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Declan McKenna on love, lockdown and sexuality as he leads Attitude's July issue

"I would never have really said my sexuality is restricted to any gender."

2020-05-21

Ever since he broke through back in 2014 aged 15 with unlikely protest song 'Brazil', Declan McKenna's star has been on the rise - but as new singles 'Beautiful Faces' and 'They Key to Life on Earth' set BBC Radio 1 playlists alight, that star looks poised to become a supernova of musical expression. 

As he leads Attitude's July issue - out now to download and to order globally, Declan - now 21 and gearing up to release his second album, Zeros, this summer, opens up about love, sexuality and his cerebral approach to inde-rock in his most candid interview yet.

Posing for an exclusive self-directed shoot from lockdown at his home in north London, Declan reveals how therapy helped him adapt to spending the latter half of his teens in the glare of the media spotlight, how he's maintaining a socially-distanced relationship, and why, despite being unable to put a label on his sexuality, 'pansexual' might just come close.

Attitude's July issue is out now

"It always feels like it’s changing: how I feel and how I am", he reflects.

"Though I feel a lot more settled than I was in my own skin, what I am, and what I might label myself, that was something I was very afraid to do a few years ago. I don’t really know why, it was just scary.

 Declan McKenna for Attitude's July issue (Photography: Rachel Kiki; shoot directed by Declan McKenna)

"For me, I don’t even know if I would call it sexual fluidity these days. I might call it pansexual, depending on who I’m talking to. I struggle to imagine it in any other way.

"I think it’s something I’ve really struggled to express when people ask me about it. But I’m a lot more comfortable now in being happy."

Bobby Berk for Attitude's July issue (Photography: Raen Badua)

Elsewhere in Attitude's July issueBobby Berk takes a break from doing the hardest graft of all the Fab Five on Queer Eye to reveal why he ran away from his evangelical Christian family to discover his identity.

As a documentary charting the history of The Cockettes is re-released to mark 50 years since they first burst onto the scene, we meet the members of the performance troupe that rewrote the drag rule book.

Another queer milestone being marked in a special feature this month is the 30th anniversary of OutRage!, the inspiring and often controversial British direct action group co-founded by Peter Tatchell.

Meanwhile, author Paul Mendez gives us the lowdown on his must-read debut novel, Rainbow Milk, as he recalls how he went from growing up a Jehovah’s Witness to becoming a sex worker.

We also meet stylist to the stars Kyle De’Volle, who reveals how he drew from his experiences growing up in care to take his projects further than just fashion.

"Helium balloon in the shape of a woman”, writer and Sink the Pink party starter Ginger Johnson is also packing plenty of pop as this month's Big In a Wig.

Plus, in a must-read special feature, we venure into Iran to uncover the undergound LGBTQ scene that continues to endure in a country where being gay carries the death penalty...

Attitude's July issue is out now to download and to order globally.

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