Wussy, the new online magazine for queer Southerners, wants to celebrate alternative, gay communities in the Southeast. Less about news or issues and more about fun and art, Wussy depicts a vibrant section of queer life many people never see.
Most of the content is currently Atlanta-based, but the creators hope to expand Wussy’s reach throughout the Southeast. Expect to see lots of photo galleries of drag queens and leather daddies, interviews and reviews of queer artists, and commentary by a local gay pony. Everything comes with Wussy’s own brand of sassy flair.
Jon Dean, the HBIC of Wussy, says, “It’s easy to get jaded about the local scene and just completely shut yourself off from it. We have to continue working to build the community we want to see.”
Atlanta has a vibrant alternative queer scene, and Wussy serves to highlight what makes it special, he adds. Hopefully, by covering other cities like Savannah and Birmingham, smaller queer communities will be strengthened as well.
The name “wussy” encapsulates much of the magazine’s editorial philosophy and their audience’s experience. One part wimp, and one party pussy, it’s a word every gay Southerner has probably been called a few times.
“We wanted something that was a little bit raw, in your face, Southern, and queer,” says Dean. “I didn’t want the name to speak to one kind of experience. The word wussy is equal parts masculine and feminine, and being a queer Southern sissy is something that we are all proud to be.”
The visual style of Wussy is not as slick and commercial as other gay publications. Their photographer’s strong flash brings out the imperfections in all of Wussy’s photo essays, from deep lines on the faces of leather daddies, the dirty knees apparent on the furry costumes, and the drag queens who are clearly rolling around on a filthy floor. Wussy has a very grungy, punk-inspired aesthetic, Dean explains, and the entire publication looks like an underground ‘zine, which complements the subject matter perfectly.
At the moment, the written material on Wussy is not as strong as the visual material. They do have “fag-rag” staples like drag queen interviews and sexcapade stories. Local artist Aubrey Longley-Cook recently reviewed the show #Masculinity at the Low Museum using all #hashtags.
Sparkle Hooves, a local gay pony cartoon brought to life by filmmaker and animator Eddie Ray, has turned his online act into a column to sass on everything from hot, sexy celebrities to the best dumpster in town to consummate a quick trick.
Austin Frantz, the graphic designer for Wussy, sums up what makes his magazine different than other gay publications in town: “I’d like to give a platform for people who normally wouldn’t have one in Atlanta— young artists, writers, event organizers, who are doing great things, but haven’t really had enough exposure yet. I’d also like to represent a really diverse LGBT Atlanta community, from guys, to girls, to trans people, to non-binary identifying people, instead of just showcasing your typical ‘model type’ muscle-bound jock hotties.”
A launch party sometime in the summer is in the works and those at Wussy are also interested in doing some physical editions—perhaps a ‘zine of course or a photo book. All of this is dependent on what kind of interest and energy they can garner.
Right now the online magazine is mostly in need of new contributors. Writers, photographers, artists, and other weirdos are encouraged to submit proposals for any type of work they’d like to produce for Wussy. If you want your event listed or reviewed, they are taking requests for these as well. All these types of inquiries should go to: firstname.lastname@example.org:email@example.com