Images and messages used by mainstream media to depict the lives of gay men leave a lot to be desired. If it’s not flawless abs or superficial shopping, it’s temporarily seductive or explicitly sexual. Instead, give me pride every week of the year—not just when gay-friendly sponsors pump up their volume. Give me normalcy and ubiquity. Give me a broad base of content—one that’s truly diverse, inclusive, inspiring and devoid of popular cliché.
Give me Headmaster and Hello Mr. Both are bi-annual print publications with a global base of contributors ranging from the newbie to the famous. Both contain photographs, illustrations, poetry and essays. And both are Kickstarter-funded ventures that received my support.
Headmaster, like its name suggests, gives assignments to its contributors, which become the content of each issue. Founders Matthew Lawrence and Jason Tranchida are now on their sixth issue for “man-loving artists.”
Hello Mr. is a self-described “chronicle of everyday life, and the narratives which define it.” Beautifully designed and printed, and a pleasure to read, founder Ryan Fitzgibbon is setting a very high standard.
What’s inspiring to me is that these publications saw the market opportunity to carve out new ground, and there’s still plenty of room for further expression and exploration. While this post is certainly far from an examination of indie publishing, these two enterprising, innovative, gay-owned and -operated ventures deserve attention and contribution to further their influence.