Welcome, dear reader, to a very special edition of GCN. Not only is it our beloved Pride issue - the jewel in the crown of our publishing year - it is also our return to print after many months away due to necessary lockdown restrictions. And before we go any further, let us say - it’s good to be back!
Thank you to all of you who supported us, visited us online at our website, watched or took part in any of our digital events, chats and gatherings, followed us on social media, or kept in touch. Throughout all this time when we couldn’t be together in person, GCN has endeavoured to help keep the community connected, informed and entertained as much as always, no matter what hurdles the pandemic put in our way. We couldn’t, or wouldn’t want to, have done it without you.
So! What have we got in store for you in this issue? It’s more a case of what don’t we! There are a whole host of features providing a platform to the various voices of our community. This issue contains more writers, artists, photographers and creatives than any other in our 33 year history.
There are articles about the current state of LGBTQ+ affairs at home and abroad, there are stunning, beautiful (and hilarious) photoshoots, there are interviews and opinion pieces galore, galvanising art projects, news of events coming your way, issues you should know about,opinion pieces both informative and entertaining, but most of all, there are conversations we need to be having with each other - and not just serious ones!
Coming out at the tail end of what’s officially regarded as Pride Month, with some county and community celebrations having already passed, and many more still to come, we scraped in just in time to wish you a Happy Pride. Whether you’re celebrating solo, with a small group of friends, or with slightly larger groups if restrictions have allowed it by the time Pride comes your way, you are never alone. We’re more than a community, we’re a family and family looks out for each other. Enjoy your mini-parades, your drinks in the garden, get those rainbow banners out, or those rainbow accessories on, or even take a moment to reflect on what, or who, has gone before, and honour their memories. The ways we choose to celebrate Pride are as diverse as the people who make up our community.
It’s been a tough road, many have suffered losses, of all different kinds, but as the future begins to look brighter, let’s look out for each other, support each other. It won’t be easy to get back to where we were before the world changed, maybe we won’t ever get all the way back, but we’re fighters, survivors, doers, we’ve suffered before and we’ve pushed through. In solidarity.
Just like on that first day, 33 years ago, GCN is still here for you. We haven’t gone anywhere, and we don’t plan to. We’ve got your back.
Happy Pride everyone.