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.
THE GCN TEAM
Keep up to date across our socials: