In this issue, we’ve pooled together some of the fiercest voices in our global community.
From our trailblazing cover stars, to thoughts and opinions from Nigeria, Russia, Israel and beyond to give a first person insight into the lives of people who still fight daily for the rights and liberation that we revel in. The voices of leaders in wider society are shared too, with an exclusive announcement from UK Prime Minister Theresa May, and pieces from UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt.
Since November of last year, we’ve found a new commitment to amplify queer voices in their entirety, and share our platform with those that need it most, and this issue is another glittering example of just how far we’ve come not only as a community, but personally as a publication.
© Harry Eelman for Gay Times
Ezra Miller fronts the ‘genre-queer’ band Sons Of An Illustrious Father, whose music explores otherness and dissects the queer experience in modern America. In the wake of the Pulse Orlando massacre last year, they released their song US Gay which amplifies and brings attention to the fact that LGBTQ people are still being victimised and even murdered even in so-called developed countries. Alongside his bandmates Lilah Larson and Josh Aubin, Ezra goes into the responsibility they feel to speak to their queer audience, the importance of visibility, and the parallels between Ezra’s character Credence in Fantastic Beasts and the LGBTQ experience.
Laverne Cox is the human embodiment of trailblazer. After launching to international acclaim with the success of Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, she has since used her platform to raise awareness and fight for trans rights around the world. Her incredible #TransIsBeautiful hashtag has become an internet sensation, celebrating the everyday beauty of trans people – especially those that exist outside of the cisheteronomative ideals that persist throughout society. Speaking with former Gay Times cover star Peppermint, she addresses the violence that trans women of colour face in America, attending conversion therapy as a child, and the layers of privilege that we all have.
Charlie Carver has gone from teenage heart throb to fully fledged star. After his stint as a gay werewolf on Teen Wolf, Charlie has been busy navigating life as openly gay actor in Hollywood and is now playing in the 50th Anniversary Broadway production of The Boys In The Band. Charlie shares with us his own journey towards self acceptance, toxic masculinity in popular culture, and battling homophobia in tinsel town.
After winning Drag Race season five, Jinkx Monsoon has been travelling the world and securing their place as one of the most talented and successful queens to emerge from the show. Identifying as non-binary, Jinkx now utilises this platform to raise awareness for non-binary people globally. Speaking with Our Lady J, Jinkx dives into their journey of gender identity, the trans influence on drag, uncomfortable interactions in airport security, and the trans-exclusionary comments made by RuPaul.
Him Or Her, the upcoming and highly anticipated HBO series from Emmy award-winning and ex-Daily Show writer Travon Free will observe a man navigating the world as a bisexual man of colour. The partly-autobiographical series will break down the challenges bisexual people face not only from straight people, but also from within the community.
As the longest-running LGBTQ publication in the country, we’ve a rich heritage of serving the queer population, and a responsibility to remain truly inclusive and representative. In the spirit of reflection, within the pages of this issue you’ll stumble upon some of our favourite historical Pride covers from across our 44 year journey. With each new issue we’re evolving and developing a heightened understanding of the community and the queer individuals that we love and respect so much.
From all of us at Gay Times, and on behalf of all the incredible contributors that have helped bring this issue to life, we wish you a very happy Pride. Let’s continue to push and shove our way into the mainstream, and in the spirit of our queer ancestors raise our voices in solidarity. We’ve come so far, but oh honey there’s still so much further to go.