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Best Longreads of 2015

Gay Crossfit NYC by Luke Austin

From profiles of social media pros to oral histories of pop culture touchstones, take time to read some of these great stories of the past year.

Tyler Oakley

Tyler Oakley and the Cult of Oversharing: READ THE STORY

"He's perfect. He's the funniest person. He's, like, real," says one Oakley fan, a 16-year-old girl from New Jersey, standing outside the metal barricades of a meet and greet on Sunday (she couldn't get a ticket). "I feel like a lot of YouTubers are too celebrity-like, but you can relate to Tyler. He's just perfect," she says again, her eyes welling.

Raquel Welch Myra Breckenridge

Raquel Welch Vs. Mae West: The Making of Myra Breckinridge: READ THE STORY

I went into the closet to get the fabulous dress, and there was nothing in it. My wardrobe assistant said, "Well, I brought it over from wardrobe this morning!" And I said, "It's not here now!" So I called [producer] Bobby Fryer in the front office from my dressing room, and he said, "Well, darling, I'm so, so sorry, but we had to confiscate the black dress!" Confiscate! I said, "I haven't heard that word since Nazi Germany!" He said, "Nobody's allowed to wear a non-color but Mae." Black and white are the only non-colors! I said, "Oh, is that so? Isn't that interesting? I'll tell you what. I'm going to go home for lunch. And when my dress reappears, so will I."

Olivier Rousteing

A Self(ie)-Made Man, Olivier Rousteing: READ THE STORY

"My favorite part is my butt," Rousteing says. "My face is getting older, and my chest is hard to work on, but the butt is the easiest thing to actually make look great. No one complains." Actually, the powers that be at Balmain have grumbled about his ass before and asked him to delete one of his Instagram photos. "When I was in Mykonos, I posted a selfie in my bed almost naked," he says. "You could almost see my butt. But I love my butt. Why can't I take a picture of my butt? They said, 'Next time it's going to be your willy in the picture.' I said, 'No, just my butt.'"

Jacolby Satterwhite

Jacolby Satterwhite: Privilege and Its Discontents: READ THE STORY

For the film, Satterwhite hired the porn star Antonio Biaggi -- best known for his work with Treasure Island Media, hence the film's subtitle -- to perform a mock fuck session. Footage of the two humping one another glimmers and coils around the various complex structures that appear in the film, populating trees, arches, and highways like flowers. At one point, Rihanna makes an appearance, her head tilted back as she blows smoke into the air. The film concludes with the artist lying with Biaggi on the grass, looking at an egg that eventually shatters, transforming into a spinning pagoda.

Stephen White

The Killing of Stephen White: READ THE STORY

"[Stephen White's] dream was to start a nonprofit helping guys like himself. Before 'don't ask, don't tell,' gays in the military didn't have relationships. They didn't tell people they were gay. There are some guys in the military still like that. Those were the kind of guys Stephen wanted to target."

Giorgio Moroder

The Comeback of Giorgio Moroder: READ THE STORY

Before Daft Punk helped yank him back into the spotlight, Moroder was living the leisurely life of a typical retiree: crossword puzzles, a bit of travel, a lot of golf. Now everything has changed.


Brokeback Mountain: 10 Years On: READ THE STORY

Jake Gyllenhaal: For the first month of shooting we all lived by this river in little trailers, and I had my dog there. We all just lived on a campground and would walk to set. You know, in a world driven by commerce, particularly in the movie business, there's no time spent together--relationships are fleeting. But in the old-school way, people really used to spend their time together. They became a family. And that's what Ang created on the movie. It's why we are all still close-- not just bonded by the success of the film, but bonded by the experience. It was an intimate project in that way. We'd wake up and make breakfast for each other, and hang out. Heath and Michelle fell in love. It was a really special, special time.


My Month of Hell in a Gay Crossfit Cult: READ THE STORY

"Let's stick together," I say to her. "I hate running, too." But she looks at me as though I just ripped a fart in church. There's a type of CrossFitter I've come to call the Seven-Foot-Tall Invincible White Man. Usually under 35, they work in finance and strut around the box topless, draped in sweat, with a maniacal 1,000-yard gaze, feeling very pleased with themselves. One passes by, and he's got a tattoo of a black power fist stamped on the middle of his back, which I find hysterical. I point it out to Judy, but she moves to the other side of the huddle as Coach Ted goes through the workout.

Eddie Redmayne Out magazine Danish Girl

The Education of Eddie Redmayne: READ THE STORY

Redmayne says that he does not think in a gendered way. "No, not massively." He is not sure how male he feels. "God, that's an interesting question. I don't know if I ever think of it like that." He stumbles to recall whether there were traditional male and female roles prescribed in the house in which he grew up. "I suppose it depends what you think of as masculine and feminine. I was musical, and I was into theater and arts, but I was also into sports, so I had quite a broad spectrum. I can also totally see that other people see a femininity in me." He has been aware of this perception before, in life as in work. He is not a butch man. "No. No, no, no, absolutely not."

Gay Husbands

The Women Who Pick Up Pieces After Their Husbands Come Out: READ THE STORY

"In Brokeback Mountain, which I was very sickened by, they treat the wives as these weak, wimpy women," Kaye says. "One was very stupid, and the other was a naggy, whiny wife, so you feel like she deserved it. I think people perceive straight wives as unsympathetic. They don't feel bad for us. We are never the heroes."

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