The UK version of the fashion magazine Elle has delivered a stunning new cover it hopes will tackle the issue of homophobia and the real damage it can cause.
January’s cover features Sudanese model Aweng Ade-Chuol kissing her wife, Alexus, who she married in New York December last year.
Ade-Chuol, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya after her parents fled the Sudanese civil war, and was discovered by a modelling agent while working in a Sydney McDonald’s.
The 20-year-old London-based model said she decided to do the cover after she was subjected to a torrent of homophobic abuse – primarily from the Sudanese community – following her relationship going public that even led to a failed suicide attempt.
Ade-Chuol telling Elle: “I’m still processing it. We got married and the whole world, literally the whole of my community, were wishing that I passed.
“We got married and the whole world, literally the whole of my community, were wishing that I passed, in a way… A few months later, I attempted [suicide]. It was really absurd, because subconsciously I felt I was maybe drained by the fact we’d got married. It’s still a discussion now, like, ‘How dare she marry a woman?’
“You can’t control what people say, and there were tabloids and newspapers back in Sudan… It was a whole thing. For me, it was like, with the political climate that’s going on, you really think that my marriage is the most significant thing in your life right now? It was saddening, because it was the happiest day of my life, and they couldn’t let me enjoy it.”
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