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Digital Subscriptions > DNA Magazine > DNA #225 | Travel Issue > LOVE: LIVE AND LOUD


Imagine Dragons’ front man Dan Reynolds – yes, he’s straight – tells DNA how his LoveLoud initiative helps LGBT youth through music, festivals and film.

AS THE LEAD singer of one of the biggest American rock bands of the last decade, Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons probably isn’t the first person you think of as a straight ally for our community. Yet, that he is, without a doubt.

Dan, who grew up in a strict Mormon household, is the heart and soul behind LoveLoud, a live music event that raises money to fight teen suicide and encourage acceptance of LGBT youth in Mormon Bible Belt – Salt Lake City, Utah.

This year, Dan teamed up with Tegan Quinn (the gay half of Tegan And Sara) and the event raised over one million dollars for LGBTIQ charities like The Trevor Project, Encircle and The Tegan And Sara Foundation. Not only did concert goers see Imagine Dragons, Zedd, Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park), Grace VanderWaal, Tyler Glenn (of Neon Trees), Vagabon, AW, and Cameron Esposito – but Utah’s Governor, Gary Herbert, declared July 28 LoveLoud Day in Utah. Plus, the gay man who runs the world’s most successful company, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, popped by as a guest speaker.

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This month we have a suitcase full of great travel suggestions for LGBTIQ wanderers. We name the 10 Best Countries for gay travel based on their civil and human rights records and willingness to market directly to the LGBT world. And we shame the 10 Worst Countries. Shockingly, some of these are probably among your favourites and you may want to reconsider your travel plans after reading this story. Raunchy writer, Jack Ladd joins us again with a tantalising tale about his holiday sex-ploits. Yes, holiday sex is the best! We also have three very important news features. Firstly, it’s the 20th anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard. The brutal killing of the Wyoming student shocked the world and eventually saw the Obama administration pass hate laws. We speak to his mother, Judy, about Matthew, her work as an LGBTIQ advocate and activist, and what her son’s legacy means. Saving LGBTIQ kids from mental health issues, self-harm or worse is the main objective of Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons. His LoveLoud concert just raised over one-million dollars for youth support organisations. We talk to this incredible straight alley about why he has championed our cause and what’s at stake for him. The trauma that gay people experience as children or in their teens can be the trigger for later-life issues like addictions. In the first of a six-part series, we ask experts to describe what trauma means and discover that sometimes we don’t even realise we’ve been affected by it. This is an essential read for everyone. We have some great interviews this month: actor Harry Cook gets fired up about casting gays in gay roles, Ronan “DILF” Keating recalls his Boyzone days, dreamy hippie Matt Price reveals he once wore a man-kini, and super-hot New York model, Matt James explains how he’s a different kind of “all-American boy” – and there’s eight sizzling pages of him to enjoy.