With media (and specifically print media) in a state of decline – here are 4 seriously smart, sexy gay magazines worth reading right now.
Anyone who has the audacity and courage to start a print magazine at the start of the 21st century has my respect. It’s not an easy endeavour by any means. The internet has changed the way we consume news and information. People expect instant access and possibly worst of all – for everything to be free.
So why would anyone buy a magazine?
Magazines have a long lead time, meaning that they are compiled over a period of months before the printing process can begin. Then there’s the distribution side of things and and getting the magazine out and made available all over the world.
Plus you have to find stockists willing to sell the magazine. And then after all of this, you have to set a price. The price needs to cover costs and not scare people off from making the purchase. Unlike websites, magazines do need to charge a price.
So given the difficulty of the situation magazines face, it’s amazing to me that right now in 2017, there are some gay magazines that are absolutely amazing. They’re producing original, in-depth content, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
If you think gay magazines are all about hot, young, white, jock looking dudes, get ready to be surprised. Here is a collection of 4 seriously smart and sexy gay magazines you might like to check out:
Hello Mr has been a huge personal inspiration for me. It’s the first gay magazine I’ve ever read that felt real and authentic to me. With contributions from gay guys all over the world, it spans a huge diversity in terms of opinions and perspectives.
It’s made up of a range of different content. This ranges from typical magazine style articles, to fiction stories, poetry, art and more. By not being limited to a typical magaziney genre, the magazine is imbued with a sense of freedom and diversity that personally, I don’t think any other gay magazine can match at the moment.
Here’s how Hello Mr describes itself, and its mission:
More than a magazine, Hello Mr. is a community of men who date men starting new conversations about their interests, loves, hopes, and fears. We are free-thinking men with a keen sense of style, insight, and humour.
The Hello Mr. mister prides himself on emotional intuition and champions his individuality above everything else.
Since launching in April 2013, Hello Mr. has gathered the interest of misters all around the world who seek out authenticity and meaningful experiences.
Published twice a year, each issue reflects the everyday experiences of our misters and their companions, in a neatly-curated museum carefully built to exhibit a universal story of gay men today.
BUTT Magazine is unabashedly queer and revels in its faggotry. It’s bold, expressive and retro-styled….things I’d never really seen before. Which probably explains why I like it so much.
In a world where homo-culture is being homo-genised, it’s good to see a representation that celebrates different sides to our sexuality. I realise it may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely worth checking out and supporting.
Here’s a quick history of BUTT Magazine:
In 2001, Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom started BUTT, the pocket-size magazine by, for and about homosexuals. Flash forward twenty-nine issues, three calendars and fifteen parties later, BUTT is still the place where gays can speak candidly about their ideas, work and sex lives.
BUTT launched a website the same year the infamous pink periodical hit newsstands. In 2010, it was re-designed from the ground up to include a blog, an archive for the printed edition, a series of Fag Map city guides, and a unique social networking component, CLUB BUTT.
From offices in Amsterdam and London, BUTT continues to be the go-to destination for the frank interviews and erotically-charged photography that made BUTT magazine the most admired and influential gay-interest publication of the last decade.
I was fortunate to speak with Playbear Magazine founder Steven when the magazine first debuted. (You can read that interview here if you like.)
Here’s what I wrote about the magazine’s first edition:
The first thing that stood out to me was the quality of the publication. It’s beautifully produced. The time, care and attention to detail is clear to see on every page, and in every article. Often times, LGBT media doesn’t have the highest production values for a number of reasons (budget restraints, tight deadlines). Playbear Magazine doesn’t show any signs of these constraints.
The thing I loved most about the magazine though, was its content. It’s funny that in these times of 24 hour news cycles and media overload, it’s actually hard to find genuine, original, unique and engaging content. Playbear Magazine touches on a lot of issues that I find fascinating and fun to explore (sex, body image, community). It presents articles, ideas and images in a way that’s fun to read, while giving you something to think about too.
Groom + Guy
At the end of 2017, Australia joined every other English-speaking nation on the planet and finally (finally!) legalised same sex marriage. Thankfully, that didn’t stopped Groom + Guy from launching.
The quality and production of the magazine is absolutely beautiful – as is their website.
Here’s how Groom + Guy describe themselves:
Groom + Guy is Australia and New Zealand’s premier gay wedding and lifestyle destination. We offer the latest content, relevant to those who are just starting the planning process for their big day, are seriously in the thick of it, are on the other side enjoying wedded bliss or are simply just interested in everything ‘lifestyle’, tailored to the gay man.
At Groom + Guy we celebrate gay weddings and everything that is gay weddings, but we’re also so much more. We are lifestyle, we are entertaining, we are style – the list goes on – but most of all, we are luxury. Groom + Guy is a luxe guide featuring inspiration for not only your special day but also for your everyday life – from how to entertain, to what to wear and everything in between.
We exist so that you – our community – can have the most definitive collection of everything weddings, lifestyle and real life at your fingertips. Each feature has been specifically curated so that you can be inspired beyond belief and have the perfect resource to make every day before and every day after your wedding day everything you wanted and so, so, so much more.
We were here to showcase and support couples who made the decision to marry even when it wasn’t legal in Australia and we will continue to do so now that Australia said “YES”.
So, there you have it. Four very diverse and very different (yet all equally awesome) gay magazines.
It was only as I was finishing this article that I actually realised just how different all of these magazines are from each other. I mean BUTT Magazine celebrates queer counter-culture and expressive sexuality, while Groom + Guy is for gay guys wanting to settle down and get married. You can’t get much more different than that!
How awesome is it that we’re living in times when we as gay men, have such a wide variety of choices when it comes to living our lives?
So if you’ve been inspired, please check these magazines out and if you can, please do support them. They can only continue to exist for our community if we as a community, actively support them.