Elska Magazine, a collection of little gay photo books created by artist Liam Campbell, has just reissued its edition dedicated to the men of gay Taipei. The newly reprinted issue, which has also been refreshed and redesigned, couldn’t come at a better time. Wednesday Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, declaring that a definition of marriage that restricts it to mixed-sex couples is a violation of the constitution. This paves the way for Taiwan to become Asia’s first country to establish marriage equality.
“It's a great victory,” says Elska editor and photographer Liam Campbell, “but I knew it was only a matter of time before it would happen. Taiwan has long been at the forefront of LGBTQ rights, and that’s why I chose to make an issue dedicated to its capital Taipei. Even though it’s not as well known in the West compared to destinations like Bangkok or Hong Kong, it is actually Taipei that is the gay capital of Asia.”
In the Taipei edition of Elska Magazine, you’re introduced to 14 Taipei residents. These men were photographed out and about in their city and in their homes. Each of them also wrote a personal story to accompany their photospreads. The stories are varied but some of them wrote directly about being gay in Taiwan — one talked about feeling free to hold hands with a man in the streets, another recanted his coming out to his parents, and another just wrote about avocados! Whatever their stories, they help you get to know each of these men and their city and culture in a most intimate way.
Liam tells us, "Ultimately this is a fantastic result for LGBTQ Taiwan, and hopefully part of a current that will spread throughout Asia and beyond. But let’s remember that it’s not politicians we should thank but then people on the street who protested, lobbied and fought for it, which includes a lot of the men on the pages of Elska Taipei."
Elska’s Taipei issue is 164 pages and is available in a classic print “bookazine” or in a electronic download version for tablet/iPad. There is also a new e-zine available to accompany it called Elska Ekstra, containing outtakes and behind-the-scenes stories from the making of the Taipei issue. A list of stockers and details of the subscription service can also be found on the Elska website.