Magazine V2 Issue 7 â€“ December 2014
Jenny Butler on Food & Frolics
Tobias Larsson The Rainbow Duck Writer/Author
Gareth Russell Inside:
Fashion | Film | Music | History | Theatre | Interviews
EILE Magazine | Who’s Who
Contributors Mark Anthony Mark is from Port Laoise and is an event producer, having worked on several fashion shows in Ireland. He is EILE’s resident style writer. Nick Bassett Originally from England but now based in Auckland, New Zealand, Nick is the creator of Chart Shaker, his daily music blog. He is EILE’s own music guru. Jenny Butler Jenny is a writer, broadcast journalist and radio producer, living in County Kildare. M. Butler M. Butler is a writer and editor, with a keen interest in human rights, and has studied philosophy and psychology. Scott De Buitléir Scott is the creator of EILE Magazine and is a writer and broadcaster from Dublin. He also hosts The Cosmo, RTÉ’s LGBT radio show, every Wednesday at 10pm. Tobias Larsson Tobias is a Swedish freelance journalist, based in Helsinki, Finland. He writes on a number of issues in both Swedish and English. Lisa Reynolds Originally from County Meath, Lisa is a fashion industry student living in Bray, County Wicklow. Gareth Russell Gareth is an author, playwright and historian, based in Belfast. He is the author of the ‘Popular’ fiction series and has published books on the First World War and the Tudors. Frances Winston Frances Winston is EILE’s resident film buff, and has contributed to many publications such as The Irish Independent and Irish Tatler.
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EILE Magazine | Welcome
Highlights December 2014 Deja Mae – P.6 We dropped in on the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter to talk about her music, her stuntwork and her new single
Rainbow Duck – P.12 We visit Helsinki to find out about the Swedish-speaking LGBT group, Regnbägsankan
Jenny on Christmas – P.22 Get those festive tunes going, Jenny Butler looks at the good, the awkward and the hilarious Christmas moments many of us will have
Gate of the Year – P.24 Playwright Gareth Russell on the French Revolution, with an Ulster twist
Volume 2, Issue 07 Editor-in-Chief: Scott De Buitléir Features Editor: MKB Contributors: Mark Anthony, Nick Bassett, Jenny Butler, M. Butler, Tobias Larsson, Lisa Reynolds, Gareth Russell, Frances Winston NB: All images in this publication are either under Creative Commons licence, or used with permission. Image credits, where necessary, are printed on the correspinding page(s). Any queries can be made to hello@eile. ie Special Thanks to MKB for all her hard work, dedication and support. Web: http://eile.ie Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @EileMagazine Facebook: http://fb.com/eilemagazine Note: All opinions expressed in this issue are the writers’ own.
Film & Music Reviews – P.52 Frances Winston pops along to the cinema to see St. Vincent, while Nick Bassett reviews some of the hottest new music.
…and much more! EILE Magazine 3
EILE Magazine | Editor’s Letter
LGBT News Round-Up
12 - Rainbow Duck 16 -
Gate of the Year
30 - History 40 - Films 42 -
Opinion: Post Gay
21st Century Life
A Taoiseach Walks Into A Gay Bar... You’ve probably heard of this joke, right? So, a prime minister walks into a bar, orders a few pints and spends some time with members of his party. Sounds normal, right? The punchline? Well, that’s the thing; there isn’t one. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny (our prime minister, for EILE’s overseas readers) visited members of his Fine Gael party’s LGBT group during their Christmas Drinks night out in Pantibar, a well-known gay bar in Dublin. Many patrons of the popular bar were a little perplexed; what was Enda Kenny doing there? Was it a publicity stunt? Was he there to work on getting the ‘pink vote’? Was this a distraction from the water charge and homelessness scandals that have rocked the government recently? Honestly, it’s hard to tell what Kenny’s true motivation was without being the Taoiseach’s personal publicist. Regardless, however, a Taoiseach has not only stepped foot into, but had a few pints in, a gay bar. Few countries can say that about their prime ministers. When was the last time David Cameron socialised in Soho? Has Denmark’s Helle Thorning-Schmidt been to Copenhagen’s Centralhjørnet? Will Australia’s Tony Abbott get a photo with a Sydney drag queen? The last one there isn’t likely at all. We are starting to see a major change toward progress in Ireland. Enda’s pint in Pantibar is only the start, I feel. Let’s wait and see what happens next.
Scott De Buitléir Founder / Editor-in-Chief
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Dublin Bears:Two Party Dates for Your Diary! Don’t miss the Dublin Bears’ Christmas Drinks, upstairs in Nealon’s Bar on Capel Street, D1, on Saturday 27th December. Admission is free and a raffle will take place on the night, with proceeds going towards Pieta House.
Also coming up is the Dublin Bears’ New Year’s Eve Party, with DJ El Styra spinning the tunes and a complimentary cocktail upon arrival. Admission is €5, with selected drinks on offer. More info at dublinbears.ie or @dubbears!
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DEJA MAE This Singer/Songwriter Extraordinaire chats with EILE Magazine about her latest single, Black Blood With a love of The Simpsons, Sylvia Plath, the Lumineers and Van Morrison, you just know Deja Mae was born to be a performer. She is also anti-bullying, and a supporter of GLAAD’s Spirit Day. This Scorpio is also the daughter of Norman Howell, a well-established stunt man/ coordinator/director, and stunt double for Kevin Costner. Growing up, Deja’s life involved travelling from location to location, so it’s no wonder that she thinks of a movie set as “home.”
As a little girl, she fell in love with the idea of performing. and in “Dances with Wolves” she got her first taste of it. She continued in the ‘family business’ [as stuntwoman] throughout her adolescence, but soon realized that stunts were not enough. as the life of an actress brought conflicted emotions. Still longing to touch people’s lives through performing, she branched out into other areas of creativity, such as music. Deja kept to herself as a child, and spent time singing and documenting her life in a journal. When she got older, she realised she had a passion for songwriting and singing, and so at sixteen, started taking voice lessons. Music had become a vital aspect of Deja’s life, but an unforeseen and unfortunate event caused her to focus on music religiously. With a broken leg, three screws in her knee, and a spirit anxious to heal, Deja was holed up
at home with her songs and guitar. Her music became her therapeutic outlet for recovery, as she put her emotions in her writing. Following the experience, Deja kept her music as the larger part of her life, and she earned a residency at Hollywood’s Bar Lubitsch. Deja not only sings, but also plays acoustic guitar and piano. She says her style is influenced by some of her favorite artists, including Patsy Cline, Hank Williams Sr., Billie Holiday, and Led Zeppelin. She started collaborating with music producer, Eric Wright, in 2012, and the two have been working together ever since. Wright’s industrial inclinations are the perfect accompaniment to Deja Mae’s sultry sensibilities and spirited vocals. Their body of work so far includes the singles, “Sun Babies (Eric Wright Remix)”, “Honey Pi (Eric Wright Remix)” and their cover of The
Weeknd’s “Wicked Games”. Music videos for previous collaborations with Wright nod to several famous films and cartoons, indicating a deep familiarity with Hollywood. Deja still works as a stunt double and has worked on shows such as Brooklyn NineNine and CSI: NY. Her new single, “Black Blood” will lead you to a haunting sonic landscape that instantly captivates. The ethereal synth arrangement in it is reminiscent of Depeche Mode. The single marks a first for the music duo, as it was the first time they collaborated while in the room, possibly the first time they were in the same country. “It was really exciting to me, to create it start to finish together, in the same place,” explains Deja. Deja Mae and Eric Wright’s new single, “Black Blood”, proves the two have formed a beautiful, artistic relationship, and we can expect them to have plenty of tricks up their sleeves, for the future. Find out more about Deja Mae by visiting www.dejamae.com
Gar Cox’s New Single
Too Late for Christmas “Too Late for Christmas” is the new single by Dublin-based singer-songwriter Gar Cox. It is now available as a digital download.
lonely Christmas can be for many people, but looks hopefully to the holiday season and the new year to come.
Gar, who has been a well-loved figure on Dublin’s live music scene since the 1990s, wrote the song to reflect the experiences of a new generation of Irish men and women, from all walks of life, who find themselves overseas, thinking about home, at this time of year.
The strings and woodwind on the recording were played and arranged by Pawel Grudzien, himself a member of the Polish diaspora.
Gar has spent Christmases, good and bad, all over Europe and the U.K., as well as with family in his native Co. Carlow, and he draws on his own life experiences for this personal but inclusive song. Like many favourite Christmas songs, from “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to “Fairytale of New York”, “Too Late for Christmas” understands how difficult and
As Gar remembers the Irish towns and villages he knows, the song creates a picture of a troubled country looking to the future, and calls out to the new diaspora who won’t be home this year.
We at EILE Magazine loved the lyrics: “..I don’t know the teams, but the action’s fantastic With thoughts of Roscommon, and a guy named Fitzpatrick…” Hope you enjoy it! “Too Late for Christmas” is available from iTunes and all digital retailers now.
You can follow Gar on Twitter: @garcox Or listen to Too Late For Christmas on Soundcloud
News | Round-Up
LGBT Monthly News Roun Latvia: Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs Comes Out, Proud To Be Gay
Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, by the Washington Blade, was posted on the Latvian LGBT Mozaika facebook page, after the Latvian Foreign Minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs, came out as gay on Thursday last, using his Twitter account to do so. He tweeted: “I proudly announce I am gay. Good luck all of you”. In a country that recently considered bringing in antigay laws like those of Russia, coming out like this would seem to be a courageous thing to do.
The Latvian Foreign Minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs (41) has come out as gay, using Twitter to do so, with the hashtag #Proudtobegay. “When a public figure like [Foreign Minister] Rinkevics comes out, it sends a public message, one that reminds us that LGBT people are our doctors and soldiers and athletes and public servants and that they live in every society — and underscores the importance of continuing to make progress toward a world without hate.” This statement, attributed to Daniel Baer, the US ambassador to the 10 EILE Magazine
Idaho: Trans Woman Dressed as Man at Her Funeral A transgender woman was dressed by her family as a man for her funeral, which has prompted strong criticism of the family for erasing the woman’s identity. Jennifer Gable, originally from Twin Falls, Idaho, died of a brain aneurism in October at the age of 32. Despite legally changing her name to Jennifer in 2007, friends of Ms Gable were shocked to find that her
family had presented Jennifer as a man for her funeral at Magic Valley Funeral Home. Ms Gable’s family had cut the woman’s hair and dressed her in a striped man’s suit, referring to her as Geoffrey during the funeral service. Stacy Dee Hudson, a friend of the late Ms Gable, said she was “disgusted” at her friend’s treatment by her own family, posting on Facebook: “A great and dear friend’s mom went to the funeral today. It was not closed casket. They cut her hair, suit on. How can they bury her as Geoff when she legally changed her name. So very sad. Jen you will be missed and people who know you know that you are at peace.” “What her parents have done is just a horrible thing,” said Brandan Klosterman, a close
News | Round-Up
nd-Up friend of Jennifer. “There was a lot of bigotry from her family, and I don’t even think they talked to her anymore.” Gable’s grandparents, who had raised both Jennifer and her brother, refused to speak to the media, calling it a “family situation”.
Selfies For Equality – UN Human Rights’ Free & Equal Campaign In two separate incidents yesterday, two gay men have been stoned to death in Syria by ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in what are believed to be the first executions for alleged homosexuality by the militant group. One victim was killed in Mayadeen near the Iraq border, and was 20 yearsold. ISIS claimed to have video evidence on his mobile phone, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The second man was an 18 year-old, whom ISIS also claimed was gay. He was killed in Deir Ezzor (Deir ez-Zor) city, also by stoning.
TENI Policy Briefs Now Available for Gender Recognition Bill 2014 TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland) have now prepared policy briefs outlining key issues in the Revised General Scheme of Gender Recognition Bill 2014. These documents provide evidence and cogent arguments that make the case for inclusive and human-rights based gender recognition legislation. The government has commited to introducing gender recognition legislation in 2014 and have stated a “firm intention” to enact legislation in 2015. Unfortunately, restrictive and onerous criteria still mar the proposed legislation. You can read the Government’s Bill here. For more information on gender recognition please contact email@example.com or (01) 873 3575, or visit http://www. teni.ie For more information on the key issues, you can also access EILE Magazine 11
Feature | Rainbow Duck
The Rainbow Duck
Tobias Larsson writes about being a gay Swedish-speaker in Finland – a Minority Within A Minority November 28 was a very special day for Finland, as the national parliament voted in favour of a new legislation that will offer equal marriage to all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation. The margin was tight, and the law will need further approval, but LGBT groups all over the country were cheering and celebrating all the same.
Finland’s Swedish-speaking minority, roughly five per cent of the population. The name is a pun, as the Swedish-language community is small, and often referred to as a “duck pond” with small circles, where most people seem to know each other. Two people who would be impossible to miss in this particular circle are chairman, Oscar Ohlis, and co-ordinator, Fredrika Biström, who are both highly involved in making things happen.
One of these groups is Regnbågsankan (“The Rainbow Duck”) – an association for Why is it important to
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have LGBT-services in your mother tongue? - The easy answer is that Finland is a bilingual country, and we need information in both domestic languages, says Oscar Ohlis. There are Swedish-speakers who are simply not fluent enough in Finnish, and who need information in their own language. - Also when you discuss issues as personal and sensitive as sexuality, most people feel more comfortable doing that in their mother tongue.
Feature | News Rainbow | Kenya Duck - It is also easier for us to reach out to Swedish-language media, says Fredrika Biström. They often ask for advice or information, or names of people they can interview in various situations. What kind of association are you? - Regnbågsankan started out ten years ago in the small city of Ekenäs, Oscar Ohlis explains. It was a group where mainly gay men would get together and meet new friends. Legend has it there were two women involved at the beginning, but they allegedly fell in love with each other and stopped showing up to meetings. - These days, we have evolved into being a body that looks out for LGBT rights in our small community. We work on a political level to raise interest in these issues, but we also organise events and seminars for our members, as well as trying to educate various parts of our society about LGBT matters. - Given our small size – being a minority within the minority
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– we are pretty active, and reach out well to our target groups, says Fredrika Biström. I am proud that we have managed to remain active for ten years, that we have managed to find funding, and kept continuity in our activities. What are your main areas of activity? - We visit schools to talk about LGBT with the pupils, Fredrika Biström explains. Schools get in touch with us, and ask us to visit them, and there is always a great interest when we visit. We also help other associations deal with gay people – for instance, we have educated the staff at family care centres how to respond to same-sex couples in everyday situations. We also proofread articles and public information, to make sure they 14 EILE Magazine
use a correct terminology. - Recently, we have also started special groups for young LGBT people in Helsinki as well as in Jakobstad, and the outcome has been very positive. These young people have lots of ideas and energy, and come up with many things they wish to do together. - Then we also have a yearly event – Regnbågshelgen (The Rainbow Weekend) – where people have a chance to get together, and talk and get to know each other properly, but where there will also be debates and seminars about current matters. - There are Swedish speakers living in a large area of Finland, sometimes I feel we are too Helsinki-centred, Oscar Ohlis says. I am originally from
the region of Ostrobothnia in the west of Finland, where the debate climate is often seen as a bit more conservative. There is a growing demand for our services there – not least since the city of Jakobstad held their own local pride parade this summer – and my goal is for us to be more present there and elsewhere in the future. What is it like to be LGBT in Finland today? - It depends very much who you are and where you come from, Oscar Ohlis says. For me personally, it has always been very easy to live openly as gay, but other people will have other experiences. - The hetero norm is very strong in Finland, Fredrika Biström says. Many people just lean back and content
themselves with the idea that men should be strong and silent and that men and women are opposites designed to attract each other. In order to be LGBT in Finland you have to stand up bravely against this norm, which is easier some days than others. - Finland is a most multicultural country, Fredrika Biström continues. We have two official languages as well as a Sami community, a large Russian-speaking community, as well as the LGBT community. We would all benefit from embracing our differences and consider them an asset. - Finland is also becoming aware of its own LGBT history and culture, Oscar Ohlis says. This year has seen an enormous interest in the work of artist Touko Laaksonen, internationally known as Tom of Finland, where his works have been reproduced on official stamps as well as a line of bed linen, but also of lesbian artist Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomin trolls. It is a very positive development.
people’s attitudes and ways of thinking. - It signals that Finland considers itself a liberal country – a part of the western world – and that we align ourselves with our Scandinavian neighbours like Sweden and Norway, Oscar Ohlis adds. - Legally it is a small but important step, while we still have much bigger and more difficult issues to tackle. The rights of transgender people is one of the most pressing matters, one that will need our immediate attention and action. Regnbågsankan can be contacted through their webpage www.regnbagsankan.fi (in Swedish).
What does the new marriage legislation mean for Finland? - On a symbolic level it means an awful lot, Fredrika Biström says. The fact that all families and all marriages will have the same status is a very important step. I hope the question of equality will remain on the agenda. We need to remember that almost half our parliament voted against the new legislation as well. A lot of work remains when it comes to EILE Magazine 15
Music | The Minutes
Dublin’s finest rock ‘n’ roll renegades The Minutes have announced a very special New Year’s Eve gig at The Workman’s Club on Wednesday, 31 December. Three years have passed since the release of their blistering debut album Marcata. Since then the band have toured all over the world, with trips to America, Russia, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland and Belgium. They’ve ripped up stages at SXSW in Texas, the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, T In The Park in Scotland, the Leeds / Reading Festivals in the UK, Europavox in France and Eurosonic in Holland. All this, plus tours and shows with the likes of The Hives, Flogging Molly, Foo Fighters and Kings Of Leon. The trio have recently unleashed their brand new
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record Live Well, Change Often, released through Model Citizen Records at the beginning of the summer. The album was recorded in Vancouver at Fader Sound Studios, and was produced by GGGarth Richardson (Biffy Clyro / Rage Against The Machine). The tracks are dirt-devil, huge-groove laden numbers, with additional production completed here in Dublin. The album was mixed in New York by Chris Shaw (Weezer, Bob Dylan) and in Los Angeles by Chris Lord Alge (Bruce Springsteen, Deftones). A huge leap forward, in terms of both sound and themes, from Marcata, Live Well, Change Often deals with the reality of being in a rock ‘n’ roll band in the twenty first century, the hopes and the dreams, tempered with the shadows and illusions. Man stuff, Dad stuff. Wanna be a rock and roll outlaw but you have to deal with the in-laws? Wanna sail the 7 seas but you’re stuck at the 5 Lamps? So, this New Year’s Eve, get ready for The Minutes! They are coming to The Workman’s Club in Dublin to kick off 2015. Get your tickets now to make sure you don’t miss out on what is certain to be a belter.
Special guests to be announced soon!
THE MINUTES PLUS special guests Tickets €18 including booking fee, went on sale Friday, 28 November at 9am!
Gig takes place on New Year’s Eve, 31 December Available from www. theworkmansclub.com or Ticketmaster
The Minutes are: Mark Austin – lead vocals and guitars Shane Kinsella – drums Tom Cosgrave – bass guitar
News | Tim Cook
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It’s Party Seas Style | Festive Fashion
Mark Anthony, our resident styling guru, loo
at all that sparkles for this holiday season, and how
you can carry off the look with a few choice pieces
During the holiday period, a seemingly never-ending array of social events always occurs. Naturally, we all want to look our very best for each and every one – quite a challenge when you’re busy at work, rushed off your feet or hungover from the previous night’s shenanigans. However, it is that time of year again. Stylish gentlemen everywhere have begun to dust off their velvet dinner jackets, and shine their smartest
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loafers, for the arrival of the party season. However, for a period that is meant to be about fun and celebration, it can all start to feel a bit habitual and lifeless.
fun should be left to our fellow female fashionistas. Abide by some basic rules when adding shine and sparkle to your outfit, and you’ll create a look that is still bold and masculine.
So why not try injecting some new energy into your party wear this year? And what better way to get pumped for the season of decadence, than by reaching back to a time when looking good on the dance floor was all that mattered. I am talking about channelling the style and spirit of the seventies, a trend that was huge across the runways the past few seasons. Forget the questionable hairstyles and flares; this look is a sharp and contemporary update, by way of metallics and statement high-shine pieces. Not all the
Recently, menswear from the 1920s and 1930s received a modern makeover, thanks to Baz Luhrmann’s blockbuster big screen adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The dapper style features of this time period could be seen everywhere – from oversized peak lapels to dandy pocket squares – prompting guys to sharpen up in the most time-honoured way. Meanwhile, both the rebellious attitude of the 1980s, and sporty element of the 1990s, have made several
Style | Festive Fashion
reappearances across casual attire in recent years, making it no surprise that a resurgence of stylish yet subtle 1970s disco flair is on the way. We have also seen signs of a seventies revival taking place this year, when electroextraordinaires, Daft Punk, made an extremely successful return. Not only did the French duo’s addictive/overplayed anthem, Get Lucky, feature a delightful return to the sound and spirit of the seventies, but so did their style. In fashion, designers, from Walter Van Beirendonck to Raf Simons, sent retro-inspired pieces down the runway in the past, making ‘Sartorial Seventies’ a key trend for that given season. Simons’ collection saw everything, from patterned wool tank tops to fluid trousers, make an appearance, whilst huge shirt collars and cuffs were prevalent too.
Elsewhere, Beirendonck focused on the theatricality of the 1970s, with multidimensional shine, retro knitwear and other glam rock influences taking centre-stage. It would appear that the influence of David Bowie’s style and sound could be found in both designers’ collections, which is unsurprising when so many have centred on the glam rock icon’s return to the music industry. It would be hard to examine a 1970s trend without citing the legendary Ziggy Stardust character at some point, with the instantly recognisable lightning bolt and androgynous features playing a significant part in Beirendonck’s collection in particular. Although 1970s fashion in general appears to have made a EILE Magazine 19
Style | Festive Fashion
comeback, it is disco style that is being revisited for the forthcoming party season. The trick is, of course, to keep the look sharp yet subtle. We’ve all got a very distinctive picture in our minds when we think of disco style. Whether it’s shiny polyester shirts with pointy collars, or necklaces featuring medallions, the style of the seventies has almost turned into a parody of itself – reserved for occasions that require fancy dress.
pair of metallic brogues? Keep everything else minimal to nail the aesthetic.
However, I see it as a bit of a challenge to take a style stereotype and turn it on its head. The confident spirit of the 1970s is as relevant today as it ever was, when it comes to the party season; the look simply needs a bit of finetuning.
Set yourself the challenge of taking on the retro disco look, and giving it a fresh and contemporary reworking, perfect for now and beyond. You’re probably thinking that some of the looks Raf Simons and Walter Van Beirendonck sent down the runway might be a bit adventurous for the office Christmas party, but it’s all about adapting elements of the trend to fit your own style and the setting.
Honestly, we should all take a page out of Daft Punk’s book: keep shape, look sharp and sleek whilst getting flamboyant, through choice of colour, fabric and detailing. Pick a strong statement garment and tone it down with simple, tailored pieces. For example, if you choose a sequin-embellished blazer, pair it with sleek black trousers and a crisp white shirt. Opting for a
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By today’s standards, many elements of 1970s style appear dated, and even sometimes comical. But as the party season gets into full swing once again, it’s the perfect time to take a few risks, and make a sharp sartorial statement that turns heads for all the right reasons.
Whether you opt for a subtle retro-inspired pocket square, or a more daring shimmery dinner jacket, you’ll feel confident and of-the-moment at every event you attend over the Christmas period.
After all, the party season should be fun, light-hearted, and a little over the top – which is exactly what 1970s style, is all about.
Style |News Festive Fashion | GLAAD
Zara, Tom Ford
“.. as the party season gets into full swing once again, it’s the perfect time to take a few risks, and make a sharp sartorial statement that turns heads for all the right reasons” EILE Magazine 21
USA | Equal Marriage
Brussels Sprouts & Roses!
A Very Jenny Christmas ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’… but even something wonderful has its little quirks! Let’s start with the commute to wherever it is that you celebrate Christmas. If you don’t live near wherever you trek to, and you don’t drive, then the journey can be somewhat tedious. Chris Rea sang about driving home for Christmas; luckily for him, he probably never had to travel with Bus Éireann. If you have had the joyous experience of long-distance travel by bus around Christmas-time, then you may be familiar with the dulcet tones of the gentleman who did the world’s most seductive voiceover: “Stand clear, luggage doors operatin’ “ Commuting woes aside, there’s a lot to be said for getting a bus or driving home to wherever it is you are from, seeing the folks and old 72 EILE Magazine
friends, and staying in your old bedroom. My old bedroom has now been converted into an office, and I stay in a guest room. I could complain about that, but some topics are perhaps best left alone to preserve the serene Christmas peace; like when I was five years old and decided to spray perfume on the Christmas cake that my Mam had spent ages making weeks in advance. My thinking was that it would make it smell nice. It was that rotten ‘Opium’ perfume. It did not smell nice, but we found out by accident that it was kind of flammable, so that was a nice Christmas surprise, for me, at least. Christmas morning is always the best time over all of Christmas, in my opinion. It is the one day of the year that I can wake up and have chocolate before breakfast. Breakfast in our house usually consists of a full Irish fry-up. Friends of mine say that it’s a similar story in their homes; brekkie has more grease than a ‘Best of John Travolta’ box set, but before that’s even
ready, they’ve already eaten an entire selection box, which seemed like a fantastic idea at the time. With that in mind, is there an official time in the day when it’s ok to open the tin of Roses? Also, who eats the Roses with the strawberry fondant stuff in them?! Those sweets are like Satan’s contribution to Christmas, sent to upset the whole day! The people who like them must be delighted with themselves, no fear of their favourite ‘Rose’ being gone when they go to the tin. Thank the angel Cadbury for Roses, because honestly, so-called treats like stollen and marzipan just sound like types of fungal nail infections. I’ve often thought that you could actually categorise some people you know, or used to know, as types of Rose’s sweets: The Purple One: They seem really sweet, but you soon realise that underneath the sweetness, a nut exists. The Caramel Barrel: Sickeningly sweet; think Julie
Ireland | Politics from Corrie. Small doses, please! The Green One: The happy medium between being a nut and being sweet; the best combo of the lot! The Coffee One: You love them or hate them. There is no inbetween. Despite eating your weight in chocolate, you’re committed to the entire Christmas experience, which is not complete without Christmas dinner. Whether you’re a carnivore, omnivore or vegetarian, the Christmas dinner experience comprises of more food than you can handle, reading the ‘jokes’ from Christmas crackers and wearing the brightly-coloured crowns, also found inside the crackers. It’s usually pudding or Christmas cake for dessert, and can I just take a moment here to express my undying adoration for crimbo pudding? It’s feckin’ delicious and keeps for ages after it’s made, yumbos! Just remember that perfume and Christmas cake don’t really go well together. With dinner scoffed, it’s time to retire to the couch and nurse your food baby, whilst watching cheesy Christmas movies or Christmas editions of television shows. An hour or so passes, and it’s all going so well, until the mixture of selection box, brekkie and Christmas dinner decides to wreck your buzz, by
producing a gale force within your tummy akin to Gail from Corrie when she had that fight with Eileen. Trust me on this, to ensure Christmas peace, make like Elsa from Frozen and just ’let it go’. You’ll feel better, nobody will notice (once you step out of the room for a moment) and you can go back to watching ‘Babe’ for the millionth time on RTÉ One. Besides, you are no match for the power of Brussels sprouts! If you can avoid arguing about who cheated at what board game, etc, you should make it nicely to Stephen’s Day, which in our house means another Christmas dinner, and warbling along with the Wren Boys, a local group of guys who dress in straw suits and sing. I’m too lazy to look up what the origins of the tradition are, but I’m told it’s a ‘country’ thing, apparently. I’m a Dub who relocated to the shticks when I was younger, so I just adopted some of the local traditions and went along with them - as you do, or perhaps not. Either way, it’s good craic and a chance for family and friends to meet up. Before you know it, it’s New Year’s Eve, and you’ve just received that generic chain text message that’s been re-sent to you every year by at least one person since you got your first mobile phone: ‘Before the network goes down, before the signal gets jammed, I just want to say…’
storm in 2015. On a serious note, Christmas is one of those times when even if you don’t particularly celebrate it, you do end up thinking about family a bit more, and perhaps spending time with family isn’t an option or an intention, for many reasons. Do make sure that if your family home isn’t a place where you feel comfortable and free to be yourself, you have some kind of support in place, like a friend you can call or a relative to chat with. Also, remember that you are not alone, and there is support available if you feel that you need it by logging on to www. mentalhealthireland.ie or by calling the Samaritans, who are open on Christmas Day: 116 123 (there is no charge for calling this number.) I hope that 2015 brings you happiness, health and whatever else it is that you need to make it a fantastic year. Nollaig Shona daoibh go léir! Happy Christmas to you all! Jenny Butler
There’s no telling what the new year will bring, but if you have good people around you, you’re sure to be able to weather any EILE Magazine 73
The Gate of the Year Revisited Scott De Buitléir chats with Gareth Russell about the return of his powerful play to Belfast, and some changes made
SDB: The French revolution was a fascinating period of time, and one that playwrights and filmmakers have looked at before. Where did the idea come from to put an Ulster twist onto your portrayal of the story? GR: It is fascinating. Simon Schama wrote about there being a pervasive view that it was “the crucible of modernity” and, although he queries that assertion in his book “Citizens”, it’s always stuck with me.
So much of modern society lives in the shadow of the French Revolution, not least because I think its myth is something which so many of us have unconsciously invested in. I often wonder how the revolution would be seen if the French monarchy hadn’t fallen for a second time, in 1848 - if the restoration of 1814/1815 had stuck.
Necklace” in 1942, that is all the more poignant not just because of his skill but because of his own tragic fate that the forces of History thrust upon him.
the fate of at least two of the characters because I could not see anyway in which their lives would have ended in the way they had with modern risks and technology. In the end, it all boiled down to telling a story as fairly as I could. There’s a line in Act II when the King’s sister remarks, “They will know we sang of them tonight,” about a requiem; I inserted that phrase because it’s how I felt as a writer, just as Elisabeth does as a Catholic. Whatever their politics, or how I would view them personally, I tried to show each character fairly - warts, feathers and all - because they really, truly lived, and if the Revolution’s manifest failings taught me anything, it’s that the individual does matter, and humanity is a fragile thing to be treated with great respect.
SDB: What was the research like into this era, and how much did it affect your portrayal of the characters?
I had written about most of The Gate of the Year’s characters before and I wrote my undergrad thesis on MarieAntoinette’s presentation in popular culture from about 1800 onward. But this play was very different, because I was essentially taking these personalities and wondering how much would change against how much would remain the same if they had grown up in a time very different to their own. I decided that MarieAntoinette would not have been as unpopular as she was in historical reality, because so much of the demonisation of the Queen relied on the fact that very few people had ever seen her, and even fewer had ever heard her speak. In an age with cameras and televisions, it was inconceivable that people would have believed that Marie-Antoinette was an incestuous paedophile with a penchant for genocide, which is how she was painted in the more extreme elements of the republican press before 1793.
GR: There are some wonderful books out there - Munro Price’s “The Fall of the French Monarchy” was something I first read when I was seventeen and it remains one of my favourite historical books. Antal Szerb, who perished in the Holocaust, also wrote a gem called “The Queen’s
Instead, the collective obsession with MarieAntoinette’s wardrobe and style in 18th century France was transformed into a kind of punishing media attention that, obviously, brought up parallels with women like Princess Diana and Princess Grace of Monaco. I had to alter
In any case, I’m not actually sure where the Ulster twist on the tale came. I think if one performed it for an American audience they might see it very differently, or an English audience. It happened organically: as the story progressed, it began to become more and more apparent that there were parallels or, at least, similarities. Conor Doran, who played Jean-Paul Marat in the March 2014 run, and Dan Kelly, who played the role this December, both felt that there were many people in Northern Ireland like Marat, on both “sides”, and they played him accordingly and, for me anyway, chillingly.
SDB: While writing this play, did you gain an insight in more modern history (NI? Elsewhere?) of history repeating itself? GR: It certainly strikes a chill to realise how little we have learned in our eagerness to justify everything for the “greater good”. Writing about a cast of characters, the majority of whom are a distinctly pre-Thatcherite kind of Right-wing, gave me an insight into how that mindset functions and how incredibly complicated and surprising it can be. In many ways, it made me surprised and quite unhappy that the DUP/Palin/ Thatcherite strand of the
Right-wing had triumphed in the end. Although, of course, it’s easy to be nostalgic about something one never experienced - for the Right and the Left. SDB: You have a modern twist in this play, and mention gay marriage once or twice. Was this as it’s a topic du jour, or was there an intent behind it? GR: Both, I think. One of the things that surprised me was the extent to which young and modern members of the upper-classes are usually either indifferent to, or extremely supportive of, marriage equality. It is generally considered somehow rather embarrassing to be against it, and this is an idea I toyed with through the characters of Meredith and Cameron in my novel, The Immaculate Deception, but I went further in The Gate of the Year. In part, it was because actual revolutionary propaganda was often deeply misogynistic and, even by eighteenth century standards, jaw-droppingly homophobic. (To use a modern phrase.) It helped enable the rape and lynching of at least one palace aristocrat, the Princesse de Lamballe, in 1792. Equally, at Versailles, Marie-Antoinette’s clique were warmly welcoming of a transgender spy, the Chevalier d’Eon. Finally, although most of that clique were obviously the farthest Right of the Right by 1789, people’s politics are not a clear block - I find. Prior to this, many of them - including the King’s brother
(played by David Paulin) and the Queen’s friend Gabrielle de Polignac (Rebecca Lenaghan) - had supported the lifting of the censorship laws to allow performances of the Beaumarchais play, “The Marriage of Figaro”, a script with racy dialogue and liberal political leanings. In my head, in the back story, these all wove together to make sense that a young, upper class set like those around Gabrielle de Polignac would be pro-gay marriage if they lived today, their Catholicism notwithstanding. I’m sure there are some of that set’s modern-day enthusiasts would disagree with me, but I think I’m right and it certainly worked for the characters.
Hawthorne), inspired by a royalist war hero who died in 1794. I wanted to put the marquis in the second act to show the importance of the military in modern politics and how seriously masculinity was taken in their culture.
SDB: The play was received warmly last year in Belfast - is there anything new in this year’s performance?
SDB: Where/what next for you?
GR: I actually re-wrote quite a bit of the second act, because I felt that claustrophobic terror in Versailles after the fall of the Bastille needed dialled-up. I also added more of a distinctly Catholic feel to the second act, because their faith was important to them and though it was both more devout and more flippant, paradoxically, than many practicing Christians today, I found the ceremonies and spirituality of their Catholicism very moving and I wanted to reflect that honestly in the script. We also have one more character, a general, the marquis de la Rochejacquelein (played by Stewart
Although it is a “modern” world at Versailles, it is still very gendered, heavily invested in manners and etiquette - in a way we are not. They still talk about being debutantes; Pauline (Lauren Browne) references the fact that if a chap kissed you after your “coming out” as a debutante, he was honour-bound to ask you to marry him, etc. So I think adding Rochejacquelein helped with that.
GR: I will leave Versailles and Charlotte Corday’s apartment with great reluctance. Maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome? But, I’ll be carrying on with writing for magazines, and I am currently working on a biography of Catherine Howard, which will be out in 2016, and there will be a few more projects in 2015, too. At the moment, Catherine is where most of my time will be going.
News | Zachary Quinto
Zachary Quinto Responds to Misinterpretation Of His Comments About HIV/AIDS 28 EILE Magazine
News | Zachary Quinto
When Zachary Quinto was awarded Artist of the Year by OUT100, he made some comments about the present attitude among young gay men to HIV/AIDS. OUT100 reported: “Quinto’s rise and sheer ubiquity in Hollywood are reflective not only of his strength as an actor or his professional savvy, but also of the rapidly shifting currents of gay rights in America. And yet, while history is being written in the present, he urges us not to forget the past.” ‘“I think there’s a tremendous sense of complacency in the LGBT community,” Quinto says, citing the rising number of HIV infections in adolescents. “AIDS has lost the edge of horror it possessed when it swept through the world in the ’80s. Today’s generation sees it more as something to live with and something to be much less fearful of. And that comes with a sense of, dare I say, laziness.”’ His comments met with mixed reactions, with some calling him poz-phobic and some attributing his attitude to internal homophobia. Quinto has tried to address what he sees as misinterpretation of his words
by writing in the Huffington Post Gay Voices: “What troubles me — and what I was trying to speak to in my interview — is an attitude among (some of) the younger generation of gay men — that we can let our guard down against this still very real threat to our collective wellbeing. I have had numerous conversations in my travels with young gay people who see the threat of HIV as diminished to the point of near irrelevance. I have heard too many stories of young people taking PrEP as an insurance policy against their tendency toward unprotected nonmonogamous sex. THAT is my only outrage”. This latest article has prompted more criticism, for instance, that he is trying to “promote monogamy” with one commenter, Michael Cooney, posting on Quinto’s facebook page: “[..]The result, whether he likes to admit it or not, is that he’s subtly trying to shame men who are making an active and important protective step; and the seeming reason, borne out by his choice of words, is an interest in promoting monogamy – or at least some level of disdain for having multiple partners”. While a Quinto supporter, Matthew Burgess, wrote: “[..] I fear [however] you have missed the key goal of Zachary’s message. His
message is about reigniting the awareness of the plight of HIV amongst an ever increasing complacent younger population [of] sexually active youth.[..] Quinto felt that while there was some misinterpretation of what he said, he was glad it was sparking lively debate around the issues: “I am thrilled that the comments I made in my cover interview for OUT 100 have generated a spirited dialogue about HIV/AIDS — and the advent of a whole new class of preventative life saving medication. I am less thrilled that they were almost entirely misconstrued. Perhaps I could have been more articulate — but my comments were never meant to be incendiary or judgmental”. He assured people that he was not poz-phobic, or internally homophobic, nor “wilfully ignorant” of the subject, being well-informed and well educated. He also stated that he is a staunch supporter of the LGBT community, from which he hails himself, and didn’t mean to make generalisations about the community, or people living with AIDS or who love someone who is HIVpositive. MKB
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History | Gareth Russell
Royal inbreeding: how reliable is one of history’s most popular stories? By Gareth Russell Portraits of the slack-jawed and bug-eyed Hapsburgs, hair fair and stare glazed, are a staple part of any discussions on one of the most familiar accusations hurled at the European royal houses: namely, that they were habitually inbred. By the time pretty Marie-Antoinette was born into the family in 1755, along with her bevy of attractive sisters, something had evidently worked itself out, to say nothing of the statuesque handsome poise of a young Franz Josef in the next century. However, the charge that the entire aristocratic and royal houses of Europe were essentially mad, bad and dangerous to know because they only married their cousins is repeated so often that it is taken to be veritable fact. Reviews of the wildly inaccurate historical romp Anonymous suggested that the unhinged behaviour of an ageing Elizabeth I (Vanessa Redgrave) must have been caused in part being the offspring of too much royal inbreeding (Elizabeth I’s parents, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, were by no means closely related, but that’s 31 EILE Magazine
apparently by the by.) However, I argue in my book The Emperors that the story of royalty being in-bred is in fact hugely exaggerated and I began by looking at the story of the most famous of its casualties, the Spanish side of the Hapsburg clan, in a chapter called The Dual Monarchy, giving an overview of the Austrian monarchy. The Spanish branch of the Hapsburg clan had died out in 1700 after generations of inbreeding. This was never as much of a problem with their less insular Austrian cousins, and it is almost entirely to the Spanish side of the family that we owe the popular stereotype of royalty as habitual inbreds. That point has been both overstated and misunderstood. It is worth noting that in the medieval and early modern period what we would now recognise as inbreeding.... was not uncommon. In an age when very few people left the village, town or county where they had
grown up, inbreeding across the course of several generations was inevitable, regardless of one’s social class. Royalty could no more marry outside the sacred confines of their class than most of their subjects could marry outside the limits of their locality. So, it did occur, but no more or less than within the vast majority of the early modern populations. As attitudes changed and our horizons expanded, royalty moved towards marrying people to whom they were related as faintly as anyone marrying today, in much the same way as nearly everyone in the British Isles with Anglo-Saxon ancestry is likely to be, in some faint way, a descendant of the medieval king Edward III with his numerous children. The marriages to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Diana Spencer and Catherine Middleton were part of a trend set by many factors in history, including changing attitudes to class, love and geography.
News | Mr Gay Ireland
Hapsburgâ€™s Charves V
EILE Magazine 39
Events | Glória
Gloria Annual Christmas Concert!
Glória, Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir, present their annual Christmas Concert from St Patrick’s Cathedral 32 EILE Magazine
Glória, Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir, will present their annual Christmas concert in St Patrick’s Cathedral on Friday 12th December at 8:00pm. It is now almost 20 years since the choir was founded and this will be their fifth consecutive Christmas performance in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Each year, the concert attracts a capacity audience of more than 1,200 people Tickets for this year’s concert can be purchased online from
www.entertainment.ie/tickets and cost €11 including admin fees. “The festive favourites will all still be there,” said Packham. “We’ll have the ones we know people love – ‘O Holy Night’, ‘In the Bleak Mid Winter’, and ‘Walking in the Air’. “ But this year we’re also going to add some other new festive pieces as well new songs from our non-festive repertoire to take advantage of the wonderful acoustic effect found only in such a wonderful venue like St Patrick’s Cathedral”.
Events | Glória
When the choir started in 1995, it had only 25 members. Glória now has 65 members across four sections - sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. The Christmas Concert in St Patrick’s is the highlight of the season for the members who have been learning Christmas carols since September. “It’s wonderful to see how this choir has grown,” said Packham, “and to see the commitment and enthusiasm of these women and men. These are all busy people: some are studying, most have busy careers, and some have kids at home. They all give up their entire social life from September to December to prepare for this.”
the natural acoustics of the cathedral,” said Packham. “And during the finale, we’ll be inviting the whole audience to join us for some classic Christmas standards, ‘Silent Night’, ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, and ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing’. “This has now become a fixture in a lot of family calendars. We hope that people will come along to our concert to get their Christmas season off to a great start. Don’t miss it- it really is going to be a fantastic night! ” Packham concluded. For further information on this event and on the choir, please visit www.gloria.ie
The choir’s repertoire is wide ranging; from musicals to madrigals and from classical to camp. As well as choral pieces, there will also be performances on the night by some of the choir’s talented soloists. This year, the Choir also has a new Christmas album on sale ‘The Sound of Christmas’, the album can be bought on the night, or from Glória’s website. “We are particularly looking forward this year to performing Eric Whitacre’s ‘Lux Arumque’, which we know will sound stunning in
EILE Magazine 33
News | Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Visits Pantibar
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny made a somewhat unexpected visit to one of Dublin’s most popular gay bars last night, in a move that is being hailed by many in the LGBT and wider Irish community as a sign of positive change in Ireland. As Fine Gael’s LGBT group held their Christmas night out in Pantibar on Capel Street last night, the leader of the Fine Gael party and Taoiseach decided to drop down to the Dublin gay bar to visit the LGBT group’s members, including Jerry Buttimer TD and Dale McDermott, President of Young Fine Gael.
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While bar owner, the iconic Panti Bliss, was not at her bar last night to meet An Taoiseach (she was performing her show at the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar) she did post a photo of Mr Kenny alongside Jerry Buttimer TD, James Reilly TD and Brian Sheehan of GLEN. “It’s a changed world in many ways”, wrote Panti on her Facebook page, noting the political and social relevance of the Taoiseach socialising in a gay bar in Ireland.
Interview | Jayne Ava
EILE Magazine 7
Opinion | Month in Review
Donâ€™t miss the 16th Annual Christmas Carol Service for the LGBT community, their families and friends, on Saturday, 13th December! There will be a collection for the campaign for Civil Marriage with guest speaker Moninne Griffith of Marriage Equality, and the Dublin Gay Menâ€™s Chorus provide the carols!
The celebrations start at 8 pm, and you can munch on mince pies afterwards! (Did we mention the mulled wine?)
Entertainment | Jeremy Irvine
Jeremy Irvine stars in The Woman In Black, Angel Of Death
Jeremy Irvine stars alongside Phoebe Fox (above) in The Woman In Black, Angel Of Death
Actor Jeremy Irvine stars alongside Phoebe Fox in Woman in Black, Angel of Death, in cinemas January 1
1941. Seeking safety from the bombs in the remote coastal location, the group instead find themselves facing an evil far more frightening, when their arrival awakens the Woman in Black.
The Woman in Black, Angel of Death tells the story of two teachers who evacuate a group of schoolchildren to the abandoned Eel Marsh House during the blitz in England,
Jeremy Irvine stars alongside Phoebe Fox and Helen McCrory. You may recognise Jeremy from War Horse, The Railway Man or Great Expectations. He has a number of projects coming up and has
just finished filming Stonewall, alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Stonewall tells the story of LGBT rights in the run up to the New York riots in 1969, from IMDB, “A young man’s political awakening and coming of age during the days and weeks leading up to the Stonewall Riots”.
EILE Magazine 37
The ‘California Dispatch’ Team at This Way Out Wish You All
Happy Holidays from Jon Beaupré, Lucia Chappelle, Rick Watts, Greg Gordon, and all the team at This Way Out in Los Angeles! 36 EILE Magazine
Quality LGBT News and Features – Produced from Los Angeles Available via podcast on our website (thiswayout.org) or on iTunes, and on 200+ Radio Stations Worldwide!
thiswayout.org | Twitter: @TWORadio Overnight Productions (Inc.)/”This Way Out” Post Office Box 1065 Los Angeles, CA 90078 U.S.A.
Feature | Marriage Equality
St. Vincent Directed by: Theodore Melfi Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher For a first time feature, writer and director Theodor Melfi has certainly managed to attract an impressive ensemble cast, headed by none other than the legendary Bill Murray. Although probably best known for the Ghostbusters movie franchise, film aficionados can attest that in the past few years Murray has made some very interesting choices, and has shown himself to bea darn fine actor, so anything with him at the helm is generally worth a look, and this film turns out to be no exception. Murray plays Vincent, a cantankerous elderly man, who butts heads with almost everyone who crosses his path. His days consist of drinking, gambling, 41 EILE Magazine
and entertaining a pregnant immigrant prostitute Danka (Watts). When he gets new neighbours, in the form of single mom, Maggie (McCarthy) and her son, Oliver (newcomer Lieberher) he immediately gets off on the wrong foot with them. However, when Oliver finds himself locked out of home after school, Vincent begrudgingly looks after him. This leads to a regular arrangement, whereby he babysits the boy in the evenings until his mother gets home. Although Vincent’s after-school activities involve strip clubs and race tracks, Oliver soon realises that there is more to Vincent than his gruff exterior, and the two develop an unconventional, but sweet, friendship. On paper, this is a very formulaic plot that has been done before, but like the saying goes “if it’s not broken don’t fix it”. Formulaic is fine if it is supported by a strong script and good performances, and thankfully, that is what
elevates this flick. Murray is on fine form as the cantankerous Vincent, and he really carries the whole film, bouncing well off Lieberher, who gives a poignant performance that belies his years. McCarthy doesn’t appear as comfortable playing a straight role as she does in her usual comic fare, but acquits herself well, and the only weak link in the cast really is Watts, whose Eastern European tart-with-aheart is completely cliché driven. The script is great on the whole, however it veers into overly sentimental territory about two thirds in. While this tends to be part of the aforementioned formula for these movies, this film really didn’t need to lay it on so thick, as you are already fully engaged with Vincent and Oliver, and care about what happens to them. That said, the schmaltz is forgivable in light of some of the other wonderful moments in St Vincent. Well-paced and wittier than its premise would suggest, thanks
Reviews | Frances Winston
Frances Winston on Movies in no small part to Murray, who has created a completely multi-faceted central character, St Vincent is a fine debut from Melfi, and hints at great things
to come. A truly heartwarming and engaging film, I would be surprised if this didn’t nab a few
awards, particularly for Murray. If you’re looking for the movie equivalent of comfort food, look no further.
Directed by Ian Power (The Runway) - Starring Peter Coonan (Love/ Hate), David Murray (‘Amber’), Gary Lydon (Calvary), Morgan C. Jones (‘Vikings’), and Orla Fitzgerald (The Wind That Shakes The Barley).
In the corridors of government, we follow newly-appointed Taoiseach, Brian Cowen (Lydon) and Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan (Murray) as the true extent of the cataclysm facing Ireland’s runaway banking system begins to dawn on them.
Galway Film Fleadh. His first feature, The Runway, starring Academy Award® nominee DemiánBechir, won Best Irish Feature at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2010, and was selected for the Director’s Guild of America’s Finders Series.
The Guarantee is a fact-based drama that goes behind the scenes on the most pivotal night in recent Irish history, as the beleaguered government fights to keep Ireland’s banking system afloat. Their decision will ultimately shape the future of the nation for generations to come.
Meanwhile, David Drumm (Coonan) frantically tries to get the ‘moolah’ to keep Anglo Irish Bank open, while Sean Fitzpatrick (Jones) pitches for state support. With the pressure on both sides building and time running out, the Taoiseach and his finance minister decide on a course of action which will have consequences that are still being felt today.
Colin Murphy is an author, journalist, and broadcaster. He has written the play ‘Guaranteed!’ and short plays ‘Guaranteed Irish’ and ‘Dublin Noir’ for Fishamble: The New Play Company, made documentaries for television and radio, and writes weekly columns for the Sunday Business Post and Irish Independent. He is currently working on a stage sequel to ‘Guaranteed!’, provisionally titled ‘Bailed Out!’, for Fishamble.
Adapted by Colin Murphy from his acclaimed stage play ‘Guaranteed!’produced by Fishamble Theatre Company, The Guarantee is a not-to-bemissed film that explores a critical time for contemporary Ireland, with tension, humour, and intelligence.
Ian Power is an award-winning writer and director of shorts, features, and commercials. His debut short Buskers won Best Short Film awards at the Cork Film Festival, the Foyle Film Festival, and the
Available now on DVD!
Music | Nick’s Picks
Nick’s Picks Music Reviews by Nick Bassett Shipped directly from New Zealand, EILE’s music reviewer Nick Bassett (also of ChartShaker) has got the latest high-quality music from artists you should be listening to – right now. Click on any of the art work to take you straight to the sound! Elle King - Ain’t Gonna Drown Bleachers is the side-project of songwriter and sometime-fun. drummer Jack Antonoff, who formed the band whilst he was on tour with Nate Ruess and co., last year. In February, the New York-based outfit released their first single, I Wanna Get Better, via RCA as a precursor to the July Stateside release of their debut album, Strange Desire. The record, issued via RCA, went on to peak at #11 on America’s Billboard 200 album chart countdown, and now they’re back with its second cut, Rollercoaster.
Night Terrors of 1927 feat. Tegan and Sara - When You Were Mine Blake Sennett and Jarrod Gorbel, aka Night Terrors of 1927, have premiered the official music video for their Tegan & Sara collaboration, When You Were Mine. First released in September as the lead cut from the LA-based alt-pop duo’s third EP Anything To Anyone, the track is also set to feature on their upcoming debut album Everything’s Coming Up Roses which is scheduled for release via Atlantic Records on 20 January. Like the emotional, heartfelt material that jettisoned on to the Quin sisters’ 2013 pop masterpiece Heartthrob, When You Were Mine is fuelled by a heady dose of twinkling synths and dreamily executed lyrics, making it one of the most enjoyable pop gems of the year. 42 EILE Magazine
Set against a bursting backdrop of spirited drums and guitars, and subtly springing synths that explode in to an anthemic summer sing-along chorus, the song’s lyrics recapture the story of a flash-in-a-pan summer romance, that leaves a lasting memory on the frontman. The tale though is far from cloying or cliché, and the snapshot-indicative sentiment that they evoke goes some way to explaining why Mr Antonoff has become a good song-writing pal of pop connoisseur du jour, Taylor Swift – he co-penned the blinding buzz single Out of the Woods and I Wish You Would from Tay’s new album 1989.
Music | Nick’s Picks Frida Sundemo - The Sun The Sun is the latest single from Swedish songstress Frida Sundemo who is currently working on her next studio album – the follow up to For You, Lovewhich had a limited release last year. More grandiose in both scale and ambition, The Sun is sonically a world away from the fizzing Robyn-esque pop beats of Sundemo’s early work but the Gothenberg native’s May release, her Lit Up By Neon EP, provided the perfect bridge to this more expansive musical direction by successfully steering its way through soothing ballads, painfully intimate musical portraits and spacey pop. The stripped back, ethereal sprawl of The Sun relies heavily on Frida’s seemingly in-built ability to traverse every tender human emotion via the medium of song, with its atmospheric electronic and orchestral accompaniment drawing out vocals that are exposed and vulnerable, burning with emotion and crackling like embers on a fire that could be brought back to flame, at any moment.
MNEK - The Rhythm He looks like a star. He sounds like a star. He’s written, produced and collaborated for and with many stars and has been instrumental in the creation of a slew of Top 10 hits, including the UK chart-topping Wings by Little Mix and Duke Dumont’s number one smash Need U (100%). Yet, despite all of this, solo chart success has so far eluded 20 year old all-rounder Uzo Emenike – aka MNEK – although his last single Wrote A Song About You did make considerable gains on its predecessor Every Little Word – the two respectively reaching #66 and #184 on the UK singles countdown. So here’s hoping that his latest release The Rhythm will do even better and give MNEK his first Top 40 breakthrough hit. It certainly adds credence to all of the acclaim that has been heaped upon him – unsurprisingly chocka with house-inspired electronic beats but with the South East London-raised talent’s rich, soulful vocals positively soaring over the dancefloor-beckoning production.
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Food | Christmas Treats
A Festive Treat for the Foodies Banana bread is easy to make, so it’s perfect to have on Christmas Eve or on Stephen’s Day with a nice cup of tea. For a festive twist on this legend-amongloaves, I suggest adding a caramel cream cheese frosting and serving it with Apple Cider- infused fresh cream. Making banana bread is also a great way to use up over-ripened bananas, as this is when they’re at their sweetest. Here’s my own recipe:
Banana Bread 230g Cream Flour 160g Granulated White Sugar 1 tsp Baking Powder Quarter teaspoon of Baking Soda Quarter teaspoon of Salt 1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon 2 Large Eggs (lightly beaten) 125g Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled to room temperature 3 Large Bananas (454g when weighed with skin on / 1.5 cups) 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
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What to do: Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F / gas mark 4 Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a big mixing bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas (use a potato masher) and add the melted butter (once it has cooled to room temperature), the lightly beaten eggs and the vanilla extract. Fold the banana mix into the other bowl that has your dry ingredients (flour, etc.) in it. Use a wooden spoon to gently mix the ingredients together, but do not over-mix it!
Food | Christmas Treats
Use some of the unsalted butter to grease a loaf baking tin or a silicon baking loaf tray
What to do:
What to do:
Place the loaf into the oven for 55-60 minutes, or until it is a dark golden brown on top and a knife or a skewer comes out clear when the loaf is pierced
Get a large mixing bowl. Add in the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and beat them together until the mixture is light and fluffy, then slowly mix in the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Finally, add in the caramel sauce and stir gently, ensuring all ingredients have mixed together. Spread the mixture onto the Banana Bread once the bread has cooled.
Peel, core and cut the apples into quarters Place the apples in a saucepan with half a cup of cold water and two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally When the apples are soft, strain the juice off using a sieve With the juice left in the saucepan, reduce until it thickens to create a syrup Allow to cool before folding gently into freshly whipped cream, be careful not to add too much syrup. Alternatively, you can add some Baileys to freshly whipped cream, if you prefer that. Thatâ€™s it! You can also go nuts and add a cup of pecans for that extra added crunch, if youâ€™re so inclined. Enjoy!
Caramel Cream Cheese frosting Ingredients: 8 oz Any Brand of Cream Cheese, softened Quarter Cup of Any Brand of Unsalted Butter, softened 2 tsp Vanilla Essence (Goodalls is my usual brand choice) Half tsp Powdered Cinnamon 16 oz Powdered Sugar Half Cup of Any Brand of
Apple Ciderinfused whipped fresh cream Ingredients: 4 Granny Smith Apples 1 Cup of Double Cream
1/4 tsp of vanilla essence EILE Magazine 45
Style | Menswear
Rights Groups Denounce Use Of BAI Complaints Procedures To “Chill” Equality Discussions Two leading human rights organisations, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and Marriage Equality, have strongly criticised the use of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) complaints procedures to “chill” public discussions about equality. The groups spoke out after the BAI Compliance Committee partially upheld a complaint against the Newstalk Breakfast Show (ref 101/14) today (20 November 2014). In its decision, the Compliance Committee found that Newstalk presenter Chris Donoghue had breached rule 4.22 of the BAI Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Cur-
rent Affairs by indicating that he would vote in favour of any forthcoming referendum on marriage equality. “Marriage Equality is deeply concerned at today’s decision. The BAI’s recent rulings have led to a fear factor in media especially when it comes to those who support marriage equality. This development is very worrying as we have not even moved into a campaigning period on the referendum,” said Andrew Hyland, Director, Marriage Equality. The groups note that this complaint was brought by a Mr Ray McIntyre, who professes to believe in “the importance of marriage as a social institution designed to provide children with a mother and a father”. ICCL and Marriage Equality consider that the use of the BAI’s complaints procedures to ventilate views of this nature, while ostensibly pro-
moting debate, in fact operates to chill public discussion of equality issues. ICCL Director Mr Mark Kelly stated: “The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is surprised that, on the same day that a Board member of the BAI has indicated that the Authority ‘is currently unable to meet and do business’ and cannot ‘function entirely in the manner intended by the Oireachtas’, its Compliance Committee has produced a decision that is capable of having a chilling effect on public discussion of equality issues. Rule 4.22 of the BAI Code is intended to promote fairness, objectivity and impartiality, not to provide an alternative channel through which professed opponents of equality can muzzle free expression. This is a matter that the ICCL intends to raise formally with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland if and when its Board is properly reconstituted.”
Elton John Speaks Out In St Petersburg Elton John was performing in St Petersburg in Russia on Monday last (10th) and made this statement from the stage during the show, bringing up the issue of anti-gay propaganda, and starting by praising his iPad:
“I’m not big on technology, but I love my iPad! They’re amazing, aren’t they? The way they can connect us to the things and people we love…How dignified that St. Petersburg should erect a memorial to Steve Jobs, the remarkable founder of Apple.But last week it was labeled ‘homosexual propaganda’ and taken down!” He went on to address the Steve Jobs memorial removal: “Can this be true? Steve’s memory is re-written because his successor at Apple, Tim Cook, is gay?! Does that also make iPads gay propaganda?! Is Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music ‘sexually perverting’?!
As a gay man, I’ve always felt so welcome here in Russia. Stories of Russian fans – men and women who fell in love dancing to ’Nikita’ or their kids who sing along to ‘Circle of Life’ – mean the world to me. If I’m not honest about who I am, I couldn’t write this music. It’s not gay propaganda. It’s how I express life. If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity.” Beautifully said, but will it make a difference to how the Russian authorities view the LGBT community?
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Opinion | Post Gay
Comment: Are We Becoming Post-Gay?
Having seen the LGBT social movement change recently, Sco ponders over the relevance of ‘coming out’ in today’s Ireland Over the weekend, I caught up for coffee with a good friend from Belfast, where an old colleague of ours came up in conversation. While it wasn’t the main topic of conversation, I asked whether or not he was gay, as I had once presumed: “Aye”, my friend replied; “sure he has a partner and all. He just never talks about it, he never confirmed it. I guess, in this day and age, he doesn’t need to.” The comment was one that stuck with me for a while, and made me wonder if being ‘openly gay’ was something that was seen as being really necessary anymore. In some ways, we’re at a cultural crossroads in this part of the world. LGBT business
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groups claim that coming out is good for business, as it means that they can ‘bring their whole self to work’. There’s a great level of truth to that, as some LGBT workers could end up putting more energy into their social backstory than their work. Then again, Apple CEO Tim Cook did fairly well for himself prior to his recent coming out – an announcement at which most barely shrugged their shoulders, with the exception of a few. Business is clearly only one part of one’s life, and we see LGBT issues being the topic du jour as Ireland prepares itself for the marriage equality referendum in 2015 – a referendum which, if the recent opinion polls are anything to go by, seems to be a no-brainer for the majority of Irish people. Far from the days of scapegoating ‘the gays’ in tabloids and TV shows, LGBT
people are perceived by most people in this country as being deserving of the same rights as anyone else. Either way, coming out has a clear impact on the mental, emotional – and sometimes physical – health of LGBT people. According to the American Psychological Association: Research has shown that feeling positively about one’s sexual orientation and integrating it into one’s life fosters greater well-being and mental health. This integration often involves disclosing one’s identity to others; it may also entail participating in the gay community. Being able to discuss one’s sexual orientation with others also increases the availability of social support, which is crucial to mental health and psychological wellbeing. Like heterosexuals, lesbians,
Opinion | Post Gay
ott De Buitléir d gay men, and bisexual people benefit from being able to share their lives with and receive support from family, friends, and acquaintances. Thus, it is not surprising that lesbians and gay men who feel they must conceal their sexual orientation report more frequent mental health concerns than do lesbians and gay men who are more open; they may even have more physical health problems. Do we focus too much on coming out, however, and/or identifying as LGBT? If our socialising is anything to go by, then I would say no. Some who subscribe to the idea of being ‘queer’ may not like it, but I can only speak personally when I say I think it’s a good thing to see gay bars becoming no different to ‘straight’ bars. Bars like the Front Lounge in Dublin, or Union Street in Belfast, aren’t that different in décor, clientele or music from their more mainstream counterparts.
Cities like Dublin, Belfast, Galway and Cork are no longer strangers to seeing gay couples holding hands, either – and I don’t mean only near Pride season. To think that I’ve seen more, mainly lesbian, couples doing so lately, in both Dublin and Belfast, is a credit to those cities, although I’m more than aware that this doesn’t mean that any city across Ireland is free of homophobia. None are, but the more this happens, the less being LGBT will be a target, and the less it will be a label for people to abuse. Maybe it will take us another few years, when full equality is achieved on this isle, before we see the importance of coming out, alongside the labelling of LGBT, lose its relevance. Not only should we aim towards being equal, but also remember that equality also means no different to anyone else. That is what we should look forward to.
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Feature | Interview
21st Century Life: Ryan Lisa Reynolds continues her interviews series, looking at the lives and experiences of LGBT people. Name: Ryan Location: Nevada Age: 31 At what age did you first realize that you were gay? At age 5 I realised that something was different. Thatâ€™s when I knew I liked guys. Have your family and friends always been supportive? My family always knew. They were very supportive and still are.
Who has been the most influential person in your life and why? My mother has always said to be who I am. Be proud and who I am is who I was supposed to be. Have you ever experienced discrimination in life because of your sexuality? I was teased in middle school and in high school for being openly gay and proud. I had food thrown at me and stuffed in a locker and pushed downstairs. Do you think that the world has become more accepting and welcoming to gay people in more modern times or do you feel that there is still a long way to go? I believe that the world has become more understanding of the GLBT community, especially with the gay men and women that are celebrities for example: Anderson Cooper, Ellen and the list goes on. What would you say to someone out there who is struggling with their own sexuality or coming out, or who is being bullied or discriminated against because of who they are?
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The Nevada Mountains, located in Ryan’s home state.
I would say stay strong, it’s a cruel world. Be who you are. Be proud and take a stand for your own life. There are many teens, even adults, that are bullied and discriminated against for being them. It was hard for me to come out to everyone. Some people I have lost along the way because of it but I’m not going to change just because they’re not happy. What about my happiness? I am loud and proud of who I am and who I have become. Are you religious? What do you think of the Church’s attitude towards gay people? I was born Catholic and raised Christian but my beliefs are that God loves everyone no matter of their background or where they come from. Some people looked at me funny when I first started attending Mass again but I’m not there for them. I am there for my God. I think that Churches have become a bit more understanding of GLBT community and I thank God every day for all my blessings. Are you political? Are you involved in any political activism? Is there any organization’s work which you particularly admire?
I am, I lean towards the middle, I think both sides have different things to offer, I admire the organisations that help the GLBT and The Cure For Aids Foundation. Have you ever been in love? I have been in love but he was tragically taken in a car accident. He was my everything and I loved him dearly, that happened during our 3 year mark. Are you married? If so, what was your wedding day like? If not would you like to get married someday? I would love to get married. I would love the man of my dreams to be staring as I made my way to the front line. Are you a father? If so, what does fatherhood mean to you? If not would you like to be a father someday? I am not a father, but I would love to have children one day, watch them get older and have the man of my dreams raise our children.
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Queen The Full Picture Lisa Reynolds looks at this collectible book, which someone might be lucky enough to receive for Christmas!
Queen, and in particular, frontman Freddie Mercury, have been an inspiration to me and millions of people worldwide for years, so it was wonderful to see the beautiful visual book entitled, “Queen: The Full Picture” with incredible photographs on 52 EILE Magazine
each page, taken by their official tour photographer, Denis O’ Regan. The book chronicles the band, from the early years right through to their final tour. It is a well-put-together book, full of nostalgia for older Queen fans, and a great way for younger fans to experience the electrical theatricality of a Queen performance back in the day.
The iconic photographs include Mercury throughout the years, in his signature flamboyant outfits, incorporating sparkle, leather, patterned body suits, and the crown-and-robes costume, which O’ Regan said was the outfit which Mercury had been most insistent that he photograph him in on stage, all the way through to some of his less flamboyant costumes, which he donned more as Queen’s career progressed. There are also incredible shots of his bandmates, which include Roger Taylor giving
it some on the drums, and Brian May playing guitar with intensity and focus. Throughout the book, from the early days to the latter years of Queen’s live shows, it is almost as if Mercury’s stage presence is jumping off the page. If you can feel the atmosphere of his stage persona just from looking at pictures in a book, it must have been an incredible experience for someone to hear his masterful and awe-inspiring vocals, and see his style and performance skills in reality. It is testament to O’ Regan’s incredible photographic skills that he could manage to capture that amazing atmosphere through his work, from the lighting, to the magnetism of Mercury on stage.
This book is a must-have for any Queen fan, or any music lover in general. It is an in-depth look at the career of a band who shaped musical history, and inspired countless other bands and solo artists who came along after, trying to replicate the magic of Queen.
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Macklemore Honoured By ACLU With ‘Civil Libertarian Award’ The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of Washington honored civil liberties heroes at its annual Bill of Rights Dinner on November 1 last. A Civil Libertarian Award was presented to singer and rapper Macklemore, for his LGBT advocacy and outspokenness. Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) from Seattle, who gained international recognition with a string of hits, such as Thrift Shop, Same Love, and The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us, has been an outspoken supporter of gay rights. He shares his views about the issue in his moving song “Same Love,” which was a collaboration with Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert, and was written in support of legalizing marriage for same-sex couples during the Referendum 74 campaign. The song was also said to be in support of his two gay uncles and gay godfather. Macklemore explained that the song came out of his frustration with hip hop’s attitudes toward homosexuality. Proceeds from the sale of the song supported the work of Music 54 EILE Magazine
for Marriage Equality, a nonprofit that worked closely with Washington United for Marriage. In 2013 he shot a promotional video, on a completely pro bono basis, for the ACLU-WA promoting membership of the ACLU. The ACLU turned it into an online ad, viewed by more than 100,000 people. Macklemore helped spread the word about the ACLU to a younger audience, and helped recruit more than 250 members. He was the first major celebrity and non-athlete to endorse the work of the You Can Play Project, a US national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring equality, respect, and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. As part of his endorsement, he released a public service
announcement. In the video, which has over 40,000 views on YouTube, he acknowledges his gay family members and friends, says that anti-gay language has no place in music or sports, and that “if you have the skills, talent and heart, you can play.” Awards also went to Floyd U. Jones and Alene Moris for lifetime achievements in advancing civil liberties; two legal teams from Perkins Coie that worked tirelessly on ground-breaking cases to reform public defense and enforce voting rights; and student activist Sienna Colburn, who sparked a protest movement over the firing of a gay educator. h/t ACLU MKB
Travel | Manchester
Malaysia: Transgenders – Appeals Court Victory A Malaysian appeals court ruling that a ban on cross-dressing was unconstitutional is an important victory for the rights of transgender people in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said on Friday last. On November 7, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Putrajaya Court of Appeal said that a state Sharia-law ban on cross-dressing was “degrading, oppressive and inhuman” and that so long as it was in force, transgender people “will continue to live in uncertainty, misery and indignity.” The case was filed by transgender women in Malaysia who challenged section 66 of the Sharia law in Negeri Sembilan state, which prohibits “any male person who in any public place wears a woman’s attire or poses as a woman.” The state’s Religious Department has used this law repeatedly to arrest transgender
women – most recently, in a mass arrest of 16 transgender women at a wedding party on the night of June 8, 2014. “The court’s rejection of the ban on crossdressing was a strong affirmation of the rights of transgender people in Malaysia,” said Boris Dittrich, LGBT rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch “By upholding the constitution over a discriminatory state law, the court is saying all Malaysians can express themselves as the people they want to be.” “This ruling puts the Malaysian government on notice that all laws discriminating against transgender people could be unconstitutional,” Dittrich said. “The government urgently needs to scrap its discriminatory laws and protect transgender people. The authorities, like the court, should recognize that transgender people have the same rights as all Malaysians.” h/t Human Rights Watch EILE Magazine 55
Russia: First LGBT Marriage Has Happened Through Loophole Two brides have managed to find a loophole in Russian law that has allowed them to be the first LGBT legally registered married couple. As both turned up at the St Petersburg registry office in white wedding dresses last Friday, one of the couple, Irina, revealed that she is a transgender woman, who is at present undergoing hormone therapy, and as such, her passport registers her as ‘male’. [She makes the distinction that she is transsexual, not transgender]. On this basis, their marriage is legal, and Irina and Alyona were surrounded by friends and family who celebrated their union with them. Surprisingly, LGBT activist, Nikolay Alekseev, does not support their union, saying it is not a same-sex wedding. He stated: “This is in no way a same-sex marriage. This is a question of transgender, not homosexuality. This is an old story. There had been such cases before. A certain gender is written in a passport,
but how they dress for the wedding is their business.” Unsurprisingly, Vitaly Milonov, the main author of the Russian anti-gay propaganda legislation, is furious. Not only is he annoyed at the couple, he is also annoyed at the registry office staff, telling the head of the registry office that “it is criminal negligence”. The staff argued that they approached it formally, by going by the passports which were presented to them. According to RT, Milonov also stated that he is going to get prosecutors involved to avoid such “ugly insults to millions of Russian families in the future”. One of the bridesmaids, Marina Teodori, told media: “For us it is the realization of our dreams. We hope many will have this opportunity”. MKB
GLEN: Lesbian & Gay Couples Marrying Will Strengthen Marriage “Marriage is good for society, good for families and good for loving and committed couples, including lesbian and gay couples, and the Irish Constitution should allow all loving, committed couples who wish to enter a civil marriage the opportunity to do so” said GLEN Chair, Kieran Rose, responding to the launch today by the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference of their publication ‘The Meaning of Marriage’. “Allowing lesbian and gay couples to get married will not harm or change any existing marriage, or any future marriage of a man and woman. The desire of loving and committed lesbian and gay couples to marry strengthens marriage and the place and status of marriage in Irish society” said Rose. “Lesbian and gay couples seek
the right to civil marriage, not church marriage. Sacramental marriage remains the preserve of religious bodies. No one can or should be able to force a church to marry any couple against their teaching, as for example the Catholic Church cannot be forced to marry couples where one is divorced” said Rose. “Irish people, the majority of whom are Catholic, are very welcoming of lesbian and gay people, their loving relationships and families. We see this in the very warm support by families and communities for civil partnerships and in the very widespread support for access to civil marriage and constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people” said Rose. “Most parents want their children to be treated equally in the Constitution, the
basic founding document of the State. They want their children, straight or gay, who make a profound commitment to another person to be treated equally in the Constitution; to be allowed to marry” said Rose. “We welcome the Bishops’ acknowledgement that some children are growing up in family situations different from married husband and wife families and that the State should provide for these families” continued Rose. “All across Ireland today, lesbian and gay couple[s] Kieran Rose, Chair of GLEN are parenting children. We hope that the Bishops and the Irish Catholic Church will take the opportunity to support current proposals by the Irish Government to bring legal certainty and security to these families” concluded Rose.
Human Rights Campaign: Corporate Equality Index 2015 The Human Rights Campaign have released their Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for 2015, showing companies’ scores on their policies promoting diversity and equality in the workplace, based on a range of criteria. According to HRC: “Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. In the 2015 CEI report, 366 major businesses — spanning nearly every industry and geography — earned a top score of 100 percent, and the distinction of Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”
Among those who scored top marks (100%) were: Apple, AIG, AT&T, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chrysler, Chubb, Diageo, Ernst & Young LLP, Ford, General Motors, Hershey, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft. Below is a list of the Corporate Equality Index Rating Criteria and the points awarded: 1a Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation (15 points) 1b Prohibits Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression (15 points) 2a Offers Partner Health/Medical Insurance (15 points) 2b Has Parity Across Other “Soft” Benefits for Partners (10 points) (half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits) 2c Offers Transgender-Inclusive Health Insurance Coverage (10 points)
3a Firm-wide Organizational Competency Programs (10 points) 3b Has Employer-Supported Employee Resource Group OR Firm-Wide Diversity Council (10 points) Would Support ERG if Employees Express Interest (half credit) 4 Positively Engages the External LGBT Community (15 points) (partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts) 5 Responsible Citizenship Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-25 points) You can access the full 2015 CEI Report HERE.
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Interview | Matthias Freihof
Thousands Register to Vote Ahead of 2015 Marriage Referendum Thousands of firsttime voters across the country registered to vote in a first step towards making their voices heard in next years’ marriage referendum, said the Yes Equality campaign at the conclusion yesterday (November 25) of its 3-week register to vote initiative. The Yes Equality register to vote initiative wrapped up yesterday with the passing of the deadline for entry to the 2015 register of electors. The campaign has helped tens of thousands more people get on the register. Events were held across the country on campuses and in town centres promoting voter registration. On social media the Yes Equality Facebook page received over 20,000 followers in 3 weeks. In UCC over 3,700 people were registered to 60 EILE Magazine
vote; in Trinity College 3,000 people and in Maynooth 2,500 people signed up in just a few examples of the initiative’s success. Yes Equality has received personal endorsements from Colin Farrell, Anjelica Houston, Hozier, The Script, Aidan Gillen, Christy Moore, Brendan Courtney, Dara O’Briain, Pamela Flood, Lorraine Keane and Duncan Casey. Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, Tánaiste Joan Burton TD, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin TD, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams TD, as well as from TDs Senators and councillors from right across the country have also endorsed the campaign. The campaign was launched on November 3 in Cork, with Joanne O’Riordan, of ‘No Limbs no Limits’ fame, and Kilkenny All-Ireland hurling champion Eoin Murphy. Tiernan Brady of Yes Equality
said: “The response from people right across the country has been amazing. Tens of thousands have registered to vote and thousands more have joined Yes Equality. The positive reaction bodes well for turnout at the upcoming referendum on civil marriage equality in 2015.” Next year will be a once-ina-generation moment, Brady explains. “The critical decisions about our futures are made by those who not only are registered, but who make their voices heard on polling day”. “There will be a further opportunity to register to vote once the date of the referendum is called. Between now and then, it is up to the tens of thousands of people energised by our voter initiative to begin the conversation with friends, families and loved ones as to why making their voices heard on polling day is so important” concluded Brady.
News | World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day: IGLYO – The Importance of Access to Healthcare and Information On the occasion of World AIDS Day, IGLYO, the International LGBTQ Youth & Student Organisation, call on the European Union, governments, NGOs, health services providers, and activists, to work together to ensure equal access to appropriate healthcare and uncensored information on HIV prevention to youth across Europe.
everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and age has the right to inclusive, accessible and appropriate healthcare, and it is increasingly important to ensure that the inequities which arise out of social circumstances are reduced as much as possible in order to Close the Gap in this area. Closing the gap means empowering and enabling all people, everywhere, to access the services they need.
UNAIDS highlight twelve populations which are left behind, people who are more at risk, more vulnerable and more affected by HIV and AIDS than others.
The internet is a valuable resource in the provision of correct information about sensitive issues, including about HIV prevention, to youth across Europe. The information provided however has to be tailored to the needs of LGBTQ youth, by being anti-stigmatizing and aware of the different situations faced by this group.
Over the last decade young men who have sex with men have been particularly affected by HIV infections, including those previously at lower risk, who are living in rural areas and smaller cities. Also, transgender women are 49 times more likely to acquire HIV than all adults of reproductive age. Moreover WHO reports that there are “dramatic differences in health that are closely linked with degrees of social disadvantage”. IGLYO believes that
Mina Tolu, IGLYO board member, added that: “access to this information online is most crucial in those countries which have state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia in the form of approved homophobic legislation, for it means that LGBTQ youth might only find positive, up to date and appropriate sexual health
information online.” Despite this it is important that online-communication is not the only approach used to address the needs of men who have sex with men and transgender women, but that sexual education in schools is improved. Eirik Rise, IGLYO Board member, emphasized that: “All states have the responsibility to provide young people with comprehensive sexual education so that they have necessary information to make free, responsible and informed choices in respect to their sexual health and wellbeing.” Finally NGOs who actively work in this area, should be continually supported to help these organisations reach out to marginalized groups, men who have sex with men and transgender women, to help fight stigma and discrimination towards LGBTQ HIV-positive people, and to build norm critical sex education programs. By closing the access gap, everyone can be included as part of the solution. EILE Magazine 61
News | World AIDS Day
BeLonG To launches new Sexual Health Programme for Young MSMs on World AIDS Day The latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre indicates that gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men accounted for 45.9% of HIV diagnoses in the first half of 2014. Worryingly the age range of those most at risk in recent years of contracting HIV is getting younger. Following a successful pilot of the new peer led and developed programme this past autumn the ‘In the Know’ programme will be rolled out with three courses to be offered in 2015. The programme works in partnership with young adult men to find out exactly what their sexual health needs are, and then responds in culturally and age appropriate ways. 62 EILE Magazine
The programme equips gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men with all the information they need in relation to sexual health and healthy relationships.
and Zero AIDS-related deaths was highlighted at an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin featuring a number of young men from BeLonG To speaking.
Speaking yesterday at the World AIDS Day event in the Mansion House in Dublin, David Carroll, Executive Director with BeLonG To said:
A host of organisations led by Dublin City Council and including Positive Now, Dublin AIDS Alliance, BeLonG To, Dóchas, Concern, ACET, DWI, the HSE’s Gay Men’s Health Service and the Crisis Pregnancy Agency partnered together to mark World AIDS Day at the Mansion House which was turned ‘red’ as a show of support for those affected by HIV/ AIDS during the event.
“A whole new generation of young gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men need messages tailored to their generation and lived experiences. BeLonG To as the national organisation for LGBT young people is uniquely placed to work with the target group and our new peer led programme ‘In the Know’, is a significant milestone on the journey of “Getting to Zero”. The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day was “Getting to Zero” – Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination
The ‘In the Know’ programme has been made possible through funding from the National Lottery administered by the Dept. of Health.
News | HIV
GLEN Calls For Rethink in Approaches to HIV Prevention For Gay & Bisexual Men At Oireachtas Health Committee, GLEN called for a new strategic approach to HIV in Ireland which has the goal of zero new cases of HIV and zero discrimination against people living with HIV. Figures released by the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) show that there were 205 newly diagnosed cases of HIV in Ireland in the first 6 months of 2014. 94 of the new diagnoses were gay and bisexual men, up from 82 cases for the same period in 2013. “It is clear from the latest figures that HIV is an issue of critical concern for gay and bisexual men. The figures for 2014 show that gay and bisexual men are the group most likely to acquire HIV in Ireland” said Tiernan Brady, Director of Gay HIV Strategies (GHS) with GLEN. Gay and bisexual men under the age of 35 now make up 6 out of every 10 new cases of HIV. Between 2005 and 2013 there has been a fourfold increase in the number of new diagnoses among those aged between 25-34 years. The median age of HIV diagnosis for gay and bisexual men has fallen to 32 years from 37 years in 2005. “There is a need for a rethink in our approaches. Our strategic goals must be zero new cases of HIV and zero discrimination against people living with HIV” continued Brady. “The age group of people most at risk of HIV is
getting younger. There is a real and urgent need to educate a new generation of young people and young gay and bisexual men in particular about HIV” said Brady. “A new program with clear goals and targets, properly resourced, will need to increase the number and variety of testing opportunities targeting gay and bisexual men. Early diagnosis can significantly improve a person’s long term health outcomes. It can also be a significant factor in reducing onward transmission of HIV to others as the majority of new cases are passed on by people who do not know they are HIV positive” continued Brady.
“People living with HIV continue to face discrimination in their lives. It is essential that we develop and implement new national campaigns to educate the general public, employers and service providers with the aim of achieving zero stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV” Brady concluded. The Oireachtas committee was also addressed on these issues by Deirdre Seery of the Cork Sexual Health Centre talking about rapid HIV testing pilot schemes; Peter Foley of letsgetchecked.ie talking about HIV home testing; and Jimmy Goulding of Positive Now speaking about the discrimination faced by people living with HIV.
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News | Nursing
INMO Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation Holds 2nd Annual LGBT Conference The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation held its annual LGBT Conference yesterday afternoon in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin. The conference considered the important issues of marriage equality, as well as access to healthcare for LGBT persons. This LGBT conference, only the second in the history of the INMO, heard from marriage equality campaigners in relation to the inequalities faced by LGBT persons in the workplace, in access to healthcare and in society generally. One focus of the conference was the campaign for legal equality, the next step in which is the referendum for marriage equality in 2015. The INMO fully supports the campaign for marriage equality, and heard from a range of speakers about the upcoming referendum, how to make marriage equality a reality and how nurses and midwives can contribute to achieving this important goal. Another important theme of the conference were the health issues affecting LGBT persons, and their experience of accessing healthcare in Ireland. The INMO recognises the right to health as a fundamental human right, 64 EILE Magazine
and the conference will explore healthcare issues affecting LGBT persons, HIV positive persons, LGBT persons with mental health difficulties, and the responses of the HSE, and Irish health system, in meeting the needs of this part of our population. The keynote address was delivered by Senator Katherine Zappone, a well-respected social justice campaigner. Her efforts, alongside those of her wife Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, have represented a fundamental, timely, and invaluable contribution to the achievement of full legal equality and marriage equality for LGBT persons. The conference was also addressed by a wide range of speakers including Dr Gráinne Courtney, Consultant Physician; Lysander Preston, Positive Now; Brian Sheehan, GLEN; June Bulger, HSE; Patricia O’Connell, TENI; Monnine Griffith, Marriage Equality; David Joyce, ICTU and Éilís Ní Chaithnia, NWCI. The INMO also inaugurated the annual “Norris Award”, which will be awarded to persons or bodies who have made an outstanding contribution to the LGBT community. Senator David Norris presented the award to Senator Katherine Zappone and Dr Ann Louise Gilligan in recognition of their outstanding, crucial, and inspirational contribution to the achievement of full legal equality for LGBT persons.
Speaking ahead of the conference, Edward Mathews, the INMO’s Director of Regulation and Social Policy said: “While many advances have been made in the achievement of legal equality for LGBT persons there are notable gaps in the law, particularly relating to the equal recognition of LGBT family status. The refusal to recognise marriage equality and to extend the full range of family rights and protections to LGBT persons, and their children, represents a lingering and detrimental prejudice which must be eliminated. Long since passed should be a time where LGBT persons, and their loving relationships, were regarded as second class in our society. We wish to live in a society which prizes loving and committed relationships, irrespective of the gender of those making up that relationship. In addition, we must, as a society, recognise and respond to the particular healthcare needs of LGBT persons. Societal inequality, stigma and many other factors create unique circumstances, and it is important that both the healthcare system and the staff within the system are responsive, respectful, and accommodating so that LGBT persons should be able to realise and enjoy their human right to health.”
Health | Genetics
Gay Gene: Largest Study of Gay Brothers Supports Genetic Link In a study which involved 409 pairs of gay brothers (908 individuals analysed in 384 different families) the most compelling evidence yet has been found that being gay is linked to the human genome, involving chromosome 8 and the X chromosome. The abstract states: Background Findings from family and twin studies support a genetic contribution to the development of sexual orientation in men. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting evidence for linkage to chromosome Xq28. The study was led by A.R. Sanders, Director, Behaviour Genetics Unit at Northshore Research Institute, and has identified two regions of linkage: the pericentromeric region on chromosome 8 (maximum two-point LOD = 4.08, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.59), which overlaps with the second strongest region from a previous separate linkage scan of 155 brother pairs; and Xq28 (maximum two-point LOD = 2.99, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.76), which was also implicated in prior research.
especially in the context of past studies, support the existence of genes on pericentromeric chromosome 8 and chromosome Xq28 influencing development of male sexual orientation. The 13-member team who carried out the study, entitled Genome Wide Study Demonstrates Significant Linkage For Male Sexual Orientation, was made up of psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and geneticists. Team leader Sanders says that the study â€œerodes the notion that sexual orientation is a choiceâ€?. MKB See: A. R. Sanders, E. R. Martin, G. W. Beecham, S. Guo, K. Dawood, G. Rieger, J. A. Badner, E. S. Gershon, R. S. Krishnappa, A. B. Kolundzija, J. Duan, P. V. Gejman and J. M. Bailey. Genomewide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation. Psychological Medicine, available on CJO2014. doi:10.1017/ S0033291714002451.
The team say that these results
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Paul Strecker Keating
In this last month of 2014, we’d like to take this opportunity to remember Paul Strecker Keating, who died suddenly last month (November 8). Paul was from Kincora Road in Clontarf, and worked as Practice Manager of the Harold’s Cross Surgery in south Dublin, working alongside his civil partner, Dr. Shay Keating, with whom he had established and developed the surgery. Paul will be very sadly missed by his loving partner Shay, family, friends, colleagues, and the LGBT community in Dublin.
Go bhfóire Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis May he rest in peace
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Feature | Kiss Me Kill Me
New South Wales To Recognise Same-sex Couples Married Overseas
Australia: Victoria Election Survey On Marriage Equality Results Released Before Election
Marriage equality advocates have welcomed changes to the NSW Relationships Register to recognise same-sex couples married overseas.
Before the Victoria election, Australian Marriage Equality released the results of its Victorian state election survey, to inform the electorate where their candidates stood on various issues, for example on same-sex marriage.
The change advocated by the independent member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, and supported by the NSW Government, provides for legal recognition of marriages conducted overseas that are currently denied recognition under the Federal Marriage Act. Acting director of Australian Marriage Equality, Ivan HintonTeoh, said, “Every year Australians are travelling to a growing number of countries that recognise the value of building an inclusive society, countries that have already
achieved marriage equality.” “In the absence of federal reform, NSW now provides legal recognition for these overseas marriages and, in doing so, has highlighted the importance of this reform for all Australians.” “We call on the Federal Government to recognise the commitments that are made by Australians overseas. As we legally recognise foreign commercial contracts it should go without saying that we should also recognise these enduring, lifelong commitments.” h/t Ivan Hinton-Teoh
The group asked candidates a variety of questions about support for marriage equality at a federal and state level, the recognition of overseas samesex marriages in Victorian law, the removal of laws requiring married transgender people to divorce and improvements to Victoria’s relationship register. AME Victorian director, Tim Peppard, said, “Party allegiance is not a surefire guide to where candidates stand on marriage equality with some Labor candidates opposing it and some Liberals in support.” He urged people to consult the AME results before voting for any particular candidate. h/t AME eile.ie / November 30
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Politics | NI
NI: Paul Givan MLA Intends ‘Conscience Clause’ For Equality Legislation
Paul Givan MLA
Northern Ireland First Minister, Peter Robinson, is supporting Paul Givan, MLA, who has said he intends to introduce a conscience clause into equality legislation, which could only have the effect of sanctioning discrimination against the LGBT community. The clause would allow people to ignore or opt out of certain parts of equality legislation, mainly it seems in relation to, and against, LGBT people, based on their ‘beliefs’. Mr Givan stated: “This clause will enhance equality legislation. [..] We are now heading towards a community where it is not just about live and let live, people are now saying ‘you need to affirm my particular lifestyle,and if that goes against your conscience, you have to do that.’” He continued: “That’s not equality, that’s intolerance”. First Minister, Peter Robinson, is supporting Mr. Givan. He told the DUP Conference 2014, in his 68 EILE Magazine
Leader’s Speech, that people of faith were finding themselves on an uneven pitch, citing the case of the Asher Baking Company, which was accused by the Equality Commission of being in breach of equality legislation by refusing to bake a cake for an LGBT person, who wished to have the words “Support Gay Marriage” above an image of Sesame Street characters, Bert and Ernie. In his view, “nobody should be compelled or coerced into supporting, sanctioning or promoting views or opinions which conflict with their strongly held religious convictions”. He sees the Equality Commission’s actions as attacking a small Christian family business [Ashers] and says it is simply “bullying”, and asked for the DUP members at the conference to contribute to the Asher Bakery’s legal costs. He stated: “That is why I am asking that a special collection be lifted at this conference, to help them with their legal costs.Those who believe in freedom of conscience must stand strong and stand together”. MKB
News | United Nations
UNHCHR: Zeid criticises Gambia for law targeting gay men and lesbians On 20th November, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein criticized a recent amendment to the Criminal Code of The Gambia that creates a broad and vague offence of “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by life imprisonment. He also expressed alarm at reports of a wave of arbitrary arrests and detention of individuals perceived to be homosexual in The Gambia. The amendment to the Criminal Code was approved by the National Assembly earlier this year and signed into law by the President on 9 October 2014. It targets, among others, socalled “serial offenders” (meaning individuals with a previous conviction for homosexuality), persons living with HIV, and consensual samesex partners of persons with disabilities – all of whom could be imprisoned for life. The new law replicates a section of the Ugandan AntiHomosexuality Act denounced by the former High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Secretary-General and the African Commission Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders. “This law violates fundamental human rights – among them the right to privacy, to freedom from discrimination and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention. It adds to the stigma
and abuses that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people already face in The Gambia,” High Commissioner Zeid said. “Governments have a duty to protect people from prejudice, not to add to it. Public hostility towards gay and lesbian people can never justify violating their fundamental human rights. Instead, it requires increased measures to protect them against human rights violations. This has been reaffirmed by UN human rights mechanisms and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights”. Since the new law was approved, representatives of The Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency have been reportedly conducting door-to-door enquiries to identify, arrest and detain individuals believed to be homosexual, and some of those detained have allegedly also been subjected to violent attacks and mistreatment. In other countries, similar laws have also led to an increase in violence against members of the LGBT community, including mob attacks. Zeid added: “I call on The Gambia to fulfil its international obligations to promote and protect the human rights of all persons without discrimination, to repeal all provisions of the Criminal Code that criminalize relations between consenting adults and to put in place an immediate moratorium on arrests on the basis of such laws”. EILE Magazine 69
Sport | Michael Sam
Nicolas Sarkozy: Will Repeal Samesex Marriage If Re-elected
Nicolas Sarkozy, who is known for his divisiveness throughout his political career, has now said he will repeal the law on samesex marriage in France if he is re-elected as President.
Pour Tous, the main opposition group to equal marriage in France. Sens Commun was the group who organised the Saturday meeting at which Sarkozy made his anti equal marriage statements.
In a turnaround which shocked both his allies and some senior party members, the beleagured former President has gone against his previous liberal stance on equal marriage, which was passed in France in 2013, under President Franςois Hollande.
Socialist Franςois Hollande defeated Sarkozy to become president in 2012, and brought in the law allowing equal marriage in France in 2013.
“One marriage for homosexuals, one for straight couples”.
In July of this year, he was placed under investigation for corruption by French prosecutors. He spent 15 hours in police Addressing a crowd of approximately 3,000 custody, and was then put under official people in Paris, he stated: investigation for active corruption, misuse of influence, and obtaining information through a “The law must be rewritten from top to bottom”. breach of professional secrecy. He was both heckled by some and booed by others of the audience. He stated that he Sarkozy himself has so far been married and wanted: divorced three times.
“I want a marriage for homosexual couples and a marriage for straight couples, which takes into account the differences, because it is not the same thing” he stated. The difference, according to Sarkozy, is in ‘filiation’ or the relationship between family members, more specifically, between a parent and child. French law at present grants the same rights to both gay and straight couples.However, this does not include assisted reproduction and surrogacy. Sarkozy is trying to regain control of the French right-wing UMP party (Union Pour un Mouvement Populaire i.e.Union for Popular Movement), his party when he became president in 2007. At the time, he showed support for equal marriage. The UMP is said to have links to a movement called Sens Commun (Common Sense) which is itself linked to La Manif 30 EILE Magazine 70
Sport | Michael Sam
India: New Delhi Pride March In a country where homosexuality was banned again only last December by the Supreme Court, having been decriminalised in 2009, hundreds marched in a Pride Parade yesterday (Sunday 30th November) and it passed off peacefully. The marchers were carrying flags and banners, and shouting “I’m gay, that’s ok”, and “Freedom” (Azaadi), and were also dancing and singing along the route. The ban on gay sex has been in place since 1860, under section 377 of the Penal Code, a relic of colonial rule by the British. In 2009, the Delhi Hight Court had ruled that the ban on gay sex went against fundamental rights protected
by the Indian constitution. However, last December, the Supreme Court overturned this ruling, stating that only the government could decriminalise gay sex by removing section 377, a section which could potentially see homosexuals get life in prison, or up to ten years and a fine. However, this does not appear to have been enforced so far. The movement to repeal the law in 2009 was led by the NAZ Foundation, which had acted as petitioner in the New Delhi High Court Case, and which also works to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in India. It is funded by, among others, the Standard Chartered Bank and Levi Strauss. MKB EILE Magazine 71
News | Trans Issues
Despite Rise in Positive Visibility, Trans People Still Face High Levels of Violence 20th November is Trans Day of Remembrance. This is an international day of commemoration that memorialises the lives lost in the course of the year due to transphobia, and it also raises awareness of the violence trans people can face simply because they are trans. 72 EILE Magazine
The Trans Day of Remembrance began in 1998 in the United States in response to the murder of Rita Hester, a trans woman. Violence and discrimination remains a feature of many trans peopleâ€™s lives in Ireland. In the Speaking from the Margins report, 20% reported experiencing domestic abuse, 16% said they had been hit or beaten up, 12% had been sexually assaulted and 6% had been raped as a direct result of
their trans identity. â€œTrans people are becoming increasingly visible and vocal, and we are now seeing positive depictions of our diverse community in the media. Nonetheless, many trans individuals still face violence and discrimination. From low level everyday harassment to much more serious crimes, and this needs to end,â€? said TENI Chief Executive
News | Trans Issues
Since 2013, TENI has been running the Stop Transphobia and Discrimination (STAD) campaign. This campaign documents hate crimes and incidents against trans people. Since January 2014, TENI has received 41 reports of violence, harassment, abuse and discrimination against trans people in Ireland.
“It is important for us to remember those of our community who have suffered and that even in Ireland today, society still does not treat trans people with respect and dignity. In its 9th year, the remembrance ceremony provides an opportunity for us to reflect and honour those who have been lost to us,” said TENI Chairperson Sara R. Phillips.
“We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many individuals will not report these crimes of incidents at all. In STAD we found that 56% did not report the incident to the Gardaí. Not only does this violence need to end but we need to ensure that if it happens, that trans people are supported to report these
This event commemorates the lives injured and lost due to transphobia through candle lighting, speeches and songs. We also look forward to a bright new future and the ways in which we can ensure better lives for trans people in Ireland.
“We must strive to celebrate the positives. Trans people no longer live in the shadows, we are making progress toward equality but we must never forget, never forget the violence, disrespect and inequality that trans people still suffer today worldwide,” concluded Phillips. The 9th Trans Day of Remembrance Ceremony took place on Saturday 22nd November at 8PM in the Unitarian Church, 112 St. Stephens Green, Dublin. The ceremony was organised by Sara Phillips, Lynda Sheridan and TENI. Supported by Running Amach, the Unitarian Church and the Lord Mayor’s Office.
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News | EU
European Parliament’s Strong Wording on LGBTI Rights In Report The European Parliament voted for a report defining its input into global future development policy, last
25th November. The report, entitled Report On The EU And The Global Development Framework After 2015, contains strong wording on LGBTI rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights
In September, 2000, the UN adopted the Millennium Declaration, specifying concrete targets to be reached by 2015: the Millennium Development Goals. The report that was adopted last Tuesday defines the Parliament’s priorities after 2015. According to the Parliament, development policy should pay particular attention to “the protection and respect of the rights of migrants and minorities, including LGBTI people and people living with HIV.” (par. 28) Furthermore, the Parliament prioritises “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.” (par. 28, 58) The report comes at a time of increasing antiLGBTI legislation, most recently in Gambia. UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation have warned that such laws worsen public health and hamper development, as it can deter some of those most at risk of infection, 74 EILE Magazine
among them men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women, from testing and treatment out of fear of being deemed a criminal. Attempts by the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) to delete paragraphs on sexual and reproductive health and rights [SRHR], were defeated by a wide margin. Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup-designate on LGBTI rights, stated: “Despite the shameful attempt by ECR to delete the paragraphs on sexual and reproductive health from this report, a solid majority spoke out to continue our fight for a development policy taking due account of SRHR and human rights.” “Only by guaranteeing universal access to health care, in a non-discriminatory way, we can be successful in our fight against HIV/AIDS. I am glad the Parliament spoke out for this.” Elly Schlein MEP, shadow rapporteur on the report and Member of the Intergroup-designate on LGBTI Rights, said: “It [the report] sends a strong signal to the Commission and the Member States what the EU should negotiate for on the UN level: a development policy anchored in human rights. You can access the full report HERE
News | NI
NI: PSNI figures for homophobic crime 2013/2014 up 14% on last year
Homophobic crimes are on the rise in Northern Ireland, according to new figures released by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). PSNI figures show reported homophobic incidents overall have gone up from 245 in 2012/2013, to 280 for 2013/2014. Violent homophobic crimes numbered 133 for this year, as opposed to 103 last year. The PSNI also revealed that the totals have been increasing
year on year since 2006/2007. Across the rest of the UK, police departments have also shown a rise in figures for homophobic incidents and more serious homophobic crimes. The PSNI have an ongoing advertising campaign which is aimed at increasing awareness of hate crimes, and to encourage reporting of such crimes. Advertisements carry a simple message:
nobody deserves to get away with itâ€?. The ads also carry photographic images representing the five main areas of hate crime â€“ racist, homophobic, sectarianism, religion and crimes against people with disabilities. In 2008, the advertisements appeared on billboards, adshels, buses, posters in retail and community premises, beermats and in washrooms in pubs and clubs across the province.
â€œNobody deserves this and EILE Magazine 75
Sport | Rugby
UK: Rugby Football Union Investigates Homophobic Abuse of Gay Referee Nigel Owens And Bans Two Fans The Rugby Football Union is currently investigating the alleged homophobic and racial abuse of openly-gay Welsh referee, Nigel Owens, during a recent game between England and New Zealand. Owens, 43, is the first openly-gay man to referee at the highest level in international rugby. Owens took charge of the test match at Twickenham on 8th November, where the RFU was told of the abuse by a supporter, who had been sitting near where the alleged incident took place. Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Owens stated that the RFU will take the issue seriously and deal with the matter, adding: “It’s important to stop this from getting a bigger problem in the game. As a referee, it’s not nice to have stuff like this getting back to me and if I was telling you it doesn’t get me down or doesn’t affect me I’d be lying, because it does.” Owens will act as referee again for the France v Australia game today, although he admits that he has considered quitting as a result of the homophobic comments made by some rugby fans.
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“Sometimes you think ‘do I really need this? Do I really need to do this job?’. It does get you down and I honestly think sometimes like saying ‘enough is enough’ but you’ve got to just get up and get on with it. […] Unfortunately you get some people who get to the stadium, who get drunk and who probably haven’t even watched the game of rugby, they are just there to get drunk and shout abuse, but they are in the minority.” In a statement, the Rugby Football Union said the body “…condemns all forms of discrimination and aims to ensure that all people, irrespective of their age, gender, ability, race, religion, ethnic origin, creed, colour, nationality, social status or sexual orientation, have a genuine and equal opportunity to enjoy rugby union in whatever form, on or off the pitch, at all levels and in all roles”. The Rugby Football Union has since banned the two fans responsible for the abuse for two years, and the decision has been applauded by Owens.
News | Botswana
Botswana: Victory In High Court for LEGABIBO To Register LGBT Organisation
Today, the Gaborone High Court delivered its judgment in a case concerning the Department of Labour and Home Affairs’ refusal to register LEGABIBO, an LGBT organisation. The case was brought by 20 LGBT people, who argued that the refusal to register their organisation violated their constitutional rights, including their rights to freedom of association, freedom of expression, and equal protection of the law. “We are overjoyed at the outcome of the case. Lesbians, gays and bisexuals have long strived to be able to form an organisation which can support them and be their
voice on matters that affect them,” says Caine Youngman, LEGABIBO Coordinator. “It has been a long and arduous journey towards recognition, and we are relieved that the court has protected our rights”. “Botswana’s HIV/AIDS National Strategic Framework 2010-2016 seeks to ensure equal access to health and social support services for all people regardless of race, creed, religious or political affiliation, sexual orientation or socio-economic status. LEGABIBO intends to work with government to improve access to health services for LGBT persons, and this judgment enables them to do so,” says Cindy Kelemi from the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA). “The judgment emphasises
the importance of the rights to freedom of expressions, association and assembly in a democracy. The judgment will benefit not only the prospective members of LEGABIBO, but any minority group which seeks to uphold its right to freedom of association in Botswana in the future,” says Anneke Meerkotter from the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC). “Importantly, the judgment emphasised that it is not a crime to be homosexual or attracted to someone of the same sex. The court finding is important not just for activists in Botswana but throughout Africa.” The group was represented in the case by Dow and Associates. h/t SALC
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Ireland | Crime
Garda Inspectorate Calls for Change in Dealing with Homophobic Crime The Garda Inspectorate Crime Investigation report, published Tuesday last, recommended changes to the way the Gardaí investigate homophobic incidents. The report noted that not one of the over 1,000 Gardaí interviewed had ever recorded or investigated such a crime. The report put forward a series of recommendations to the Gardaí to ensure that a victim-centred policy was implemented, which encouraged victims to report offences. “We welcome the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate on addressing homophobic crimes and incidents. Changing a culture of underreporting of homophobic and transphobic
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incidents to the Gardaí will require significant efforts to build confidence that incidents will be taken seriously and will be investigated” said Brian Sheehan, Director of GLEN. “Despite very positive progress in Ireland for LGBT people over the last number of years, including better relations between the LGBT community and the Gardaí, there remains very significant challenges to be overcome to ensure that LGBT people can go about their daily lives with the same sense of security that others enjoy” said Sheehan. “The recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate relating to homophobic incidents provide a strong basis for moving forwards.” Research by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in 2013 found that: · One third of LGBT people in Ireland were physically or sexually attacked or threatened with violence in the last five
years. · One in four experienced harassment six or more times in the last 12 months, according to research by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in 2013. · Eight of out every ten LGBT people who experienced a homophobic or transphobic incident did not report the last incident to the Gardaí. However, the number of incidents officially recorded in the Garda PULSE system as having been motivated by homophobia stood at 17 in 2013. “We particularly welcome the Garda Inspectorate recommendation to develop third party reporting sites to accommodate victim reporting. GLEN will launch a third party reporting website in December which aims to bridge the gaps between LGBT individuals who experience hate crime and the Gardaí, and to encourage
Ireland | Crime
Countries in blue show where homophobic hate crime or hate speech is recognised in national law. The purple shows where countries also recognise transphobia as part of hate crime.
reporting of all homophobic or transphobic incidents” said Craig Dwyer, Policy and Projects Officer, GLEN. In recent years the Gardaí has linked the roles of Ethnic Liaison Officers (ELO) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Liaison Officers. We welcome the Inspectorates recommendation to review the decision to merge the two roles, as they are dealing with very different
communities and both require very different training to understand the complexities of the communities with whom they are engaging. “These recommendations, if implemented, could help build the confidence of those LGBT people who experience violence and harassment to report the incident to the Gardaí. Ultimately the aim is to achieve a society where LGBT people can live a life
without fear of violence and harassment because they are LGBT, and a society where they can feel comfortable holding their partners hands walking safely down the main street in any town or village in Ireland”, concluded Dwyer. For further details visit http:// www.glen.ie
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Garda Inspectorate Report 2014: Low Levels of Homophobic Recording, But Does This Reflect Homophobic Reporting? The Garda Inspectorate Report 2014, presented to the Minister for Justice and Equality by Chief Inspector Robert K. Olson last Tuesday (llth) is the “result of a detailed two-year examination by the Inspectorate of crime investigation in the Garda Síochána”.
The report gives Findings, Key Issues and Recommendations for the way An Garda Síochána is presently operating, and the way in which various crimes, which occur in Ireland every day, are recorded or dealt with. Whereas it is clear that Gardaí are under-resourced, both in funds and manpower, the result is that some of these incidents do not make it either into the Garda notebooks, or onto the computer system used
by under half of the Garda stations in Ireland, namely PULSE. PULSE (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively) was introduced in the Republic of Ireland in November 1999, at a cost of 61.3 million. However, it is in use by approximately only 319 of 703 Garda stations throughout the country. It has been criticised by Kathleen O’Toole, who was the first
Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate (now Chief of Police in Seattle) as well as by rank and file members of An Garda Síochána, who feel it is not user-friendly. From an LGBT point of view, the above matters would cause concern, especially when paired with some of the key issues and findings below in relation to homophobic crimes. In relation to Racist & Homophobic incidents, the Inspectorate found that: • Recorded levels of racist and homophobic crimes are very low; • Other jurisdictions have specific offences for aggravated crimes; • Divisions have trained Ethnic Liaison Officers and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Officers that have a liaison role with communities and can assist with investigations The remedy for the above is Recommendation 6.19 “The Inspectorate recommends that the Garda Síochána implements a victimcentered policy and good investigative practices in racial, homophobic and other similar crimes to encourage victims to report offences. (Medium term)”. To achieve the above recommendation, the following
key actions need to be taken: To Ensure that all crimes containing elements of hate or discrimination are flagged on PULSE; Create clear modus operandi features on PULSE that allow the accurate recording of the nine strands of the Diversity Strategy; Develop third party reporting sites to accommodate victim reporting; Review the decision to merge the role of ELO/LGBT officers. In Note 10 to Recommendations page 13, it states: “The Garda Síochána Diversity Strategy covers nine strands of diversity but PULSE does not have MO features that allow the accurate recording of crimes under each strand”.
of the number of hate crimes that actually occur here. Only with proper recording (when LGBT people have the courage to report it) will crime born of homophobia be properly addressed by the authorities. The Garda Inspectorate identified other areas where recommendations were needed, such as “serious failures in the recording, classification and reclassification of crime incidents”, “concerns over the timeliness of investigations” and a lack of IT equipment. On the plus side, they found committed and dedicated people throughout the country, and many elements of good practice.
The Inspectorate is a threemember team, established in 2006, led by Chief Inspector Robert K. Olson, with two Deputy Inspectors. Prior to It would appear then that his appointment as Chief the PULSE system needs to Inspector in June 2012, Chief be updated, to make it more Olson acted as consultant to user-friendly, and to ensure the Police Executive Research that homophobic crimes Forum (PERF), working and racism, for instance, are with the Chicago Police accurately recorded under their Department. His predecessor different strands, resulting in in Ireland was Kathleen correct crime statistics for each O’Toole. category. You can access the full Garda As we know even anecdotally, Inspectorate report HERE a large proportion of LGBT people in Ireland have MKB experienced homophobic incidents, and in order to fight homophobia, it’s important to get a clear picture statistically
EU | Asylum Seekers
BeLonG To Welcomes EU Court of Justice Decision Protecting the Rights of LGBTI Asylum Seekers
On Tuesday (December 2nd, 2014) the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that authorities, when verifying the sexual orientation of an asylum seeker, should always comply with the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. Welcoming the decision today Trina Tsai, Senior Youth Worker at BeLonG To supporting LGBT Refugees and Asylum Seekers said: “This landmark decision will transform the reality of the application procedure and significantly reduce the stress and anxiety heretofore experienced by LGBT applicants in having to justify their sexual orientation.” 82 EILE Magazine
In its judgement, the Luxembourg-based Court states that while declarations by the applicant are the starting point of the assessment, they may require confirmation. However, in verifying the sexual orientation of the applicant, human dignity and the right for private and family life should be respected.
for LGBT Refugees & Asylum Seekers in 2011 we have heard firsthand the inconsistencies in decision making with respect to LGBT applications. This judgement today marks a milestone towards developing a consistent EU wide approach to the processing of LGBT Asylum claims and is very welcome. “
LGBT Asylum Seekers face a unique set of collective vulnerabilities which we have been working to address and to highlight since 2011. The Direct Provision system continues to place LGBT Refugees & Asylum Seekers at risk and is in urgent need of transformation.
The Court also ruled that late disclosure of an applicant’s sexual orientation should not affect the applicant’s credibility. Ms. Tsai continued:
Speaking today David Carroll, Executive Director at BeLonG To said: “Since we opened the dedicated support service in BeLonG To
“ This last element of the judgement is significant. LGBT Asylum Seekers must be given allowances given the special kinds of difficulties they face and with this decision the court has recognised that.”
Information and support for women who need someone to talk to
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Feature | Dublin Lesbian Line
EILE Magazine 51
Published on Dec 6, 2014
The LGBT magazine, for those who want another view. Includes Deja Mae, Gareth Russell, Jenny Butler, Mark Anthony, Tobias Larsson, The Minut...