Welcome, dear reader, to our most special and beloved issue of the magazine - our annual Pride Edition. It’s our biggest and brightest of the year and we’ve been beavering away on the finished product you have in your hands, or on your screen, for months. It is chock-full of fantastic queer content from fantastic queer creators and allies for you to enjoy during this landmark time in our collective calendars.
So, let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? You may have noticed by now that this month we decided one cover simply wouldn’t do! So we have a bumper double cover in celebration of the amazing artistic creativity of our LGBT+ community.
We ran a campaign, an artistic call-out, for submissions from creators of all kinds responding to the theme of this year’s Pride celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots: Rainbow Revolution.
The standard of submissions was so high across the board that we wanted to celebrate the broad spectrum of expression, and so every artist who sent in a creation is featured in the issue. We thank each of them for their time, effort and creativity. A very special thanks goes to our two cover creators, Gabriel Marques and Day Magee, for each capturing something so vital and vibrant about our community - Where we are and where we’re headed.
To share with you all - GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model. We rely heavily on advertising revenue to sustain us, and thankfully there are lots of awesome businesses featured inside these pages who we’re so happy to work with and we appreciate their support. However, in a climate where modern Pride Festivals and celebrations juggle the need for brand sponsorship with the desire for continued authenticity, we felt strongly that for this issue it was important to put our (literal) money where our mouth is by forgoing a premium rate for advertising on our Outside Back Cover to instead give that space to one of the artists who sent on their work in order to amplify the ideas of our community and assert the values of unabashed queer expression.
Joining our fine artists inside these stunning covers, there is a veritable smorgasbord of quality content for your delectation. We have a round-up of all the Prides taking place across our fine nation alongside interviews with some truly inspiring young people from rural areas who explain the importance of that special celebration. In keeping with the revolutionary spirit of Stonewall, we feature a conversation between Will St Leger, the Dublin Pride Grand Marshall, and Bruce Coleman, an ACT UP activist who was in New York after the monumental event. We have beautiful illustrations of LGBT+ activists who have helped shape our community, while a young writer talks about the beginnings of her own activism during the Repeal movement. There’s a feature about the prejudice faced by lesbian women and trans folk in barbershops, and GCN reaches out to the community; chatting to the myriad places where our magazine is delivered. And that’s only the tip of the Pride float.
As you may suspect, when you work in LGBT+ media, Pride season can be a punishing and relentless time of the year, but here at GCN HQ, the team are united in our commitment and passion to serve our community, energised by the challenge of representing as much of the incredible diversity of opinion, perspectives and diverging thoughts that make up our rainbow family as well as the necessary activism and advocacy that’s still so vitally needed.
We hope this issues gives you a small flavour of that.
From all at GCN, we wish our LGBT+ family a happy, safe and fabulous Pride season.
THE GCN TEAM