Here at meat we've been pondering the allure of the cowboy. From Vivienne Westwood’s iconic naked cowboy t-shirt to Brokeback Mountain, it seems we gays can’t get enough of the men of the Wild West.
LGBTQ Historians believe that same-sex relationships were not uncommon and were indeed accepted in the land-working communities of the Mid West and beyond. Whilst they may not have necessarily been sexual, it is believed that cowboys slept together and bathed together forming close bonds.
Tom of Finland’s art famously fetishises the hyper-masculine cowboy look whilst bear and gay hipster culture has naturally embraced the outdoorsy style of the lumberjack .
Cowboys are often depicted as loners and heroes living on the margins of society, think James Dean in Giant. In western movies their closest relationships are often with their sidekicks and these bonds and swaggering friendships are championed and celebrated.
Of course the West was (and often continues to be) deeply rooted in conservative history and ideals and perhaps unlike in the more progressive cities of America, any gay behaviour amongst cowboys would only be explored in seclusion or quite rightly under the stars by a campfire.
We photographed our very own urban cowboy Hugo at home on the range in South London for meat twenty-six.
You can see more of Hugo in the new issue of meat. Available now from our store www.meatzine.com
All images are © meat products / Adrian Lourie