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Welcome, dear reader, to the February/March edition of GCN, and it’s a momentous one for yours truly!

2023 marks the 35th anniversary of GCN – a fact both mind-blowing and heartening at the same time. Little could those activists and creatives in the ‘80s have suspected that not only would their print issue still be at the heart of LGBTQ+ life in Ireland, but it would witness and document momentous changes for its readers. Lest we forget– GCN was initially published in the days before decriminalisation. It may be hard for newer generations to conceive of living lives proud and out loud when your own country has declared your illegality.

To mark this milestone, there is no better cover star than the one and only Tonie Walsh – co-founder of GCN, living disco ball and Godfather of Gay. In the beautiful portrait taken by one of our all-time favourite photographers, Hazel Coonagh, Tonie is holding that very first issue of GCN, carefully removed from the archives.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of a march from Liberty Hall to Fairview that is regarded as the birth of the modern Dublin Pride movement, carried out by a community incensed by the release of Declan Flynn’s killers. We reprint an exceptional piece by Ger Philpott which captures the awful events that formed the catalyst. Rest in power, Declan.

There’s a host of fascinating interviews to be found inside, including Laura Poitras, director of the unmissable All the Beauty and the Bloodshed which documents the battle between legendary artist Nan Goldin and the Sackler family – regarded as majorly responsible for the opioid epidemic. The world of fashion gets a fantastic piece, as LGBTQ+ designers talk not only of their work but of the connection queer folk have to the looks that can shape their identities.

One of the founders of QAPI (Queer Asian Pride Ireland) shares an eye-opening conversation with a lesbian of Iranian descent and her experiences in Ireland, while, in the start of a fantastic new series, we speak with Edmund Lynch, one of the founders of the Sexual Liberation Movement. More founders to follow!

The glittering Robbie and Veda from the beloved Poz Vibe podcast talk shattering HIV stigma and their upcoming trip to World Pride, while the founders and attendees of a much welcome and long overdue raft of club nights catering to LGBTQ+ women reclaim the dancefloor.

Did you know that St Brigid is a queer icon? Well, if you didn’t, you’re about to, in a great read on recognising a woman overlooked. Sexual fantasies are brought to the fore for an article about the one area where LGBTQ+ people could never be policed – their imaginations, and in another buck to the system, the joy of platonic relationships over heteronormative strictures is espoused. Also, a very important change to how ‘next of kin’ is addressed could have a huge impact on our community – and thankfully, it’s for the better.

GCN strives to give a platform to voices and experiences from across our community, so we’ve asked Tina Kolos Orban, CEO of TENI (Trans Equality Network Ireland) to have the parting message in this issue. Tina uses the space to call for trans visibility. Speaking of visibility, there’s a terrific opinion piece from a young lesbian who comes to love identifying as butch.

As we’ve previously reported on our website (which we sincerely hope you’re checking out!) the fabulous Anna Nolan has recently been appointed the new chair of the NXF. The NXF are GCN’s publisher, alongside their other work they do striving for the rights of queer folk across the land and beyond. Nolan’s is a very exciting appointment, and as she fills us in on her own journey and hopes for what’s ahead, we can’t wait to see the NXF blossom with her at the helm.

As we bring this team letter to a close, we want to say thank you, our beloved readers and supporters, for helping us reach the 35-year milestone. We couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s to the next 35!

Much love,

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Welcome, dear reader, to the February/March edition of GCN, and it’s a momentous one for yours truly!
Way back in 1999, I was sitting with a friend in a queer bar in London. Two weeks previously, a nail bomb had gone off in the gay bar, the Admiral Duncan, killing three people.
How you present obviously affects how people perceive you, but more importantly, it can affect how you perceive yourself. Alice Linehan shares the impact a simple haircut had on her identity.
Throughout most of my life, ‘butch’ had been a dirty word. Alice Linehan shares the impact a simple haircut had on her identity.
Inside SLM
Ireland’s Sexual Liberation Movement started as an undercover meeting between ten Trinity College students in the final months of 1973.
Over the last year, we embarked on a project to determine people’s attitudes to age and ageing in the queer community.
What do people consider to be old? Have they thought about old age? Should there be specific supports for the LGBTQ+ community as we all age?
Lessons in Love
Not allowing society to dictate her life or how she loves, Nicole Lee shares how a queer platonic relationship has helped both her and her partner to grow.
First Ireland >>> Then the World
HIV activists Robbie Lawlor and (drag sensation) Veda Lady have become champions within the HIV community in Ireland. Brian Dillon spoke to the pair before they jetted off to World Pride in Sydney.
According to lesbian activist Izzy Kamikaze, not finding your place within your own community has been an issue. But the recent rise of LGBTQ+ Women’s nights has suggested a potential for change.
Journey of Self
Pradeep Mahadeshwar, co-founder of Queer Asian Pride Ireland (QAPI), details the experiences of a queer woman of Iranian descent who has made a life in Ireland.
Overly regulated, often proscribed, constantly censured, sex has always been bound by taboos. Beatrice Fannucci peers into the freedom of erotic fantasies.
Another Milestone Birthday
With 2023 marking 35 years of existence for GCN, Tonie Walsh looks back at its early beginnings and celebrates the magazine’s part in the monumental progress LGBTQ+ people have made in Ireland.
On March 19, 1983, a large scale protest made its way to Fairview Park in outrage at the release of Declan Flynn’s killers. Considered the birth of the modern Dublin Pride movement, we mark the 40th anniversary of that march by reprinting a powerful article by Ger Philpott in GCN Issue 343
It would be rare to grow up in Ireland unaware of St Brigid. With this year being the first bank holiday in her honour, Alice Linehan does some digging on a saint who was more connected to the LGBTQ+ community than you may have thought
Out of the Closet
Take it from someone who’s known he was gay since birth: clothing is a manifesto. With that in mind, Damian Kerlin spoke to designers on the links between queer people and fashion.
A stunning new documentary by Laura Poitras capturing the battle between Nan Goldin and the billionaire Sackler family who are widely blamed for sparking the opioid crisis has reached Irish screens. Han Tiernan takes a closer look at an unmissable work of art about the work of an artist
Listings, organisations, and supports.
Listings, organisations, and supports.
Next of Kin
For many LGBTQ+ people, family in all its forms has been an issue both positive and negative. With big changes about to happen in Irish Family Law, there was no better time for Rita Wild to speak to Suzy Byrne
Being visible to me means being seen and noticed, and the degree to which we trans people are seen in our communities is important.
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