A country where homosexuality is still against the law may the be the last place you’d expect to do an LGBT+ photoshoot.
But the editor of Elska Magazine travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after locals begged him to shoot in their city.
Kuala Lumpur is a diverse mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian residents – among others.
But it’s also the capital of Malaysia, an increasingly anti-LGBT+ country. Gay sex is still illegal with police raiding LGBT+ venues and authorities punishing people with caning, jail and fines.
Elska editor and chief photographer, Liam Campbell, said:
‘I never really expected to make an issue in Malaysia because I just assumed that as a majority Muslim country where homosexuality is illegal, the locals wouldn’t be keen to do it.
‘But last autumn after we published our Manila (Philippines) issue, we got a passionate letter from a guy in Kuala Lumpur imploring us to give his city the same attention.
‘So I asked him to spread the word and within a week I received over a dozen messages from similarly passionate local men. I couldn’t ignore their excitement, so I booked a flight and hurried over.’
Stories from Kuala Lumpur
We’ve previously followed Elska’s journey to Belgium, Mumbai, Toronto, Taiwan, Lisbon, Mexico and many more. Put together, they show a range of guys, from all different races, body types and ages.
This edition is no different. It showcases Kuala Lumpur and LGBT+ life through intimate photos of local men.
Meanwhile it also reveals a little about the men’s lives. In this issue, we learn about Sam Z’s first trip to a gay bathhouse – the excitement, the fear, the lust, and the disappointment.
Moreover, trans guy Gems A explains it is hard to find a partner who isn’t only interested in him as a sexual fetish. And Ashul S talks about how he came out to his mother without ever daring to use LGBT+ vocabulary.
You can see a list of where Elska Magazine is sold around the world or order a copy online here.