i remember in the early days of me accepting the fact that i was not a heterosexual male, as i was lead to believe, that at the same time i was trying to find places where i could find out how i was supposed to be. i mean if i didn’t personally know non-straight people then where would the role models and trendsetters of my “people” exist?
i came out in 1997…it was the early days of the internet and dial-up was still the main method of reaching out and websites were still pretty basic and so there was little i could find online. but what i did find was a paper copy of XY Magazine at a local bookstore–by local i mean the big city that was 45 mins away from my home.
XY Magazine, in all its glossy glory, was my key to the world of young non-straight males. there were pictures, generally of cute white guys, there was an abundance of stories, and there were people with names with whom i could identify–if only on paper. XY Magazine took my sense of sex and sexuality and blew it out of the closest faster than i had come out of the closest–the one that i routinely found myself trying to run back towards.
of course now as i think back to the XY Magazine of old i realize it wasn’t so much for me, well not the brown skin me. the images were of lithe young men, many taken by a great photographer by the name of Steven Underhill, the stories were of guys living in cities who were living these not so young lives. so at the time it was great for me to have something on which to hang my hat, to have some sense of a community larger than my southern city, and as a young person coming out that feeling of belong was important then as i know it is now.
the short of it is that i was really excited to read that XY Magazine may be making its way back in to the large nebula of gay life. it will be interesting to see how they re-package themselves so many years later, when the idea of what it means to be young and non-straight has morphed into a movement of political and social identity and not just surface sense of being young, gay, thin, and white–granted that is still prevalent as well.
ultimately i say kudos, and good luck, for planning a come back XY Magazine…there are a great many young non-straight people out there who need to know they belong to something great! i believe XY Magazine will help those young people know that it will get better…this may just ensure that it does get better.