Postcards From Home | Pocketmags.com
GCN
GCN


83 MIN READ TIME

Postcards From Home

TREVOR CARROLL

Originally from Ireland, Trevor now lives in Vancouver.

We were in the depths of a recession and the constant negativity was hard to bear. was also in a long-distance relationship with a guy who lived in london, so moving was an obvious step to take.

What miss most from home - everything sounds funnier in a Dublin accent. was in Mexico recently with a friend and all we did was watch Tallafornia and Sheila Sheik videos.

Now live in vancouver, Canada and love the outdoors lifestyle. We have the ocean and mountains on our doorstep, so during winter we go skiing and in the summer we hit the beach and go hiking. realised when moved here that drank way too much, but now I’m more healthy and active. There’s still a drinking culture – we have some of the best craft beer breweries on the west coast – but like that it’s not the focus.

Vancouver’s gay scene is small – on a par with Dublin’s – so there’s a nice community feel to it. Pride here is amazing. The whole city comes alive with beach parties and boat cruises – even straight soccer teams celebrate it. The bars/club nights are fun but they could do with better music – miss the good ol’ days of Mother. just had a lashback to the entire dance loor recreating Kylie’s ‘Slow’ video while Wolfgang Tillmans himself took photographs. legendary.

DAVID O’BRIEN

David has been in London for over four years.

I moved to London in 2014 to work on a Tv series telling Cilla Black’s life story and never came back! had just come out of a relationship and it seemed like the perfect time to experience life somewhere else.

I miss how easy in Dublin it is to get a gang together for a night out. I With London being so sprawling it is a lot harder to organise on the spur of the moment. it goes without saying that miss my friends, family and a decent pint of Guinness, the craic just isn’t the same as at home.

I don’t miss the fact that everyone knows everyone back in Dublin, especially on the gay scene. in London you can meet people, have a laugh and never bump into them again, in Dublin there is no such thing as a one night stand as you will continually bump into that person over and over again. Best to be kind to everyone as they will be back to haunt you, guaranteed.

I love how culturally diverse London is and how you can meet people from so many diferent walks of life on a daily basis. With my job based mainly in soho have easy access to all the LGBT+ venues around Compton street. This certainly doesn’t help with my weekly hangover tally however.

Sadly, it seems that every time come home the gay scene has diminished further. Thankfully, The George is still going strong and no matter how old get still end up there for Bingo when am home.

FICONNORS

Fi (right) lives between Kentucky and Texas with her partner Tina (left).

Everyone who voluntarily moves country, it’s always for work or love. For me, my partner and had been together long distance for a million years, and it was time for one of us to inally move. am living in the southern states of the Us for the last four years. Think -Tennessee Williams humid, Mint Juleps (virgin) on the lawn and the like, so what miss most about ireland is a good stif cold breeze, like the one you get walking over the two lakes hike in Glendalough, or getting out of the 40 foot, salty and shivering.

I don’t miss pining for my partner. Missing key events without her. Christmases, christenings. The daily banal and magniicent connection of being in the same place at the same time. fall out of bed, and read the irish Times online to see what’s going on... and then see what’s happening in the new York Times. ireland feels very close and at the exact same time a million miles away.

Truthfully, it’s taken me a while to ind my feet here. was so used to the cozy life had created for myself in Dublin that it was jarring for a while to integrate the huge geographical move. And at the same time, it was the very best thing could have ever done for myself. in hindsight, realise had become complacent about the fabulousness of my simple life in Dublin, taken so much connection for granted. nothing like an identity shake up to get you on your toes!

The Us is a completely diferent world. The diference in the energy here, on a daily basis, is intensely palpable. What love here now, is that am getting to ind my new identity without all the supports that constantly shape us- family, long term friends, familiarity. i’m getting to experience a whole new version of the exact same Fi. it’s kind of mental if the truth be known!

Love to everyone in ireland.

JULIE CHANCE

Julie travelled a lot before settling in Berlin.

I moved from Ireland in 2003 originally to go travelling and irst ended up in new York. From there never really looked back. inished my degree in the uK and eventually ended up in Berlin. That was over ten years ago now.

I don’t miss Ireland that much to be honest, its been so long now and Berlin is very close. miss my family mostly, and second to that the warmth and friendliness of the people, Germans can be very cold and no craic. and of course nothing compares to the wild landscape of the west of Ireland. But as a sober person don’t miss the drinking culture.

In Berlin you feel more free. There’s not the social pressure to get a job and buy a house and it in. everyone rents and its cheaper than Ireland. You have more time which allows me to make music.

The queer scene is great, diverse, there is always something going on. think it difers from Ireland in the fact that it is just so big and faceted.

SHAUN CONLON

Shaun has lived in Sydney for the last decade.

I didn’t come to australia with the intention of moving here. came just after college, the economy at home was tanking, prospects in Ireland really weren’t great. quickly got a good job and made a good life for myself. Meeting the love of my life, hamish, sealed my expat fate!

I miss my family and friends. Missing out on birthdays, weddings, births and other milestone occasions is really hard. also, the craic really isn’t the same here. Don’t get me wrong the craic is here if you want it, it just doesn’t measure up to home. really miss ending up at some random house party at the end of a night out, carrying on like a fecking eejit and talking shite ’til all hours. met some of my best friends that way!

What do not miss? The weather. Drunken sing songs. The lack of anonymity - you can’t walk down the street in Ireland without bloody bumping into someone you know.

I like pretty things, and Sydney is god-awfully pretty. after more than ten years living here still get goosebumps when see the harbour Bridge and opera house.

Sydney is a lot bigger than Dublin, so it follows that the queer scene here is a lot bigger too. It’s got something for almost everyone, but at the same time can be quite exclusive and aesthetics driven. This was a bit confronting coming from Ireland where found the scene to be very inclusive and mixed. dip in and out of the scene over here myself, but always have a lot of fun when dip in!

PAUL ROWLEY

Paul has been in New York for 25 years.

I’m an accidental american. My Mam applied for the visa lottery for me back in 1992 and got one. So before knew it, was sleeping on a friend of a friend’s couch in the Bronx. It was the sweaty hot summer of 1993, and he was terriied that he was going to get evicted for letting me stay there, so we had to pretend to the roommates we were brothers. Which became hilariously complicated when we started hooking up!

I got a $4 an hour job working in Tower Records. met my friend Terrence there and he immediately took me under his wing. he was roommates with a gaggle of nYC club kids and DJs, and he made it his business to show me the town- limelight, Save The Robots, Sound Factory, Club uSa, The Roxy. It’s where irst got to hang out with drag queens and got my eyes opened to the wonder of nYC.

I miss my friends and family of course. used to not miss the conservative climate, the patronising lecturing of the church, but of course things have changed a lot since left.

Nearly 25 years later I’m still not bored with new York. love that hear ive or ten languages at the same time in a subway car. and love its queerness. She’s a sassy take-no-shit Momma to us all, and even though she might work your nerves sometimes, she’s always gonna be there, pushing you to be the best and gayest version of yourself that you can be.

MIKE MARKOGLOU

Mike moved to Ireland from Greece.

The economic crisis had just crashed Greece. was a recent graduate who couldn’t aford new clothes or a holiday while working three jobs. was depressed and tired. one day, on the way to the design agency was working for, a car hit me. My head was so cloudy, i’d walked into the street without checking. quit my job the same day. Back then thought was moving for a better job. Now know moved for a better life.

I miss my family, Greek fast food, the beach, cheap rent and, no matter how crazy it will sound, the healthcare system!

I don’t miss the sun, have no problem with the weather here. don’t miss Greek public services. at all. it will sound crazy to an irish person, but i’ve experienced tears of happiness after meeting with the revenue here. Public services back in Greece are despicable.

Irish people are the number one reason love Dublin. they are very humble, positive, welcoming. they greet the bus drivers, say hello to strangers, apologise when they shouldn’t and are always up for a bit of craic.

Queers here are way more vocal than in Greece, where gay rights have still a long way to go. Queer people in ireland have been my family since day one and am nothing but grateful.

KATEFERRIS

Kate is originally from Australia and is now happily married to her Irish wife.

It was 2007 and along with my then girlfriend, was backpacking around south east asia. We decided to try living in ireland for a while as europe had always been calling. ireland made sense as we knew people here already.

Having just spent two weeks in my hometown in australia over Christmas can easily say miss the giant Lamingtons most of all! Lamingtons are australian cakes which were actually invented in my hometown of toowoomba, by far our biggest claim to fame. also really miss the outdoor 50 metre swimming pools, my dad’s front porch and my family of course. don’t miss mosquitos and they probably feel the same way about me. Growing up in toowoomba as a queer kid didn’t experience any kind of scene there. if you have watched Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette (which i’m going to presume all GCN readers have!) my experience of living in toowoomba was quite similar to what she described about growing up in tasmania throughout the ‘80s.

I also don’t miss spending hours of the day in a car to get anywhere. Being such a big country with harsh weather everyone lives in their car and you can be very stranded if you don’t have one. seriously there’s no other city in the world i’d rather live than Dublin. Working and living within the irish theatre community, feel extremely wealthy not because of my bank balance but because of the people share my life with. know it sounds cliché but it really is the people that make this country so special.

GABRIEL MARQUEZ

Gabriel is originally from Brazil.

I moved to Dublin because of my Irish boyfriend. met him when we were living in Bristol. In October 2018, he got off ered a job opportunity here which thought was a good thing since he could be close to his family and friends.

I miss many things about Sao Paulo, my family and friends, I’m very close to my Mum and Dad and being away from them can be very sad for me. also miss the routine used to have with my daily life and my freelance work. I’m still having to adapt to a whole new way of living

Being gay can be very difficult in Brazil, especially now with the new President. One of the things definitely don’t miss in any way is the politics. When left in 2017, the mayor Joao Doria came up with a campaign where he was ‘cleaning’ the city of artistic colourful murals and re painting them with grey murals.

Dublin is cultural and artistic, there’s always something going on. enjoy walking around the city centre where it’s busy and there’s people everywhere. It’s close to the coast and there’s beautiful places to visit during weekends and holidays. The music scene here is also great and the Celtic culture is definitely one of my personal favourites.

Nightlife in Sao Paulo had more options than what you have here, with more diverse types of people too. But don’t like to compare too much, think everywhere can be diff erent, it’s important to appreciate the moment.

MARK HAUGE

Mark moved here from Denmark.

I was stuck at work and needed a challenge, so decided to apply for a transfer when a position opened up in Ireland. was also stuck from a personal perspective and felt like needed a change in scenery.

What miss about home is biking around town without fear for my life! In Copenhagen, everyone bikes, and in Dublin not so much as home. also miss proper Danish pastry and local food.

But besides that miss mainly the friends have there.

I also miss having the access to our free healthcare system (in case you need it, it’s nice and it’s free). don’t miss the politics -too much talk, not enough action.

What love about my new city is the sense of kindness people display. also love the varied food scene, nothing beats having too many choices for dinner!

If was to compare the queer nightlife scene here to what it’s like at home, would have to say Dublin is pretty dead. With only two to three bars, and the clubs, it doesn’t give many choices for going out. Compared to back home where we had maybe 10-12 bars/clubs for a city with around 800 thousand people.

Besides that the gay scene in Dublin, in terms of types of gays, is pretty similar to other towns, though the selection is much smaller! So dating one guy seems like you have then dated five guys just by connection to the first guy!

JULIEN FINLAY

Julien’s family is Irish but he grew up in France.

I’m Franco-Irish. My family is in Belfast but grew up in the South of France. moved to Dublin to be closer to my family after studying abroad and missing my Celtic roots.

I sometimes miss the French attitude and the political incorrectness. Irish people tend to keep up appearances and avoid in-depth conversations about their feelings while prefer people au-naturel. don’t miss Parisian waiters. They have brought being assholes to an Olympic level.

Dublin is such a vibrant capital. You can feel the energy while walking or cycling around. Paris can be snobby and exclusive while in Dublin, being so little and accessible, there is no place for clans or arrogance. Dublin queers are both badass and inspirational.

Something worry about is Brexit. am worried for our queer brothers and sisters in Northern Ireland. They are completely forgotten by the Dublin scene and ignored by the British Government. How come in 2019 we do not have stronger support from Southern queers actively helping out? am scared we sleep on our hard fought rights and don’t keep up the ght for those who weren’t so lucky.

MILESHARRIGAN

Miles came to Ireland from the United States.

I’m originally from Garden Grove, California. had the opportunity to move with work, which jumped at. It’s not very common for someone from where grew up to be able to move abroad. The fact that didn’t know a whole lot about Ireland added more adventure to the mix.

What miss about home is proximity to my family, especially to my brother. My friends. The United States’, and particularly California’s, nature, and its possibility for exploration. Deserts. Really, really good Mexican food. don’t miss the extraordinarily divisive and strident politics. Gun violence. In San Francisco as housing prices rise, it’s dimming the vibrance that was the diversity of the city. (I worry about the same path for Dublin and hope that policymakers and planners will confront the housing crisis and its dwindling supply of aff ordable housing.)

My favourite thing about Ireland, hands down- the people. Having a cosy pint and the chats with a friend on a winter night. Long summer days. West Cork. The strength and accessibility of the theater scene. Festivals, and particularly arts festivals! The political and cultural moment in which I’ve come to Ireland: post-marriage equality and repeal of the Eighth, with the feeling of creativity and excitement about how to continue political and cultural progress. The Dublin Devils, the gay soccer team, have been an integral part of my queer experience here, giving me a diverse community of friends. Outside of soccer, I’ve been lucky to have met and become friends with an extended group of friendly, fun and creative queers.

This article appears in the 350 Issue of GCN

Click here to view the article in the magazine.
To view other articles in this issue Click here.
If you would like to view other issues of GCN, you can see the full archive here.

COPIED
This article appears in the 350 Issue of GCN