3 mins


After an amazing tenure as Group Manager, Michael Brett shares his GCN journey and makes a call to support our national queer media.

Parting Shot GCN — Farewell — Not Goodbye

Stepping foot into the GCN office for the first time, I felt an electric energy. Typically, emotions range from excitement to trepidation on the first day of a job, but from the moment I entered GCN, I knew it was going to be an incredible place to work.

For now, my time with GCN is at an end. 18 months have flown by, and it’s been a blast. There have been highs and lows obviously, but mostly highs, and that was all down to the people. It’s the people at GCN and you, our readers, who have made this experience unforgettable. Your stories, words, photos and unwavering support are what define GCN. GCN has always been, and will always be, for the LGBTQ+ community, by the LGBTQ+ community - covering events and stories that you won’t see anywhere else, recording the changes in Irish society for future generations to reflect on, and discussing issues to make both the now and the future a better place for us all.

As a non-profit media outlet, we’ve consistently punched above our weight, thanks to a small yet extraordinary team – all of whom are talented, creative, funny, compassionate and love what they do. Unlike most other publishers, GCN operates on a very tight budget and has a core team of six who run the show, with support from freelance journalists and photographers, interns on placement from college, and volunteers giving kindly of their time.

During my own time, I made mistakes and wrong calls and was rightly called out for them. At GCN, we always aim for the highest standards, and you should hold us to them, but now is the time for solidarity within our community. The far-right is organised. We know the upcoming Local and European Elections will see them try to import the “culture wars” we’ve seen to the east and west of us. I do not doubt that it will get worse between then and the General Election. As Ireland’s LGBTQ+ media, think of GCN as a sibling – hold us to account, but when external forces start an attack campaign against us and the issues we cover, circle the wagons!

As I said earlier, there were plenty of highs, including covering Pride season, the return of the GALAS, launching the GCN Archive, and so much more. It was at the GALAS that I last spoke to Joe Drennan. He was there to cover the event as a lead writer interviewing some of the winners as they came off stage. A week later, Joe died, aged 21. The tragic loss of our colleague and friend Joe was devastating for us all.

Joe had started on placement with GCN from UL before I started, but he was such a talented writer that he was kept on as a freelancer while he continued his journalism course in Limerick. Joe’s potential was boundless. He had a knack for covering a wide range of topics, from serious to light-hearted, and had a unique ability to amplify the voices of the marginalised. Rest in Power, Joe.

To my GCN family, thank you for your unwavering support and friendship. Words will never be enough to express my gratitude to Aarya, Ailise, Alice, Bea, Dave, Han, Nicole, Peter and Stefano.

Thanks to Anna Nolan and the Board of the NXF for all your support and advice, to the many people in other LGBTQ+ organisations, and to other community members who were always at the end of the phone when needed.

Though I may no longer be in the office Monday to Friday, I hope to remain a part of the family! And to Stefano Pappalardo, I have no doubt that under your leadership, GCN will continue to thrive and evolve. As I bid farewell, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you who have made this experience unforgettable.

Here’s to the next chapter and the countless stories yet to be told. Until we meet again, stay strong, stay proud, and keep shining brightly.

Farewell, but not goodbye.

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