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Magazine Issue 09 – February 2014

LGBT Issues

40 Years of Gay Switchboard

Spring Style Men’s Fashion

Sarah Sylvia

An Alternative Voice Inside:

Dating Danger | Entertainment | California Dispatch


EILE Magazine | Who’s Who

Contributors Jon Beaupré Jon is professor of Film, TV & Media at California State University, Los Angeles, as well as a contributor to This Way Out radio. 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. Philip Dunne Philip is an artist and illustrator from Dublin, whose clients have included such companies as Barry’s Tea and Guinness. Mark Graham Mark is a graduate of English from University College Dublin. Originally from Port Laoise, he is Mr Gay Laois for 2013. Dr. Shay Keating Shay has his clinic at the Harold’s Cross Surgery in south Dublin and is a specialist in Genitourinary Medicine at St. James’ Hospital, Dublin. Jane McCormick Jane is an award-winning artist with a background in ceramics, based in County Cavan. She works with local art groups such as Trans-Art.Cavan. Deirdre O’Byrne Deirdre is a radio presenter, writer and trans rights activist, currently living in County Longford. Dermie O’Sullivan Dermie is a chef from County Cork who whips up delicious recipes. You can find more on his blog, gasmarkseven.com Lisa Reynolds Originally from County Meath, Lisa is a fashion industry student living in Bray, County Wicklow. Frances Winston Frances Winston is EILE’s resident film buff, and has contributed to many publications such as The Irish Independent and Irish Tatler. 2 EILE Magazine


EILE Magazine | Welcome

Highlights February 2014 Sarah Sylvia – P.14 The Voice of Ireland contestant chats about music styles, auditions and much more

Gay Switchboard – P.12 Celebrating 40 years of service to the community

Men’s Fashions – Pgs.16 & 22 Patrick Cooper from London Tailor Company talks suits and style

LGBT Film @ Jameson – P.52 A selection of the best LGBT-themed films at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

Movies & Online Dating – Pgs.50 & 38 Frances Winston reviews Out of the Furnace and Dallas Buyers Club, as well as a few tips on online dating

Volume 1, Issue 09 Editor-in-Chief: Scott De Buitléir Features Editor: MKB Writers: Jon Beaupré, MKB, Mark Graham, Shay Keating, Deirdre O’Byrne, Dermie O’Sullivan, Lisa Reynolds, Frances Winston NB: All images in this publication are either under Creative Commons licence, or used with permission. Any queries can be made via eile.ie/contact Special Thanks to MKB for all her hard work, dedication and support. Web: http://eile.ie Contact: eilemagazine@outlook.com Twitter: @EileMagazine Facebook: http://fb.com/eilemagazine Note: All opinions expressed in this issue are the writers’ own.

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…and much more! EILE Magazine 3


EILE Magazine | Editor’s Letter

Contents 8-

Anthony Starble

9-

LGBT News Round-Up

12 - Gay Switchboard 14 -

Interview: Sarah Sylvia

16 -

London Tailor Company

20 -

LGBT Active Retirement

22 - Spring Style 24 - California Dispatch 28 -

Jimmy LaSalvia

34 -

Interview: Phil Dunne

37 -

Review: Wicked

38 -

Dating Dangers

42 -

Governing Gender

46 -

Mary McAleese

50 -

Film Reviews

52 -

LGBT Film @ Jameson

58 -

Cooking with Dermie

62 -

Sexual Health

Spring Awakening Welcome to the February ’14 issue of EILE Magazine! This month, as usual, we have our fair share of news, reports and opinion from, and for, the LGBT community in Ireland and abroad. From political support of LGBT athletes going to Sochi this month, to wise words about older gay men being potential mentors in society, we have enough food for thought to keep you going! Ireland, like the other Celtic countries, considers February to be the beginning of Spring, so that’s a good excuse to make room for new things in your life! We have some great sources of inspiration for our male readers when it comes to reviving that wardrobe, with both casual and formal styles to look at. We also have some wonderful pieces by Irish artists, while the vocal talents of our featured Irish and American musicians will inspire you to update your music collection! Don’t forget, however, that we always love to hear from you – whether as feedback or as a submission. You can always comment on our articles by tweeting @EILEMagazine or emailing us. For now, I hope you enjoy this issue, and who knows – it might just put a spring in your step. Until next time!

Scott De Buitléir

Founder/Editor, EILE Magazine

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News | New Zealand

Sochi: New Zealand Parliament Supports LGBT Community In Russia In what they believe is a first for a national parlliament, today New Zealand’s parliament has unanimously passed a motion, put forward by the Green Party’s Jan Logie, to support the LGBT community in Russia, together with the athletes about to participate in the games. According to a report by

Fuseworks, the rainbow spokesperson for the Green Party, Jan Logie, stated: “It makes me very proud that all parties in our Parliament backed this message of support, not only to our athletes heading to compete but also the gay and lesbian community in Russia who have been suffering hit after hit on their human rights. “Our Government can play a role in promoting the rights of LGBTI people in Russia and send a message around the world that everyone deserves to live safe lives regardless of their sexual

orientation. The New Zealand Herald reports that Green MP Jan Logie moved that: “the House wish our athletes competing in the Winter Olympics in Sochi well, and note Russia’s recent passing of anti homosexual legislation, and ask the New Zealand Government to urge other governments and the Winter Olympics Organising Committee to protect the rights of all people in Russia regardless of their sexual orientation” MKB/Eile – 30 January

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News | Politics

New Legislation to Provide for Different Family Forms (eile.ie / 31 January) The General Scheme for a Children and Family Relationships Bill was published today by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter TD. The Bill aims to recognise the diversity of family life in Ireland and create a legal structure to underpin the different parenting situations of families living in Ireland. “We welcome the publication of the General Scheme of the Bill. The commitment of the Government and of Minister Shatter to update parenting legislation to recognise the different family forms in Ireland is of critical importance to a wide range of families, including lesbian and gay families” said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair. Ireland now has many different types of families into which

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children are born and raised, including step-parent families, families headed by cohabiting couples, lesbian and gay headed families and families headed by members of the extended family. “The Bill aims to ensure that children within all family forms enjoy the same duties of care from those parenting them and can form a legal relationship with those parents” said Rose.

“We particularly welcome that the key principle of the best interests of the child will underpin all the proposed reforms.“ The Children’s Rights Alliance said today that the proposals put ‘children at the heart of family law reform and introduce a clear legal framework to respond to the everyday realities of family life.’ “We particularly welcome that the

key principle of the best interests of the child will underpin all the proposed reforms. Extending the range of people who can take on the duties and responsibilities of care to a child through guardianship can ensure that the best interests of a child are fulfilled” said GLEN’s Kieran Rose. The Heads of Bill proposes a range of changes in the areas of guardianship, custody and access, in maintenance provisions, in adoption and in the area of parenting for children born through assisted human reproduction. “GLEN will study these proposals carefully. We look forward to engaging with the Oireachtas Committee, the Government and members of the Oireachtas on the Bill” concluded Rose.


News | Sochi 2014

Irish MEPs Sign Pledge to Support LGBTI Rights

(eile.ie / 21 January)

Irish Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have signed a pledge to support LGBTI rights on an EU-wide level. Nessa Childers (Ind.; Ireland East), Emer Costello (Labour; Dublin) Marian Harkin (Ind.; Ireland North-West) and Phil Prendergast (Labour; Ireland South) have all signed the ILGA-Europe ‘Come Out’ 2014 European Election Pledge, which states that the politician will “stand up for human rights and equality in Europe as a member of the European Parliament, including the human rights of LGBTI people”. The Come Out 2014 European Election Pledge summarises the key issues that ILGA-

Europe wants to see advanced at the EU level over the next five years. Amongst the issues are homophobic and transphobia violence, the inclusion of LGBT families in EU policies, protecting transgender citizens, and “effective protection” of LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers. Commenting on her signing the pledge, Phil Prendergast said: “I am absolutely delighted to support the Come Out Pledge. I believe the 10 specific pledges will make a difference to the lives of LGBTI individuals and families across the European Union and as such I am happy, as a member of the LGBT Intergroup, to commit to working to achieve these aims.”

The four ladies were joined by their colleague, Martina Anderson (Sinn Féin) as the only MEP from Northern Ireland to also sign the Come Out pledge. Ms Anderson said she signed the pledge as part of her ongoing support for human rights and equality for all sections of society. “The international community must send the strongest message possible,” Ms. Anderson said, “that discrimination against anyone on the grounds of sexuality, religion or ethnicity is wrong and unacceptable.” IGLA-Europe’s Come Out pledge can be read in full here. [Update: Paul Murphy MEP has also signed the Come Out pledge since this report was written.]

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Interview | Anthony Starble

In Conversation With

Anthony Starble Scott De Buitléir chats with Anthony about ‘Oh Father’ and more

Your single, “Oh Father”, is about a relationship between a father and son, as the title suggests. What was going through your mind when you were writing the song? Were you worried about how it would be received by your family? How did your family & friends react? My original intention when writing this song was to write something about coming out that was relatable and empowering. 8 EILE Magazine

I wanted to write the song that I wish I heard as a young teenager. In the back of our minds we all fear that coming out could be something devastating, where we get kicked out of the house and cut out of the family, like others have in the past and still will be in the future. This song is sort of a response to those thoughts. ‘You are not a disease and you will not live your life in a lie.’ After I wrote it, I didn’t play it live for a really long time because of how dense it was, but when I finally played it the reaction was so positive that I

knew I had to record it and put it out into the world. I was very worried about explaining the song to my dad, who actually was very proud of my honesty and courage when coming out to him. The hardest part was telling him that I wrote a song that was set to be the single for my upcoming EP where I painted him as a cold and malicious figure. Ultimately, he was accepting of the idea because he thinks the song needs to be heard. I’m very lucky to have the relationship with my parents


Interview | Anthony Starble where we can talk about that kind of stuff openly. You’ve been playing the piano since you were a child; did you always know you wanted to be a musician? Yes. Ever since I started taking piano at the age of 9 I knew it’s what I was supposed to do with my life. I was sort of infatuated with the instrument, often times having to be pried away by my mom to eat dinner or go to sleep. I was always an introvert, and I felt a very strong sense of identity in music. It was a place where I could really show people who I was. The video to ‘Oh Father’ is wonderful; what was the inspiration behind the boxing setting? Was the boxing symbolic, or inspired by real events? I really wanted to do something aggressive to illustrate the father/son dynamic. When brainstorming ideas with my director, the boxing idea really stuck with me. Boxing is traditionally a very masculine thing and I wanted the video to live in a world of power and aggression. Bullying between peers is often discussed in music, but bullying within the family doesn’t always have the same level of exposure. Is this the last taboo, do you think? I think bullying between peers is just as serious of an issue as bullying in the family, but I do agree that bullying within the family is not talked about nearly as much. Feeling hated in your own home could be extremely

damaging. I can only hope that the lgbt youth who see this video find it empowering and comforting to know that they are not alone. You’ve collaborated with artists such as Beck, Ben Lee, Kristen Chenoweth; what has been the highlight so far in your musical career? Honestly, the highlight has been releasing this single and video. The response has been truly amazing and I am so humbled that people are so touched by it. Other highlights include being featured on camera playing one of my songs on ABC Family’s ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and Beck’s ‘Sound and Vision’ project, where he set up over 300 musicians in the round and performed a nearly 10 minute version of the classic song. We’ve seen LGBT artists ‘come out’ into mainstream music, with thanks in part to the likes of YouTube. Did you feel concerned about being labeled a ‘gay musician’ as opposed to just a ’musician’? Absolutely. I really want my music to speak on its own as ‘good music’ and to not be labeled exclusively as ‘gay’. In fact, this is the first song I’ve written that really deals with my sexuality in a very noticeable way. Being gay is one part of what makes me who I am, and therefore is just one part of what defines my artistry. At the end of the day, there’s no point in succeeding in your career if you can’t be who you are. I’m very proud to be gay and very proud of this song and video. It really made sense for me to release it.

video get so much attention, being your first one? It is truly amazing. I’ve been reached out to by gay youth all over the world and it is very humbling. I’m so happy that this song has the capability of touching people in a really deep place in their hearts. It’s one thing to make music that is emotionally fulfilling to yourself, but when people start sharing in your expression and creativity, you get the best high there is. Also, I think this video is doing well because it was filmed and directed exceptionally well. I had a great team behind me and I think that really shows. What are the plans for 2014? I hear you have a new EP coming out shortly. 2014 is set to be a big year for me. I will be releasing the full EP later on this spring and plan to play out a lot promoting it. I plan to get to the UK this summer for the Glastonbury Festival, and possibly South By South West in Austin this year. I also plan on starting the process for a full length record. – Anthony Starble’s single, Oh Father, is available now – click on the artwork for iTunes.

How does it feel to have your

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News | Round-Up

LGBT Monthly News Roun Israel Honours Gay Holocaust Victims (eile.ie / 13 Jan.) A memorial was unveiled recently in Tel Aviv, which specifically commemorates the some 15,000 LGBT victims of the Holocaust. Inscribed in both Hebrew and English, it is the first memorial of its kind in Israel, yet joins similar memorials in such cities as San Francisco, Amsterdam and Berlin. The concrete, triangle-shaped memorial stone was unveiled at a ceremony joined last Friday by Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv, who approved plans to construct the memorial. The bilingual monument reads: “In Memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Haaretz. “As a cosmopolitan city and an international gay center, Tel Aviv will offer a memorial site that is universal in its essence. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a monument, but a place — a place of quiet that will invite visitors to sit, contemplate, reflect and be in solitude.”

The new LGBT Holocaust memorial in Tel Aviv

According to Queerty, mayor Rob Huldai said at the unveiling event that: “[…] in Israel today it is very important to show that a human being is a human being is a human being”.

Moscow Gay Club Ex-Manager Seeks Asylum in USA

“It shows that we are not only caring for ourselves but for everybody who suffered. These are our values — to see everyone as a human being.”

(eile.ie / 11 January) The former manager of a Moscow gay nightclub has revealed that he intends to seek asylum in the United States, having been the target of multiple attacks in his home country.

The memorial is reported to have cost US$42,000 (€30,700). “This will be the first and only memorial site in Israel to mention the victims of the Nazis who were persecuted for anything other than being Jewish,” councilman Eran Lev said in an interview with 10 EILE Magazine

Arkady Gyngazov, who had worked as manager of the popular Central Station gay nightclub in Moscow, travelled to Washington D.C. with three friends from the Russian capital via New York in December of last year, and revealed in an interview with

the Washington Blade that he intends to formally seek asylum once his visa expires in June. “I’m not going to go back to Russia because I feel my safety, even my life, is threatened,” the Russian said to the popular American publication. Gyngazov also went on to say he feels that President Vladimir Putin is “making a dictatorship, like the Soviet Union two”. Central Station has increasingly become the target of homophobic attacks in recent months, including an attack by over a hundred vandals late last year, dismantling part of the roof and also damaging and stealing some equipment from the club. Andrei Lishchinsky, owner of the popular Central Station gay nightclub in Moscow, claims that the last attack on the club, which took place on the night of December 14, is the latest in the series of attacks by anti-LGBT protestors. Lenta.ru reported that a gun was fired into the air, although it injured no-one. Twenty people, including both attackers and visitors to the nightclub, were arrested by Moscow police as a result of the altercation. Meanwhile, Gyngazov has stated that he fears for the welfare of his LGBT friends back home in Russia, especially in the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics. “I’m afraid for my friends who stay there,” Gyngazov told Washington Blade. “When I talk to them, I can’t help them.”


News | Round-Up

nd-Up being discriminatory against the LGBT community.

German Footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger Comes Out as Gay

Coca-Cola recently suffered separate criticism from the LGBT community, especially in Ireland, when a scene featuring a gay couple was omitted from a recent advertisement.

(eile.ie / 8 January) The German professional footballer, Thomas Hitzlsperger, has revealed he is gay in an interview with Die Zeit newspaper published today. The 31-year-old former Aston Villa midfielder, who won 52 caps for Germany as well as having West Ham and Everton on his CV, is now the most prominent footballer to come out as gay, saying that it was “a good time” to do so. “I’m coming out about my homosexuality because I want to move the discussion about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards,” he told the German newspaper. “I’ve never been ashamed of the way I am,” he added. Openly-gay footballers are few and far between. In February of last year, former United States and Leeds United player, Robbie Rogers, said he was gay while Swedish footballer, Anton Hysén, came out in an interview with a Swedish football magazine in 2011. Justin Fashanu was the first professional footballer in the UK to reveal he was gay in 1990, but sadly took his own life eight years later, aged 37.

Trinity College Bans Coca-Cola to Protest Sochi Sponsorship (eile.ie / 26 January) The Students Union of Trinity College Dublin has decided to ban all Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble products from their premises, in protest over the companies’ sponsorship of the highly-controversial Sochi Winter Olympics, and in solidarity with LGBT people in both Ireland and Russia. Both Coca-Cola and the Sochi Games have been targets of great criticism in recent months, due to Russia’s legislation against socalled ‘homosexual propaganda’, which has been widely condemned by western nations as

“We want to show solidarity to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Russia and banned the sale of the products on campus as a mark of respect,” Leanna Byrne, TCD students’ union spokesperson, said to Herald.ie news. It is not certain, however, for how long the ban will be in place by the students’ union, or if the group intends to lift it. Boycotts on products for ethical reasons are not unusual in Irish universities. For example, the students union at University College Dublin has observed a boycott on Nestlé products for several years.

eile.ie

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Feature | Gay Switchboard

A Connected Community

40 Years of Gay Switchboard Ireland It’s hard to imagine, that when the Gay Switchboard first launched in 1974, the word ‘gay’ couldn’t even be used in Irish phonebooks. Because of that, ‘Tel-A-Friend’ was the name given to the newlyfounded organisation, while trying to provide support for LGBT people in Ireland by phone. 12 EILE Magazine

Forty years on, a lot has changed in Ireland for LGBT people, but the services provided by the Gay Switchboard are just as relevant today. Recently, the group – run entirely by volunteers – celebrated its 40th anniversary with two special events. One took place in Outhouse, with special guests, John Lyons TD and Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, while the other took place in The George,

featuring Mr Gay Ireland, Robbie Lawlor, RTÉ’s own Anna Nolan, and a little bit of birthday cake to make the night more fun! For Tony Cooney, Director of Gay Switchboard Ireland, the celebrations proved how much support the service has behind it, but that wasn’t always the case. The Switchboard’s legacy began in 1973, with a series of workshops in Trinity College, which involved Senator David Norris. “In the


Feature | Gay Switchboard first year of operation,” Cooney explains “it was quite difficult to get the word out there.” In the first year they answered 378 calls, which may sound to today’s reader as quite low, but Cooney explains that the team would only have been open for three or four nights a week at that stage. “They [the Switchboard] would’ve put ads in papers,” says Cooney, “and looking back at minutes from past AGMs, I read that were was a three-week campaign in 1975, with adverts in a lot of the national papers. Because of that, they had a 300% increase in terms of calls to the service.” It became really clear, as news of the new service spread through the country thanks to the advertising campaigns, that there was a great need for this service in Ireland. New volunteers were called for, and came on board. Today, the phone lines are busier than ever. The Gay Switchboard received between 2,500 and 3,000 calls in the last year, averaging about 10 per day. The busiest period the Switchboard had in its lifespan, Cooney explains, was during the late 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic reached Ireland and people began to panic. Today’s calls vary little in comparison to when the service was first starting out; many people call the Gay Switchboard for support, whether for themselves, or maybe for a loved one. Some ring for advice on sexual health, gay social or youth groups, or more. Some, as Cooney tells me, ring

up for nothing more than a chat, and to feel like someone is listening to them. “The majority of our calls would be looking for various forms of support,” says Cooney, “but when people ask me this [what sort of calls come in] , I say ‘how long is a piece of string?’. If you can think of what people might ring up about, and then multiply that by about four or five – we’ll get a huge range of things that people ring us up for.” “Sometimes people just want to ring us up for a chat, because they’ve noone else in their life they can share whatever it is that’s going on… It might not even be a problem that they want to share. Those kind of people tend to be in rural or isolated areas, maybe people in their fifties, sixties or seventies who have nobody else because their partner has died, and maybe their family or friends don’t know that they’re gay.”

This is made possible, as while many helplines feature a Irish ‘premium’ style number (think 1850, 1550, etc.) the Gay Switchboard is a normal Dublin (i.e. 01) number that anyone can get through to. Plans to expand the service, however, are already in full swing. The Gay Switchboard have recently launched a dropin service in Outhouse, where people can find out more information on sexual or mental health, and there are also plans to develop an e-mail support service in the near future. More volunteers are always welcome – especially women, as the current team is quite male-heavy – and there will be a training session for new volunteers in March this year. Those who are interested should visit the website, gayswitchboard.ie. Of course, if you’d like to chat to someone, give them a call: (01) 872-1055.

Not all the calls received are necessarily support-driven, however. Cooney explains that some of the calls received are from foreigners – either those moving to Ireland or tourists – wanting to find out a little more about gay life in the country, such as activity groups, bars and so on. While most of this information would be readily available on the internet, Cooney has seen that there are still many people who prefer to find out more from a “real-life person” on the phone, rather than having to use a computer.

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Interview | Sarah Sylvia

Sarah Sylvia chats with Scott De BuitlĂŠir about alternative styles, her love of music and more

Sarah Sylvia Simply 14 EILE Magazine


Interview | Sarah Sylvia

Sarah Sylvia is the kind of person who makes you lose track of time, thanks to her endearing way of telling a story, poking a little fun at herself along the way. Her playful self-deprecation makes sure that she can stay grounded, while she takes to the spotlight as one of the finalists in the new series of The Voice of Ireland. For the 24-year-old, self-taught musician from Kells, County Meath, The Voice of Ireland is a chance to show that, as she says herself, “there is more to music than what’s in the charts”. For the blind auditions, her choice of song is somewhat symbolic of Sarah’s alternative style, but she is confident that the audience won’t be disappointed. Her appearance on RTÉ is in no way Sarah’s début into the music industry, as she has been involved with numerous bands growing up, as well as teaching herself the piano from a young age. With such an individual flare to her music, however, it’s been difficult in some ways to take on producers who aren’t afraid to break the mould.

“I had all these ideas,” Sarah explains, noting a time when she began to make inroads into the music industry, “and I went to a producer with them. He was like: ‘I love all these ideas, but we have to change it, so it’s a lot more pop.’ […] We’re gonna take the quirkiness out of it. It ended up

Everyone’s in such a rush to put you into a genre, like you need to be categorised in order to sell records. Music shouldn’t be about that…

in Philidelphia, but when she returned home to Ireland, she found herself at a creative looseend. That was when her cousin, Jennifer, encouraged her to try out for The Voice of Ireland. Regardless of how she’ll do in The Voice, it’s clear from our chat that Sarah is calm and confident about her style and her music, without any hint of cockiness. She makes sure that no song of hers goes out without being absolutely perfect – an unpracticed acoustic cover uploaded to YouTube is not her style – but that means that when something is finally released, she can be confident and proud of it. Without any doubt, we feel that her fans will be proud of her, too.

” like a watered-down Lady Gaga song! It was so bizarre.” Disillusioned by that experience, Sarah shied away from the music industry for a while, writing for her own enjoyment and practice, rather than to please any interested parties. Her music took her to spending some time

Catch Sarah Sylvia on The Voice of Ireland, Sundays at 6:30pm on RTÉ One

“Everyone’s in such a rush to put you into a genre,” Sarah explains, “like you need to be categorised in order to sell records. Music shouldn’t be about that; it should be about whatever you like, whatever you feel. You shouldn’t have to write [music] in a certain way, because then it just becomes monotonous.”

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Tailored for Success

Feature | Tailoring

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Feature | Tailoring

In the mood for a bit of a makeover? Recently, EILE spoke with Patrick Cooper, Senior Style Consultant and Irish representative with the London Tailor Company. He took a few minutes to chat about their unique service for businessmen and other professionals, who value their time or don’t have the opportunity to shop for that perfect outfit. EILE: Tell us what the London Tailer Company is all about! PC: The London Tailor Company is a group of bespoke tailors based in the UK. We operate throughout the UK and Ireland with a team of highly trained and qualified Style Consultants, who visit clients at their home or office entirely at their convenience. We realise, for most gents, that time is a luxury they don’t want to waste by going shopping, which is why we come to them. Clients can choose to have a one-off piece made, or we can take control of their full wardrobe by availing of one of our Essential Collection packages, which is a selection of suits, shirts, jackets and ties, designed for all occasions the Executive Gent may have to attend. The company has been operating in the UK for 5 years and has just launched recently in Ireland to great success. EILE: The suit is a classic piece of men’s style; are there only so many ways it can be designed or reinvented? Why has it become such a steadfast piece of fashion, even to this day? PC: The only thing classic about the suit is the word ‘suit’. Suit’s change as much, if not more, as any piece of fashion does. Currently ‘in trend’ at the minute are single-breasted jackets, in one or two buttons, being worn closer to the body, very fitted and short, with trousers worn narrow with no pleats or turn-ups. For the very fashionable, there’s a gradual trend towards double-breasted suits, which, with the right fabric and fit is the ultimate statement of individuality. When having a suit custom made there are endless ways of designing or re-inventing EILE Magazine 17


Feature | Tailoring

the suit, you become the designer, you can have whatever suit/fabric/style/cut/colour you want. EILE: Do you think a man should mix modern styles with traditional? PC: The majority of our clients are guys who buy suits for work, in a sense they want traditional, but they also want to be guided by what’s in fashion. They want practicality but not boring. Choose a modern fabric with a traditional cut and the proper fit and you get the perfect work suit. EILE: What makes a suit stand out, do you think? PC: The fit!! You can buy the best fabric in the world, but if it doesn’t fit properly it can look awful. Even a plain black suit, cut right to your exact fit, can make you look smarter, slimmer, and even taller. Obviously the fabric plays a big part in making a suit stand out, it depends what you want to stand out for. Chalkstripes mean business, checks can be a bit more fun and relaxed, and also super trendy. Plain suits, worn with the right accessories, will take you anywhere!

The London Tailor Company has a team of Style Consultants, willing to travel all over the UK and Ireland. Based in Ireland permanently is Patrick Cooper, a Senior Style Consultant who has been in the tailoring industry for over 16 years and can be contacted directly at p.cooper@ londontailorcompany.com. For more information, see londontailorcompany. com.

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Feature | Tailoring

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You Can Own Part Of Europe’s First LGBT Active Retirement Village In France! The Villages Group specializes in properties for those seeking retirement homes with an active lifestyle. The Rainbow development on the Canal-du-Midi, especially for the LGBT community, offers the 50+ age group the opportunity to live an active life together with like-minded people in a rural haven in France, and will be ready for occupation by early 2015. With an emphasis on Active, the Rainbow village offers a range of activities, sports and entertainment, including gym facilities, cycling, and boat trips. The complex also includes a restaurant, bar and hotel, in which the community will share.

For more information: (+33)-140078625 info@thevillagesgroup.com www.thevillagesgroup.com

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This very special location – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – brings together the best of all worlds; country vineyards & village living, close to typical Languedoc villages as well as numerous communities unique to the French lifestyle. It is only short drive to the Med, while Spain is approximately a one-hour drive away! Maisons start from €236,000!

• Indoor/Outdoor Pools • Golf • Equestrian Centre • Tennis Courts • Classes in Art, Music and Dance • Close to beaches • Set between olive groves and vineyards

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Fashion Forward!

Style | Menswear

Mark Graham looks at menswear for Spring/Summer 2014 As we approach the end of the current winter sale period, the fashion seasons begin to shift in tandem,, and yet another round of spring/summer beckons. Of course, the industry works in advance, and in reality, we are still in the midst of winter – leading to a peculiar scenario where retailers are peddling shorts, vests and lightweight tees, while we continue to experience sub-zero temperatures and gale force winds. However, we do our best to belie the inclement weather and we will continue by breaking down a couple of key trends for 2014 that are set to be big news, not just for this season, but next as well.

Kicking off on a controversial note, cuffed trousers are set to make a steady rise in 2014, despite an ill-fated phase a few years back. This year’s cuff has a distinctly more futuristic feel than previous incarnations, and has been applied to everything from sweatpants to suit trousers. Slim and neat is the way to wear this trend. It has been influenced by the industry’s current obsession with sports luxe, and the subsequent rise of the slimline sweatpants. It’s also strictly one for the casual settings; suit trousers may have been given the treatment, but try explaining that to your boss in the boardroom.

Calliope AW14 / LBM 1911 SS13

J Crew SS14 / Topman 2013

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It probably comes as no surprise to hear that stripes are trending for SS14. They hardly ever fall out of favour, especially during the upcoming months, and a Breton top is an all-time classic that every man should have in their wardrobe. However, this season’s edit sees a larger, block stripe reign supreme, which makes much more of a statement than traditional nautical or Breton varieties. The next step in the evolution of colourblocking, the block stripe can be found in all colours and orientations this season, and has been applied to every area of the wardrobe. Whether its socks, ties, or knits; this is a pattern worth considering and definitely one that will catch the eye in any outfit.


Style | Menswear

Love it or hate it, camo is back in full force. The military print was expected to last a season or two before it started to fade in obscurity, but fast forward two years and it’s still making waves for SS14. For 2014, the typical forest tones have been replaced by more innovative, abstract prints. And, to differ even further, other motifs are often incorporated to produce one highly original design.

Two Angle SS14 / Allsaint 2012 Surprise, Surprise! Block checks are for the serious dresser this upcoming season, and will be on everything from tees and blazers to trousers and shirts. Your ideal check should be wide, and feature a timeless base colour of black, grey or navy - anything brighter can look costume, but mix and match to your own discretion. The beauty of this pattern really is its versatility; skinny jeans can pack a real statement, while a flash of pocket square check is enough to exude a sense of style. Across the spectrum, it’s a trend that’s so easy to pick up and run with.

ASOS AW13 / Boglioli SS13

APC SS14

We started this list with a controversial trend, so let’s finish in the same vein. Androgyny is back in a big way and the common overall (or the all-in-one for a more gender-balanced name) looks set to make a big impression this coming season. It’s easy to twist your mouth in hesitation, but there’s a formula that works, and a formula that most certainly doesn’t. Think less 1973 “Boogie Nights” and more 1984 Orwellian nightmare - your perfect overall is oversized, available in a muted hue and not diamond encrusted from wrist to heel. The overall itself is a major statement that only few will be brave enough to wear, despite heavyweights like Louis Vuitton pushing the piece for SS14. However, it still remains to be seen whether the major high street retailers will pick up on it, and produce their own take. There you have it, a couple of key trends to try in 2014, which are set to make waves as we approach spring/summer. It’s crucial to remember that trends aren’t there to be followed blindly, and should fit seamlessly into your own personal style – a pop of camo won’t do much for you if you’ve not got the confidence to pull it off. EILE Magazine 23


California Dispatch Project Runway’s Tim Gunn giving advice to LGBT youth in an ‘It Gets Better’ YouTube video.

Californi

Hey, Old Ma

Jon Beaupré looks at the place of older gay men in the wider LGBT community Some years ago, my deeply admired colleague Lucia Chappelle (a contributor to this column) and I were invited to attend a big banquet in San Francisco by the Lesbian founder of a major financial organization. Like most professionals in the late 20th and early 21st century, the chicken-with-something-onit meal has been something of a staple for promoting your cause, so Lucia and I trudged up the steps of the massive banquet area 24 EILE Magazine

expecting pretty much the wellpracticed drill. It was a revelation. Not only was this the largest banquet I had ever attended - there were some 7,000 guests - it featured the LGBT power-elite of San Francisco. The shindig was the annual fundraiser, rally and visibility event for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a widely respected and influential legal advocacy organization. And the chicken was pretty good too! What we both remarked on, however, was the preponderance of San Francisco Power Lesbians. Without being able to tag every luminary with a name, we could still pick out from across the huge

ballroom a couple of stereotypes. One represented the fit and animated sixtyish executive in expensive, slinky trousers, set off with a classy sweater and shiny silver bob of a haircut. She exuded confidence and was a natural charismatic draw to the women and men around her. Another type was outfitted from head to toe in a beautiful vaguely ethnic wrap or a dress that hung straight from the shoulders to the floor, with gorgeous embroidery, possibly dread locks (a department in which Lucia is no slouch herself), and an earthmother aura that told you she was born to take care of people. These women ran food programs,


California Dispatch

ia Dispatch:

an!

legal aid clinics, women’s shelters, and a whole range of businesses, services and advocacies. I was struck by the depth and range of possibilities demonstrated by these women who could inspire other, younger lesbians as they mature and move into their later adulthood. The dykes had it totally down. Alas, on my return to Los Angeles, I was struck by the absence of such models for older gay men. Of course, there are mature guys who are also working on social causes and thriving in the commercial world, partnered or not in their private lives, building meaningful and honorable careers. But there really is a paucity of models to inspire young gay men to age with dignity, fully engaged with their world and their lives. The sad reality is that many imagine the older gay man as the bitter queen who relies on hustlers for gratification, a quest punctuated by occasional extravagant parties with ‘real’ friends. Or another stereotype: the aging gym bunny with bulging biceps, vascularized legs, big bags under his eyes and wrinkles etching the guy’s life across his tanned face.

models for what it means to be an older, dignified proud gay man. For one, the generation of us who survived - so far at least - the height of the AIDS epidemic (in my case, 24 years and counting – I swim 3-5 miles a week!) might provide a model. We collectively hold a compelling and moving history of a sad and angry time, something other generations can look to as how to age with dignity. For another group, couple-hood was often clandestine and furtive. Now it is not uncommon to know of older lesbian or gay couples together 20, 30 or more years. In older days, the logical trajectory of gay dating was to end up in someone’s bed. Now, the question of marriage has to be considered from virtually that first date. There is also a generation of mature, accomplished professionals – bankers, accountants, librarians, etc. - who had to live most of their lives in the closet (well, maybe not the librarians!) who can now step out and be honorable and accomplished models for younger men.

rather learning how to be a responsible, honorable, and engaged gay senior. In the bigger picture, however, in a looks-based environment, especially like the one in which we live here in Southern California, right now growing old as a gay man implies tanned leathery skin, expensive cars, an endless battle to stay young, and doomed attempts to bed – and maybe wed – that perfect boy-toy from the gym. Oh, and botox too! Check back with me in a couple of years, and we’ll see how we are doing. Like all OGMs (Old Gay Men) I am a work in progress, just entering geezerhood by turning 60. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

Jon Beaupré is a professor of Film, TV & Media Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and a contributor to This Way Out

It’s also important that young gay professionals find To be sure, there is nothing wrong mature gay mentors for with entertaining friends and relationships in which remaining physically fit into our sixties, seventies and eighties. But sex is not an issue; but I think we need a wider range of

EILE Magazine 25


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.


News | Cameroon

Cameroonian Gay Man Dies for Texting ‘I Love You’ to Another Man

A gay Cameroonian who was jailed for texting the words “I’m very much in love with you” to another man, has died. The family of Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé, who removed him from hospital where he was being treated for a hernia, said that he was “a curse for them” and should have been let alone to die, according to lawyer Alice Nkom.

court upheld his conviction in December 2012.

Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, 34, was arrested in March 2011 for sending the romantic text message to another man, and was sentenced to three years in prison in April under a Cameroonian law against homosexual acts.

Cameroonian officials have rejected recommendations from the U.N. Human Rights Council to protect sexual minorities (i.e. LGBT people) from violence.

According to Associated Press, Mbede developed the hernia while in prison. In July 2012, he was granted provisional release on medical grounds, according to Human Rights Watch, and went into hiding. An appeals

Lambert Lamba, a Cameroonian activist who works on behalf of sexual minorities, said Mbede had been out of the hospital for about one month prior to his death and had received no medical care during that time.

Alice Nkom, one of the most prominent lawyers in Cameroon who has defended sexual minorities, has blamed the state directly, as well as Mbede’s family, for his death. “If there had not been criminalization of homosexuality,” she said, “he would not have gone to prison and his life would not be over. His life was finished as soon as he went to prison.”

According to AP:

“His family said they were going to remove the homosexuality which is in him,” Lamba said. “I went to see him in his village. He could not stand up, he couldn’t speak.” Neela Ghoshal, a senior LGBT rights researcher for Human Rights Watch, described Mbede as “a courageous man who became an accidental activist after he was arrested simply for expressing his love for another man”. Meanwhile, Alexandre Marcel, president of the French committee for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) condemned Mbede’s family’s actions in a statement, saying that such events were a reminder that prejudice must be fought at both family and governmental levels in many of the world’s anti-gay countries. (eile.ie / 15 January)

EILE Magazine 27


Opinion | Jimmy LaSalvia

Opinion: Why Jimmy LaSalvia Has Become A Welcome Independent Voice in the U.S.

– by Scott De Buitléir

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Opinion | Jimmy LaSalvia

Jimmy LaSalvia, who co-founded the U.S. Republican LGBT group, GOProud, announced on his website that he has left the Republican Party, and has become independent. LaSalvia wrote on his blog: “Today [Monday], I joined the ranks of unaffiliated voters. I am every bit as conservative as I’ve always been, but I just can’t bring myself to carry the Republican label any longer. You see, I just don’t agree with the biggovernment ‘conservatives’ who run the party now.” I was somewhat stunned when I first came across Jimmy LaSalvia, when I learned about his heavy involvement in, and endorsement of, the Republican Party. During the 2012 U.S. Presidential campaign, LaSalvia’s endorsement of Mitt Romney – deliberately ignoring, and sometimes excusing, Romney’s own homophobic views – was incomprehensible to me. LGBT Republicans in the U.S. were left with little choice, admittedly, if they wanted to see a Republican President stop Obama from achieving a second term. I’m pretty certain, however, that the majority of LGBT Republican voters with half a conscience would have forsaken their political views to vote for Obama, who has had an undeniably positive effect on LGBT rights during his Presidency. Naturally, LGBT rights are not the only

issue that concerns LGBT Americans, but I cannot fathom a voter who would support a politician with distain for the LGBT community. LaSalvia, as co-founder of GOProud, must have felt politically obliged to publicly support Romney during his campaign, but when he did, I lost all respect for him. This week’s announcement, however, will be seen as a rebirth for LaSalvia by his supporters. As LaSalvia states, a new poll came out last week, which shows a record number of Americans – 42% – reject both major political parties, and identify as independents. Republicans, meanwhile, are at a historic low of only 27%. Is he simply jumping ship, in that case? It could be argued so, but to jump ship without serious thought would be reckless, and he would only damage his own reputation if he left the GOP without a good reason. That reason, according to his blog, is enough for LaSalvia to be forgiven for previous errors: “The other reason I am leaving is the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP. The current leadership lacks the courage to stand up to it – I’m not sure they ever will. I have worked hard to help to create an atmosphere on the right where conservatives can openly support gay Americans and even support same-sex marriage. In that effort, we have won, but there is more work to do to root out the anti-gay and other forms of bigotry in the party.” Naturally, there are many LGBT

Americans who would consider themselves as conservative. The United States is no different to Canada, France, Ireland or the United Kingdom in that regard. Those four latter countries, however, have attained a minimum standard of equality for LGBT people, and therefore, those people can focus their attention on other issues, such as taxation, employment and reform. A vote for the Republican Party strikes me as a vote backwards in terms of social development; not just in terms of LGBT issues, but in many Republican politicians’ attitudes to the rights of women and immigrants (despite the United States, ironically, having been built on the efforts and hopes of immigrants). LaSalvia, in that case, has joined an often-overlooked third group in American politics. He can maintain his views and ideals as a conservative, without having to sacrifice his integrity as a gay man. In a political environment where the label ‘gay Republican’ is sometimes perceived as a subclass of Republican – tolerated, maybe, but neither understood nor welcome – it is not certain what will become of GOProud. After all, what credibility can a group have, when one of its own founders no longer believes in the party it is part of? Undoubtedly, GOProud will feign an air of ‘we don’t need you anyway’, but without its star speaker, the group will need to examine their options carefully. For Jimmy LaSalvia, the news of his departure from the Republican Party has been well received by many of his fans, and in restoring his dignity, may have gained him a few new ones.

EILE Magazine 29


News | Mr Gay Europe

Mr Gay Europe Becomes Face of Norwegian Postage Stamp The Norwegian Postal Office has printed a limited number of special edition postage stamps, which feature the face of the current Mr Gay Europe and former Mr Gay Ireland, Robbie Obara. The A-class stamp, which is used for postage sent from Norway to other European countries, will be available from February 14, but will not be on sale publicly. Instead, people will be able to order the specially-designed stamp online. Robbie Obara, who is originally from British Colombia but now based in Dublin, won the title of

Mr Gay Ireland in 2012 before going on to win the title of Mr Gay Europe at the competition’s grand finals in Prague last year.

yet been made available by Mr Gay Europe. It is likely that they will be made available via their website.

This Valentine’s Day, the Mr Gay Europe organization will send out Valentine cards with the Mr Gay Europe 2013 stamp from their headquarters in Oslo. According to the Mr Gay Europe website, you’ll be able to order a card for yourself and at the same time get a souvenir from Mr Gay Europe, or you can order a Valentine card to be sent to someone else.

For more information, visit mrgayeurope.com. (eile.ie / 8 January)

The Valentine’s Day cards will be numbered individually, while the stamp will not be for sale in the post office. The card and stamp will be available for €12, although the link to order them has not

EILE Magazine 31


USA | Politics

Clay Aiken Considering Run for U.S. Congress (eile.ie – 4 January)

Former American Idol contestant and openlygay singer, Clay Aiken, is reportedly looking into possibilities of a new career in politics, after it was revealed that he considering a bid to run for U.S. Congress. According to Washington Blade, two Democratic sources, who spoke to the American LGBT publication on the condition of anonymity, have revealed that Aiken has been in touch with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) as well as some political figures in Raleigh, NC, to gauge support for a potential election campaign. Sources have said that Aiken is working with Betsy Conti, a Raleigh-based political strategist 32 EILE Magazine

who has worked for former North Carolina Governor, Bev Purdue, and Democratic presidential nominee, Al Gore. The unnamed sources were not able to confirm, however, whether or not the 35-year-old entertainer has formally hired Conti, or anyone else, in order to prepare a possible campaign. While North Carolina is traditionally a so-called ‘red’ (i.e. Republican) state, Democrat Keith Crisco is expected to formally announce his candidacy for a seat in the second congressional district of North Carolina. This would mean that Aiken would have competition from an already-disadvantaged Democrat side. The rumours surrounding Aiken’s actions have been the source of derision for local Republicans, however. Daniel Keylin, a spokesman for the North Carolina Republican

Party, told the British Daily Mail that “[i]n a testament to the weakness of the Democrat Party, Clay Aiken would actually be one of their strongest Congressional candidates if he runs”. The singer came to fame in 2003 thanks to his involvement with American Idol, which launched his highly-successful music and Broadway career. In 2008, Aiken decided to come out during an interview with People magazine, and in 2010, he was announced as ambassador for UNICEF’s United States Fund. He has also been involved with GLSEN to support legislation against bullying in schools. Neither the DCCC nor Aiken himself have been available for comment on these reports. The filing deadline to participate in the elections for Congress is February 28.


EILE Magazine 61


Interview | Philip Dunne

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Interview | Philip Dunne

Philip Dunne, AKA LoveTheRobot, is an artist from Dublin whose clients have included Barry’s Tea and Guinness. His art graced our very first issue, and we were delighted to feature Phil once again in EILE! What attracted you to becoming an illustrator? PD: I had been drawing since I was 6 years old, so it was in my DNA I guess...I never really wanted to do anything else. I studied Graphic Design at the National College of Art & Design, but I decided to specialise in illustration towards my final year. Illustration was, back then, more concerned with producing art for advertisements...it’s still that way in some respects today, but the lines between fine art, illustration and street art have become blurred in recent years. With the growth of Social Media in the last 5 to 6 years, it’s just become so easy to discover new imagery, and to build a career and a niche following through it.

me. But then I also discovered Pop Art and I have been heavily influenced by Andy Warhol since leaving art college. He had such a bold, forward thinking vision while coupling it with a fun sense of style...his use of colour and repetition were all held together by this weird ironic sense of humour and behaviour. He changed the world, not just the art world. I also love contemporary artists like Justin Maller, James Jean, Francis Manapul, Guillem March...these guys are shaping the future I think. I’m obsessed with Beyoncé lately - her latest visual album is a game changer I think. She removed so much of her self in some ways to create incredible music and imagery. I would absolutely love to create work with her someday. Where has your artwork led you? Has it taken you down a road you were/n’t expecting?

Your style is quite abstract, in some ways; who are your influences – whether other artists or things you like/see?

PD: My artwork has taken me down so many pathways, creating things like a customised teapot with 300 Swarovski crystals or my illustrations on the side of a Dublin Bus. I recently contributed illustrations to actor Joseph Gordon Levitt’s hitRECord production website, and they were used in a few projects like shows and books. He sends you a cheque if your work gets selected for publication - very surreal getting a signed cheque from a Hollywood star. But he’s doing groundbreaking work with his hitRECord concept so it was awesome to be part of it.

PD: In school I learned a lot about the Renaissance period - the techniques they used and how long artists took to produce these masterpieces really fascinated

I also presented my portfolio to a talent scout from Marvel Comics at the DICE Comic Con last September - it was very positive and something I never thought I

I read so many comic books, I have done since I was a kid, and they have heavily influenced my career direction. I hope to one day work on sequential comic book art and comic book covers. I love the drama and energy of comic book art and how varied the styles are.

would do. I pushed myself a lot to do that and I hope to build on the feedback he gave me. What projects are you working on at the moment? And where can people find out more? PD: I am currently working on a daily art project called “No Digital” - In December I just got sick of editing, layering and retouching my drawings in Photoshop. So I wanted to abandon these digital techniques completely and I guess, go back to basics. I wanted to see if I could recreate layering colour and texture within the more traditional mediums like pen, paint and ink, rather than just settling into Photoshop and using its tools to do it. So I’ve been uploading a couple a day - you can follow my progress on my blog http://phildunne.tumblr.com and I’ll be introducing Instagram only illustrations soon too, so follow me there also, http:// instagram.com/lovetherobot - also Instagram things like comic books, food, random stuff I find, and my love of pop stars like Kylie, Michael Jackson and Beyonce! I’m also writing and drawing my own comic book concept, which has been quite fun and completely taken me out of myself, if that makes sense...I plan to have three titles all linking together to form a shared universe. And lastly, an iPhone app... hopefully to celebrate my ten years building my career and my style as an illustrator.

EILE Magazine 35


Review | Wicked

Still Defying Gravity Lisa Reynolds enjoyed the musical, Wicked, which recently played the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin Recently I went to see the musical Wicked, based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, which was playing at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin. The musical is about two unlikely friends, who strike up an incredible friendship while they are both studying sorcery at Shiz University. They are Elphaba, who is the Wicked Witch of the West, green and misunderstood, and Glinda, who is the Good Witch of the North, blonde and popular. The pair overcome their very different personalities and views about the world, not to mention the fact that they fall for the same man in the handsome Fiyero, to develop a lifelong bond. However, after meeting The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in Emerald City, their worlds separate as they take different paths in the aftermath. Glinda yields to a need for power, while Elphaba stays true to herself and the people she cares about. It is these different paths which will secure their destinies, as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. So many musicals are surrounded by huge hype, and don’t live

up to this hype, but Wicked is completely different. It was clear that this was a successful show from very early on, from the writing to the acting, and from set design to costumes. So much credit is due to the team working behind the scenes, who ensured that the musical went off to perfection. Direction was by Joe Mantello, while Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman combined to ensure that the music, lyrics and script worked well together.Wayne Cilento, who is currently working on Holler If Ya Hear Me, featuring Tapac Shakur’s music, was responsible for musical staging. The beautiful set, which brought the whole world of the book to life, was designed by the supremely talented Eugene Lee. Costume duties fell to Susan Hilferty, who made the characters’ personalities shine through. Lighting and sound were respectively in the hands of Kenneth Posner and Tony Meola, who both did a fantastic job of creating a fabulous dramatic atmosphere. Make-up was by Joe Dulude II, who had a huge job before him, especially with Elphaba’s make-up.

The acting was also excellent, and special mention of course must go to the two actresses who played Elphaba and Glinda, Nikki DavisJones and Emily Tierney, on whose shoulders so much of the performance lay, while the male lead, Fiyero, was played by the very beautiful Liam Doyle. They were supported brilliantly by the talents of Marilyn Cutts as the villanous Madame Morrible, Dale Rapley as both The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Doctor Dillamond, Carina Gillespie as Elphaba’s sister Nessarose, and the very handsome George Ure as Boq, who also showed his talent for being a really good comic actor. His timing was absolutely perfect. The ensemble company also deserve special mention, as they complemented the cast very well.. This musical was really enjoyable, and included something for everyone, with everything from drama to humour, from love to style, and all-round fabulousness! Verdict: You may have to travel to London to see it now, but if you get a chance, don’t miss it!

EILE Magazine 37


Column | Frances Winston

The Dangers of Online Dating by Frances Winston A recent report has once again highlighted the issue of safety when using online resources to meet people. It detailed how a 36-year-old gay man was ambushed after arranging a meeting through Grindr.

has a huge propensity for arranging online meetings, which is perhaps something ingrained in the psyche, from the days when you had to be extremely careful in your search for a partner, lest you found yourself arrested.

The man, who is originally from Longford, now living in Luxembourg, was visiting Dublin in December. Having conversed with another man on Grindr and exchanged photos, he arranged to meet him outside a Dublin hotel in Temple Bar at around midnight. Upon arrival, as he said hello, the Longford man was quickly ambushed by a gang.

Unfortunately, most won’t admit to it, which immediately puts them in danger. Two friends of mine have been robbed by people they met online, after what they thought was a lovely night, and while that is nowhere nearly as serious as being attacked, it is still rather unpleasant. That said, a couple of my friends met their current amours online and are extremely happy, so it is not all doom and gloom. However, the fact remains that anything that affords the kind of anonymity the internet does remains dangerous for the community.

The gang members were apparently all in their mid-20s, and the victim said he was speaking out in order to warn others of the potential dangers of meeting people on the internet. Despite reports like these, people’s attitudes towards online hookups seem to have become rather complacent. As the internet slowly weaves its way into every facet of our daily lives, things that we would have baulked at a few years ago are now considered the norm. The gay community in particular 38 EILE Magazine

In September last year, a 24-yearold man from Texas was so badly beaten by someone he met online that he needed plastic surgery. In a way he was lucky, as his injuries will heal. Last February, three gay men were strangled within days of each other in New York, with two at least known to have met their killer on the internet. And in December, a 71-year-old Michigan man was

murdered by three homeless men – one of whom he met on Grindr. There are also probably many more attacks than are reported, as people remain embarrassed about admitting that they met someone the internet. While there is always going to be an element of danger to meeting a total stranger that you’ve only spoken to online (indeed that is part of the thrill for people) there are things you can do to protect yourself. While most people are fine, and the worst experience you are likely to have is that they didn’t resemble their picture, there is no point putting yourself in potential danger when there are some steps you can take to avoid it. Always let someone know where you are going Although most people are embarrassed to admit they met someone online, if no one knows where you are, you could have serious problems. In a worst case scenario, if you were to encounter someone violent, you could lay where they left you for days if no one knew where to find you. In a best case scenario, if they give off a dodgy vibe, you can tell them that people know where you are, which may put them off doing


Column | Frances Winston anything to you. If you are really too embarrassed to tell anyone where you are, most email accounts and text messaging services allow you to schedule messages. Set up a message to go out to a trusted friend, or family member, a half hour after you meet someone. Explain where you are, and put all the contact details you have for the person you are with. If they turn out to be above board you can cancel the message, but if not, someone will be aware of your whereabouts, which can act as a deterrent to attack. Always meet in a public place You may think the exterior of any Dublin hotel (where the victim met his attacker) counts as public, but it was midnight, it was December and it was Temple Bar. That area is notoriously messy at that hour, and people in the vicinity tend to just walk on by when they see arguments or rows. There are also lots of dimly lit laneways that it would be easy to manoeuvre someone down. Always, always, always meet in a place with plenty of people around. Bars are always popular, restaurants are good as are coffee shops. If the person you meet turns out to have ulterior motives, these venues usually have staff equipped to deal with them, and there are so many witnesses that they probably won’t try anything. If anyone insists on meeting you privately or in an isolated area, alarm bells should go off – anyone who is genuine will be happy to meet somewhere public – after all, your intentions may not be purely honourable either. Don’t take profiles at face value It shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that people lie on the internet. There is hardly anyone with any sort of online profile – whether it is a social networking profile or a dating profile – who hasn’t told a few fibs about their life. Therefore

you shouldn’t be surprised if the person who turns up for your meeting differs wildly from the person you thought you were chatting to online. Catfishing is unfortunately becoming more and more popular. This involves people posting fake profiles – usually lifting pictures from another person’s account – in order to make contact with someone. These people can initially seem genuine, but sometimes they have far darker intents. It is hard to read between the lines, but do remember that if someone seems too good to be true they probably are, and while you can forgive a few little white lies (they said they were a film-maker but they actually make wedding videos!) anything more than that usually indicates that there is something more going on. Always speak to them beforehand Many people organise online meetings without ever getting a phone number from somebody! This is a huge mistake, as apart from anything else, in a worst case scenario you have a way of tracking them. Always get a phone number and talk to them before you meet – it is far harder for most people to maintain a charade when speaking to someone, than when sitting at a computer typing things they have often lifted from other profiles. You can also put their number into Google and see if a hit comes up. If they have posted their number on their Facebook profile, or use their phone for work, chances are you will get a hit that will reveal who you are actually meeting. This doesn’t always work but it is worth a shot, and if they do turn out to be a nasty piece of work they are traceable.

information is a no-no. Firstly, if they intend to ambush you, then you have just told them exactly where to find you. Secondly, they can take that information and use it to create fake profiles to draw other victims in. If you met someone in a bar you wouldn’t tell them everything about you within the first five minutes, so take the same approach to online dating. It’s OK to say you work as a graphic designer – just avoid telling them which company you work for. If they ask where you live, give a general area rather than an exact location. Also never, never tell people online you live alone even if it is true. This automatically lets them know that there will be no one coming back to disturb them if they go home with you. Block anyone you have a bad feeling about While you may think ignoring someone is fine, many profiles are now easily accessible, and just because you haven’t chatted to someone since they came over all weird doesn’t mean they are not following your online, and possibly offline, activity. If someone seems a bit off to you, just block them from any sites you have been chatting to them on, so they no longer have access to your profiles. Above all, use your instincts and common sense. No matter how desperate you are to meet someone, it is not worth putting yourself in danger. If you are getting a bad feeling about someone listen to your gut, and don’t go ahead with a meeting. The original report about the attack was here: http://bit.ly/MpbkmE

Never give out personal details Honesty is the best policy, but giving out your home and work details and any other personal EILE Magazine 39


Africa | Kenya

Kenyan Author Binyavanga Wainaina Comes Out “My dear @BinyavangaW writes a piece that springs open the prison doors of the heart,” is what Nigerianborn writer, Teju Cole, tweeted about the beautifully heartfelt piece written by Kenyan author, Binyavanga Wainaina. The article, titled “I am a homosexual, Mum.” was first published on the website, Africa Is A Country, where it was widely spread across social media before being re-published in the Guardian. Its importance cannot be ignored, because on a continent where 38 countries outlaw homosexuality, one of Africa’s most respected writers has just come out as gay. At a time when countries like Nigeria and Uganda have made headlines for passing recent anti-gay legislation, Wainaina’s coming out appears to be a delicate mixture of both the personal and the political. “Of course my friends knew,” he tells GlobalPost news last Monday, “but I had been toying with how useful it would be to make a public statement for close to eight months”.

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“There was the anti-gay bill in Uganda first,” Wainaina explains “but the Nigeria one! Nigeria is a country I go to — I was there three times last year — it is a place I love, it’s like a second home to me”. “It’s hard to imagine any more repressive law of any kind anywhere in the world. It’s just the most terrible thing,” he said. “The idea that there is no such thing as gay in African culture is a mixture of an inherited Victorian puritanism via the first churches, mixed with sloganeering and fear,” Wainaina continued,

dismissing the popular argument by anti-gay activists that homosexuality is ‘un-African’. Wainaina is set to become a still-louder voice for gay rights, a struggle that he sees as part of a wider defiance, an effort to break apart “the very, very hardwired restrictions that were imposed in 1885” by colonialists and which “are very alive in every facet of African life.” “I want to be part of a generation of people in Kenya and Africa who change [Africa] to be accountable to itself,” he said. (eile.ie / 24 January)


News | Trans Rights

(eile.ie / 17 January)

The Equality Tribunal has awarded transgender woman Deirdre O’Byrne €5,000 in compensation, after it ruled she had been discriminated against by Allied Irish Bank. In October 2010, in accordance with the declarations on her change of name by deed poll, Deirdre O’Byrne approached her branch of Allied Irish Bank to inform them of her change of name. The bank changed her name and gender on her credit card, but told her to close down her ‘Cashsave’ account, as they would not change her details on that account. The Equality Tribunal found she has been discriminated against on grounds of gender by AIB, and as such, have ordered the bank to review their policies in relation to people who change their name. Speaking about the decision, Ms. O’Byrne said that one of the steps involved in the “long, fraught and difficult” process of transition is correcting the legal consequences of being registered at birth in a different gender. “What should have been a simple matter of going into the bank and presenting a few documents,”

O’Byrne said, “instead turned into a 3-year-battle. I hope the bank, and all other institutions, will now ensure they have simple, straightforward procedures for transgender people to easily correct the consequences of a condition we were born with”. In January 2012, Allied Irish Bank would not accept a cheque made out to Deirdre O’Byrne marked ‘a/c payee only’. On 4th December 2013 – two days after the decision was made in the equality case – she claims to have experienced further difficulties in establishing her identity as the account holder so that she could update the address on her account. “I’ve always wondered if the day would come,” Deirdre said, “where the bank would turn around and say – ‘sorry – we do not believe this money is yours’”. “I was aware of other transgender people who had successfully changed the name on their AIB accounts without having to close them down. I was not going to participate in my own discrimination by complying with AIB’s request to close my account”. She queried the bank’s decision, and got no satisfactory answer. She then approached the

Transgender Woman Awarded €5,000 in Equality Case Against AIB Financial Services Ombudsman,

who accepted AIB’s contention that she had changed not just her name but her entire legal identity, which led to her taking a case to the Equality Tribunal. O’Byrne has welcomed the decision of the Equality Tribunal, although she explained that such a situation shows the lack of understanding surrounding transgender people in Irish public life, both in business and at government level. As a radio presenter with NEARfm local radio in north Dublin and a transgender rights activist, Ms. O’Byrne has been critical of the Irish Government regarding their Gender Recognition Bill, and the challenges and delays it has faced. “I am deeply dismayed at some of the Government’s proposals for gender recognition,” O’Byrne said. “However, getting the Government to recognise your gender is only a very small part of the process. I call on the Government to ensure that all organisations and institutions are required to recognise the true identity of transgender people with the minimum amount of fuss and effort, so that no-one else has to do what I had to”.

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Opinion | Trans Issues

Governing Gender A View from the Psychological Self Deirdre O’Byrne looks at the current state of gender recognition in Ireland As far as campaigners for justice go, few can compare with Dr. Lydia Foy - the transgender woman who first asked the Government for a birth certificate reflecting her true gender 17 years ago, and who is still waiting. The latest significant development was Thursday, 16th January, when the joint Oireachtas Commitee on Education and Social Protection published their report on proposed gender recognition legislation for Ireland. It now seems abundantly clear that the Government isn’t going to give gender recognition to everyone who asks for it. There are a number of criteria that transgender people will have to satisfy before getting such recognition. It’s a good job, then, that the Government doesn’t feel it has responsibility to recognise people’s sexual orientation, their religion, or their favourite place to live. The Government seems to be worried that some people may make a mistaken declaration about their gender identity. Having lived through the

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consequences of having made such a declaration, I can safely say that it is difficult to imagine someone making such a mistake. But even if they do – the Government isn’t worried about people making mistakes about their career, their religion, or their life-long partner, so why is the Government worried about people making a mistake about their gender identity? One of the current proposed criteria for gender recognition is that the applicant be single. The cold corridors of the civil service must be filled with people hoping and praying that Dr. Foy doesn’t fall in love and marry any time soon. The proposal would exclude those loveable, loved transgender people, whose relationships have survived the rigours of transition, and who remained committed to their partner and their families. The good news is that the report urges the Minister to “revisit” the issue, and essentially ask the Attorney General if they are certain that it is necessary to exclude the most loveable and loved transgender people from

the scheme. The headline news is that the report recommends that the age limit for gender recognition be reduced from 18 years of age to 16, which is good news indeed. Research from the UK shows that the average age at which someone becomes aware of their gender identity is 7, which means that the average amount of time someone will suffer the consequences of being recognised in law in the wrong gender will reduce from 11 years of suffering to just 9. To be fair to the report, it also recommends that guidelines should be developed for schools to support transgender students, and that measures should be put in place to address the day-to-day concerns of transgender people under the age of 16. I hope the Government can see that many of those day-to-day concerns simply arise from trying to live with the consequences of their incorrect legal gender. The only movement the report has on the issue of having a physician provide confirmation


Opinion | Trans Issues

that “the person has transitioned/ is transitioning to their acquired gender and that they are satisfied that the person fully understands the consequences of their decision to live permanently in the acquired gender” is to say that the wording should be reconsidered. I’ve been living in my true gender for over 3 years, and I do not believe I yet fully understand the consequences of my transition, so what chance does a physician have of stating that anyone understands the consequences of transition? Also, there are some transgender people who cannot or who do not need to do anything to transition other than to get it recognised in law – will they be excluded from the scheme because of their circumstances? There is good news on the

Government’s proposal that sporting bodies be allowed to prohibit or restrict the participation of transgender athletes, in that the report recommends the issue should be reconsidered. There is also good news in that the report recommends that “gender identity” be added to the 9 grounds under which discrimination is illegal. And there is good news in the recommendation that the term “preferred gender” replace the term “acquired gender”. However, the report’s definition of the term “transgender” – the very condition that they are legislating for – has raised a few eyebrows. The definition they use is:

psychological self (their ‘gender identity’) differs from the social expectations for the physical sex they were born with”. According to the report, the definition comes from the Gender Equity Resource Centre of the University of California at Berkley, which isn’t quite true, as their definition does not speak of someone’s “view of their psychological self” – it speaks of their “psychological self”. Quite why the Government is going to the foreign shores of the Pacific Ocean for their information, when there are plenty of transgender organisations in Ireland and throughout the EU, is unknown.

“people whose view of their

23 Stephen’s Street, Dublin 2 | T: +353-1-4160040

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TENI | Gender Recognition

TENI Warmly Welcomes Committee Report on Gender Recognition The Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection has published its report on the General Scheme of the Gender Recognition Bill 2013. The report recommends that the upcoming legislation should reduce the age an individual can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate from 18 years to 16 years.

and makes recommendations for improvements in several areas. In the Government’s General Scheme of the Bill published in July, it was stipulated that only individuals over 18 years of age would be able to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate. This requirement excluded young trans and intersex people who are particularly vulnerable to bullying and discrimination.

“TENI warmly welcomes this report as it represents significant progress,” said TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone. “We’re delighted to see that the Committee has made clear recommendations for improving the Government’s Bill. In particular, we are happy to see there is concerted effort to improve the conditions of young trans people in this country. We sincerely hope that Minister Burton takes these recommendations on board.”

During the Committee hearings last October, this issue was raised by TENI, BeLonG To Youth Services, LGBT Noise, TransParenCI and other experts who made submissions calling on the Government to remove the age requirement to ensure that the rights of young trans people would be protected by new legislation.

The Committee’s report is the result of a consultation process and public hearings that were held with trans rights groups, human rights organisations and legal and medical experts in October 2013. The report addresses key issues in the Government’s General Scheme

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This was also echoed by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office who published advice late last year calling on the Government to remove the criterion of a minimum age stating, ”an absolute exclusion on young people or their parents seeking a Gender Recognition Certificate is a disproportionate interference with young people’s right to gender recognition.”

The Committee’s report acknowledged the challenges that many young trans and intersex people face and makes a clear recommendation to lower the age requirement to 16, ”the age at which a person is entitled to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate should be reduced from 18 years to 16 years. Measures should also be put-inplace to address the day-to-day concerns of transgender people under the age of 16 years.” “Reducing the age requirement to 16 is a positive step forward. This will improve the lives of many young trans and intersex people who will be able to be legally recognised prior to leaving school and change necessary identification documents,” said Giambrone. ”However, it still leaves those under 16 in a vulnerable position. Without legal protection these young people will be open to discrimination. We strongly encourage the Minister to keep the age criterion under review.” The Committee’s report also acknowledged that many young trans people face difficulties in school and recommends the introduction of guidelines that support the inclusion of


TENI | Gender Recognition transgender young people in schools.

Whilst we are disappointed that children under 16 won’t be allowed to do so, we are hopeful that the proposed guidelines will offer support for our transgender children at school and provide clear pathways for teaching staff.

“TransParenCI welcomes the proposed legislation to allow 16 year olds to apply for a gender recognition certificate,” said Catherine Cross, member of TransParenCI and a parent of a trans child. “Whilst we are disappointed that children under 16 won’t be allowed to do so, we are hopeful that the proposed guidelines will offer support for our transgender children at school and provide clear pathways for teaching staff.” The Committee’s report also makes positive recommendations on other key areas of the legislation. The requirement to be single, which would effectively force married trans people to get divorced in order to be legally recognised, is also addressed. Citing conflicting legal opinion, the report states, ”the Committee believes that the fact that a person is in an existing marriage or a civil partnership should not prevent him or her from qualifying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, and urges the Minister to revisit this issue.” “We would strongly urge the Minister to consider the Committee’s recommendations,” said TENI Chair Sara R. Phillips. “It is unclear when or even if the same sex marriage referendum will be passed. If the proposed legislation remains unchanged, trans people who are married will remain in limbo. They would be forced to choose between their families and their right to be legally recognised.”

Social Protection in finalising draft legislation. The Minister has committed to introducing legislation in 2014. However, in the Government’s recently published Legislative Programme the Gender Recognition Bill is listed in Section B with no publication date stipulated. “This is an important step in the right direction. TENI will continue to advocate for the introduction of inclusive, rights-based legislation that will ensure all members of the trans community can avail of their human rights. We urge the Minister to prioritise this legislation and ensure that it is published in 2014,” said Giambrone. “We would like to thank Chair Joanna Tuffy and the Committee for their engagement with the trans community and considered recommendations. While there is still more work to do, we are optimistic that this process will positively inform the legislation that is introduced. We urge the Minister to take these recommendations on board and work closely with the trans community to ensure that the best legislation is introduced,” concluded Phillips. For more information on TENI, visit teni.ie (eile.ie / 18 January)

The Committee’s Report is being sent to Minister Burton to assist the Department of EILE Magazine 45


News | Mary McAleese

Ex-President McAleese’s LGBT Comments on Catholic Church Welcome says GLEN (eile.ie / 8 January) GLEN has strongly welcomed former Irish President Mary McAleese’s’ call for a change in attitude and teaching by the Catholic church towards lesbian and gay people.

and gay people out of office just as she was as president. The comments by the former president will send a profoundly positive message to all lesbian and gay people.”

In an interview with the Scottish newspaper, The Herald, the former President of Ireland said that her church’s teaching on lesbian and gay issues were wrong and statements by the church were “completely contradictory to modern science and to modern understanding, and to the understanding of most Catholics nowadays in relation to homosexuality.”

“Irish attitudes towards LGBT people have change fundamentally in recent times. This is reflected in recent polls showing significant majority support for equal status for lesbian and gay relationships by the State. Mrs McAleese’s continues to be a source of leadership to Irish people and their values” continued Rose.

Kieran Rose, chair of GLEN praised the former president “Mary McAleese continues to be a wonderful advocate for lesbian

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“Ms. McAleese highlighted the challenges which young lesbian and gay people face when they first discover their sexual orientation, often in a hostile

climate hearing themselves being described in the most negative and derogatory terms by church and society leaders. As President she emphasised that the climate in a school and in society when young LGBT people discover their orientation is critical to their well being and her comments in the media reiterate that today” said Rose. – Opposite Page: Awardwinning Cavan-based artist, Jane McCormick, visualises the “herd of elephants” comment Mary McAleese made during her interview, referring to the Catholic Church’s attitude towards gay people. For more of Jane’s artwork, visit: http://on.fb.me/Loz75c


News | Mary McAleese

Artwork: Jane McCormick

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USA | Law

History Made as Judge Rules Homophobia a Crime Against Humanity An American federal judge has ruled that persecution of LGBT people can be considered a crime against humanity, as a Ugandan LGBT advocacy organisation filed a lawsuit against the notoriously anti-gay extremist, Scott Lively. This sets a somewhat unexpected precedent in international law, securing the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people on a global level. According to Gay Star News, this is a first-of-its kind case, in which the lawsuit alleges that Lively’s actions over the past decade, in collaboration with certain Ugandan government officials and Ugandan religious leaders, are responsible for depriving LGBT Ugandans of their fundamental human rights based solely on their identity, which is the definition of persecution under international law and is deemed a crime against humanity. This effort resulted, most notably, in the introduction of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill — widely known as the “Kill the Gays” bill — which Lively allegedly helped engineer. The news report also stated that Lively’s lawyers requested to dismiss the lawsuit, but Michael Ponsor, the US District Judge in Springfield, Mass., said: 48 EILE Magazine

“Widespread, systematic persecution of LGBTI people constitutes a crime against humanity that unquestionably violates international norms. The history and current existence of discrimination against LGBTI people is precisely what qualifies them as a distinct targeted group eligible for protection under international law.” Ponsor went on to say that the fact that such a group “continues to be vulnerable to widespread, systematic persecution in some parts of the world simply cannot shield one who commits a crime against humanity from liability.” The lawsuit states Lively collaborated with key Ugandan government officials and religious leaders that allegedly resulted in the introduction of the ‘Kill The Gays’ bill. Scott Lively is known in the United States and abroad for his work against LGBT people, including his involvement in the so-called “ex-gay movement” and calling for “the public advocacy of homosexuality” to be outlawed back in 2007. He was co-author of a widely-criticised book, The Pink Swastika, which suggested that homosexuals were the inventors of Nazism, with little evidence to support such statements.

While Lively’s time in Uganda is well documented, as well as his extreme views on homosexuality, Lively himself commented that initial plans by the Ugandan government to introduce the death penalty for LGBT people in the notorious ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill was a step too far, calling the measure “incredibly harsh”. Regardless, it is noted that the movement to call for such legislation was started by an anti-gay conference in Kampala in March 2009, where Lively, along with evangelical activists Don Schmierer and Caleb Lee Brundidge, took part in the series of talks. Lively wrote days later that “someone had likened their campaign to ‘a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda’”. Frank Mugisha, director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, told media: “Today’s ruling is a significant victory for human rights everywhere but most especially for LGBTI Ugandans who are seeking accountability from those orchestrating our persecution.” According to U.S. law, non-U.S. citizens are entitled to sue for violations of international law in US federal courts under the Alien Tort Statute. (eile.ie / 24 January)


Northern Ireland | DUP

Northern Ireland: DUP Confronts Academic Over ‘Gay Suicide’ E-mail (eile.ie / 31 January)

The DUP have confronted an academic from Queen’s University Belfast, who claimed in an e-mail that the political party may be responsible for Northern Irish LGBT people who have taken their own lives. Jim Wells, a DUP MLA for South Down, confronted Dr Graham Ellison of Queen’s University during a meeting of the Stormont Justice Committee, which had been discussing a bill on human trafficking. Wells said he had seen an email written by Dr Ellison, a member of the QUB School of Law, to a woman who had given evidence for the Bill. According to BBC News, Dr Ellison had written in the e-mail:

“Why have you hooked yourself up to that lot in the DUP? Have you any idea what they stand for in terms of social issues around women’s rights; women’s reproductive rights issues and so forth? In terms of gay and lesbian politics that I have an interest in, they are one of the most repressive and socially backward parties you could imagine.” Dr Ellison, who admitted writing the email, also wrote:

that it is grounded in biblical teaching and not in feminist theory.” Despite Mr Wells’ confrontation over the e-mail, Dr Ellison denied claims that the content of the email was abusive. He also denied that his disapproval of a clause in the human trafficking bill, having been debated by the Stormont Justice Committee, was influenced by his opinions of the DUP.

“Who knows how many gays and lesbian young people in Northern Ireland have committed suicide because of this bloody party. I could also remember not long ago, five or six years, that the party, i.e. the DUP, was claiming that rape within marriage was impossible. They are simply latching onto this idea about sex

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Reviews | Frances Winston

OUT OF THE

FURNACE Out of the Furnace Directed by: Scott Cooper Starring: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard The cast list of this movie should be enough to garner interest from cinema goers. There isn’t one name on the list that hasn’t turned in an amazing (and usually awardwinning) performance in other projects at some point. This also means that the pressure is on to get the most out of your stars though, and while everyone here delivers, you can’t help feeling that they are somewhat underused. Bale and Affleck play brothers, Russell and Rodney Baze. When Russell finds himself imprisoned for killing another motorist when driving while intoxicated, Rodney’s life takes massive twists and turns. Having always looked out for his baby brother, Russell is shocked to discover that he is participating in an illegal fighting ring. Concerned for Rodney, he urges him to quit. However, Russell is also preoccupied with getting his life back on track, having lost the love of his life, Lina (Saldana) to the local police chief, Wesley 50 EILE Magazine

(Whitaker) while inside. Unfortunately, Rodney doesn’t listen to his brother’s pleas, and begs to take part in a high stakes fight. When the organiser, Petty (Dafoe) informs him that he must take a fall in the fight in order to pay a debt to the host, DeGroat (Harrelson) Rodney complies. But when Petty and DeGroat later disagree over the debt, Petty and Rodney find themselves fatally ambushed by DeGroat and his cronies as they drive home. Determined to avenge his brother, Russell finds himself compromised by his ex-con status, and realises that he must get DeGroat on his own territory. Enticing him into the town, Russell is finally face to face with the man who killed his brother. But is he willing to go back to jail for him? This is a good old-fashioned revenge story at heart. The dismal setting of the mill town simply adds to the bleakness of the tale. The cast all acquit themselves well, with Casey Affleck proving to be a far better actor than his more famous brother Ben. Bale is intense but brilliant as always, while Harrelson is well cast as the violent DeGroat. Saldana is pretty much the token female here and doesn’t have a lot to do, while Oscar-winner Whitaker

raises the bar on every scene he is in, but ultimately isn’t given much screen time. At times this moves very slowly, which is appropriate to the circumstances in some scenes, but there are other moments when Cooper could really have speededup the action. Thankfully the cast hold it together well, and it keeps you engaged enough to care about what happens to them. With a bit more character development and a slightly faster pace, this could have been epic, but as it stands it’s a decent thriller that gives a master class in acting. In cinemas now.

Dallas Buyers Club Director: Jean-Marc Vallée Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts, Michael O’Neill, Denis O’Hare, Griffin Dunne With the current rise in HIV infections within the Irish gay community, this movie serves as a timely reminder of the ravages of the disease. The protagonist may be a straight man, but the


Reviews | Frances Winston

Frances Winston on Movies symptoms and frustrations he feels are the same as anyone else who is diagnosed. The fact that this is a true story only serves to make it all the more poignant. McConaughey famously lost a huge amount of weight for his role as Ron Woodroof, a hard-drinking, drug-taking, rodeo cowboy and electrician, who has more than a few homophobic views. Having been unwell for some time, he finds himself in hospital after he is electrocuted on the job, and when they test his blood they discover he has HIV. Since this is 1985, the disease is still very much considered a gay scourge, and Ron finds himself ostracised by those closest to him. Given just 30 days to live, he hears about an AZT trial but fails to get on the testing panel. Determined to live, he bribes a hospital worker to steal the drug for him. When Ron runs out of pills, he heads to Mexico to purchase some more, and with his health rapidly declining, he meets Dr Vass (Dunne) who has had his licence revoked in the US. Vass tells him that AZT is poison, and instead treats him with DDC and a protein called Peptide T. When Ron finds that his health has improved hugely on the new regime, he realises that there is

money to be made from selling these drugs to fellow sufferers. However, they are not licensed for use in the US, and so begins a series of schemes to smuggle them into the country. With the help of a transgender HIV sufferer named Rayon (an amazing performance by Jared Leto) whom he met in hospital, Ron sets up the Dallas Buyers Club whereby people pay a membership and the drugs are part of their membership package – bypassing the illegality of selling the drugs directly. However, the FDA is determined to stop his enterprise, and it becomes more and more difficult to acquire the precious drugs. Gradually, what started out as a money-making exercise becomes a passion for Ron, who puts everything on the line, both personally and financially, to get people the medication they require. He also reassesses his opinion of the gay community – all the while fighting the government for the right to import the medication which has extended his life years beyond the 30 days he was promised. While McConaughey is wonderful as Ron, and definitely deserves commendations for his commitment to the role, it is Jared Leto as the Transgender Rayon

who truly shines here. The scene where she dons male attire to visit her disapproving father to ask for money is truly heart-wrenching. At no time does he turn her into a parody, and his performance is sensitive and complex. It is thanks to people like Ron that many of the treatments available to sufferers nowadays eventually met with approval, and his legacy cannot be underestimated. Many people lived far longer than predicted thanks to the narcotics he procured for them. He also brought landmark cases about treatments for HIV and terminally ill patients to the courts, which raised huge awareness of the issues facing sufferers, and helped destroy the stigma of HIV as a gay illness. Like all movies of this kind, this is deeply affecting and not exactly what you’d call a light evening’s entertainment. However, these kinds of stories need to be told, and with a stellar script, fabulous cast and wonderful editing, this film is incredibly engaging and touching. And if it makes even one person consider using protection rather than taking a chance when they have sex, then it will have done more than most movies ever do. In cinemas February 7

Dallas Buyers Club EILE Magazine 51


Events | LGBT Film

LGBT Highlights at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival The 2014 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival kicks off Thursday, 13th February with yet another fantastic range of films from Ireland and abroad. The festival will host Hollywood legend Richard Dreyfuss, who will attend for a screening of his latest film, Cas & Dylan, and renowned filmmaker, Terry Gilliam, who will attend for the screening of his latest film, The Zero Theorem. Both will receive a Volta Award this year. Among the festival’s selections this year are a number of LGBT-themed productions, and EILE have selected some of the films you simply cannot miss.

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Reaching For The Moon Sat 15 Feb / Light House 1 / 12pm / 118 minutes Director: Bruno Barreto 2013 Brazil Bruno Barreto (Dona Flor and her Two Husbands) brings to life 1950s Rio in this beautifully drawn tale of poet Elizabeth Bishop and her love affair with architect Lota de Macedo Soares, the designer of Rio’s famed Flamengo Park. Based on the bestselling Brazilian novel Rare and Commonplace Flowers, the film follows Bishop as a creative block prompts her to accept the invitation of a college friend to stay with her and her partner, Lota, on a sprawling country estate. Bishop is a fish out of water in her new lush and bohemian setting, until the instant chemistry between her and Lota boils over. Miranda Otto gives an elegant and nuanced performance as Bishop, while Glória Pires provides a counterbalance with the Dionysian Lota. Bishop’s closet alcoholism thickens the drama, but when she returns to New York and the military coup d’état forces change in Brazil, the relationship also faces a downswing. This engaging and classical love story is an intimate snapshot of the search for inspiration and the lives of two remarkable artists. (Genna Terranova, Tribeca Film Festival)


Events | LGBT Film

A Street In Palermo Fri 21 Feb / Cineworld 8 / 8.30pm / 90 minutes Director: Emma Dante 2013 Italy/Switzerland/France

Dual Sat 22 Feb / Cineworld 8 / 1pm / 102 minutes Writer-director: Nejc Gazvoda 2013 Slovenia/Denmark/Croatia

Don’t mess with Sicilian women. That’s perhaps a reductive summary of the cinematic debut of Italian theatre director Emma Dante, which revolves entirely around a stand-off between two cars in a narrow lane in the jerry-built outskirts of Palermo. Two women, Rosa (Emma Dante) and Clara (Alba Rohrwacher), bicker as they drive through Palermo backstreets; we soon realise they are lovers on the verge of a break-up.

A delicately crafted charmer of a film, for a while Nejc Gazvoda’s colourful, funny and insightful film feels like a lesbian equivalent of Before Sunset as two young women wander the warm nighttime Streets of Ljubljana, talking, having fun and gradually coming under each other’s spell.

A proletarian family return from a fractious day at the beach, driven by Samira, the resented motherin-law of a sweaty, crass, bolshy family patriarch. Finally, the two cars grind to a halt facing each other, with neither driver prepared to reverse. It’s a stand-off that begins in the realm of the possible but soon drifts into more dreamlike, allegorical territory. In Italy, the expression ‘Far West’ is used to mean a place or situation where no rules apply, and A Street in Palermo depicts a Sicilian Far West which is also a Far West of the soul: a place forsaken by God and man, where obstinacy is the only virtue left.

Due to a technical problem, a plane from Denmark heading to Greece lands at a Slovene airport, with the passengers eventually taken to a Ljubljana hôtel for the night. Quiet young Dane Iben (Mia Jexen) can’t face waiting in the hotel and asks Tina (Nina Rakovec), who drove the minibus from the airport, to drive her around the city. Tina starts to fall for the fresh-faced Dane, but despite the fact that they seem very similar, one is hiding a terrible secret and the other is simply trying to find her place in the world. While on the surface a love story, Dual is also a delicate drama about trying to adjust to where you want to go in life. The two leads are perfect, with Mia Jexen’s doe-eyed warmth and compassion a fine balance to Nina Rakovec’s nervy enthusiasm. (Mark Adams, Screen International)

(Lee Marshall, Screen International)

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Music | Shane McLaughlin

EILE Highlights:

Shane McLaughlin – All That I Want Singer/songwriter Shane McLaughlin has released his début solo single “All That I Want” for digital download via iTunes, and reached the Number 1 spot in the singer/songwriter chart in 24 hours. Shane is best known for having competed in The Voice of Ireland competition on RTÉ Television last year. With his performance of “Fake” by The Frames, he was chosen by Kian Egan and then progressed right up to the final, where he finished 3rd overall, to perform live with Steve Wall of The Stunning.

The exposure has helped Shane gain some interesting fans, and he even received tweets of respect from celebrities such as Frankie Boyle, MC Hammer and Andrew Stockdale of Wolfe Mother on his own original songs. “All That I Want” (the first release from an upcoming 4 track EP due out in March) is a modern

day, heart felt Irish ballad that encompasses routes of Irish, Celtic and Rock. The track is simply about love won and lost, and ‘not realizing what you have until it’s gone’. Written in his hometown of Downings in County Donegal, Shane had his band recorded in Blast Furnace, Derry, before vocal recording and mixing duties were taken on by friend and producer Wez Devine (who wrote and produced Ireland’s last Eurovision song entry “Only Love Survives”) and mastered by Fergal Davis (Muse,etc.). . Shane (who grew up emulating his idols Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson in front of a mirror with the old hairbrush mic) has been in numerous bands on his journey - his previous band “Red Light Inferno” received impressive airplay and rave reviews with emotion filled rock ballads like “Envy, Glorious Envy” and “Why So Slow”. Click the image to the left to visit Shane’s Facebook page.

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NUJ Protests Nigerian State Governor’s Comments on Homosexuality

News | NUJ

Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary of the NUJ

The National Union of Journalists has written to the Nigerian ambassador to Ireland, protesting at the tone and content of a speech by Delta State governor, Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan.

for a Metro Éireann award, which recognised his work for integration and anti-racism. Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan was also given a special award and used his acceptance speech to attack critics of Nigeria’s new law on homosexuality.

At the recent Metro Éireann awards ceremony in Dublin, Dr Uduaghan compared homosexuality to paedophilia. He was replying to a call by Séamus Dooley, Irish NUJ Secretary, for an end to repressive treatment of LGBT citizens in Nigeria.

Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary of the NUJ, said:

In a letter to ambassador Felix Y. Pwol, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, Barry McCall, president, and Gerry Curran, chair of the NUJ’s Irish Council, pointed out that the Irish Secretary was reflecting union policy in relation to international human rights. Séamus Dooley’s comments were made in an acceptance speech after he was nominated

“We were shocked to learn of Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan comments. He responded in an offensive manner, drawing a direct comparison between homosexuality and paedophilia. In supporting the stand taken by the President of Nigeria the Governor stated that there can be no place for gay people in Nigeria and declared they must leave the country. The Governor also stated that Western countries must accept this attitude as a Nigerian and African tradition which will never change, claiming that 99 per cent of the population

support the new legislation. His explicit statement confirmed our fears that the current legislation is informed by a homophobic perspective which views human rights as dispensable. As a union concerned with freedom of expression we have highlighted the violation of the rights of the media. The Irish Secretary correctly used the opportunity to highlight the abuse of human rights, which have been documented by Amnesty International.” The NUJ has also written to the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, seeking Irish government support for the campaign against Nigeria’s homophobic laws. (eile.ie / 28 January)

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USA | Utah Marriages

Lambda Legal Welcomes Obama Administration Plan to Recognise Utah’s Same-Sex Marriages The Obama administration has announced that it will recognize as lawful the marriages of 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah, even though the state government is refusing to do so, according to Lambda Legal. Camilla Taylor, National Marriage Project Director for the law firm, issued the following statement: “It is gratifying to read U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s unambiguous statement affirming the Administration’s intention to grant federal marriage benefits to all legally married Utahns. Such a clear statement was particularly welcome, given the unnecessary and discriminatory decision by Utah’s governor and attorney general that the state will continue to discriminate against these legally married couples and their children.

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The Obama Administration is doing what the law requires by making it clear that these wholly legal marriages of loving same-sex couples in Utah will receive the federal recognition they deserve. This welcome leadership from the federal government provides a significant measure of security and dignity to these families. The U.S. Supreme Court paused the process of issuing future marriage licenses to additional families while an appeal is pending, but they did not – and could not – make existing legal marriages disappear.” Late last month, a U.S. District Court Judge struck down as unconstitutional Utah’s discriminatory marriage ban. More than 1,000 same-sex Utah couples got married before the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the ruling earlier this week. After the stay was issued, Utah’s governor and attorney general announced that the state would not provide these couples with

spousal benefits or protections pending the outcome of the case. In his statement issued today and posted on the Justice Department’s website, Attorney General Holder said: “I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other samesex marriages. These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds.” Thanks to Tom Warnke of Lambda Legal.

(eile.ie / 12 January)


Portugal | Adoption Rights

Portugal to Vote on LGBT Adoption Rights (eile.ie / 1 February) Portugal’s LGBT community is facing an unexpected rights campaign on their hands, as their parliament has approved holding a referendum, asking citizens whether or not to annul adoption rights for same-sex couples. The motion to hold a referendum was approved with a slight government majority on last Monday, January 17. It has not yet been announced when such a referendum will take place, however. At the moment, Portugal’s LGBT community enjoys the same rights to marriage, taxation, inheritance and housing as their heterosexual counterparts, including the right

to legally adopt their partner’s children. Several Portuguese LGBT associations are expected to submit appeals to the Constitutional Court, in protest at last Monday’s motion. According to Portuguese American Journal, they have also announced that they will take their protest to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that it infringes on their individual rights. As PAJ reports: The Parliament’s decision to issue a referendum to reverse the current adoption laws was sent to the Constitutional Court and will be assessed by Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva.

In 2010, the Portuguese Parliament had approved equal rights for same-sex marriages, excluding adoption rights. In 2013, Parliament approved a law allowing gay couples to adopt their partners’ biological or adopted children with votes from the center-left opposition parties. Portugal was among the first ten counties in the world to introduce marriage equality, although homosexuality had been illegal in the country until 1982. H/T Portuguese American Journal.

EILE Magazine 57


Cooking with Dermie

Dermie’s Dishes Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Dermot O’ Sullivan (Dermie) of Gas Mark Seven gives us this wonderful recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, warming and comforting on these cold February days! Dermie says: “Jerusalem artichokes have a distinctive appearance similar to ginger only smaller, fatter and bumpier (and taste absolutely nothing at all like ginger in case you’re wondering). Apart from making a delicious soup, Jerusalem Artichokes are delicious roasted and pair well with pheasant too”. [Vegans: Substitute any vegan spread for the butter, vegan cream cheese for the creme fraiche, and vegan cream for the cream where appropriate] Ingredients (serves 6) 50g Butter - 1 Shallot (sliced) - 2 Leeks (white part only, thinly sliced save the green part for vegetable stock) - 2 Garlic Cloves (sliced) - 2 Sprigs Thyme (destalked) - 150ml Riesling White Wine (optional) - 1kg Jerusalem artichokes - 1 - 1.2L Homemade Chicken Stock

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(or Vegetable Stock) - 150ml Cream - Salt & Black Pepper Serve:- 200g Gubbeen Chorizo [or Vegan/Vegetarian topping of your choice] Method: 1. Sweat the shallots, garlic and thyme in butter with some seasoning over a gentle heat until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the leaks, sweat for a few minutes before adding in the wine if using allowing it to reduce down. 2. Add in the Jerusalem artichokes, pour in the chicken stock, season and allow to cook over a gentle heat until the artichokes are soft. Add in the cream and purée the soup with a hand blender. Adjust for seasoning if necessary. 3. Place a pan on a gentle heat with a drizzle of olive oil, fry your sliced chorizo in the pan for 2 minutes, turning once. Dry the chorizo and

serve with the soup and a generous dollop of Crème Fraîche. *** Note: Scrub your artichokes well before giving them a quick wash. When peeling them have a bowl of water with the juice of a lemon in it to prevent the Jerusalem Artichokes from turning brown.

Recipe & Styling: Dermot O’Sullivan (Dermie) of Gas Mark Seven [Photo courtesy of Dermot O’Sullivan]


“Jerusalem artichokes have a distinctive appearance similar to ginger, only smaller…”


News | USA

Parents Speak Out As Engaged Gay Music Teacher Forced to Resign (eile.ie / 17 January) Parents are understandably upset and are speaking out after a music teacher has been forced to resign from a Catholic high school in Ohio over his recent engagement to his partner of five years. “He did a lot for my kids in the music program down here . My youngest one doesn’t want to go into the program because he’s leaving,” says one parent. “We’re just very sad he was really a great teacher and the kids really looked up to him,” says parent Gayle Thompson, according to a report by 13abc. Brian Panetta, who had been a music teacher and choir director at Sandusky Central Catholic School for four and a half years, was asked to resign by the school’s management because his engagement to his same-sex partner breached a ‘morality’ clause in his employment contract. According to an interview with Channel 3 / WKYC News, Panetta claims not 60 EILE Magazine

to be in any way angry with the school’s management, and had expected such a turnout when his partner proposed to him. His only disappointment, he says, is that he did not get to say goodbye to his students or their parents. “I have no closure. I didn’t get to see the kids. I didn’t get to speak with the kids,” says Panetta, who is himself a Catholic. ”There are good teachers who are gay who are losing jobs, not because of poor performance. I think it’s a shame. I think good teachers should be able to teach anywhere they want to teach,” he added. Part of Panetta’s contract of employment with Sandusky Central Catholic School included a ‘moral clause’, which stated that Panetta was expected to act in accordance with Catholic teachings. His engagement, according to the school, was equivalent to making a public statement that Panetta supports

same-sex marriage. Channel 3 attempted to contact the school as part of their television report, but the school’s management declined to go on camera, simply stating that Panetta is no longer employed at the school, and they do not discuss personnel situations with the media. However, a statement issued by the diocese includes the following: “In light of the church’s clear teaching on sacred marriage and the fact that Mr. Panetta himself has publicly indicated his marriage plans are contrary to church teachings and are the issue at the heart of this matter. The leadership of Sandusky Central Catholic School properly determined that his employment could not continue.” It is reported that Panetta plans to finish his Masters degree in Music Education later this year.


News | USA

80% of Congregation Leaves UM Church After Leader Fired for Being Gay (eile.ie / 16 January) The majority of a United Methodist Church congregation in Indiana have abandoned their church in protest over the dismissal of a church leader and choir director for being gay. Adam Fraley, a former choir director at the First United Methodist Church in Alexandra, Indiana, was fired by a new minister, who was uncomfortable with Fraley’s sexuality. To Fraley’s surprise, however, more than half of the historicallyconservative congregation supported him, leaving the church in protest over his dismissal. “He [the new minister] doesn’t know me at all,” Fraley said to RTV6 local news. “[T]o think that he decided that I was incapable of being in this position because

of my sexuality really was hurtful. I tried to pretend like it wasn’t quite as much but it really was hurtful”. Dave Steele has been a member of the church’s congregation since the 1950s. He told local media that his family and others members of the church have left, because the new minister will not rehire Fraley due to his sexuality. “It’s a very hurtful time and our wish is somehow to reconcile the situation,” Steele said. “[The] Methodist church is archaic in their view and there needs to be a change from the top.” Dan Gangler, a spokesperson for the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church, said that there is no rule which prevents Fraley from serving in the church.

“Gays and lesbians are welcomed at United Methodist Church,” Gangler told local media, “and to be a member of United Methodist Church or even serve as leaders in the Church. There’s nothing to prevent them from any type of role in United Methodist Church except one that’s ordination”. Steele said that interim Minister David Mantor told him and other board members that allowing Fraley to lead was not biblically sound. Meanwhile, Gangler has said that church leaders are working on a resolution to the issue. He added that Fraley initially quit, but it was the decision of the church leaders to not rehire him.

EILE Magazine 61


Health | Dr Shay

Herpes Simplex Dr Shay Keating gives us the facts on Herpes Simplex, in both of its forms, HSV1 and HSV2, and the symptoms to look out for Herpes simplex (HSV) was first reported over 2,000 years ago, but was not identified as a virus until the 1940s. There are two types, HSV type 1 (HSV1) and HSV type 2 (HSV2). HSV 1 is usually associated with infection of the mouth, throat, face, eye and nervous system. HSV2 is usually sexually transmitted and causes anogenital infection. Each strain however may cause infection in all areas as cross infection of HSV1 and HSV2 may occur from oral-genital contact. This means that one can get genital HSV in or on the mouth and oral HSV in the genital area. HSV can also affect the hands (called a whitlow) but more seriously can affect the eyes or invade the central nervous system (encephalitis). Furthermore, patients with immature or suppressed immune systems such as infants, transplant patients or patients with advanced HIV disease or pregnant women are prone to severe complications from HSV. Orofacial (mouth and face) HSV is readily identified by its clinical appearance, usually multiple, round ulcers filled with straw coloured fluid. It can be mistaken inside the mouth for common mouth ulcers or outside the 62 EILE Magazine

mouth for impetigo, a bacterial infection of the skin. Genital HSV may be more difficult to diagnose as many do not have the classical blistering rash. It may also be mistaken for other genital conditions including fungal infections and the chancre (ulcer) of primary syphilis. Tests can be done to aid identification: viral culture or search for viral genetic material (PCR) from the rash or antibody tests in the blood HSV is contracted through direct contact with an ulcer or body fluid from an infected person. The virus travels through tiny breaks in the skin or mucous membranes in the mouth or genital area. Asymptomatic shedding may also occur, where the infected person shows no visible signs of the disease but is still infectious. Such asymptomatic shedding is commoner in HSV2 and in the first 12 months of the infection. Barrier methods of contraception such as condoms reduce but do not eliminate transmission risk. Primary (first time) genital HSV1 and HSV2 are characterised by ‘systemic’ symptoms, fever, headache and malaise. These symptoms are usually worse within the first few days of the appearance of the rash and gradually recede in 3-4 days. Pain in the genitals or when

passing urine, itching, discharge from the vagina or urethra reach a maximum at day 7-11 of the infection. Swollen glands in the genital area may also occur and can take several weeks to resolve. In an attempt to kill the virus, the body makes antibodies to HSV1 or HSV2. These antibodies do not kill the virus however, and it travels to the base of the nerves where it remains latent (dormant) and has lifelong ‘residency’. During this latency period, no virus is produced and the patient is well and symptom free. Most patients however experience recurrences of the ulcer. In the lead up to the ulceration, the patient may experience tingling in the area, itching and pain in the skin. During these recurrences, the ulcers are usually less painful and heal faster than the primary infection, but for others they may still be quite debilitating. The recurrences are commoner in HSV 2 than HSV1 and are believed to be triggered by local trauma, menstruation, ultraviolet light and sunlight. There is no treatment currently available to eradicate the virus, but many cases of HSV infection are mild and do not need treatment. For the minority with


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Dr Shay Keating Continued…

a severe or prolonged occurrence, especially if it’s the first episode, if there is a high frequency of episodes or if the patient is immunocompromised, antiviral medications may be prescribed. Those with frequent or severe recurrences, may choose to take antiviral medication daily termed ‘suppressive’ therapy to prevent recurrences or during each attack for three days. Patients infected with HSV may feel stigmatised by the infection and may very occasionally need psychological support. The reality is however, that the

vast majority of the world’s population are carriers of HSV1, HSV2 or both and most people have no symptoms at all. Using emotive and anxiety-provoking terminology such as ‘attacks’ and ‘outbreaks’ may fuel such stigma and should be avoided. HSV infection in pregnancy or in the immunocompromised is very serious and merits expert attention.

Dr. James (Shay) N. Keating, BA Mod, MB, PhD. MRCP, Dip GUM, Dip Occ Med., has his clinic at the Harold’s Cross Surgery, Harolds Cross, Dublin 6W, and is a Specialist in Genitourinary Medicine, at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin. Contact stdclinic.ie Phone: 01497 0022 or +353 87 234 5551

Nigerian President Signs Anti-Gay Bill Into Law The President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has signed a bill which outlaws same-sex relationships, threatening LGBT people in the country with a possible maximum jail sentence of 14 years, if charged and convicted.

differed from each other. Senator Umaru Dahiru, who presented the report from the conference commitee and was commitee chairman, urged the Senate to pass the harmonised version, as they had “tightened all loose ends”.

an offence, according to the new legislation.

The law, passed by the Nigerian Senate in December, states that any persons who enter into a same-sex marriage, “amorous relationship” or civil contract shall be liable to 14 years in prison on conviction.

According to the Daily Times NG, the bill also states that any samesex marriage entered into in a foreign country shall be void, and also that such marriages shall not be solemnised in any church or mosque in Nigeria.

“Beyond even prohibiting same sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly … and expression for all Nigerians,” he said in a statement.

A conference commitee was set up to harmonise two versions of a 2011 same-sex marriage bill, which had five clauses which

Anyone who assists a couple to enter a same-sex union, or who witnesses such a union will also be deemed to have committed

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According to The Guardian, the American secretary of state, John Kerry, said Washington was deeply concerned by the new measures.

“It is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines … democratic reforms and human rights protections,” Kerry said. (eile.ie / 14 January)


Sarah Sylvia

EILE Magazine


EILE Magazine – Issue 09 (February 2014)