Vada Magazine celebrates one year of digital covers

We look back at a year of digital covers and the inspirational LGBTQ+ people who feature on them.

This time last year, we published our first-ever digital cover across our website and social media channels. Since then, Vada has published six digital covers featuring prominent and emerging voices from the LGBTQ+ community, grown to an audience of 100,000 average monthly readers, and has also been nominated for the Community Organisation Award at this year’s National Diversity Awards.

Author Laura Kay was our first cover star. She sat down with us to discuss her book Tell Me Everything, which was published soon after our cover came out in May 2022. A journalist by background, Kay was chosen as one of ten mentees on the Penguin Random House WriteNow programme in 2018, before publishing her first novel The Split in 2021. Speaking to Vada, Kay talked about the importance of queer representation in fiction, why she decided it was time for her to write about shame, and why she feels it is vital for her and other authors to help LGBTQ+ writers break into the publishing world.

 

Our second digital cover featured clothing label, DEN Loungewear, founded by Glen Scott. Having been made redundant from his job as a buyer at Primark during the pandemic, Scott found himself unexpectedly out of work. Rising from the ashes by creating an authentic and environmentally-conscious brand, Scott launched his own clothing label, DEN Loungewear, which soon grew in popularity amongst queer men. Photographed by Light by Dan, Scott (front right) is featured alongside models Saif Ahmed, Liam James and Damien, wearing DEN Loungewear.

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The former Lord Mayor of Greater Manchester, Carl Austin-Behan, showed us how to be a proud Mancunian on our third digital cover. Photographed by Jake Edwards and Katie O’Neill in front of the iconic Manchester bee, Austin-Behan is passionate about serving the local community of Greater Manchester, and making the region more inclusive for LGBTQ+ people. Starting on the local council, he rose to be the first openly-gay Lord Mayor of Greater Manchester, before becoming an advisor to Andy Burnham MP on LGBTQ+ equality. Speaking with Vada, he shared his own struggles as a gay man, as well as the lessons he learnt during his public service career.

It was the turn of green-fingered geek, Michael Perry, to pose for Vada‘s next digital cover. Photographed by Leo Holden, Perry sat down with us to share his passion for horticulture, career as Mr Plant Geek, and latest book Hortus Curious. He also talked about his own experiences of coming out as gay, and how his love for plants helped him through that time in his life.

Not only is our next cover star a talented and passionate doctor, she is also a gifted photographer. Dr Kate Nambiar shot herself for our fifth Vada digital cover. Now working for the Welsh Gender Service in Cardiff, Nambiar previously lived in Brighton, where she was instrumental in the development of Clinic T, an inclusive sexual health service for trans and non-binary people. Having recently been appointed as the new Medical Director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, it felt like the ideal time to discuss with Nambiar about her sense of vocation when it came to perusing a career in medicine, and what she’s looking forward to in her new role at the HIV and sexual health charity.

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A Trans Man Walks Into a Gay Bar is Harry Nicholas’s debut novel, and that’s exactly what we asked him to do for our sixth digital cover. Photographed by Priyan Odedra in front of the Admiral Duncan, the pub’s history is just as rich as the stories shared by Nicholas in the pages of his book.

Read all the interviews with our digital cover stars from the past year here.

About Hadley Stewart

Hadley Stewart is Features Editor at Vada Magazine.