Sex Education's Sami Outalbali and singer Ryan Beatty lead the Attitude Body Issue

The rising stars join us for a special issue celebrating the male form through a queer gaze.


Words: Will Stroude

The Attitude Body Issue 2020 has landed, and two of the hottest rising stars in the world right now are joining us for a special issue which celebrates the male form through a queer gaze.

Sex Education star Sami Outalbali has quickly won over viewers since arriving on screen in season two of Netflix's smash hit high school drama as the enigmatic, coolly confident Rahim - a new love interest for fan favourite Eric (Ncuti Gatwa).

In his first cover shoot with a UK publication, the 20-year-old French actor speaks of his pride at representing same-sex interracial teen relationships on screen - and says his character represents a kind of "of a revenge on school", where he was renowned for his shyness.

Sami Outalbali, shot by Jenny Brough exclusively for the Attitude Body Issue, out now

"I’m proud to help normalise [gay teenage relationships]", Sami reveals in the Attitude Body Issue, out now to download and to order globally.

"I hope that — let’s be optimistic — two years from now, we don’t even need to have that discussion about, ‘Am I or am I not?’ It’s just love, it’s normal. For me, we don’t even need to talk about it. Unfortunately, our society is not ready for that yet.

(Photography: Jenny Brough)

"But by playing a character like Rahim, and Ncuti [Gatwa] playing Eric, we are building a society which I’ve dreamed of, where being LGBTQ will be normal.

"I’m really proud to have a story to defend and a way of thinking — a way of life — to defend."

Another young talent laid bare in the Attitude Body Issue is US singer Ryan Beatty, who, after finding early fame in his teens after being moulded in the vein of a Justin Bieber-esque teeny-bopper, has quickly emerged as one of America's most exciting queer musical talents.

He talks to Attitude about coming out in a masculine industry and finding the confidence to be his authentic true self.

Ryan Beatty, shot by Noah Dillon exclusively for the Attitude Body Issue, out now

"I was not only insecure about the music I was making, but I was like: ‘I don’t really know who I am, and I feel a lack of control’," Ryan, 24, recalls.

"Sometimes I look [back] at it and feel a bit uncomfortable because I see a person who is very scared… I’m grateful for that time of my life because if I really broke it all down and mapped it out, I’d be able to show people how I got from point A to where I’m at now.

(Photography: Noah Dillon)

 "It taught me many valuable things. If I hadn’t been through all of that, I probably wouldn’t be as good a songwriter. It’s experience that I gained.”

As the Attitude Body Issue explores the queer body beautiful, we meet LGBTQ people - from profressional dancers to those living with disabilites - as they strip off and shed light on how their relationship with the body has shaped their world.

Dancers Busola Peters (front) and Francisco Migliaccio, shot by Francisco Gomez de Villaboa exclusively for the Attitude Body Issue, out now

Two dancers, Busola Peters and Francisco Migliaccio, featurs on a special digital-only third cover, while one of the modelling industry's hottest new queer faces, Aitor Segurola, appears on a fourth. 

Aitor Segurola, shot by Leo Adef exclusively for the Attitude Body Issue, out now

Meanwhile, as Sami Outalbali takes to the cover of Attitude for the first time, his Sex Education co-stars and series creator Laurie Nunn discuss the impact the show is having on a new generation of queer youth, as well as on their own lives.

Plus, in a special feature exploring sex, disability and the gay community, we meet recent winner of Channel 5 social media reality series The Circle, Paddy Smyth, who reveals the common issues he faces while dating as a man living with cerebral palsy.

Paddy Smyth, shot by Babs Daly and Francisco Gomez de Villaboa exclusively for the Attitude Body Issue, out now

Professional strongman Chris McNaghten bares more than just his body as he recalls how his struggles to come to terms with his sexuality took greater strength than just the physical, while Maximuscle's new LGBT Ambassador, Owen Lee, reveals the results of his recent fitness transformation.

Chris McNaghten, shot by Francisco Gomez de Villaboa exclusively for the Attitude Body Issue, out now

And, in an issue centred around queer bodies, it seems only right that we get to know cutting edge choreographer Marikiscrycrycrywhile Sink the Pink's bearded beauty Grace Shush is this month's Big In a Wig.

Photography: Elise Rose

Plus, ever-forthright writer, activist and presenter Paris Lees is on hand to share a few of her favourite things...

 That's alongside all your usual news, reviews, travel and fashion, of course.

The Attitude Body Issue is out now in print and to download instantly.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: save 45% on the cover price in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.