In 1895, Oscar Wilde wrote in The Soul of Man Under Socialism that “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.”
Given that utopias exists in the mind, not on the map, their alliance with queer lives and creativity is an exciting one as LGBT+ people navigating the world in 2020 know all too well. Creativity, bravery and a voyager spirit will be required to create new space, thought and life that will continue to improve and transform our communities and societies.
If Wilde’s assertion is true, that progress is the realisation of Utopia, then our community has a lot to celebrate, the rate of change on our small Island alone is staggering to bear witness to. Do not be mistaken however, the burden of late stage capitalism, a global pandemic and the worrying rise of the far right across Europe and on our own shores of late mean that there has never been a more prescient time for us to unite as a community and imagine a different, better version of the world and map out an exciting future that can unite, inspire and encourage us all.
In the first of the series, photographer extraordinaire Steven Peice and drag icon in the making Viola Gayvis came together to make a stunning series of images (one of which we were delighted to have as the cover for this special comeback issue. Behold their Queer Utopia!
STEVEN AND VIOLA
For us, Utopia is that magical place you make up in your head when you’re a kid and catch your glimpses of LGBT+ people - a place where queer people are open and proud, supporting each other in beautiful harmony.
This project is a depiction of how we see those beautiful harmonies creating the different elements that make up Queer Utopia - a place where our trans brothers and sisters exist together within the vibrant clouds, where the Queen of Uranus hangs out in the Galaxy surrounded by little gaybies, where Sis Nature lives with her flowers. There are mermaids of course (just cuz they’d exist there) and our electric spirits are protected by Miss Golden Rush.
Steven and Viola want to give a special thanks and shout out to the designers of the stunning outfits featured.
The fabulous Eamonn McGill (@eamonnmcgilldesigns) created the beautiful looks Viola wears in the mirror-image portrait, while the super talented Claire Garvey (@clairegarveydesigner_) designed all the others.