ROMEO

Step into the camp and kitsch world of Loverboy magazine

We love a good gay magazine here at PlanetRomeo, but with so many to choose from, it can be difficult to find the real diamonds in the rough. But Loverboy is a magazine that’s hard to miss. With its vibrant front cover and pages bursting with color, camp and character, Loverboy instantly stands out from the crowd.

“I’ll take camp. I’ll take kitsch. I’ll take faggy. Whatever you want to throw at me,” says Michael Turnbull, Loverboy’s editor. “It’s all a compliment. I think part of being queer is reveling in your gayness, not apologizing for it. So there’s no point in being subtle, just fucking go for it and be as gay as possible.” 

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Such an unapologetic approach to queerness is one of the things that makes Loverboy great. While some gay magazines shy away from camp and kitsch representations of queer life, Loverboy is happy to embrace it, reveling in the fun and flamboyance that has been a staple of gay culture for decades.

But with so many gay magazines already on our shelves, and with traditional print media in decline, launching a new magazine was a risky venture. “I guess I never saw it as a business venture,” says Turnbull. “Without sounding like a dick, I saw it as an art project I believed in. I was initially pitching the articles to other editors but they weren’t responding so I thought I’d do it myself.”

Aside from this, Turnbull didn’t feel like his own interests were well represented in the mainstream gay media. “I didn’t feel there was a balance between the queer, artistic, subculture publications and the more mainstream titles,” he says. “I felt there were people like myself who were interested in both. Also as I began to work on the magazine, I began to learn more about our culture and the more I learned, the more I wanted to include.”

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Loverboy is filled with a mixture of music, art, fashion and even an advice column written by none other than legendary supermodel Janice Dickinson. Issue 2 also includes an interview with former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger chatting about faking orgasms and some eye-popping snaps of Hercules And Love Affair’s Andy Butler. “He was more than willing!” Turnbull says. “Such a lovely guy.”

Turnbull has a list of stars he’d love to grace the pages of Loverboy, but insists he’d never alter the magazine’s aesthetic to meet any diva demands. “Loverboy’s aesthetic is so important that I’m not willing to sacrifice that to get the names on board,” he says. “That said, there’s a list on my wall that reads, ‘Mariah Carey, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Grace Jones, Tina Turner, Courtney Love.’” Now that’s a line up we’d like to see!

But Loverboy isn’t the only thing that came out recently – Turnbull himself did too, to his grandparents, at least. “Well I was 32 and really the ‘charade’ had gone on long enough,” Turnbull says. “I mean, they probably had a hunch. But I really felt there was no point in telling them until there was someone in my life I wanted them to meet. But before the elusive ‘someone’ came along, I’d created a piece of art I was super proud of and wanted to show them. I’m actually really pleased that it was because of something I had achieved, rather than someone I had met that I told them. And they were fine.”

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Though Loverboy is still in its early days, Turnbull says the feedback so far has been very positive. “Honestly, the response from readers, the people taking part, everyone, it’s been overwhelming! The hardest thing is getting people to hear about it.” With its blend of eye-catching aesthetics and straight-talking queer content, we think it’s only a matter of time before everyone is talking about this exciting addition to the face of gay publishing. 

Follow Michael and the rest of Loverboy at www.LoverboyMagazine.com / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Issue #1 and #2 are available to buy now from the shop and Issue #3 will be available to pre-order in the coming weeks.