3 mins


Welcome, dear reader, to the last issue of GCN magazine for 2023.

Inside, we say goodbye to a year full of ups and downs, celebrations and struggles, and look forward to a world of new possibilities for 2024.

With that in mind, we thought it only fitting to have the marvellous David Norris as our cover star. Photographed beautifully by Hazel Coonagh, he sits smartly dressed in his beloved North Great George’s Street residence, preparing to close a very significant chapter in his life. Earlier in November, Norris, the nation’s longest-serving senator, announced his retirement from the Seanad after 36 years of outstanding work. In these pages, he talks to GCN about his career and legacy, including the groundbreaking court case which led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland in 1993.

Norris is not the only hero honoured in the magazine, as we also acknowledge some of the unsung pioneers responsible for many firsts in Irish queer history. Additionally, with 2023 marking the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Liberation Movement, we continue our series highlighting the group’s founding members, this time focusing on Ruth Riddick.

Several organisations currently carrying out amazing work for the queer community are also platformed, with MPOWER celebrating its accomplishments to date, the National LGBT Federation speaking about its new fundraising initiatives and Outhouse shedding light on the pressing issue of homelessness and the need for solidarity. Furthermore, the community is encouraged to rally behind the Midlands LGBT Project as they call for support to enable them to continue operating into 2024.

As Ireland’s LGBTQ+ media, we reel in the year by looking at the biggest queer news stories from the past 12 months, while Kate Moynihan from LINC discusses some of the events that shaped Irish society in 2023. One of those events is the recent and troubling Dublin riots, the impact of which is explored in a separate article.

The Irish capital is of course not the only place that has faced conflict over previous months, with the ongoing violence in Gaza impossible to ignore. As devastating information continues to emerge from Palestine, we look at the origins of Israel’s occupation and amplify some of the LGBTQ+ voices close to the matter.

The queer communities of India and Ireland are compared by one writer who has spent the last two years making a home in Dublin, and one of the capital’s beloved queer venues is spotlighted in another fascinating feature - if the walls of PantiBar could talk, what would they say? To give you an idea, we take a look at the history of the establishment formerly known as GUBU and hear stories from the bar.

With 2023 having been a challenging year for our trans siblings, highlighting moments of joy and empowerment is essential. In this issue, Mammies For Trans Rights tell us the story of their foundation, while a young trans person bravely shares their experience of coming out in school.

With this issue arriving as the first semester of the academic year comes to a close, we take a look at queer student life in Irish colleges and the challenges some LGBTQ+ folk face during the festive season. To get into the Christmas spirit, toy collectors are also on hand to let us into the world of their mini obsessions.

However you do or don’t celebrate, we’d like to wish all our lovely readers a very happy and safe holiday season. Thank you for your continued support throughout 2023, and we look forward to what 2024 has in store. We hope you’ll stick with us for the journey - we couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to, do it without you.

Keep up to date across our socials:

Facebook @gaycommunitynews

X @GCNmag

Instagram @GCNmag

TikTok @GCNmag

YouTube @GCNmag

This article appears in 381

Go to Page View
This article appears in...
Go to Page View
Welcome, dear reader, to the last issue of GCN magazine for 2023.
2023 was yet another fantastic year in the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights across the world. Ethan Moser shares a month-by-month breakdown of GCN’s biggest news stories over an epic 365 days.
Inside SLM
In our ongoing coverage of the founding members of Ireland’s first Sexual Liberation Movement, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we’ve focused on founding members who were instrumental in enacting meaningful change for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community.
Following on from our announcement of the new NXF strategy for the next three years, in this issue we are highlighting the Fundraising and Sustainability working group.
2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Sexual Liberation Movement, commonly recognised as the start of modern LGBTQ+ activism in Ireland. Since then, the country has experienced a seismic shift in the legal rights afforded to the LGBTQ+ community and the acceptance and visibility of queer culture.
From Crisis to Collective Strength
Following the horrific incident in Dublin on Thursday, November 23, our hearts are with those who have been attacked, their families, friends, the school community at Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, witnesses, first responders, and anyone else who has been affected.
Midlands LGBT+ Project is designed to support and provide spaces for LGBTQ+ adults in the Midlands. The fine folk involved share all the amazing services they have to offer the community and share what you can do to help keep the service running.
The wonderful people involved in the group Mammies For Trans Rights tell us the story of their foundation and why they do what they do for their children. After all, in their own words, “In our houses, they are not ‘trans kids’, they are simply, our kids.”
STAY MERRY AND SAFE: Minding our Sexual Health this Christmas and New Year
As the holiday season approaches, it’s vital not to overlook our sexual health.
After Hamas fighters launched an attack on Israel on October 7 this year, where more than 1,200 people were reported killed and around 240 others taken hostage, Israel unleashed an air and ground military campaign on Gaza, killing more than 17,000 Palestinian people (at the time of writing), according to figures shared by the Gaza Health Ministry. Now, the whole world is focused on what is happening in Palestine, with the issue of LGBTQ+ people often coming into the discussion.
At the recent Rainbow Ball, the fundraising night for the LGBTQ+ youth organisation Belong To, one brave young person took to the stage before those assembled. In words both empowering and heartbreaking, they told their story of coming out, proving the necessity of supporting our youth in every way we can. We share here their words.
The Glant
On November 14, 2023, Ireland’s longest-serving senator, David Norris, announced his retirement after 36 years of outstanding service. Known affectionately as the ‘Father of the Seanad’, the 79 year-old leaves behind a remarkable career, throughout which he broke new ground for the country’s LGBTQ+ community.
Younger members of Dublin’s LGBTQ+ community might assume that an institution like PantiBar has been around forever. However, the iconic pub only opened 16 years ago. That hasn’t stopped it becoming one of the most beloved go-to venues and hubs for members of the capital’s queer community.
A place of learning
For decades, college has been portrayed as a hotspot of new experiences, freedom of expression and a place to figure out who you are… along with attending classes every so often. But how accepting are colleges across Ireland of the LGBTQ+ community and how do queer people feel about expressing their identities on campus?
PRIDE & PREJUDICE: The Hidden Struggle of LGBTQ+ Homelessness
In October and November, 1 in 10 individuals reaching out to Outhouse for support faced homelessness or were at risk of it.
As an avid ally of the queer community, Aarya Bhutani has had the privilege of experiencing the dynamics of queer spaces in both Ireland and India. Moving to Dublin two years ago to pursue her master’s degree, she left her home country behind. She describes a journey that has been more than just academic, but a profound experience of personal growth
What is it about queer people and our collections? From Punko Pop figures to Barbies, Lego to action figurines, LGBTQ+ people have long been avid collectors of what many would deem mere toys. But is there a deeper meaning behind the things we save, the things we love? Chris Rooke talks to queer collectors while at the same time sharing his own tiny loves.
Listings Organisations Supports
Listings Organisations Supports
For those who love it, it can seem that the whole year is just one big build up to Christmas. Yet for many LGBTQ+ people, it is far from a cause for celebration. Ethan Moser recounts his own experiences and takes a closer look at what the festive season can mean for queer people.
We’ve had a busy year in LINC, marked by the completion of our strategic plan and the successful organisation of the first Queer Women’s National Sexual Health and Wellbeing conference – Q Con.
Looking for back issues?
Browse the Archive >

Next Article
Page 4