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Latest issue of ‘Elska’ explores the men of Sydney, tackles subject of diversity

The spotlight is on the beautiful men of Sydney! Elska Magazine, a publication dedicated to revealing the bodies and voices of LGBTQ communities around the world, has shined the light on Sydney — the capital of New South Wales and most populous city in Australia — for its latest issue. Through beautiful photographs and intimate personal stories, readers are taken on a virtual journey of Sydney and given the chance to explore over a dozen ordinary local queer guys, including Bears, Cubs, Otters, Trans men and Men of Color.  

As many are aware, Sydney has a reputation as one of the world’s gay capitals, boasting a huge LGBTQ community, and one of the world’s largest LGBTQ celebrations, Mardi Gras. Also, Sydney is slated to host World Pride in 2023! But Sydney is also very complex, being both a safe haven for liberals seeking freedom of expression and acceptance, as well as a city that has been called out for its White elitism and conservative attitude. 

The new issue of Elska provides an outlet for locals to tell their own stories. Every issue is this way because of the magazine’s format, which provides extremely sincere and unfiltered perspectives on LGBTQ life. However, according to The Advocate, “‘Elska Sydney’ stands out as one of the most honest editions of all. Here is a community that is at once proud of their city and also unafraid to admit where it could do better.” 

“Our policy at Elska has always been to leave our pages open to anyone who wanted to take part, first come first served, but early on I noticed that nearly all the men who got in touch were white,” says chief photographer and editor of Elska, Liam Campbell.

 “Having read that the demographic make-up of Sydney was nearly 40% non-white though, I decided I had to try to interfere with our spontaneous recruitment model and start speaking to people of color directly to find out why so few had been in touch. In doing so I was shocked to hear multiple stories about not wanting to take part in a publication about Sydney’s LGBTQ community because they didn’t feel welcome enough there to represent it. Some did want to join though, and many were sure to talk about what’s good and what’s not so good about Sydney. That kind of frankness really made me proud to feature Sydney, revealing a community with a lot of passion to be better, and a feeling of responsibility that a place with such a rainbow reputation should serve all.”

Divided into twelve chapters over 196 pages, the Sydney edition of Elska introduces us to a different local guy in each chapter. Each one also presents a selection of photos taken in their neighborhoods and homes, and features them either dressed in their own style, or not dressed at all. 

Each respective chapter also contains a personal story contributed by the men themselves. Some of the stories in the issue include: 

“Stephen G’s universal tale of choosing a fabulously gay yet difficult life in the big city or staying in his hometown for an easier but probably closeted life; Rhett P’s exploration of the troubles with dating as a gay trans man, but never giving up on finding love; Dan C’s story about coming to realise the exhilaration of being naked through various encounters with social nudity, such as at some of Sydney’s nude beaches; Mart B’s piece about coming to terms with his body and his gender, while also recognising that total satisfaction may never be possible; and Timur S’s uplifting epic about planning a wedding on the spur of the moment, with plenty of mishaps, plenty of joy, and all of it magical.”

Elska Sydney is currently being sold in select retailers around the world, or from the Elska Magazine website, which you can buy either electronically or in a classic print format. A companion e-zine Elska Ekstra Sydney is also available exclusively from the website, featuring behind the scenes tales, outtakes, and other bonus content not seen in the main magazine. 

For more information, including subscriptions and purchasing, visit

All photos courtesy of Elska Magazine

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Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson (He/Him) is Senior Staff Writer at Gray Jones Media, and additionally works as a writer, editor and theatre artist/actor. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he studied at Dillard University, received a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and completed the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Programme in 2017. Having lived in Baltimore, the Washington, DC area, Philadelphia and New York City, he now resides and works in London, United Kingdom.