Now Reading
Inside the locker room of a Berlin-based gay rugby club

Inside the locker room of a Berlin-based gay rugby club

Members of the Berlin Bruisers rugby club strip for Meat

A one-off project from cult British photography zine Meat goes inside the locker room with of a Berlin gay rugby club.

Meat is the brainchild of British photographer Adrian Lourie.

Launched in 2010 and published quarterly, Meat is Lourie’s tool to demonstrate the sexy appeal of what he sees as everyday, ‘ordinary’ men. The models, with some exceptions, don’t typically sport six packs and bulging pectorals.

Berline Bruiser rugby players
The Berlin Bruisers (Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)

For his latest project, Meat The Berlin Bruisers, the eponymous German rugby club take center stage. It features 25 of the 60+ strong team’s membership and offers some candid locker room images.

The Berlin Bruisers formed in 2012 and it plays in the Regionalliga Nordost League, Germany’s 3rd tier rugby union league.

Lourie says he jumped at the chance to collaborate with the rugby team. He sees them celebrating the same body positivity that he strives to achieve with Meat.

‘Men of all shapes and sizes … there’s room for everyone’

One of those to participate is Adriano Lenti. He says, ‘I think there is a big problem with a lack of diversity in media today surrounding men’s bodies, especially in the LGBTQ+ community.

rugby player
Mud, mud, glorious mud! (Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)

‘Personally, I have many problems with my own body image, so for me it was important to participate. Our team is made up of men of all shapes and sizes and there’s room for everyone.’

In a statement, Berlin Bruisers club president Leighton Cheal added: ‘We didn’t hesitate when we were approached to take part in this special edition of meat as we feel the values of body positivity and showcasing real guys “as they are” are absolutely shared by us and by the rugby community in general.

(Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)
(Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)

‘We also think it is important to recognise that sex and sexuality are not separate. Often as GBTQ+ men we are often asked to “sanitise” ourselves to make people feel more comfortable. We don’t think we need to hide in that way.’

(Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)
(Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)

Meat the Berlin Bruisers is available to buy form and selected stockists worldwide.

(Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)
(Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)

Bingham Cup fundraising

The club is currently raising funds to allow members to attend the biannual Bingham Cup – dubbed the gay rugby World Cup. It next takes place in 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Twenty percent of the proceeds from Meat the Berlin Bruisers will help the club’s fundraising.

Rugby team
Members of German rugby club, the Berlin Bruisers (Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)

Regular and collectors print editions of Meat The Berlin Bruisers are available. All editions include a color photo print. You can also check the website for digital editions of back issues.

The rugby players feature in the latest issue of Meat art zine
The rugby players feature in the latest issue of Meat art zine (Photo: Adrian Lourie)
Meat front cover
Meat the Berlin Bruisers (Photo: Adrian Lourie/Meat)

See also

These men stripped naked to celebrate the ‘ordinary’ bodies of gay men

Berlin: How Europe’s rebirthed city showed me that ‘new’ really is better

So which is the most feared gay rugby team in the world?