Tag: Sydney

Get intimate with the regular guys of one of world’s gayest cities, Sydney / GayCities Blog

Get intimate with the regular guys of one of world’s

We can’t wait until travel resumes. In the meantime, here’s a chance to travel virtually to Australia for close ups of the guys of Sydney.

The photos for this article were all shot pre-COVID in Sydney, Australia.

GayCities exclusively shares a selection of the photos along with a bit of behind the scenes commentary by Elska Magazine editor and photographer Liam Campbell.

Gary P

Gary taught me about Sydney. Before I arrived, I knew that it had a positive reputation as one of the gayest cities in the world, but that it also had a negative reputation as being home to a lot of racism. Gary inspired me to go out there and be more of a journalist. So I started contacting and chatting with a lot of Aussie POCs and discovered that many feel unwelcome in Sydney. It was so upsetting, but if there is a silver lining to such a terrible situation, it’s that the white men I spoke to about it were also very aware and concerned. Gary does belong there, and it really should be somewhere that’s welcoming to all queer people regardless of where they or their ancestors were born.

Stephen G

My arrival in Sydney was quite surreal. Not only was I groggy after a very long string of flights, but the air was a strange brown-orange color due to a raging season of wildfires (this issue was photographed in late January, 2020). But somehow, as if by magic, rain poured down after I arrived at Stephen’s place for the first shoot of the week. With that rain came a change in the colour of the light to something more cool and flattering; and following the rain the whole city was covered in a thin layer of dirt. Many people had been wearing masks to protect from the ash in the air, and this rain gave us a few days of easy breathing. Little did Sydneysiders know that only a few weeks later would they need to get their masks out again, but this time not because of ash but because of Covid-19. When I look at this picture of Stephen though, I remember this brief oasis of normality and like everyone else hope to get back to that feeling soon.

Rhett P

One of the most fun aspects of doing my job, other than the travel, is meeting so many people. In every city I visit, I usually meet upwards of a dozen local men who I then spend a few hours with, walking around their neighborhood, basically just hanging out but with a camera. Rhett was one of those guys who I just got on with instantly. I can be quite shy, but he cracked my shell instantly, and soon we were bantering and joking with each other. The only problem was that at first, I felt a little uncomfortable about how open I could be. That’s because he was just so masculine that it made me feel a bit like I was back in high school with the jocks and bullies. So I just told him about my first impression, and he laughed – “Don’t worry, I’m gay.” That instantly put me at ease, and also reminded me that I need to snap out of being nervous about straight guys, or anyone. If anyone has a problem, I should be unafraid to defend myself. Rhett told me about his own struggles as a trans, gay man, and he really inspired me to be more fearless.

Dan C

In most cities I visit, I tend to avoid tourist areas. When I did an issue in London, there were no shots of Big Ben or Tower Bridge; when I did an issue in Los Angeles, there was no Hollywood sign in the background of any pictures. Instead, I just like to focus on everyday ‘authentic’ neighborhoods, but in Sydney I just couldn’t resist doing one clichéd setting. That’s because I just really wanted to see the Sydney Opera House, and since I only had four days in the city and fourteen photoshoots to do, I’d have no time for sightseeing unless I combined it with work. Dan was gracious enough to drive me over to The Rocks, and then we did some shots with the Opera House, by Circular Quay, and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The best, or most interesting, shot of all though is one I can’t share here, it’s in the print mag if you want to see it. In that pic, Dan is sitting on a bench under the bridge, and something sort of pops out of his short shorts. I warned him, but he said he didn’t mind if I took the photo anyway. I shouldn’t have been surprised at his attitude – he wrote his story about being a keen nudist after all.

Rhodes H

With Rhodes, we met first in the heart of Sydney’s gayest district, Darlinghurst. There we grabbed some shots in and around the main drag, Oxford Street, before going back to his place for the second part of the shoot. This part is often the most challenging because you don’t know what a person’s home will be like – if it will be big, bright, or inspiring. In Rhodes’s case, he had a really small flat, basically just one room with a washbasin and a single small window. It was going to be a tough job, but we decided to just black out the window, turn all the lights off, and use a table lamp to cast a spotlight on him, creating shadows while he moved around on the bed. Despite the initial worry I had when I arrived at his home, it turned out to be one of the most fun and interesting shoots I’d ever done.

Richard S

It was unbelievably hot in Sydney, and my shoot with Richard was the hottest – just over 40 C (104 F), even at 10 am when we met. This was at the end of my week of shooting, and it was also the end of a brief respite before the wildfires reignited (my last shoot, later that evening with John A created some of the ‘ugliest’ outdoor images everywhere, not because of him but because of the dirty sky, which smelled strongly of burning and made it difficult to breathe). Anyway, I remember rushing our photoshoot, at least the outdoor part, and that as soon as we got to Richard’s flat, he turned the fans on and I stood in front of one to cool off while he fetched me something cold to drink. I ended up blocking that fan for myself throughout the shoot, while Richard kept cool by getting undressed, definitely one positive side to doing a nude photo session!

Timur S

Whenever I meet someone who’s lived in other countries, I get so excited and you can’t shut me up. Timur was originally from Kazakhstan, but also lived in Moscow and Shanghai before finally settling down with his new husband in Sydney. Naturally, I was asking for advice about doing an issue in Elska in Almaty and beyond. He didn’t really have a lot of advice for Kazakhstan though, but he knew plenty of guys in Russia and China who he knew would love to take part. If only I could actually travel again! I don’t know when I’ll be able to shoot another Elska, but I will be waiting impatiently until I can, and I look forward to presenting more local boys and local stories from more cities soon.

Liam Campbell is editor and chief photographer of the indie print mag, Elska, a project that involves traveling around the world, getting to know some regular local guys, and introducing them and their city to the world through honest photography and personal stories.

Elska Sydney is out now in a limited edition print version and in an e-version. A behind-the-scenes companion zine called Elska Ekstra Sydney is also available from the Elska website.

Tony-nominated Sydney Lucas Joins EPIC for new virtual series – Lesbian.com

Tony-nominated Sydney Lucas Joins EPIC for new virtual series –

EPIC Players Inclusion Company is proud to release their fourth virtual performance, Ring of Keys from the Broadway production of Fun Home. The video features a duet between Tony Nominated Sydney Lucas and EPIC company member Nicole D’Angelo. The performance is part of EPIC’s new virtual performance series, EPIC Sings for Autism, which was started after EPIC’s spring/summer performances were put on hold due to the COIVD-19 Pandemic. The New York City based neuro-diverse theater company created the series so their autistic performers could have a creative outlet and find some normalcy during this time.

Lucas shared what drew her to collaborating with EPIC, “Fun Home has had such a positive impact on so many people. I recognized this very early on and have always felt a responsibility to tell Alison’s story to the best of my ability. Learning that it touched Nicole (D’Angelo) and really spoke to her, touches my heart as well.” She went on to say, “I wanted to raise more awareness about autism because it’s another story that needs to be told, and another group of wonderful people who need to be recognized and acknowledged. After all, Ring of Keys is a song about recognition. Meeting Nicole over ZOOM was extra special and getting to sing Ring of Keys together with her is the cherry on top. Fun Home has taught me that when you invest in matters that have the ability to reach into another’s heart, your heart is all the fuller for it. It’s really a beautiful thing to experience!”

EPIC company member D’Angelo went on to say, “Fun Home is the reason I am in theater, and in many ways saved my life. It was such an honor to perform a song from the first show I ever saw that made me feel like there was a place for me, a queer, socially awkward introvert, on a stage, and to share that performance with Sydney Lucas, who helped to shape and create the musical that means so much to me.”

Ring of Keys from the Broadway Musical Fun Home

Book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori. Featuring Nicole D’Angelo and Sydney Lucas.

In an effort to spread some much-needed joy and inspiration, EPIC’s company members,’ which feature artists on the spectrum, will continue to share a series of virtual performances throughout the Spring. Many of the video’s will be in collaborations with Broadway talent. The company would also like to connect with additional Broadway talent who may be interested in working on a virtual performance with EPIC. Interested individuals can contact Aubrie Therrien at aubrie@epicplayersnyc.org

Individuals living with autism and other neuro-diversities have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered many of their essential resources, programs and supports and left them even more vulnerable to anxiety and distress.

Additional Videos from EPIC’s Virtual Performance Series:

A Whole New World from the Broadway Musical Aladdin

Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Tim Rice. Featuring EPIC company member Jordan Boyatt and Telly Leung who played the title role of Aladdin on Broadway. Accompanied by Scott Evan Davis.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/_tfIqUsJ_NA

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/414538753

Who I’d Be from Shrek the Musical!

Performed by EPIC’s Travis Burbee and Henry Houghton, and featuring special Broadway guest, Analise Scarpaci (Lydia Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical!/Broadway). Lyrics‎ by ‎David Lindsay-Abaire, and music by ‎Jeanine Tesori.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/SE2Mqi27pnc

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/410846266

If the World Only Knew

This original song was created by award-winning composer and lyricist Scott Evan Davis who also wrote and composed the new musical Indigo, which workshopped on Broadway this past fall. If the World Only Knew was created for the autistic community and was shared with EPIC for their Lincoln Center cabaret.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/9Ch58BdhYzk
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/404823802

EPIC Players — which stands for empower, perform, include and create — is a nonprofit, neuro-diverse theatre company in New York City. Founded in 2016, EPIC seeks to use the performing arts as a vehicle to empower neuro diverse artists and pioneer increased inclusion in the arts. EPIC also provides free performing arts and careers classes for all participants. The company’s productions feature neuro-diverse artists that work in all capacities of theatre including acting, writing, stage management, design and backstage work. Past productions include neuro-diverse adaptations of The Little Prince, The Tempest, Peter & the Starcatcher, Dog Sees God, You’re A God Man Charlie Brown, Little Shop of Horrors, and numerous cabarets as Joe’s Pub, HBO Headquarters and Lincoln Center.
www.epicplayersnyc.org

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