Plug magazine

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Ready to get down and sweaty? The creative minds behind Hong Kong’s new gay publication, Plug, certainly are with the debut of their ‘Sweat Issue’. In spite of a world where print is seemingly becoming obsolete (sad, we know!), 27-year-old Timothy Loo and his flatmate, 28-year-old Liam G (who has requested that his last name remain anonymous) came across an opportunity to create a magazine that provides what they call ‘an alternative to Hong Kong’s gay scene’.

Six months ago, Loo and G hosted a few artsy hipster-esque parties called Tide Kids at the former XXX when they met Manhunt promoter Guishe Munoz, who happened to have a licence to start up a magazine. The three started talking and, within a month, the project grew legs.

Loo and G were both natural choices to be the creative minds behind the project. Just visit their rooftop flat in Yau Ma Tei to witness their fabulous space lined with magazines, neon, Polaroids and everything else needed to harness a den of imagination. Loo is a teacher with a background in graphic design, while G is pursuing a masters in visual arts at Hong Kong Baptist University. Both of them had a clear artistic direction for the style of the magazine and, as far as content, Loo says: “We knew we didn’t just want to limit it to be gay. We want this magazine to speak up for LGBT rights while at the same time promoting community and culture – not just the gay community. It’s an inclusive magazine.”

Having grown up in Hong Kong, Loo has found the current local scene to be quite outdated. “There are a lot of young gay people in Hong Kong who don’t really have a place or a part in… quite frankly, a stereotypical gay scene,” he says. “With [Plug], we want to show more than just sex and cheap ads for saunas. We want to show the brains, skills and talents of the gay community that’s more accessible to a wider audience.”

As of now, Plug is a free magazine set to release five issues per year and is available digitally on their website or at various outlets like Kubrick. Next issue’s tantalising theme is ‘Time to Confess’ – everything about guilty thoughts, secrets, addictions and untold struggles, according to the mag.

The timing for the magazine couldn’t be better, with the onset of Pink Season as well as the gradual shift towards a greater acceptance of homosexuality in Hong Kong. Just six years ago, G Magazine folded, leaving Dim Sum as the only true gay publication in Hong Kong. But with two fresh young minds at the helm of something that
G says to be ‘anything but cheap and cheesy’, Hong Kong might be exposed to a different side of the gay scene – with a focus on art, photography, style, fashion, film and culture.

The boys don’t plan to end their ambitions with the magazine; they eventually want to turn Plug into a full-on brand. “Hell yes! We are going to throw more parties,” say the duo. “And one day there might even be a Plug Club.” Hopefully it’s big.

Plug Magazine plug-magazine.com

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