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Dean Atta is an acclaimed poet from London whose work dances around the intersection of blackness and queerness. His latest collection, Black Flamingo, was inspired by a black flamingo that “was spotted at a salt lake on the South Coast of Cyprus “ where he was visiting with family. As word of this anomalous black flamingo flew around the island, Dean saw his relationship with his grandfather mirrored in his nonchalance about the black bird: “My grandfather didn ‘t see what all the fuss was about and it made me reflect on the nature of our relationship, specifically how I never discussed my blackness or my sexuality with him. “ If his work is inspired by adversity, he ‘s a deft hand at imbuing it with an uplifting and bouncing cadence. Indeed, his words are imbued with a hope and compassion for the world around him, no doubt a result of deep and searching introspection. Utilising poetry as a tool for examining and processing our innermost feelings, though, is nothing new; a 2013 study, conducted by the University of Exeter (By Heart: An fMRI Study of Brain Activation by Poetry and Prose), shows that “poetry activates brain regions that have recently been associated with introspection. “ Perhaps that ‘s why we find Dean ‘s work so soothing.

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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.