Welcome, dear reader, to our September issue of GCN celebrating the LGBT+ artists and queer creatives who are making vibrant and vital works that add to the culture and tell our diverse queer stories in dynamic and compelling ways.
In this Arts Issue we highlight some of the stunning shows the Dublin Fringe Festival will be bringing our way. As well as a round up of the best of the best, some of the creatives behind those shows speak - in a GCN first, we have a queer love poem to our national sport from Vickey Curtis, one half of the team behind GAA MAAD, we have a telling of a queer son’s emotional reconnection with his mother during her final days - Nine Weeks, and an enlightening conversation between Maia Nunes, creator of the extraordinary Incantation and Beth Hayden from Glitter HOLE (who will be throwing their own Púcaparty).
If you weren’t lucky enough to catch the ultimate queer festival that was the mighty Love Sensation, fear not, the fabulous photograhers, Ruth Medjber and Babs Daly documented the festival in all its glorious technicolour for us.
There’s a feature on the multi-talented artist Dylan Meade, looking at the space for work which overtly discusses and celebrates sexuality, while drag star extraordinaire Avoca Reaction talks making room for queer performers in the world of cabaret.
The gaming community has reason to celebrate as we see how the world of online dating simulations just got a lot gayer, and the next generation of talent find their voice with the diverse cast of the National Youth Theatre’s new show Ask Too Much Of Me preparing for their opening night in The Abbey.
Alongside all that art-filled content, we also focus on the important happenings in the community, such as the recent launch of Outcomers Drogheda and the manifesto for Black Pride, while a Person Living With HIV talks about the continued impact of stigma and the U=U (Undetectable equals Untransmittable) fact.
Finally, as our fabulous cover will attest, yours truly have teamed up with Dublin Fringe Festival to create The North Is Next - a zine launched with a live event, made with love by folk from both sides of the border. It is a care package created to spotlight and support the drive for queer and reproductive rights in Northern Ireland and the people fighting to make change.
Some might think with so much trouble in the world, there is no time for something so frivolous as art, no time when far right groups are on the rise, when hateful rhetoric has begun to spill over from the margins into the mainstream, when leaked letters from the UK Government suggest a hard border between the North and the South in the case of a No-Deal Brexit. But it is at those times when art is most important. Because art is hope, art is the stuff that dreams are made of, it is language without barriers, it is empathy, solidarity, something to pull us up out of the mire and muck, it is even just something to comfort us after a long day of fighting the good fight that is the tough job of living our lives and trying to be good people.
So to all the artists; the creatives, writers, performers, singers, painters, illustrators and dreamers, artists gone before and artists yet to come - this one’s for you.
THE GCN TEAM