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Welcome, dear reader, to the very special Pride edition of GCN! It’s a great honour and privilege to be able to publish this edition of our magazine in advance of our first in-person Pride festivals, gatherings and parades in two long years!

While we all tried to hold strong during a global pandemic, our community has not been able to meet and celebrate in the ways we would have pre-COVID-19.

As a community we’re all to used to weathering the frequent storms of a racist, homophobic, transphobic and generally challenging world but it’s fair to say this year in the wake of the Sligo murders, the spike in violent homophobia and the worrying increase in transphobia in Ireland, that this upcoming Pride season is more vital and politically charged than ever.

As LGBTQ+ folks, we understand the power and importance of visibility as a tool to combat the hate, ignorance and fear that fuels homophobia, transphobia and racism. In GCN, we take that as a key part of our jobs - to represent, reflect and amplify our LGBTQ+ community and to express, defiantly and proudly, our existence and our communities lived experience despite the challenges.

For this special issue, we wanted to focus as much as possible on all the amazing people in our big queer family and all the awe inspiring work being done, while at the same time, not shying away from the serious issues we still face.

So, what’s in store for this most Proud edition?

Let’s start with our fabulous cover and accompanying fashion shoot shot by the talented Hazel Coonagh! PJ Kirby and Kev Twomey are two Irish mammy’s boys from Cork who co-host the chart-topping podcast, I’m Grand Mam. The lads are to be praised for putting a smile on people’s faces, curing ex-pats of their homesickness and helping LGBTQ+ people celebrate their queerness. We were delighted to collaborate with them on the stunning fashion shoot featuring the best and brightest Irish designers and talk to them about the importance of visibility, pride of self and queer joy.

Elsewhere in the issue, we have a visual feast for you all in the shape of Niamh Barry’s powerful photobook No Queer Apologies. At the core of the project is the idea that there is an infinite set of ‘possibilities’ in relation to queer expression, looks, feelings, experiences and definitions.

There is a really broad and diverse range of excellent journalism in this issue from recurring contributors and first timers alike covering topics such as homophobia in sport, societal transphobia, lesbian intersectionality, Disabled Joy, Queer Asian Pride, the history of the Trade Union movement, dating and difference and the question of who gets to tell queer stories, to name just a few.

Interviews in the issue include a meeting with the new CEO of Outhouse, Oisin Reilly, we talk to choreographer Phillip Connaughton and writer/director Philip McMahon, the creative team behind the exciting new show Party Scene, long-time LGBTQ+ ally John Keelan shares all you need to know on the new community gathering spot All My Friends, and finally, there is a not-to-be-missed conversation with Evan Somers who was the victim of a homophobic physical assault on Dame Street in Dublin.

We’re very happy to finally have our fabulous Community Directory back in print. If you are a community organisation, service or group and don’t see yourself listed there, please do let us know and we’ll gladly update!

We really hope you all enjoy this issue of GCN and take as much pleasure in it as the team here at GCN do in putting it together for you all.

We also know this Pride will be overwhelming for many of us after the last two years, so we hope that you have a wonderful, safe and supported season, no matter how you choose to celebrate (or not).

Pride is still a protest and we know we still have so much work to do for the most marginalised parts of our community. The GCN team is proud to commit to continuing the work we do everyday to educate, entertain and inform our community and also to represent and reflect the reality of our queer lives to ourselves and wider society.

Thank you to all of you who have supported us in doing that work across the past three decades. The fact that a small independent queer press like GCN has survived in Ireland since 1988 is a true testament to the tenacity and brilliance of our community. We are so thankful!

A particular thanks goes to all who’ve helped to keep us going through the pandemic by supporting our digital output when the magazine was paused, engaging with new endeavours like #100kinMay and our rather fabulous merch and supporting us by donating directly or subscribing. We are very grateful.

Happy Pride to you all!


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Welcome, dear reader, to the very special Pride edition of GCN!
What are you most looking forward to about being able to celebrate Pride together this year?
NXF in conversation with Misha Tumasov
Give the Gift of Pride
As Pride gets ever closer, many of us are looking forward to reconnecting with friends and marching the streets once again surrounded by rainbow flags.
Preserving Our History
Over 34 years, the lives of LGBTQ+ people, their stories, successes and struggles have been captured in the pages of GCN magazine.
Trans Equality Together
A coalition working to create an Ireland where Trans and nonbinary people are equal, safe and valued will be officially launched this month.
As he takes the reins of the much-beloved LGBTQ+ community space located in the heart of Dublin, Oisin O’Reilly shares with Ethan Moser his vision for the future of Outhouse.
I still find it hard to locate my 'queerness' at times. I genuinely worry about it. Is it at the bottom of a pint in the gay bars or clubs I frequent? Or did I leave it in my house next to my keys?
The work to disregard historic convictions of gay and bisexual men.
This month, our beautiful green country celebrates every colour of the Pride rainbow. Pride has become a glorious country-wide annual occasion full of festivities, fun and jubilation.
In light of plans to open a new pub in The Liberties, Keev Boyle Darby caughtup with John Keelan, a beloved ally and bouncer on Dublin’s LGBTQ+ scene to chat about his addition to the city: All My Friends. Portrait by Hazel Coonagh
Non-binary Lesbians: Identity Based on Inclusion
Lesbianism has an intricate and mixed history, particularly when it comes to gender identity and presentation. Many modern views on lesbianism, however, appear to be attempting to erase this. Leighton Gray and Em O’Connell discuss that, whether done consciously or unconsciously as a means of defence, current views on the community are becoming far too simplistic and stagnant.
The Beat Goes On!
There are icons and then there’s Cher. Conor Behan got a tour behind the scenes of a new must-see stage musical based on the life of one of pop’s greatest stars.
Battling the myth that Disabled People are unhappy, Alannah Murray speaks to friends to find out what sparks joy and how they celebrate their community.
DISSOLVED GIRL : Learning to Live Without Compromise
In a quarantine hotel room in Hong Kong, Nat Mak finally decided they were void.
With Pride season upon us, Saoirse Schad spoke to Matt and Róisín about their experience of being ‘hidden’ during this most colourful and rainbow-filled time of the year.
With over 40 years of support for LGBTQ+ rights in Ireland coming from the Trade Unions movement, Beatrice Fanucci looks back on a lesser known ally for our community.
Making an exhibition
In February 2022, a report in The Journal highlighted the awarding of a café and services tender to Aramark by The National Gallery of Ireland. Artist Brian Teeling explains why this struck a nerve across the country.
Despite many queer women representing Ireland on an international sporting level, the lack of openly queer men has raised questions about whether the male sporting sphere is inherently homophobic. Alice Linehan takes a closer look
“Just two gay lads having a cup of tea and talking shit at the kitchen table.” That’s how PJ Kirby described to Peter Dunne the show he and Kevin Twomey have created. But while it may have come from humble beginnings, I’m Grand Mam has taken the podcast world by storm and shown that nothing brings us together better than laughter
In 1982, Declan Flynn was murdered by a gang of five homophobic men in Fairview park. The tragedy sparked outcry from the LGBTQ+ community, and is seen as a key moment in the development of the country’s queer rights movement, including the emergence of the Dublin Pride parade. 40 years on, as Alice Linehan describes, it is abundantly clear that Pride is as necessary as ever as Ireland is experiencing an alarming rise in homophobic violence.
Dating and Difference AGE
Dating based on demographic status is nothing new. It is nowhere more prevalent than the online dating world. Granted, for the most part, this world mostly stays away from problematic selection processes that may be deemed discriminatory (disability, economic status, etc), though this is an ongoing evolution. Race, for example, has only been removed from the Grindr search filters within the last few years. But almost all dating platforms will ask what age range you’re willing to date within; this, apparently, is more acceptable, describes Adrian Colwell.
Life After Life
Tír na mBeo - The Land of the Living is a new documentary film highlighting LGBTQ+ people in Ireland during lockdown. Its creator, Pradeep Mahadeshwar, shares the journey of making a window into queer lives during a troubled time
Absolutely no regrets
The monumental new photobook by the incredible Niamh Barry, No Queer Apologies, questions the ways in which queerness exists, permeates, and even reshapes the space around us. We are delighted to share its beauty.
Chemsex, also referred to as the After Party scene, has inspired many a conversation amongst the queer community. Naturally, a scene involving drugs and sex will provoke certain perceptions to those who don’t partake, but there is more to it than an easy judgement would suggest. Brian Dillon spoke to the queer creatives looking at the scene head on in a potent new show.
In recent years, the visibility and representation of Transgender people has increased. Across pop culture, sports, politics and the news media, Trans people are more seen and talked about than ever before. This of course, doesn’t come without its downsides, as Ezra Maloney discusses.
It has been 20 years since Eddie McGuiness, his then-partner Paul O’Connor, and artivist and designer Will St Leger launched a brand new publishing venture: a glossy LGBTQ+ culture bible in B5 format called FREE! Magazine. Alan Kelly looks back at a magazine that proved so popular it expanded into the world of telly, extended its reach to the UK, and featured Westlife in their first-ever interview for a gay magazine.
For years now, many queer readers have been focused on the ‘issue’ of presumably straight women writing books about, specifically, gay men...
There is a thriving community of LGTBTQ+ creatives in Ireland making amazing, diverse and inclusive books for children. Just in time for Pride, here are a few suggestions to fill you bookshelves.
‘My Own Personal Sligo’ will be forever rainbow-strewn
Izzy Kamikaze shares a personal journey through the LGBTQ+ agony and ecstasy of a town that could be any town.
Crushing on Queers
It can be exciting when we meet people who buzz off something creative in the same way we do. It’s like a fast-track to some sort of immediate bond. Adrian Colwell shares how this feeling led to the creation of the new social event, Queer Crushes.
The founder of QAPI, Pradeep Mahadeshwar, shares why the organisation is necessary and how to get involved.
From rocks carved into penises to steam-powered vibrators, Louise Blake gives just the tip on a brief history of sex toys that will leave you yearning to know more.
Sports & Fitness
Inspiring the LGBT+ community to be active
Exploring LGBTQI+Healthcare in Ireland
Dr John P Gilmore is Assistant Professor in Nursing at University College Dublin. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright HRB Health Impact Scholar award which will support him to travel to San Francisco next year to research models of community-led LGBTQI+ healthcare
Highlighting LGBTQ+ Creatives
Fans of queer comics may already have come across the work of Floatyspacecat. For those who haven’t, here’s the perfect introduction. Jacob L awrence, the artist behind it all, caught up with GCN and shared their journey
Highlighting LGBTQ+ Creatives
Daniel Mooney is the illustrator behind Mundomoo and this U=U artwork which he made in collaboration with Veda and the Poz Vibe podcast
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