We’ve been diligently following Elska magazine as editor-publisher Liam Campbell travels the globe to meet gay men and learn about their communities and cultures. The new issue, out now, sees him traveling to Taipei, Taiwan.
“Not many people really think of Taipei when they list off the top Asian cities, but it really seemed to be the capital of gay Asia,” Campbell tells NewNowNext. “The freedom, the vibrancy, the strong LGBT rights legislation… this is the ’gaysian’ epicenter par excellence.”
Surprisingly for such a conservative country, Campbell says the guys in Taipei were totally open to being photographed for the magazine. “They were the most daring aside from the Berliners,” he reveals. “This was the first issue where I had to actually turn guys away!”
Fourteen local men welcomed Elska’s cameras into their homes, posing naturalistically without airbrushing, stylists or sets. Each also offered a personal story taken from their life in the city—from coming-out tales and love affairs to life-changing voyages and dealing with discrimination.
Campbell acknowledges one of the highlights of the Taipei issue is being able to showcase Asian men, “who are still practically invisible in gay media, or any media, especially when shown in a sexual light.”
“One of the most disheartening things was how many of the Taiwanese guys we shot worried that no one would buy the issue because of how aware they felt that Asian men are apparently unsexy.”
Like Campbell, we think this issue finally puts that myth to bed.
Check out an exclusive preview from Elska Taipei issue below.