The summer issue of Attitude magazine was released just ahead of last weekend’s London Pride. The magazine celebrated the occasion, as well as an important anniversary of their own with a series of covers. We spoke to Editor-in-chief Cliff Joannou to find out more.
He told us that the concept of the ‘Pride in Love’ cover series commemorates fifty years since the Stonewall riots, and features over fifty LGBTQ people and allies across twenty-five covers to celebrate Attitude’s 25th anniversary, each image depicting a kiss, a sign of affection between friends, colleagues, lovers and family members.
Joannou said that they made sure that their cover stars were as diverse as possible, and inclusive of race, age, sexuality, gender, bodies, and more: ‘Our cover stars were a mix of celebrity with some of the leading names from the LGBTQ community, performance and club and bar scene.’
‘We wanted to show the rich diversity and variety of what it means to be queer in 2019. Dr Ranj Singh was photographed with ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ partner Janette Manrara. Legendary performers like Lavinia Co-op joined Jonny Woo. Drag queen Lady Bunny was photographed with artist Daniel Lismore. Andrew Lumsden of the Gay Liberation Front kissed his partner Stephen Clissold.’
All the covers were shot in four intense days by Francisco Gomez de Villaboa, in a large studio with lots of different lighting and backdrops. Though they had plenty of options, they occasionally took the shoots outside for a bit more variety.
However, when shooting poet and Attitude columnist Dean Atta and his boyfriend Tom on the streets near Canary Wharf (above), they experienced a couple of incidents of homophobic jeering from members of the public. Joannou had to take the difficult decision to move the shoot somewhere safer. He said of the incident, ‘It underscores the fact that we still have a long way to go before society really accepts people no matter how they love or identify.’