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From The Team

Welcome, dear reader, to our continued celebration of Pride across this beautiful country. Along with the stalwarts, there have been (or will be) an amazing number of first-time celebrations this year. Wexford enjoyed its first Pride already this year and we throw our support behind those still to come in Fermanagh, Larne and Tipperary.

Katie, Michael, Emmet, John, Peter,

In an extra-special Pride round-up section of this issue, the tireless organisers of festivals still to happen across our island explain what their communities can expect and just why Pride continues to be a necessary celebration. We have a report and interviews with attendees at the triumphant Black Pride in London and there is an electric photo essay vividly capturing events at Dublin Pride, Trans Pride and Alternative Pride.

In other festival themed content, we get the lowdown on what to expect at Love Sensation – the unmissable new queer music and arts festival with a jaw-dropping lineup taking place mid August, while we have a gander at the smorgasbord of cinematic delights that is the GAZE Film Festival and take a closer look at its opening night film -Deep In Vogue.

The incredible LINC in Cork celebrates 20 years as an absolute gem for lesbian and bisexual women and some of those women involved describe just why it’s so beloved, and we journey with the vital Gay Men’s Health Service from its inception 26 years ago right up to now, as it makes a move to a new location.

On the arts side, there’s an interview with the delightfully original Delmas Howe, painter of the sexiest cowboys ever, and the eternally impactful The Diceman gets a touching feature looking at his life and enduring legacy.

Alongside all that terrific wide-ranging content, we also give voice to the personal as members of the community speak about issues important to them. Our LGBT+ family share their stories on the truth behind transitioning in Ireland, finding the courage to openly embrace their sexuality after leaving home and a HIV Positive activist speaks of the battle to achieve greater access to sexual health services for people across the country.

With all these celebrations taking place, it is worth remembering that Pride is also a protest. For our family in the North especially, there are celebrations taking place in the shadow of what could potentially be a seismic change – the passing of equal marriage laws.

As is no surprise, the situation is not straightforward – the House of Commons has voted that if the devolved government remains stalled after three months, equal marriage and abortion access will be legalised – but, as campaigners say, this is the closest they’ve gotten yet.

If there’s one thing you can say about our community, because we’ve had to fight for every one of the rights we currently enjoy, we are tenacious. And we don’t take no (human rights for you) as an answer. So here’s to all those Prides across the island fighting the good fight. And having a damn good time while they do it.

For the second issue in a row, we happily and wholeheartedly say – Happy Pride everyone.

THE GCN TEAM

This article appears in the 356 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 356 Issue of GCN