Butt is back
Joyful, cool, and brilliantly queer, Butt has made its return after 10 years away. In some respects it feels like nothing has changed – it’s still printed on its signature pink paper, still simply staple bound, and still “spilling over the rim with a super diverse cast of contemporary people”. But a lot has happened in the last decade, and of course this latest version of Butt reflects the world as it finds it now.
In some places there’s a clear sense of progress. For example in AA Bronson’s interview with trans man and porn star Billy Vega, who shares the fact that, “Actually, I’m excited to be in Butt because growing up I always wanted to see a spread on a trans person.”
That’s not to say everything is easy in this new Butt: Russian-born non-binary producer and DJ Babynymph speaks about their unease with the sexism they experience in the gay community as a whole; and a piece on the Homokomandos of Poland is a reminder of just how dangerous it still is to be gay in parts of Europe today.
And yet there’s that irrepressible sense of joy – that assured, easy, smiling sense that on the pages of Butt, in the world it conjures into being, everything is going to be okay. A big part of that comes from the tone – the sly, tongue-in-cheek nod that has been used so effectively in Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman, and which is best expressed in its silly, funny picture captions. (Scroll below for a few of my favourites in the issue.)
And there’s the intimacy of the whole thing. Interviewers seem to be more than interviewers; they’re friends too, and occasionally reminisce about the time they and their interviewees had sex. Back after 10 years away, there’s a sense that Butt wants to mix the generations, showcasing the lives and work of older gay men while also glorying in the hot new talent coming through, all of it illustrated with sexy, stylish and playful photography. (Again, scroll for a selection of images – some of them sweet and some totally NSFW.)