9 Queer Heartthrobs Play With Masculinity in These Sexy Portraits
With all things love- and sex-related on the mind this month, NewNowNext enlisted nonbinary photographer Landyn Pan to put a queer twist on the stereotypical pin-up calendar.
The result? A diverse array of LGBTQ people putting their own spin on nine traditionally masculine archetypes we all know (and crush on!) from our fave favorite movies, TV shows, and musical acts. The Jock, the Fairytale Prince, even the K-Pop Idol—our models went above and beyond to both embody and examine the masc personas they adopted for this photo series, defying our expectations and proving once and for all that masculinity is not reserved for cisgender, heterosexual men. Oh, did we mention they all look hot AF?
Grab a cold drink to quench your thirst and scroll through the photos below.
Doreen Pierre as The Cowboi
On her masc celebrity heartthrob du jour: My ultimate masc celebrity heartthrob right now is fashion designer Julian Woodhouse (@julian_woodhouse). He's incredibly sexy, chiseled, creative, and I love his use of color and patterns in his designs.
Vidal Francisco as The Fairytale Prince
On participating in this shoot: I wanted to participate in this shoot to challenge myself. I'm still unpacking gender-related trauma that's made masculinity a negative force in my life, and presenting on the butch side of the spectrum can make me feel dysphoric. ... I'm not wanting to erase the masculine parts of my identity; I'm trying to make peace with them. It's a process, though. Sometimes it feels like my masculinity has fallen away entirely to the wayside as I delve further into the high femme Disney Princess fairy tale that my life has become. It was empowering to explore the other side of the coin and reclaim that masculinity in a way that makes sense to me: regal, quixotic, and fantastical.
Brianna Farris as The Skater
On leaning into the skater archetype: Adopting the persona of heartthrob skater was interesting because as much as I feel like I can definitely give off this lowkey, don’t give a shit, fall for me and I’ll ruin your life type of vibe—I’m actually the complete opposite of that. I’m like super sweet and usually tend to think and care too much. But I would say expressing and tapping into the different parts of myself has made me learn to accept and love who I am even more.
Theo Germaine as The Jock
On his masc celebrity heartthrob of choice: Sir Patrick Stewart. I think he's a really good man. He loves pitbulls, he kisses his friends, he's very kind, and he's a great actor and a great role model for non-toxic masculinity. He's also 79 and starring in a new Star Trek series based around his character Jean-Luc Picard—he's #Goals, through and through.
Chala as The Punk Rocker
On their ultimate masc celebrity heartthrob: Hozier, hands down. I’m obsessed with his music, but also would climb that 6’5” Irish drink of water like a tree! Is that too thirsty?
Sammy Kim as The Vampire Bad Boy
On what masculinity means to them: Masculinity is a means of expression, the same way femininity is. It’s become socially associated with toxicity and oppressive traits, but there are characteristics of masculinity that have given me a lot of freedom and authenticity as a AMAB nonbinary person. It allows me to be playful, be hard and rowdy, [and] take up space in ways I used to feel too small to do. I think it's exciting that the traditional parameters of masculine are being questioned and pushed everyday by queer and non-queer folk alike.
Devin-Norelle as The Romance Novel Cover Star
On participating in this shoot: I really enjoyed it. After I left the shoot, I pondered over how various forms of "masculine" clothing from earlier time periods are now considered "feminine." Think about it: Judges used to wear white wigs and powdered their faces. Shirts, like the one I wore for the shoot, were often worn by men, but such designs would be considered taboo for men today. Pink was formerly considered a masculine color, but now we associate the color pink with baby girls. It really make you realize how much this shit is all just...made up. Nonetheless, any clothing that reminds me of my idol, Prince, makes me feel right at home, regardless if it's masculine or feminine. It's just clothing!
Sheenie as The K-Pop Idol
On exploring her queerness through gender presentation: Within the past year, I've been trying to be the most open to myself about exploring every facet of my queerness, knowing that it is ever-changing and always in process. Just the act of cutting my hair short, and sporting everything between a stylish bowl cut and a curly mullet let me feel the feel spectrum of anime and kpop boys I thought I only crushed on growing up. But now I realize sometimes I love being them, or at least my own version. In recognizing this, I was interested in being a part of something that celebrated masculinity on a spectrum that was uniquely queer.
KT as The Lifeguard
On what masculinity means to them: My relationship with my masculinity is complicated, and every day, my relationship with my masc identity becomes stronger. Masculinity can look like many different things, and participating in this shoot was incredibly affirming.
Photography and Creative Direction: Landyn Pan (@landynpan)
Styling: Mateo Palacio (@mateoxpalacio)
Makeup: Katie Nishida (@k3ik0)
Assistant Photography: Amanda Picotte (@amandapicotte)
Production: Ameer Cooper (@meerdollasss), Sammy Kim (@sammykims), and Zach O'Connor (@zach.oconnor)