Safe space
Art by Isabel Weber for GLU

Safe space

EXISTENTIAL BLABBER - Kara Ortiga (The Philippine Star) - June 16, 2018 - 12:00am

Paolo Lorenzana, editor of ‘TEAM’ magazine, launches ‘GLU,’ a free, bilingual publication where the LGBTQ+ community can share stories, be educated, and celebrate without judgment.

While we’re still reeling from the inevitable demise of local print, there’s one magazine that continues to produce, and the breadth of its work is something that goes beyond the pages. TEAM magazine, launched in 2015, is an independent magazine that has become successful not just in putting out their vision and making a mark in the publishing industry, but in forming an actual community — using events and social media to rally the LGBTQ+ community who have been searching for a home all along. Paolo Lorenzana, editor of TEAM magazine (and former Supreme contributor and Young STAR editor) shares, “When we launched TEAM, there were hardly any spaces where LGBTQ+ people came together in a celebratory manner. This was before the revival of gay nightlife and the exponential increase in Pride march attendees. So a magazine was something you could hold, housing numerous stories that you could pore over, empathize with, and possibly relate to.” He shares, their events have grown considerably in attendance over the past three years, in which time they’ve seen college graduates grow up, acquaintances becomes friends, and readers become more involved with LGBTQ+ issues. “This brings us to where TEAM is today,” says Paolo.

But the work isn’t over. Now that the TEAM team has gotten together, they are hoping to grow even more. And so GLU magazine was born. GLU (short for Gays Like Us) focuses on educating the reader about HIV, and hopes to curb its spread by disseminating information and encouraging talk on sex-positivity. GLU is bilingual and free, filled with artful editorials, personal essays and informative stories.

“While TEAM is minimalist, generous with space, and thoughtfully designed, GLU is joyfully scattershot and a lot less inhibited. The reason we can be bolder with our content is because we’re distributing the magazine primarily at Love Yourself, an organization that has branches across Metro Manila specializing in HIV testing and counseling. We are reaching the readers we want to — people who are sexually mature for the most part.”

Photo from "Atin Lang ’To" by Regine David

GLU doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to talking about sex. The first issue, which features two men on the cover in a sensual embrace, has only one cover line: “Let’s stick together.” In its launching issue, the request is simple: to remind the community that they’ve got each other, that they need to stick together in order to build their own safe space — a space that is comfortable and proud in its queerness, free from prejudice, and aimed at awareness about issues that run within the community.

Like the friend you always share your ratchet stories with, without hesitation, GLU isn’t afraid or ashamed to get down and dirty. The intimate personal essays are touching, the profiles are inspiring, and the healthy dose of erotica arouses conversation. “Expect lots of tea, no shade, and absolutely no judgment,” says Paolo. There’s a spur-of-the-moment quality to GLU, which is the equivalent of that friend who goes straight to the point.

The reason to continue the fight? Paolo says, “There has to be more opportunities to share stories and expose people to various types of queerness. We have to work at creating greater empathy in our community, which we can arrive at by having more outlets to tell stories of diversity. Think of it this way — I was the sort of gay who favored masculinity in my sexual partners until shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, which allowed a viewer to get to know its cast of effeminate queer men, find things in them you can relate to, and encourage you to celebrate their lives. If you hadn’t already developed crushes on them, that is.”

Grab a copy of GLU for free at Love Yourself, which has clinics across Metro Manila. You can find their branches via loveyourself.ph or order it online through teammag.ph/gaygoods. 

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with