Tuesday 07.09.19

18: A Series of Booklets by Gerardo Vizmanos

Gerardo Vizmanos believes 18 is a magic number. He’s launched a series of photography booklets entitled “18,” each $18 and 18 pages long. Vizmanos’ photos are all about the male figure. Young models (mostly dancers) are posed beautifully, arms stretched, bodies bent and twisted so muscles and bones can be seen. At 18, children become adults; Gerardo suggests this is what makes the number magical. That idea comes through in his photography, “When I work with some young models, I see an idealization of the memory of my own youth, not what I was, but probably what I’d have wanted to be then.”



Gerardo’s models hold themselves in what must be awkward and uncomfortable positions, yet the poses always end up looking natural. In one photo, a model rests his shoulders on the ground, but bends backwards so his feet are behind his head. In another, one model bends his knees, positioning himself like a chair, while the other model sits on his legs. Vizmanos is meticulous about getting each pose right. “I guess I direct a lot. Maybe too much, but this is my way of working. This is for me the key aspect of every shoot. To engage with the model to get that natural pose. It’s the part I love the most.” As to how he finds models willing to bend over backwards for him, Instagram and Facebook are his main sources. They allow him to find models from all parts of the world.









Vizmanos posts a lot of his photography on social media, but has decided that paper is the best format for his work. …

Monday 04.01.19

Brian Kenny’s SPECTRUM t-shirt

The artist Brian Kenny, a friend and contributor to our publication, has found function for his reimagined vision of late icon and inspiration Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag featured in GAYLETTER Issue 7 as a homage to Baker. The story asked that several visual artist from different backgrounds pay homage to Baker by presenting their take on the rainbow flag. Kenny’s submission took form in a new rendition of the flag — blending together a rainbow gradient to create his own interpretation. Kenny explained: “We are starting to move beyond separate sexual labels into a more fluid notion of sexuality and gender, where our own unique expressions or identities fall somewhere on a spectrum between gay and straight, male and female, and can change over time.”


As a reminder of this year’s celebration to the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, World Pride will be held in New York City this year, which means we gotta start early looking for those rainbow looks. For the occasion he’s created a t-shirt that utilizes his “Spectrum” design. Start getting together your short shorts, glitter, and sunscreen for what’s going to be a memorable Pride extravaganza and pair it with this t-shirt.






Get your SPECTRUM t-shirt here. …

Tuesday 03.26.19

A Chocolate dick

I opened the press email about this item fairly quickly after reading the subject “…Dick at Your Door!” I opened my eyes wide and read the details. For those of you that get easily excited the chocolate dick appears bigger in this photograph than what it is in real life, although it’s still an exciting size — something like a good 6-inch rocket. This gives you an idea of how deceiving dick pics can be, photography can do wonders for the appearance of your penis.


The chocolate dick was an item originally developed as a prank, “a way for people to anonymously tell their friends, office colleagues, frenemies… to “eat a dick” without the repercussions” the inventors tell us. I mean sure, but receiving a dick at the door for me sounds funny and perhaps it’s more suitable to cause a few giggles, than freak anyone out. The company is pitching this item as a “perfect April Fools and Easter gag gift.” I can certainly see it for Easter, if they have chocolate bunnies and eggs, why not a dick? “One dollar from every order is donated to the American Cancer Society to help fund Prostate Cancer Research.”


It’s a nice gesture to send a chocolate dick to anyone who loves a light joke or maybe someone who’s super conservative? The dicks come in different types of chocolate, just in case you are picky about your flavors. Send a friend, a family member or anyone who could appreciate the joke. …

Wednesday 12.19.18


The latest exhibition of special edition prints exclusively at Tom of Finland Store

The Tom of Finland Store is equal parts online boutique and gay art gallery. We’ve seen exhibitions of work by Bruce LaBruce, Jack Pierson, Daniel Trese and now their latest — a collection of special edition prints by the artist Slava Mogutin (titled Slava Mogutin: XXX Files) exclusively available on their site. The online exhibition launched in December 18th, a day after Tumblr decided to ban adult content. It’s one of the dumbest thing we’ve heard about this year, wasn’t pornography the only reason why people went on Tumblr in the first place? Our GAYLETTER XXX Tumblr got closed down after a few successful years and a massive following, but you know what, who cares, it’s time we all leave Tumblr and show them that we don’t need to support their regressive, homophobic ideals.


“For me, the personal is political and the political is personal. At the time when our fundamental constitutional rights are under attack, I believe that queer imagery can serve as the most effective weapon against hypocrisy, bigotry, and censorship. When they censor my work either on social media or in real life, my response is always — double up on the queer, double up on the fight and what they don’t want to see. I want to shine light on the darkest corners of human nature and sexuality as a way to understand and peacefully coexist with each other, because being different is a blessing, not a curse.” — Slava Mogutin.


This exhibition is composed of photographs, performance and film work from different stages in Slava’s career. …

Thursday 09.20.18

Introducing: lstw – Issue #3

"Lesbians have more fun!"

lstw, or “Lez Spread the Word,” a Montréal-based initiative of about 20 queer women, began printing their magazine in the fall of 2016. Committed to fighting queer visibility, they began as a website exploring Canada’s various lesbian communities and have since launched a film series, a bi-monthly party and are onto their third print issue (Issue #3) with Lena Waithe donning the cover. (Past cover-women include the Canadian pop-rock queer-twins Tegan & Sara and the former Gaultier muse and DJ/model Ève Savail).


Creating a magazine is no easy feat. In digitized culture, the print medium has lost market value and readership across international borders. Yet the necessity for the medium remains. Not every corner of our world has access to the internet, you know. And there is no better way to spread culture, especially queer culture, than passing along finite, printed matter.


To help celebrate the launch of Issue #3, we sent Florence Gagnon – founder and publisher of lstw – a few questions to learn more about the publication’s creative process, the initiatives’ goals and what doing print means in 2018.


How did you come up with the name of the magazine? In 2012, when I was first contemplating launching a website, I knew I wanted to bring lesbians together and I knew I wanted to increase our visibility. My goal was to create the resource that had been missing when my friends and I were first coming out. “Spreading the word” was the departure point and “Lez Spread the Word” the obvious next step. …

Saturday 08.11.18

Daniel Trese: Surface Streets

Tom of Finland Store presents an exploration of Los Angeles with photographs by Daniel Trese

The Tom of Finland Store is equal parts online boutique and gay art gallery. We’ve seen exhibitions of work by Bruce LaBruce (aptly titled Faggotry) and Jack Pierson (Tomorrow’s Man.) Now the ToF Store is presenting Daniel Trese: Surface Streets, a series of prints by photographer Daniel Trese. In over 200 photographs shot almost entirely on film, Trese documents the city of Los Angeles, its people and its ultra-contemporary ethos. From the city’s “sprawling strip malls, agave plants and massive boulevards,” to its young creative and queer scenes, he captures everything with a uniquely Californian wit. He photographs in both black-and-white and color, the latter showcasing the soft contrast and muted tones emblematic of Southern California.


The series was shot from from 2007 to 2018 as Trese worked for publications like Fantastic Man, Purple, Apartamento and Pin-Up. In addition to the city, he uses portraits to create a community of faces like Peggy Moffitt, Don Bachardy, A.L. Steiner, Ashland Mines, Karis Wilde, Joel Gibb, Sean Delear, and Mariah Garnett, mostly shot in stark black and white. All together the series is both a poignant examination of Los Angeles and a striking document of Trese’s own life, like a photographic memoir. It reads like a joint exploration of identity, personal and geographic.


Surface Streets will be up online from August 8th to February 6th, 2019. The prints are available exclusively on the Tom of Finland Store website. …

Tuesday 06.19.18


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.


Shop the collection now!





Dylan P. and Cory


Burhan and Dylan C.



















Shop the collection now! …

Saturday 03.03.18


The result of being affiliated with the country’s premiere LGBTQ arts outlet and also having a friend put my damn email on the Gucci PR blast, I get a mix of bullshit in my email. Sometimes, I get brilliant ones. We like to think it’s the result of someone who is actually doing their job, and the Tom of Finland Store always knows the best of gay culture. Their most recent pitch didn’t disappoint. Jack Pierson’s photography has always blended the indelible tones of camp with unabashed complacency — photos by Pierson are traditional in a compositional sense and often highlight beautiful men, so you can see why he shot the cover for GAYLETTER Issue 1. (He also makes sculptures and mixed-media).


“Following the critically acclaimed online exhibition Bruce Labruce: Faggotry, Tom of Finland Store is thrilled to present JACK PIERSON: TOMORROW’S MAN, an online retrospective of the artist’s ongoing series of publications Pierson has developed in collaboration with contemporary artists. TOMORROW’S MAN takes viewers on a dizzying visual journey encompassing the full spectrum of cultural references combining archive material with contributions from selected artists, illustrators and writers. The online platform provides a mesmerizing web-adapted overview of the publications to date, an insight to Pierson’s intimate photography and the community of artists he surrounds himself with.”



It launched on Friday, March 2nd, see a preview below.

Then, go ahead and browse the works…











Friday 12.08.17


Our recommendations for the holiday season and beyond!

Attention all holiday shoppers, you don’t have to look any further! Whether you’re shopping online to soothe your social anxiety, or are just Mx. Last Minute like many of us, consider the hardest part about gift-giving done for you. We’ve done the research and sifted through a bunch of outlets to provide you with the perfect gifts for your friends, family members, partners or that person you really want to sleep with again. They might be femme, they might be trans, they might be gay or they might be questioning, but who cares! Anything on this list you can gift to those you love with with light in your eyes and good-taste in your heart. Expect a “Yas!” to sashay right out of their cute little mouth once they get to unwrapping.


From the beloved New York-based Malin+Goetz, to the brand-spanking new LIT by Char Defrancesco, please pour yourself a drink and have a gander at this here list. It includes Amanda Lepore, Tequila, Tom of Finland, Marc Jacobs and a bunch of other very sexy ideas for the holiday season. It’s shopping with a queer-twist and was curated with our community in mind, because the world is waiting for us to fail and go away, but here are a bunch of gifts that reminded us that damn, queers really do have the best taste!



MALIN+GOETZ – Cannabis Eau de Parfum
Combining the faint aura of cannabinoids with sophisticated and seductive earthy notes, Malin + Goetz’s latest scent, casually named “Cannabis,” is an cheeky gift to give anyone who loves the occasional puff. …

Monday 05.08.17

Tom of Finland Towels

Cotton on deck from Tom of Finland and Finlayson

Today, May 8th, is Tom of Finland’s birthday! Touko Valio Laaksonen, who was a forefather of gay style in both his art and his life, was born in 1920 in Kaarina, Finland. Inspired by increasing interest in biker-culture during the post-World War II era, Tom submitted some of his drawings to Bob Mizer’s then popular Physique Pictorial. Mizer premiered Tom’s drawings in the 1957 Spring issue, and the rest is gay history. We’ve been lucky enough to publish both artists, securing their place in gay history and sharing them with our wide-range of international readers.


As Durk Dehner (Tom’s former partner and current custodian of the TOM House in Los Angeles) tells us in our most recent, Issue 6: “Tom’s whole thing was to make these drawings speak for themsevels, with a voice to really nurture and encourage fellow homosexuals to be proud and to be free. As he would say, ‘I didn’t sit down to think all this out carefully, but I knew – right from the start – that my men were going to be proud and happy men!’”


GAYLETTER has long promoted Tom of Finland in any way we can. His ubiquitous style is everywhere if you look hard enough, and it’s been our mission as well as our pleasure to keep his style alive while giving him endless credit for what is now his quintessential vision. (ToF holds a special place in my gay heart. Their collaboration with Finnish design studio Finlayson was my very first GAYLETTER post. …

Friday 12.16.16

United Scapes of America by Tim-Scapes

Tim Convery takes holiday initiative with Tim-Scapes

Now that the fear and sadness of our post-election moment has sunk deep, it’s important we don’t forget all of the important work left to be done. If spending is your style, supporting radical organizations and activist groups is one way to stay productive while we near our impending political apocalypse.


This is why we’re pumped about the United Scapes of America initiative by Tim Convery’s design powerhouse Tim-Scapes. The new campaign will donate 25% of all their online profits to a different non-profit every month. Up until New Year’s Day, a quarter of all purchases will go to Planned Parenthood. After that, we’re not sure where future donations will go, but that’s totally fine — Tim-Scapes is definitely setting the right precedent. And this isn’t the first time that Convery’s work has occupied the intersection between design and community building; Tim has raised over $28,000 for a variety of non-profits in the past.


So let’s help support these valuable efforts and do some holiday shopping at the United Scapes of America Home Goods Collection. (It’s a great opportunity to gift your right-wing uncle something pleasant and unique without him knowing your purchase will help protect the lives and bodies his candidate aims to harm). It’s a win-win!


You can shop the collection here. …

Friday 08.26.16


The wrapping paper brand putting females first

From now on feel free to judge a gift by its cover. She Paper has introduced an amazing new line of wrapping paper featuring sketches of all of our favorite ladies. The women are grouped together by categories such as “Funny Broads,“Like A Boss Lady,” and “Yas Queen.” The charming drawings are complimented by a thoughtful design aesthetic, making the wrapping paper itself a far better present than the lame gift card you’re giving your friend for her birthday.


I was able to chat with the brains behind the paper about the gendered nature of gift giving and how we can eventually wallpaper the whole world with She Paper:


In the creation story featured on your website you mention some of the life events during which we are expected to gift. While most are gender neutral, there are definitely more events, specifically around weddings and babies, that women are obligated to buy gifts for. How is She Paper in conversation with that obligation? Do women actually like giving gifts more than men, or is this just yet another societal expectation put upon females? The perception that women like gifting more than men may be true, but it’s probably because men buy gifts out of dutiful expectation whereas women see gifting as a creative opportunity to express their feelings. Something we like to do vs. something we must do has led to an over-saturation of gift-giving opportunities. And spending the time, money and effort to give a meaningful present every time can become very stressful. …