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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 28, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 44
Iconic Gay magazine XY returns for millennials
Arts & Entertainment
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Iconic Gay magazine XY returns for millennials

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

When I was a teenage boy, in the midst of my first Gay relationship, it was a closeted affair. It was the mid-1990s and nobody, and I do mean nobody, my age was out about anything Gay, LGBTQ wasn't really a thing, and I sure as hell wouldn't be caught dead flashing any rainbow stickers, flags, or temporary tattoos either. It was 1996, I was 16-years-old and because the Internet had yet to become the mother of all pornography that it is today - my boyfriend and I hadn't the slightest clue that there was anybody else out there quite like us.

But then came XY Magazine and our world didn't seem so small anymore. Everything changed and it was exciting. It's hard to put into words exactly how much seeing other boys, many of whom looked as though they were the same age as I, kissing, flirting, and more. XY Magazine quickly became known for its sexually charged photos of young Gay boys in and out of the closet (as well as in and out of bed) and poignant cultural commentary.

Because it was not officially pornography, I was able to buy the magazine while still in high school. There was just one problem - I would rather have cut off my own hand than be caught by a classmate buying a (gasp!) Gay magazine! So I stole the first issue & and many issues thereafter from the local Tower Records in Las Vegas, Nevada. I couldn't have been the only one. I often wondered how the hell they managed to stay in print without anyone buying the damn thing. I'm not proud that I took the magazines. but it really does speak to the times and what the terrible things the closet made people do. At any rate, XY catered to young Gay men for 12 years before stopping publication in 2008. The global financial crisis had another victim in its seemingly relentless quest to ruin glossy print media.

In what might be some of the best news I could ever imagine to learn this week, Seattle Gay News is proud to announce that XY's editor, Peter Ian Cummings, says his magazine will not fade into obscurity. This month, the quarterly publication returned to newsstands - nearly naked boys n' all!

'Wonderland' is XY's 50th issue, and features 200 pages of articles like 'The Rise and Fall of Cruising.' And for those readers who remember XY for its lewd imagery you won't be disappointed! The return issue features an interview with George Alvin (adult film star Max Ryder) featuring photos of him posing nude in a bubble bath with a strategically - albeit pesky - placed shower curtain.

Cummings founded XY in San Francisco in 1996. This week he told The Huffington Post that his magazine will once again favor stories about 'love, sex and the quality of life' over heavy political commentary and lifestyle features.

'XY was always the most loved Gay magazine and that is still true today. Gay is not just equal to a marketing exercise, but perhaps XY are the only people who see that,' he said. 'XY is instead, and only, about sexual liberation, intimacy, closeness, and love. It's a philosophical journal.'

'We really feel that the increasing economic inequality, and technological advancement, in the country has led to a decline in intimacy and a general increase in meanness ... all of this technology that was supposed to make us closer has also led to an increase in loneliness,' he added.

For more information about the magazine go to http://www.xymag.org/x/.

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