Magazine Issue 04 – September 2013
Trans Issues to High Fashion
on his new play, The Immaculate Deception
Candid Conversation with a First-Class Lady
Dermie’s Desserts Inside: Liv Monaghan in Paris | California Dispatch | Film
EILE Magazine | Who’s Who
Contributors Lucia Chappelle Lucia is an Associate Producer with the Los Angeles-based LGBT radio show, This Way Out.
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.
Dr. Shay Keating Shay has his clinic at the Harold’s Cross Surgery in south Dublin and is an associate specialist in Genitourinary Medicine at St. James’ Hospital, Dublin.
Dermie O’Sullivan Dermie is a Ballymaloe-trained home cook from Cork, whose food blog is a treasure of homely, delicious and seasonal recipes.
Gareth Russell Gareth is a native of Belfast and studied History at the University of Oxford. His first non-fiction book, a history of the British monarchy, is due out later this year.
Frances Winston Frances Winston has contributed to publications such as The Irish Independent and Irish Tatler and is a regular contributor to The Daily Update.
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EILE Magazine | Welcome
Highlights September 2013 First of Her Kind – P.8 Rebecca De Havalland on hitting rockbottom, renewal and life as Ireland’s first transsexual.
Summer Berry Cake – P.50 Dermie O’Sullivan shares this delicious dessert recipe
Volume 1, Issue 04 Editor-in-Chief: Scott De Buitléir Features Editor: MKB Writers: Kristine Allen, MKB, Lucia Chappelle, Martin J. Frankson, Piotr Gawlik, Shay Keating, Dermie O’Sullivan, Gareth Russell, Conleth Teevan, Frances Winston Illustrator: Ciara Kenny
California Dispatch – P.18 Lucia Chappelle writes from Los Angeles on what is going on in Russia
Interview: Liv Monaghan – P.26 EILE chats with the Paris-based Irish fashion designer
Cover Photographer: Shane McCarthy Cover Image: Rebecca De Havalland by Shane McCarthy Special Thanks to MKB for all her hard work, dedication and support. Web: http://eile.ie Contact: email@example.com Twitter: @EileMagazine Facebook: http://fb.com/eilemagazine Note: All opinions expressed in this issue are the writers’ own.
Blake & Cameron – P.40 Gareth Russell writes about bringing characters to life in Belfast, Derry and County Down.
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EILE Magazine | Editor’s Letter
LGBT News Round-Up
Rebecca De Havalland
September? Already? Scott De Buitléir
14 - Frances on Film 18 -
21 - A Polish Perspective 22 - Gay Soap Characters 25 -
“I’m Alright Jack”
Autumn at the MAC
Summer Berry Cake
Welcome to the September digital issue of EILE Magazine! Since launching in April of this year, EILE has grown from strength to strength, with the hard work, dedication and goodwill of our contributors in Dublin as well as Belfast, Cork and Los Angeles. In our last month’s edition, we covered many of the protests that were taking place against Russia’s anti-gay legislation, with demonstations in Stockholm, Amsterdam, Dublin and other cities across Europe and the US. Sadly, the situation has not calmed down, so in this issue, we have contributions from people who have decided to take a look at Russia’s relationship with its LGBT community. Our September cover girl is none other than Irish trans model and businesswoman, Rebecca De Havalland. My interview with the wonderful Rebecca is a heartwrenching one that I will not forget, and you cannot miss. As this magazine continues to develop and grow, we are not only grateful to you for taking the time to have a look at EILE, but for letting us know what you think. Don’t forget that you can always get in touch with us by tweeting @EILEMagazine, visiting our Facebook page or e-mailing us directly; eilemagazine@outlook. com. With that in mind, take a look through this September issue, and I hope you like what you find! – SDB
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Sport | Australian Rugby
Australian Rugby Union To Tackle Homophobia Australia Rugby Union have publicly stated that they are committed to fighting against homophobia in rugby, and are preparing a new policy to this end. According to ARU CEO Bill Pulver: “We will prepare the new Inclusion Policy [...], working with the gay Rugby community and Federal and State Government agencies, including the Australian Sports Commission and Australian Human Rights Commission, to further reinforce Rugby’s intolerance to discrimination and homophobia. According to a statement recently published on the ARU’s website: the policy will act as an extension to the ARU’s existing Member Protection Policy and continues the organisation’s commitment to eliminate discrimination in Rugby across Australia. The ARU made a public statement at a Bingham Cup event in NSW Parliament House last month. LGBT rights activist David Pocock attended the event which was to start the run-up to the Bingham Cup, (called after Mark Bingham, who died in the September ll attacks in the US) which is coming to Australia for the first time. When it started in 2002 in San Francisco, it had only six teams playing, now it has 60 teams worldwide. Sydney has provided $50,000 to support the gay rugby tournament , and Lord Mayor Clover Moore stated:
“The Bingham Cup will inspire our young people to pursue their sporting dreams, regardless of their sexuality or gender. This is a big event for Sydney and I hope other government agencies and businesses will be encouraged to match our support.” Also at the event were “The Sydney Convicts”, Sydney’s gay rugby team, and the first openly gay rugby team in Australia, who helped to bring the Bingham Cup to the country. 40 teams from 17 countries will compete in Sydney, making it one of the biggest rugby events in the world. 2014 Bingham Cup Organising Committee President, and the founder of Sydney Convicts, Andrew Purchas, said it was good to see homophobia in sport now being recognised and acted on. He stated: “The Bingham Cup gives all the major football codes, and all sporting organisations in Australia, an opportunity to make a very meaningful change”. According to the Star Observer: The 15-a-side rugby union tournament is named after Mark Bingham, a former University of California Berkeley rugby star, who died in the September 11 attacks in the United States. Bingham was one of a group of passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 who bravely tried to stop the hijackers, resulting in the plane crash-landing in a field instead of reaching Washington DC, the intended target. At the time of his death, only six gay-inclusive rugby clubs existed worldwide – two of which were co-founded by Bingham – while today there are more than 50 clubs around the globe. ARU Chief Executive Bill Pulver also stated: “Developing this inclusion policy is important as it demonstrates that rugby is a game where you feel included and accepted, no matter who you are”. MKB
Gay Rugby Team, Sydney Convicts [Image: Ben Rushton]
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News | World
LGBT Monthly News Roun Thousands Turn Out for Irish March Up to 5,000 people gathered in Dublin’s city centre yesterday to call on the Irish Government to legislate for equal marriage immediately, as action group LGBT Noise held their fifth annual March for Marriage to the Department of Justice. The crowd of LGBT people and their supporters marched from Dublin’s City Hall towards the Department of Justice at Stephen’s Green, where speakers called on the Dáil (Irish Parliament) to announce a date for a referendum on same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland. Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore has already announced, however, that a referendum is likely take place in autumn 2014. While the initial aim of yesterday’s march was for marriage equality in Ireland, recent events in Russia have led the Irish LGBT community to look past their own shores and to call on their leaders to take action. Vladimir Dotsenko, a Russian national living in Ireland, also spoke to the crowd, drawing attention to the atmosphere of homophobia in Russia since the introduction of anti-gay laws. “Blending nationalism, xenophobia, and ambitions to be a superpower state that cannot be told what to do and what not to do: that’s what the situation is 6 EILE Magazine
about,” said Dotsenko. “It feels like a stroll down the memory lane leading directly back to the USSR from the Cold War period.” “Russia will of course lose that war, like the USSR did in the past,” Dotsenko continued. “However, to ensure that, we must act in a determined and focused way.” Like last Friday’s protest outside the Russian Embassy in Dublin, other events in protest of Russia’s anti-gay régime are being planned across Europe, including Ireland.
Gay Man’s Blood Refused, Despite Never Having Sex Tomás Heneghan is 21 years old and from County Galway. He has donated blood since he was 18, something very admirable for a man of his age to do. As a gay man, however, he faced a dilemma; the Irish Blood Transfusion Service does not accept blood donations from men who have ever had sex with another man. With that in mind, Heneghan considered his duty to give blood – which the IBTS is constantly appealling for – to be more important than sex, and has never engaged in it. Despite this, however, it seems the IBTS are still wary of using his blood, after receiving an “anonymous query” about his donations.
According to the Irish Times, Tomás Heneghan has claimed that the IBTS are discriminating against his donation because he is gay, despite his claims of never being sexually involved with another man. After recently donating blood, the 21-year-old was asked to travel to Dublin for a meeting with the IBTS, as they had “a query regarding [his] previous donations”. At the meeting, Heneghan was asked questions about his sexuality and his understanding of the lifetime ban on MSMs from giving blood. Heneghan has said that he has always “been totally honest” with the IBTS; that although he is gay, he has never had sex with another man, for doing so would stop his ability to donate blood. Despite his recent ill-treatment, Heneghan was keen not to generalise his claims to all workers at the IBTS. “The staff in the donor clinics have always been friendly,” he clarified. “I have no problem with them. It’s the management. This would not happen if I was straight. I am hurt and I am angry.” Despite recent progressions, Ireland is still on the list of countries that bans gay men from donating blood for life. Recently, Russia has announced plans to reintroduce a gay blood ban, despite lifting a previous ban in 2008. The IBTS have not commented on the case of Mr Heneghan.
News | World
nd-Up Conference Praises Iceland’s LGBT
The Reyjavik Grapevine stated: “Furthermore [...] it was regrettable that the promotion was posted same day as the Gay Pride festival commenced in Reykjavík, which could have indicated that the Church was criticising gay people and their campaigning for rights. That had not been the case. Nor had it been the intention to overshadow the Gay Pride festival or show an approval of Graham’s views on homosexuality”.
Vancouver’s Rainbow Crossing
Below is the resolution passed at the World Esperanto Conference:
Iceland received an unexpected seal of approval on the country’s LGBT rights recently, when an international conference of Esperanto speakers in Reykjavík were really impressed by how the country rallied behind their LGBT community and Pride festival. The 98th World Esperanto Conference was held in Reykjavík last month, while the annual Icelandic Gay Pride Festival is on this year from 6th August to today llth August. LGBT delegates and attendees of the Conference were so impressed by the country’s stance on LGBT rights – including how the city’s mayor, Jón Gnarr, dresses in drag for the parade – that a special resolution was passed by the League of LGBT Esperantists to publicly acknowledge the appreciation of LGBT delegates. Iceland has been incredibly progressive on LGBT issues in recent years. The country’s former prime minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, is lesbian and married, while Jón Gnarr recently called upon the city council to sever ties with Moscow in protest at the Russian anti-gay laws. More recently, the Icelandic National Church apologised for promoting a talk by American anti-gay speaker, Franklin Graham, who is expected to travel to Iceland in September.
“The annual meeting of the League of LGBT Esperantists expresses its joy about the social and legal situation of LGBT individuals in Iceland, the host country of the 98th World Esperanto Conference. Iceland is in the avant garde of countries who are seriously working towards human rights regardless of sexual orientation and identity. In 2010 the Icelandic parliament passed the law allowing marriage irrespective of the gender of the partners. Same-sex and opposite sex partners enjoy the same rights and duties, making them a real and respected part of Icelandic society. One year earlier Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became Prime Minister of Iceland, the first openly lesbian world leader. Our special admiration is reserved for the actions of the Mayor of Reykjavik Jón Gnarr. He has shown his unhesitating support of gay rights. When the Moscow city council refused permission for Gay Pride for the next century, Jón Gnarr was the first politician who condemned that scandalous decision. After the Russian parliament passed a law criminalizing support of gay rights, he proposed ending Reykjavik’s Twin City status with Moscow.
Vancouver has a lot to be proud of at the moment it seems. It now has permanent rainbow-coloured road crossings. Vancouver’s Davie Street Village is now the proud owner of Canada’s first rainbow-coloured road crossing. it was ready for Monday morning, the start of Pride Week celebrations, and is in an area where LGBTQ members have traditionally congregated, even for their first Pride Parade. According to the Vancouver Sun, Councillor Tim Stevenson, the first openly-gay provincial cabinet minister in Canada, opened the crossings at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, and they had been painted by the council the evening before, on Sunday, in this iconic area. The crossings were ready in time for the Vancouver Pride Parade which has been going for 35 years, and is said to be the fifth largest in the world, with an attendance of over 650,000 last year. EILE Magazine 7
Interview | Rebecca De Havalland
Rebecca De Havalland, Ireland’s first transsexual (and EILE’s cover girl this month!) takes the time to tell Scott De Buitléir about childhood memories, her comeback after life fell apart, and looking to the future.
Interview | Rebecca De Havalland
For someone who has achieved so much in her life, Rebecca De Havalland deserves to be an Irish household name. Despite her horrific experience of child abuse in a Christian Brothers’ school in Dublin, and being expelled from Terenure College at 15, she went on to become an award-winning hairdresser as well as writer, model, TV presenter and more. Her name should be especially important to LGBT history in Ireland, as she was – to our knowledge – the country’s first transsexual woman, with her face on the cover of every tabloid newspaper at one point during the 1980s. Yet nowadays, Rebecca’s name only pops up in the media every once in a while. Becoming Rebecca was no easy task. Before Rebecca came to be, she – as a male – married and fathered a child, as was expected of her at the time, but soon realised that the path she was on was not right for her. “[I]t became obvious that I was ‘gay’, as they called it,” she recalls, “because at this stage, I still hadn’t discovered that there were transgender people in the world. That was very early ‘80s, so my daughter was taken from me, I couldn’t see her and I was called every name under the Sun. It was horrible, and of course I didn’t have a leg to stand on, [despite] being a father.” Somehow, although her personal was life falling apart, Rebecca admits that her career went from strength to strength. Moving back to London, she continued to work with some of hairdressing’s finest, including David Marshall and Robert Chambers. She returned to Ireland to set up a modelling
agency, as it was the one thing she felt that would keep her in her homeland. The agency’s success, however, would soon spark a public humiliation which almost destroyed her. While the agency flourished, Rebecca went abroad to carry out her gender reassignment operation. When she returned as a post-op transsexual, she confided in only a few friends at first, but somehow the word got out, and an ‘80s Ireland didn’t know how to react. “One Sunday morning I woke up,” she recalls, “and I was front page of every Sunday newspaper. My family had to deal with this. That completely alienated me. The model agency that I owned had become the top agency in Ireland… I was right up there. It was in the contract that if either of us brought the company into disrepute, that we’d have to forfeit. So that’s what I did.”
downward spiral was only set to get worse. While she found some initial comfort in developing relationships with men – now as a woman – Rebecca admits that her choice of men was never good. “The guys I chose would beat the shit out of me,” she says. “I ended up in the gutter.” It was only when she tried to commit suicide, and was sectioned for 72 hours afterwards, that a light went off in her head. Knowing she had to get back up, she “got sober” and found a support group, which clearly had a positive effect on her; Rebecca has been off drink and drugs for over six years. I then ask Rebecca about her views on trans rights, and the LGBT community. Being Ireland’s first transsexual, you might assume that she would be seen
Shamed into leaving the business she had nurtured, Rebecca returned to London, not entirely sure of what her next move was going to be. “My confidence was on the ground, [and] I was just post-op transsexual. I ended up working in seedy nightclubs. One thing led to another, and before I knew it I was on cocaine, on drink… then I just went into a lonelier and lonelier world. Family really didn’t want to know me at the time, because of the exposé in the papers.” Shunned by her family and with no way out in sight, her
as an icon amongst the trans community. According to herself, however, she’s not. Rebecca remembers when a trans activist was announced as Grand Marshall for a Dublin Pride parade, Rebecca was asked if she wanted to march in the parade behind the car. “I said ‘honey, I’ve never walked EILE Magazine 9
Interview | Rebecca De Havalland matter don’t matter anymore.” So, what’s next for Rebecca? Her cancer and its treatment will no doubt be her next big challenge, but she continues to write her second book, and work towards promoting her models in both Ireland and the UK. “I’m 55 now,” she announced proudly, “and I’m the woman I always wanted to be. Maybe that’s why whatever I’m facing now is fine, because I’m facing it as the person I always wanted to be. It’s not just the body or even having the operation – the head is the most important thing.” Photography with very special thanks to Shane McCarthy
behind anyone.’” Rebecca is a woman. She goes for dinner and drinks with her girlfriends, dates men and chats about topics that are of interest to all women, and has gay friends. However, Rebecca also does not think much of the “twilight world” of the so-called ‘gay scene’, which she feels ‘ghetto-ises’ the LGBT community. “I had a sex change to become the woman I am. I didn’t have a sex change to hang around [gay bars. …] I’m not in a ghetto. I’m out in the big bad world. I’ve made my name in business in the big bad world […] Basically, I’m living my life as a woman. That’s the bottom line. That’s why you’re supposed to do this. I feel sorry for those [trans people on the gay scene] because I spent years in the ghetto as well, so I know what it’s like.” The Rebecca of today is much different from the Rebecca of 10 EILE Magazine
six years ago. Living back in Ireland, she set up her own modelling agency again, going back to what she knew best. Her autobiography, His Name Is Rebecca, was published by Poolbeg in 2011, and she is currently in the middle of writing her second book. Earlier this year, however, her doctors found that she had a form of leukaemia which, if left untreated, gave her 6-18 months to live. That is why Rebecca is in London when I call – treatment for the cancer is unavailable in Ireland, which is why she now regularly returns to her second home. It’s early days yet, but Rebecca was able to report that there had been signs that her treatment was working. “I’m getting this inner strength and I dunno where it’s coming from,” she says, speaking about her latest challenge in an unusually optimistic way. “[I’ve found] this inner peace, and I dunno what it is, but it’s wonderful. Things that used to
‘His Name is Rebecca’ by Rebecca De Havalland is available for €9.99 from Poolbeg; click on the cover above to visit their website.
Beijing LGBT Centre – 5th Anniversary
Beijing LGBT Centre celebrates its 5th anniversary, and has released the video, “From Me to We: 5 Years with the Beijing LGBT Center” . According to their website The Beijing LGBT Center (the Center) is a “non-profit, community-based organization that empowers the Beijing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community through offering social services, organizing advocacy programs, and providing a safe, fun, and inviting social space”. The non-profit organisation was set up in 2008 as a collaboration by several LGBT organisations. Xu Bin, a board member, says the idea for the centre came about in 2006, according to fridae. There were already gay bars in the city but the community had no resource centre unlike Taiwan, Europe and the United States. The centre now provides “mental health services, group and individual therapy, peermentorship programs for college-aged LGBT youth” and “organises a variety of advocacy programs as well as social activities”. See their facebook page, for further information.
News | Asia
Vietnam’s Second Pride Festival
In what must have been one of the most unusual Pride Parade’s ever, Vietnam’s LGBT community cycled through the streets of Hanoi, waving rainbow flags, and holding up banners, in only their second pride parade ever. They were also joined by motorcyclists, and met under the statue of Lenin in Hanoi’s city centre, on August 4th this year. Although there was a police presence, the parade was allowed to proceed, even though no permission had been given for the festival. The government are said to be thinking about bringing in new laws supporting the gay community, as at present, same-sex marriage is forbidden. However, there has been widespread support among government ministers, including the Minister of Justice, for lifting the ban. Vu Ngoc Anh, a high school student who took part in the parade, told AFP (Agence France-Presse): “I want society to accept us and I am proud of myself. We hope people will understand more about the LGBT community [...] as being a homosexual is nothing bad”. “In terms of human rights, people of the same sex have the rights to live… to love and pursue happiness,” said Nguyen Viet Tien, deputy Minister of Health, on state media in April. The National Assembly is going to debate the law on marriage and family later this year, and if gay marriage is legalised, it would be a milestone ruling, as Vietnam would become the first Asian country to allow same-sex unions.
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News | Russia
Garry Kasparov: Boycott Putin, Not Sochi Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, who is also a member of the board of the Human Rights Foundation has written to Out magazine about Putin and his anti-gay propaganda laws. In a letter also criticising the ‘silent complicity’ of world governments, he states: As a lifelong professional sportsman (chess is my preferred field), I believe it is an error to endorse or call for kasparov boycott of the Sochi Winter Games. Instead, I am hoping that we can powerfully bring into being an effort to ‘Boycott Putin, Not Sochi.’ I have protested Russia’s bid from the very beginning. Hosting the Games will allow Vladimir Putin’s cronies to embezzle hundreds of millions of dollars and it will lend prestige to Putin’s authoritarian regime, which masquerades as a democracy while denying its citizens fundamental human rights. Kasparov, 50, is a Russian chess grandmaster from Baku in Azerbaijan, a former World Chess Champion,and is also a writer and political activist. He criticises the European Union for their inaction on Russia’s discrimination, and told Out Magazine: “The ‘homosexual propaganda’ law is only the most recent encroachment on the freedom 12 EILE Magazine
of speech and association of Russia’s citizens. Yet, the European Union and other governments have largely ignored the fact that Russia has signed various international conventions that categorically forbid this sort of discrimination. In the face of silent complicity by governments, it is up to artists, activists, and individuals like us to speak up against Putin’s human rights abuses.” He feels that boycotting the games will only punish the athletes, as sport can work to bring people together: “A boycott of the games themselves will unfairly punish athletes without any regard for their personal views. The power of sport to inspire and bring different peoples together is too positive to be sacrificed; I firmly believe the athletes should be able to go to Sochi and compete for Olympic victory. It is up to us to embrace this opportunity to transform Putin’s self-congratulatory pet project into a spotlight that exposes his authoritarian rule for the entire world to see. He has also spoken on the Human Rights Foundation website
about the wrongful conviction of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny: “The elimination of all dissent and public scrutiny is a top priority for President Vladimir Putin. The message is clear: Should you dare to scrutinize President Putin or his government’s actions, you will be sent to prison,” MKB/Eile
News | LGBT
South Africa To Introduce Hate Crime Law
Russian Activist Quits? The Russian LGBT rights activist, Nikolai Alexeyev has allegedly announced that he has quit LGBT activism, after an opinion piece in a US LGBT publication criticised his relationship with the Kremlin. Alexeyev, whom the Huffington Post have called “formally one of the foremost leaders” of Russia’s LGBT community, announced his decision to step down from his role in activism via social media: “I am totally outraged and shocked. You want me to stop all my activism? I will, no problem. I never got any money from anyone. I think you will find better activists. But to be called Putin’s envoy will be an insult to me, my mum and the remembrance of my dad. I am tired of that. You won. Fight for gay rights in Russia from anywhere in the world. I don’t want it anymore.” His announcement comes after Russian-born columnist Michael Lucas wrote a critical piece on Alexeyev for Out.com, where Lucas brands the former activist “The Kremlin’s New Pocket Gay”. Lucas claims that Alexeyev’s attitude towards Russia’s treatment of LGBT people has changed dramatically in recent times, from being highly critical to almost supportive. “Now Alexeyev has changed his tune,” Lucas wrote in his column. “No longer is he saying that Russian homophobia had reached hysterical proportions; suddenly, it
Imagine A World Without Hate was one of the themes for a discussion held by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, at Sandton on Sunday 25th last, at their National Conference, where the South African Minister of Justice was an invited speaker.
is the Western reaction to it that is hysterical.” Lucas’ opinion led to a tirade of posts published on Alexeyev’s Facebook and Twitter profiles, and some media sources have begun to question his well-being, speculating that he may have been kidnapped or that his social media accounts may have been hacked. Other media sources in the UK and US have also speculated that his profiles have been hacked by opponents in an attempt to undermine his work. If his online posts are to be believed, however, Alexeyev has claimed that he intends to sue Lucas and the owners of Out.com for libel and slander, and he has also stepped down from his role as Chairman of Moscow LGBT Pride. “All 30 cases at European Court on all aspects of LGBT human rights violations in Russia will be withdrawn,” he also announced via Facebook. Recently, Alexeyev’s apartment was raided by Russian police, taking away some electronic equipment in the process. Authorities confirmed that the raid was part of an investigation into a complaint made by a Russian member of parliament who is against LGBT rights. Alexeyev was also summoned before a committee to answer charges of libelling two politicians.
One of the panellists was Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe, who said the South African government intends to introduce legislation to combat hate crimes, and make them a criminal offence. The motivation for the draft legislation, which also included racist, xenophobic and religious attacks, was the “violent targeting of LGBTI people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, for example the socalled ‘corrective rape’ and murder of lesbians and transgender men, especially in townships”. Radebe stated that hate crimes, which send a message of fear throughout a community, could lead to social unrest if not properly dealt with by the State, as they “violate fundamental principles of equality and non-discrimination”. He would be no stranger to the concepts of inequality or discrimination himself, as he had joined the ANC (African National Congress) in the seventies, and had been arrested for terrorism by the former apartheid government. He now has qualifications in law, and international law. Radebe also told the conference that the government had “started with work to enact relevant legislative instruments that would make it punishable by law to commit acts of hatred against lesbians and gays”. MKB/Eile
Meanwhile, Lucas responded to Alexeyev’s plans to sue yesterday evening via Twitter: “Stick to your word and bring it on.” EILE Magazine 13
Reviews | Frances Winston
White House Down Directed by: Roland Emmerich - Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, James Woods Roland Emmerich clearly is not a fan of The White House, since disaster seems to befall it in many of his movies – most notably Independence Day where it was blown up. However, it didn’t fare that well in 2012 or the Day After Tomorrow either. But if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and in case the title didn’t give it away, this is a movie about an attack on the White House – and yes the building once again gets trashed. With a very similar theme to the recent Olympus Has Fallen this sees the US President’s Residence overrun by mercenaries and only one man can save the day. That one man in this case is Channing Tatum, who is clearly trying to gain some action hero credentials. He plays John Cale – a US Capitol Police Officer assigned to Speaker of the House, who has aspirations to join the Secret Service. Unfortunately when he attends an interview for the role, he is rejected outright. After lying to his daughter about getting the job, they then join a tour of the White House, and it is overrun by soldiers of fortune. 14 EILE Magazine
Since his daughter was in the bathroom when they struck, Cale is forced to take them on in order to find her. As he searches the vast mansion for his little girl, he manages to save the president (Foxx) and get to the bottom of the attacker’s plot, which he is then told he must foil, by the very people who turned him down for the Secret Service job. With time running out before the White House and everyone in it is blown up, he must try to get the President to safety, and catch the bad guys. Yes, this is formulaic. The lone wolf takes on the terrorists tale is done to death, and this is no Die Hard. The trailers imply that this is a serious action flick, but the movie doesn’t take itself that seriously and contains many attempts at wry humour – which are often misguided. On the whole the script is incredibly weak, cliché driven and cheesy. You can see the set-ups coming a mile away, and the plot twists and turns are actually laughable. Tatum is unconvincing as Cale, and Foxx doesn’t bring the gravitas required to the role of Commander-in-Chief. That said, Emmerich knows his way around an action scene, and
there are some full on engaging set pieces here. While it may seem unlikely that Cale could singlehandedly defeat the massive thugs that take over the famous landmark, the hand to hand scenes are handled well, with a couple being rather clever and, as you would expect, the explosions and bombings are spectacular. Also, Tatum gets his top off – something that has become a bit of a trademark of his. Well, he strips to his vest anyway. Near the end of the movie. However, a bit of eye candy never did anyone any harm, and there are definitely a few people who find him aesthetically pleasing, so this will keep them happy. If blow ‘em up bubblegum for the eyes works for you, then you should enjoy this, but enter the cinema with low expectations. This story has absolutely no substance, and although Foxx and Tatum have good chemistry, it doesn’t detract from the sheer cheesiness of this. You’ll like this if you liked: Godzilla, Olympus has Fallen In Cinemas September 13th
Reviews | Frances Winston
Frances Winston on Movies Directed by: Richard Curtis – Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lindsey Duncan, Tom Hollander From the pen and directorial eye of Mr Rom-com himself Richard Curtis, comes this movie. If you’re thinking you know what to expect, since, after all, this is the man who gave us Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love, Actually, then you’d be right. This is just as heavy on sentiment as his previous offerings, and all his usual stereotypical characters are there. In fact Gleeson resembles a red headed Hugh Grant throughout, which is rather disconcerting. Gleeson plays Tim, a seemingly ordinary lad, until the day his father (Nighy) tells him that all the men in the family can actually time travel. Although he can only travel within his own timeline, he decides this will be just enough to get him a girlfriend. When he eventually meets the girl of his dreams, Mary (McAdams) he manages to erase their meeting from his past when he travels back to do a favour for a friend.
Undeterred, he hunts her down, and the pair settle into an incredibly happy relationship. However, when marriage and babies enter the equation, his time travelling becomes even more complicated – especially when he gets tragic news from a family member. This is nice. Actually it’s lovely. And sentimental. And pleasant. The problem is that it’s not much more than that. The trailers and the poster are rather misleading, as this film is more a story about how our lives intertwine with everyone we connect with, rather than a simple love story. In fact, for the second half of the movie, the romance pretty much takes a back seat. Curtis regular Nighy is wonderful as Tim’s father, and Duncan is suitably stoic as his mum, while Hollander gives a good turn as family friend Harry. However McAdams plays the same role that she has in several previous offerings – the slightly ditzy cutesy pie love interest – and Gleeson is a Curtis hero by
numbers. All he is missing is the floppy fringe. He does give a good performance within the restrictions of the role, but it never feels like he makes it his own, and it is unlikely this movie will cement his leading man status. The story gets rather convoluted in places, and, as you can imagine, some of the time travel scenes get repetitious. Basically, you are just watching different versions of the same scene. The whole film also feels too long, and Curtis could easily have lost 20 minutes without destroying the story arc. This film is inoffensive and sweet, but there is nothing here you haven’t seen before. All the cast are likeable enough, and it won’t offend anybody, but it won’t go down as a classic like Four Weddings. You’ll like this if you liked: The Time Travellers’ Wife, Notting Hill In cinemas September 4th
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News | Northern Ireland
Belfast Businessman To Pay £36,000 For Sexual Harassment, Homophobic Slurs compensation in respect of that harassment in the sum of £12,000.00. In addition, Bryan West is hereby ordered personally to pay to the claimant compensation in the sum of £4,000.00 in respect of his harassment of the claimant in the course of her employment.
A prominent Belfast businessman and former owner of the city’s first LGBT restaurant has been found guilty by an employment tribunal of sexual harassment, and has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds to two former employees. Bryan West, a 66-year-old publican from Belfast, ran the gay-friendly Rainbow Garland restaurant on Botanic Avenue in the city’s south quarter, which closed down last year after a brief trading period. The Industrial Tribunal and Fair Employment Tribunal of Northern Ireland heard from two of West’s former employees – Ms. Gemma Hutton and a gay male employee who was identified only as “XY” – who both filed complaints of sexual harassment against Mr West. The Tribunal heard from the complainants that West had been regularly verbally abusive of staff at the restaurant, and had groped XY’s crotch on-site while drunk. XY also claimed that West had regularly called him a “stupid poof” among other derogatory names. One incident was also reported, where Mr West commented on the size of Ms Hutton’s chest and asked her to sleep with him. “It was clear during the hearing that [XY] remained extremely and visibly upset, embarrassed and humiliated by the treatment which he had suffered,” the Tribunal reported on the XY case, “often in front of colleagues and customers of the restaurant. The claimant felt very degraded to 15 EILE Magazine
have been continually denigrated as ‘stupid’.” Regarding Ms Hutton, the Tribunal also ruled unanimously: That the first respondent is hereby ordered to pay to the claimant the sum of £518.62 in respect of outstanding holiday pay. That the first respondent is hereby ordered to pay to the claimant the sum of £145.92 in respect of notice monies. That the first respondent is hereby ordered to pay to the claimant the sum of £228.00 in respect of unpaid wages. That the claimant was sexually harassed by Bryan West, a director/employee of the first respondent. That the claimant was also harassed by Bryan West on the grounds of her sexual orientation. The first respondent is hereby ordered to pay to the claimant
“The tribunal was shocked to hear that this type of entirely offensive and objectionable behaviour had taken place in a Northern Ireland work-place in the 21st century. “The tribunal found as a fact that Mr West frequently and continually referred to the claimant and her colleagues as “poofs”, ‘stupid lesbians’ or ‘dykes.” The Tribunal panel unanimously decided to award a total of £36,000 (€41,800) in compensation to Ms Hutton and XY, of which Mr West must personally pay £9,000. XY was awarded £20,000 for sexual harassment (with West to pay £5,000) while Ms Hutton was awarded £16,000, with West to personally pay £4,000. - SDB
News | Martin Luther King III
Martin Luther King Would Have Backed Gay Rights Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of the assassinated black civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, has said that his father would have backed gay rights. Coretta Scott King, his mother, has actively supported gay rights and equal marriage. “What I know, for sure, is that dad was beyond the average person in terms of what he chose to embrace and accept,” King III told Michaelangelo Signorile. “One of the most significant persons – the most significant person in fact – who helped to organise the March on Washington was Mr. Bayard Rustin. And Mr. Bayard Rustin was openly gay”. Mr. Rustin was awarded the Medal of Freedom posthumously by President Obama recently. “The point is, if dad had problems with gays I don’t think he would have embraced someone in such a significant role. I think that as he worked to advocate for civil and human rights, he was talking for everyone, not just for people of colour”. Saturday was the 50th Anniversary of the now historical “I Have A Dream”speech by MLK in 1963, and thousands of people gathered for the march which ended at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington. In the interview with Huffpost’s Michaelangelo Signorile, Signorile states: “King III noted that even his sister, Rev. Bernice King, who’d said in 2004 that she didn’t think her father would support gay rights, has evolved. In 2012, she said that civil rights included those who
are “heterosexual or homosexual, or gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender.” “My sister’s position has continued to moderate,” he said.” Martin Luther King’s daughter Bernice King was formerly a congregant of the now infamous homophobe Bishop Eddie Long, of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Long himself was involved in a scandal with four youths, accused of preying on them, as he pretended to minister to them. King III also said that he might be in favour of a boycotting next year’s Sochi Winter Olympic Games because of the Russian government’s anti-gay stance: “It’s certainly something to consider as a strategy. I have supported many boycotts throughout my life. I would not be against a boycott, particularly for a very important issue. The goal is to get as many countries engaged and to support it as possible”. MKB/Eile
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Califnoria Dispatch | Russia
Lucia Chappelle asks why the world’s leaders are dancing around Sochi 2014 From the first time the strategy
was used – when Captain Charles Boycott was economically and socially shunned by Irish land activists in 1880 – campaigners for the dispossessed and marginalized have argued over the wisdom of the idea. The people of County Mayo decided the short-term hardship was worth the risk for long-term gain – at least most of them did. We forget how hard it is to reach consensus on a plan like that. Images of the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 make it seem easy; flashbacks make it seem like nobody went round-and-round in a late-night meeting discussing whether it would only make life harder for the hard-working Negroes and just be laughed off by the masters of the entrenched racist institution of Jim Crow. Fond recollections of the antiapartheid movement make it seem like no one would have ever thought to suggest that divestiture was no more than a symbolic gesture to the white power 18 EILE Magazine
structure that could nonetheless undermine the fragile economy of the poorest black South Africans. In those cases the folks on the ground made it clear that they were willing to take on the burden – what Gandhi and King would call “redemptive suffering” – in hopes of the reward. But how does the international LGBT community respond as we face regional problems like the murder of activists on the African Continent … or arrests, torture and killings in the Middle East … or the one that’s on everybody’s mind at the moment: Russia’s insidious homophobic crackdown and the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi? In some ways our minds have been made up for us. With both U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron giving it the thumbs down, it’s not too likely that a boycott of the Olympics has much traction. This is not surprising. Talk of boycotting
the 1936 Berlin Olympics was pooh-poohed in most circles. When the U.S. and some allies took a pass on the 1980 Moscow Olympics, it didn’t have much impact on Russia’s dark journey through Afghanistan. Russia’s reciprocal abstinence from the 1984 Games here in Los Angeles was also of little note politically. Undeterred by their country’s pronouncement, many U.S. athletes got to the Moscow Games under other auspices anyway. It seems that the gods of Olympus are not so impressed by any effort to “redemptively sacrifice” their sport. Maybe the anti-boycott side is right. Many like Obama who argue for showing up in Sochi in full force say they want to see LGBT athletes get their chance to outshine Russian repression on the field. This is also not new. Jesse Owens’ historic triumph as a black track and field star at the 1936 Games was supposed to expose the error of the Nazis’ ways, and maybe even make
Califnoria Dispatch | Russia
a dent in good old-fashioned American racism. Unfortunately the Olympic torch was not carried by Lady Liberty that time: Hitler trampled all over Europe and Owens died bankrupt in the segregated South (because, as he said, “You can’t eat gold medals.”) A similar sentiment comes from the Russian LGBT Network, whose statement to supporters encourages “athletes, diplomats, sponsors, and spectators to show up and speak up, proclaiming equality in most compelling ways.” Let alone the official assurances that the law’s provisions against tourists’ “promotion” of homosexuality won’t be overlooked, will the athletes, whose characteristic argument is that they shouldn’t have to sacrifice the opportunity to compete that they’ve trained for all their lives, dare any “compelling ways?” Now that the International Olympic Committee has made clear their own “no promo homo” rule (borrowing a nickname from the bad old Section 28 days in the UK), that political expressions of any kind – even wearing rainbow pins -- will not be tolerated, are these dedicated young people going to refuse to give up going to Sochi and then throw their chances away once they arrive? The blood of student protesters still stained the streets of Mexico City when John Carlos and Tommie Smith made their stand at the 1968 Olympics there. There’s usually no caption on the iconic photo of them raising their
fists in a Black Power salute as the Star Spangled Banner played, explaining that while they were allowed to keep the medals they won that day, they were expelled from the Games and mostly excluded from international competition thereafter. Are we going to depend on today’s Olympians to take that risk? Between the rock of Putin’s crackdown and the hard place of the IOC’s traditional ban on social commentary, with Sochi being kept essentially under marshal law for the duration, just how will LGBTs and allies, both athletes and spectators, visitors and nationals, manage to squeeze the desired visibility out of the event? Can we turn the tables on the 1936 model and find our own Leni Riefenstahl to shape the meaning of the images? Does that make petitioning around media coverage of the Games (like the effort to get NBC to assign its lesbian diva, Rachel Maddow, to their team) as high a priority as whatever activists make happen on the ground? We here in California cut our teeth on the United Farm Workers boycotts of the 60s and 70s: grapes, lettuce, Gallo Wines. We learned that boycotts -- joining together to abstain from using something commonplace -- can do a lot for community bonding. Everyone can take part, feel engaged in the action, set an example for the kiddies. The devolution of the Coors Beer boycott showed us how that sense of collective ownership can
backfire, catching the community in a confusing shell game of ‘what they give you (e.g., same-gender couples’ benefits and modest donations) versus what you get (e.g., lousy labor practices and large donations to right-wingers),’ divide and conquer (e.g., gays over Latinos) and the ‘sweet baby dyke liaison’ (Mary Cheney’s bow to society) ploys. We’ve run into a similar problem with the creative idea to boycott “Russian” vodka. Great idea, right? We jumped off the wagon, so to speak, from San Francisco to West Hollywood. But oh no, which vodka? The Latvian activists say, “Not Stoli!” The Queer Nation citizens trace the means of production to prove them wrong. How can we, as an international movement, learn how to work together to significantly affect each other’s struggles? How do we even go about deciding which atrocity deserves our priority attention? (Do you ever wonder, “Why Russia?”) The most important event for the international LGBT community at the 2014 Winter Olympics may just be the strategic planning obstacle course.
Lucia Chappelle is Associate Producer of the Los Angeles-based LGBT radio programme, “This Way Out” – For ad, see over. EILE Magazine 19
Quality LGBT News and Features – Produced from Los Angeles and Available via 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.
Russia: A Polish Perspective
Russia | Polish Perspective
Piotr Gawlik from the National Lesbian & Gay Federation gives his view on the anti-gay laws Russia’s recent law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” bans anything considered pro-gay: gay rallies, pride parades, holding hands in public by gay people, wearing rainbow suspenders or displaying rainbow flags. Any individual using the internet to share information about LGBT topics can be subject to fines. This law applies also to foreigners visiting Russia. This so-called “anti propaganda” law is undoubtedly in conflict with Russia’s human rights obligations. Suppression of freedom of speech is inconsistent with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention for Human Rights. The Russian authorities seem to have forgotten that they must respect their international treaty obligations. It is unbelievable that this bill was passed in the Russian parliament unanimously. There was not a single MP who would bravely stand against it. The democratically elected authorities have a duty to protect minorities, especially the most vulnerable who are at risk of being exposed to attacks, aggression and intolerance. A state which oppresses its citizens is not a democratic country. We were lucky enough to be born in a more open and modern part of Europe. In the same way as we didn’t choose our sexuality, we didn’t choose where we were
born. Each of us could be a Russian. We all are one Europe. We must stand in solidarity with Russian people. It is our duty to do so. I know we still have our own battles to be won here in Ireland. Marriage equality, the transgender recognition bill – these are issues incredibly important for our community. But we should have enough energy, zeal and strength to support lesbian, gay and transgender people in Russia. Above all, we are one community. Homosexuality in Ireland and Russia was formally decriminalized in the same year – 1993. Since then Ireland has made enormous progress. It moved from being a very conservative to a modern, tolerant society. Unfortunately Russia stayed behind, and what’s more, by passing such an anti-gay law, it has undoubtedly taken a huge step backwards. I am Polish, and I remember times when pride parades in my country were banned by authorities, and where the police dispersed LGBT demonstrations. I remember how important it was back then to have international support. In moments like that, gestures of solidarity are priceless. When you feel abandoned by your own government, by your own country, you know you are not alone, because there are people who express their solidarity with
you. It gives you strength. The situation in Russia is serious, and it is getting worse with time. Basic human rights are trampled. The attitude of the authorities encourages neo-Nazi groups to brutally attack gay people. We can’t stand silently by seeing what’s happening in Russia. It is not only an LGBT issue, it is human right issue. This is why we all should take action. Let your friend know what is happening in Russia. By doing this, you build awareness among people who might not know how serious this problem is. Send an email to the Russian Embassy, let them know that the world is watching. Contact TDs, Senators and the Government, and ask them to put pressure on Russia. Request actions from the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste. The Republic of Ireland as a democratic, free country has a moral right and duty to express its solidarity with the Russian people, whose human rights are violated. We shouldn’t forget Archbishop’s Desmond Tutu’s words: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Piotr Gawlik is a board member of the National Lesbian and Gay Federation. EILE Magazine 21
Opinion | Gay Characters in Soap
Gay Soap Characters in a Lather Frances Winston takes a look at the erratic and sometimes illogical storylines for gay characters in TV soaps. Illustration: Ciara Kenny When Coronation Street bosses announced that popular gay character Marcus Dent, played by openly gay actor Charlie Condou, was going to begin a heterosexual affair with widowed hairdresser Maria Connor, my friend and I were outraged. Given his back story with one of the only other gays in the village, Sean Tully (stereotyped from day one) it seemed an about-turn too far, and completely unbelievable – and we were right. The whole story reeks of awkwardness and ridiculousness. It was compounded when the ‘couple’ recently attended a gay wedding, and Marcus was forced to define himself as a gay man who is now dating a woman. This, of course, upset Maria and led to him pretty much renouncing the fact that he is gay. This comes alongside the recent storyline where Jenna Kamara came out as gay after being fired from her job as a physiotherapist, for hitting on her patient Sophie Webster. Their treatment of transsexual Hayley Cropper in recent years has also been less than realistic. After the initial fuss about featuring a transsexual 22 EILE Magazine
character, very little reference has even been made to her day to day issues, or the fact she takes hormones, until recently, when the character was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. While it is wonderful to see a transsexual character being accepted, surely the lack of acknowledgment of any treatment she may need is doing a disservice to the character. Even their first ever gay character, Todd Grimshaw, did the community no favours, when they took a previously (very) heterosexual male and made him gay pretty much overnight, completely rewriting his character.
It was left to TG4’s Ros na Rún, no less, to feature an Irish soap’s first openly gay couple Out of the hundreds of soaps past and present worldwide, it seems that try as they might soap bosses just can’t seem to find the balance between having a normal happy healthy LGBT character, and sensationalising their sexuality for ratings – or just plainlyl and simply ignoring it! Take Doug
Savant’s gay cop Matt Fielding in 90’s soap Melrose Place. Although the fact that he was gay was referred to quite regularly, he was the only regular character in the soap who never had a love scene, and although they gave him love interests, the one time he was supposed to actually have an onscreen kiss, bosses at Fox decreed that it should be edited out! Even Fair City was guilty of cutting out gay kisses in the 90s. Back in 1996, two male characters moved in for a clinch and were interrupted – ruining what would have been a historic moment on Irish television, coming as it did, a mere three years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality. It was left to TG4’s Ros na Rún no less to feature an Irish soap’s first openly gay couple, and they actually screened the first ever gay kiss between characters Jack Hayes and Tom Doherty in the 90s. That said, Fair City have redeemed themselves in recent years somewhat, featuring several LGBT characters, and dealing with issues such as marriage equality.
Opinion | Gay Characters in Soap
Over in Emmerdale, producers were applauded when Zoe Tate was introduced as an openlylesbian character in 1989. Indeed, they involved her in many relationships, and she had some strong storylines. Unfortunately, they then decided that she was schizophrenic! During a schizophrenic episode she fell pregnant, and all the good work they had done establishing her as a strong independent woman, who happened to be lesbian, was pretty much undone.
“It makes out that all gay men are promiscuous, and I don’t think they are any more promiscuous than anyone else.”
When they introduced an openlygay character in 2004, in the form of Paul Lambert, played by the wonderful Matthew Bose, he was camp and over the top, and really often did seem to be the token gay. Even Bose was unhappy with some of his storylines, and after his character had a one night stand with a married man, he expressed his annoyance saying:
Then there was the recent storyline with Aaron Livesy and Jackson Walsh. Having portrayed Aaron’s struggle with coming out very realistically, they then felt the need to make every one of his storylines bigger and more outlandish than before. When on-off partner Jackson crashed his car, after Aaron had refused to tell him he loved him, Jackson
However, the one significant thing to come out of his tenure was the portrayal of a Civil Union in a soap, when his character married Johnny Foster in 2008. This was the first time a prime time show had broadcast a Civil Ceremony since the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force in the UK on 5 December 2005.
wound up paralysed. This led Aaron to eventually agree to kill him, after he decided he couldn’t live like this. It then led to another self-destructive cycle of selfharming and aggression, before he eventually left the village having confessed to starting a fire that wasn’t his doing. Here was a great opportunity to show a gay character settling into life after struggling with coming out, but instead his entire existence was sensationalised. Teen tea-time soap Hollyoaks has always featured gay characters, and Irish actor Emmet J. Scanlon won many awards for his portrayal of gay thug Brendan Brady. Unfortunately, he was what can only be described as a sociopathic, homophobic gay man, which led to the domestic abuse storyline between Brendan and Ste Hay. While playing a complex character is great for EILE Magazine 23
Opinion | Gay Characters in Soap an actor, and domestic abuse Despite this, they have continued does indeed exist within the to introduce gay, lesbian and community, by having Brendan bisexual characters – not always manipulate and abuse a younger to the public’s delight it seems. character who was struggling with In 2007, when gay character his sexuality himself (and who Naomi Julien kissed the (now had previously been involved suddenly) bisexual Sonia Fowler, in domestic abuse when he hit a it prompted 211 complaints to woman) it didn’t send out a great the BBC. Much like Todd in message about homosexuality. Coronation Street though, this could be attributed to Sonia’s Even EastEnders has gone down sudden about-turn, rather than the route of sensationalising any public disdain. One man homosexuality, after such a strong commented to Pink News at the start in its early days. They were time: “Actually I’m surprised the first UK soap to screen a gay anyone would complain about the kiss between the characters of gay relationship, though it seems Colin Russell and Barry Clarke, ludicrous that someone could leading the media to dub the change their sexuality overnight.” show “filth” and rechristen it EastBenders. Bear in mind this More recently we had the popular was only a peck on the forehead! “Cryed” storyline between It was even raised as an issue in Christian Clarke and Syed Parliament. However this was a Masood. While Christian was an pivotal moment and actor turned openly-gay character that veered politician Michael Cashman, just the right side of stereotype, who played Colin, believes that his on-off-on relationship with the story helped start “the social Syed was the stuff of melodrama, change” in opinion towards with Syed concerned about homosexuals. going against his Muslim beliefs, and engaged to be married to a Fast forward a couple of years woman. This couple had more though, and they cut a kiss ups and downs in three years between characters Tony Hill than long running couples in and Simon Raymond, from two soaps have in decades. Although seconds to half a second, so that producers did address issues such they would not “startle” viewers. as gay adoption, stereotyping
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and queer bashing during the storyline, by the time they drove off into the sunset, the pair were in danger of becoming caricatures. Soaps have come a long way since Brookside was forced to cut the infamous lesbian kiss, between Anna Friel’s Beth Jordache and Margaret Clemance played by Nicola Stephenson, from it’s Omnibus episode. However, they still seem to have difficulty in figuring out how to balance gay characters with the drama necessary to sustain the show. Too often, a character turns bisexual or gay out of the blue, a gay man is portrayed in a flamboyant camp way, or the gay characters are portrayed as negative human beings. Even EastEnders’ newest gay addition, Danny Pennant (Gary Lucy) is a shifty character. Worse still is when a gay character is used to merely garner headlines for the show. While soap characters can’t just discuss the weather or what they had for breakfast, surely it’s not too much to ask to have a normal LGBT character – by soap standards at least.
Film Noir | Biancanieves
Film Noir: Biancanieves Review: Martin J Frankson A few years ago, in the wake of The Artist, I expected the film watching public to be bound, gagged, and force-fed black and white silent film cake by purveyors of pastiche, who would ride into Odeon Town on the backs of old nags with creaky bandwagons in tow, but no; no such thing happened and the world carried out just like before. Until August 2013. While whisking through the delightful menu of crèmes that form the listings for the Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast, I came across a film whose thumbnail image of its leading lady bore a remarkable resemblance to my Italian friend Fiorina than I could bear, so I had to find out more. Well it wasn’t my friend, but her doppelganger (the equally lovely Macarena Garcia) who grabbed my hand, and took me on a cinematic journey that was one of the most delightful and stunning examples of cinema and storytelling that I have come across. Set in rural Spain in 1910, amidst its nascent culture of bullfights, Catholicism and communion dresses, Biancanieves, is based on the classic fairytale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Antonio Villalta (Daniel Giménez Cacho) is a champion bullfighter, and local legend. He has it all – good looks, charm, wealth, and a beautiful young wife who is about to give birth to their first child. Life’s a pop of the cherry, until he is savagely gored to within an inch of his life. Unfortunately, his heavily pregnant wife watches helplessly, and in the trauma, induces the earlier than expected birth of her daughter Carmen. Tragically, Carmen’s mother dies during child-birth. Carmen’s father, despite surviving, is horrifically injured, and decides to send Carmen to live with her Grandmother, never to see her grow up.
Despite the tragedy, Carmen lives in an atmosphere of love, joy and fun, but as in most fairytales, the party once again gets raided by fate, this time in the form of her beloved Grandmother dying, in full flow of a flamenco dance, during Carmen’s first communion party.
Carmen’s skill in the ring becomes the stuff of legend. Just like her father, she becomes a household name. One day, her Stepmother stumbles across a magazine feature on Carmen, and the vicious ghosts of green-eyed envy are summoned, triggering a tragic sequence of events.
In the meantime, Carmen’s father, Antonio, has remarried to Encarna (Maribel Verdú) the woman who nursed him back to health. On hearing of the latest tragedy, he sends for Carmen to live in his mansion.
Shot entirely in black and white, this film is cinematographically a near masterpiece, a gem of seamless, effortless storytelling, where magic jumps from every frame. In this film, every scene seemed so lovingly handcrafted that one could almost see the hand-stitching.
Sounds like a happy ending? Not the damned bit of it, as my Tyrone Grandmother would say. Encarna is a heartless gold-digger, who doesn’t want her Stepdaughter about the place. Carmen is forbidden to even meet her father, Antonio, who now lives a Greta Garbo existence of regret and self-exile, in his semi-lit bedroom. In the years that follow, Carmen is subjected to abuse, neglect and indignity. Once, whilst carrying out her duties, Carmen takes her chance and breaks into her father’s room. He spies her and immediately, a warm bond is established, but it’s a bond Carmen’s Stepmother is murderously envious of. Encarna murders Antonio by throwing him down the marble staircase, staging it as an accident. Soon after, she also arranges for Carmen to meet a grisly end, far from home. Fortunately, Carmen is rescued hours later, and nursed back to health by a passing troupe of circus dwarfs. Carmen, now a very beautiful young woman, has amnesia and cannot remember her past, but bullfighting is in her DNA, and she decides to become a bullfighter. No-one knows where she learned her skills, least of all Carmen, but we know she was taught the basics by her father during her secret visits to his room, before his untimely death.
Some sequences were more than a passing nod to perhaps other influences. For example, a scene early on, where Antonio is rushed down a hospital corridor, reminded me of the scene from Interview with a Vampire (Dir. Neil Jordan) where the coffinentombed Louis and Madeleine are rushed through narrow tunnels to their intramural entombment, by the Theatre des Vampires. The casting was superb. Carmen, stoic, but never falling prey to bitterness and hate, exuded such a wondrous natural beauty and loveliness from every pore, that I would dare even the hardest of hearts not to fall in love with her. Encarna (Maribel Verdú, who also starred in Y Tu Mama Tambien and Pan’s Labrynth), played the role of wicked Stepmother to such perfection, that I’m sorry to say that if I met her in real life in tea-shop, I still wouldn’t pass her the sugar. As an aside, she also passes more than resemblance to Bérénice Bejo who played Peppy in The Artist. There wasn’t a dull moment, every second justified itself. This was a film of pure cinematic satisfaction, which leant itself perfectly to the medium of Noir et Blanc Nouveau if I dare to coin a phrase. Bravo. EILE Magazine 25
Art | Honey & the Moon
Irish designer Liv Monaghan discusses Italian inspiration, Celtic style and more...
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“In terms of craft and creativity, I don’t think it gets much better than Italy. It was a very heady, colourful and rich experience.” Liv Monaghan is an Irish designer based in Paris and working with Alto Figaro, an online boutique store. EILE Magazine’s Scott De Buitléir caught up with the new Irish Parisienne to talk about Italian influences, Celtic styles and more. SDB: Tell us a bit about your own background. What led you from Ireland to Italy, before moving to Paris? LM: I moved to Italy directly after finishing my degree in Trinity. I had been lucky in that I’d been working pretty much constantly in theatre costume since my third year in university (thanks in most part to my brilliant mentor Sinéad EILE Magazine 27
Fashion | Liv Monaghan
Cuthbert), but the recession was taking its toll by the time I’d graduated, and I wasn’t being offered many design jobs. I got the notion of la dolce vita in my head, and just decided to go. I lived in Verona and Florence, and studied and worked there. In terms of craft and creativity, I don’t think it gets much better than Italy. It was a very heady, colourful and rich experience. I almost enrolled on the costume course in La Scala opera house in Milan, and then decided against it. I wasn’t sure that I was cut out for a life of wardrobe, and always wanted to work on my own creative clothing projects outside of that framework. I studied on a short draping programme in Parsons design school in Paris – and that cemented my love for the city. I moved there full time about a year after that, initially to do further study at the international theatre school – École Jacques Lecoq. SDB: You decided to focus on menswear after living in Italy. What have you learned from Italian style, and what tips should we take note of? LM: Italians are the best teachers of style – everything is an art; food, conversation, language, and how one dresses is right at the top of the list. Everything is so creative, but always with a strong nod to the craftsman. In terms of tips, Italians are not afraid to look smart, even if it’s just to go out and eat an ice-cream. There were groups of cream linen suited men eating chocolate ice cream in Florence. I loved that! I think Italians nail the shoes, and I don’t think there is one more important piece to a mans’ attire than his shoes. Apart from the general fear of being dapper and smart amongst Irish men, there is also a horrible inclination towards disposable fashion. That’s a big difference. Italians and the
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Fashion | Liv Monaghan French don’t do that to the same degree – it’s quality over quantity. Fashion is art, invest in a good piece. I created Alto Figaro because I wanted to make it possible and affordable to wear unique art pieces. SDB: On Alto Figaro, you offer made-to-order kilts for €85. Is there such a thing as a modern ‘Celtic’ fashion for either men or woman, do you think? LM: Of course. Designers including Westwood and Chanel have been pulling inspiration from Celtic design for years. It’s how you wear and present a piece that determines whether or not it’s modern. The Alto Figaro kilt is a fun creation devised in collaboration with Bastian Djad. SDB: Tell us about the inspiration behind the tees? Personally, I love the ‘homme fatal’ one! LM: This is Alto Figaro’s first collection of tees for the label and I’m very proud of them. They’re organic, ethical and original, and a unique collaboration with the incredibly talaented Florentine based artist Alis Klar. We worked together on the project for about six months. They’re inspired by two of my favorite writers, Wilde and Beckett.
Designers including Westwood and Chanel have been pulling inspiration from Celtic design for years. thoughts of these men. They are wearable works of art. Homme Fatal is probably the cheekiest and most fun – and that’s pretty much at the centre of the Alto Figaro ethos – giving men the opportunity to be as bold and creative in their dress as women are. and besides, the most successful seducers are always the best dressed! Liv Monaghan’s range can be bought via Alto Figaro‘s online store – click on the ad on P.31 for more. For t-shirt designs, see over.
The designs are a working of original art nouveau designs and prints with the words, works or
EILE Magazine 29
Fashion | Liv Monaghan
Some of Liv Monaghanâ€™s designs, on Alto Figaroâ€™s Original and Ethical T-Shirt Collection are available at altofigaro.com
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Fashion | Liv Monaghan
Photo: Ivan Begala
Photo: Ivan Begala
Some of Livâ€™s other design and fashion work. Many thanks to Liv and her various photographers for sending EILE the images.
Opinion | LGBT Solidarity
I’m Alright Jack... Or Am I? Kristine Allen writes for EILE Magazine about the importance of solidarity, even when you might have it good at home
from myself, but that this could have been me. As an out and proud 25-year-old gay woman living in a relatively modern Ireland, up until the moment I had read about Russia’s new law, and subsequently watched the YouTube clip described above, I had completely taken for granted that I could march in a Pride parade with a Rainbow flag raised proudly above my head.
‘I’m alright Jack‘ is a well known Irish expression, and a mentality that many of us are guilty of adopting, when we hear about other people’s misfortunes, despite our initial feelings/ displays of empathy. So, when, in the past, I have heard about LGBT people being discriminated against in countries thousands I had also taken for granted the of miles away, it has been this freedom I have to write online ‘I’m alright about issues around As an out and Jack’ mentality sexuality and sexual that has taken proud 25-year-old orientation, the precedence over encouragement my gay woman […] my initial feelings niece’s parents have I had completely given me to inform of injustice and sympathy about people taken for granted her towards those who are different, that I could affected. the availability of march in a Pride information and However, with support that I have parade with a the widespread availed of throughout coverage around Rainbow flag the years from LGBT the 2014 Sochi youth organisations Winter Olympics, raised proudly such as BeLonG To, due to hostand finally, something above my head. nation Russia’s as small as changing recent ‘gay my Facebook status propaganda’ legislation, I have to ‘in a relationship’ with a female found that this ‘I’m alright Jack‘ – all of which would now not be way of thinking has given way tolerated in Russia if I were an to the disturbing reality that the LGBT citizen there. victims of this homophobia are no different to myself. The goals of LGBT people like myself are solely to raise the topic In fact, as I watched the nowof LGBT equality (or the lack of infamous YouTube video, it) and to inform people of all depicting a 15-year-old gay ages that being gay is nothing to teenager being doused in urine by be ashamed of. Then not only will a bunch of Neo-Nazi thugs, the people feel comfortable in their realisation changed; not only are own skin if they are gay, but it will these LGBT citizens no different also decrease the likelihood that 32 EILE Magazine
they will be abusive to anyone they meet in life who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or any other form of identity that is within a minority. Thankfully, I am not the only person who has discarded this ‘I’m alright Jack‘ mentality when it comes to the Winter Games and Russia’s medieval legislation. Recently, several Irish politicians and LGBT organisations handed a letter, condemning Russia’s recent implementation of its anti-gay legislation, into Ireland’s Russian Embassy. A physical protest also took place. However, one could say such an action would be expected. Yet athletes at Russia’s World Championships this month have also declared support for Russia’s LGBT community, with small yet high impact gestures, such as painting their nails in our Rainbow colors. This reveals that even people who are heterosexual are no longer willing to ignore such blatant discrimination, from the comfort and safety that their sexual orientation brings. Yesterday morning, I awoke to a song on the radio that made me smile. The following are the lyrics which really stuck with me. “I might not be the same, but that’s not important. No freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it.” The song? Same Love, by Seattle-based rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis, from their debut studio album The Heist. The track, which features vocals by Mary Lambert, was recorded at the time of the Washington Referendum
News | 100 Canadians
74, which upon approval in 2012, legalized same-sex marriages in Washington State. While not only the song, but also the airplay of such a song, on mainstream Irish radio reminded me, once again, that the world is no longer burying its head in the sand when it comes to LGBT rights, my smile was short-lived
at the thought that a woman like myself in Russia would not be waking up to such an empowering anthem. No, she would be waking up to fear, loneliness and shame. It’s a sobering thought.
Kristine Allen has also contributed to Gaelick.com and SpunOut.ie.
Mother Russia? I don’t think so – there’s nothing motherly about instilling such feelings into your citizens.
Over 100 Canadian Organisations Against Russian Homophobia Over a hundred Canadian organisations, from LGBT groups to universities and other societies, have written an open letter to call for Canada to take action against Russia’s anti-gay legislation. The letter, posted August 22, calls on the Government of Canada, the IOC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and others to take immediate action ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Part of the letter reads: The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) have authority over Canada’s representation at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The leadership and athletic delegations of the COC and CPC should:
• publicly and privately support, without reservation, any individual athletes, whether they identify as LGBT or not, who choose to use their opportunities at the Games (e.g., when accepting medals) to display their support for the rights of LGBT people; • issue a statement condemning homophobic laws and anti-LGBT violence in Russia; • participate visibly as the Canadian delegation in the Sochi Winter Pride events being organized by Russian LGBT activists; • offer to join the IOC and IPC in hosting Pride House at the Games; and • use the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games to visibly support LGBT human rights as a country delegation. The letter, including all the signatories, can be read here in English, French and Russian.
EILE Magazine 33
News | Russia
Isinbayeva leaves “unsuitable” Volgograd for Monaco Yelena Isinbayeva, the Russian pole-vault champion, who had criticised Emma Green-Tregaro for painting her nails rainbow colours, is leaving her native Volgograd, which she feels is an ‘ugly’ city, to base herself in Monaco, R-Sport has revealed. R-Sport described her as “the out-of-form, aging and under-pressure Isinbayeva” who had just won the world championship gold medal on home soil. She feels it is time to start a family, and has been looking for a suitable home, having won her third world title in Moscow, recently. Isinbayeva gave an interview to Argumeny i Fakty (Arguments and Facts), a Russian daily newspaper, saying that she feels Volgograd has suffered a slow decay, and so is unsuitable to raise a family. Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, had resisted the German army during WWii, and she says:
“I have lots of ties to Volgograd but I want to live in Monaco. Volgograd is a city of victories, and victories for us are associated with sport and studying. But this all needs to be developed like in Kazan” (in oil-rich Tatarstan). “There you can do any sport you want. But what can you do here, when Volgograd is a beggar city? It’s become an ugly old town. It has gone into degradation…In our city there are just no conveniences for living”. She also mentioned poor roads, which would drive you mad “trying to fix your car all the time”, low pay for teachers and coaches, and she says a lack of any sporting achievement, except her own, are reasons why she wants to leave Volgograd for Monaco.
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News | Islan Nettles Death
Death of Trans Woman: NY Council Statement
Islan Nettles, the New York transgender woman who was attacked on Saturday night last (police update says Saturday morning), has died of her injuries. She was taken off life support by the staff at Harlem Hospital on Thursday, and was only 21 years old. The crime is being investigated as a ‘bias’ crime, and police have arrested a 20 year old male, Paris Wilson. The charge, which was one of assault, was upgraded to murder Friday afternoon. She was attacked only metres away from a police station. Nettles’ LinkedIn page states that she was antiviolence and was trying to make her way into the fashion industry: Making my way into the Fashion industry has been my target since middle school. Fashion became a definite decision for my life after my first show with my hand designed garments in highschool at the 11th grade. Creative,energetic, determined, social, positive and anti-violence are some words to describe myself. Nettles was attacked on Saturday in Harlem, when out with a friend who was also transgender. The attack occurred when a group of men realised they were transgender, and started to beat both women. The Medical Examiner says she died of ‘blunt impact injuries’ to her head, Carmen Neely of Harlem Pride, who blamed the incident on transphobia, stated: “Transgender people have rights. They should be able to walk the streets and have a conversation and not be beaten or lose their lives. Whatever the conversation was that night, it should not have resulted in her death.”
A statement by the THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS released on Friday stated: “We are outraged by reports of a possible hate crime that resulted in the tragic death of a transgender woman in Harlem. The 21 year old victim was walking home with friends when she was brutally assaulted. The victim was placed on life-support over the weekend, and passed away yesterday afternoon. An attack against one person, or one community is an assault against all New Yorkers. We ask all New Yorkers to come together, to embrace our differences and to denounce hate violence. New York City’s greatest strength is our diversity and we must send a clear message that we will not be deterred by acts of hate. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends during this difficult time. Demetria Cain commented on the Harlem Pride Facebook: The fact that she was being treated at Harlem Hospital and not one person mentioned it yesterday at the Alicia Keys Empowered Event is a disgrace. This just breaks my heart. Talk about needing to start conversations to reduce stigma. This Shit has got to stop and unless more people talk about this, it will continue. Just breaks my heart. Carmen Neely of Harlem Pride also felt that $2000 bail for the perpetrator sends the wrong message to the LGBT community, that “our transgender brothers and sisters are not valued”. MKB/Eile
Arts | MAC Belfast
The fantastic Metropolitan Arts Centre, better known as the MAC, has announced its programme of 25 new shows for autumn, with some brilliant productions from Northern Ireland and further afield coming to the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Following on from the success of last year’s In the Court of Festival curated by Duke Special, the MAC will kick off their autumn events by handing over the reins to another musically acclaimed guest curator. This year, BBC Radio 6 presenter Tom Ravenscroft will takes over the MAC from September 24 to 28. The festival opens with an amazing double bill of music featuring New York based singer/songwriter, Nina Nastasia and Belfast-based musician/composer, Katharine Philippa. This is followed by the only chance to see cult comedian Adam Buxton’s new show, ‘Kernel Panic’ in Belfast. Tom himself 36 EILE Magazine
Autumnal Arts at The MAC
will bring the East London club night, ’Slow Dance Party’ to the MAC on September 25, while Thursday night will see Mercurynominated Ghostpoet alongside local favourite Girls Names and Songs for Walter. Finally, the closing night sees another first for Belfast with the futuristic sound of San Francisco-based Moon Duo alongside Deptford Goth and Kelpe, providing an exciting end to the festival. Next up, fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, comes Big Telly Theatre Company’s Melmoth the Wanderer which will run from the 10th – 14th of September. This gothic, dark comedy based on the first ever horror novel is sure to grip MAC audiences, with an unusual mix of fright and humour, described as Saw meets Fawlty Towers with a dash of Flann O’Brien. Also in September, the MAC presents another first for Belfast,
with the thrilling and immersive audio experience Ring by Fuel Theatre Company. Ring is a theatre experience like no other, in which the audience wear headphones and experience the story come to life in complete darkness. A totally immersive, sensory experience, which allows your imagination to run wild – it is definitely not to be missed. The MAC continues to support this year’s Ulster Bank Festival at Queen’s and the venue will be home to a weekend of dance. VICTOR, Sol Pico’s Memòries d’una puça and Dance Exposed by Maiden Voyage Dance will all feature from 18-19 October, showcasing the very best in contemporary dance by local and international companies. The MAC’s Associate Artists, Tinderbox (pictured above) return with a captivating and bold new play Summertime from 5 November. Following on from
Arts | MAC Belfast their previous successful runs at the MAC of both Planet Belfast and Huzzies, this new production written by the award-winning David Ireland brings a dark and twisting story about an East Belfast Minister struggling in his new community. The show was piloted at the MAC’s Pick n Mix Festival earlier this year, with stellar performances by Richard Clements and Ivan Little. A moving play with explosive performances, this is definitely a must-see for theatre fans. In another coup, globally renowned conference TEDx will land at the MAC Belfast on the 24th October. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks have an international following and audiences in Belfast will have the opportunity to hear ideas and discussion by some of the world’s leading thinkers. For music fans, there’s also plenty on offer at the MAC. The Not So Trad series by in-house music producer, Eamon Murray, offers a season of traditional music with a fresh and contemporary twist. Acts confirmed for autumn include BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner Emma Sweeney & Friends on October 10; with The Voice Squad making a long awaited comeback alongside acts such as Ruairí Cunnane and John Spillane in an evening on November 17 to celebrate the rich and unique song heritage of Ireland. Last but definitely not least, this Christmas sees the MAC’s very own production HATCH! Adventures of the Ugly Duck to entertain families over the festive period from December 4 to January 5. Directed by Patrick J. O’Reilly, this extraordinary MAC production will feature acrobatic choreography and live music in
this action-packed adventure that tells the tale of the Ugly Duckling; a plucky young champion who meets plenty of friends along the way. So get your little hatchlings down to the MAC this Christmas for a colourful and exciting family show with a difference. In line with this jam-packed line-up in the MAC’s theatre and dance offering, the MAC’s art galleries will be graced by the renowned exhibition ‘The Mystery of Tears.’ This art exhibition features short films from New York based Danish artist Jesper Just, photographs from Marco Anelli in the presence of Marina Abramovic. This also includes 3minute production ‘Lasso’ (2000) by Salla Tykkä.
provide a more attractive cultural tourism offering.” With many of this autumn’s lineup of events free to attend, and tickets for others ranging from £9.50 to £22, it is advisable to book early to get your hands on a bargain. Tickets to all of the MAC’s autumn shows can be purchased now from themaclive.com or from the MAC box office on 028 (RoI: 048) 9023 5053. Full details of the programme are available online, or pick up your copy from the MAC.
This exhibition is aimed at bringing the viewer as close to their emotions as they can and tries to elicit a sincere and powerful shared response from those viewing it. It asks the question of why people have become culturally conditioned to cry or show emotion, so have your handkerchief at the ready. Running from the 24 October to the 12 January, this is a free exhibition so don’t miss out. Nóirín McKinney, Director of Arts Development with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added; “Since opening last April, the MAC has offered a wealth of opportunities to participate in and enjoy the arts, cementing its place as one of Belfast’s leading hubs for ardent theatre goers and young families alike. With an exciting autumn programme ahead, the MAC will undoubtedly build on this success and the Arts Council’s £5.25million capital investment will continue to stimulate the economy here and EILE Magazine 37
Arts | Opera
The Alma Fetish Conleth Teevan writes about the New Opera by Irish Composer Richard Deane, based on Austrian Artist, Kokoschka Wide Open Opera, in association with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the National Concert Hall, presents THE ALMA FETISH, new opera by Raymond Deane & Gavin Kostick. The cast includes Majella Cullagh [Alma] / Leigh Melrose [Oskar] / Daire Halpin [Hulda] / Graeme Danby [Russian Soldier] THE ALMA FETISH was written by internationally celebrated Irish composer Raymond Deane and internationally produced and award-winning playwright (and librettist) Gavin Kostick. Together this innovative duo bring to stage the real life story of Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka whose solution for a spiralling depression was to commission himself a life-size doll of the woman he once loved, Alma Mahler. This concert performance will involve imagery by Pauline Bewick on a large screen above the orchestra, and lighting by Mark Galione. It will be conducted by Fergus Sheil, Artistic Director of Wide Open Opera and recently appointed Artistic Director of Opera Theatre Company. THE ALMA FETISH runs for one night only at the National Concert Hall, Dublin on September 17, 2013. How do you claw back from the abyss of despair? Kokoschka’s passionate affair with Alma Mahler ended in disaster. She taunted him as a coward for 38 EILE Magazine
not fighting in World War One. He entered the war but was grievously injured. Now he has nothing. Alma is gone, his physical and emotional wounds raw, his sanity on the edge… Based on real-life events, Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka’s solution was to commission a life-size doll of Alma. He lived with the doll as a partner; setting the table for two, going for a ride in the carriage, attending the opera. It works. But when the doll received too much credit for restoring his artistic inspiration, Kokoschka doesn’t like it and the doll must be “murdered”… Runs NATIONAL CONCERT HALL :: September 17th, 2013 FURTHER INFORMATION :: nch.ie or wideopenopera.com
News | Arizona
GRINDR / a love story is a new piece of spoken word theatre about the internet, sex and frantically trying to connect, written by Oisin McKenna. Starring McKenna alongside Matthew Malone, the piece examines Dublin’s social media using youth, a generation that has had access to social media as a defining influence on their sexual, romantic and platonic relationships throughout the entirety of their adolescence, adulthood and sexual maturity, and in turn, examines the impacts of this on the ways in which meaningful human relationships can be forged and nurtured between members of this generation. It follows the story of Johnny, a young Irish gay man, who struggles to maintain romantic and sexual relationships with
real-life acquaintances, but instead forms overwhelmingly intense attachments to relative strangers that he comes into contact with through social media, with whom the likelihood of ever forming a genuine physical relationship is relatively low. By following Johnny’s attempts to progress these digital connections into real-life ones, the play approaches the widespread hypothesis that the ability to communicate instantaneously and consistently within a digital forum is increasingly impairing an entire generation’s ability to meaningfully connect on an emotional level in the physical world. It approaches this content in a way that is simultaneously playful, accessible and entertaining, but also urgent, engaging and socially relevant. This is a show for anyone who has ever been certain that their
soulmate is the stranger they just stumbled across on Facebook. McKenna, who is also the creative director of PETTYCASH, was recently named one of The 60 Most Creative People in Ireland Right now, in The Irish Times’ Pop Life blog. Last year, David Doyle was the winner of the NSDF Emerging Artist Award as part of Sunday’s Child Theatre Company in the UK, whilst Patrick Culhane recently won the Best Director Award at ISDA 2013 for The Women Who Cooked Her Husband. Other members of the creative team include Cat O’Shea (Outgoing Chairperson of Trinity Arts Festival) and Aoife Leonard (Human Child, Smock Alley Theatre, July 2013). Dates: September 11th-14th 18:30, Preview September 10th 18:30, Matinee September 14th 14:30.
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EILE Magazine 39
Feature | NI Drama
Blake & Cameron
Gareth Russell writes about a gay romance on the stages of Derry, Belfast and Downpatrick. I have lived with Blake Hartman and Cameron Matthews for nearly five years. They were born in my head, after a particularly torturous end to a particularly torturous on-again, off-again infatuation. As the second novel in which they feature hit the shelves at the end of last year, the stage adaptation prepares to tour Northern Ireland this September. Joseph Williams and David Paulin bringing the boys to life, and I’ve been revisiting and reappraising the process that led to these characters being born, what they mean, or might mean, to an Irish audience at the tail-end of the year in which the drive towards marriage equality took huge steps forward in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Cameron, sixteen years-old at the start of my first novel, Popular, and the son of a businessman living on Belfast’s so-called “Golden Mile,” the Malone Road, is the one character that is often identified as autobiographical, at least by readers or those I meet at Q&As. (He’s at best semiautobiographical and the links become more and more tenuous with each passing year and each passing sequel. But I digress.) I began writing Popular not so 40 EILE Magazine
very long after coming-out myself. and Cameron, in every way, bears the hallmarks of that time in my life. The ‘crossing of the Rubicon moment’ that is coming out – a moment that Blake describes in the novels as ‘losing a weight that you always knew you were carrying, but never knew what it was called’ – was easy to write, but so too was the paralysis before it and the near-hysterical fear that being gay is a kind of seppukku for one’s societal worth. The slow tick-tock of insecurity, like a metronome of neuroticism, that infests the life of the closeted young adult (or perhaps just of the closeted, in general) was, still then, achingly and nauseatingly familiar. Looking back on Popular, it shows a thousand subtle signs that I had written it so soon after coming out. Even Cameron’s name, sad to say, was a product of it. Since childhood, I had wanted a family and when I was eleven years-old I heard the name Cameron, where I don’t quite remember, but I loved it and as I grew up, it was the one name I knew that I wanted for a son that I might one day, God-willing, father. I jealously guarded it, keeping the name to myself, but knowing, sure and certain, that it was a name that I would one day
use. Shortly after coming out, I was so convinced that being gay was something that immediately disqualified me from the possibility of being a parent (it would be asking too much, I theorised then; it would be a demand that annoyed too many people and unfair on any prospective child) that I decided to give the name away to the character who was, however loosely, based on myself. As overdoing a metaphor goes, it shows I was a first-time writer, but I can’t be too harsh on myself; I was younger then and much more fragile. Besides, as Tennessee Williams said, if you can’t go tottering around having the occasional gut-wrenching moment of hysteria as a writer, then when can you? I can remember becoming strangely emotional as I wrote the name down for the first time in the manuscript, which says a lot more about the state I was in as I moved back to Belfast than it does about anything else, I suppose. I wouldn’t do it now, and I certainly don’t think that about families – I no longer particularly care about annoying people - and why should I? – but I do think the name Cameron suits him and I’m glad, now that I gave it to him.
Feature | NI Drama
David Paulin, who plays Cameron in The Immaculate Deception this September, loves the character. It would be easy for David, who hails from the same part of Belfast as the fictitious Cameron does, and attended a school very similar to Cameron’s, to coast on the similarities between them, but instead he has homed in on the differences. “Cameron is in many ways like an iceberg,” he told me, “the more character work I do, the more thought I give him, the more I find beneath the surface.” David was particularly interested in the “many techniques” the slightly haughty, and well puttogether, Cameron uses to maintain his charm and his high school popularity. Of the on-stage relationship with Blake Hartman (played by Joe Williams) David describes it as “an incredibly romantic relationship. They are two people who really are meant to be together. It sounds cliché, I know, but I always felt that it was almost a love-at-first-sight kind of thing for them; or at least definitely something that they knew instantly meant they were supposed to be together in the long-run.” Blake Hartman, the 6’1 object of Cameron’s desires, and his unwilling partner in the fraught process of coming out, is an American transfer student in the novels. He joins the Malone Road grammar school where the books are set, after his family relocates from New Canaan, Connecticut. In the stage instructions, he’s described as “impossibly handsome, with the air of someone who’s spent most of their life outdoors in warmer climates.” The books make much of his Colgate-commercial-worthy
smile and his sumptuous charm. Many readers, to my surprise, initially reacted negatively to Blake, excoriating him for mishandling his coming out, while heaping sympathy on Cameron. Playing him, Joe Williams has always been keen to make him sympathetic; it’s a good move, because in the sequel, The Immaculate Deception¸ he is supposed to be. In his own way, I think, he’s courageous and, for a Christian character, there’s an obvious link between suffering and redemption; pain and renewal. “He’s cool,” Joe says of Blake, which encapsulates so much of what makes Blake such a force onstage, and why I loved writing him.
The Immaculate Deception is primarily a comedy, and one that I had a great time working on, but the romance between Blake and Cameron perhaps means more to me than any single storyline I’ve worked on, outside of a play I once wrote about MarieAntoinette, when I began to become unhealthily fixated with her, and had an obsessive desire to do her story justice.
He is cool; he has the air of someone so at ease in his own skin that he can walk in, head up, flash a smile, hold eye contact, hug who he wants and engage people in conversation, with that rarest of gifts – the ability to listen while also engaging.
Blake and Cameron are the repository of so many thoughts and feelings, but it’s also given birth to two characters who always have the ability to move me, to spur me on to more, and to try to be a better writer. Once, I would have been very nervous about presenting a gay love story on the stages of Derry, Belfast and Downpatrick, but now I simply think of it as presenting a love story – a love story that won’t make people laugh at gay people, as the perennial and easiest of punch-lines, but that will make them laugh with them, when necessary, and invest in them, too.
He, like so many of the Americans I know, has a physical ease that sums up an entire way of life. In rehearsal, Joe also has a clear theoretical idea of Blake the romantic, and of what kind of boyfriend Blake will make in the long-run – confident, funny, charming and romantic. He paints a touching picture of how the two would be together: “He’d romance him, I think. Cameron would expect it and he’d deserve it. Blake would expect it, too.” Both actors understand the joy the two boys are supposed to feel as they reach their final years at school, and move inexorably closer to being an openly gay couple together.
I’ve often thought how great it would have been to see something like Blake and Cameron when I was seventeen; how exciting it would have been. The cast of The Immaculate Deception have been a joy to work with, but yesterday as we were rehearsing a scene between Cameron and Blake, David’s Cameron said a phrase that stuck with me, “If I’d only been better, you wouldn’t have left me.” Writing them, directing them, rehearsing them, bringing them to life has reminded me of what it was like when I truly believed that there was something about me that could be “better,” even though I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, name it. EILE Magazine 41
Feature | NI Drama
Those days are long behind me, and watching Cameron and Blake edging towards each other, smiling, tactile, kissing, flirting and teasing, in the play’s final quarter, I’m also reminded – does this sound ridiculous? – how much I love it, now. How wonderful a good man, a good person, is. How completely wonderful – goodness, what has come over me? The teenage Tory in me usually eschews sentiment in all its public forms – being in love is. Blake and Cameron have been a growing curve, and Blake’s final line, lifted from the Bible he still believes in, is one that I’ve always adhered to, even in the face of idiocy, bigotry or mindboggling cruelty, “You shall know the Truth; and the Truth shall set you free.” When I asked David Paulin what he thought of how the audience, in 2013 in Northern Ireland, would react to the portrayal of Cameron and Blake’s relationship, a gay relationship between two teenagers, he answered, “They’ll root for them. You can’t help but root for them.” -
“Popular” and its sequel “The
42 EILE Magazine
Immaculate Deception” are available on Amazon UK. “The Immaculate Deception” will be shown in the Waterside Theatre in Derry/Londonderry on 13th September, in Stranmillis Theatre on 14th September, the Rainbow Factory Theatre in Belfast City Centre on 19th September and Down Arts Centre on 21st September. Tickets, prices and other
information is available on the series’ website, thepopularseries.com.
Cover: Rebecca De Havalland by Shane McCarthy Based in his studio off Dublin’s Baggot Street, Shane’s work has been printed in most Irish publications. He has had 2 solo exhibitions, featuring his work in India, and a documentation of Dublin’s Liberties.
www.shanemccarthy.ie 4a Hagan’s Court, Lad Lane, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 87 252 6944
Legal | ‘Gay Panic’
American Bar Association – End to ‘Gay Panic’ Defense
The American Bar Association, House of Delegates has adopted a resolution which will no longer allow perpetrators to use a defence for physical attack or murder, based on the victim’s sexual orientation, or the perpetrator’s alleged fear of a sexual advance by the victim – the so-called ‘gay panic defense’ [defence], According to the ABA Report on the use of this, and the ‘transpanic defense’, these defences are outdated, and, based on current understanding of LGBT individuals, should not be allowed to influence a jury: The “gay panic” and “trans panic” legal defenses are surprisingly longlived historical artifacts, remnants of a time when widespread public antipathy was the norm for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (‘LGBT’) individuals. These defenses ask the jury to find that the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction. They characterize sexual orientation and gender identity as objectively reasonable excuses for loss of self-control, and thereby mitigate a perpetrator’s culpability for harm done to LGBT individuals. By fully or partially excusing the perpetrators of crimes against LGBT victims, these defenses enshrine in the law the notion that LGBT lives are worth less than others. […] Continued use of these 44 EILE Magazine
anachronistic defenses marks an egregious lapse in our nation’s march toward a more just criminal system. As long as the gay and trans panic strategies remain available and effective, it halts the forward momentum initiated by criminal law reforms such as rape shield rules and federal hatecrime laws. To reflect our modern understanding of LGBT individuals as equal citizens under law, gay and trans panic defenses must end. In this report, various cases of LGBT related crimes are mentioned, including the murder of 15 year old Larry King. The American Bar Association adopted resolution (113A) relating to the “gay panic defense”, during the association’s policymaking body meeting in San Francisco, at the ABA’s 2013 Annual Meeting, which was held from 8th to 13th August. The meeting of the House of Delegates, which has 560 members from state and local bar associations, and other ABA organizations, was held at the end of their Annual Meeting. Among other resolutions adopted during the session, for instance policies on genocide and mental health, the House approved six recommendations sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section regarding the “gay panic” defense. The Resolution states:
That the American Bar Association urges federal, state, local and territorial governments to take legislative action to curtail the availability and effectiveness of the “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses, which seek to partially or completely excuse crimes such as murder and assault on the grounds that the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction. Such legislative action should include: (a) Requiring courts in any criminal trial or proceeding, upon the request of a party, to instruct the jury not to let bias, sympathy, prejudice, or public opinion influence its decision about the victims, witnesses, or defendants based upon sexual orientation or gender identity; and (b) Specifying that neither a non-violent sexual advance, nor the discovery of a person’s sex or gender identity, constitutes legally adequate provocation to mitigate the crime of murder to manslaughter, or to mitigate the severity of any non-capital crime. MKB/Eile
USA | Conversion Therapy
Governor Chris Christie Bans Conversion Therapy Governor Chris Christie signed legislation on August 19, banning the practice of gay conversion therapy on minors in New Jersey. The bill, Assembly Bill 3371, was first introduced in October 2012, and “prohibits counseling to change the sexual orientation of a minor.” It passed both houses of the legislature with bipartisan majorities in June of this year. Now with the Governor’s signature, New Jersey becomes only the second state in the country that bans gay conversion therapy. The Governor’s press release pointed out that he had already stated that he opposed conversion therapy, and his action on this bill is consistent with his belief that people are born gay, and homosexuality is not a sin. His office cites an interview with Piers Morgan in 2011: http://youtu.be/QVNUszOgvlI Piers Morgan: Is homosexuality a sin?Governor Christie: Well my religion says it’s a sin. I mean I think, but for me, I’ve always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual. And so I think if someone is born that way it’s very difficult to say then that’s a sin. But I understand that my Church says that, but for me personally I don’t look at someone who is homosexual as a sinner. As he signed the bill into law, the governor stated: Assembly Bill No. 3371, which I have signed today, prohibits individuals who are licensed to provide professional counseling under Title 45 of the New Jersey statutes from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation. At the outset of this debate, I expressed my concerns
about government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children. I still have those concerns. Government should tread carefully into this area and I do so here reluctantly. I have scrutinized this piece of legislation with that concern in mind. However, I also believe that on issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards. The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientation can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate. Based upon this analysis, I sign this bill into law. Some conservative groups are already trying to tie the legislation up in court to delay its implementation, saying it denies them free speech. This has already been done with the Californian 2012 legislation on the same subject, in the federal appeals court. Liberty Counsel, a law firm that is opposed to adding terms such as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to legislation on hate crimes, is involved in these actions. MKB/Eile
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Health | PrEP
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Dr. Shay Keating writes about the advantages and disadvantages of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in the treatment of HIV Prophylaxis, in medical terms means preventing a disease or condition. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is any prophylactic treatment started after an exposure to a disease. PEP is currently licensed under strict specialist supervision following HIV exposure either sexually or needle stick. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) on the other hand is a medical or public health procedure used before an exposure to prevent a disease rather than treat or cure it. For example, a doctor might give medication used to treat a specific disease to a healthy person who is believed, not have the disease but to be at risk of contracting it. A well known and commonly used example of PrEP is malaria medicine, given to travellers to countries where the disease is endemic such as Sub Saharan Africa. PrEP is currently used in serodiscordant couples where one partner is HIV positive and the other negative and where the woman is keen to become pregnant. PrEP is used by the negative partner for a defined 46 EILE Magazine
time around the planned time of conception is a powerful tool to limit HIV infection from sexual intercourse. This has lessened the need for specialist and expensive sperm washing or artificial insemination in many cases. What about using PrEP indefinitely as a HIV prevention tool? In 2007 the iPrEx study enrolled 2499 individuals to take part in a clinical trial. The trial involved 6 counties worldwide including the United States. This was the first trial to study the effectiveness of continuous PrEP use in preventing HIV infection. All participants in the study received monthly HIV testing, safer sex counselling, condoms and STI treatment where appropriate. Half of the participants received a popular antiretroviral therapy (ART) and half received a placebo. The results of this study were interesting. There was a 43.8% reduction in HIV infection in those taking ART. This research was hailed by Time Magazine as the ‘most significant medical
breakthrough of 2010’. It has been estimated that taking ART every day would be 99% effective in preventing HIV infection. This is comparable to consistent and careful condom use, which apart from abstinence has up to now been the best sexually acquired HIV prevention strategy. Condoms can slip off or break and that’s when one remembers to use one.
The early PrEP data seems very promising but there are some problems. Adherence to PrEP is essential. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta Georgia had a more tempered response to iPrEx. They argued that PrEP has been shown to reduce HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) and not heterosexuals or injecting drug users. The TDF2 trial in Botswana however, showed a 63% reduced risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men and women. Used correctly, PrEP appears to
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Health | PrEP (Continued) be effective.
warrant the long-term use of PrEP.
The early PrEP data seems very promising but there are some problems. Adherence to PrEP is essential. Studies found that high levels of adherence to ART i.e., no missed doses, correlated with high levels of protection against HIV infection and poor adherence to poor levels of protection. HIV resistance to PrEP can also be a problem. HIV resistance can only occur in the context of active infection. It can occur if someone becomes infected with HIV either as a consequence of poor adherence or in the ‘window period’ where the person is infected following negative antibody testing. Furthermore the published PrEP studies used ART that is the backbone of many popular HIV treatment regimes. Resistance to this drug regime could seriously compromise treatment options going forward.
There are also cost implications. It has been estimated that one year of PrEP could cost in the region of €10,000. The government, which funds HIV care, could treat someone who is HIV positive with this money. Current expert advice in Ireland is that long-term use to prevent HIV infection, PrEP should be the last defence after considering condom use, regular HIV and STI testing and a reduction in the number of sexual partners.
Another problem with PrEP is that in studies one in five MSM admitted that they would be less likely to use condoms with PrEP. This would increase potential exposure to other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, herpes or hepatitis. Side effects of PrEP are also a reality. We can prescribe ART to those already affected by HIV and they will benefit hugely by the resolution of immune function but the real risk of adverse events in the otherwise well who do not have HIV may not
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 an Associate Specialist in Genitourinary Medicine, at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin. For more information contact stdclinic.ie Phone: 01-497 0022 or +353 87 234 5551
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I believe that until we know more, PrEP should only be given in very controlled clinical circumstances by specialists in the field. Furthermore there is a concern that ad hoc prescribing or illicit procurement of PrEP will most certainly lead to abuse of the ARTs and ultimately to HIV infection and drug resistance.
News | David Miranda
Partner of Guardian Journalist Detained in UK for Nine Hours although an officer did contact him some hours after his partner had been detained. Writing for The Guardian, Greenwald writes that as his partner clearly was not a terrorist, the authorities in Heathrow were instead questioning Miranda on his partner’s journalistic work, including investigations into the US National Security Agency:
The partner of American journalist Glenn
Greenwald, who interviewed whistle-blower Edward Snowden for The Guardian, was detained in the United Kingdom for nine hours without a solicitor/ attorney under the UK’s Terrorism Act of 2007. David Miranda, a Brazilian national, was travelling home to Rio de Janeiro from Berlin via London’s Heathrow Airport when he was stopped by airport police and detained for questioning under the 2007 law. The law, which applies to airports, ports and other border areas within the UK, allows for authorities to stop and question travellers for a maximum of nine hours. After that time, authorities must formally arrest or release the individual.
“[…] they obviously had zero suspicion that David was associated with a terrorist organization or involved in any terrorist plot. Instead, they spent their time interrogating him about the NSA reporting which Laura Poitras, the Guardian and I are doing, as well the content of the electronic products he was carrying.” In the same piece, Greenwald criticises the British authorities for their actions, stating that “to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic.” Scotland Yard have confirmed that a 28-yearold man was detained for questioning under the Terrorism Act and released without charge nine hours later, although no further details were disclosed.
Although Mr Miranda was released without charge, many personal belongings were confiscated by the British authorities, including his mobile phone, laptop, memory sticks and more. During the time Miranda was being detained at Heathrow, he was not allowed to contact Mr Greenwald back in Rio,
Get the word out to those that matter. EILE Magazine 49
Cooking | Summer Berry Cake
Summer Berry Cake For those last lazy sunny afternoons,, when you can still sit in the garden and enjoy the warm air, Dermie O’Sullivan has a delicious recipe for a Summer Berry Cake that is perfect for making you think the good weather will go on forever. Dermie says: The one berry I really like is the loganberry which is tricky enough to come across, but well worth it when you do. Loganberries will start to appear in late July. They are a natural hybrid, a cross between a blackberry, and a raspberry, but are longer and darker than a raspberry. For this recipe, I picked up a pot of Loganberry Jam from the local Farmers’ Market for the filling and it gave the cake a tremendous taste. However, raspberry jam or even strawberry jam works just as well. [Note: Vegans will have to use trial and error for the eggsubstitute, approximate measures for grms to eggs below,. For vegans and those with egg or dairy allergies, the measures are approximate, and you will need to try these out. Hope it works out for you as this sounds like another mouth-watering recipe from Dermie - mkb] 50 EILE Magazine
Shopping List - 175g Unsalted Butter (cubed and at room temperature) [Vegans try any nut butter] - 175g Caster Sugar - 175g Free Range Eggs (at room temperature) [vegans: 1 large egg = 55 grms = 2 ounces approx] - 175g Plain Flour (sifted) - 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract - 450g Softly Whipped Cream [any vegan whipped cream substitute] - 8 Tbsp Loganberry Jam (or strawberry / raspberry) - 350g Fresh In Season Irish Berries (Loganberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries) - Shavings of White Chocolate to decorate (optional) [vegans could try dark chocolate] Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4. Lightly grease two 20cm sandwich cake tins with melted butter [vegans: veg oil or nut butter] and line the bases of each with baking parchment. 2. In a wide bowl, cream the butter [or nut butter] well with a wooden spoon until very soft and pale, then add in the sugar and mix with an electric hand whisk until very light and fluffy. Taking time at this stage in the baking will reward you with a much
lighter cake. 3. Gently add the eggs [or egg substitute] one-by-one, beating well after each addition, adding a tablespoon of flour with each egg [or substitute] to stop the mixture from curdling. Add in the vanilla extract, before gently folding in the flour. The mixture should fall easily off a spoon, if it doesn’t add in a tablespoon or two of buttermilk [vegans; nut milk + drop cider vinegar] to loosen it up. 4. Weigh your mixture and divide equally between the two lined tins and smooth the tops with the back of a soup spoon. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean the cake is baked. Leave to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. 5. Once cooled, spread the inside of one of the sponges evenly with raspberry jam. Evenly spread half the whipped cream [or vegan substitute] on the inside of the second layer and sandwich the two together. Decorate the top of the cake with the remainder of the cream and decorate with fresh berries as in the picture above. Recipe and Styling: Dermie O’Sullivan, Gas Mark Seven Images: Walutek Photography Props: La Vie En Rose
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