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Drag Race trailblazer Gottmik leads the Attitude April Style issue

"[Transphobes] are on the wrong side of history - and I’m just laughing from a gorgeous place."

2021-02-24

As our Lord and saviour Lady Gaga once said: "Walk, walk, fashion baby!" The Attitude April Style issue is officially here, and the world is your runway (even if you are staying home).

Leading the charge this month is RuPaul's Drag Race star Gottmik aka 24-year-old Kade Gottlieb, who takes a break from slaying the competition on season 13 to reflect on her historic status as the first trans man to ever compete on the franchise.

 

Gottmik, shot by Magnus Hastings for the Attitude April Style issue, out now to download and to order globally (Styling by Douglas Van Laningham; Fashion direction by Joseph Kocharian; Gottmik wears dress by Ryunosukeokazaki, shoes, stylist’s own)

From coming to terms with and embracing her identity as a fiercely femme trans man to coming out to her religious family in Arizona, Gottmik (who uses female pronouns when in drag) pulls back the curtain on her fascinating journey from queer Catholic school teen to glamazonian make-up artist and drag fashionista.

"Even before I transitioned medically, I kind of was even debating, like, am I trans? It was in my brain for so long, just because I would look at all the trans guys in the media and be like, 'That is just not me. That is not who I am. I’m way more feminine', explains Gottmik. 

Gottmik wears dress by Moschino, necklace by Diana Law, rings by La Tache Bobo, sunglasses, by Natasha Morgan; gloves, stylist’s own (Photography: Magnus Hastings)

"I love drag, and just looking at these really trans masculine men, I was, like, how could that possibly be who I am?

"And then the second I just woke up, and I was, like, 'Girl, if cis-gender men can be feminine, a trans guy can be feminine. Just because it’s beyond you, doesn’t mean it’s not there. So, girl, do it, and pave this path. And that’s what I did - and I’m living."

She adds: "[Transphobes] are on the wrong side of history - and I’m just laughing from a gorgeous place."

The Attitude April issue also sees three LGBTQ stars of the modelling world - Reece KingBilly Langdon and Marcus Hodson - appear on three special edition covers as they open up about their experiences of navigating the industry as out and proud models.

Reece King for the Attitude April Style issue. Reece wears underwear by Dsquared2 (Photography: Eddie Blagbrough)

The fashion world has always been a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. But while many top designers and creative directors are gay, on the modelling side representation is still lacking.

We speak to Billy, Marcus and Reece about their experiences and how things are changing for the better.

Marcus Hodson for the Attitude April Style issue. Marcus wears waistcoat and trousers by Dsquared2 (Photography: Eddie Blagbrough)

"From my experience around male models, sometimes there’s a portrayal of what you need to do to get booked. I think a lot of it is personality and attitude. And for some reason, I think certain places think it’s easier to just go with the ‘straightest’ male," says Reece.

"But obviously, times are changing."

Billy Langdon for the Attitude April Style issue. Billy wears tank top and leather trousers by Dsquared2 (Photography: Eddie Blagbrough)

Billy adds: "It’s kind of hard for the world to wrap their heads around the idea of male models who aren’t necessarily feminine or hyper-masculine.

[Male models] can have a problem with adjusting [to] that kind of ideal, and I think that can add a lot of pressure to people and make the idea of coming out more intimidating when you think you have to live up to a certain ideal, or you have to have certain characteristics."

Elsewhere in the Attitude April issue, American tennis player Lendale Johnson – the sport’s first out male professional in the Open Era – serves up his thoughts on homophobia in the game.

Lendale Johnson for Attitude (Photography: Markus Bidaux)

After giving us razor-sharp wit, comedy gold confessionals and awesomely adequate runway looks on Drag Race UK, the People's Princess herself, Tia Kofi, is this month's Big In a Wig.

Tia Kofi (Image: BBC)

As the UK’s biggest celebration of queer cinema, BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival goes digital, we bring you the lowdown on the best queer feature films you'll be able to watch online from 17-28 March.

Boy Meets Boy will be screened online as part of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival

British designer Daniel w. Fletcher puts a pin in how the fashion industry must move forward, spicing things up with Victoria Beckham and when he first realised he could lead a happy life as a gay man.

Daniel w. Fletcher for Attitude (Photography: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa, styling by Joseph Kocharian)

After Drag Race UK's Bimini Bon Boulash paid tribute to enduring LGBTQ+ icon Princess Julia on the runway, we bow down to the DJ and London nightlife legend and discover a history of queerness that spans countless nights out across six monumental decades… oh, and two gay husbands.

Princess Julia for Attitude ( Photography by Francisco Gomez de Villaboa; Stying and pieces by Max Allen)

Get the lowdown on British fashion designer and dancer Saul Nash: sexuality and stereotype-busting are at the seams of this young fashion star’s designs.

Saul Nash (Photography: Julien Mignot & Raphael Bliss)

We travel to Belfast, where the city's queer community shed light on life in Northern Ireland and the region's lingering anti-gay prejudices.

Photography: Liam Campbell

Turning heads with the provocative title of her debut novel Detransition, Baby, author Torrey Peters talks to Shon Faye about representing trans people in art and the complicated politics that comes with it.

Torrey Peters (Photography Dawit N. M.)

We take a deep-dive into the life of Elisabeth Welch, the legendary cabaret diva who, with her beauty, elegance and style, won the hearts of the LGBTQ community, as well as the likes of Cole Porter and Derek Jarman.

Elisabeth Welch (Photographs and memorabilia courtesy of Stephen Bourne)

Challenging gender norms and what it means to be masculine and feminine, drag performer Wesley Spencer tackles toxicity within the gay community.

Wesley Spencer for Attitude (Photography: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa)

That's alongside all your usual news, reviews, travel and opinion, of course...

The Attitude April Style issue is out now to download and to order globally.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £1 each, or digitally for just over £1.50 per issue.