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Welcome to the brand new GCN. We’re delighted to share it with you, along with our brand new website, after a long process of incubation and design, which started way back last summer as we began working the elements of the readership survey that would inform the direction we took.

We were delighted that so many of you filled in the survey (thank you!), and took part in our focus groups, and we took every word of feedback and advice you gave us on board. We were also heartened by the connection all of our participatns felt with GCN, something all of the staffhere feel too. It was reaffirmed to us that GCN is more than just a monthly magazine; it’s a vital and valued part of people’s lives, and central to the sense of Irish LGBT community. We hope you like what we’ve done with it and are as excited as we are about what we’ll be doing over the coming issues.

Of course, it’s a bumper issue too because we’re out just in time for this year’s Dublin Pride Festival, which is gearing up to be a bumper one too. The big news about this year’s Pride is the change of route, beginning with rallying speeches St. Stephen’s Green and ending with a party in Smithfield Square. Unfortunately the Dublin City Council-dictated route between those two great spaces skirts the edge of the city centre, so this year’s Pride Parde will only be seen by people strolling down Kevin Street and the like.

A key element of Pride is not only marching in solidarity, but having that solidarity wholly witnessed, particularly in the centre of our capital city. We have been be rerouted again because of those endless bloody LUAS works, but couldn’t we least have gone down George’s Street and past City Hall?

The fear is Dublin Pride may never go down O’Connell Street again, because of traffic restrictions that will be caused by the LUAS once it eventually gets going. If that’s the case, I wonder what will happen to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade? Will all the American majorettes who travel to twirl their battons be rerouted up Kevin Street? Will the marching bands trumpet past the Londis on Patrick Street rather than the GPO?

Last month we applauded Dublin City Councils’ new LGBT Inclusion Strategy (2017-2020). Let’s hope they remember that inclusion is about allowing the LGBT community to express their Pride on the central streets of the city we bring so much diversity to, and treating our historic parade, which is the second biggest in the country, with full equality.

One way or another, we’ll be celebrating Pride with you all this year, and reporting on Prides across the country once they’ve scheduled their listings. In the meantime I’d like to thank the wonderful staffteam at GCN, and in particular our fabulous designer, Handsome Dave Darcy and our Web designers, Dillon, Troy and the gang at Viral Bamboo. But most of all I’d like to thank you, GCN’s readers, for your input in creating this fabulous new beast. Without you, we’re nothing.

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