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Welcome to our ninth annual Wedding Issue! In this issue, we look at the full spectrum of marriage, from proposals, to the ceremony and beyond. Four couples let us in on their wedding journey and all the planning and dreaming that goes into creating the perfect day, while long-term married pairings give the lowdown on how to keep a relationship strong. For those not into all this wedding malarkey, there’s a couple perfectly happy not to walk down the aisle.
On the culture side, we have a pair of interviews with two wonderful musical acts - the iconic Indigo Girls and the thrilling Cub Sport.
We discuss the cold facts that families of same-sex parents aren’t as equal as their straight counterparts, and that our family in the North still battle for the right to love.
Our cover image is by the artist Joe Caslin. He speaks inside about art as activism and the power of solidarity, something that our whole community can very much agree with. The North Is Next.

GCN 358 Articles

From The Team
Welcome, dear reader, to our October issue of GCN, or, as we joyfully refer to it – the Wedding Issue!
NXF: Full and Equal Rights
40 years ago, when the National Gay Federation (NGF –
Outitude – Expanding Lesbian Stories
The most important thing we have learnt to date from our journey with our documentary Outitude is how important it is for lesbians to see themselves reflected on screen. If we don’t see ourselves, we become invisible in the recording of the history of our community
Abolish Direct Provision
A person having no choice but to leave their country because of persecution is nothing I will ever know. These are the real stories we hear from people who have had no choice but to flee their countries, flee without their families and flee the lives they have made
First Time Buyers
Aft er a couple makes the big decision to spend the rest of their lives together, one of the next questions is - where will the rest of their lives take place? Ronan Crinion of MoveHome Estate Agents gives some top tips for fi rst time buyers
Dream Location
Looking for the ideal venue for your wedding, or even a welcome pre- or postwedding break? Peter Dunne suggests to look no further than Farnham Estate Spa and Golf Resort for a touch of elegance mixed with pure relaxation
Culture Club Conor Behan
Normani may be starting out as a solo artist but the release of her single ‘Motivation’ felt like a nod to the best kind of pop throwback
Team Sports
In advance of his band’ visit to Ireland for what promises to be an epic gig, Rebecca Kelly hopped on the phone to Australia and chatted with Tim Nelson of Cub Sport to discuss music, marriage and queerness
Conversations In Monochrome
From the embrace that empowered the marriage equality referendum in Ireland to the kiss that made Northern Ireland question itself, Joe Caslin is renowned for invigorating social commentary and astounding art works.
The Story Of Us
Making a marriage work takes work. A relationship is also a partnership - the beginning of thinking of yourselves as members of a team, not just separate individuals. Two long-term married couples reveal to Peter Dunne that, like anything else, the more you put into a marriage, the more you get back. Marlon and John’ s photo by Una Williams, Helen and Philippa’ s provided by the couple
Positive Voices
Daniel Töth, the proudly self-titled Queen of HIV, talks here about the impact of the stigma surrounding HIV, the need for greater public awareness of the U=U message and the trauma carried by a community who for so long lived in the shadow of HIV and AIDS. Portrait by Hazel Coonagh
Closest To Fine
Ahead of their upcoming appearance at Sligo Live, Emily Saliers of the legendary musical duo Indigo Girls shared with Katie Donohoe her journey with spirituality, activism as an extension of being in a community and how it felt being open about her sexuality during a time that was far less welcoming
Shirley’s Burn Book
Debbie O’Grady would pass a gallstone before she’d pass a spelling test
Will You Marry Me?
Nowadays, with marriage proposals consisting of full musical production numbers going viral on the internet, there can be an added pressure on people planning to pop the question.
Marriage & Family
Marriage equality passing in 2015 was an incredible moment for the LGBT+ community. And indeed for the whole country. It showed what a beautiful and inclusive nation we are, that the people who live here are in support of a fair and equal Ireland. But for families with same-sex parents the reality is far from equal as wife and mother Ranae von Meding explains
Wedding Bells Becky & Aileen
For some, it’ the food, for the There are even speeches. But whatever your favourite bit, most of us love a good wedding. Sarah McKenna Barry speaks to four amazing couples who recently tied the knot
Anthony & Barry
When Anthony Kinahan and Barry Gardiner exchanged vows at the
The 11th Dive
Taking an upsetting event and turning it into an example of going the extra mile to make sure love is never lost, Emerson Bruns and Nik Quaife shared with Sarah McKenna Barry the inspiration for their wedding theme - ‘The 11th Dive’ Photo by Allen Kiely
The North? It's Complicated...
In 2005, the Belfast-based writer and queer activist Shannon Sickels made history alongside her partner, Grainne Close, as the first public UK civil partnership. All these years later in 2018, Shannon and Grainne are still battling for equal rights and equal marriage. A momentous deadline looms for Northern Ireland, a date which could have a massive impact on the lives of its LGBT+ community for years to come. The author explains. Illustrations by SOAK
Win a luxury break for two in the beautiful Clayton Hotel
Fancy a super relaxing two night break in the gorgeous 4 Star Clayton Hotel Limerick?
Separately Together
With the huge amounts of LGBT+ couples taking their vows in the wake of the marriage referendum, Aoife Read asks - what does a valid long-term relationship look like? What should the sum of all of its parts equate to? What about those couples who have no interest in marriage?
Here to Listen
The fine folk at the recently launched Outcomers Drogheda have
Give Winter The Boot
Dublin Devils FC are looking for new players to join