From The Team |

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From The Team

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Welcome, dear reader, to the April/May issue of GCN.

With it being the last magazine before Pride season, and in anticipation of the festivities, the importance of queer spaces and making them safe and inclusive for all members of our community is a recurring theme throughout these pages.

Our dazzling cover stars are Áine, Alannah and Blezzing, photographed beautifully by Steven Peice.

The cover shoot accompanies an incredibly important article from Alannah, who outlines what more needs to be done to achieve liberation for queer disabled folk. In a partnering piece, we speak to activist Suzy Byrne, who talks through the history of the disability rights movement in Ireland.

Summer is just around the corner, bringing with it many events to look forward to. This May, the Cork Women’s Weekend is celebrating its monumental 40th anniversary. The history of the annual celebration is highlighted in these pages, as is the jam-packed programme of activities for this year.

If you’re searching for more ways to fill up your calendar, look no further than I’m Grand Mam’s national tour! The hilarious duo are bringing That’s Showbiz around Ireland, and spill the tea on what to expect in an exclusive interview.

They’re not the only Irish talent to feature in the magazine, as Pillow Queens popped by to fill us in on their new album, Name Your Sorrow. The band unpacked the record’s tracklist and lyrics, and shared how being queer in music is more mainstream than ever.

The artists of Mother’s Braza and Pride Block Parties are also spotlighted, as the buzz builds surrounding one of the biggest LGBTQ+ events of the year. Get the low down on the lineup and begin planning your Pride weekend now!

On the note of queer parties, we travel back in time to some of the most iconic club nights to grace Dublin city. Discover the secrets of the GAG, POWDERBUBBLE and H.A.M. dancefloors, as crafted by the legendary Niall Sweeney and Rory O’Neill.

A separate historical article continues our series spotlighting the founding members of the Sexual Liberation Movement, this time remembering the impact of Gerry McNamara. While his story is lesser-known, his boisterous and colourful character is remembered fondly in these pages, as is his dedication to literature.

We round out the magazine by bidding farewell to Michael Brett, GCN’s departing Group Manager. Michael joined the team in October 2022, bringing with him a wealth of invaluable experience that has greatly benefited the organisation over the past 18 months. As those of you who have had the pleasure of working with Michael will know, he is a standout person, and we wish him the best of luck in his exciting next venture! 

This issue promises a wide variety of voices and captivating reads, but one message remains the same: there is power in unity. Collaboration is the key to success, whether it be in creative endeavours, achieving safe spaces or changing the state of a nation. The LGBTQ+ community has always found ways to organise, and we must not forget that there is still much to fight for. Queer liberation will not be achieved until all minorities are empowered and equal. Listen to those who have been silenced and find a way to fight for a better world for all.

Thank you, as always, for reading; we hope you enjoy!

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From The Team
Welcome, dear reader, to the April/May issue of GCN.
Future Plans and Future Proofing
As Chair of the National LGBT Federation which publishes GCN along with working to achieve the NXF Strategy 2023 - 2026, I thought I would let you all know how 2024 is going so far.
Creating Inclusive Spaces: A Reflection and Call to Action
It’s no accident that our Strategic Plan at Outhouse LGBTQ+ Centre is titled Space for All. As an organisation deeply rooted in our community’s history, we have proudly supported LGBTQ+ people.
Creating Comfort
Creating Proud Spaces in Rural Communities is an initiative developed by Youth Work Ireland and supported by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
Over the Rainbow: Tackling Rainbow Washing At Pride
It will come as no surprise to readers of GCN that Pride’s origins are rooted in protest. The brave actions of LGBTQ+ people throughout history, notably the Stonewall riots in 1969.
Inside SLM
As Dublin Pride prepares to celebrate 50 years since the first Sexual Liberation Movement demonstration for Homosexual Law Reform in 1974, Ethan Moser continues his series highlighting the founding members of the SLM
Uncovering Queer Spaces in Italy
When Charlotte Herrmann moved to Rome in 2022, the last things that came to her mind were the challenges she could encounter regarding her queerness. She was aware of conservative politics in Italy, but did not expect to struggle with homophobia in the capital of the country.
In Tune
It’s an exciting year ahead for Glória, Dublin’s LGBTQ+ choir. They have a busy per formance schedule for the rest of 2024, and their new Musical Director, Leah Mullen, is leading the charge.
Behind the Curtain
The process and craft at the National Theatre are at the heart of our backstage tours.
Finding My Feet
Abigail Sinistore has been “studying abroad” in Dublin for four months now, and during that time, the Irish LGBTQ+ community has become a second home to her. But, as the writer explains, it wasn’t always that way.
Safety in Numbers
In dialogues revolving around the concept of safe spaces, familiar refrains echo, revealing enduring challenges: a persistent scarcity, lack of diversity, sometimes visibility, and sporadic lapses in security. Swantje Mohrbeck speaks to those who work to ensure a ‘safe space’ is a reality more than a buzzword.
Mother of All Parties
As the days get longer and the nights get hotter, it gets easier with each passing day to believe that Pride season, and the Dublinfavourite Mother Pride Block Party, are just around the corner. Ethan Moser fills us in on what treats lie in store. it Up
To write the history of H.A.M. is to write the history of one of the most significant chapters in the social and cultural fabric of Dublin. Han Tiernan explains how its evolution would irrevocably shift the club scene and queer nightlife and would leave an indelible mark on Irish theatre, drag culture, art, and even graphic design.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The Care referendum, which was ultimately defeated by the Irish voting population earlier this year, caused much hurt for disabled folk, who felt overlooked and excluded by many community organisations and activists. In the aftermath, Alannah Murray discusses the damage done, as well as how best to move forward.
Nothing About Us Without Us
Across Ireland and the rest of the world, the struggle for disability rights has continued for a long time. One of the activists involved in the early days of the Irish movement, Suzy Byrne, shared with Beatrice Fanucci why it is essential that the voices of those affected should be the ones to lead the charge.
Stage Mums
Four years ago, two native Corkonians, PJ Kirby and Kevin Twomey, sat down to record the very first episode of I’m Grand Mam. The pair shared with Elliott Salmon how an idea, developed on the back of an aeroplane sick bag while they sipped on-flight red wine, transformed into a massively successful podcast and an upcoming live tour.
Name Your Queens
It’s been two years since I last interviewed Pillow Queens for GCN ahead of the release of their second studio album, Leave The Light On. A lot has happened in that time.
Listings - Organisations - Supports
Listings - Organisations - Supports
A Milestone
The Cork Women’s Weekend is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary this May Bank Holiday weekend, and it’s going to be fabulous! Founder of the Cork LGBT Archive, Orla Egan, and members of the Cork Women’s Weekend Committee, fill us in on what to expect. Images courtesy of Cork LGBT Archive.
After an amazing tenure as Group Manager, Michael Brett shares his GCN journey and makes a call to support our national queer media.
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