Magazine Issue 10 – March 2014
Such Good People
LGBT Winter Breaks
A film with Michael Urie & Randy Harrison
Who We Are
Elaine Mai Inside:
Spring Style Men’s Fashions
LGBT Characters | Music | California Dispatch
EILE Magazine | Who’s Who
Contributors Frankie Brogan Frankie is a qualified nutritionist based in Belfast, where he is currently studying for a MSc in Human Nutrition from the University of Ulster. Jenny Butler Jenny is a broadcast journalist and writer from Dublin, currently working as coproducer of The Cosmo on RTÉ Pulse. Lucia Chappelle Lucia Chappelle is the Associate Producer of “This Way Out” and Social Justice Minister at Founders Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles. 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. Stephen Donnan Stephen is a writer and political activist from east Belfast, where he is Convenor of the Alliance Party’s LGBT group. Mark Graham Mark is from Port Laoise and is a graduate of English from University College Dublin, who has produced several fashion shows for charity. Shane Heneghan Shane is originally from Headford in County Mayo, but is now based in Brussels. He has worked with various EU organisations and is interested in EU politics. 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. 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.
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EILE Magazine | Welcome
Highlights March 2014 Such Good People – P.32 A chat with the producers of this year’s LGBT comedy, starring Michael Urie and Randy Harrison
Sonali – P.8 The New York-based singer and LGBT Ally loves ‘Who We Are’
Men’s Fashions – P.24 Mark Graham looks at the return of knitwear for men
Volume 1, Issue 10 Editor-in-Chief: Scott De Buitléir Features Editor: MKB Writers: Frankie Brogan, Jenny Butler, MKB, Lucia Chappelle, Stephen Donnan, Mark Graham, Shane Heneghan, Shay Keating, 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
California Dispatch – P.26 Lucia Chappelle looks at Womyn’s music and culture of the 70s & 80s
Movie Reviews – P.42
Contact: email@example.com Twitter: @EileMagazine Facebook: http://fb.com/eilemagazine Note: All opinions expressed in this issue are the writers’ own.
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Frances Winston reviews The Book Thief and Ride Along for EILE (BZ &VSPQFBO 5PVSJTN "TTPDJBUJPO
…and much more! EILE Magazine 3
EILE Magazine | Editor’s Letter
Homophobia in Sport
12 - LGBT News Round-Up 16 -
Bill de Blasio
24 - Men’s Knitwear 26 - California Dispatch 32 -
Such Good People
Amnesty / TENI
Cooking with Dermie
Welcome to EILE! Welcome to the March ’14 issue of EILE Magazine. Last month, RTÉ’s Primetime released the results of its poll on marriage equality in Ireland. It showed that 76% of people here support same-sex marriage, which shows that support has been continuously strong for the issue for quite some time. Thanks to ‘Pantigate’, Ireland’s LGBT record has recently been under international surveillance, but the poll shows that society is very much on our side. In this month’s issue, we find out where to catch the last of the winter sun with LGBT ski holidays in Scandinavia, Colorado and Switzerland. If your musical collection needs refreshing, check out our interviews with Sonali in New York and Elaine Mai in Dublin, with links to their EPs available on their respective pages. We also find out about knitwear trends for men, the verdict on the latest films to hit the big screen and what to expect from LGBT film this year, like Such Good People starring Michael Urie. From cooking in Cork to drama and diets in Belfast; from politics in Brussels and womyn’s history in California, there truly is something for everyone in this March edition of EILE Magazine. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you. Until next time!
Scott De Buitléir
Founder/Editor, EILE Magazine
EILE Magazine 4
News | Uganda
Irish Foreign Affairs Denounces Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Laws as ‘Draconian’
(eile.ie / March 2)
The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade has condemned the signing into law of Uganda’s AntiHomosexuality Bill, adding to an already deadly atmosphere for LGBT people in the African nation. On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law new legislation that provides for 14-year prison sentences for firsttime offenders and life sentences for repeat offenders found guilty of what is termed “aggravated homosexuality.” Pat Breen TD (FG; Clare) as Chairman of the Committee, made the following statement to media:
“The signature into law of new anti-gay measures by the President of Uganda earlier this week is most unsettling. While the Committee had been concerned at the fact that homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, these new draconian laws place the welfare of members of the Ugandan LGBT community at serious risk. The laws are an affront to the fundamental human rights and freedom of expression of all Ugandans. On behalf of the Joint Committee, I wish to condemn these new laws utterly.” Seán Crowe TD (SF; Dublin SW), who is also a member of the Oireachtas Committee, said that he was “extremely worried for the health and well-being” of LGBT Ugandans:
‘unnatural’. … Irish elected representatives from across all parties and none have already […] questioned Ireland’s relationship with Uganda if this repressive legislation was to be agreed.” Deputy Crowe also noted that Uganda is a partner country of Irish Aid, but bilateral aid is still suspended, due to the earlier misappropriation of aid money at the end of 2012. The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade is made up of TDs and Senators from across the Irish political spectrum, which, along with Pat Breen and Seán Crowe includes, among others, Senator David Norris, Maureen O’Sullivan TD (Ind.) and Olivia Mitchell TD (FG).
“[President Museveni] has also released worryingly fundamentalist statements, in which he is arguing that homosexuality is somehow
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LGBT | Michael D. Higgins
Irish President on LGBT: “You Can’t Achieve Your Rights On Your Own” The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has said in a radio interview that the LGBT community cannot achieve full equality on their own, acknowledging the massive support from the Irish public for LGBT equality in the Republic, as well as the need for discourse in Irish society. President Higgins was speaking with the Irish radio station, NewsTalk, to raise awareness of his new Ethics Initiative, which aims to open up debate and discussion between the President and the public on a wide number of ethical issues, including ethics in economics and public life; the role of ethics in discourse and the media in its formation and its practice. The President will host a seminar at Áras an Uachtaráin later in 2014, examining ways through which the initiative can be advanced by stimulating further debate, discussion and action throughout society. Speaking to NewsTalk’s Shona Murray, President Higgins referred to the LGBT community in terms of their campaign for equality in Ireland, including same-sex marriage, adoption rights and a gender recognition bill for transgender people. “If we could come to a point at which we took it for granted, that 6 EILE Magazine
the exclusions that [we] speak of, weren’t simply acceptable, are not part of us. I certainly think that, remember … with the lesbian and gay community, for example, you can’t achieve your rights on your own.” “Your right,” President Higgins continued, “has to be a right which enables you to participate fully in society.”
He also spoke of “taking the ‘other’ into account” when debating rights, “and taking the ‘other’ into account is a capacity [the Irish] have.” Higgins, both as 9th President of Ireland and in previous roles as a politician, has regularly been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights. 17 Feb - eile.ie
Politics | Wayne Flanagan Tobin
Local Election Candidate Wayne Flanagan Tobin Comes Out As Gay In Radio Interview Wayne Flanagan Tobin
(eile.ie / 24 February)
An independent candidate, who is running in the upcoming Irish local elections for Dublin City Council for Pembroke/South Dock, came out as gay during a recent radio interview. Wayne Flanagan Tobin, a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, and a first-time entrant into politics, was interviewed recently on the Council Matters radio programme on Dublin City FM. During the 20-minute interview, presenter Michael FitzGerald made reference to the mug Wayne brought into
the studio with him, which was decorated in rainbow colours with the words ‘Nobody Knows I’m Gay’ on it. “Well, they do now”, joked FitzGerald whilst on air, and in front of the video camera recording the interview with the hopeful politician. Wayne acknowledged the mug and its statement, explaining that it had been given to him as a gift from one of his constituents and supporters. While the election candidate casually acknowledged his own sexuality, on air, before going on to talk about equality issues such as marriage equality, a source told EILE Magazine that Wayne Flanagan Tobin’s ‘coming out’ in this instance is not his first time
to openly acknowledge that he is gay. However, it was his first time referring to it in a public interview, and especially as a candidate for local election. Deirdre de Búrca, former MEP candidate for Dublin, and law lecturer Vincent Salafia, were amongst some high profile people to endorse Wayne Flanagan Tobin, a suicide prevention campaigner and youth worker, as a local election candidate for Pembroke/South Dock. He is connected with the ‘People Before Parties’ group, which is not a political party, but instead a group of independent candidates in Dublin, seeking election in two of the capital’s local councils, namely Dublin City Council and Dún Laoghaire / Rathdown County Council. EILE Magazine 7
Interview | Sonali
Meet Sonali The Singer & LGBT Ally who loves ‘Who We Are’ 8 EILE Magazine
Interview | Sonali
For someone who moved to New York City in 2012,
Sonali Argade is refreshingly upbeat and friendly, which makes the cynic in me wonder whether or not city living has got to her yet. Still, one would be mistaken for thinking that the Floridian singer/songwriter is in any way naïve, as she has good reason for being so enthusiastic. She has put a massive amount of work and dedication into her musical career, the fruits of which are now available for all to enjoy. Sonali’s new EP, Wake Up, is certainly inspired by her move to the Big Apple, and she’s getting a good reaction from both media and audiences alike. If you need to compare her to another musician (let’s face it: it’s a rite of passage for all musicians to be compared to someone else at first) her style is similar to that of Ed Sheeran, only with a bit more of an Americana feel. Still, there is a sweetness and light to Sonali’s music that makes it perfect for that happy-go-lucky kind of playlist. For as light as her music may be, however, there’s no doubt that she can pack a punch with her latest single, Who We Are. “It’s an anti-bullying song, really,” Sonali explains, “and it could be anybody’s anthem”. “I was inspired to write it because just recently, in the news, I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about kids being bullied, especially one back home. One story hit really hard, because it had a very tragic ending. It’s very sad to me, that we live in a world that can be really intolerant sometimes.”
While the song’s lyrics don’t make a clear reference to LGBT rights, Sonali herself acknowledges that her gay friends’ experiences certainly moved her to writing a beautiful song, and creating a powerful video to go along with it. The video’s storyline is about a young gay guy, and what happens when he brings his boyfriend home to meet the parents. The mother is less than impressed with her son’s relationship, but her reaction leads to a dramatic moment in the film, showing that a parent’s disapproval can sometimes be tragic.
“The reason why I decided to take my [music] video in an LGBT direction, is because here in college [she’s currently attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts] I have a lot of friends who have suffered problems with being accepted due to their sexual orientation, whether it be at home with family, or at school with friends, and that’s so, so hard to hear. […] Love is love, no matter who it’s between […] so I really wanted to be able to make a very clear message in my video; that this is what I believe.” EILE Magazine 9
Interview | Sonali The message is certainly clear, and the pride in Sonali’s voice is contagious, when she tells me of how positive a reaction she has got to both the song and the video since its release. While there is some drama in the music video, the ending is a happy one, and that was fully intentional. “I really did want to make it clear,” Sonali explains, “that, yeah, the video does have a happy ending because I sincerely believe that that’s the way our future is going. It might be a long and hard road to get there, but I sincerely believe that that’s how it’s going to be.” Indeed, if it’s going to be a long road, then at least we have a new LGBT Ally in Sonali to keep us singing along the way.
Sonali’s EP, Wake Up, is available now on iTunes - click the album art below. For more information, visit itsmesonali.com.
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Sport | Homophobia
Fighting Homophobia on the Sports Pitch Scott De Buitléir writes about the athletes tackling prejudice on the playing fields (eile.ie / February 18) It’s not that often that a drag queen can be connected with sport, but that connection was made last month on Off The Ball, one of Ireland’s most popular sports talk radio shows. It may not be entirely surprising to Irish readers, when Panti’s iconic speech at the Abbey Theatre was mentioned, referring to LGBT people ‘checking’ themselves at a pedestrian crossing. The idea of gay people checking themselves happens often on the sports pitch as well, as mentioned by Francis Fitzgibbon, who plays football with the Dublin Devils FC (and has previously written for EILE). It’s not uncommon for gay slurs to be used by sports 12 EILE Magazine
players, ranging from ‘banter’ to psychologically beating down opponents, and so the playing field is rarely immune from homophobic remarks. As if Ireland’s relationship with homophobia couldn’t have been highlighted more over the last few weeks, the ill-informed comments of former rugby player, Neil Francis, have moved the spotlight of Ireland’s treatment of LGBT people to the sports pitches. Mr Francis has since apologised for his comments, but he has nonetheless sparked a new debate surrounding gay people in daily life – in this case, sport. Simon Murphy, vice-president of the Emerald Warriors rugby club, proudly stated that there’s “no such thing as going easy or anything being too manly” during the team’s rugby training. This
is something I can vouch for myself, having briefly experienced the training first-hand (with disastrous effects!). It would come as no surprise to many readers that Murphy added that “coming from a gay rugby team, [they] very much disagreed with what [Neil Francis] said”, and the “blanket statement” made about gay people. As Fitzgibbon made clear, however, the comments Neil Francis made can have a terrible effect on a young gay man (or woman), who would be interested in sport, but would feel awkward in themselves for being LGBT. Such comments only reinforce the idea that gay stereotypes reflect real life, and reinforce feelings of isolation, hopelessness and feeling that something is intrinsically wrong with you. Thankfully, the idea that sport
Sport | Homophobia
and gay people don’t mix is disproven again and again, thanks to sporting heroes like Dónal Óg and Conor Cusack, Michael Sam, Gareth Jones (pictured), Tom Daley, and so, so many more. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can tolerate homophobia in sport. Off The Ball presenter, Joe Molloy, raised a valid question during his chat with Francis & Simon, though. Why is there still a need for so-called ‘gay’ sports teams, when so many in the LGBT community are calling for equality and inclusion? Why create separate teams for groups who want to be treated the same as everyone else? It may seem like a conflicting idea to have gay-friendly sports teams, but Francis Fitzgibbon hit the nail on the head in his answer. Such teams are no different to any other, not just because of the
sport they play, but because they represent their community. The Dublin Devils FC are representative of the gay community in Dublin, in the same way that the Sligo Rovers are generally supported by people in or from Sligo. The same goes for the Emerald Warriors; they train on the same grounds as Suttonians Rugby Club in north Dublin, but their community is not based in (or rather, limited to) the suburb of Sutton. The communities both teams represent may not fall under one postcode, but they are communities nonetheless. As Simon Murphy also hinted on air, the social aspect of such teams does encourage gay people to try their hand at a sport that they might have previously been too intimidated to try. Again,
this I’ve seen for myself, as I tried my own hand at rugby in an attempt to socialise and keep fit, despite attending what’s known in Dublin as a ‘rugby school’. What teams like the Emerald Warriors and Dublin Devils do, possibly unbeknownst to their players, is that they break down ill-informed opinions and attitudes towards LGBT people in sport, with every single match they play. For every new player they welcome onto their team, they equally break down fears that sports clubs are an unwelcome place for young gay people. Those breakdowns of prejudices are badly needed, but thanks to both amateur and professional athletes – gay and straight – who speak out against homophobia, change is happening faster than the older generation of sports commentators can keep up with.
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News | Round-Up
LGBT Monthly News Roun Actress Ellen Page Comes Out as Gay The Canadian actress, Ellen Page, surprised many film fans yesterday by announcing, during a speech at an LGBT youth conference in the U.S., that she is a lesbian. The 26-year-old actress, who is well known for her roles in Juno, X-Men: The Last Stand and Inception, made a powerful speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Time to Thrive’ conference on LGBTI youth in Las Vegas. In her speech, while praising the courage of LGBT youth, Page herself came out as gay. Watch the speech below to hear her inspiring words, but you can skip to 5mins20sec to hear her make her special announcement. Page praised the conference’s attendees, saying that such people were the reason why she was “inspired” to speak on stage: “I’m inspired to be in this room because every single one of you is here for the same reason. You’re here because you’ve adopted as a core motivation the simple fact that this world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another. If we took just 5 minutes to recognize each other’s beauty, instead of attacking each other for our differences. That’s not hard. It’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives.” 14 EILE Magazine
Ellen Page stars in X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is released in the UK & Ireland in May this year.
flag and many equally-colourful participants as the crowd marched along the same roads that Mahatma Gandhi also walked during his political protests in 1942. According to Indian LGBT publication, Gaylaxy Magazine:
Ellen Page at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival
Mumbai Pride Protests India’s Section 377 Over five thousand people took to the streets of Mumbai over the weekend to celebrate Mumbai Pride, while also protesting the reintroduction of Indian Penal Code Section 377, which criminalises homosexuality. The march for Mumbai Pride, known locally as Queer Azaadi Mumbai, started at 4pm local time on Saturday, February 1. Numerous veteran LGBT activists from Mumbai gave speeches ahead of the march, which featured a large rainbow
Coming just a few days after the Supreme Court’s rejection of the review petition against reinstatement of Section 377, the march saw infectious enthusiasm and energy among all the participants. The ‘minuscule minority’, as termed derisively by the Supreme Court, was out to celebrate their sexuality with pride on the busy streets of Mumbai – at last count, well over 5000 people had participated in the pride, a number almost double that of last year. A ruling by the Delhi High Court, which had decriminalised homosexuality in 2009, was reversed by the Supreme Court in India last December. The Supreme Court held that the High Court had overstepped its powers in 2009, and that only parliament could now change the law. It remains to be seen whether the new decision again criminalising homosexual acts leads to increased homophobia and discrimination, or whether the Indian parliament have the courage to delete section 377, an old colonial throwback, from the books altogether.
News | Round-Up
nd-Up becoming the seventeenth country to allow for marriage for lesbian and gay couples contributes hugely to the growing international momentum for equality. A very strong message of inclusion, of value and of equality has been sent to lesbian and gay people everywhere” said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair.
Colm O’Gorman Named as Dublin Pride Grand Marshal Colm O’Gorman, director of Amnesty International Ireland, has been formally named as Grand Marshal for this year’s Dublin Pride parade. O’Gorman, a well-known LGBT and human rights campaigner and activist, was announced as Grand Marshal for this year’s parade at the launch of the LGBT festival on Friday evening. Jed Dowling, director of Dublin Pride, told 98fm News that the two-week festival is going to include a wide range of family-friendly activities for the Dublin and wider Irish community: “One of the things we’re quite proud of is that we are a familyfriendly festival. Even on the day of the parade itself, there will be a family section in Merrion Square, so there’s going to be something for everybody.” Meanwhile, Dublin Pride have also confirmed that an official invitation will be sent to the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, to attend this year’s parade. The invitation comes in light of de Blasio’s announcement that he will not march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, because LGBT groups are banned from taking part. Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn, said that de Blasio would be received “very warmly” to the Irish capital if a visit to Dublin were planned.
Scotland Passes Equal Marriage Bill The Scottish Parliament has passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill earlier today by 105 votes to 18, making it the 17th nation in the world to introduce marriage equality. It is expected that couples will be able to marry from later this year in Scotland, joining England and Wales in providing equal access to marriage for same-sex couples across Britain. With that, Northern Ireland is now left behind as the only part of the UK which does not have marriage equality. “The vote of the Scottish Parliament is a further historic step in the journey to full equality for lesbian and gay people in the United Kingdom. Scotland
“Now, you will not be able to leave the shores of Ireland in any direction without reaching a country where civil marriage is available to lesbian and gay couples” the LGBT rights activist continued. Lesbian and gay couples in England and Wales will be able to marry from March 29th this year. Marriage is expected to become available in Scotland later in 2014. The Irish Government recently decided to accept the recommendation of the Constitutional Convention and will hold a referendum on access to civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples in 2015.
Dublin Pride is the second largest festival in Ireland. EILE Magazine 15
Interview | Elaine Mai
Elaine Mai Talks about her music, her mixing and her support for marriage equality
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Interview | Elaine Mai
Elaine Mai feels that it’s all about progress, and she is certainly consistant with hers. Since the release of her debut EP, Dots, in 2012, there has been a steady, perceptible shift in the style of her live shows. from her early start as a solo artist, crafting haunting melodies layered over harmonies, beats and acoustic guitar. While there are still the same beautiful songs, there is a new focus on the beats and the dancefloor, moving away from the acoustic to the electronic, yet maintaining that same attention to the melody that has made her stand out as a performer. The new single, EDC, is indicative of this, a hint at the new direction on the forthcoming second EP proper, Known/Unknown. Elaine has also been developing her skills as a remixer; her latest work, a skilled reworking of Somebody Else by Cat Dowling, is a beautiful take on the track, and sits comfortably beside her stunning reworking of Chameleon Life by Daithí, which came third in Nialler9’s Reader’s polls remixes of last year. In spite of her steadily-growing success, however, Elaine herself remains endearingly humble and warm in character – almost as if she’s never fully aware of the potential of her talent.
on a very simple sound and really build it up into something much larger than you started out with. I moved on to another loop station and then finally moved everything over to a laptop. I use Ableton now (music production software). I can loop, launch and really do anything I can think of with this software and therefore it has really opened up endless possibilities in terms of songwriting. I think my music is still very melody-driven, but it has come a long way since the early days, and the music I’m making now is music I always wanted to make but never had the ability to. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years and am very happy with the direction my sound is going in. It’s a lot more upbeat and more electronic. SDB: The new single is just beautiful; great vocals and perfectly produced as well. What was the inspiration behind it, and how long did it take to put it all together, including the video?
SDB: You’ve been on the Irish music scene for a few years now – how would you describe your own style of songwriting and music? Has it changed much over the years, do you think?
EM: The track itself took a few months from start to finish, as did the video. The filming only took a few days, the editing a lot longer Thankfully for me the director Bob Gallagher had that task, and did such an amazing job. The song is very simple and honest. It focuses on relationships and what they mean to us, and I wanted a video to reflect that. We were very lucky to get some amazing people to come in and chat to us about their relationships, and what they mean to each other, and we caught some beautiful intimate moments which make the video really feel good and uplifting.
EM: It has definitely evolved over the last few years for sure. I started out on acoustic guitar and then bought a loop station. I loved the way you could elaborate
SDB: How important was it for you to do something to support Marriage Equality? Was that an intention for the single from the start?
It was not my intention from the start, but close to the release date and when I saw the completed video, it just felt like the right thing to do.
Marriage Equality do such an incredible job, and I hope to be able to help them more in the run up to the referendum. It’s going to creep up very fast, and this year will be extremely important in gaining people’s support and getting people registered. SDB: What has the reaction been like to the song & video? It’s been really supportive. It’s an amazing feeling to put so much time and effort into something and then have it well received. It keeps me motivated to get better, learn more, write more and just keep going. Elaine Mai is playing in Limerick on March 13, and Galway on the 14th. You can find all gig listings at: www.elainemai.com Exciting times ahead. Download EDC via iTunes by clicking on the album art below:
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Can the NYC Mayor’s Parade Boycott Counter LGBT Exclusion?
Scott De Buitléir writes on New York’s IrishAmerican LGBT community, their exclusion from the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, and the support given to them by new NYC mayor, Bill de Blasio In Ireland, the actions of a mayor are rarely, if ever, noticed. If you ask many Dubliners, it’s likely that they wouldn’t know who the current Lord Mayor of Dublin is (answer: Cllr. Oisín Quinn). One of the most active Lord Mayors of any Irish city – in my experience, 18 EILE Magazine
at least – is Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who has been wonderful during his term in Belfast. He’s even supportive of Belfast’s LGBT community, to the point where one of his profile pictures on Twitter is of him speaking at Belfast Pride. In general, though, the position of mayor in Irish cities is symbolic, without having any real influence on the lives of the people. The role of Mayor of New York City, however, is an entirely different situation. Just as the Mayor of London has a large role to play in the British capital, Bill de Blasio’s new title takes him from community meetings to corporate functions. He has the power to make life easy or hard for businessmen and buskers alike, and in this way, he will find it difficult over the next while to keep all the citizens of the iconic city happy. It was an unexpected and bold move, in that case, when Bill
de Blasio announced that he would not march in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. His reason: LGBT groups are not allowed to march in the parade, regardless of how Irish (or Irish-American) they may be. In fact, no LGBT symbols are allowed in the parade, organised by the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH). Bill de Blasio’s announcement came, understandably, as a welcome sign of support to LGBT people in New York. It showed that the newly-elected mayor was not afraid of upsetting the more conservative types in the city, including the city’s IrishAmerican businessmen. The news was especially welcomed by the New York Irish-American LGBT group, Irish Queers, who have been campaigning for the ban on LGBT groups participating in the parade to be lifted by the AOH. It is not the first time that a politician has criticised the Order, however. Irish Minister Eamon Gilmore, in 2011, stated that
Opinion | Bill de Blasio
“exclusion is not an Irish thing,” in direct criticism of the AOH’s ban. The then mayoral candidate for New York City, Christine Quinn, also refused to partake in the 2013 parade during her mayoral campaign over the issue. The LGBT group Irish Queers has recently made available some video footage of its members marching in the Parade, from 1991 and ’92 (they now hold their own parades separately in Queens).Their video shows bystanders’ reactions to the Irish Lesbian & Gay Organization’s march in 1991. That’s the year that the then mayor, Mayor Dinkins, marched with the group in solidarity with the LGBT community, in spite of the ban ”as guests of a progressive AOH contingent”. While the reactions of booing and jeers weren’t entirely uncommon in that era, and the group has emphasised that New Yorkers today are gnerally much more tolerant and inclusive, it is still shocking to look back on this type of treatment being meted out to the LGBT community. The protests were treated like a freak show by onlooking New Yorkers. This isn’t an exaggeration, and Lisa Guido of the then Irish Lesbian & Gay Organization has recently digitised the footage, made available to us here – see for yourself.
has followed in de Blasio’s footsteps, announcing that while she will be in New York around March 17 for business meetings, she will not be participating in the parade. Her decision has already been criticised by her colleague in government, Transport & Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar.
When the recently-elected mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, announced that he would not march in the city’s world-famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade, because LGBT groups are explicitly excluded, a smile crept over the faces of many LGBT Irish-Americans. Many looked towards Ireland to see how our politicians would react to New York’s news. Irish Minister of Social Protection, Joan Burton,
Speaking with Emmaia Gelman of Irish Queers, an Irish-American LGBT group based in NYC, one thing is quite clear. While St. Patrick’s Day is meant to be a celebration of all things Irish, Gelman is certain that the parade in New York has little to do with today’s Emerald Isle. Instead, she describes it more as a “private Catholic procession with the right to exclude” march, with “oceans of police and firefighters”. She
EILE has previously reported on Varadkar’s comments: “I think this government is a very strong supporter of LGBT rights, We’ve demonstrated that in a number of ways, both with the adoption legislation that is forthcoming, and the referendum next year”. He also stated that he would like to see us attending these events and “saying this to the organisers rather than boycotting them”. Minister Burton, on the other hand, feels that although St Patrick’s Parade is a fun day out, it should represent the whole of the Irish cultural experience, including the “whole width and breadth and diversity of Irish people and descendents of Irish people who have gone to the United States”. The question remains; how strongly will the Irish react to this?
feels it does nothing to reflect the real, diverse and multicultural Irish (or Irish-American) life of today, but instead, tries to stick with a heavily outdated and obscure image of white, Catholic Ireland. It may be surprising to some (like it was to me) but Gelman made a very interesting comparison when chatting with me on the phone last Wednesday. Between those years of being heckled on the streets of New York, to the more tolerant city of today, New York’s attitude towards the LGBT community has changed drastically. In fact, Gelman notes that the rate and speed in which the city has become more tolerant is not unlike Ireland’s own path to tolerance. Just as Dublin’s LGBT Pride festival draws a crowd as diverse as the paraders, New York’s Pride festivals – Irish or not – are equally celebrated as part of the city life. The difference, however, is in how the cities’ Patrick’s Day festivals treat their LGBT communities. Ironically, while a liberal Dublin Patrick’s Day Parade embraces the participation of LGBT groups like BeLonG To, New York’s most famous display of ‘Irish’ culture has become more conservative than the country it is intended to celebrate. (In eile.ie / 15 February)
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USA | Sport
American Football College Player Michael Sam Comes Out An American Football player, who is tipped to soon become a professional NFL player, has come out as gay. Michael Sam, 24, is a defensive linesman for the American Football team at the University of Missouri, and is being lauded as possibly becoming the NFL’s first openly gay player. “I came out to my team this last August,” the young athlete explains in an interview with the New York Times, “and they rallied around me, they supported me.” “Everyone’s reaction was so awesome,” Michael continues in the interview, explaining that the team’s reaction to his announcement meant that he felt 20 EILE Magazine
comfortable being part of that team. “These are my teammates, these are my brothers, I can play for these guys,” the athlete continued. As John Branch from the New York Times wrote: “Now Mr. Sam enters an uncharted area of the sports landscape. He is making his public declaration before he is drafted, to the potential detriment to his professional career. And he is doing so as he prepares to enter a league with an overtly macho culture, where controversies over homophobia have attracted recent attention.” Sam took to Twitter after the news broke in the U.S., thanking
the overall positive reaction from his supporters and the public: “I want to thank everybody for their support and encouragement,especially @espn, @nytimes and @nfl. I am proud to tell my story to the world!” The NFL also released a statement on Sam’s coming out, which politely affirms the policy that sexual orientation is not grounds for discrimination in the NFL: “We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014.”
Feature | Tailoring
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From the author of the “Popular” series, “The Gate of the Year” is based on years of research and imagines the traumatic events of the French Revolution updated to the modern-day. Told from the perspective of the beautiful, tragic and mysterious Queen Marie-Antoinette (Emma
Taylor), “The Gate of the Year” is a mixture of humour, tragedy and drama about an unforgettable story of love, deception, fear, passion, politics, beauty and the power of the media. The show is being staged for the first time at the Belvoir
Players’ Studio Theatre in south Belfast on March 7th and 8th. Tickets can be pre-booked here (http://www.ticketsource. co.uk/event/51208) and also available for purchase at the door. Tickets are £9 or £7 for students.
Gareth Russellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Play The Gate of the Year
(Belvoir Playersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Studio Theatre, Belfast)
EILE Competition To win two tickets to this wonderful new play, simply answer this question: Upon which Revoultion is The Gate of The Year based? a) Spanish b) French c) American Send your answer along with your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org by 10pm on Thursday, March 6.
Menswear | Knitwear
Return of the Heritage Knits Mark Graham looks at knitwear for men Maybe you’ve noticed a bit of a chill in the air of late. Perhaps the spectre of frosty winter days looming on the horizon has entered your consciousness, and you’ve put your lighter layers and aloha shirts to bed at the bottom of your wardrobe.
the island’s coast, owing to its resemblance to traditional Moorish motifs. Whatever its origins, Fair Isle knits provide exceptional warmth due to a closely-formed stitch, and also enrich the decorative element of drab, cold-weather closets.
As the cooler weather becomes more frequent, your inner sartorial clock tells you it’s time to layer up with something more substantial. It’s knitwear season. The past few years have seen designers take a renewed interest in traditional knitwear, and, along with most discerning dressers, they recognize the practical and aesthetic merits of knitwear.
No style of knitwear has influenced fashion more prominently than the fisherman knit. Exposed to cold temperatures, unrelenting gales and salt spray, the hard-toiling fishermen of yesteryear required robust, warming garments that were durable and unrestrictive. Often knitted by the fishermen’s wives, each community developed its own signature style that served its menfolk exceptionally well. (Photo 2)
The Fair Isle Knit is perfect for gents who want to pep up their style with a punch of pattern and colour. Originating from the remote Shetland Island of Fair Isle, this intricate knitting technique is characterized by its ornate and complex patterns, composed of multiple-coloured strands of wool. Developed by the island’s womenfolk, the technique was knit by hand using doublepointed needles, and featured motifs inspired by everyday life on the island. (Photo 1) It’s widely thought to have been brought to the island by Nordic sea traders, whilst other apparel historians believe that the Fair Isle pattern arrived in the Shetland Islands via Spanish Armada sailors wrecked off
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long before the invention of technical and synthetic fibres, when heat-retention and waterproofing relied primarily on the density of a material. A wide variety of cable knits can be found this season, in all manner of complex patterns and plush wools. Pure wool and alpacacashmere blends are a real indulgence and will never date; if cared for properly, a good cable knit will see you through many a winter to come. (Photo 3)
The most famed fisherman knit is the Aran jumper, originating from an island off the west coast of Ireland. The Aran knit’s motifs contain deeply-rooted superstitions and charms that all served a symbolic purpose. The cable-stitch represented strength and safety to protect its wearer, the basket-stitch was to encourage a healthy catch, and diamond and honeycomb stitches signified success and the virtues of hard work.
Polo neck, turtle neck, call it what you will, the roll neck is in the midst of a sartorial revival. With its origins stemming from the fishing communities of northern Europe, the roll neck first became popular with left-wing student communities in the 1930’s, and reached a peak in popularity in the 1960’s and 1970’s, when it represented the ultimate rebellion against the conformist shirt and tie. With the renewed interest in heritage and vintage styling within the current menswear sphere, the past few seasons have seen marked increase in the popularity of the roll neck. Defined by its turned-down neck and slim-fit shape, it is the perfect way to bring a dash of retroinspired panache to your coldweather aesthetic. (Photo 4)
Easily identifiable by its rope-like stitch, the cable knit’s intricate appearance and texture-rich appeal is not purely visual; the knitting technique was devised
The heritage knits of today represent centuries of culturallyrich sartorial engineering. With the fundamental elements of their designs remaining unaltered,
Menswear | Knitwear
1: Matalan AW13, Next AW13
2: All Saints AW13, Burton AW13
3: H&M 2012, Jack Wills AW13
4: Office AW13, Drykorn AW13
heritage knits are not merely a fad – they’ve been serving their purpose for generations, and, with their practical and aesthetic appeal, will continue to have a place in the modern man’s wardrobe. Like so many areas of classic design, the old adage rings true: if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
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Lucia Chappelle on the Womyn’s Music and Culture Boom of the 70s and 80s Born of the earth, Child of God Just one among the family – “Sister” Cris Williamson One of the worst things about living in interesting times is that most folks don’t want to hear about them until after you’re dead. That’s the fear I took into planning Women’s History Month activities this year. I’ve tried before to conjure the experience of the transformative years of the women’s music and culture boom in the 70s and 80s, and quite honestly, I’ve often gone home feeling a bit embarrassed, haunted by the blank stares of younger women who understand 26 EILE Magazine
that I mean well, but have no idea what I’m really talking about. So when a women’s spirituality group I’m involved with decided to honor the month with a classic feminist music sing-along, I couldn’t help wondering whether the effort would be worthwhile. And if it was worth it, how could the impact of women’s music then be communicated to the women of this brave new 21st Century world? Fortunately it is the 21st Century, and it turned out I didn’t have to ponder those questions alone. I went online and asked a list of old cronies/crones for their thoughts, and oh how the floodgates opened!
Several responses were pessimistic. Union organizer Ann Montague said that the context is missing – the rising tide of activism from Civil Rights to Stonewall. These movements have gained respect in documentaryland, but as Montague pointed out, when it comes to the women’s movement, “The big barrier is the re-writing of the second wave of feminism to trivialize it, and [it] just plain perpetrates myths.” Those myths are tough to beat. Long-time KPFK-Los Angeles radio host Ariana Manov is hopeful, but saw the huge problem: “How do we introduce younger women to the vibrant, juicy, intrepid, scared, and ‘passionate-about-everything-
ed Days of The Late Great State of Califia
willing-to-try-anything’ women who became ‘the second generation,’ instead of the dried up, rigid, doctrinaire, buzz-killing women they’ve been taught to believe we were?” There’s also a different consciousness in the air today. Veteran activist and West Coast Women’s Music and Comedy Festival producer Robin Tyler noted that, “Now, by ‘queer’ definitions, ‘lesbian’ and ‘woman’ have been removed from the vocabulary of our youth.” Do we have to – or should we even want to – ask them to regress and make them feel on some deep level what it was like when “it was not just that we were lesbian,” as “This Way Out’s” Pam Marshall said, “but that back then women were still second class and we even took a back seat to gay men”? Women’s music was the gateway to the new consciousness for many of us – more women are likely to mention the first record album they purchased than the first book or article they read. But by my life be I spirit And by my heart be I woman And by my eyes be I open And by my hands be I whole – “Testimony” Ferron A friend of mine had worked on a few committees and understood
women’s rights in principle, but she had her “Miracle Worker” moment when she heard: Do you hate yourself, lovable lady Can I be of help, beautiful woman Your silence is a wall between the two of us And my beautiful soul is weeping. – “Beautiful Soul” Margie Adam Yolanda Vierra Allen “wore those records out, playing them over and over again, humming those tunes everywhere I went. Womyn singing about other wommin was revolutionary ... Poets and musicians always lead and feed revolutions.” Montague added, “…no one trivializes the role of the songs of [the late] Pete Seeger or the importance of gospel songs in the struggle for liberation.” “Women’s music reflected who I had been (a very joyous, very wounded spirit),” Manov said, “and who I wanted to be when I grew up ... Women’s music brought me womyn-only spaces and the sheer physicality of singing and dancing and swaying together. … The music became the heartbeat of my life and the sound score for those of us committed to changing the world. Women’s music shape-shifted me and allowed me to feel, at times, transcendent. And like I mattered. Like we collectively mattered. It was tribal.”
Singing together isn’t just a fun thing to do. Music is a form of discourse beyond what words can accomplish, and group singing elevates endorphins, lowers stress and relieves anxiety. “It takes something incredibly intimate, a sound that begins inside you, shares it with a roomful of people and it comes back as something even more thrilling: harmony,” according to Stacy Horn in a TIME Magazine article last year. “It was like a bolt of lightning.” Ginny Berson was one of the original Olivia Records women. “I remember a time Meg Christian was performing in Boston, and when she came out on the stage she was literally knocked backwards by the energy of the women in the audience.” Claudia Vierra Allen was at the first Olivia concert in Oakland, California. “The place was packed. The musicians (Linda, Tret, Cris, Mary, etc.) were nervous and unorganized. But when they started to sing the whole place came alive. Everyone sang every word of the songs they knew. Smiling … laughing … crying. We had come from a time with no music, no communal singing, no one voice, to a time where this was possible. Although it was heavenly when we sang and EILE Magazine 27
transported me/us to the hope of what the future could bring -when it stopped the ever-present issues where even louder.”
was happening among real live feminist women rather than what was being assumed by the rest of the world about us.
Of course the shadows of those divisive issues never completely lifted – it wasn’t that kind of heaven. Music festivals were in Paula Schoenwether’s words, “like having our own planet,” and we did our best to create a new society.
“We insisted on women as engineers and sound mixers and lighting designers,” Olivia’s Berson recalled, “And so we helped create space for women to learn these skills, and to employ them if they already had them. We insisted on women musicians-not just singers, but drummers and bass players. We insisted on women as record producers. This was all pretty outrageous in the 1970’s, and we didn’t care. This was part of our message--we will control our music, our culture, our work, our lives.”
“I think of the Sacred safe space of womyn’s music festivals where we loved the music, the land, ourselves and each other,” MCC clergyperson Colleen Darraugh said. “We celebrated and learned to celebrate all body types, cultures, races, orientations and spiritual expressions. In those wombs of womyn’s energy we were born again.” From the down and dirty diplomacy of the inter-group social struggles to the wiring and carpentry, the women’s music scene was an independent, do-ityourself enterprise. That’s probably another reason why it’s missing from the commercial music-dominated retrospectives of the time, and why – unlike the infamous “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar” -- it had a character that reflected what
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worth remembering, in case you ever need to have a revolution. Dare to struggle, Dare to win, You may not pass This way again. – “Dare to Struggle” Margie Adam
The mythical island of Califia, from which California supposedly gets its name, was ruled by a tribe of Black Amazonian warrior women. A poster of Queen Calafia depicted as a foremother of Southern California lesbians graced the wall of our dearly departed Sisterhood Bookstore. Feminist women’s music was more than a genre; it created a real island of Califia – a cultural psycho-spiritual island that can’t be plotted on any map, a state of mind that for many of us is “back home,” the birthplace of the liberated (as much as they are) lives we live today. It’s an island whose art and customs are well
Lucia Chappelle is the Associate Producer of “This Way Out” and Social Justice Minister at Founders Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles
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.
You Can Own Part Of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s First LGBT Active Holiday/ Retirement Village In France! The Villages Group specializes in properties for those seeking holiday/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.
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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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Interview | Such Good People
Are Such Good People
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Interview | Such Good People David Michael Barrett and Stewart Wade have had a lot of fun during the filming of Such Good People, and they’re even more excited to think that it’s almost ready for public viewing. Both Barret and Wade are two thirds of a creative trio – the third being David Avallone – who have worked hard and put their energies together for this project. With Avallone as editor, Barrett as screenwriter, Wade as director, and all three being also producers, the team are then joined by a fantastic cast. Michael Urie (of Ugly Betty fame) and Randy Harrison (who many will know from the American adaptation of Queer as Folk) play the central characters, but many other stars grace the screen in this film, such as Anna Ortiz (Ugly Betty), Lance Bass (‘N Sync) Drew Dreoge, and Scott Wolf (Party of Five). As David and Stewart chat to
me from Los Angeles, they are upbeat and friendly. For as much as they have achieved, there’s still a great approachability to them, and they don’t take themselves too seriously. This becomes clear as Barrett jokingly explains that Such Good People is: “…all about greed and jealousy, and all those typically American characteristics!” “It’s about a gay couple,” Barrett continues, “who are housesitting for wealthy friends, and they discover a secret room with a million dollars in it, and then their friends unfortunately die while they’re out of the country, and this gay couple take it upon themselves to make sure the right thing is done with the money. They get into a whole bunch of trouble […] it’s really a lot of fun.” Stewart Wade’s voice is full of pride in his cast, as he acknowledges Urie’s comedic skills and Harrison’s agility as an actor. He feels that it’s good that
the two are on different levels, yet by no means in a discordant way. Instead, the actors’ different styles complement each other, creating a quirky and adorable chemistry on screen. “Anyone who’s seen Michael Urie knows that he’s got amazing comic timing, and he was actually the first person we thought of for this movie because of that”, Stewart explains. “The surprise to me was I always loved Randy Harrison as a dramatic actor, and it’s always a bit different when someone does comedy, it’s a whole different animal”. “Michael knew him and had been wanting to work with him, and it worked out so well. Randy also has this amazing comic timing. They have very different energies, which is good – you don’t want them to be on the same level – but they’re both just drop dead funny and they had amazing chemistry together.”
L-R: Lance Bass, Michael Urie and Randy Harrison
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Interview | Such Good People Producing Such Good People was a “remarkable meeting of worldwide enthusiasm, social media, and technology”, as the producers explain. Not long after creating the movie’s Facebook and Twitter pages, the team quickly discovered that the combination of the cast and the story they wanted to tell created a high level of interest and excitement. The enthusiasm drove their production Kickstarter campaign to meet their financing goal within the first two weeks, leading them to then finding traditional equity investors, and running an equally successful post-production campaign on Indiegogo. Despite not even being released yet, the movie’s fan base continues to grow, with over 30,000 followers already, across multiple social media platforms. “One of the challenging things about making movies,” David quips, “is that they take forever! It was, y’know, starting with writing the script, and it was when
Stewart and our other producer, David Aballone, got together and started to make the film, we very slowly started the whole process of first doing rewrites of thr script, and then figuring out who the best cast was, then we went about raising the money, and then we shot the film last summer  and now just this week, we’re finishing the film.” “It’s so exciting,” Stewart adds. “We are so proud of the movie and so eager to see people’s response”. Both David and Stewart expect the film to be out in the United States by this spring, which would make it available for the various LGBT film festivals in both America and Europe soon afterwards. It seems already that the film is bound for success, as both the cast and filmmakers really are such good people.
Scott Wolf as Jake, with Kate Reinders as Chloe
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Michael Urie as Richard
News | New York
Irish/LGBTQ Coalition Slams NYPD Commissioner’s Decision to Join St. Patrick’s Day Parade “NYPD Commissioner Bratton’s announcement that he will march in the homophobic St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue is a slap in the face to LGBTQ people and all New Yorkers,” said JF Mulligan of Irish Queers. “The Commissioner’s one-word dismissal of a boiling civil rights issue is insulting and deliberately provocative. Bratton should be joining the Mayor and the City Council in refusing to endorse the insistent bigotry of the parade organizing committee.” A coalition of more than 200 groups and individuals concerned with LGBTQ rights and biased policing had written to NYPD Commissioner Bratton and FDNY Commissioner Cassano last week, outlining their obligation to withdraw their official endorsement from biased events. Neither Commissioner responded. (See letter here.) “This parade was recast as a
‘private, religious procession’ for the sole purpose of circumventing anti-discrimination law. How are we supposed to watch thousands of cops march in an exclusionary, religious-right parade and then somehow trust them with our safety?” said Mulligan. “Commissioner Bratton’s refusal even to acknowledge the LGBTQ community’s concern is a glaring confirmation that the NYPD is not accessible to us. Commissioner Bratton’s history in NYC inspires fear, not confidence, in communities who have been the targets of NYPD bias. His casual disregard translates directly to homophobia in the precincts,” said Jennifer Flynn of Irish Queers. Early in February, the coalition petitioned Mayor de Blasio to pull uniformed City officials from the parade. The Mayor has not agreed to do that, although the request prompted the Mayor’s announcement that he would not attend the parade himself.
“The Mayor’s boycott of the parade is undermined by Commissioner Bratton’s declaration of his intention to march. The Mayor has to take action to stand the City in opposition to this parade. If police in Russia marched in an anti-gay parade, it would be front page news here,” said Flynn. “The NYPD and FDNY’s participation in the parade is hugely questionable under the law – and the fact that the Mayor doesn’t seem concerned with remedying this problem is as disturbing legally as it is morally and politically,” said civil rights attorney Alan Levine in an earlier statement. Government ministers in Ireland are also supporting the boycott and calling on Ireland’s conservative prime minister to stay away. LGBTQ organizations in Ireland have called on the Irish government and Gardaí (police) to shun the parade and reject its skewed portrayal of Irish culture. EILE Magazine 47
Travel | LGBT Breaks
Snow Bunny Slopes Jenny Butler looks at top LGBT winter sport getaways The daffodils are almost blooming, we’ve seen a few blue skies in recent days and the scent of H&M’s new Spring/Summer collection is already permeating the air. Spring is slowly but surely awakening in Ireland, to banish the winter blues and warm our frosty little hearts; but before you put your winter woolies away, there is still some time for snowbunnies to hop on a plane, and revel in some of the many Winter Pride and Ski/Snowboarding events which continue well into the summer months. I’ve chosen a few upcoming events that just might be your perfect presummer vacation! First of all, you don’t have to 36 EILE Magazine
travel far to experience the best ski and snowboarding events. The SWING Gay Ski Holiday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland runs from March 2nd-9th and is always a very popular vacation choice. European Gay Ski Week (March 22nd-29th) in the French Alps attracts holiday-makers from all over the world, and coincides with European Snow Pride in d’Isere, which is also in France, so you could attend both festivals. Scandinavian Ski Pride in Norway runs from March 13th-16th and makes for another fantastic vacation choice. For those of you who have a bit more to spend, Jasper Gay
Ski Weekend and Jasper Pride Weekend in British Columbia, Canada, takes place from March 21st-23rd. This trip would also allow you the chance to visit the beautiful city of Vancouver, which is approximately an 8 hour drive from Jasper. Hire a car and marvel at the picturesque surroundings along the journey, or better yet, travel to Vancouver by train so you can concentrate on the gorgeous scenery en-route! Also in late-March, from the 25th-30th, Steamboat Springs Gay Snowboard and Ski Week / OutBoard Steamboat Springs takes place in Colorado in the US. OutBoard was set up 15 years ago and now boasts over 30,000
Travel | LGBT Breaks members, making it the largest gay and lesbian snowboarding and skiing organisation in the world! For those of you who just don’t want to let go of winter, there are two more events that you’ll be delighted to learn about! The first is the Frosty Fruits Gay Ski Trip and Australia Gay Ski Week, from August 21st-26th, at the Hotham Alpine Resort in Australia. The resort is Australia’s highest Alpine village, and even has its very own airport! From the ‘Alpine chic’ welcome party dress-code, to the ‘Christmas in August’ dinner event, this vacation will make even the most reluctant bear come out of hibernation!
“…this vacation will make even the most reluctant bear come out of hibernation!”
Last, but most definitely not least, is the Queenstown Gay Ski Week in New Zealand, which runs from August 30th-September 6th. Events range from bingo and karaoke nights and a cabaret dinner evening, to a concert by the very talented Maori singer/songwriter, Anika Moa, and a circusthemed closing party. What more could you want?! So, there you have it; plenty of choice for your next holiday, and an excuse to snap up some new winter clothes in the last of the sales! Summer? Bah, humbug!
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My Choice for The Best Fictional LGBT Characters – Ever! by Lisa Reynolds
Let’s be one hundred and ten per cent honest: the best fictional characters are LGBT characters, whether it is characters in novels, TV shows, films, musicals or plays. When someone asks me to list my favourite characters, the majority of them are gay. So I decided to compile a list of the best LGBT characters across all these fields who make me laugh and cry. Sebastian Flyte – Brideshead Revisited
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Sebastian Flyte is the son of Lord and Lady Marchmain. He has brothers and sisters, including his older brother Lord “Bridey” Brideshead, his twin sister, Julia, and younger sister, Cordelia Flyte. The Marchmains are a really affluent Catholic family. Sebastian is sarcastic, funny, unique, eccentric, outstandingly handsome and utterly charming. As the story continues, he becomes more and more upset with the Catholic lifestyle, and constantly feeling Catholic guilt. This causes him to become an alcoholic, and he is exiled from the Flyte family. Charles Ryder is his love interest, and their relationship is really beautifully played by Anthony Andrews (as Sebastian) and Jeremy Irons (as Charles) in the TV series, and subsequently by Ben Whishaw (as Sebastian) and Matthew Goode (as Charles) in the later film version. However, their relationship doesn’t last, but Charles still goes to find Sebastian in the city of Casablanca, to tell him his mother is nearing death. Sebastian is living with an Aryan German who bullies him, even though he is really very ill. I like to think Charles did this because
he still loved Sebastian, as I’m an old romantic, but I’m not sure if that was what writer Evelyn Waugh intended by that part of the story. Sebastian is thought to have died in a monastery in Tunisia, from problems which arose from his alcoholism. Kurt Hummel – Glee
Created by Ryan Murphy and based on himself when he was younger, Kurt Hummel steals the show in every episode. The character, played by Chris Colfer, is out and proud, and has been massively inspirational to many young gay people around the world. Hummel is also hugely into both fashion and musical theatre, and has belted out musical numbers such as Defying Gravity,
LGBT Characters and For Good from Wicked, Mr. Cellophane from Chicago (which was Colfer’s audition song for the show) and Rose’s Turn from Gypsy. In season two, he considers moving schools after being bullied really badly by Karofsky(who we later find out in the same episode is gay too when he kisses a very shocked Kurt). He goes to see the Dalton Academy, where he meets the strikingly handsome Blaine Anderson, lead singer of the Academy’s very own Glee club - The Dalton Academy Warblers - on the stairs. Yes, Kurt stopping the best looking man passing is always a good idea. Subsequently, Blaine takes Kurt’s hand and shows him to the room where The Warblers practice. There he sings Teenage Dream by Katy Perry with The Warblers, as Kurt falls more and more in love. Though it takes Blaine some time to reciprocate his feelings, they do get together in the end, and between them create one of the most amazing TV couples with great chemistry. With a relationship of mainly ups, the young couple had a difficult time recently when Blaine cheated. However, things are on the up again, when Blaine proposes to Kurt in a very romantic proposal on the stairs where they met, and Kurt says yes.
You can’t really include Kurt and not Blaine. They’re such a duo that it wouldn’t seem right to do so. Blaine Anderson is the posh, preppy and charming lead singer of The Dalton Academy Warblers, who comes into Kurt’s life and sweeps him off his feet. Played by Darren Criss, Blaine becomes Kurt’s friend and mentor, before they get together. Speaking about his character, Criss said: “This is the first time I’d really seen an out student that was so young and innocent and really struggling with the big ordeal that it is to be an out student at such an early age. When other shows present the gay character thing, it’s typically been in much more adult situations, like gay men living in New York, or closeted men who are married and struggling with that ordeal, or having sex on the subway, but never really the core of the journey of defining your sexuality. Blaine offers a beautiful counter to that and makes such a great addition to the manycolored palette that is Glee.” Kevin Walker – Brothers & Sisters
Blaine Anderson – Glee I remember being completely obsessed with Brothers & Sisters growing up, and I used to write fanfics about it, mainly about Kevin and Scotty. So many people try to write their characters as completely perfect, and what was always so great about lawyer Kevin Walker was that he wasn’t. He was sarcastic, which, in consequence, made him very
witty. Played brilliantly by Welsh actor Matthew Rhys, Walker and his on/off boyfriend, and eventual husband Scotty Wandell, played by the amazing Canadian actor Luke Macfarlane, became a standout couple because of their amazing onscreen chemistry. Love blossomed first when they met while Scotty was a key witness in a case Kevin was working on. Then, when Kevin’s sister Sarah invites Scotty to the pool party at their house, Kevin sets up a date with Scotty. The two lived together in Kevin’s loft, and then Kevin proposed to Scotty, getting down on one knee. They got married at the end of Season 2. In Season 4, the couple decide to have children, and they ask Scotty’s friend Michelle to be their surrogate. The second try works, but in the following season, we are told that Michelle had a miscarriage. Kevin realises that Scotty has cheated on him, and Kevin is having an extremely difficult time with his brother-inlaw Robert’s death. They put their plans to have children on hold, until they make-up and make the decision to adopt through the foster system. They then meet Olivia, who is nine, at an adoption event, and she practically chooses them. Eventually, they adopt her. Scotty then meets Michelle again, and they find out later that she has a child called Daniel, and realise that she lied about having a miscarriage. She finally drops Daniel off at Kevin’s brother Justin’s, ensuring that Kevin and Scotty are now a family of four. At first, Olivia doesn’t take the arrival of the new baby well, but in the end she comes to terms with it all.
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LGBT Characters Pavel Rebien – Raw
On our own Irish shores, Pavel Rebien in Raw, played by Czech actor Kryštof Hádek, stole our hearts, and then made us all cry with his sudden death, at the end of Season 4, in his fiancé Geoff’s arms. Set in a fictional Dublin restaurant called Raw, Pavel works as a waiter, and falls for head chef Geoff Mitchell, played by Australian actor, Damon Gameau. Pavel and Geoff go for a drink together, and Geoff asks Pavel back to his place, where Pavel tells him he is a virgin. He ends up losing his virginity to Geoff. They start a relationship, but Geoff wants their relationship to stay secret. Pavel doesn’t want to as he is not ashamed of being gay, and they argue but makeup in the end. Geoff then says he is leaving for London, but he ends up staying and kissing Pavel in front of everyone in the restuarant. When Pavel cheats on Geoff they break up, but remain friends. However, they get back together and Geoff proposes to Pavel. Sadly, the fall which Pavel has had results in his death in a very powerful and sad scene, where he dies in Geoff’s arms, on the same night that they became enagaged. The scene was incredibly well-acted by both actors. Basil Hallward – The Picture of Dorian Gray Poor old Basil Hallward met his end at the hands of the man he loved, the ruthless Dorian Gray. 40 EILE Magazine
He’s an idealist and a really good man who believes in the goodness of people. Sadly, in Dorian and Lord Henry Wotton, Basil is surrounded by poisonous people, but he battles on to have faith in the world and in redemption. Hallward, a character from Oscar Wilde’s only published novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and played by Ben Chapman in the film version (alongside Ben Barnes as Dorian Gray and Colin Firth as Lord Henry Wotton) believes in love, truth and beauty, but this makes him think that because Dorian is such a vision of beauty, he is automatically still full of love and truth inside, and he is ultimately killed by Gray.
Santana Lopez, played by Naya Rivera, goes from denial of her sexuality to falling for Brittany, played by Heather Morris. They shared some ups and downs, but eventually broke up and remained friends. Rivera has blasted out many brilliant songs, including Girl on Fire, Nutbush City Limits and Smooth Criminal. Lopez is now dating Dani, played by Demi Lovato. Patrick “Kitten” Braden -
Captain Jack Harkness – Torchwood, Doctor Who Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, has an early life which is somewhat of an enigma. His name isn’t real. What we do know is that he was born in the 51st century, and lived in the Boeshane Peninsula, which is a region or a planet, but nobody is sure. His father was Franklin, and his younger brother was Gray. Jack shows ruthless resolve and works hard with his colleagues for the greater good. One of those colleagues is his soulmate Ianto Jones, played by Gareth David-Lloyd. In the third season, Jones dies in Harkness’ arms while Harkness assures him he won’t forget him. Harkness then gives him a goodbye kiss. It is a heartbreaking scene, which is breathtakingly acted by both actors. Santana Lopez - Glee
Cillian Murphy as Kitten in Breakfast on Pluto Breakfast on Pluto Breakfast on Pluto was written and directed by Neil Jordan, and based on the novel of the same name by Patrick McCabe. It stars Cillian Murphy, and tells the story of Patrick “Kitten” Braden, as she goes in search of her mother in London, when she finds out that her biological father is the local priest, played by Liam Neeson. It is a tale of her search for her mother, and for the love she feels is missing from her life. She has a brief romance with Billy Hatchett, played by Gavin Friday, along the way, and stars in Bertie Vaughan’s magic act, Bertie being played by Stephen Rea. While searching for her mother, she ultimately finds a bond with her father.
Music | Sochi
Openly Bisexual Singer Gala Performs at Sochi After Open Letter of Support for Russian LGBT Community Italian-born singer Gala, who performed at the Medals Ceremony at the end of the Sochi Winter Olympics, had previously written an open letter about her reaction to being invited to perform at the games, in light of her being bisexual, and of Russia’s controversial anti-gay laws. Gala, whose motivation to go was to share her music, had written: “The discriminatory statements that emerged out of Russia against homosexuality have angered and saddened me indescribably. As we know, the true spirit of the Olympics is to celebrate athletes from all over the world who have trained for the duration of their lives to reach this amazing achievement.
I have always identified with this athletic spirit - to overcome obstacles by dreaming a powerful dream with discipline, focus, willpower and tenacity.” The response against the divisive message from Russia has been varied: Some have chosen to boycott the event. This can be a powerful method to affirm one’s firm stance, but I feel that this approach doesn’t really obtain the desire[d] result which is to show someone who is closedminded that a different reality is possible. Others, openly gay athletes: Americans, Finnish, Dutch, Canadian, Australian, and Slovenian teams, have decided to send their message and to
inspire with their presence and participation at the games. What these athletes have done is demonstrated that being there can be one of the most powerful means of opposition - that when we are free to be ourselves, we empower others to do the same. I stand firm with you, my beautiful LGBTQ sisters and brothers! Yours Always, Gala. On her Facebook page afterwards, Gala expressed her delight at being on stage at Sochi. The full text of Gala’s open letter is available here. – MKB EILE Magazine 41
Reviews | Frances Winston
the book thief The Book Thief Directed by: Brian Percival Starring: Emily Watson, Geoffrey Rush, Sophie Nélisse, Nico Liersch, Ben Schnetzer I loved the Marcus Zusack novel on which this movie is based, so in a “the book is always better than the movie” kind of way, I fully expected to be disappointed by this. However, while they have changed some elements for this screen adaptation, they do try to remain true to the ethos of the book. This is the family-friendly version of the tale, and it’s only the sight of a soldier or a mention of bombs that reminds you of the era this film inhabits. Narrated by Death, we first meet Liesel (Nélisse) on a train with her mother and brother. Her brother dies in transit, and she finds a book at the graveside which she keeps to remind her of him. Sent to live with foster-parents, Hans and Rosa (Rush and Watson) because her mother is in danger, she starts at a new school where it is quickly discovered that she can’t read. When Hans finds her hiding the book she found, he 42 EILE Magazine
uses it to teach her to read, and she develops a huge love of books. She goes to great lengths to feed this passion, risking her life by taking a book off a bonfire of literature burnt by the Nazis, and sneaking into the Mayor’s house to borrow books. When Hans and Rosa harbour a Jew called Max (Schnetzer) she reads to him to try and help him through illness. To thank her, he makes her a journal which becomes one of her most prized possessions. Hiding the secret of the man living in their basement becomes more and more difficult though, and as war wages on, they are all forced to make difficult decisions in order to survive. But war is indiscriminate in its victims, and despite their efforts, death is always only a heartbeat away. This plays it incredibly safe with the setting. The real horrors of Nazi Germany are never discussed, and it makes no comment on the War either way. This is a shame because films like this can serve to educate as well as entertain, and with a 12 certificate, this could have done a lot to engage children in the subject matter. Also,
there is not much in the way of explanation served up for younger viewers, as to what is actually going on with the book burning and enforcement of Nazi rule. Nélisse is wonderfully cast as Liesel, bringing just the right level of naïveté mixed with steely determination to the role. Rush and Watson do a good job as her foster-parents although you don’t always believe that this is a couple that has been through a lot, and their scenes with Nélisse are far better than their scenes together. On the whole this is a lovely tale, beautifully shot and told in a simple and engaging way. Unfortunately, the story demands a bit more punch. It is moving and heart-warming, but could be a much stronger film had they not shied away so much from utilising the era to its fullest. It has some wonderful moments, but if you really want to get a true sense of this story, I implore you to read the book, and I defy you not to shed a tear at the end.
In cinemas now
Reviews | Frances Winston
Frances Winston on Movies Ride Along Directed by: Tim Story Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Tika Sumpter, Laurence Fishburne Think of every cop buddy movie you’ve ever seen and mash them together, and this would pretty much be the end result. Despite the presence of some great acting talent, this is more predictable and formulaic than the recipe for the three-minute egg. Hart follows in the footsteps of the likes of Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock by tackling this genre. He also shares a hyperactive energy with them, which is about the only thing that keeps the viewer engaged. He plays Ben, a security guard who aspires to join the police force like his potential future brother-in-law, James (Ice Cube).
However, James has never warmed to Ben, and on hearing that he wants to marry his sister, he invites him on a ride-along to give him an opportunity to show what he’s made of. However, although James plans to use the trip to ridicule Ben and convince him to change his plans, a real case that he has been working on for the past three years suddenly rears its head. As he tries to track down an elusive criminal called Omar, Ben thinks he has discovered some clues that will impress James, and get his blessing for Ben’s future plans. Ice Cube plays one tone throughout this – mean and deadpan - and while it initially works against Hart’s zeal, it quickly becomes boring, as does Hart’s over-the-top exuberance. The presence of Leguizamo and Fisburne gave me hope, but unfortunately, they do characters by numbers here. Given that they are both accomplished actors, this
speaks volumes about the quality of the script, which is just one clichéed gag after another. It’s all been done before, and done better. This will definitely give you a sense of déjà vu. It thinks it has a couple of clever twists but you can see them coming a mile away, and there is a ridiculous amount of telegraphing throughout. This will kill a couple of hours, but it’s like fast food that you devour, that leaves you hungry again an hour later. An untaxing watch, this has apparently done well enough Stateside to get a sequel commissioned. It is the sort of movie that doesn’t leave you with any strong feelings either way, and it’s pretty forgettable, but if you just want bubblegum for the brain then this will do the job. In cinemas now
Ride Along EILE Magazine 43
Comment | LGBT Politics
The Day The Dáil Stood Up For The LGBT Community Scott De Buitléir writes on a momentous occasion in Irish politics, observed from the unlikely place that is a Dublin gay bar Some pubs play music to entertain their customers, while many others put sports games on the television in the corner. On a Thursday evening in Pantibar on Dublin’s Capel Street, however, the sound coming from the speakers was of a parliamentary discussion. While TDs spoke about homophobia in Ireland – some speaking with incredible passion on the topic -many sat in Rory O’Neill’s establishment listening intently. As I arrived into the bar, mid-discussion, no-one spoke at all. Even the bar manager spoke softly when he came to take my order.
Jerry Buttimer TD
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In an absent-minded force of habit I asked for a glass of Coke, to which he (still softly) replied that they didn’t have any CocaCola, so I asked for an orange juice instead. It was only then that the penny dropped, and I asked the manager to confirm my guess; Pantibar has stopped serving Coca-Cola in protest at their sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics. I smiled proudly at their decision, and took a sip of the Irish-made soft drink instead. For as long as the Dáil discussion continued to be broadcast throughout Pantibar, the venue’s patrons remained silent. We listened to every passionate word that came from John Lyons’ mouth: “There’s two people, I think, in [the Dáil] at the moment who know what homophobia feels like.
Senator Averil Power
Who know what it feels like to be called a queer, to be called a fag… Only recently, I walked from my own house around to the [shop] where a bunch of teenagers called me ‘gay’, or some other name they call us. Y’know, I thought I was living in a society where this stuff wasn’t acceptable anymore…” The words resonated with everyone who sat in the bar that evening. It was a rare moment; not just because we were listening to a parliamentary speech in a bar, but because the personal experiences of a politician were similar to what we had all felt at one point. “…when people challenge people on these issues, and that’s what Rory O’Neill did on the Saturday Night Show, he called it what is is: When it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it
John Lyons TD
Canada | Rob Ford
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Snubs Pride Parade must be a duck!” It was, by far, the most passionate I had ever heard Lyons speak about any topic, let alone one so personal. He wasn’t on his own, though. Fine Gael’s Jerry Buttimer also spoke eloquently and passionately: “I speak here, not just as a gay person, but a member of society who wants to be treated equally. I’ve been beaten, spat, chased, harassed and mocked, like Deputy Lyons, because of who I am. […] I will not, a Cheann Comhairle, in a tolerant, respectful debate, allow people who spout hatred and intolerance to be left go unchecked.” Never had I been so proud of, and grateful for, this current Oireachtas Éireann; of TDs John Lyons and Jerry Buttimer, of Clare Daly and Catherine Murphy, and of Seanadóirí David Norris and Averil Power. It has been a long road that the LGBT community have travelled towards equality in Ireland, and while we have not achieved it just yet, yesterday’s events proved that we have many friends who roam the halls of Leinster House, and even a few in Áras an Uachtaráin. That was the day the Dáil stood up for our community, and that is a moment which should be noted as another turning point in our history. Where we go from here can only be positive.
Rob Ford, the Mayor of Toronto, has publicly admitted that he has no intention of attending the Canadian city’s Pride festival, having avoided them in the past also. The Toronto Star reported that during a candidates’ forum ahead of the city’s mayoral elections, Rob Ford admitted that he will not be attending the World Pride festival, which take place in Toronto later this year. “I’m not going to go to the Pride parade,” Ford announced during the event. “I’ve never gone to a Pride parade. So I’m not going to change the way I am.” When questioned on the reasons why the Mayor would not be appearing at the festival, Ford merely repeated his answer, adding that he had never attended previous Toronto Pride festivals, and has no intention of attending future Pride events.
According to The Toronto Star: Ford is a social conservative who opposes same-sex marriage and who has made several controversial comments about gay and transgender people. But he said every previous year of his mayoralty that he was only missing the popular parade because it conflicts with his tradition of visiting a family cottage over Canada Day weekend. Meanwhile, mayor candidate David Soknacki, a businessman and former councillor, took the opportunity at the same event to say that he would gladly attend Toronto Pride if elected mayor of the city. Soknacki also acknowledged that the LGBT festival “has the support of not only millions of residents but also brings in such a large draw.”
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USA | Politics
News | Arizona
Arizona Governor Vetoes Discriminatory Bill
(eile.ie / February 27)
and negative consequences.”
The Governor of Arizona has vetoed a highly controversial bill, passed by the State legislature, which would have allowed businesses to refuse service to LGBT people for religious reasons.
“After weighing all of the arguments,” Governor Brewer continued, “I have vetoed Senate Bill 1062.”
Governor Jan Brewer held a press conference at 5:45pm local time yesterday evening (12.45am Irish time) where she announced and explained her decision on whether or not to sign Senate Bill 1062 into law; “I took the necessary time to make the right decision,” Brewer explained to the media. “I met or spoke with my attorneys, lawmakers and citizens, supporting and opposing this legislation. As Governor, I have asked questions and I have listened. […] The Bill is broadly worded, and could result in unintended
Following the announcement of her decision, Governor Brewer addressed those who supported SB 1062, saying that while perceptions of marriage and the family were changing, this bill has the potential to do more harm than it had been intended to solve. During her statement, Governor Brewer subtly criticised the State legislature in their actions, hinting that while government action on the economy or the child welfare system needs to be addressed, SB 1062 was instead the first bill to reach her desk this year. The decision has been celebrated by the LGBT community and their supporters across Arizona and
the wider U.S.. The decision was also warmly welcomed by Arizona’s Democrat representatives, none of which voted in favour of the bill. Senate Bill 1062, which passed in Arizona’s House of Representatives by 33 votes to 27, was sponsored by Yarbrough, Barto, and Worsley. It has been widely criticised across the United States for potentially creating a new atmosphere of open discrimination and possibly segregation against the LGBT community in the state. Chad Campbell, a Democratic Representative in Arizona, told CNN news that “if we were having this conversation in regard to African Americans or women, there would be outrage across the country about this.“ “This bill is targeted at the gay community,” Campbell continued, “and far right views this as okay.”
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EU | Discrimination
European Parliament Adopts Report Against Homophobia & LGBT Discrimination Shane Heneghan
reports from Brussels on MEP Ulrike Lunacekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Report Against Homophobia, adopted today by the European Parliament Today, the European Parliament adopted a report outlining a future roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on the basis of sexual and gender orientation. 48 EILE Magazine
The report, authored by Austrian Green party MEP Ulrike Lunacek, calls on the EU to respect its treaty obligations to combat discrimination in these areas and urges the Union to be conscious of this in all of its activities. Right wing campaigners against the proposal have cited this particular part of the proposal as an effective veto for the LGBTI lobby on legislation and have claimed that this would introduce a dangerous precedent of special rights for certain groups despite
previous measures for other marginalised sections of society such as the disabled and the Roma people passing without comparable arguments being made. Similarly, opponents also claim the report will encourage the Union to increase its powers at the expense of member states despite article five of the text expressly stating the opposite of this in recalling that the â&#x20AC;&#x153;policy must respect the competences of the European Union, of its
EU | Discrimination
agencies, and of Member States.” In a further display of either misinformation or outright ignorance, Far-right French leader Marine Le Pen appeared on French television referring to the report as a binding directive despite the fact that it is a nonbinding report. Ms Le Pen has been a member of the Parliament since 2004 and really should know better. The lobbying campaign against this report has been intense with MEPs reporting their inboxes being overloaded with spam from [supposedly] Christian groups including the LaManif Pour Tous, the organisation who last year organised mass rallies in France against President Francois Hollande’s gay marriage reform. British Conservative MEP Ashley Fox reported receiving 50,000 emails from these campaigners in five days- something he has described as both “impressive and irritating in equal measure”. Speaking in favour of the report last night, Socialist MEP for
Dublin Paul Murphy reminded the Parliament of the recent censorship scandal in Ireland. In pledging to back the report, he remarked that he had “been inundated with e-mails claiming that this report represents an attack on the freedom of speech because it condemns homophobia. This is deeply ironic, because in Ireland at the moment you have a real attack on the freedom of speech. The national broadcaster RTE has censored Rory O’Neill [ AKA Panti, Panti Bliss] for calling out homophobia.” The report is the tenth attempt by this Parliament to make such recommendations to the Commission. The focus now moves to the Commissioner with responsibility in this area, Hungarian Andor Lazlo who has largely welcomed the report and will be expected to make proposals in this regard in the near future.
socially conservative forces in next May’s European Parliament elections, it’s no exaggeration to say that this report may very well have been adopted in the nick of time. The vote comes just a few months after the Parliament’s controversial vote on the Estrella report on abortion rights which was narrowly defeated. It can now arguably be said that the Parliament is polarising in terms of social policy ahead of May’s elections. Shane Heneghan (In eile.ie / 4 February) [- See also Lunacek speak about her report, her computer being hacked, and the large amount of emails to her inbox]
With political analysts across Europe predicting the rise of more EILE Magazine 49
Opinion | Panti Bliss
Panti Bliss Turns The T Stephen Donnan writes from Belfast
on recent events involving Ireland’s most popular drag queen
I am not in possession of the same grace, gravitas or solemnity as Her Majesty, Panti Bliss, so I won’t try to convince you otherwise here. That being said, it is important for me, both personally, and on a broader scale, to continue to press home the message that Panti [AKA Rory O’Neill] has so effortlessly communicated, with humility and honesty, since the furore surrounding the controversy between RTÉ and the Iona Institute erupted. What is the message? In one tenminute or so speech, Panti spelled out why it is still hard to be LGBT in 21st Century Ireland. People forget that less than 35 years ago, people like Panti, myself and perhaps some of you reading this would have been unable to publicly admit our sexuality, 50 EILE Magazine
without fear of legal action against us. I am blessed to have grown up in an age where being LGBT is more readily acceptable, and the progress for equal rights continues in places like the UK, the USA, Europe, and even here at home. However, legislation alone cannot change societal attitudes. For a long time, I understood that until we were able to confront the ugliness of homophobia in the media in our everyday lives, then this would be a slow-burning struggle. Just over two weeks ago, Panti Bliss changed that. It would be irresponsible and false of me to credit her with starting the march for equality for LGBT people in Ireland (North and South) as there are thousands of activists who have been championing basic fundamental rights for decades, and to whom we owe a great thanks and a heartfelt
gratitude. What Panti has done is important in that she has played homophobia at its own game. She has outed it. Panti has forced it out of the closet and into the scrutiny of the informed public. The payout to the ‘offended’ parties did nothing but add fuel to the ever-growing fire within the belly of a disaffected and marginalised community, and not just in Ireland either. With equality legislation for gay people in England, Scotand and Wales now on par with that of heterosexuals, it is impossible for this surge of empowerment to end at the borders of Great Britain, California or France. I must admit I don’t live in Dublin or even in the Republic of Ireland. I come from the great city of Belfast. However, there is no border to me in the sense that this fight is our fight, both
Opinion | Panti Bliss
communities as one and together. I have often believed that the LGBT communities in NI and the Republic don’t work together enough, and I still hold that belief, but what Rory O’Neill [Panti] has done is to galvanise the Irish LGBT communities behind one message:
“We are here, we are people, and we are equal.” I don’t believe that Panti expected her speech to go viral, but in doing so, it has enabled the Irish LGBT communities to push back at those who hold anti-gay views, and homophobic pundits in both the broadcast media and those who ask for our vote. I am not ashamed or frightened to say that I am proud of our community, and I am proud to say that I am an openly-gay man. The likes of
those in the anti-gay lobby work hard to make us feel ashamed, to ‘check ourselves’ at the pedestrian crossings as Panti so beautifully put it. We have worked too hard, and come too far, to allow homophobia to portray itself as the victim. Oppression is not always police raids on underground gay bars, or the denial of a marriage licence. It can be sneaky, and it will creep up on me, sometimes at the office when I cannot take part in a blood donation drive, or on the bus when I feel afraid to hold my partner’s hand, in case I offend someone. I hate myself for that too, and that makes me angry. We have much more work that still has to be done. Equal marriage has not yet reached this island. Gay men still cannot
We have worked too hard, and come too far, to allow homophobia to portray itself as the victim.
” donate blood, civil partners in the Republic cannot jointly adopt, nor can young LGBT people in NI be sure that their school will tackle homophobic bullying. But we are not afraid and we are not ashamed. The anti-gay lobby and their allies have no business trying to instil those feelings in us, and now the tide is turning.
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Trans | Amnesty Report
(eile.ie / 5 February) Amnesty International launched a groundbreaking report, titled The state decides who I am: lack of legal recognition for transgender people in Europe which documents human rights violations experienced by transgender people when they wish to change their legal gender. In highlighting these requirements, including psychiatric diagnosis, medical procedures and divorce, it underscores the plight of transgender people who are forced to choose which rights to give up in order to enjoy others.
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Launched in Dublin and Copenhagen simultaneously, the report stresses how procedures to obtain legal gender recognition violate fundamental human rights in Ireland, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Belgium and Germany. “TENI welcomes this new report by Amnesty International as it provides evidence of the human rights violations facing trans people in Europe,” said TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone. “This report clearly makes the case that legal gender recognition is a human right and is integral to safeguarding the dignity and privacy of trans people.” “Many transgender people in Europe have to overcome enormous difficulties in coming
to terms with their identity, and problems are often compounded by blatant state discrimination,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. “People have to make an odious decision. Either they allow themselves to be subjected to a raft of degrading steps and measures for the state or they are forced to continue to live with a gender based on the sex they were assigned at birth – even if that contradicts their appearance and identity.” Consequences of Not Being Recognised The report examined and documented how the lack of legal recognition in Ireland negatively impacts the daily lives of transgender people.
Trans* | Amnesty Report
New Report Documents Discrimination Faced by Transgender People in Europe – TENI “The lack of legal recognition is a major issue for Irish trans people. When there are discrepancies in our legal documents, we are outed against our will and left vulnerable to discrimination, harassment and even violence. We are denied the basic right to respect for our private and family lives and this urgently needs to be addressed,” said TENI Executive Administrator Ben Power at today’s launch in Dublin. Also speaking at the Dublin launch was Catherine Cross, mother of a transgender son and member of TransParenCI. “Gender recognition legislation has the capacity to enhance and make a real difference in the life of my son. It will allow him to participate in society feeling valued and recognised for who he really is. It will allow him the dignity of entering adulthood as simply male instead of constantly explaining his Trans* status. Transgender is part of who he is but not what defines him.”
TENI Chair Sara R. Phillips joined Amnesty International in Denmark for the international launch of the report. Ms. Phillips raised the issue of the proposed requirement that trans people would need to be single, meaning that married trans people may be forced to get divorced before they can be legally recognised. “In the Irish constitution, article no 41.3 says the state pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of marriage, on which the family is founded, and protect it against attack. How does it propose to defend it against its own attack? What about families of the transgender community, should they not be defended?” Progressing Rights-based Gender Recognition Legislation Amnesty International joins TENI and other civil society groups calling on the Irish Government to legislate for legal gender recognition without further delay.
The report calls on the Government of Ireland to “Ensure that the Gender Recognition Bill will not require transgender people to be single or to have undergone any specific health treatment to obtain legal gender recognition. Moreover, ensure that children will be given the possibility to obtain legal gender recognition taking into account their best interests and their evolving capacities.” “States must ensure that transgender people can obtain legal recognition of their gender through a quick, accessible and transparent procedure in accordance with the individual’s own sense of their gender identity. It should preserve their right to privacy and without imposing on them mandatory requirements that violate their human rights,” said Colm O’Gorman.
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Limerick | Equal Marriage
Limerick City Council Votes To Support Equal Marriage
Limerick City Council joined other local Irish authorities – north and south of the border – in passing a motion yesterday to support marriage equality in Ireland, ahead of the referendum on this issue in 2015. The motion to officially support same-sex marriage was tabled by Councillor Maurice Quinlivan of Sinn Féin, and was supported by Councillors Maria Byrne, Jim Long, Diarmuid Scully and Michael Hourigan, all of Fine Gael, as well as Tom Shortt and Joe Leddin of the Labour Party. Councillor Quinlivan told Irish
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media that the reasoning behind the motion was based on the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, which states that all of Ireland’s children are equal. “As an Irish Republican,” Quinlivan told the Limerick Leader, “I look to the 1916 Proclamation as the template for equality as it says ‘to cherish all the children of the nation equally’. Nowhere does it say we must treat gay children, black children or disabled children differently. This is why I’m proposing the motion.” According to local entertainment website, ilovelimerick.ie, cheering erupted from the public gallery in Limerick’s City Hall as members of the local LGBT community, including their supporters,
celebrated the council’s unanimous support. Limerick City Council now joins local councils such as Belfast City Council, Newry & Mourne District Council, Dún Laoghaire / Rathdown County Council, Dublin City Council and others in their official support of marriage equality across Ireland. While local authorities in Ireland are unable to legislate for marriage equality in their regions (as that is up to the Dublin and Stormont governments) the councils’ support is warmly welcomed by the island’s LGBT community. (In eile.ie / 25 February)
USA | Sochi
Chevrolet, AT&T and DeVry University Speak Out Against Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws (eile.ie / 10 February) Whereas the ten official sponsors of the Sochi 2014 games may not have the courage to speak out against the Russian antigay propaganda laws and openly support the LGBT community, many of its unofficial sponsors/ advertisers have shown the backbone to do so. Among those who have spoken out are: Chevrolet, Google, AT&T and DeVrys University. Chevrolet put out two ads which featured gay couples during US broadcast of the Sochi opening ceremony on Friday. While one ad showed a gay couple with a son and daughter among images of American families, the other ad showed a same-sex wedding ceremony among its images.
“While what it means to be
a family hasn’t changed, what it looks like has. This is the new us”, was the voiceover for the gay family ad, which was called “The New Us”. Google, not an official sponsor, timed the release of its new logo to tie in with the opening ceremony, and telecommunications company, AT&T, posted a blog on its site on 4th February condemning the Russian anti-gay laws. Part of the AT&T statement, titled “A Time For Pride & Equality” reads: The Olympic Games in Sochi also allow us to shine a light on a subject that’s important to all Americans: equality. As you may know, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community around the world is protesting a Russian anti-LGBT law that bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” To raise awareness of the issue, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has called on International
Olympic Committee (IOC) sponsors to take action and stand up for LGBT equality. AT&T is not an IOC sponsor, so we did not receive the HRC request. However, we are a longstanding sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), we support HRC’s principles and we stand against Russia’s anti-LGBT law. AT&T also stated that the Russian laws are harmful to LGBT people and their families, and harmful to diversity in society. DeVrys University’s spokesman, Ernie Gibble, also stated that DeVrys were very much in favour of equality for the LGBT community: “We are against Russia’s anti-LGBT law” he said, and also that they support any efforts to improve LGBT equality. – MBK
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Cooking with Dermie
Dermie’s Dishes Chocolate Mousse & Pistachio Shortbread Biscuits Dermot O’Sullivan of Gas Mark Seven treats you to this wonderful recipe for a Chocolate Mousse, and Pistachio Shortbread Biscuits to dip to your heart’s content! Dermie says: “A classic Chocolate Mousse is a sweet treat which everyone enjoys and is so simple to whip-up the night before, leaving you plenty of time to get on with other things. It’s a treat which works well after a cosy romantic dinner for two, a small stress-free dinner gathering for friends or even an indulgent midweek comforting treat watching your favourite movie.... I’ve included a very simple recipe for pistachio shortbread biscuits below too which keep well for up to a week in a Kilner jar. A classic recipe made up of chocolate, pistachios, sea salt and some freshly baked biscuits - now there’s a taste sensation.”
(Roughly Chopped) - Sprinkle Sea Salt to decorate Chocolate Mousse: 1. Bring a saucepan of water to a fast boil before turning down to a simmer and place a Pyrex bowl over the water ensuring it is not touching the water. Melt the chocolate in the Pyrex bowl completely and when melted allow to cool slightly before whisking in the egg yolks one by one until it becomes quick thick.
- 125g Milk Chocolate - 125g Dark Chocolate - 250ml Organic Cream - Pinch of Sea Salt - 6 Free Range Local Eggs (separated)
2. Whip the cream until it is softly whipped before gently folding in the chocolate mixture. In a spotlessly clean bowl whisk your egg whites until they form silky smooth stiff peaks and you can place your bowl over your head without any of the mixture dropping out. The egg whites will give air and a light texture to the mousse so it is important to ensure you are gently folding in the egg whites otherwise you will loose the light, airy consistency (try to use a glass Pyrex bowl when folding in the egg whites so you can see the bottom of the mixture).
For The Pistachio Shortbread: (Makes 18) - 150g Plain Flour - 100g Butter (Cubed) - 50g Caster Sugar - 75g Unshelled Pistachio Nuts
3. Pour the chocolate mousse mixture gently into six glasses and place in the fridge for a few hours or better still over night because the longer you leave the mousse in the fridge the thicker your mousse will be.
Ingredients: For the Chocolate Mousse:
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Pistachio Biscuits: 1. Sift the flour with the sugar into a large wide bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture comes together (alternatively, just place everything into a food processor and whizz). It will come together just give it time but don’t be tempted to add water or egg because it’s really not needed. 2. When the mixture comes together form into a disc shape, cover in a single layer of cling film and place in the fridge for 30 mins to firm (or in a freezer for 10 minutes if you’re in a hurry). 3. Preheat the oven to 180C or Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper before rolling the mixture in between two layers of cling film to a width of around half an inch. 4. Shape with a biscuit cutter, sprinkle pistachio nuts on top, a sprinkle of sea salt and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown in colour but keep a very close eye on them after eight minutes as they go from light to golden very quickly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray before moving to an airtight container until ready to serve. Recipe & Styling: Dermot O’Sullivan (Dermie) of Gas Mark Seven [Photo courtesy of Dermot O’Sullivan]
“…chocolate, pistachios, sea salt and some freshly baked biscuits - now there’s a taste sensation”
Health | Vegan & Vegetarian Diets
Supplements for Vegetarian & Vegan Lifestyles
For many reasons, such as health and ethics, both vegetarianism and veganism are becoming increasingly popular in Ireland and the UK. There are different types of vegetarianism and veganism, though most commonly, vegetarians do not eat meat (including fish, and poultry) and vegans do not eat anything that is animal sourced (meats, fish, poultry, dairy produce, eggs, honey etc.). As with any diet that limits whole food groups, some thought must go into deciding what foods to include in your diet to avoid unnecessary deficiencies, and there are a few nutrients that a vegetarian/vegan should give special thought to.
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Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cell production, and support of a healthy nervous system. A lack of B12 could potentially lead to nerve damage, increased risk of osteoporosis, a specific type of anaemia and decline of mental function (such as in dementia). B12 is usually found in animalsourced products such as meats, fish and poultry. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also found in eggs and dairy, so vegetarian individuals should have no problem reaching their quota. Vegan individuals are slightly more restricted, as their main food sources for this vitamin are yeast spreads, and fortified foods such as cereals and breads. I would always advocate that vegans supplement their diet with at least 10ug of vitamin B12 daily, as some studies have shown
vegan individuals to have a B12 insufficiency. Protein Protein certainly isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just for bodybuilders. Adequate protein is necessary for many functions in the body, including the condition of the skin and hair, as well as the repair and building of lean muscle. In fact, considering that protein is needed for building tissue, it would be easier to list what protein isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t needed for in our bodies! Unfortunately, no universally accepted figure exists to tell us how much protein a person needs every day. It really depends on your current bodyweight, and your physical activity levels. A non-athlete would require on average, 0.75g of protein per kg of body weight every day. Athletes may require more than this,
Health | Vegan & Vegetarian
Frankie Brogan writes about what’s needed for a healthy vegetarian/vegan lifestyle approximately 1.4g of protein per kg of bodyweight daily. The main dietary sources of protein are meat, poultry and fish - though there are a few high quality, non-meat sources of this vital nutrient. Vegetarian friendly protein sources include milk and some cheeses, as well as some whey protein powders (usually found in health stores). [Note: Whey powders and cheeses which have used calf rennet during processing are not vegetarian, neither are those coloured with cochineal (crushed beetles)]. Great vegan sources of protein include: 1 glass of soya milk (200ml) – 6g of protein 100g of tofu- 8g of protein 50g handful of peanuts- 12g of protein 2 tablespoons/30g of hemp seeds11g of protein 1 small tin of baked beans (205g)10g. (Beware of high salt content with some brands!) Calcium Calcium, essential for healthy teeth and bones, is also needed for proper nerve function, amongst other processes. Vegetarians, who consume dairy such as milk and cheese on a regular basis, will usually have no problem getting the calcium they need. Vegan individuals will find most of their calcium in kale, broccoli, fortified soya milks and oranges. If in doubt, supplementing with
calcium is a viable option. Opt for around 600mg daily, ideally in combination with Vitamin D for maximum absorption.
supermarkets and in health food shops. Aim for the ‘milled form’ as their omega-3 is more easily absorbed than whole seeds.
If you’d like more information, or are considering becoming vegetarian or vegan yourself, the Vegetarian Society of Ireland (http://vegetarian.ie/) and Vegan Society (http://www. vegansociety.com) are great resources, with recipes and advice.
Iron is a very important nutrient, and can be particularly difficult for vegetarian/vegan people to obtain. Deficiency can result in anaemia, which results in paleness and great fatigue. The most absorbable form of iron is known as ‘heme iron’ and found in meat/poultry. Sources of vegan/vegetarian iron (nonheme) include dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli, green salad leaves), dried fruit (i.e. apricots) and pulses (beans). Take with a small glass of fruit juice for the absorption enhancing vitamin c. Omega-3 Omega-3 are fatty acids from a family of good fats, known as polyunsaturates. Studies have shown that replacing some of the saturated fats in our diet (i.e. cakes, fried food) with omega-3 containing oils can generate antiinflammatory effects, which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems (such as high blood pressure, strokes etc.) and ease arthritic pain. Some great sources of vegetarian/ vegan friendly omega-3 are rapeseed oil and hemp, chia and flax seeds. Flaxseeds (aka Linseeds) can be found in
Frankie Brogan is a qualifed nutritionist, with a BSc in Food & Nutrition from Queen’s University College Belfast. He is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition at the Univeristy of Ulster. You can keep up to date with him by visiting Frank Nutrition. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and you should always seek professional advice before engaging in any physical activity or change to your diet. EILE Magazine 59
Health | Dr Shay
Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) This month, Dr Shay Keating explains what Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) is, and the treatment for this illness, which can affect both men and women. Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is caused by certain strains of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. In industrialised countries it is a rare disease but is endemic in parts of Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. In the last 5 years however there have been documented cases of LGV in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Europe, with no known links to endemic countries. The majority are known to be HIV positive and many had another STI (eg gonorrhoea) or hepatitis C at the time of infection. The clinical course of LGV is divided into three stages. Primary stage After an incubation period of 330 days, a small painless papule or pustule which may ulcerate appears at the site where the bacterium passed through the skin, usually the foreskin or glans of the penis in men, the vulva, vaginal wall or occasionally the cervix in women. Involvement in areas outside the genitals has been reported such as in the oral cavity. This stage may pass unnoticed and resolves without treatment. Secondary stage. The secondary stage occurs some weeks after the primary 60 EILE Magazine
lesion and involves the inguinal and femoral glands in the groin in men, the anus or rectum in women and MSM. The classical appearance of swollen inguinal and femoral glands gives rise to the ‘groove sign’ where both sets of glands are swollen and have a groove in between them. Though considered pathognomonic (a unique identifier) of LGV it only occurs in 15-20% of cases. The swollen glands are usually firm but may ulcerate and discharge Involvement of the anus or rectum predominantly in women and MSM has been described. Patients present with rectal pain often accompanied by bleeding with fever, chills and weight loss. Inoculation outside the genitals may also occur resulting in swollen glands, for example in the neck following oral sex. Eye involvement can give rise to conjunctivitis. Tertiary stage Chronic untreated LGV can result in scarring of the eyes and genital tract and lymphatic obstruction leading to elephantitis of the genitals. Rectal involvement can cause stricture formation in the anorectal area. Diagnosis and management Diagnosis of LGV is currently
by detection of the bacterium’ s genetic material (DNA) in samples obtained from the ulcer base or from rectal tissue, lymph nodes or from swabs of the rectum in MSM and women exposed rectally. A first-catch urine sample may also be used when lymphadenopathy is present and LGV is suspected. Patients should be advised to avoid unprotected sexual intercourse until they and their partner(s) have completed treatment and follow up. They should be screened for other causes of genital ulceration such as syphilis, herpes simples, chancroid and graunuloma inguinale (donovanosis). They should have a full STI check including HIV and hepatitis C, both of which have been associated with outbreaks of LGV in Europe. A lymph node biopsy may be indicated to rule out a lymphoma. Treatment is with oral antibiotics, commonly doxycycline, tetracycline or erythromycin for 21 days in uncomplicated cases. Persons who have had sexual contact with a patient who has LGV, within 30 days before the onset of symptoms, should be tested and treated if necessary. They should receive treatment based on the probability that they have the infection before
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Dr Shay Keating Continued…
the results come back from the lab. Patients should be followed clinically until signs and symptoms have resolved completely.
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
For daily news and information for the LGBT community, visit
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Singer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sonali