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Reeling in the Years: 2019

01 January

NXF TURNS 40

The National LGBT Federation, publishers of GCN and campaigners for the equal rights of queer people in Ireland, turns 40. Happy birthday!

02 April

AILBHE SMYTH HONOURED IN TIME MAGAZINE

Ailbhe, along with fellow former Co-Directors of Together for Yes, Grainne Griffin and Orla O’Connor, are listed in Time’s 100 Most Influential People List.

03 April

THIS IS ME SIT-IN

Following a sit-in at the Department of Health, activists from This Is Me, the campaign for trans healthcare, secure a meeting with Minister for Health, Simon Harris to demand promises be fulfilled.

04 June

DUBLIN HOSTS THE UNION CUP

Irish host team, the Emerald Warriors, win the bid to host Europe’s biggest LGBT+ inclusive rugby tournament featuring 45 teams from 15 countries.

05 June

HIRSCHFELD CENTRE REMEMBERED

Senator David Norris and Dublin Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe unveil a plaque commemorating the historic LGBT+ Hirschfeld Centre at a ceremony in Temple Bar.

06 June

STONEWALL ANNIVERSARY

Across the country, the LGBT+ community take time to remember and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, with many Pride events using it as their theme.

07 June

DUBLIN PRIDE

After many years and many protests, including a petition launched by GCN, Dublin Pride finally travels down O’Connell St again. The Parade is led by ACT UP member and Grand Marshall, Will St Leger

08 June

ALTERNATIVE PRIDE

Queer Action Ireland invite the LGBT+ community to an Alternative Pride as they believe Dublin Pride has become sanitised and contradicts the spirit of Stonewall.

09 June/July

NEW PRIDE CELEBRATIONS LAUNCHED

June sees Wexford holds its inaugural Pride event, as people assemble in Redmond Park, while in July, Tipperary Pride sees Thurles host the county’s first ever Pride celebrations.

10 August

LOVE SENSATION MAKES A SPLASH

The new two-day music festival for Ireland’s LGBT+ community and their pals makes a stunning debut in the grounds of Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Here's to next year's party!

11 August

BLACK PRIDE IRELAND LAUNCHES

Black Pride Ireland is set up by queer Black people aiming to create safe spaces accessible to Black LGBT+ people living in Ireland.

12 September

DISCO AT THE DÁIL

Hundreds gather outside the Dáil to dance in protest at Vice President Mike Pence's visit. They share the message: "Mike Pence's values are rooted in an Ireland that doesn't exist.” 13 October EQUALITY FOR CHILDREN Due to the unacceptable lack of support for LGBT+ parents by the Government, Equality For Children forms to raise awareness of the inequalities faced by families.

14 October

CORK LGBT+ ARCHIVE

The Cork LGBT+ archive - a collection relating to the history of the county’s queer activism- is preserved in the Digital Repository of Ireland.

15 October

NORTHERN IRISH EQUALITY

As the Stormont deadline passes, Northern Ireland sees their 158-yearlong abortion ban lifted and equal marriage made law in a historic moment for the community.

16 November

PREP ON THE HSE

The Department of Health launches a national public access PrEP programme - a significant moment for Irish healthcare. The Government announce there will be widespread development to improve HIV prevention.

17 November

INTERSEX DAY OF SOLIDARITY

To commemorate Intersex Day of Solidarity and raise awareness, Dublin's Mansion House lights up in purple. Members of Intersex Ireland are there for the event.

18 November

WINTER PRIDE

Dublin Pride holds its first ever Winter Pride Festival including the event -50 Years of Pride: Songs and Stories in the National Concert Hall.

19 November

KISSING PROTEST ORGANISED

After a violent homophobic attack, the LGBT+ community organise Shift the Hate Away - a protest outside the Dáil calling on the Government to address the need for hate crime legislation.

20 December

FIRST LGBT+ HISTORY COURSE

University College Cork launch first course on LGBT+ history: ‘From Shame to Pride? A Short Introduction to LGBT+ Irish History (1970s2020)’.

9 for '19

It’s been quite the year for GCN, Ireland's National LGBT+ Press. From appointing a new managing editor in Lisa Connell at the beginning of 2019 to rounding out the year with a vital World AIDS Day event, GCN celebrated its 31st year of being a vital community resource. Thanks, as always, to you, dear readers, for all your continued support. So with all of that in mind - here are some of our GCN highlights!

1. Our Favourites

The Pillow Queens took the internet by storm when they graced the cover of our March issue in a homage to the iconic Oscar-darling, The Favourite. The issue focused on the female-identifying members of our queer family and we could think of no better crew to lead the charge.

2. Going Global

With a stunning cover image created by Neav Alouf, GCN published its first ever ‘Global’ issue focusing on this wonderful world and the people doing their best to keep it turning. The issue spoke about sustainability, activism and thinking beyond ourselves to save the planet.

3. Mayday

Tying in with our Global issue, GCN collaborated with the mighty Extinction Rebellion for the vital event The Fight To Save Our World which took place in the Project Arts Centre. Those gathered urged and influenced attendees to make some noise and make some change.

4. Let’s Get Quizzical

The cleverest clogs this side of the rainbow battled it out not once, but twice, to see who were the brainiest bunch of LGBT+s at our ever-popular My Big Fat Gay Pub Quiz(zes). With the April happening hosted by Ms Bunny O’Hare and the September shindig hosted by Victoria Secret, these events raised much needed and appreciated funds for GCN.

5. End The Prejudice

In tandem with the nationwide Call It Out campaign, GCN hosted a necessary panel discussion in the Project Arts Centre about the homophobia, biphobia and transphobia experienced by the queer community.

6. The Pride Issue.

For the first time GCN had not one, but two, front covers. We put a call out to the community, offering them the front cover of their community magazine to highlight their creations. The quality of the responses were so overwhelming, we knew it was only right to give up advertising space and have the art of the community take the lead in a double-cover spread.

7. Mother On The Move

During Dublin Pride, the mighty Mother club said goodbye to their old location and moved to the marvellous Collins Barracks for a humongous celebration -their Pride Block Party. LGBT+ folk filled the venue in a riotous shindig led by the wonderful Mö.

8. The North Is Next

In solidarity with Northern Ireland, GCN teamed with Dublin Fringe Festival and Belfast’s Outburst Queer Arts Festival for The North Is Next - a specially created zine as well as live events at both festivals, all to highlight the fight for equal marriage and reproductive rights.

9. Gareth and Panti

To commemorate World AIDS Day, GCN and HIV Ireland organised an unmissable conversation between the Queen of Ireland herself, Panti Bliss, and the legendary Gareth Thomas to discuss the ongoing battle against ignorance and stigma and to raise funds to support those living with HIV.

As one year ends, we know there’s many more battles ahead for full LGBT+ equality and GCN, as always, will be there to help.

HAPPY 2020, DEAR READERS, LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER!

This article appears in the 361 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 361 Issue of GCN