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12 beautiful gay and gay-friendly guys from Cape Town (NSFW)

12 beautiful gay and gay-friendly guys from Cape Town (NSFW)

Meet Jean from Cape Town

Liam Campbell, editor of gay bookazine Elska, tells Gay Star News about the journey of putting together his latest issue…

‘After 15 Elska issues in cities around the world, we’d yet to make one in Africa. So Elska Cape Town was really overdue. We’d spent so much time focusing on less obvious destinations like Senegal, Ethiopia, or Ghana, which were proving hard to organize, that we somehow overlooked amazing Cape Town.

‘Cape Town is absolutely the gayest city on the entire African continent. It serves as a kind of magnet for LGBTQ people from the entire region. And we met a few local residents who came originally from elsewhere, like Kenya, Namibia, and Congo. In each of these cases, they came in part specifically so they could live a freer and more queer sort of life.

‘Elska in Africa was an opportunity to break down preconceptions’

‘Being very aware of the rampant stereotypes that exist in gay porn and gay media about black men, making an Elska in Africa was an opportunity to break down preconceptions. It was also a chance to show more men of colour in gay media. But, without being fetishistic or focusing on exoticism.

‘Among African cities, Cape Town is demographically unique. Its population is made up of around 50% mixed race (‘coloured’ in local parlance), 30% black, and 20% white. This is reflected in the 18 men featured in our Cape Town series.

‘Cape Town was probably our most thought-provoking destination, particularly with regard to witnessing continued racial inequity and tension. Although apartheid ended around 25 years ago, it was still rare on our trip to see mixed groups of friends or couples walking around. Neighborhoods felt very segregated. Still, the guys we met all seemed to convey a strong sense of hope and determination to make things right and have a better future for South Africa.

‘A couple of the guys chose to write about sexual assault’

‘Perhaps inspired by the #MeToo movement, a couple of the guys chose to write their Elska stories about sexual assault. One in particular was very moving. It revealed a sense of downplaying assault, confusing it with “typically male” vigor. As much as we think we know what assault is, sometimes you don’t recognise it when it happens to you. Reading others’ stories really can make an impact.

‘Some of what really shines about Elska is the subtle cultural variations that can be perceived. In Cape Town there were a lot of Coca-Cola ads in the backgrounds of pictures. And in the stories, there were at least three separate mentions of using bookshops to cruise for men. For some, this might seem trivial, but for people who love to travel, the little differences can be fascinating.

‘In addition to our main Elska print mag, there’s also a companion e-zine available called Elska Ekstra. Here, you can get some behind the scenes tales, outtake pics of some of the guys, extra stories, and even a few extra men who weren’t published in the mag.’

To see a list of where Elska Magazine is sold around the world or to order a copy online, visit elskamagazine.com.