It may seem surprising that Elska Magazine, a publication dedicated to sharing the bodies and voices of real queer men around the world, didn't make it to SanFrancisco until now. But that was by design.
“Early on Elska had become known for featuring less ‘obvious' cities,” explains Elska editor and chief photographer Liam Campbell. “For example we chose to spotlight places like Yokohama, Japan(and not Tokyo), or Haifa, Israel (instead of Tel Aviv), and our first US city was actually Providence, Rhode Island. San Francisco is a much more obvious choice, but to me the point of Elska’s choice of locations is to show that LGBTQ life is everywhere — in the less known cities Elska reveals that we exist there as well and find ways to thrive; in the more known cities Elska shows that we all have the same wants, hopes, and needs. In a sense we can prove with this edition how 'normal' or 'normalized' we can be."
Now, more than seven years into the project, Campbell is ready to take readers "up close and personal with a cross section of ordinary local men from what is arguably the most legendary gay city on Earth. For a place with such a huge gay history like San Francisco I find it especially empowering to see just how free we are able to be. Of course we’ve not conquered all the barriers put before us, but we can witness especially in San Francisco how strong and un-erasable our community is."
Elska San Francisco features local guys who are part of the city’s LGBTQ+ community. It introduces international readers to the men who live in what Campbell calls "this renowned beacon of gay life." He adds, "Each was photographed in their own neighborhoods and in their own homes, revealing some of their city and their intimate environment; and wearing their own clothes, revealing their style, or sometimes not dressed at all, revealing their bodies and facing all vulnerabilities."
Enjoy our sneak peek of the sexy men in this issue of the magazine below. All photos Liam Campbell.