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We meet the five queer filmmakers shining a light on the LGBTQ community.

We are living in the age of media saturation. Thanks to the iPhone, at 2am on a Saturday night, we can all turn into aspiring filmmakers, and share with the world footage of whatever flora and fauna we find on a club floor. Everyone from your lesbian friends ‘ dog to your other lesbian friend ‘s baby has their own Instagram page (both, infuriatingly, have more followers than you). And for every single episode of RuPaul ‘s Drag Race, there are approximately 5,000 memes. In this climate, you have to ask what compels people to want to archive the present – to chronicle contemporary LGBTQ culture.

The five UK filmmakers here do just that, making documentaries, profiles and art films about characters that keep our community ticking. They argue that, while representation of LGBTQ people on screen has improved across both soap operas and cinema, there ‘s still work to be done in order to ensure representation is insightful, honest and accurate. Look no further than Amrou ‘s Al-Kadhi ‘s filmic portrait of nonbinary drag performance artist Victoria Sin, or Samuel Douek ‘s five-minute films about gay nightlife scenes around the world (which look more like music videos than documentaries). We asked them why they make work almost exclusively about queer issues, and the responsibility, challenges, and moments of beauty that come with it.

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About Gay Times

As the longest-running LGBTQ publication in the world, our heritage is deeply important to us. We’ve come so far as a community, and it’s important to recognise and reflect upon the people who have helped us to where we are today. While evolving with the times in order to better serve our wider community, it felt fitting that the first cover star of our rebrand should be Boy George. Not only because he himself has undergone many evolutions throughout his illustrious career, but also because we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of his first Gay Times cover. Adam Lambert sat down with Boy George to discuss his upcoming Las Vegas residency, releasing new music with Culture Club, finding inspiration to write music, his desired collaborations and his magnum opus. They also reflect on how his life has changed since he first covered Gay Times 30 years ago. Elsewhere in the issue: Jodie Harsh on the shrinking of London’s queer nightlife; Aidan Faminoff on his coming out story; The Gay Times Honours; Henry Holland and poet Max Wallis on their upcoming collaboration plus fashion, culture and opinions from around the world. This issue also features a collection of essays and poems penned by individuals from all pockets of our community. Welcome to the new Gay Times.