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Welcome, dear reader, to the December/January edition of GCN as we close out one year and welcome in the next. We recently teamed up with the fine folk at Outburst Queer Arts Festival on the fascinating Eldering project, which discussed ageing and ageism in the queer community. One of the participants, the wonderful Ailbhe Smyth graces our cover in a beautiful photo by the incredible Hazel Coonagh.
So what else can you expect inside? There’s a discussion from queer footballers on the decision to make Qatar the host of the World Cup, while the rise of bigotry on Twitter as the platform nosedives gets an engrossing feature. There’s a gorgeous feature highlighting Asian queer creatives who share their work and their thoughts on identity, while in the latest of our series looking back at iconic queer nightspots, we celebrate the beloved Kremlin in Belfast.

There are essential features on the specific mental health needs of LGBTQ+ folk, the hidden figures of queer homeless people in this country and a further demand for Hate Crime legislation to pass. Expect personal essays including a love letter to the punk scene and a community member’s experiences of five Pride celebrations across the country. As it’s the last issue of the year, queer folk also look back on the year that was and share their hopes for 2023. Read on and enjoy!

GCN 375 Articles

Outhouse
GCN Group Manager Michael Brett
And breathe…we made it to the end of the year. 2022, you were a rollercoaster of emotions! We emerged from the shadow of Covid-19 and finally celebrated Pride and queer events in-person across the country. Our light shone again, as we protested, partied, and paraded through the cities, towns, and villages of the country
FROM THE TEAM
Welcome, dear reader, to the December/January edition of GCN, an issue that serves the double purpose of closing out one year and welcoming in another.
NXF UPDATE
The National LGBT Federation (NXF) is glad to report that the long-awaited Hate Offences Bill was moved forward by Government in recent weeks.
HOMEWORKS
Fionn Kidney of the non-profit social enterprise Common Knowledge shares information on an essential new project which creates space for LGBTQ+ people to bring climate action home to Irish communities
A Pride of Prides
When Nicole Lee moved to Ireland in 2020, one of the things she was most excited about was Dublin Pride. When 2022 arrived, she decided to go all-out by attending not one, but five different Prides.
My Love Letter to the Punk Community
‘Punk is not dead.’ Al Fartukh heard this phrase far too many times before they even knew what punk was. They wrote it on bathroom walls, school books and even dreamed of having a tattoo of the phrase when they were a preteen, but they can now confidently say that it sure as hell is more alive than ever.
RED CARD
On December 2, 2010, former FIFA President Sepp Blatter revealed that Qatar would be the host nation for the men’s World Cup in 2022. Alice Linehan reports on how that decision has affected queer players and fans of football
Mind Matters
As the weather gets colder and the days shorter, those of us with seasonal depression, anxiety and other issues are bound to notice increased symptoms. But, as Ethan Moser explains, it would be remiss not to mention that LGBTQ+ folks are more likely to suffer from mental health issues than our cis-het counterparts.
Northern Star
Damian Kerlin takes a closer look at that jewel in the crown of Belfast’s queer nightlife, the much-loved Kremlin.
A SEAT AT THE TABLE
Whether you consider yourself young or old, ageing is something that affects us all. Han Tiernan talks about an essential roundtable discussion which happened as part of the Outburst Queer Arts Fest.
ELDERING
The god Thor was once beaten in an arm wrestle by a very aged crone, the tale illustrating that age will always defeat youth and vigour in the end. El’s suggestion of looking to our own folklore, such as the idea of Tír na nÓg, when thinking about time passing, was introduced during an online round table interview that Rita Wild hosted in November of behalf of GCN.
Antisocial Media
In October of this year, Elon Musk fulfilled the prophecy of his acquisition of Twitter, entering the company’s headquarters wielding a sink and a promise to become a “free speech absolutist”. Joe Drennan looks at the social media platform’s freefall since and its stark rise in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.
A MESSAGE FROM THE STATE
After years of campaigning for appropriate legislation to protect marginalised groups, the Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences Bill 2022 is going through its second stage in the Dáil. The majority of EU countries already have existing legislation and in the current climate of increasing hate, Beatrice Fanucci echoes the voices who say it’s past time for Ireland to take action.
A HIDDEN MINORITY
As of November 2022, the number of people registered as homeless in Ireland reached the highest on record - 11,397 without a home. Adding to the causes for concern about this issue is the immense cohort that remains statistically underrepresented - the LGBTQ+ community. Joe Drennan reports
FINE ART
Living in a predominantly white country has made it easy to lose sight of the colours that different cultures have brought to Ireland from across the globe as queer People of Colour express their identities in beautiful ways, including performance, music and art. Al Fartukh spoke to a handful of queer Asian artists whose voices are becoming louder and more recognised with each of their artistic endeavours. They shared their influences, expressions and what it means for them to identify as queer and Asian.
QUEER–TOPIA –
2022 saw some massive shifts in Irish queer culture. From dealing with a spike in hate-fuelled attacks and persisting transphobia in Irish media to more hopeful displays of progress, the queer people
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