Be proud, CELEBRATE!
Every year June rolls around and rainbows unravel from flag posts. What is now recognized as the LGBTQ+ flag was created by Gilbert Baker for San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day in 1978, and the eight colors selected — symbolizing sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, art, serenity, and spirit — have become beacons of hope, and prosperity even, for LGBTQ+ identifying people in areas around the globe where the community is still terrifically repressed.
The U.S., no stranger to consumerism, has been using the flag and Pride month in general as a way to garner more publicity, promoting world-wide tolerance and donating parts of sales to various LGBTQ+ charities. When brands began to reveal their various Pride collections and capsule campaigns, we felt it necessary to place the Rainbow-centric pieces where they most belong — on our LGBTQ+ family, just like we did last year.
Because the history of the LGBTQ+ community also plays a major role in our queer-future, we took our cast to the many LGBTQ+ landmarks around New York City. From the Christopher Street Piers, to the East Village’s long-withstanding dive Boiler Room, our pride pals buddied up in the streets, leaving nothing inside the closet, and celebrated with each other. Proud as can be.
Now a National Historic Landmark, The Stonewall Inn is the birthplace of the modern day LGBTQ+ rights movement. In 1969, police raids at gay bars were as common as today’s tank tops. On June 28th, 1969, having been fed up with law enforcement routinely discriminating against gay bars, folks like Marsha P. …
Just in time!
Pride month is here again, and while we celebrate our community year round, it’s wonderful to have a commercially recognized month. (Cause it certainly isn’t federally recognized!)
Originally designed by Gilbert Baker for San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day in 1978, the flag — which symbolizes peace, happiness, and among other things, pride — has certainly grown in popularity. For GAYLETTER Issue 7 we asked several working artists to recreate their own interpretation of the flag, in whichever medium they pleased. Kostis Fokas‘ photograph graced our cover.
“The most important values of the human existence. For me,” he said, “there’s no difference between women and men, races or sexual orientations. We are all equal, we have the same rights, and we should celebrate this. The rainbow flag is a celebration of life!” — Kostis Fokas
In collaboration with PAOM we decided to put this image on a handful of items most perfect for summer and celebrating Pride. This collection is most certainly what you should be wearing this June and beyond! To help make the shoot even more queer and proud, we casted exclusively with New Pandemics, the first ever casting management agency dedicated to increasing LGBTQ+ visibility.
A limited edition t-shirt by Jonathan Anderson benefiting Visual AIDS
Loewe just launched a limited edition series of t-shirts featuring works by the American artist and activist, David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992). All of the proceeds from the series are going to Visual AIDS, an organization which “preserves and promotes the work of HIV positive artists and assists artists living with HIV/AIDS.” Visual AIDS also works to raise awareness about AIDS and create a dialogue through visual art exhibitions and publications. Designed by Loewe Creative Director Jonathan Anderson, the project serves to “foster awareness and honor Wojnarowicz as a courageous creator and activist.” The series features four of Wojnarowicz’s pieces printed on high-grade cotton crew necks.
Wojnarowicz became a protagonist of the local art scene in Manhattan’s East Village in 1978. Many of his works, both visual and literary, center on themes of ostracism and isolation drawn from his experience as a gay man. After being diagnosed with AIDS, Wojnarowicz’ art took on a vocal political stance and he produced some of the most important and challenging work around the AIDS crisis throughout the 1980s. His scathing honesty earned the ire of federal authorities, and his work continues to spark controversy and inspire in our own time of growing cultural divisions around critical social issues concerning freedom, justice and equality. In creating this series Jonathan Anderson seeks to honor Wojnarowicz’s legacy and, in keeping with the mission of Visual AIDS, maintain a dialogue about AIDS through art. The T-shirt project coincides with the Loewe Foundation’s exhibition of works by Wojnarowicz and Peter Hujar, on view at the label’s Gran Via store in Madrid from June through late August. …
"Being tattooed and muscled in a dress is my drag."
Dame to Brooklyn and New York City nightlife, and soon to be even more known beyond her 24,000 Instagram followers, Rify Royalty has been bringing muscles, tattoos and, at one point a ubiquitous mustache, to club-nights and drag-cabarets for the last six years. “The mustache was a Rify staple,” she told me over email, “but once people start expecting me to deliver a certain thing, I like to catch them off guard. For years people only knew me as the queen who wore a jock strap and heels, but now I’m in floor length gowns.”
Rify’s got some new images, out exclusively with GAYLETTER. She made them in collaboration with photographer Fred Attenborough and creative director Elvis Maynard, explore her more sophisticated, high-profile side. After all, Royalty is her name. Her performances are typically bold, and her looks operate within a sort of deconstruction-couture. It’s D.I.Y. drag fashion for the crowd with a sense of humor and who isn’t afraid of a loose hem. I’ve always seen her as rather rock and roll. “Being tattooed and muscled in a dress is my drag,” Rify said. “There’s no illusion here. I think queens should make choices that feel authentic to them. For me, not padding or trying to make my body appear more ‘femme’ is authentic to me.”
Using David LaChapelle’s famed image of pop culture femme-fatales — Donatella Versace, Lil Kim, Missy Elliot and Rose McGowan (who tells the hilarious story of Donatella fussing over her presence in the shot) — Rify, Attenborough and Maynard extracted themes of strength, timeless glamour and power to raise Rify into new heights. …