photo below by George Copanas at the annual Taurus Birthday gathering in Elysian Park, L.A., April 1982 (estimate).
Jim Yousling, left, with Kyle Brackett, right, Jim's mate until about 1993.
Jim Van Tyne is in the middle with his back to us.

text reprinted from the LA Weekly
Friday, January 13, 1995

Los Angeles lost an irreplaceable friend when Jim Yousling passed away on New Year's Day. For more than two decades this impossibly handsome and effortlessly creative jester had entertained countless friends and strangers as an artist,writer and host extrodinaire. (His legendary Cinco de Mayo parties alone regularly made the gossip columns, mixing an unlikely but magic assortment of L.A.'s undergroundlings.) A refugee of DeKalb, Illinois, Jim graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Michigan State with a degree in film; his passion for surrealist celluloid soon brought him to USC's film school and to Hollywood.

Yousling's most lasting contribution may well have been his work with In Touch For Men, a gay skin mag prone to poolside blonds sporting posed boners. Under Jim's editorship in the 1980's, I.T. broke through its shallow sleaze and generously fostered and promoted new talent in many fields and covered queer rifts of rock and performance art. In so doing, Jim strengthened the libido, humor and culture of a pre-queer generation of gay men still shackled to guilt and butch ideals.

But Jim's master stroke was Hell Kitty, a demonic, disobedient spoof of the irrationally saccharine and overmarketed cartoon character ("Hello Kitty Loves You"), complete with pitchfork, piercings and cute, winking asshole. Hell Kitty committed acts of arson, diddling and sacrilege a full 10 years before MTV's boorish toons, and with a lot more style. Naturally, it met with foul play at the hands of Sanrio, Hello Kitty's humorless corporate owner.

Yousling was working at Seiniger Advertising Group and living with his devoted partner, Bryan Inouye, when his health began to fail. Literally a die-hard partier, Jim recently wheelchaired himself to a Theoretical party reunion between rounds of radiation treatment for the AIDS-related cancer that claimed his life. He wouldn't have it any other way.

-Stuart Timmons


Visit theoretical's special celebration: The Festive World of Jim Yousling in The Archives

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