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Digital Subscriptions > DNA Magazine > DNA #221 | The USA Issue > THE EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS OF ORDINARY LIVES

THE EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS OF ORDINARY LIVES

It’s Facebook-meets-Ancestry.com for the LGBT community. New website, Capturing Rainbows chronicles over 40 years of the gay community in words and pictures.
Photography courtesy of Mike Balaban.

Former Wall Street banker Mike Balaban created Capturing Rainbows, a website for sharing personal stories and photographs from the dawn of gay liberation. What started as an Instagram account become a global project to document our colourful past and record our history, before it disappears. Mike and co-founder Tom Walker spoke to DNA.

DNA: “Capturing Rainbows” is such a beautiful image – what made you think of it?

Mike: We were searching for a name that would immediately convey the purpose behind our initiative and wanted to be inclusive of the bigger LGBT community.

Tom: A large part of our mission is to collect memories and a rainbow captured in a jar seemed like the perfect metaphor.

How did the idea for Capturing Rainbows come about in the first place?

Tom: It happened in two stages. Mike’s vintage photos with narrative going back 40 years were becoming quite popular on Instagram and he was being beseeched to publish a book of them. He’d been referred to me, someone with 30 years’ experience in the publishing industry, as a possible curator for the book. I persuaded Mike to preserve and share the stories digitally.

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We aren’t trumped! In this issue we celebrate 20 of the best reasons to still love the USA. From Stonewall to Broadway, from jockstraps to Tom Ford, from power gays running the show to mid-Western cowboy beefcake! Find out what else makes our hot list! In fashion, we uncover the sheer revolution in swimwear. That’s right, coming to a beach or pool near you soon, it’s tantalisingly sexy, almost see-thru swimwear. Roll on summer! We catch up with Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan, playing a gay couple who unexpectedly have a young son to bring up, in the new comedy, Ideal Home. We chat with director, Andrew Fleming. For a straight boy, Blake Appleqvist has worn a lot of drag. He’s been an angel in Kinky Boots and is now playing Miss Understood in Priscilla: The Musical. Find out how good this hunky young man looks in a frock! In other showbiz features, John Cameron Mitchell is bringing back his famous Hedwig And The Angry Inch character for a cabaret tour of Australia. He tells us about what Hedwig’s been doing, hanging out with his chum Nicole Kidman, and, er, getting wiggy with it! Plus, we review Puffs and Mt Buddy. Described at Facebook meets Ancestry.com for the LGBTIQ community, Capturing Rainbows chronicles over 40 years of America’s gay scene in fab retro photos and words. Find out all about it in our feature, The Extraordinary Lives Of Ordinary People. In the wild world of electro-pop there are two exiting new talents – The Hound and Renate. They’re both sexy/cool and we meet them in this issue. Don’t miss your favourite regulars: Dear Diva, Nuts! and Burnttoast, plus stacks of news, and some cool travel tips. We hope you enjoy the hot American hunks of James Franklin’s photography this issue and get a good read!