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OUT IN THE CITY: ACCESS ALL AREAS MAY 2012


MAKE THAT A SKINNY…


TO GO... RICHARD TONKS CHEWS THE FAT...


Hanging around with exclusively gay people often depresses me. I turn into this mawkish character who seems intent on analysing every detail of my life in relation to the gayness around me – and comparing where I’ve gone wrong. Perhaps it’s the angst of the thirty-something man-about-town with no mortgage, no possessions to speak of and a consistently inconsistent employment status. What peeves me is the constant negativity of it all. He’s bitchin’ about her because ‘she said that thing’ and he’s looking old and haggard... and then there’s that certain someone who’s “stacking it on a bit”. Yep. That’ll be me. My youthful Peter Pan existence flew firmly out of the window whilst living with a gay friend last year, where it was solemnly brought to my attention that ‘one’ needed to watch ‘one’s’ weight in ‘one’s’ thirties as managing ‘one’s’ fat cells becomes somewhat more difficult. It doesn’t take a mathematician to realise that one plus one plus one plus one equals… me, old lardy Tonks.


What is it about hanging out with gay guys? It’s like going on television. You suddenly gain a stone and realise that you’ve piled on pounds in places that hadn’t even existed before the age of 31. My roots are against me. I come from good, hearty Black Country stock where a diabetes- inducing BMI is considered perfectly normal. ... And I’ve always found the gym such a detestable place. Even the hot boys can’t spur me. I loathe to invest any money in anything that makes me look remotely attractive when I exercise anyway. A faded Kylie T-shirt and a pair of ancient Adidas shorts aren’t going to cut it among the ‘get-the-fuck-outta-my-mirror’ mafia that attend my gay gym. Still, ploughing on through the pain and misery that is my life, I focus on the things I can control. That is, what I put in my mouth. Nutritionally speaking, naturally. I’m not attempting to avoiding that bottle of wine (per night) and stag-leap past the buy-one-get-one-free sweet temptations at my local 24-hour Asda. Those places should carry a health warning. It should be illegal to buy jumbo packs of Maltesers for £1 at 3am in the morning.


I’ve set about discovering a repertoire of basic exercises one can do in the comfort of one’s home. Who needs a Brazilian personal trainer when Charles Bronson’s Solitary Work-Out


36 WWW.OUTMAG.CO.UK


“WHAT IS IT ABOUT HANGING OUT WITH GAY GUYS? IT’S LIKE GOING ON TELEVISION. YOU SUDDENLY GAIN A STONE.”


(purchased from the local thrift store) will do just as good a job for 30p and you can soundtrack the entire thing with Mama Cass on vinyl. It’s bloody worked too! I’ve finally shifted that Christmas podge (from Christmas 2010) and found sanctity in green soups, grapes and breakfast. I actually eat breakfast! I swear I have the beginnings of my first ab! And my Grindr messages are on the up. Ones with pictures. Good ones. My gay friends are so so proud. I, in no way, assert that there is an ‘ideal’ body type. While the bitch-tit seems to dominate the gay online dating universe, the gay press have thankfully embraced a more eclectic approach to the representation of the human body, this magazine included, I’m pleased to say. Embrace the rainbow of diversity that is queer London and all that.


It’s a Tonks maxim that I don’t have a ‘type’ but it is requisite that my chosen partner really doesn’t physically resemble me in any way. But given some comments I’ve received, I find myself in a quandary: am I fit or am I a rake? Or, God forbid, am I a hoe? Does it matter? Perhaps our scene is as diverse and accepting as it ever was, and there are spaces where love literally knows no boundaries: chubs fall for twinks; twinks marry bears; muscle boys bed nerds – and even ‘adult babies’ make a bit of loveable mess…


GUEST LIST GOING DOWN!


The Sink The Pink crew’s next date will be Saturday 28 May, when they’ll be back at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. Resident DJs James Phillips and Prince Nelly will be joined by special guests at the decks, spinning the pop, disco and house, at an event described recently by the Evening Standard as “Studio 54 does Blue Peter!” Full details at about this and future nights at www.sinkthepinklondon. com/


GETTING ON THE


SHOW MUST GO ON The Café De Paris will host a commemorative night in honour of the much-missed Steve Elliot – the Salvation promoter who tragically passed away in late March (see our news pages on pages 40-41). ‘The Show Must Go On’ takes place Sunday 6 May, with a memorial from 6-7pm, followed by clubbing in true Salvation fashion from 7pm till 1am. DJs Pier Morrocco, Paul Coals, Oliver M, Luke Hope, Elliot J Brown, Mattias and Stewart Who? spin the sounds, with live performance from Shena. Advance tickets cost £12 from the usual outlets. R.I.P Steve – and thanks for so many amazing nights and memories.


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