Although Australia has barely had five months of marriage equality, the queer community has thrived in the continent for decades if not longer, and not just in Sydney. Yes, the harbor town of Sydney gets all the love for hosting the annual Gay Mardi Gras, but there’s also queer life thriving in the oft-overlooked city of Perth in West Australia, the country’s fourth most populated country. 12 queer guys from the city are the subject of Elska magazine’s 17th issue, entitled Elska Perth.
While many Australians consider Perth boring, Elska (link NSFW) — the bimonthly male photography, culture and travel magazine that bills itself as “part intellectual queer pin-up mag and part sexy anthropology journal” — chose to visit the city to discover the exciting queer men and landscapes nestled there. Photos of both can be found in Elska‘s latest issue, entitled Elska Perth.
Elska chooses a new international location every two months, with images and stories from queer men living there. In the past they’ve covered Yokohama, Japan; Haifa, Israel; Mumbai, India; Taipei, Taiwan; Bogotá, Colombia; Cape Town, South Africa among others.
Here are pictures of some of the queer men featured in Elska Perth:
“I think that if Perth is to have a reputation for anything, it shouldn’t be dullness but rather joyousness,” says Liam Campbell, editor and chief photographer. “I never have been anywhere with so many happy people around. That’s why this is our first issue to have someone actually smiling on the cover and why so many of the stories are about leisure, love and lust.”
Elska had never visited Australia in any of its 16 previous issues. So in addition to their latest 176-page Elska Perth issue with eye-opening looks at the everyday fashions, surroundings and experiences of queer men who living there, Elska also createa companion e-zine called Elska Ekstra Perth with additional outtakes, behind-the-scenes tales, images and stories from five more men not featured in the main magazine.
One of the models, named Owey, recounts his nude beach encounter; another named Dan chronicles his debauched weekend; a guy named Jordan talks about the challenges of dating as a trans man; and another named Aaron talks about his life after suffering a stroke.
“The goal is to let readers feel like they’ve travelled to Perth themselves, met a range of local guys, and started to really get to know them and their city,” Campbell adds.