As The Gay and Lesbian Review crosses another milestone-the publication of its 150th issue — we mark the occasion with a book that features some of the contributing artist Charles Hefling's best illustrations of the past decade.
Casual Outings brings to fruition a collection of illustrations by the brilliant contributing artist, Charles Hefling, who's been dazzling us with his caricatures and portraits for most of our 27+ years.
In that time, Charles has produced over 300 illustrations for the magazine, of which only ten percent or so appear in the book. These were drawn from what Charles calls his “A List,” and they have something else in common: They were all artists and writers who were not entirely forthcoming about their sexuality, usually because their society forced them into the closet. Thus we are “outing” them in a sense, but in a gentle way, since the secret is long out of the bag. Hence the title: Casual Outings.
The 27 illustrations — which range chronologically from Michelangelo to Lorraine Hansberry — have been divided into five groups: novelists, artists, dramatists, composers, and poets. Opposite each Hefling is a short introduction to the person pictured as excerpted from a past issue of The G&LR by writers such as Edmund White, Diana Souhami, Martin Duberman, and Andrew Holleran. The focus is on the LGBT side of their life and work, and how they negotiated their sexuality in a hetero-normative world.