Issue 4: Happy Nude Queer
How we get naked remains entangled in politics and consumerism.
John Lewis, the benign aunt of British shopping, has removed ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ labels from its clothing. Australia resentfully drags its knuckles towards same-sex marriage. In India, those born hijra (eunuchs, intersex and transgender) once respected by Indian rulers, until the British made them criminals, have had their persecution overturned by law.
But it takes more than legal quotas to change our own prejudices about who we are. Should queers fuck like straights? Does casual sex have to be destructive? Can nude be rude any more, in an over-sexualised culture? Is everyone the same, or do we all want to be different, in the same way?
In this age of Social Media, nudity comes dressed in PR. On the other hand, as Oscar Wilde said, “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Drag, or roleplay, offers another form of striptease. The erasure of one self reveals another. In this issue, some of our artists cavort costumed, while others prance in their own skins. From London to Dublin to Brazil & the curious Kingdom of Kangra, we bring you the comedy, vulnerability and subversion of nudity … and of slipping, strapped-on-penis and all, into other selves. Bon appétit!