3 mins


It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the end of 2023 already!

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. The conference, held over two days, was attended by 130 community members exploring topics from kink to consent, and all things sexual health. As we approach our 25th year, our strategic plan will reflect the evolution of the organisation to where we are today.

The primary aim of LINC since its establishment in 1999 has been to create an inclusive space for LB women, providing them with opportunities to gather, socialise, learn and belong in an environment where they can comfortably express their identities.

While the organisation has broadened our range of services and our reach over the years, we remain dedicated to maintaining a welcoming and safe space. The ethos of LINC is succinctly captured by a community member who described it as; “A place I can find the home in myself, where all parts of my identity are welcome and celebrated”. For many women, LINC has served as a crucial lifeline, often being the sole place in their lives where they feel safe to openly embrace their identities.

In a time when trans people are being targeted and scapegoated by organised groups instigating hate and misinformation, it is important to point out that LINC has, since our early days, been inclusive of trans women. Rooted in feminist and social justice principles, our organisation firmly believes and acknowledges that trans women are integral members of our community. While LINC’s services are primarily for women and based on sexual orientation, it’s important to mention that there is a legacy of affinity and community between lesbian and bisexual women, trans women and non-binary people. We are a diverse blend of minority sexual orientations and gender identities captured under a queer feminist identity. This is the nature of the LINC community; this is who we are and what we mean by ‘us’.

To better reflect the beautiful and welcome diversity in LINC, we will soon be announcing an updated name, vision and mission so that the welcome extended to trans and non-binary members of the community is explicit and clear.

As I write this article, it is impossible to overlook the recent tragic events that took place in Dublin, involving the stabbing of several young children and their carer, followed by subsequent riots. Faced with such disturbing events in our capital city, many may have feelings of despair and fear. While these reactions are entirely human, it is crucial not to succumb to the belief that immigrants are responsible for the enduring structural inequalities in Ireland.

The instigators behind these riots seek to sow division and undermine the fabric of our society. Whether spreading animosity towards immigrants and refugees seeking a home in Ireland or directing their hatred towards our trans community, their agenda is clear. The recent anti-LGBTQ+ protests they orchestrated in libraries and on streets across the country serve as a stark reminder that their scope of hatred extends beyond immigrants alone.

As members of the LGBTQ+ community, we left Ireland in pursuit of safety and the opportunity to embrace a life where we could be true to ourselves. A considerable number of us were, and still are, what are termed today as ‘economic migrants’. We often faced the challenges of living undocumented. Many have chosen never to return and have established new lives in various countries across the globe that eventually became their new homes. Thankfully, Ireland has changed and has now become a place where foreign nationals come, seeking those same possibilities and safety. Ireland has evolved into a haven for many, allowing them to authentically live their lives, and this is something to be proud of and to protect dearly.

Unfortunately, if we look at what is happening in the US and various European countries, challenging times lie ahead. While we have made significant progress, we must not become complacent. We must actively oppose efforts by the detractors who endeavour to push us back into the shadows. This is a time for inclusion, allyship and solidarity.

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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.
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