#FollowFriday, July 20: You Should Be Following These 5 Poets, Artists and Naked Boys Reading

#FollowFriday, July 20: You Should Be Following These 5 Poets, Artists and Naked Boys Reading

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If your Instagram feed needs a touch of color, culture or inspiration, look no further. Each week our #FollowFriday feature pints out stunning creative talents, lovingly looping around the LGBTQ world from Lebanon to London. You can be whoever you want, babes.

1. @justdoitbabes

Artist and designer Jamie Abbott — the lovely British boy behind BABES — has beautifully queered sportswear for all of us who have ever felt left out of sports, physical education at school or in adult life at the gym.

His mission is to bring inspiration to every babe in the world. He says, “If you have a body, you are a babe. No sports, just games, babes.”

The term “babes” is a popular Wenglish (Welsh-English) term of endearment that’s been reclaimed and queered by the East London (and now the world’s) LGBTQ community.

We love the mix of body sizes, POCs and the playing around with masc/femme that’s portrayed throughout BABES’ photography and campaigns. It’s a grassroots brand for everyone, without a giant corporation behind it. No fake rainbow-lovers wiping dollar signs from their bleary eyes, just a gay boy in the UK fighting back. How fabulous is that?

2. @antina_christ

This “Daughter of Seitan” is a drag performance artist and one of Europe’s most creative up-and-coming professional makeup artists. Antina Christ has painted for everyone, from fledgling new talents to Drag Race royalty Katya.

Antina, who doesn’t conform to gender, says, “Drag is an expression of myself — an extended superhero version of me — or what I imagine I could be. It’s about being femme-positive and also questioning gender roles and standards. It’s about using your ‘weakness’ (from heteronormative society’s point of view) as something positive.”

Antina Christ’s Instagram account will inspire you to try new looks, to be bold and to be you. With influences from the ’80s, new wave, goth and post-punk movements, there’s always something new and fabulous that’ll make you think twice about drag, gender and paint.

3. @artqueerhabibi

Now here’s some art to stir your heart, head and loins. Artqueerhabibi is an ongoing collection of intimate Instagram paintings that have hit the internet by storm. He’s built a small cult following in the seven short months since they first started appearing, back in January 2018.

Depicting scenes of queer Arab life around the Middle East, some are romantic, poignant frescoes of a world that perhaps does exist in the shadows for some LGBTQ people. Others are more directly sexual, political statements of defiance against the status quo in this often dangerous part of the world for our queer brothers and sisters.

The artist is anonymous for his own safety.

In interviews Artqueerhabibi has discussed the confusion he felt in adolescence when he realized he was gay, knowing his queer feelings would never be accepted in his home’s society. He has acknowledged the difficulty of growing up an LGBTQ person with a conservative family and surroundings.

4. @kityanpoet

Kit Yan is a queer trans Asian-American slam poet, playwright and performer who brings Trans Gender Non Conforming (TGNC) stories to the @newyorkmusicalfestival throughout July until Aug. 5.

Kit Yan says, “My work is a dreamspace where queer and transgender folx time travel in order to witness, remember and heal our herstories. I hold writing as a spaceship into the borderless ancestral past, the puzzle pieces of an imagined queertureverse and a lifeline back onto this earth.

“Here, we can ground, explore and discover stories on our own terms — messy, ugly and wholly beautiful,” Yan says. “Above all else, I write about queer love smashing racism, patriarchy and systemic oppressions.”

We love the mixture of personal, private, public and performance content throughout Kit Yan’s Instagram, offering an intimate window into the life and creative spirit of this fabulous person.

5. @naked_boys_reading

Naked Boys Reading began six years ago at the gorgeously grimey basement club VFD in London’s Dalston. It’s since grown to become an international touring salon, with resident events in Canada, Germany and Argentina.

Created by Justin Hunt and Alexander Karotsch, the event features in-the-buff readings by local boys. (Although they’re not stringent on that gender binary, and anyone who identifies as a boy for the night can read.)

Readings are themed (“Virginia Woolf,” “Daddies,” “Leather” and “Shakespeare” have all been featured) and are usually curated by a mix of queer icons.

3way #3littlepigs at the hotel sessions by @vanekphotography

A post shared by The Official NBR (@naked_boys_reading) on

The next Naked Boys Reading event in London will take place on Thursday, July 26, at the Ace Hotel, where they’ll be getting meta, reading about nudity and nakedness.

Happy #FollowFriday! And follow Hornet on Instagram, too!