GCN Group Manager Michael Brett
And breathe…we made it to the end of the year. 2022, you were a rollercoaster of emotions! We emerged from the shadow of Covid-19 and finally celebrated Pride and queer events in-person across the country. Our light shone again, as we protested, partied, and paraded through the cities, towns, and villages of the country.
The recent removal of sexuality-based restriction on blood donations in the country, mean we are finally catching up with some of our European counterparts. While the long campaigned for scheme to disregard historic convictions of gay and bisexual men in Ireland finally started.
It wasn’t all good news. We lurched from Covid pandemic to MPox pandemic, from war to a cost-of-living crisis. There continues to be an increase in homophobic and transphobic attacks on our streets. The murders of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee in Sligo sent shock waves through the country. There has been an increase in anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, slurs, and bullying online, from the pulpit, and across some sections of society.
The hosting of the World Cup in Qatar, and the shifting political and judicial sands in the USA are just two examples that reminded us that equality still has a long way to go in some parts of the world, and the retrograde steps being enforced by those in power on communities in some countries.
But we continue to have hope. We are a resilient community and we’ve come a long way.
2023 marks 50 years of LGBTQ+ activism in Ireland, the 40th anniversary of the first LGBTQ+ march to Fairview Park in Dublin, the 35th birthday of GCN, and many more milestones to be remembered and celebrated.
The Hate Crime Bill, discussed in this issue, is currently making its way through the Oireachtas. This is just the beginning, but it is a first step in ensuring hate crime and hate speech is tackled through the law and by the relevant authorities.
We, as a community, continue to strive to make Ireland a fair and equitable country for all who call this place a home. We welcome those seeking refuge in our communities, those escaping oppression, war, and death.
At GCN, we will continue to highlight the issues, debate the topics, shine a light on the creatives and tribes within our community, and amplify the voices of the marginalised.
GCN is an outlet for our community, by our community, and throughout 2023 we will be looking for your input in how we can serve you better.
But for now, I want to say thank you for your continued support throughout the year. For contributing to, interacting with, and making GCN a vibrant media outlet, as we continue to evolve with you at the heart of what we do.
I also want to thank Team GCN for welcoming me to the crew. I know I have big shoes to fill, taking the reins from Lisa Connell, but the talented team here have made that a less daunting task for me.
Wishing you a fabulous festive season, and every best wish for a happy, peaceful, and queer new year! See you on the far side.