Welcome, dear reader, to our January issue of GCN, the very first of a new decade. Taking as our theme the idea of ‘Travel’, we look at all that word encompasses - from holiday destinations, to how international travel has had a knock on effect on those making a life on this island of ours.
Inside our pages, we give some tips on great places to visit, as well as holiday destinations for LGBT+ families, but within that we look at the fact that for same-sex parents, such as Equality For Children founder Ranae von Meding, a simple trip abroad is ultimately anything but simple when the lack of full parental rights for rainbow families is still a huge issue when it comes to passports.
Activist Will St Leger visited Poland and spoke to LGBT+ people fighting for equality against a climate of state-led homophobia in a country where the Church still holds sway.
We are proud to have collaborated with Black Pride to bring you a photo series of some of their members accompanied by their stirring words on the experience of being queer people of colour in Ireland. Activist Shubhangi Karmakar highlights some of the incredible female and non-binary activists leading the charge to make intersectional spaces for women and non-binary people of all backgrounds.
The fine folk at the Gay Project fill us in on their amazing year of successes, proving that a love for the community coupled with a drive for equality can lead to great things. Elsewhere in the issue, Tonie Walsh celebrates the iconic visionary Derek Jarman as he visits a retrospective of the great man’s work currently on display in IMMA.
You can enjoy a wonderful feature by David Monaghan on the much-missed nightclub - The Dragon. Many an LGBT+ person would have a story or two to tell about that place!
In an issue devoted to travel, we take an unflinching look at how Ireland’s mammoth tourist industry coupled with a devastating housing crisis has led to a glut of hotels and student accommodation springing up with a worrying short term focus dictating our countries infrastructure. We cannot think about travel without examining the very political and contested nature of it. For generations of Irish people and particularly queer Irish people, travel was a necessity and a reality in order to live authentic lives away from homophobia, injustice and economic devastation.
In Ireland, at the dawn of a new decade, it is obvious that we’re well past the tipping point in terms of how the unending bloom of hotels has led to a deepening of the housing crisis. Stephen Moloney speaks to queer people who have been forced to move home to their parents, couch-surf, and even leave the country, while others share how it is merely the kindness of friends that has led to them not becoming homeless. We must not ignore the fact that crippling rents and lack of available housing are pushing a huge percentage of the population to breaking point. Can anyone say they weren’t soul-broken to see the photo that went viral of the little boy sitting on a piece of cardboard on a Dublin street eating a meal provided by homeless services?
Right now, there is no balance between the needs of our populace and what the government is allowing developers to force on our towns and cities. It’s a shameful sight see the rise in rough sleepers while our Government refuse to even put a cap on rising rents. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that nearly one in three TDs in Fianna Fail and one third of the members of the Fine Gael parliamentary party are landlords. But it couldn’t be that, could it? Surely not.
For 2020 we wish you, our readers, a year filled with joy, happiness and action. We’ll be continuing to speak truth to power, telling our stories for you, for us, for the community.