(Ég Elska Straight Guys… with Hakan T from Istanbul)
Yes, I’ll admit it – not all guys in Elska are gay, although most are. So are most of the readers. But when we meet and shoot a guy, we don’t necessarily even discuss sex or sexuality, so inevitably some aren’t LGBT. Part of me wonders if the Elska boys should be exclusively LGBT, but I feel that if a straight guy is up for being in a mag that’s full of 90% queers and has a 95% gay readership, then he should be welcome. And it’s not like I always say “this mag is pretty gay, are you OK with that?” – the reality is that I don’t need to ask. They know and they’re cool with it.
Hakan T is one of the straights. As we were walking he mentioned his girlfriend so it became clear. But even before that I should have known. I was just so comfortable with him. There wasn’t any sense of [sexual] tension between us and I felt completely OK about myself, not worried about how I looked, not worried I’d be judged in any way. It was so refreshing. And it made me lament the lack of heteros in my life. Pretty much everyone I know is queer, apart from a couple of straight girls.
In fact, I might have actually put myself in this gay bubble out of fear of rejection and homophobia. I still have this shameful tendency to be ambiguous about my personal life when I meet new people, so I end up seeming closed and reserved in some misguided attempt to protect myself. But even though when I was a teenager, I got called “faggot” too often, it doesn’t happen anymore. Certainly not in London, and not so much in Istanbul either.
Spending time with Hakan was enriching, and it made me want to get some straights into my circle. There’s just one problem with straight friendships… having to talk about football. But I suppose I can learn to deal with it in exchange for them dealing with me muttering on about, I don’t know, Kylie or cocksucking.
See more of Hakan T and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (06) Istanbul