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Gay Times



February. An issue talking about love. Where’s the Devil Wears Prada groundbreaking’ gif when you need it? Thing is, these pages are full of extraordinary people doing their bit to make the lives of queer people that little bit better.

On the cover for our Love Out Loud issue is US singer-songwriter Lauv, who has built a massive fanbase – and a significant LGBTQ following – for his bared-soul approach to songwriting. He speaks candidly about mental health to break down stigma and create safe spaces for vital conversation between people who may be suffering. He’s a modern-day pop prince, singing directly about the ups and downs of life in a progressive and refreshing way. But central to the message of his music is self-acceptance and learning to love yourself so you can better love those around you. You don’t have to listen too hard to  understand why millions of people – and particularly those who feel like outsiders – connect with his music.

Following a particularly difficult time in his life when he was struggling with his mental health, Lauv turned to Troye Sivan for support. It was around the time that their collaboration, I’m So Tired.., was taking off on the charts. “With Troye, I know from the bottom of my heart that when I need him, he will be there for me, and that means a lot,” Lauv told us.

Inside the issue, we have a majestic photoshoot and candid interview with Victoria Monét. She’s written some of the biggest pop songs in recent memory, but 2020 is the year she intends to be known as an artist in her own right. What’s even more special about her new collection of music is that it’s the first that hears her sing honestly about same-sex romance. Coming out publicly as bisexual in 2018 allowed her to be unashamedly queer in her storytelling. “If I fall in love with a woman, I don’t want to have to change the lyrics to ‘he’ just because it’s more acceptable and relatable,” she told me. “I want to be able to say what’s really happening. You’ll get everything that I actually feel.”

It’ll be of little surprise to you that that message is echoed more than once from the other queer people who we’ve spoken to for this issue. From Jillian Mercado, a model and actress who has just starred in The L Word: Generation Q, to Drag Race royalty Sasha Velour whose new live show is inspired by the love of their mother – there are stories and experiences in this issue that outline the capacity that unconditional love can have to inspire, educate, and ultimately change lives.

UK cover price: £5.95

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