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Why Bros and Queer Art Matter in 2022

Why Bros and Queer Art Matter in 2022


In response to rising political attacks, LGBTQ+ people must wield the cultural levers for survival, writes Out's editor in chief Daniel Reynolds.

In one hilarious scene in the upcoming gay rom-com Bros, Billy Eichner's character, Bobby, undergoes a nervous breakdown in a national LGBTQ+ museum he is helping launch. Fueled in part by some testosterone injections he took to enhance his physique, Bobby grabs a mannequin of Abraham Lincoln and physically throws the former president -- known in his early years to share a bed with a male friend -- back into the closet.

The fury is funny, but it also taps into a primal despair many of us in the LGBTQ+ community feel as dozens of states attempt to erase us from public education. And now, after the devastating reversal of Roe, the far right has become further emboldened to roll back our hard-won rights to marry and even love one another in the privacy of our homes. (Eichner articulated this anger in his fiery remarks against Clarence Thomas at the VMAs.) Even supposedly progressive spheres can feel like they're failing us. As Eichner bemoans in our new cover story, how did Hollywood make "two movies about an animated talking hedgehog before they made one major studio rom-com about a gay couple?"

For my Editor's Letter in last year's Design issue, I noted how we live in a world that wasn't designed for us and that LGBTQ+ people -- from interior design to public policy -- are forced by necessity to carve out a space of our own. This year, it feels even more imperative that we continue this drive to create the change we need to live and thrive.

Eichner has accomplished this in Bros, which he co-wrote and stars in with Luke Macfarlane, by queering the long-heteronormative rom-com genre. He's far from alone in this fight against erasure in Tinseltown. Also in these pages, Abbi Jacobson talks rebooting A League of Their Own for an Amazon Prime Video series to celebrate the queer women and women of color who helped build the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the '40s and '50s. And on Broadway, the Tony-winning production A Strange Loop is centering queer men of color on the Great White Way, which as audience members who have long yearned for this representation attest to us is nothing short of transformative.

There's also the world of interior design. Javier Burkle is not only helping his clients achieve beautiful indoor spaces; he's also working with the nonprofit Dwell With Dignity to provide furniture and other services to those in need. Photographer Blake Jacobsen, also known as John Deeriere, is using his art to provide rural gay men with visibility, be it through turning tractor spikes into butt plugs or negotiating toxic masculinity through stark landscapes in his new project, "taking care of roots."

Jacobsen funds his art in part through OnlyFans, a method he shares with the models of our fashion spread. These studs share how their own creative pursuits are made possible by showing some skin and through inspiration from their city, Los Angeles. Indeed, as stigma once again rears its head, it's important to hold onto sex-positivity. Helping in this initiative is our columnist Alexander Cheves, who shares tips for curating one's own home sex party.

And as new COVID-19 subvariants circulate, entertaining in one's abode remains an appealing option. Now is the perfect time to build and deck out a dazzling home bar; cocktail guru Mark Addison provides a tutorial for this process. To keep one's physical and mental health in peak form, we also consulted Joe Andrews for advice on staying fit for the fall season. And beauty editor Marco Medrano recommends anti-aging products created with CBD, cannabis, and mushrooms for a far-out new self-care routine.

These are times of change for all of us, dear reader. But on a positive note, I'm thrilled to announce that Out and its sister magazines, The Advocate, Out Traveler, and Plus, are now with a gay-owned company, equalpride. As Out continues to mark its 30th year, we look forward to celebrating the past while planning for this exciting new future. Let's design a brighter one, together.

In the meantime, don't forget your monkeypox vaccine -- and for Honest Abe's sake, vote!


Daniel Reynolds
Editor in Chief

This article is part of Out's September/October 2022 issue, out on newsstands August 30. Support queer media and subscribe -- or download the issue through Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News.

RELATED | Billy Eichner & Luke Macfarlane on Making Bros, a Historic Gay Rom-Com

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor-in-chief of Out and an award-winning journalist who focuses on the intersection between entertainment and politics. This Jersey boy has now lived in Los Angeles for more than a decade.

Daniel Reynolds is the editor-in-chief of Out and an award-winning journalist who focuses on the intersection between entertainment and politics. This Jersey boy has now lived in Los Angeles for more than a decade.