I woke up this morning, rolled out of my bed and into my laptop to see this:
I can’t speak to the content of this issue as it’s not hit the shelves yet, but do feel the need to address this cover. There’s been a good bit of debate on the boards over at Broadsheet about it, and I’d like to throw my two cents into the ring.
This is not a gay cover.
More worryingly, this is a stereotype of what a gay cover should be. There is no homosexual content to this cover, no loving photos of men kissing, no rainbow flags or strong political figures. And no woman.
There is just a shirtless man, representative of the gay stereotype of body beautiful and basic lust. It’s a cover that appeals to people who are sexually attracted to men – the majority of whom are straight women.
I know it’s just a cover of some magazine, but it’s representative of a wider problem of representation in the gay community: that we are only men, and we are only men who want sex. Never mind that our biggest fight is for marriage, surely the greatest remedy to sexual appetite in the history of mankind.
But for The Dubliner it’s more important to sell magazines by misrepresenting and belittling your subject matter than by actually engaging with them on something above the waist.
Note: The cover model is Mr. Gay UK winner Sam Kneen (an odd choice in many regards). The Mr. Gay <insert country here> competition is always one I’ve found problematic. It takes the format of a Miss Universe pageant and then tries to turn the winner into a politically informed mouthpiece. The two seem incongruent, and again buys into the idea that gay men can have worth, yes, of course, but let’s see those pecs first. Off with your tops boys! Now go represent an oppressed minority!