Elska profiles London’s gay communities

Besi Besemar September 5, 2018

Elska Magazine reveals London’s ‘Real’ Gay Communities through images and personal storytelling.

ELSKA, an American publication dedicated to sharing the voices and bodies of diverse gay communities around the world, puts the spotlight on London in its latest issue.

Readers are introduced to fifteen local men, each of whom gets their own chapter containing a personal story they wrote from their life in the city and several intimate and un- airbrushed images taken of them inside their homes and out and about in their neighbourhoods and communities.

None are hired models or celebrities, none of the scenes are staged, and none of the stories are commissioned, resulting in an “authentic” glimpse at gay life in the British capital.

London is one of the world’s greatest cities, and one of the queerest too. It’s a place that despite concerns about Brexit, still serves as a pole, attracting LGBT people from across Britain and beyond, reflected in Elska’s London issue which is full of diversity despite being produced under the often xenophobic shadow of Brexit.

Representative of such a multicultural city, only one-third of the men featured are actually English, the rest being long-time residents from countries such as Poland, Spain, Taiwan, Malta, the USA, and beyond.

Living in London is vastly different to what tourists see, and it’s the ‘real’ London experience the publishers aim to highlight. That’s why what you’ll find here doesn’t reveal what you might expect – there’s no Buckingham Palace or even a Gherkin in the background, and the stories are rather more ‘real’ as well, and often a bit sombre revealing how hard it can be to live in such a crowded, costly, and competitive city.

Some of the fifteen men featured include:

Tommy M, who talks about the fabulous gay life he dreamed of as a teenager, eventually moving to London from his native Lithuania only to find year after year of his expectations being shattered;

Harry F, who shares a recent experience dealing with a barrage of homophobia from a punter at his local pub, something he didn’t expect to happen in London in 2018;

Omar B, who write about learning to accept loneliness as a normal part of London life, and learning how to flourish anyway;

Jamie T, who opens up about a sexually unwelcome experience at a work function and how the #MeToo movement has barely reached the LGBT+ communities;

Brad C, who discussed the trials of dating in the capital in a colourfully detailed and most explicit way that transports you into the city’s pubs, parks, and bedrooms.

Elska London is 180 pages. It is available in a classic collectible print version or in a downloadable e-version. A companion zine called Elska Ekstra London is also available, containing images and stories from four Londoners not featured in the main magazine, along with out takes and behind the scenes tales from three other London men.

Photographs by Liam Campbell.

For a list of stockists and details of how to order online, click here:

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