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Benny-Drama

How comedy helped Benito Skinner come out.
Dress, £6,920; beanie hat, price upon request; shoes, £865, all MARC JACOBS.
Photography Hunter Abrams

Fashion Willyum Beck

Producer Daniella Fumagalli

Set Design / Props Jesse Hepworth

Makeup Will Sullivan

Fashion Assistant Nathaniel Miller

“Literally, the homophobia. I can’t.” Benito Skinner is sat in a park in downtown Los Angeles when he’s asked to get up from a bench and sit elsewhere. “Let me move as I’m telling my story of being in the closet,” he jests as a man can be heard in the background telling him to leave. It’s proof that even when he’s not in makeup and a wig parodying Kim Kardashian on his social media platforms, his quick wit is present in everything he does. “I’m in downtown LA and it is a scene,” he tells us down the phone.

Benito – or as you most likely know him by, Benny Drama – is at the forefront of a new wave of queer comedians breaking the internet daily with their cleverly edited, perfectly contained, LOL-inducing brand of observational comedy. If you’ve not seen the video that propelled Benny to internet fame yet, you need to seek it out immediately. It includes Antoni Porowski’s signature Canadian twang with a lisp, Tan France’s obsession with “printed shirts” and Jonathan Van Ness’s “So, like, Ron is basically this little baby caterpillar, he is crawling up the tree ready to just get in his little cocoon and pop out. Metamorphosis! Hilary Duff! Yes! Hello! OK hunny!” Uncanny and on-the-head only just begin to describe how brilliant his parody of Queer Eye is. “They are all super sweet about the video,” Benny laughs when I ask how the Queer Eye guys responded to the clip. “They did not take it personally, which is definitely the goal.” And that’s the key to Benny Drama; the parodies, the humour, and the razor-focussed ability to play on the most subtle detail comes from a place of warmth and respect. “I’ve never done a parody or an impression of somebody that I don’t love,” he says. “I hope people feel that. It’s supposed to be all in good fun. I’m not trying to attack anybody’s character.”

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About Gay Times

REECE KING Queer British model Reece King returns to our cover louder, stronger and even prouder than he was before. Blurring the binary is one of the joys of the job for model and influencer Reece King. “I love it,” says the pusher of envelopes and challenger of masculine norms. “I didn’t have the language for it when I was younger so it’s interesting to go from constantly being told that what I’m naturally doing isn’t acceptable or isn’t seen as understandable to now not having to be just one thing,” he explains as we chat on set. When Reece first spoke to Gay Times Magazine as our February 2018 cover star, he’d already tweeted about his bisexuality. “But it was like my identity wasn’t fully formed,” he says now. “There was so much pressure to show my identity to the world even though I didn’t really know what it was myself. I do still feel like I’m learning. I feel like I know who I am but I’m still in the process of unravelling my identity. I think that’s an eternal thing - that I think I’m gonna keep finding more of myself.” BENNY DRAMA Benny Drama is at the forefront of a new wave of queer comedians breaking the internet daily with their cleverly edited, perfectly contained, LOL-inducing brand of observational comedy. If you’ve not seen the video that propelled Benny to internet fame yet, you need to seek it out immediately. It includes Antoni Porowski’s signature Canadian twang with a lisp, Tan France’s obsession with “printed shirts” and Jonathan Van Ness’s “So, like, Ron is basically this little baby caterpillar, he is crawling up the tree ready to just get in his little cocoon and pop out. Metamorphosis! Hilary Duff! Yes! Hello! OK hunny!” Uncanny and on-the-head only just begin to describe how brilliant his parody of