A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (winter issue)

I read this week that research suggesting that LGB 16 to 21 year olds are four times more likely to have felt depressed, harmed themselves or thought about suicide compared to their heterosexual peers.

The findings were from a Bristol-based study of 4,800 young people, carried out by University College London and King’s College University, with experts saying the numbers are linked to the bullying, discrimination, stigma and abuse young sexual minorities face.

Isn’t it sad that in this modern age, young people are still being negatively impacted by homophobia and other types of prejudice. It seems quite commonplace to see headlines about another young person’s suicide on account of bullying, and I’m sure we can all easily recall our own experiences when other people made us feel less human, either directly or indirectly, due to their bigoted views. It could just be a throwaway remark, or a negative quip, or outright homophobia. Regardless, the bombardment of such negativity on our young minds inevitably leaves its own residual problems for our mental health.

This is why I’ve enjoyed putting together our new regular feature, Stories from the Land, in partnership with Agrespect (more from them later) where we’ll hear from country based folk who recount their experiences growing up gay in rural, isolated communities where often the views of the people were anything but inclusive. Our first piece is by Matt Naylor who tells us about his Grandfather’s homophobia, and how he overcame growing up gay in rural Lincolnshire to become a happy and successful businessman.

We also hear from his Agrespect partner in crime, Ben Andrews, who tells us about the rural network for LGBT people he and Matt established which aims to bring the community together. There is strength in numbers after all.

Outdoor Lads runs a range of sociable outdoor activities for gay, bi men and trans guys right across the UK and further afield - activity based things like hiking, climbing, camping, biking, canoeing, scrambling, running and sailing. as well as purely social events, and now we have joined forces to bring you all the latest from ODL and what's to come in 2019.

We start with a profile on Danny and Andy from ODL who tell us of the annual Family Christmas event which they run and won each others hearts in doing so.

Q&C’s friend Centre Front menswear has a new winter collection and I spent the day with sexy James the Barber in Longstock, Hampshire at the Peat Spade Inn and surroundings who was happy to model for us in a variety of winter togs. So if you are looking for some last minute Christmas gifts look no further. Centre Front is also offering 15% discount for all Q&C readers.

I hope you enjoy the content and keep an eye out for the Kilted Yogi’s hot shots from their new calendar, alongside our lowdown on one of men’s sexiest sartorial choices, especially for New Year - the Kilt (Underwear optional).

Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year.

James & The Q&C team.

@queenandcountrymagazine