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Welcome to the Pride Issue of GCN, and our return to print!
It’s a jam packed issue featuring interviews with Jessie Ware, Kieran Rose, the fine folk at International Gay Rugby and the iconic Veda!
Read about incredible events, including the National Library’s exhibition of Christopher Robson’s photos of queer Ireland, EPIC Museum’s look at Ireland’s LGBTQ+ diaspora, and we take a look at the history of Alternative Miss Ireland - or ‘Gay Christmas’ as it was affectionately dubbed.
There are incredible features on queer sexual health, AIDS activism, Direct Provision and Fermoy cancelling their twin town arrangement with a Polish ‘LGBT Free Zone’.
Life Style Sports, Dublin Bus and the National Lottery show their support for the community, while eight talented artists capture eight important moments in queer history.
There’s a jaw-dropping and beautiful Child of Drag photoshoot, alongside a huge range of LGBTQ+ writers discussing a host of topics including; the situation for LGBTQ+ Travellers, how Ireland treats queer women, ableism, growing up gay in Northern Ireland, rural life, pansexuality, intimacy in the time of Covid, sexual racism, older LGBTQ+ folk accessing healthcare, queer Irish language writers, the music scene, the list goes on!
It’s good to be back.

GCN 367 Articles

From The Team
Stefano, Dave, Katie, Marlon, Peter and Lisa.
THE PRIDE POLITICAL DEBATE
The National LGBT Federation (NXF) partnered with Dublin Pride
Coming Out with Pride
With no colourful Pride Parade making its way through the centre of Dublin, members of the LGBTQ+ community who had wanted to use the moment to ‘come out’ or to celebrate recently doing so, sadly didn’t have the chance
100 K IN MAY
Throughout the month of May GCN partnered with Life Style Sports on the #GCN100KinMay campaign. Ian Smith got the lowdown from some of the awesome Life Style Sports staff who took up the challenge.
National Lottery celebrating LGBTQ+ organisations during Pride
Since 1987, National Lottery players have raised over €6 billion euro for worthy causes, helping people and organisations to further help others. The National Lottery Good Causes Awards celebrates all the incredible work done by individuals and groups across Ireland to give back to their communities and to be there for those in need. Katie Donohoe spoke to three LGBTQ+ organisations that made it all the ways to the finals
The Power of Being Yourself in the Workplace
Roberto Sy from Accenture speaks to Ian Smith about his coming out journey, moving to Ireland and being part of a workplace LGBTQ+ network
Living with Pride
A major photographic exhibition featuring the work of Christopher Robson is launched by the National Library of Ireland.
HIVIP
A face-painted battler unbeaten. A stark, masked figure in an apocalyptic industrial setting. An explosion of colour in an oilstained garage. Veda is all of these things at once in a brave and startling series of images captured by the unstoppable, visionary, Babs Daly. The icon of the Irish drag world chats to Peter Dunne about collaborations, HIV activism and finding freedom in the middle of a pandemic
MoveHome
Rebecca Kelly spoke with Ronan Crinion, the founder and managing director of MoveHome about their recent expansion and what COVID-19 means for the property market
We Need To Talk
“Ableism is still rife within the Irish queer community, and it’s about time we talked about it,” says Alannah Murray
You've heard of LGBTQ+ - Well I am the Plus
It’s hard to come out. The institutionalised shame and guilt we feel around our true identities often stops us from showing them to the world. But coming out becomes harder when you don’t have a word for who you are and how you feel. Louise Blake shares her own journey of discovery
Leveling the Playing Field
As the International Gay Rugby organisation celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a host of new initiatives and events, Alice Linehan hears about the 134 queer clubs existing worldwide and discovers why so many have found a second home within the inclusive community
For Mother Mary and her Petulant, Devilish Daughters
The history of Ireland, both it’s colonial and postcolonial stories of nationhood, revolved around one’s propensity for incarceration, argues Keeva Boyle-Darby, the ability of those in power, be it British colonial rule or more recently the Catholic Church and their governmental ‘cahooters’ to ostracise the ‘other’
A World to Discover
LGBTQ+ history is as diverse as it is rich, and much of it remains uncovered. Pride Month sees some of those stories brought to light, and, as Brian Dillon discovered, few may be as thought-provoking as that of Irish LGBTQ+ diaspora. Photos by Leon Farrell
The Art of Reflection
Throughout the centuries, artists have responded to their culture, their times, capturing feelings, the mood of the nation. The queer community know only too well the power of slogans and images during the years we couldn’t be out, the years when the odds were stacked against us
Child of Drag
Just in time for Pride, enjoy this jawdropping photo spread featuring a lineup of drag children celebrating the queer community
Teanga Dhúchais
As a queer writer trying to find his voice, Ethan Moser became aware of another barrier facing Irish LGBTQ+ creatives who want to communicate in their native tongue -the lack of representation and opportunity for queer lives lived as Gaeilge
A State of Silence
21 years later, Direct Provision remains Ireland’s only process for the accommodation of asylum applicants, most of whom spend several months, if not years in the system. With promised changes on the way, Aoife Burke looks at the system’s inherent failings and holds those promises up to the light
An Irish Solution to an Irish Problem
When the Irish public think about AIDS, much of their understanding of the pandemic comes from British and American media. Angels in America, Dallas Buyers Club and this year’s phenomenal It’s A Sin are all important stories, but they’re not Irish stories. Ezra Moloney looked at the history of AIDS activism, and learned a lot in the process
By Any Other Name
History is more than just a school subject, it’s a remembrance of communities coming together to make their voices heard, and the history of Pride is no different. Catherine E Hug was fortunate to sit down with Kieran Rose, a key political activist for LGBTQ+ rights in Ireland, and hear about his involvement from equality legislation and the establishment of GLEN in the ‘80s, to meeting the President in the ‘90s, to the Marriage Referendum and the celebration of Pride today.
Twin Towns
On the 12th of October 2020, Cork County Council severed the twinning between Fermoy, and the Polish town Nowa Dęba, which had pledged to “defend against aggressive, deceptive and harmful LGBT ideology”. Haritha Olaganathan speaks to activists working to make progressive change on the ground in Poland
Manic Energy
Ella Bowler catches up with alt-pop singer Rebecca Locke and alt-indie band Mothmom to talk about fostering creativity in a city that doesn’t always facilitate the arts
Why Do We Still Need Pride?
Managing Editor Lisa Connell addresses the question that comes up like clockwork every year from those who don’t realise the fight for LGBTQ+ rights is far from over
Long Live the Queens
What started (and continued) as a fundraiser for the LGBTQ+ community soon rivalled Pride as the biggest Irish queer event of the year. Hannah Tiernan remembers the iconic, euphoric, Alternative Miss Ireland
Outside the Capitals
After finding himself upon moving away from home, Ross Hunter discovered queer spaces he thought were low on the ground upon returning to small(er) town life
For Our Pleasure
While dancing has been relegated to bedrooms, back gardens and balconies for the last 18 months, it hasn’t dulled Jessie Ware’s desire to get the party started. The artist speaks to Conor Behan about music, life and lockdown
Yes, Sexual Racism is a Thing
“They say, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ but having been exposed to the Dublin gay dating scene for over eight years, I could change it to ‘Beauty is in the eye of the people of a majoritarian ethnic group’,”
Health without the care?
With fear of judgement leading to many feeling they can’t be open with healthcare providers, Ian Smith looks at the reality for many older LGBTQ+ people who are accessing services in Ireland today
Full Equality
LGBTQ+ Traveller, author and activist, Oein DeBhairduin, shares with Ed Redmond why Pride needs to remain a protest until all members of the community are valued equally
Sex & Intimacy During Lockdown
Sex is an important, indispensable activity for the realisation and formation of a sexual identity, giving expression to someone’s erotic and emotional feelings and behaviours. David Boyd speaks about how Covid-19 altered many aspects of our lives including our sexual ones
Growing Up Gay in the North
It’s hard to explain what it’s like growing up in Northern Ireland, to someone who never has, describes
Sexual (Re)Awakening
During lockdown, there have been massive reckonings, revolutions and reawakenings around sex and sexual health in Ireland. Artists, activists, organisations, students and sex workers speak with Oisin Kenny about adapting to a pandemic and what this means going forward