August 10 - Tom Hopper
Two stories came up in the week we went to press which highlighted how ethnic and religious minorities in our gay community are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Firstly PinkPaper.com (which I’m also editor of) broke the news of a gay club owner who had said he was going to boycott all Muslim businesses because of the actions of a few extremists who have attacked British police and the armed forces. Just two days later a report came out which shows more and more gay men – many of them Muslim too – are being forced into arranged marriages.
By complete coincidence, we had already written our feature about racism in the gay world and our true life story about a Muslim gay man who fixed up his own faux marriage rather than tell his parents who he really is.
It seems so obvious to me that we all owe a duty to the most vulnerable in our community and that we must do all we can to protect them. That means fighting religious extremism and homophobia in all its forms. But the worst way to do that is to ally with racists or, for example, to tar all Muslims with the same brush and ostracise them all – that only hurts gay Muslims and makes enemies of our friends and allies. So I want to pledge to any gay person who is part of another minority that across our titles and brands, we will work harder than ever to make sure you are properly included and represented. Give me your feedback so I can make sure we do better.
Now I’ve done that, I should say there is plenty of fun stuff in this issue. We’re introducing you to a host of new talent – Tom, Sam, Aaron and Gabriel and the others aren’t just lookers, they’re really cool, funny, grounded people and we had a lot of fun interviewing and shooting them. I hope you enjoy discovering them too.