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Welcome, dear reader, to the December edition of GCN. There’s a ton of exceptional content in the pages that lie ahead. Expect a jaw-droppingly beautiful fashion spread by queer Irish designer Colin Horgan, alongside a wonderful interview charting how the local boy done good. Musical mastermind Elaine Mai tells us all about her new album, while the Poz Vibe duo of Veda and Robbie Lawlor talk activism. There are powerful pieces from the diverse voices of our community, including a ‘Goodbye Ireland’ letter from the departing CEO of TENI. Expect stunning photos and illustrations from incredibly talented creatives, including Clare Foley who created astonishing bespoke imagery for our GCNnewvoices series highlighting the words and thoughts of young LGBTQ+ writers.

Alongside those, you can enjoy the usual range of entertainment features, opinion pieces and conversation starters from the wonderfully diverse voices of our community. We are so very proud to be able to provide a platform for essential discussions to take place, and this issue is packed with important ones for sure.

Now. Let us take a moment to talk about a momentous date - December 1, World AIDS Day.

The gorgeous portrait by Hazel Coonagh that graces our cover is of Rebecca Tallon de Havilland, who is one of the amazing people taking part in a new exhibition we have collaborated with HIV Ireland on - Living. Living was dreamed into life to commemorate World AIDS Day and to highlight and celebrate some of the incredible People Living With HIV in this country. Taking place in Dublin’s CHQ Building, the exhibition features the portraits, stories and messages of support from an inspiring group of people doing everything they can to combat the destructive impact of stigma.

As you’ll see from their interviews inside, they are not just living, they are thriving, all leading happy, healthy lives, not being held back by their diagnosis. But they all share that the largest part of their struggle is the stigma that has attached itself to HIV, the ignorance and blunt cruelty dealt out to them by people, not by a status.

As we mark this World AIDS Day, let us also decide to signpost this particular date as the one where we decide as a whole community to focus on battling stigma with just as much vigour as we battle new infections. When we say People Living With HIV, the most important word there is Living – this is no longer a death sentence, a diagnosis does not mean someone stops existing, the person who was there before is still there now. We all deserve happiness, respect, support and love in our lives, so let’s make sure we also give it. Challenge ignorance, battle hatred and stamp out stigma.

Much love,

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Welcome, dear reader, to the December edition of
Dear Ireland: A Sincere Goodbye
Just one year ago many of you first
If seven years ago someone had told Grace Bradshaw she would be writing an article for GCN she would never have believed it
Sexual shame is a beast of its own, describes Roni Deckard. It can manifest in a feeling of disgust at permitting our hand to invoke the mountainous pleasure our bodies are capable of. It can exist as a fear of deleted search histories or unspoken decisions not to mention what went down the previous night
Beyond Proud
Last month’s GCN cover star and participant in Gay Project’s Proud AF campaign, Pradeep Mahadeshwar talks about the impact of taking part and the realities of racism in Ireland
How Do I Look? Dating & Disability
My name is Adrian Colwell. I’m 33, an arts administrator and I live in Dublin. I run the life drawing class Drag and Draw and have an intense fear of mice. I have a disability. I watch A LOT of Frasier and am a big fan of Monica Lewinsky
29 November - 11 December Winter Pride Hub
Smalltown Boy
Growing up queer in Kerry, designer Colin Horgan couldn’t have predicted his designs would be worn by celebrities including Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa and Little Mix, and go on to grace catwalks galore. Sharing some incredible looks from his new collection, Colin sat down with Alannah Murray to talk about his rural upbringing, the alter-ego inspiration for his fashion, and his advice for the next generation of queer talent
Regimented Discrimination
In 2017, President Donald Trump placed a ban on Transgender individuals serving in the US military and the whole world was in uproar at the controversial move. However, two years earlier, in 2015, an Irish Trans man suffered the same discrimination on our turf. He tells his story to Saoirse Schad
To commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1, but more importantly, to give visibility to and celebrate the diversity of People Living With HIV in this country, GCN have teamed up with HIV Ireland for a very special exhibition - Living
Growing up, Ethan Moser looked for solace and affirmation of identity through the LGBTQ+ characters in popular entertainment, but found so many of the depictions of queer lives were rooted in suffering and trauma. A change was long overdue
We partnered with the inspiring BeLonG To Youth Services to platform the thoughts and opinions of some amazing young LGBTQ+ writers from across the country. Artist Clare Foley created beautiful bespoke artworks, illustrating each article and giving the series its own visual identity
Coming Home
Filling dancefloors and bringing people together with music for years, Elaine Mai has taken the next step by recently releasing her debut album, Home. In the middle of a wave of ecstatic reactions, Elaine spoke to Peter Dunne about making music during lockdown and the long awaited return to live shows.
In light of this year’s World AIDS Day, Veda Lady and Robbie Lawlor shared with Keeva Boyle Darby their experiences as HIV activists, and their latest venture-the PozVibe Podcast
I started making rugs during the first lockdown.
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