Writing is something we can all do. Yes, there are varying degrees of our writing capacities: some of us are great at writing reports at school and work, many are all about that email and texting life, others of us can whip up critical essays, a lot of us get paid to write online, and many are just really good at Tweeting, Instagraming, and whatever other micro-blogging format you use to get your life in the open. Outside of those pursuing a path toward literacy, writing is something many of us are capable of.
With that, writing has the tendency to lose its power especially in relationship to the Internet. We’re in a post-writing world since we mostly speak in pictographs and YouTube videos are the new blog posts. You can’t go from writing a blog to writing a book anymore: you have to fully transubstantiate yourself online, dissolving yourself into a video transmission leaked across all formats. Isn’t it funny how far we’ve come? I never would have guessed we’d be beyond words as I studied English and Performance Studies in college.
Obviously, the contemporary writing world is a tricky landscape to navigate right now. Even being an active writer online doesn’t seem like enough. No post is ever that meaningful until you see it #trending on some social network, Liked and upvoted beyond the self. Again: online transubstantiation. It’s fucking exhausting keeping up with these online Joneses and the Kardashians
. I’ve been attempting to block out these metrics this year and one of those efforts is taking my writing offline, creating a space for stories I want to share in the real world, as something people can take and pass along and literally share because it is something physical: I made a magazine.
No, I didn’t just make it: my boyfriend—Bobby—and I made a magazine. We randomly decided we wanted to make one in November, we developed the idea, I got to work on interviewing people and finding stories, he got to designing it, and now we have a magazine, a fusion of his design talents and my writing. It’s called BOY CLUB and we’re super, super proud of it.
The magazine is a reaction to a lot of things. Clearly, it’s a reaction to the Internet, a move to something more permanent and real and something that can literally be passed around. It’s also a reaction to a reaction, to post-Internet magazines that are just so sweet and cutesy and so performed, an Instagram filter spun across hundreds of pages. These are magazines that are not read but seen with. Who has actually read every article (Or even a single article!) in Kinfolk? Fantastic Man? California Sunday? Gather? Outside of the writers, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone talking about the actual content of most magazines. We just talk about their looks.
It’s also a big reaction to gay—and LGBTQ—media. For years, I’ve been wanting to create a gay space—online or off—that speaks to my world of gayness. It isn’t full of abs nor is it full of parties nor is it twee or sad or dainty or full of celebrities: it’s something real and tangible. And it’s fun! So much gay media is steeped in name dropping, in subTweets printed on paper, on appealing to the highest level of manufactured cool. That world is not real nor do I see myself in that. Like the Kinfolks, gay media is a grab bag of buzzwords: it’s a lot of Neil Patrick Droste Ben Looking Perfume Troye Harvey Milk Queen Franco Brokeback Shamir Oakley Jacobs Grimes Is Burning Jussie Dustin Dan Nyle Frankie Tyler Jenner reporting live from Brooklyn’s coolest coffee shop that also serves wine #instaboy #glutenfree #cleanse. It’s predictable.
BOY CLUB is instead really bright and fun—and cheeky! It’s so cheeky. There is one ab in the magazine and no big “names”: it’s all people I haven’t seen before in print, whose stories are I’ve been wanting to read. The magazine is operating from the gay point of view but it’s also not confined to that: we’re creating something that’s for anyone who is attracted to men or who identifies as or with males. The first issue hits more of the gay vibe but, in the future, there will be stories that expand on the boy loving point of view.
Every issue is themed, too. The first theme is “fresh,” dedicated to everything from fresh flowers to fresh ingredients to fresh and clean things. Here’s a little breakdown of the stories which range from picture based interludes to long, editorialized interviews.
• I chatted with a gay house cleaner who tidies houses in his underwear. He goes by the name Lucky Logan and is super sweet and super cute. His story has nice twist ending too, one that I was literally shocked by as we chatted.
• Chef Laurent Quenioux shared his history of being a gay chef from the seventies in France through now in Los Angeles. His story is one that could easily be a TV movie and it’s full of so much heart and humor and—Duh.—good food.
• Artist Ren shares his take on bears, which is a cute and cuddly little interlude between stories. There is one thing of note, a lesson to me in terms of being a magazine editor: we somehow missed that the end of the interview is missing a few words. We’ll publish the full interview online but, dang, I feel like a moron for the story just dropping off. Wah wah.
• Renowned pastry chef Noubar Yessayan taught us how to make one of the gayest foods: quiche. Not only is it a good name for a drag queen but the recipe that Noubar shares is delicious. I made it, to test it out, and it is so easy and so great. It’s perfect for entertaining!
• We also have a fashion story featuring our friend Daniel Landroche as a model, shot outside of Mammoth, California. It’s a play between hot and cold temperatures, backhanded commentary on global warming, and styled by me, which sounded so fun and “not difficult” until you are the stylist.
Additional stories include everything from cactuses that look like penises to earthy smelling candles to Springy cocktails. We also have two recurring features that you’ll see every issue close with: the QCC—Queer Creatives Collection—where we share work from various LGBTQ makers and Getting (It) On, a brief profile of often hilarious vintage gay porn. I’m excited to keep sharing those, promoting past and present LGBTQ works. The porn is also so fucking ridiculous, too. More on that later.
“Sooooo…where can I get BOY CLUB?” you ask.
Phew. That was a lot of words and I’m sorry but thank you for checking this out. We’re super excited to continue and, by all means, if you have any ideas for stories or advertising or places to sell the magazine, let me know. This is a totally new venture which is the challenge of doing something offline (not to mention all the “business” shit). The next issue is dedicated to ideas of family and we’re publishing quarterly as of now, btw. Email me if you want to chat about it.
SO. ENJOY, BOYS. ENJOY.