RemingtoncV^Z_Xe`_Vfc`aVT`^
Replay Jeans replayjeans.com
Ron Dorff rondorff.com
RufskincfWd\Z_T`^

S Sockshopd`T\dY`aT`f\
Stephen Williams stephenwilliams.london

T Ted’s Grooming Room tedsgroomingroom.com


Topman Design topman.com
Topman topman.com

V Versace at Figleaves ÍX]VRgVdT`^


Versace versace.com
Vivienne Westwood viviennewestwood.com

W Wooyoungmi h``j`f_X^ZT`^

PHOTOGRAPHY: Jenny Brough

108 JULY 2017


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Fred wears
t-shirt by Nike
at Mr Porter

RIGHT
SAID
FRED
FRED SIRIEIX
P114

{ E X E R C I S E // N U T R I T I O N // S P O R T S // A D V I C E }

JULY 2017 111


Fred wears
leggings by
Björn Borg

FIGHTING FIT AS THE CHARMING HOST OF CHANNEL 4’S FIRST DATES, FRENCH MAÎTRE D’
FRED SIRIEIX IS THE MAN MANY GUESTS REALLY WANT TO TAKE HOME. BUT
YOU MIGHT HAVE TO GO 10 ROUNDS TO WIN HIM OVER…
WORDS: ADAM DUXBURY // PHOTOGRAPHY: BARTEK SZMIGULSKI // STYLING: NICK BYAM
Is it true that you do 300 press-ups
every day before work?
Yeah, I get up and within 10 minutes
I’m down on my knees and doing 300
push ups — 301 to be precise. But I
vary my training, it gets me going in
the morning and mixing it up keeps
it interesting. So, what I do is exactly
30 minutes of exercise, it’s what I call
“tuff’ training. This morning I did five
sets of 20 push-ups and alternated
those with some kettlebell exercises
and then another 100 push-ups with
some bicep curls and then I finished
with some light squats. Thirty minutes
and done. Then I cycle to work and
cycle back home at night. Sometimes
if I have time in the afternoon I’ll
do another 20 to 30 minutes in the
gym, so I break down my training in
that way and then I don’t feel as if I’m
working out too much. It’s more-or-
less two hours of sport every day, but
because it’s broken down like that, it’s
easy. I go sparring in the boxing gym
on Saturday and then on Sunday I try
to do nothing. I’ve always exercised, I
need to exercise — if I don’t do that,
then I don’t feel good. I need to get
things out of my system.
You mention boxing; what is it about
that sport that you enjoy so much?
Boxing is about you, it’s just you and
your opponent — you can’t lie in a
boxing ring. Either you’ve got it or you
don’t, either you’ve trained enough
or you haven’t. Even if you haven’t
trained, you can give it your best but
you’ve got to have
that belief. Or “I LOVE MEN, THEY ARE GREAT. IT’S
you’ve got to have
TRUE. NOT ENOUGH IS SAID ABOUT
that determination
that no matter
HOW GOOD MEN ARE, MEN ARE
what, they are BEAUTIFUL. LET’S WRITE THIS DOWN!
going to have to MEN ARE AMAZING”
come and take the Fred wears
t-shirt by Nike
victory, you’re not going to give it to at MR PORTER
them. I think that the greatest victory
in boxing is just to step in that ring
because it’s very scary. You’re going
to fight; you know that someone is Your interest in the inner workings of 45 — and I feel the pain like never
going to try to punch you — to hurt the mind comes across in First Dates. before. Four years ago, I did not feel
you — and you’ve got to stay there. It’s I don’t think that you can be physically that pain, and it’s only because my
like going to the edge of the cliff and fit only — mental fitness is very body is getting older and my mind
the only one who can take you back is important, too. The Romans believed is telling me, “Fred it’s getting tough
you. Boxing has so many combinations: that you needed a healthy mind and now.” But I have to push it, if I don’t
there’s the physicality of it, you need a healthy body but which one comes I’ll just stop. I can’t let my body tell me
to be fit, but it’s also very technical, first? I think it’s very important to join it’s over. When you do it, you feel good,
so you need to concentrate, have those together. Any real champion — you feel that sense of satisfaction and
that mental side. And all that has to be it Muhammad Ali, Usain Bolt, or you feel confident and it means you
work in unison. That has a knock- whoever — they condition their mind can eat more butter and drink more
on effect in your life. The impact of as well as their body. At that level, champagne! And I think being a good
boxing in terms of your confidence, if you’re in the ring with somebody sportsman makes you a better lover.
your self-esteem, your discipline – it’s the thing that will separate you is the So, do you think being fit helps
something you can feel in your daily mental fitness, the ability to go one people find a partner?
life. step further. I’m getting older — I’m No, not at all because people come in ›

JULY 2017 113


Fred wears
vest by H&M

all shapes and sizes. It works for me


and I believe in it and I wouldn’t have
it any other way. I enjoy the sports,
I enjoy the adrenaline; it makes me
happy. It’s been scientifically proven
that the release of endorphins is a bit
like when you take drugs, only it’s a
much lighter and healthier and more
long-lasting thing. It’s like love.
Perhaps some advice; men are… ?
Lovely, men are lovely! I want to say
that. I love men, they are great. It’s
true. Not enough is said about how
good men are, men are beautiful. Let’s
write this down! Men are amazing.
Well, we love celebrating men in
this magazine! But as much as we
celebrate men in Attitude, and we
like to show men who are healthy
and look good, men are under more
pressure than ever to look a certain
way. And that’s especially true for gay
men. What advice would you have for
those who feel that pressure?
I have quite a few gay friends who
are very fit and look very muscular.
Others are big and fat. In fact, I had a
couple [of larger men] in my restaurant
a while ago. They were not the most
attractive men in that Adonis sort of
way, but then why should you be so
obsessed with what you look like? At
the end of the day, it could be about
metabolism. I’m quite lucky I’m slim
GROOMING: Nibras using Clinique
— even if I wanted to I couldn’t put
FASHION ASSISTANT: Callum Pease
on weight. Even if I eat, eat, eat, the
biggest I’ve been is 80kg and that was
a fluke. Lots of people are obsessed
with the way they look and how people
perceive them. But what matters is
what you think. If you’re confident and
you accept yourself then at the end
of the day the world will accept you.
What matters is how you feel
inside. Anyway, are we ever “IT’S LIKE GOING TO
happy with how we look? THE EDGE OF THE
Men always want to be bigger,
CLIFF AND THE
faster, stronger. You can want
that but also be satisfied and
ONLY ONE WHO
happy with yourself. And CAN TAKE YOU
that’s also true if you’re big. BACK IS YOU ”
One of my friends is really
large but he likes himself. He eats a bit
too much, he smokes a bit too much
and he drinks a bit too much but he’s
happy. And he’s made that choice.
What first attracted you to work on
First Dates?
You have to take a leap of faith. You
work with the team — and it is a real
team effort — to make it what it is. It’s
not a case of me sitting back and just
taking it. I’m an active participant and
I’m very vocal in giving suggestions
and feedback. I’m tiny on this
programme but I’m fully invested in
it; body and soul. We have a common
vision and that’s rare. I think that I
liked the vision and the values of the
programme first. The intention of
everyone is pure, it’s just to put people
together. We match them to perfection
and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
A restaurant is a good place for a
first date but where would you take
someone for a date with a bit more
energy?
Maybe a bar. You want to be
somewhere you can talk one-on-one.
Mind you, it depends on your age and
what you are into. I’d suggest a tapas
bar. You can order one or two dishes,
have some wine and if it’s going well
you carry on. If not, you just make your
excuses and leave.
I suspect you’ve been in the UK long
enough to have a good perspective on
this; is the cliché that French men are
SHOT AT BXR LONDON, 24 PADDINGTON STREET, LONDON. BXRLONDON.COM

more romantic true?


Well, some people say that the French
are the best lovers. That’s what they
say… I won’t deny or confirm that
[laughs]. But let’s say: there’s no smoke
without fire!

You can see Fred on First Dates and


in Tried and Tested: The Ultimate
Shopping List, both on Channel 4.
His second book, Secret Service, is Fred wears vest and
shorts, both by Nike at
out in October MR PORTER, trainers
by adidas
WELLMAN.CO.UK
®

David Gandy

Made in Britain

From Boots, Superdrug, supermarkets, Holland & Barrett, health stores, pharmacies
*UK’s No1 men’s supplement brand. Nielsen GB ScanTrack Total Coverage Unit Sales 52 w/e 3rd Dec 2016.
MAXIMUSCLE PROTEIN BARS
Maximuscle have recently launched a killer range of protein
bars in 14 new and improved flavours. Split across four goal-
supporting ranges, they are the last word in getting a convenient
protein hit on the go. England rugby star Chris Robshaw is a big fan of the range, and
was busy munching on one as Attitude arrived for an exclusive photoshoot. Head over
to attitude.co.uk now to see it in all its glory. And if you’re looking to build a rugby-star
physique, load up on Maximuscle’s Promax, Promax Lean, Cyclone and Progain bars.
Each contains 20g of protein plus other good stuff such as calcium HMB, magnesium
and vitamin D. And with flavours such as millionaire’s shortbread, cookie dough and
chocolate caramel, you’ll be convinced it’s your cheat day.

maxinutrition.com

ACTIVATE
THE LATEST TECH, GEAR AND INFO
WORDS: ADAM DUXBURY

WOLFFEPACK

This is one of those products that is


so beautifully simple and perfect that
you’ll be kicking yourself for not having
thought of it first. Thanks to an orbital-
trapeze-cord system, you can swing
the pack from your back round to your
front — and back again — without ever
removing the shoulder straps. Use the
Metro variety to keep the bag at your
front and bask in the jealous glances of
commuters tripping over theirs. Or grab
the Summit style and easily access a
sports drink while skiing down the piste.

wolffepack.com

AWESOME WALLS SHEFFIELD

Climbing was recently recognised as an Olympic sport — just


in time for the 2020 Games — so maybe you should start
honing your skills. And at Sheffield’s Awesome Walls you’ll be
in good company as members of Team GB regularly drop by
to train. If you’re a total novice you needn’t feel intimidated:
on-hand instructors will guide you through the basics or you
can choose from a variety of comprehensive courses. There
are outposts in Stoke, Stockport, Liverpool and Dublin, but
Sheffield is so good that it was the first climbing gym in the
UK to be awarded National Performance Centre status by the
CHRIS ROBSHAW IMAGE: MARKUS BIDAUX

British Mountaineering Council. More than 312 potential


routes are possible and a 23m-high competition wall keeps
keen climbers on their toes — literally. You can’t beat
climbing for a total body workout because you use all the
major muscle groups, plus a few you never knew you had!

awesomewalls.co.uk

JULY 2017 117


THIS MONTH, MATT LISTER HAS SOME ADVICE ON WHY YOU
SHOULD TAKE IT A LITTLE EASY — JUST FOR A WHILE

It’s summer. You’ve been training hard to reach your fitness


RESTED goals, and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
DEVELOPMENT Time off is essential to keep us from falling apart — but how
often do you try to maximise your time off, so that you really
benefit when it’s time to start up again?
Going from working and training hard to suddenly stopping everything can have a
negative effect on your mood and health. It’s much better to just slow things down but
keep ticking over. Here are some tips to help.

Deloading: How often do you allow your body the time to adapt to the “STOPPING
stresses you put on it during training? Try breaking up your gym training EVERYTHING
into three heavy weeks and one lighter week, during which you reduce SUDDENLY CAN
the weight, or the number of reps and sets you do.
Physiotherapy or sports massage: Get a body MOT. Our bodies aren’t
HAVE A NEGATIVE
always able to tell us when we’re doing something wrong. As an athlete, EFFECT ON YOUR
I saw the physio team twice a week (and sometimes more if I’d injured MOOD AND HEALTH”
myself training) to make sure that everything was in good working order.
You may walk away after the session with no issues at all, which is great.
But you may also leave with some invaluable advice.
Maintenance stretching: Try meditation, yoga or pilates. One of the
most rewarding activities mentally and physically is setting aside just
20 minutes of your day to have some quiet time to reflect. These
techniques will also keep your flexibility in good nick, which will
benefit your training tremendously.
Food: This is a simple one. Just remember when you train less, you don’t
need to eat as much.
Cardio: Light cardio is always a great way to flush away your body’s toxins. You can go
to a pool for a swim, or get out and jog in the mornings before it gets too hot. Cardio
is also a great “cure” for a hangover when you’ve had one too many glasses of wine or
snazzy cocktails the night before.

AC T I V E
KEVIN HERMSEN, VOLLEYBALL IN FOCUS

I started playing volleyball six years ago. I had been a


“volleyball wife” for a year; travelling with my boyfriend
tournaments to cheer him on but never playing. After w
broke up, I decided to join in the fun and spent six mont
training with friends. We rented out gyms, ran drills and
played pick-up. I focused on improving my vertical jump
reaction time and hand-eye coordination. Eventually, I joined the North America
Gay Volleyball Association (NAGVA) and started competing all over the United
States. Through NAGVA, I not only improved my skills but also met new friends.
I now live and play in Helsinki with a group of gay men of all ages and skill levels
The beauty of volleyball is that it’s the perfect mix of team and individual sport.

@Amer_i_can_73

118 JULY 2017


#1 T Y PE W RI T ER
# 2 EZ C UR L

START with your


feet shoulder-width
apart, grip the bar
with your palms
facing forward,
set your shoulders
back and down.

THESE are difficult so don’t expect


them to work straightaway.

PULL yourself up. Keeping chin


above the bar, slide it along to your
right hand by extending your left
arm and bending the right, then go
the opposite way.

WHEN you have reached both


hands, return to the middle. If you
need to scale down, typewrite one
side, drop, then work the other side.

{ M AT T ’ S J U LY W O R KO U T P L A N } KEEP your elbows


locked to your sides
and slightly back, lift

A R MS the bar to your chin


without thrusting
FOREARMED IS... WELL, YOU KNOW your hips or arching
your back.

#3 W I D E CAB LE C U R L

STAND between
two cable curls,
with a solid upright
posture, and a
handle in each hand,
arms outstretched
to the sides. Adjust
cables to above head
height.

BENDING only from


the elbows, bring
your fists in toward
your head until they
tap you, then extend
again.

BE careful not to
lose posture through
this movement. We
want to work
only the biceps
BONUS LOWER the
here. EXERCISES
O N O U R i PA D
bar back down
VERSION! and repeat the
movement.

JULY 2017 119


HOW DO YOU FEEL
ABOUT YOUR BODY?
I actually don’t like my
body at all. My weight has
gone up and down for most of my
life. I was at my biggest in 2008
when I weighed just shy of 21st
(133kg). I joined a gym and cut
out the nightly takeaways I was
eating.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS FELT


LIKE THIS ABOUT YOUR
DARREN FREEMAN, 34, BODY?
CABIN CREW MANAGER I think that ever since I
was at my biggest all those years
ago I will never be happy with my
“This is probably body. When I look in the mirror
the bravest thing all I see is the really, really big guy
I was back then, even though I am
I have ever done. nowhere near as large as I used
I was so nervous, to be.
I thought I was WHAT MADE YOU WANT
going to throw up” TO DO THIS SHOOT?
I wanted to do it as a sort
of liberation, as cheesy as
that sounds. I’m hoping that the
picture will let me see myself in a
different way and make me think:
“You know what, Dazza, you ain’t
that bad really...”

DID YOU FEEL


CONFIDENT DOING THIS
SHOOT?
Absolutely not! It’s
probably the bravest thing I have

REAL ever done. I was so nervous, I


thought I was going to throw up.
But the photographer really put

BODIE S me at ease.

WHO’S YOUR IDEAL


{ O P E N U P A B O U T YO U R B O DY }
MAN AND WHY?
Oh, the list is endless! I’ve
been single for eight years
so now I just make sure they have
a head and a pulse! I’m joking...
a pulse isn’t essential! In all
seriousness, someone who has a
{ HEIGHT } job, a great sense of humour and
if they happen to look like Tom

1.8 M Hardy, then winner!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD


YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE
{ WEIGHT }
ABOUT LOVING THEIR
BODY?

104 . 8 KG I know I have been negative about


my own body image, but these are
PHOTOGRAPHER: VICTOR HENSEL-COE

just my hang-ups. We all come in


different shapes and sizes and
that’s brilliant. Never hate,
appreciate.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR REAL BODIES, EMAIL ADAM.DUXBURY@ATTITUDE.CO.UK

JULY 2017 121


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hoseasons.co.uk
0345 498 6570
THE ATTITUDE GUIDE TO THE WORLD

Viva la
revolución
p124
MARKUS BIDAUX

JULY 2017 123


havana
good time
WITH MORE AND MORE TOURISTS FLOCKING TO CUBA, MARKUS BIDAUX
TRAVELS TO ONE OF COMMUNISM’S FINAL STRONGHOLDS IN THE
FOOTSTEPS OF HIS LITERARY HERO — AND IT’S NOT HEMINGWAY

s a teenager, I was greatly Being gay in Cuba is now legal.

a
ON CASTRO’S
STREET: Markus affected by Before Night The LGBT+ community have legal
in one of the Falls, the harrowing and protection against discrimination in
clasic cars found
all over Cuba sexually explicit memoir the work place, gender reassignment
of the gay Cuban writer surgery is offered by the government,
Reinaldo Arenas. He suffered for and President Raúl Castro’s lesbian
decades under Fidel Castro’s regime daughter, Mariela, campaigned for the
after smuggling out two manuscripts country to start its own Pride events
of novels that were then published and runs the National Center for Sex
outside Cuba. His books were critically Education.
acclaimed but resulted in him being The majority of Caribbean islands
imprisoned for “ideological deviation.” still have laws that discriminate against
I started re-reading the book to the LGBT+ community and, while these
remind myself of the changes that have rarely affect travellers, I’m excited
taken place in Cuba since Arenas died to see how Cuba is changing for the
in 1990, taking his own life after being better for both locals and tourists.
diagnosed with HIV in America. I, along with a group of journalists,

124 JULY 2017


PAST GLORIES:
Although Cuba is
modernising, there are
still nods to its bygone
days, including a
Che Guevara mural
adorning the Ministry
of Interior, below

travelled to the Caribbean island


with Virgin Holidays. We landed
at Varadero, a beach resort on the
island’s northern coast, and arrived at
FA C T F I L E
our hotel just in time to see the sun
setting over the sea. Virgin Atlantic is the only British airline with direct flights to
The adventure began the following both Havana and Varadero.
day when we boarded a catamaran and
sailed north east to the island of Cayo virginholidays.co.uk
Blanco, where sun loungers lined the
beach and we drank cinnamon-spiced
pina coladas out of hollowed-out
pineapples. There were large speakers the Guevara museum and mausoleum
blasting music on to the beach, which and other landmarks of the revolution,
had people dancing on the sand, but before plunging us straight into the hot
I chose to walk along the shore until I topic of communism versus capitalism.
found a quiet spot to sit against a palm He explained that while it was
tree and read about Arenas’ many ^fTY^`cVUZWÍTf]ee`SfjeYZ_Xd
sexual escapades on similar beaches. in Cuba, they receive free services
After a few hours, we sailed back to such as health care and higher
the mainland and were accompanied education. However, I was reminded
by a pod of four dolphins that raced of the comment Arenas made on the
beside the boat for a few minutes. subject while living in America. “The
The next day, we drove to Santa difference between the communist
Clara, situated in the centre of the and the capitalist systems,” he said, “is
island. The city is famous for being that, although both give you a kick in
the place where Che Guevara played the arse, in the communist system you
a major part in the overthrow of the have to applaud, while in the capitalist
dictatorial president Fulgenio Batista system you can scream.”
by derailing a train full of troops and The next morning, we hit the road
supplies in 1958. Our guide took us to and journeyed to Havana. Driving
into the capital city’s older area I
was astonished by the colourful
“ We s a i l e d n o r t h e a s t t o t h e i s l a n d architecture, which is slowly being
renovated after decades of neglect. We
of Cayo Blanco where sun loungers
explored streets lined with baroque,
lined the beach and we drank
neoclassical and Moorish buildings
cinnamon-spiced pina coladas out that were erected during Spain’s 400-
of hollowed out pineapples” year rule. ›

JULY 2017 125


W H E R E W E S TAY E D

IBEROSTAR VARADERO &


IBEROSTAR CENTRAL LA
HABANA HOTEL

We stayed at the Iberostar


in Varadero and Havana. At
the Varadero we enjoyed
the all-inclusive package, the two pools (one with a
swim-up bar) and a sandy beach. The Havana property
boasted a large square lined with stunning buildings,
perfectly located in Old Havana. From the rooftop
pool you can watch the classic cars navigate around
the square.

iberostar.com
SQUARE ROUTE: Plaza
de la Revolución, below,
is one of four squares
in Old Havana, and
is dominated by the
memorial to a hero of Cuban music, on-stage acrobatics and
Cuban independence rum put me in the mood to dance so
two of my fellow gay journalists and I
left the rest of the group to investigate
the local gay scene in Vedado, Havana’s
Colourful shutters, cast-iron colourful vintage autos are still in de facto queer neighbourhood.
balconies and beautiful lampposts abundance. HVdVRcTYVUW`c4fSRÄdÍcde`WÍTZR]
helped create some charming views We split into groups and spent a gay bar, Humboldt 52, but couldn’t
and a lovely atmosphere as we walked few hours being driven through the Í_UZed`TRccZVU`_e`4RSRcVe=Rd
the cobbled streets between Old city, visiting places such as Plaza de Vegas, which was packed. The friendly
Havana’s four picturesque squares. la Revolución, with its harsh Stalinist locals told us that our guidebook was
During our stroll, we visited the government building and a memorial out of date and the Humboldt had
Hotel Ambos Mundos where Ernest obelisk dedicated to José Martí, a poet been closed for two years.
Hemingway lived for seven years and and hero of Cuban independence. On stage was a busty drag queen
where he began work on For Whom the 2dhVUc`gVfaR_UU`h_eYVÍgV belting out a tune, but after a couple
Bell Tolls. His room has been preserved mile Malecón seawall, I was amazed of drinks a group of six male dancers,
and features memorabilia including his e`dVVR^RddZgVcRZ_S`hÎRXYR_XZ_X whom we recognised from the show at
typewriter, which sits on a small desk. I Tropicana, took to the stage.
recalled Arenas’ love for his typewriter, It was soon clear that they were
which he had bolted to a desk so
“Colourful shutters, enjoying dancing with each other
thieves could not steal it and, of the cast-iron balconies and more than they had with their female
thousands of pages he wrote on it, beautiful lampposts partners earlier.
keeping them hidden from the secret helped create some It might have been a Wednesday
a`]ZTVf_UVcÎ``ceZ]Vd charming views and a night, but the bar was still packed
We ate lunch at several paladares lovely atmosphere as when left at 3am.
(private restaurants) that have we walked the cobbled There are a few more bars and cafes
sprung up since Raúl Castro’s streets between Old known for being gay-friendly and
economic reform programme. These Havana’s four even a gay beach down the coast at
`WWVce`fcZdedÍ_VcTfZdZ_VR_UeYV Mi Cayito, but my time in Cuba had
picturesque squares”
Cuban staff a higher income. Two reached its end.
of my favourites were Paladar Los This is not the Cuba I read about
Mercaderes, which specialises in from a second-storey window that was in Before Night Falls. Although I was
farm-to-table dishes and has waiters as bright as the pink convertible I was thrilled to retrace the steps of one of
as hot as the food they serve up; and riding in. ^jWRg`fcZeVRfeY`cdR_UcVÎVTe`_
La Guarida, situated on the third On our last night, we attended a some of his experiences, the Cuba I
Î``c`WRYR]WUVcV]ZTeaR]RTVEYZd show at the 80-year-old Tropicana visited was a more progressive country
place has been visited by celebrities cabaret club. I was excited to see one of than the one he described, and one
including Steven Spielberg, Beyoncé the places where I knew Arenas would whose social and structural fabric is
and Rihanna, and was the location for take his dates. changing at a dizzying pace.
eYV@dTRc_`^Z_ReVUÍ]^Strawberry The show was most memorable for I look forward to visiting again but in
and Chocolate, which focused on the its ever-changing costumes covered the meantime I’m glad I saw it before
friendship between a gay man and a Z_cfWÎVdWVReYVcdR_UdVbfZ_d,hV ZeZddfS[VTee`R_VgVcXcVReVcZ_Îfi`W
communist. laughed the whole way through and my tourists and inevitably succumbs to the
You cannot mention Cuba without eyes widened in disbelief when a series threat of Westernisation.
Rfe`^ReZTR]]jaZTefcZ_XRÎVVe`W of female dancers came sashaying from I suggest you slip on a pair of Cuban
classic cars. While there are now backstage each with a chandelier on heels and get over as soon as you
modern vehicles on the roads, the top of their heads. The combination of possibly can.

126 JULY 2017


 


    
        
         
      










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t i c ke t
TRAVEL TIPS AND A ROUND-UP OF THE LATEST
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JULY 2017 129


AT T I T U D E + H E R T Z

cape
crusader
WE ALL LOVE WILD NIGHTS OUT BUT
SOMETIMES WE JUST CRAVE A QUIET
BREAK. IN THE FIRST OF A NEW SERIES
OF ARTICLES, SALLY SHALAM TRAVELS
AROUND THE UK BY CAR, WITH THE HELP
OF LEADING CAR HIRE COMPANY HERTZ, TO
FIND GREAT SPOTS TO EXPLORE AND RELAX
BE IN THE SWIM:
This picture,
Penzance’s art deco
ome boutique B&Bs book, an opportunity is presented to

s
Jubilee Pool and, left,
deliver such comfort rub shoulders with whichever local the harbour. Above,
that tearing yourself inhabitants turn up, and glean valuable Chapel House

from their confines takes touring tips in this far-flung corner


effort. Handsome Chapel of Cornwall.
House in Penzance is just There is no likelihood of missing
that kind. Pristine acreage of pale- Land’s End, the splendour of
painted floors enhance Georgian Penzance’s Art Deco Jubilee Pool or
proportions. Rooftop and harbour St Michael’s Mount — best viewed
views are framed by lofty sash from the terrace at the Godolphin
windows, and the balance of antique Arms in Marazion over a sundowner
and mid-century modern furnishings is (followed by dinner at Ben’s Cornish
spot on. It feels a very grown-up place Kitchen across the road). The inside
to stay indeed. tip, though, was to drive to Cape
In season, owner Susan Stuart lays Cornwall.
on convivial ‘kitchen suppers’ around The cape is the wild, wild west of
a long table in the moodily dark the county. Where the Atlantic Ocean
ADAM GIBBARD

basement dining room, a contrast meets the English Channel. Here, the
to the light-flooded upper floors, wind whipped and the sea crashed
and since non-residents can also and hurled itself against a rocky shore.

130 JULY 2017


PROMOTION

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equally memorable was my next courses.
port of call, Tremenheere Sculpture Perhaps it is no surprise that hip
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St Just (where McFadden’s butchers are controlled by pendulums, and is also very much a gateway.
on the market square dispenses the columns sway from side to side
fresh Cornish pasties), a skinny lane so gently that at first you question For more short breaks by car in the UK
led to the headland and a weather- whether you’ve just witnessed a see hertz.co.uk/inspiredbritishbreaks
beaten National Trust carpark which, ‘building’ move.
on the blustery day I’d set off, provided Art is as integral a part of this region FA C T B O X
a perfect vantage point from which as the granite which defines the
to munch contentedly, watching the landscape. In Penzance, Penlee House, Pick up your car from Hertz
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inspired
to the headland is missed, the road gallery and museum housing room Longrock, Penzance TR20 8JQ.
from St Just traces the coastline, across upon room of glorious work by the BRITISH Tel: 01736 322094.
moorland, eventually reaching The Newlyn School of 19th-century artists BREAKS Arriving in Cornwall by train?
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secret, this lonely inn sports garish Newlyn itself, a working fishing port, is services from Penzance or St Ives
orange exterior paintwork, a fanfare abuzz with tiny shops and cafes (snap I N PA R T N E R S H I P W IT H train stations by calling Hertz
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within. It’s a welcome port after from the deli and crab from W. Harvey Or pick up your car from your local
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Tin Coast. Copper and tin were details.
extracted for more than 2,000 years A Mercedes S350 from Hertz
and now the stark ruins of engine “The cape is the wild, wild west of Prestige Collection would make this
houses, chimneys, and no fewer than t h e co u n t y w h e re t h e At l a n t i c short break all the more pleasurable.
CHAPEL HOUSE

three National Trust sites (including Ocean meets the English Channel”
The Dress Circle.com Award Nomination for Best New Muscial
MTM Award Nominated for:
UK Best Composer - UK Best Lyricist - UK Best Musical

boysinthebuff.co.uk
11th - 29th July 2017 at Stockwell Playhouse
Your stories, lives, loves and struggles

TORTURED
FOR BEING
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JULY 2017 133


Radio City presenter Peter Price
grew up in the Forties when
being a homosexual was not only
a crime but also seen as a mental
illness. And the “cure” was like
something out of the Dark Ages…

torture
chamber AS TOLD TO: SIMON BUTTON
on for three days, with me lying there
still covered in puke and excrement,
was born in Wrexham in Wales in 1946 but raised in thinking I was going to die and
West Kirby on Merseyside after my mother put me up wondering if anyone would ever see
I for adoption. me alive again.
My sexuality began to dawn on me when I was 12 I sent for the doctor and said: “I want
years old. I began to feel different from other people, I fancied guys out.” I was freaking out so much they
and not girls. I fought it — even going so far as attempting suicide at had to hold me down and he said,
the age of 14, by taking orange-flavoured children’s aspirin. All that “We’ll use the electrodes now on your
did was give me a very bad headache. I wanted to be like everyone penis, so if you get an erection...” I was
else. I wanted to be normal, whatever normal was or what we were going: “I’m lying in excrement and
taught it was; I wanted to be married with kids. Being gay back then, vomit, I haven’t eaten anything, I look
after all, was a criminal offence. like I’m going to die and you’re now
talking about using electrodes on my
penis. Let me out of here!”
I don’t know how I managed it, but I
So I was fighting my sexuality, I was home with bars on the windows. I went did get out.
worried about it and I wanted to be in under a false name because it was A mate picked me up and took me
straight. But, after I started working as against the law to be gay. For the first home and put me in the bath for about
a chef and eventually as a DJ in a place couple of days I was sort of ushered eight hours because I’d never felt so
called the Cabin Club. I had for two about in this room with people who filthy in my life. When mum came
very understanding bosses, who were had mental health problems. I was very home I told her I’d walked out. She
tremendous with me and realised I scared. was angry that I hadn’t finished the
was different. I’d go down to London at When it came to the time for treatment but I didn’t tell her what
weekends to be who I was. I’d feel more treatment I sat with this psychiatrist they’d done because I think she’d have
comfortable there because the gay who was a horrible man, very cold tried to kill herself for putting me
scene in Liverpool was very small. with no compassion, who used every through that torture.
In Liverpool, gay life centred around vile word imaginable to describe sex
a place called the Magic Clock, which between men and recorded it on tape. I WOKE UP ONE DAY about a week
was a pub opposite the Royal Court later and said: “Enough is enough, I’m
Theatre. There was always the fear “I W
WAS LYING THERE going to be who I am.” Some time after
somebody wouild see you so you’d THHINKING I WAS GOING that I was in The Rockingham gay club
go into the Magic Clock after the in Manchester and there at the bar was SECRETS: Hilda

audience had gone into the theatre


TOO DIE, WONDERING IF the psychiatrist. The man who tortured
never learned
what happened
and you wouldn’t go outside in the AN NYONE WOULD EVER me was gay himself. I tried to kill him. to her son in the
mental home.
interval because of queer-bashers and SEEE ME ALIVE AGAIN” I’d never been physically violent in my Below, Peter at
blackmail and all that stuff. life but I went for his throat and it took Danny La Rue’s
nightclub, when
So, I would go to London, aged 18, The next day they put me in a room three people to get me off him. he was 18
and I’d get off the train at Euston, in a bed, naked and put the tape I never spoke about what I went
drape my coat over my shoulders, put on. I was looking at a book full of through until I heard about a group of
my cigarettes in my cigarette holder pictures of naked men and they gave people who’d been thrown out of the
and be gay. me Guinness to drink after asking me British army for being gay and they
what I usually drank, and injected me went to the Court of Human Rights.
ONE DAY, MY ADOPTIVE MUM Hilda with something. I don’t know what it One of them talked about being
(who raised me and whom I always was but it made me throw up and soil offered aversion therapy and I was
saw as my real mum) found a letter, I myself. I was lying in my own puke gobsmacked, so I told my story to a
don’t remember who from, that made and excrement and they injected me reporter and also eventually I did a
out I was gay. When I got home from again and again and again. That went Q&A session about it on my radio
work she was in bed, in a terrible state. show, in Liverpool.
She thrust the letter at me, and asked: I know the so-called aversion therapy
“What’s this?” damaged me in some way. I have
I told her I was a homosexual. She terrible depression and while I was
was physically ill, had a breakdown, always clean, I am now obsessively so.
and said: “We have to do something I do worry that a lot of young gay
about it.” people are quite ageist and don’t
We went to the doctor, who said: understand the pain the older
“There is a cure.” So for the sake of generation went through to get them
her and for the sake of society, I opted accepted.
to have it. I didn’t know any better; I But times have moved on, and I think
believed I was ill. it’s great that gay people are accepted
I went to a psychiatrist who now. And why shouldn’t they be?
confirmed that “I could be cured”.
They put me in a mental home — not Peter Price appears in the BBC’s
on a psychiatric ward but in a mental docu-drama, Against the Law, in July

JULY 2017 135


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man 7Rg`fcZeVÍ]^0
I adore all Pixar movies but I fell in love with
Moonlight as soon as I saw it. I was thrilled it
got the reception and awards it deserved: it’s
subtle, heartbreaking, beautiful, queer and a

of the revelation.
Favourite dish?
Probably homemade curry. Some of my family
originate from India, so a lamb curry with all
the trimmings.
Favourite travel destination?
I still want to go everywhere — including
most of the places I’ve already been —
but I think Venice would be at the
top of my list. It’s saturated with
Renaissance art, culture and
6RTY^`_eYhVac`Í]V`_V history, but also explodes
of you guys, our readers, to with contemporary work
find out what you get up every other year for the
Biennale.
to in your life Do you go to Pride?
I went to London
LOUIS SHANKAR, 22, AcZUVW`ceYVÍcdeeZ^V
last year. It was slightly
STUDENT, WEST LONDON overshadowed by the EU
referendum result, which
What’s a day like at university? was announced the day before,
I’m doing an MA in critical writing in art and but it was so much fun. I loved
design, at the Royal College of Art. I only have being in the very centre of London,
classes two days a week. The rest of the time, I seeing rainbows everywhere and being
have reading to do and projects to work on, and surrounded by so many people celebrating
I do some freelance writing on the side. the LGBT+ community.
How would you describe your style? Which celebrity has inspired you most?
Eclectic. I’ve been accumulating clothes from Olly Alexander. Aside from the fact he’s
various sources over many years now. Lots of adorable and has the most stunning
pink and orange, but also lots of black. And wardrobe, the way he’s spoken about
acVeej ^fTY VgVcjeYZ_X Z_ d\Z__j Íe LGBT+ rights and mental health has been
What book have you read recently? inspirational.
The Sellout, by Paul Beatty, which won the Man Who is your gay hero?
Booker last year – and rightly so. It’s a satire of David Wojnarowicz. He’s an often-overlooked
modern race relations in America: wonderfully artist who was active in New York in the 1980s
written, hilarious and so painfully relevant now and died from an Aids-related illness in 1992.
that Trump is in the White House. His work is loud, angry and political, and his
Which app do you use the most? writings are brutally honest.
I’m slightly addicted to Twitter, particularly HY`hRdeYVÍcdeaVcd`_j`fTR^V`fee`0
for breaking news during the recent election My best friend, although I didn’t “come out” to
campaign, as well as for Trump’s numerous many people — I was never particularly closeted
gaffes. I also follow lots of friends, comedians and didn’t feel the need to come out to most
and media outlets. Attitude is a favourite! of my friends; I just started dating guys and no
What music are you loving at one batted an eyelid.
the moment? What law would you introduce to the country?
The new Gorillaz album is fantastic, and I’d deport Piers Morgan and Katie Hopkins,
I’m enjoying Lana Del Rey’s new songs. and ban Trump from ever visiting. I don’t have
Bloc Party are a favourite, too. time for their intolerance, ignorance or the way
they’ll lie, offend and insult people for clicks,
likes and votes.
“I’D DEPORT PIERS What was the happiest day of your life?
MORGAN AND KATIE Probably the day I got my A-Level results. It was
on the day I got back from several weeks in
HOPKINS AND BAN South America, so was I exhausted but on such
DONALD TRUMP a high, and thankfully I got the results I needed
FROM VISITING” to go to Cambridge.
VICTOR HENSEL-COE

IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE A PART OF THIS FEATURE, EMAIL TIM.HEAP@ATTITUDE.CO.UK

JULY 2017 137


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a problem
shared
Got a problem? DR RANJ SINGH
and WAYNE DHESI are here to
offer their advice...

that make us happy because w


often have to compromise. Thi
WAY N E D H E S I ,
means that we end up doing (o FOUNDER OF
not doing) things just to please
I recently broke up our partner. I’m not just talkin
RUCOMINGOUT

with my boyfriend about settling for pizza when y


fancy a curry, but things such

after nine years and choosing where to live.


I suggest that before trying to
am finding it really the gap you now have by gettin
straight into a new relationship
difficult being on you take time to focus on you.
Use this as a chance to try
my own again. out those hobbies you always
wanted to do.
Since he moved out I’ve found I’ve got a lot It’s also perfectly OK to be
more spare time on my hands and I don’t selfish when you’re newly
like how quiet the flat is without him. I don’t single. Is there anywhere
enjoy going out to bars and clubs any more, you’ve always wanted to go
which is where I met my ex and most of my on holiday but never got the
previous boyfriends. I hate being single and chance to visit? If so, go!
really want to meet someone. My friends keep Going on holiday on your
telling me to try dating apps, but I’ve heard own is a liberating experience
they’re full of people only looking for sex. and could also help you come t
terms with your break up as y
JONATHAN, LIVERPOOL in unfamiliar surroundings and
from the things that remind yo
your ex. If the thought of jettin
somewhere alone is a bit too m
you right now, try to contact fr
¤WAYNE: Adjusting to single life you may have not seen much
after a break up is always difficult, but the past few years and reconne
after nine years together it’s going to people you enjoy being aroun
be more challenging. Some people It’s true that the dating scene
enjoy their own company, while others changed a lot since you were la
find it difficult to spend evenings and single, but this doesn’t mean t
weekends without anyone else around. aren’t people out there who ar
Although there’s absolutely nothing same page as you. Not all peop
wrong with wanting to spend all of dating apps are there just for s
your time with other people, there’s there are lots to check out.
something to be said for hanging out Being in a happy relationship
with yourself every now and then. obviously amazing but remem
During the past nine years, you will work on you first. I’ll leave wit
have changed as a person and your from Carrie Bradshaw: “The m
new situation gives you the perfect exciting, challenging and signif
opportunity to work out exactly who relationship of all is the one yo
you are. Sometimes when we’re in a with yourself. And if you find
relationship, especially a long-term someone to love the you that y
one, we can forget about the things love, well, that’s just fabulous.

140 JULY 2017


ad an article recently about how
re’s no such thing as being “fat but
and it left me a bit confused.
nitely a little overweight (I have a bit of a beer belly, a paunch if you like) and
I go to the gym and have a bit of muscle my BMI is definitely higher than the
range. Last time I went to a doctor he said I had great blood pressure and resting
te, plus I exercise regularly (three or four or times a week, a mix of cardio and
ce). Basically, I don’t understand what this new research is telling me. Should I be
ng? Do I need to make any huge adjustments? Am I going to die?

WINCHESTER

¤RANJ: No you’re not going Also, it’s just part of the equation.
to die! Well, not yet anyway. Where you carry your weight is
First, let’s clarify a few important too. As a man, you should
things about this news. The try to lose weight if your waist
article is talking about recent measures 37in (94cm) or more,
research from the University regardless of your BMI.
of Birmingham. They looked The fact that you’re exercising about
at the medical records four times a week is great as this
of 3.5m people who will help reduce your risk of future
were overweight problems.
or obese (i.e. had Ideally, we should all be aiming for
DR RANJ SINGH, a BMI above 30). around 150 minutes of aerobic activity
D O C T O R //
TV PRESENTER They found that per week. Also, try to eat a healthier
even if all other diet, making sure you sleep well, and
risk factors (such cut down on things such as smoking
as blood pressure) and drinking alcohol. This will also
are normal, people help to reduce risk. If you want to
who are overweight had minimise it further, then losing your
a higher risk of getting “beer belly” is a good idea.
cardiovascular disease. The “fat but fit” debate has been
So, thinking that anyone going on for decades and this research
can be fat but still be helps to answer this age-old question
“medically fit” and not to an extent.
suffer any health issues But the research hasn’t been
is a myth. This might published yet and can’t be fully
worry a lot of people but scrutinised so watch this space.
it’s not really a surprise. However, it definitely supports what
For a long time, we’ve many of us think: that all of us should
thought that trying to keep be trying to maintain a healthy weight
a healthy weight (i.e. a BMI to minimise any future health
between 18.5 and 24.9) helps reduce problems.
the chances of suffering things such as
a heart attack or stroke.
But the situation is not that simple. “THINKING THAN ANYONE CAN BE
While BMI is a generally good guide of
FA
AT BUT STILL BE MEDICALLY FIT AND
whether someone is a healthy weight,
it’s not perfect. That’s especially true if
NOOT SUFFER ANY HEALTH ISSUES IS A
you’re very muscly as this can skew the MYYTH. THIS MIGHT WORRY A LOT OF
result and be misleading. PE
EOPLE BUT IT’S NOT A SURPRISE”

IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUBMIT A PROBLEM FOR RANJ AND WAYNE TO ANSWER, EMAIL A FEW WORDS TO APROBLEMSHARED@ATTITUDE.CO.UK

JULY 2017 141


S E A N DAV I S ,
2 8 , AC C O U N T
M A N AG E R ,
LO N D O N

After meeting at V in
2014, Matthew and
Sean have built a solid
friendship, founded on
a mutual love of music,
theatre, wine and
“dancing like slags”.

M AT T H E W
JA M I E S O N ,
In a celebration of queer friendship, 2 6 , L AWY E R ,
ABERDEEN
we ask best mates some telling questions and
find out just how well they really know each other
S E A N O N M AT T H E W : M AT T H E W O N S E A N :

1
Celine Dion Who did he idolise Steps
WRONG! Steps growing up? CORRECT!

2
Carrie Underwood Who is his favourite Beyoncé
CORRECT! diva? CORRECT!

3
I’m guessing something by Cher Lloyd What song does he play Anything by Beyoncé
WRONG! Anything by Little Mix or Ariana too much before a night CORRECT!
out?
4
Boys! What do you disagree How overrated Beyoncé is *hides*
CORRECT! on most? WRONG! Boys

5
Being stripped naked in a Gran Can bar by a drag queen What’s the most He was so busy tweeting after a concert, he tripped over a
CORRECT! Matthew doesn’t agree but it sounds pretty embarrassing thing he’s bollard and fell in front of thousands of people
embarrassing so we’ll give Sean the point ever done? CORRECT!
6
Star of his own reality show If he could walk into his Something computer related
CORRECT! dream job tomorrow WRONG! Beyoncé’s backing dancer
he’d be a…?
7
Singing every song in the style of What is his secret geeky Superhero/Marvel films
musical theatre pleasure? WRONG! Heels
WRONG! Superhero films
8
To be famous What’s his biggest To meet Beyoncé
WRONG! To be successful in terms of career and ambition? WRONG! Great job, house and family
relationships
9
Gary What was the name of He’s probably reading this…. Shane
CORRECT! his first boyfriend? CORRECT!

10
Sober people What’s his biggest pet Attention seekers
WRONG! People who won’t stop talking about the gym peeve? WRONG! Poor customer service

VERDICT: SEAN’S FALL AT THAT CONCERT


SEAN’S SCORE: M AT T H E W ’ S S C O R E :
OBVIOUSLY AFFECTED HIS MEMORY — AT LEAST
5 /10 HE’S GOT AN EXCUSE, MATTHEW 5/10
IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR BUDDY BRILLIANT, EMAIL TIM.HEAP@ATTITUDE.CO.UK

142 JULY 2017


table
for R I C K Y, 2 5 ,

two
A S S I S TA N T
DIRECTOR

Ricky and Marc


dined at M Restaurant
Victoria Street, London
HYRe hVcV j`fc Ícde Z^acVddZ`_d0 MARC, 28,
RICKY: He was handsome and lovely MARKETING
EXECUTIVE
from the start, which was a surprise
R_U UVÍ_ZeV]j _`e hYRe : YRU Z_ ^Z_U
hYV_ : Ícde dRh YZ^
MARC: He was tall (hallelujah) and MARC: His childhood sounded the staff were friendly and changed
dVV^VU bfZeV dYj Re Ícde Sfe hYV_ eYV ViTZeZ_X : XcVh fa Z_ 9VceW`cUdYZcV d` Ze cZXYe RhRj : YRU R _ZTV 2dZR_ S`h]
aY`e`XcRaYVc ]VWe YV cV]RiVU R_jhYVcV hZeY R SZe `W df_ R_U dR_U which was my healthy intake for the
H`f]U j`f YRgV dhZaVU ]VWe `c cZXYe0 d`f_Ud ]Z\V eYV TYZ]UY``U `W R acZ_TV hVV\
RICKY: : h`f]UÄgV dhZaVU ]VWe ZW :ÄU HYRe hRd YZd SVde bfR]Zej0 MARC: >j dRdYZ^Z hRd RhVd`^V Sfe R AT E
dVV_ YZ^ `_ R UReZ_X Raa Sfe eYZd hRd RICKY: 9Zd dRcTRd^ 9V UZU_Äe eR\V CZT\jÄd R gVXVeRcZR_ d` hYV_ YZd deVR\
great to test to see whether my idea of himself too seriously at all and it made salad arrived we had a really good THE
d`^V`_V TR_ TYR_XV hYZTY Ze UZU Ze VRdj e` [fde YRgV Wf_ R_U cV]Ri ]RfXY D AT E
MARC: 2 Íc^ eYf^S e` eYV cZXYe MARC: He seemed to want to get to 2_j Rh\hRcU ^`^V_ed0
9`h hRd eYV T`_gVcdReZ`_ R_U hYRe know me and was keen on asking RICKY: 5ZWÍTf]e e` eV]] Rd : XV_VcR]]j R I C KY:

UZU j`f eR]\ RS`fe0 bfVdeZ`_d hYZTY Zd R cRcZej U`_Äe _`eZTV eYV^ Sfe : eYZ_\ hYV_
RICKY: 2 ]Zee]V Rh\hRcU Re Ícde HVcV eYVcV R_j UVR]ScVR\Vcd0 hV Ícde ^Ve Ze hRd R eRU Rh\hRcU
Sfe eYReÄd deR_URcU hYV_ j`f ^VVe RICKY: ?`e Re R]] : U`_Äe [fUXV e`` : RccZgVU Ícde R_U >RcT RccZgVU [fde
d`^V`_V _Vh 9`hVgVc YV hRd ]`gV]j bfZT\]j R_U eYV UReV Î`hVU gVcj VRdZ]j RWeVc R_U hV hVcV S`eY eYc`h_ Z_e` R
R_U hV da`\V RS`fe hYRe hV U` R_U MARC: :_ZeZR]]j YZd RXV Sfe : d``_ a`dZeZ`_ W`c aY`e`d Sfe Ze hRd f_fdfR]
hYVcV hV h`f]U ]Z\V e` ecRgV] found out that he was mature and we fun and gave us something to giggle
MARC: We discussed his/my work, his dVV^VU e` YRgV dZ^Z]Rc RdaZcReZ`_d RS`fe RWeVchRcUd
^`gV e` eYV F< LWc`^ >`kR^SZbfVN HYRe hVcV j`f ^`de h`ccZVU YV MARC: CZT\j `cUVcVU R 4Rc]dSVcX R_U
R_U `fc dYRcVU UVdZcV e` ecRgV] ^`cV h`f]U _`eZTV RS`fe j`f0 V_UVU fa hZeY R T`d^` 9V UcR_\ Ze 8/10
HYRe hRd eYV ^`de Z_eVcVdeZ_X eYZ_X RICKY: EYRe : R^ R \]fek dRcTRdeZT R_U R_jhRj : eYZ_\ YVÄd T`_gVceVU MARC:
RS`fe YZ^0 ]RfXY Re dZ]]j eYZ_Xd : TR_Äe af]] `WW eYV D_`X ^Rccj Rg`ZU0
RICKY: Marc has done some sophisticated and formal look, which RICKY: 2e eYV ^`^V_e d_`X : U`_Äe
^`UV]]Z_X hYZTY hRd Z_eVcVdeZ_X YRdSVV_Rac`S]V^SVW`cV like rushing into things as it might take
ARceZTf]Rc]j Y`h Ze hRd_Äe Rd X]R^`c`fd MARC:>jRaaR]]Z_XXV`XcRaYj eYV^RXZTRhRjjVd:Ä^Rc`^R_eZT
Rd : eY`fXYe :e hRd R]d` Z_eVcVdeZ_X e` 9`hhRdeYVW``U0 MARC: HYReÄdSVehVV_d_`XR_U
Í_U YZ^ bfZeV U`h_e`VRceY R_U gVcj RICKY: F_fdfR]SfeZ_RX``UhRj marry?
easy to talk to, which is usually not the :dTcVhVUfa^j`cUVceYVÍcdeeZ^V HZ]]j`f^VVeRXRZ_0
TRdV hZeY UReVd :ÄgV SVV_ `_ Rc`f_UhYZTYhRdV^SRccRddZ_XSfe RICKY: :eYZ_\d`9VÄdRXcVReXfjR_U
hVX`eR]`_XhV]]:U`_Äe\_`hZWhV 8.5 /10
h`f]USVT`^aReZS]VSfe:XfVddeYReÄd
“I’M A KLUTZ, SARCASTIC AND LAUGH AT SILLY THINGS. YRcUe`eV]]Wc`^`_VUReV
I CAN’T PULL OF THE SOPHISTICATED AND FORMAL MARC: HVUZdTfddVUeYVa`ddZSZ]Zejd`
LOOK WHICH HAS BEEN A PROBLEM BEFORE — RICKY hVhZ]]YRgVe`dVV

IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR TABLE FOR TWO, EMAIL PHOTOS AND A FEW WORDS TO TIM.HEAP@ATTITUDE.CO.UK
AS TOLD TO CHRIS GODFREY

MVICTORIA.CO.UK
YOUR LUXURY MULTIFACETED VENUE

JULY 2017 143


ERIC THOMPSON, “I DISCOVERED THERE
82, LONDON WERE GAY CONTACT
ADS — ALBEIT VERY
hen I came down to DISCREET ONES — IN
w London from Yorkshire as a SOME NEWSPAPERS
student in the mid-1950s, AND MAGAZINES”
there was no easy way to
find out about gay life. It was only when
I read one of Peter Wildeblood’s books
and noticed a mention of Speakers’
Corner that I discovered my first trolling
ground in Hyde Park. At first I was
very nervous going there, but I soon
discovered the pleasures of mixing in
the closely packed crowds milling round
the speakers. crowd of people I knew when I went
I was very naïve and had no way there. Overall, I was never excessively
of finding gay clubs, to which you apprehensive about police raids; but in
needed a member’s introduction — the 1960s you quickly learned to take
until I got a room in a house where it what were then simply sensible routine
turned out that there was another gay precautions, such as never keeping
man, Anthony, with whom I became address books with a record of gay
increasingly friendly. He took me to two contacts or writing love letters to your
clubs he used: the Rockingham, which partners.
was behind Shaftesbury Avenue, and Anthony and I soon became a couple,
the A&B, close to Wardour Street in and eventually found a flat together
Soho. Going with a close friend meant although that was surprisingly difficult
it was not something to worry about for two men to do. It wasn’t a case of
unduly, and I never felt “love at first sight,” and we were as
at risk there from the much linked by common interests
police or otherwise. GAY HAUNTS: Brewer in politics and history as by sexual
While it was intriguing Street and the corner attraction. That made possible the
of Wardour Street in
to be in a crowd of gay relaxed and open relationship which
Soho, in 1956
men in a primarily was the cornerstone of our lives until
social setting for Anthony died 50 years later.
ALL CHANGE:
the first time, the Eric Thompson
Another club Anthony and I used
members of those clubs was Le Duce in Poland Street. It was a
all seemed upper-class and weren’t coffee bar, and not exclusively gay, but
welcoming to new faces. I didn’t find
talking to them easy. In those days,
clubs had to appear very respectable:
there was no dancing or even touching.
pp g same-sex dancing was allowed, and we
frequently stayed there until 3am.
Later on, I discovered there were
gay contact ads, albeit very discreetly
The Rockingham, with its posh striped worded ones, of course, in papers such
wallpaper, struck me as decidedly piss- as The Sunday Times and magazines
elegant, and the people there as stuck such as Films and Filming and Music and
up. On reflection, they were perhaps Musicians.
just being cautious and sticking to We lived in a very different society
people they already knew, and saw me then. Finding one’s way into and around
as shy. Anyway, I never got to know any the gay world at first was very difficult,
of them and I didn’t go to those clubs and depended largely on luck. Once you
very often. met the right people, you could meet
My new friend also took me to my In a one-off special, we others; but it took me years after
first gay pub: the King William IV, in turn back the clock to coming to London to do that. The
Hampstead. That was more agreeable Sexual Offences Act 1967 made it
than the clubs, and I soon made a range
look at the gay scene in possible for gay communities to
of friends and started joining the crowd the Fifties and Sixties, develop: only after that could we be
who moved on to the Spartan club in before the partial open without thereby
Tachbrook Street in Victoria when the declaring ourselves to be
William closed on Sunday afternoons. decriminalistation of criminals. The Act was only
The Spartan was a very friendly and homosexuality a first step — but it was a
relaxed place, though it was probably vital one. Without it we
SHUTTERSTOCK

the only gay club with a club tie! The King could not have taken any
William IV
In any case, I was already in a others.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR STEPPING OUT, EMAIL AN OUTLINE OF YOUR STORY TO ADAM.DUXBURY@ATTITUDE.CO.UK

JULY 2017 145


DRAG & CABARET

BIG IN A WIG
SHARP-WITTED DOYENNE OF
THE STAGE, LEGEND OF THE Shag, marry or kill: Trump, Macron,
PARTY CIRCUIT AND OWNER May?
OF THE MOST POWERFUL I’d kill Trump, obviously. I don’t know
much about Macron, but I’ve heard
VOICE AROUND, MAISIE he’s rather dishy, so I’d shag him. And
TROLLETTE IS NOTHING LESS then I’d marry Theresa May. She seems
THAN DRAG ROYALTY like quite a fashion-
“THE ONLY forward lady — we
WORDS: JONATHAN STEWART
GRINDER I KNOW could share a wardrobe.
IS THE ONE MY How would you
Describe yourself in five words MUM USED TO describe yourself on
“Feel glad to be here.” GRATE NUTMEG” your Grindr bio?
How would your worst enemy The only grinder I
describe you in five words? know of is the one my mother used to
I don’t have enemies. Only fans. grate nutmeg when I was a boy.
Which famous person would you play If you were reincarnated, who or what
in a movie of their life? would you like to come back as?
Noël Coward. I’d have to tone down Paul O’Grady. It’s about time he put on
my wit, of course. a decent outfit.
Why is your drag name Maisie? Which three dead celebrities would
I was making breakfast for a good you bring back for a dinner party?
friend after a night out on the town Danny La Rue, Wendy Richard and my
and I called up to him that it was going late partner, Don.
to be ruined if he didn’t get up soon. What’s the worst joke you’ve ever
He yelled back: “Throw the bloody told?
thing away then, Maisie.” It turned I had a friend who used to bury himself
out that his family’s maid was called under Brighton beach, but leave his
Maisie and she used to shout at him cock exposed so it would get a nice tan.
like that when he slept in too long. Once, I was taking my mother for a
What’s your greatest asset? walk along the beach and we spotted it
There’s hidden talent between my legs. waving at us from the pebbles.“I think
What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve I’ll move to Brighton,” my mother said.
done? “I haven’t seen one of those in years
I once hid underneath a friend’s bed and here they’re just growing wild!”
for two hours just so I could grab his If you were a cocktail, what would
ankles when he came in. I’ve always you be?
enjoyed making people scream! Something long and stiff with brandy
What do you never leave the house in it.
without? What dish would you turn down sex
A full head of hair. I’m 84 this year for?
and I’ve kept it all. I don’t understand the question.
On that subject, why If you could have any super power,
do gentlemen prefer what would it be?
blondes? The ability to stop all the heartbreak
Because they tend to and pain in the world.
get dirty quicker. What’s the secret to your comic
Feathers or sequins? timing?
Neither — Carmen Listening carefully, watching the
Miranda-style fruit. I audience. Oh, and a generous helping
often fancy a banana of natural talent.
when I’m on stage. FRUITY: Maisie
What does 50 years of
They’re lovely to peel. likes to eat decriminalisation mean to you?
One skin, two skin, bananas on stage Has it been 50 years? Bloody hell. I
three skin… wish my Don was here to see it.
RuPaul or Lily Savage?
Who’s RuPaul?

146 JULY 2017


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Visit us at the Spirit of Harrogate – the home of Slingsby Gin for a unique
gin experience. For more information or to book an experience please visit
wslingsby.co.uk/experience or call us on 01423 541279.

facebook.com/slingsbysocial @slingsbysocial

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