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Magazine V 5 Issue 6 - January 2018

Simon XO Béar Féile Interview with Tom and Eoin

No No Yeah Okay Lrish LGBTI Diaspora Paul Dowling


Travel | Film | Fashion |Health | News

EILE Magazine | Who’s Who


M. Butler M. Butler is a writer and editor, with a keen interest in human rights, and has studied philosophy and psychology Scott De Buitléir Scott is founder and Editor-at-Large of EILE Magazine. He is also an author and poet from Dublin but now based in Cork Paul Dowling Social worker, Paul Dowling, is from Wexford, but he and his husband now live in Chicago. His story project, At Home Abroad, sets down the experiences of the Irish LGBTI diaspora. For more visit: Lisa Reynolds Originally from Co. Meath, Lisa is a fashion industry student, now living in Bray, Co Wicklow, with a great interest in media and celebrity Brian Rochford Brian has studied health, exercise, and nutrition, with a special interest in controlling pain in rheumatism and arthritis Brian Rochford also writes on fashion column this month Frances Winston Frances Winston is EILE’s resident film buff, and has contributed to many other publications, such as The Irish Independent and Irish Tatler

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EILE Magazine | Welcome

Highlights January 2018 Béar Féile 2018 - P.18 Interview with Tom O’Connor of Dublin Bears, and Mr Bear Ireland, Eoin Dolan, about Béar Féile 2018, and the Mr Bear Ireland contest

Volume 5, Issue 6 Editor-at-Large: Scott De Buitléir Editor: MKB

The Irish LGBTI Diaspora - P.22

Contributors: M. Butler, Scott De Buitléir, Paul Dowling, MKB, Lisa Reynolds, Brian Rochford, Frances Winston

Paul Dowling, founder of At Home Abroad, writes about the experiences of the Irish LGBTI diaspora

Photographers: CJFoeckler Photography, Darek Kuc ,LaFamos

Health - P.34 Brian Rochford tells us to start the health year as we mean to go on

Music - Pps. 6,10,and 30 Our music section this month features No No Yeah Okay, Simon XO, and PrissyLips

Fashion - P.14. Brian Rochford writes on keeping fashionably warm as the cold weather continues

NB: All images in this publication are either under Creative Commons licence, or used with permission. Image credits, where necessary, are printed on the corresponding page(s) or photo(s). Any queries can be made to Special Thanks to MKB for all her hard work, dedication and support. Web: Contact: Twitter: @EILEMagazine Facebook: Note: All opinions expressed in this issue are the writers’ own.



…plus film reviews, news, travel, and much more! EILE Magazine 

EILE Magazine | Editor’s Letter

Contents 6-

No No Yeah Okay

10 -

Simon XO

14 -

Men’s Fashion

18 -

Béar Féile Interview

22 -

LGBTI Diaspora

26 -


28 -

Look Back In Anger

30 -


32 -

Travel USA

34 -


36 -

Frances on Film

44 -

Review BigBangOpera

50 -

The MAC Date Show


EILE January 2018 Edition! Welcome to the January 2018 issue of EILE Magazine This month, as Béar Féile is coming up in March, we have an interview with Tom O’Connor of Dublin Bears and the current Mr Bear Ireland, Eoin Dolan. We also have a great article from Paul Dowling about the experiences of the Irish LGBTI diaspora, and their omission from the Irish government’s policy document. Our musical guests this month are No No Yeah Okay and Simon XO, both from the US, and Lisa Reynolds writes about David Bowie and PrissyLips. Our health section is written by Brian Rochford, who also writes on fashion this month, and Frances Winston gives her witty take on current films. We also source some great bargains in multi-centre trips to the USA, in our travel section.

World LGBT News, Views, Arts, Entertainment etc

With lots more news, views and entertainment in this edition, we hope you enjoy this January 2018 issue of EILE Magazine!

Scott De Buitléir Founder / Editor-at-Large

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See our film reviews by Frances Winston

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No No Ye

Milwaukee- based four-piece b just released an ambient track Make Believe, with This month EILE Magazine features Electro Soul/Electro Pop/Ambient/EDM band, No No Yeah Okay. They hail from Milwaukee in the US, have just released their latest single, Make Believe, and are soon to release their new EP, Cabal.

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eah Okay Image: LaFamos

band No No Yeah Okay have with melodious synths, called an EP in the works No No Yeah Okay formed in 2014, when Mark Gage (production) and Christopher Quasius (guitar) invited friend and, at the time, rapper, Colin Plant (vocals) to add vocals to some of their experimental instrumental tracks. They then added Joshua Paynter (bass) and completed the band. They have since performed everywhere from Summerfest to NBA halftime shows. Their latest single, Make Believe, is an atmospheric track, with electronic beats giving it an underlying

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Image: CJFoekler Photography

No NoYeah Okay Image: CJFoekler Photography

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Image: Facebook

faster rhythm, overlaid with ballad-style vocals, countered by melodic synths. Their debut song, XO, was the beginning of a long road of discovery. How do you mash hip-hop with electronic with punk? They say they are still figuring that out, one song at a time. In 2015, No No Yeah Okay released their EP, Dual. With different musical personalities, each member contributed a unique perspective, which gelled together in

Album Art for Make Believe

their debut project resulting in a narrative that anyone can relate to - the many ups and downs of your first serious relationship. No No Yeah Okay are becoming known as a unique presence in the music world, focusing on aesthetics and storytelling. The band are becoming more certain of their own musical journey, and are entrancing fans and larger audiences at home and abroad, who are eager for their unique sound. As No No Yeah Okay are set to release their new EP, Cabal, the band highlight their evolution and maturity in musical nuances. Cabal interweaves the varying personalities in the band, bringing them into sharp focus, and delivering a satisfying musical experience for the listener. -MKB You can catch up with the boys at: NONOYEAHOKAY/ http://www.nonoyeahokay. com/ EILE Magazine 

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Simon XO Electro-pop artist, Simon XO, has just released his first solo project, a doublesingle called Waiting for Me to Break/How Do I Fight It Simon is a talented 22-year-old singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, who has just released two evocative synth-pop singles with a folk narrative, coupled with lush synths, guitar riffs, meaty drumbeats, and a soulful vocal to tap into your thoughts, which are all there in Waiting for Me to Break.

His lyrics are filmic, bringing you right to the spot where it’s happening, as with the second single, How Do I Fight It. “How do I fight it/The sense I’m no good/Why am I lying/I’m not misunderstood” We’ve all felt that way at some time, so we know the feeling. Couple this with a soaring

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vocal and you’ve got another emotional roller-coaster of a song in the second single. Originally from San Diego, Simon XO says he started playing trombone at a young age, and by thirteen he was blasting it along to Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and Wilco albums. However, he also wanted to be a mainstream artist, so he enrolled in USC’s Thornton School of Music to hone his craft. Now, after years of playing in various bands, Simon XO now feels he is ready for this first solo release. The fact that he can produce such a full sound, with lyrics that are raw and centred, makes us think he is right to go solo. Simon is all set to release an EP, Covering, due for mid-2018, which features songs with emotive themes of doubt, loved ones, and facing intrapersonal fears. Just the stuff life is made of, we can’t wait!


Artwork for Waiting..... 12 EILE Magazine

Follow Simon XO or download his music by visiting: SimonXOmusic. simon-xo/1328566142

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Winter Warmers! Brian Rochford tells us what will keep us warm and snuggly in this cold, stormy weather

January 2018, and it’s still cold and wintery. As the saying goes “Ne’er cast a clout till May be out”. It may have been said a long time ago, but these words of wisdom still hold true, unless you want to suffer for your fashion. For 2018, Winter jumpers are still hanging in there as they are so warm, versatile and comfortable during these cold spells, and any purchase that you have made will still be giving you value. The turtle-neck and roll-neck sweaters still seem to be popular as the fashion year gets started. With so many colours and styles to choose from, and the varied combinations available, they can be paired with just about any fashionable item. Try matching your favourite sweater with joggers, liven up an old pair of jeans, or try wearing them with a more sophisticated pair of trousers. You’ll be spoiled for choice as well as well as looking your best this season. Still holding its own, and will be for this year and for seasons to come, is Athleisure. This fashionable active wear, that was around last year, is comfortably stylish, casual, and can be worn in everyday situations as well as when you are exercising. People are spending a lot more money on activewear, as running and going to the gym continue to be popular.


Street-fashion and runway colours are becoming more vibrant this year. Loose tailoring has been seen increasingly on the runway. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is becoming

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more popular, and will be around for 2018. Men’s bags, like cross-body bags, have been trending, and it appears that they will be making a fashion statement this season. Remember that trends are there only to inspire and guide you, not to make you feel like you have to wear everything that is fashionable at the moment. Top coats and overcoats are still trending, and still a popular staple, particularly the camel overcoat. This type of overcoat can effortlessly smarten up a more casual look. The tan colour is very bold and can pair very well with burgundy, black, and navy, also with beige, brown, and even grey. Layer it over jumpers, turtle necks, and even cardigans. It can also be worn over suits, and can look very stylish when worn over jeans. If you really want to be on-trend you might risk wearing them over baggy pants.

Tokyo laundry

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It has been said that this season is about the influence of the 90s, with menswear moving towards loose tailoring,

looking to the style of the military for inspiration. Over-sized padded jackets and pants are a must for the fashion-conscious, with bolder and brighter shades surfacing this winter-time, even though one would expect a more muted palette. Camo fashion is still out there somewhere, while it is not a style that everyone can wear, it can still be seen surfacing in many different interpretations and looks. 2018 is off to a colourful start, with styles, fabrics, and fashion pieces to suit everyone, so get out there, brave the storms, and grab some Winter bargains!


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Béar Féile 2018! An Interview with Dublin Bears' Tom O'Connor and Mr Bear Ireland, Eoin Dolan – M. Butler

Ireland’s Bear festival, Béar Féile 2018, is coming up in March, and to find out more about it, we interviewed Tom O’Connor of Dublin Bears. We asked him to tell us how Dublin Bears began, what they have to do for their main festival every year, Béar Féile, and about their charity work. We also found out what winning the Mr Bear Ireland contest means to Eoin Dolan, the current title-holder.   Hi Tom, and welcome, could you begin by telling me a little bit about the founding of Dublin Bears, and who founded it?   Back in 2009, some friends approached me to help set up a Bear Festival in Dublin. They had been to one or two in Scotland ( Bearscotfest )and elsewhere, and really wanted to try one here. Dublin already had a Bear and a Leather scene, but they wanted to try a full weekend festival. We met a few times and discussed what was possible and how we would go about it, who would be involved etc. We wanted an event that would reflect our home scene and talent, but would also attract an International

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audience. After the success of our first Béar Féile in 2010, we decided to form a committee and start regular social and entertainment events. The Dublin Bears group was born! I know Dublin Bears raise funds for charity. Can you tell me about that work, and why you picked those organisations?   Since the beginning, we decided that a good proportion of our events would be for charity. Dublin Bears endeavour to create a positive space, and we look to other LGBT or broader charities that try to  do the same. So, for instance, we have arranged events to raise cash and awareness for Dublin Aids Alliance, Pieta House, Outhouse, and Gay Switchboard Ireland (GSI). We have received tremendous support from GSI over the years at our events, and they would be our principal nominated charity. We hold regular events for them. We hope to continue supporting them and other charities going forward.   What are Dublin Bears’ main goals over the next year or years?   We will continue running Béar Féile every March, and hope it will grow and develop. We are delighted with its success over the years. We have plans for one or two more large events, featuring guest groups and clubs from abroad, and will continue to hold charity events. Mr Bear Ireland will represent us, and the Irish Bear Community, in the Mr Bear Europe Competition in Cologne in June, so that is very exciting for us.

Mr Bear Ireland Eoin Dolan



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I know Béar Féile 2018 is coming up. What is it all about? It’s a big weekend of fun, socialising, and entertainment for Bears and friends from all over the world. We have a great variety of entertainment arranged, including 5 DJs, a Trad Music session, Cabaret, A Bear Bus tour ( with a cabaret tour guide!! ), the wonderful local Synth-Pop Duo EDEN, and the Mr Bear Competition with Panti, featuring the amazing ABBAesque!. There’s even Bear Bingo in the George! It’s all about relaxing, getting to know  guys from home and abroad, and bringing a warm, friendly atmosphere to the Dublin scene. We include all of the LGBT venues in the event, so guys get to see the best of our community over the weekend.   How much time and effort goes into arranging Béar Féile, and also  arranging the Mr Bear Ireland contest?   We start planning Béar Féile in September. Thankfully we have now established ourselves with the various venues, and are delighted to have their continued support. We have a template that seems to work for us, so we try to colour that with a few regular elements, such as the Trad session or Bear Bus, and then vary the highlights. We brainstorm among the team, and also ask friends or guests what they think of our ideas. We are hoping to try one or two new things this year, and although some plans are set in stone, due to contracts etc, it is an ever-evolving process, and we quite regularly have spontaneous events appearing at the weekend itself!   You’ve been honoured for your work, and won some awards for Dublin Bears. What are they?   We won a GALA for Event of the Year for Béar Féile in 2015. We recently won a Community Spirit Award from Dublin Bus, and were shortlisted for another GALA for Community Organisation of the Year. Dublin Pride gave us a Special Award for our contribution to the

Dublin LGBT Pride Festival in 2016. What are your future hopes for Dublin Bears?   We hope to continue running social events, as well as larger specialty nights with International guests and, of course, we will hold various charity events as we go along.     The current Mr Bear Ireland, Eoin Dolan, is also very enthusiastic about what Dublin Bears are doing, and we asked him what becoming Mr Bear Ireland meant to him: “I tried out for the first time, and came second to my best mate, in 2015. So I waited a while and gave it another go, because I really wanted it, and I really thought that I could be a good representative for Ireland’s Bear community. I’m delighted to represent the Irish Bear Community at home and abroad, and really look forward to taking part in the Mr Bear Europe Competition in June 2018. “   EILE Magazine would like to thank both Tom O’Connor and Eoin Dolan for taking the time to talk to us, and we wish Dublin Bears and Eoin the best of luck for the Mr Bear Europe contest in June.

For more information, visit the Béar Féile Facebook Events page: Photography Darek Kuc Artwork Glenn Quigley GQDesign

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Exile and Invisibility Ireland’s LGBTQI Diaspora By Paul Dowling When the Government of Ireland published its first overarching vision for engaging with the global Irish diaspora in 2015, it missed an opportunity to acknowledge the exile of generations of LGBTQI people, and write us back into the history books.     I imagine that for most Irish people -whether living in Ireland or overseas - the publication of  a policy document by the Government of Ireland called Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy, in March of 2015, went unnoticed. While its publication didn’t escape my attention, something very important about it did. It wasn’t until almost a year later that an online article I stumbled across triggered an important realization for me.   The article in questions was written by a young woman, who described how London has been an escape hatch for many LGBT Irish people unable to be themselves at home. A link brought me to another article, written in 2015, by a man in his later 20s. The headline proclaimed: ‘I needed to leave Ireland to come out as a gay man’. 22 EILE Magazine

The themes of these articles resonated with me in a very personal way. Although it hadn’t been clear to me at the time, my own emigration from  Ireland had been for reasons of sexual identity and belonging. I started to wonder where people like me, and those discussed in the articles I found, fit into Ireland’s great saga of emigration and exile, and why we weren’t featured in the government’s new diaspora engagement strategy.   From the Great Famine to the total collapse of the Celtic Tiger, the dominant narrative around emigration from Ireland has always been an economic one. Those who left were escaping starvation and poverty, or stepping out of dole queues, and onto planes bound for the abundant job opportunities that lay in wait elsewhere. Little attention has been given to the experiences of emigrants leaving Ireland for social reasons, or to escape a deep sense of alienation

from a homogeneous, stifling society. What has ever really been said of those who left Ireland not because they were starving, but because they were suffocating? The Global Irish document makes no mention of those emigrants compelled to leave Ireland for societal reasons, and, because of this omission, perpetuates the invisibility of this group. Countless LGBTQI people across successive generations must surely number among this sorry cohort. Ireland has become a relatively liberal place only in relatively recent times. Current diaspora policy does not communicate any tactics,  or even a desire to engage those emigrants, who - quite justifiably - have felt mistreated by the country they left.  This omission is made all the more glaring when we consider the timing of the document’s publication in March 2015, when Ireland was in the throes of  a


countrywide debate about marriage equality, and to what extent LGBTQI people should be allowed to participate in Irish society. While the government busied itself campaigning on our behalf in one area of social policy, it was maintaining our invisibility in another. I started At Home Abroad as an effort to finally create space for the LGBTQI community, within Ireland’s long-running discourse on emigration. It’s a story project, gathering together personal accounts of LGBTQI Irish emigrants, about how their experience of emigration has been shaped by their gender and sexual identity. In reaction to the government’s failure to acknowledge LGBTQI emigration, At Home Abroad grew to also encompass a policy component. A formal written submission has been made to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) highlighting some of the issues LGBTQI emigrants have often faced. This submission asks that the government acknowledges the experiences of LGBTQI emigrants, and offers meaningful initiatives that could be taken to achieve this. The submission was endorsed by 20 Irish organizations from around the globe. At Home Abroad also calls on all Irish people, wherever they may be, to support the inclusion of LGBTQI members of the diaspora, by

contacting their TDs and local Irish consulates and embassies, to let them know that this is something of importance to them.     Despite the shortcomings of the diaspora policy, there are reasons for optimism. Each year the DFAT provides considerable funding to organizations throughout the world that engage the Irish diaspora in a variety of ways, from social services to business networking. Last year at least two LGBT specific organizations, and one with robust LGBT programming, received funding. Furthermore, the overview of the DFAT’s funding application process for 2018/19, which opened on Monday 15th January,  states that one of three areas of particular interest to the DFAT are  projects ‘That reflect diversity within the Irish diaspora and Irish communities’.  I’d like to think that the work of At Home Abroad played some small part in making  diversity within the Irish diaspora a new priority for the Government of Ireland.   If you have something to say about the LGBTQI Irish emigrant experience, At Home Abroad would love to hear it!  Visit to learn more about submitting a personal story. The formal written submission made to the DFAT  by at Home Abroad, as well as the letter received in response, can also be found in the ‘policy’ section of the website.

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You’re in for a great night this month with Club GASS! It’s a Back To The 90’s dressup, so whether you dress like Britney Spears, the Spice Girls, MC Hammer or Pulp, you’ll be strutting your stuff in the company of Miss Kiki St Clair, Donna, Alicia and Poppy. There will, of course, be some special guests, and DJ John is the man with the nineties music! The whole shebang is at the Róisín Dubh, Dominick Street, in Galway, on 16th February, and doors are at 11.30 pm.

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Album Review

David Bowie & The Story Of Ziggy Stardust By Lisa Reynolds

Last month, I wrote about one legend we lost in George Michael, and this month, I’ve been watching a documentary about yet another musical legend lost to the world, David Bowie, born David Robert Jones. David died in 2016 on January 10th at his New York apartment, from liver cancer, just two days after his 69th birthday. I think most people remember where they were when they heard David Bowie had passed away. I was in college. One of my tutors at the time was a fan, and she said at the beginning of class that he was dead. I remember it being an awful shock at the time, and I instantly felt the loss of both a great artist, and someone who had done so much to advance a freedom for people to be themselves. He was such a great promoter, whether deliberately so or not, of encouraging people to be who they were. I certainly think David Bowie’s career made it easier for those of us who aren’t straight to say we aren’t. Also that day, even with the sadness and shock at his death, I smiled inwardly in that class about one thing, I was wearing a top which was made for lads, and I doubt I would have been doing that in the middle of a college classroom so openly and freely, without David Bowie’s bravery all those years before. David Bowie & The Story of Ziggy Stardust (2012) is a BBC 4 documentary, narrated by Jarvis Cocker. It follows David’s early attempts at success in the music business, the formation of his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, and his subsequent success. Throughout the documentary, there are clips from his music career, and snippets from interviews he gave, with appearances from a host of people, including the Spiders from Mars, apart from Mick Ronson who had died before this documentary was made, Mick’s widow Suzi Ronson, Elton John, Dana Gillespie, Lindsay Kemp, childhood friend George Underwood, Holly Johnson, Gary Kemp and Marc Almond.

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We also hear about David’s romantic life, through his first marriage to Angie Bowie and his relationship with mime artist and dancer, Lindsay Kemp. Kemp also staged some of the Ziggy Stardust shows. The documentary also includes the social issues raised by David’s career, and the great help he gave to LGBTQ+ people to be themselves. David had made several early attempts at making it in music. The novelty record he recorded, called The Laughing Gnome, made me smile. We also see a clip from his stage work with Lindsay Kemp, which had seen critical acclaim at the time, the early ideas David had for Ziggy Stardust, and the story of how he and Mick Ronson began working together. Nothing new that any David Bowie fan won’t already know, but a lovely trip down memory lane at the same time. -A fantastic nostalgic look at the Ziggy Stardust period in David’s career, and a very interesting documentary on a huge moment in music history. Rest in peace David. To watch David Bowie & The Story Of Ziggy Stardust go to:

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Gate Theatre presents LOOK BACK IN ANGER by John Osborne 1 February – 24 March The Gate Theatre presents Look Back In Anger by John Osborne Award-winning Irish theatre director, Annabelle Comyn, takes a fresh look at the explosive words of playwright, John Osborne, in the Gate Theatre’s new production of his 1950’s play, Look Back in Anger – a play which launched his career to international fame. This blistering new staging of Osborne’s 1950s international hit play, tackles themes of sex, class, religion, politics, the media, and the sense of a country stifled by an official establishment culture. The play focuses on the life and marital struggles of the play’s main character, Jimmy Porter, and wife Alison, while addressing the rise of the Right Wing. This new production brings this ‘groundbreaking for its time’ play bang up-todate, while also reminding us of how life has changed for the better in recent times. Look Back In Anger by John Osborne Cast: Clare Dunne, Ian Toner, Vanessa Emme, Lloyd Cooney Directed by Annabelle Comyn From 1st February to 24th March, 2018 Previews: from Thurs 1st Feb., 2018 Opening Night: Wed 7th Feb., 2018 Saturday Matinees: 2.30pm Shows: Mon to Sat – 7.30pm Tickets: €25 – €38 For more information or to book tickets, go to:

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The Longman Sessions PrissyLips Album Review By Lisa Reynolds “It’s a reaction to when living becomes desperate. It’s an antithesis to all the current banal McMusic that Cowell is pumping into the world. It’s the voice of the beaten generation. It’s the culmination of 10 years in a metaphorical straitjacket. It just had to happen. There was no other choice. It’s my catharsis and my therapy” Crysi de Milo

The Longman Sessions (2014) is a five-track EP by Brightonbased band, PrissyLips. The band formed after vocalist Crysi de Milo’s and guitarist Reuben Drake’s former band, Torch Song Tragedies, ended in 2012. The EP was recorded at Longman Studios, with Simon C. Russell. It’s a wonderful listen, with Crysi de Milo’s emotionally-rich, storyelling vocals alongside the stunning retro instrumentals. The opening track on the EP is Sicker (Every

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Time I Look at You) which is a wonderfully sprawling cohesive opening track. The instrumentals are gorgeously dynamic and retro. Crysi’s equally dynamic vocal is raw and brings you back to a time in the 60s and 70s when rock was at its height. A gorgeous, skillful opening track. The next track on the EP is Simple Girl. Crysi’s vocal on this track is gloriously storytelling and soulful, and it really shows here that Crysi also does writing. Beautifully put together, this track is a subtle gem. Next is The Half of Me I Hate the Most. The instrumentals in this track are brilliant, and the chorus is very catchy. Crysi’s vocal is wonderfully edgy and hypnotic. Simply amazing. The next track is The Libertine Diamonds. It is a beautiful track, very polished and understated. Crysi’s vocal again is very storytelling, and you find yourself swept along by the story. A really gorgeous track and my favourite from the EP. Endlessly-playable. Closing the EP is ...another song which is a perfect closing track. The chorus is very memorable and the track has this wonderful cohesive feel, where it flows with wonderful ease from section to section. Understated and dynamic all at once. A must-listen. To listen to The Longman Sessions by PrissyLips go to:

PrissyLips: Crysi De Milo and Reuben Drake

"It just had to happen. There was no other choice. It’s my catharsis and my therapy"

Album Art for the Longman Sessions

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Multi-centre holidays usa Why choose just one stunning city when you can choose two or more! Mix city with country, east coast with west, or go for a triple threat with three cities in one trip! Take in culture, bright lights, amazing sights and so much more with tailormade packages from American Holidays, where possibilities are unlimited. New York & Nashville Spend 3 nights in the 3* Edison Hotel, NYC and 3 nights at the 3* Best Western Plus Music Row, Nashville from only ₏769pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 6 nights’ accommodation as stated, taxes and charges. Based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

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Boston Image: Lonely Planet

Travel: August 2018 Ref No: 1546666

Travel: August 2018 Ref No: 1546016

Historic Route 66 Fly/Drive Spend 15 nights travelling along Route 66 from only €1,889pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 15 nights’ accommodation as stated, fully inclusive economy car rental, taxes and charges. Based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Travel: April - October 2018 Ref No: 1546225

Las Vegas, Los Angeles & San Francisco Spend 3 nights in the 3* Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas, 3 nights at the 3* Quality Inn Near Hollywood Walk of Fame, 3* Beresford Hotel, San Francisco from only €1,379pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 6 nights’ accommodation as stated, all internal flights, taxes and charges. Based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Travel: June 2018 Ref No: 613889

Boston & Washington Spend 3 nights at the Midtown Hotel Boston and 3 nights at the Hilton Garden Inn Washington from only €698pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 6 nights’ accommodation as stated, internal flight from Boston to Washington, taxes and charges. Based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

Call American Holidays to book on 01 673 3804 or call into their office just off Grafton Street - 18- 19 Duke Street, Dublin 2. For more information visit

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New Year New Start! Brian Rochford tells us to get into a good health routine now, and reap the benefits throughout the whole year We are well into the New Year now, so it’s important for your health to get into a routine to keep you healthy, happy, and full of energy, as you try to keep on top of your busy lifestyle. Here are some valuable tips and suggestions that will keep you in top condition for 2018 and beyond. As always top of the list is Exercise because of its valuable and essential contribution to your health and overall wellbeing. Exercise reduces the possibility of heart problems and strokes, helps to lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. It can reduce weight, improve digestion, and help you get in shape, and stay looking your best . Doing exercises every day can reduce stress and calm your anxieties, it can also help with mental health problems, and assist people suffering from depression. The list goes on and on. There are so many varied benefits to doing daily exercise that it is essential that you incorporate a session into your daily life. Remember it can be something that you enjoy. There are so many different types of exercise to choose form. According to Harvard Medical the best exercises are Swimming, Tai chi, Strength training, Walking, and Kegel exercises. You can exercise indoor or outdoor, you can be active alone, or with friends or other groups that enjoy the same activities you do. You can go to the gym if you prefer, or join a local fitness class. The choice is yours, and no matter what choice you make, once you make it a regular thing you will feel and see the benefits in a very short time. Next on my list for better health, longer life, and happy lifestyle, is Diet. We now know that many foods today are deficient in vitamins and minerals, and as a result we may not be getting what we need to stay on top. Make a point of eating foods that are rich in essential vitamins and minerals every day. Foods rich in vitamin D also known as the sunshine 34 EILE Magazine

vitamin, can be found in Shiitake mushrooms, Almonds or Almond milk, Orange juice and Cereals, especially oatmeal. It is important to include in your diet minerals like Iron. Iron plays an important role in the health of the body. It can help in the production of red blood cells, which carry around oxygen in the body. A lack of iron in your diet can cause anaemia. Your daily requirements of iron can be found in fortified cereals, and most green leafy vegetables like watercress and curly kale. Iron can also be found in soybean flour, brown rice, dried fruit, especially apricots, and also beans and nuts. Omega 3 may help with health problems like heart disease, arthritis, and even dementia. Some research has shown that omega 3 can reduce inflammation, and therefore lowers the risk of chronic diseases. Reducing your stress and anxiety levels is next on the list for a happier healthier 2018. We all know the damage to our health caused by too much stress and worry. We know it’s bad for us, but we still can find ourselves in circumstances, and with people, that cause tension and stress. Easier said than done, but you can develop and use techniques and procedures that are really helpful in the fight against this menace.

Start by taking 5 minutes to breathe very deeply, slowly, and fully concentrating on your breath. This is a very powerful and effective way of calming both your body and mind. If you practice this regularly and any time you feel things getting on top of you, in a very short time you will feel calmer and more in control of your body and mind. Consciously slow down you movements, tell yourself to take your time, as with today’s lifestyle it seems that everything has to be done yesterday. Perhaps you are so busy with so much going on in your life that you forget that you are human after all. Take some time out every day, or at least a few times a week, for some me-time. Do something that relaxes and rejuvenates you, something like reading a book, coffee with a friend, or just a walk by the sea. Get 2018 off to a good start, and make a difference to your own life, by making a conscious effort to live it in a way that enhances your physical, mental, and emotional health. Happy and healthy 2018!

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Frances Winston on Movies Directed by: Steven Spielberg – Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys A true-life political thriller, directed by a cinematic powerhouse, starring two of the finest actors of their generations, and scored by a movie-music legend, is surely the most Oscar aspiring movie you will see this awards season. It certainly ticks many of the Academy’s boxes. The events depicted involve the printing of classified documents about the Vietnam War, by first The New York Times, and later The Washington Post. If you’re under 35, chances are you’ve never heard of this, as it preceded the far more famous Watergate scandal. However, it was a big deal that challenged the very core of the American Constitution. Here Streep and Hanks take on the role of Kay Graham and Ben Bradlee, the publisher and editor of The Washington Post respectively. Graham was a society doyenne, and anxious about the impact of printing the leaked Pentagon Papers, but Bradlee pushed to run them, despite an injunction taken out against the New

York Times, preventing further publication on their part. While it might all seem pretty pedestrian by the standards of today’s scandals, this was a huge deal at the time, and caused national uproar in America, as it was revealed that the powers that be had lied to the public about the War. Spielberg does a very good job of telling us the story. We are guided through the facts, and he really captures the idea that historical actions, which may appear to be the most obvious choice in the world, were often difficult decisions to make for people, and came at great personal cost. While this is all well and good (and informative) what he doesn’t do is take the viewer along on the ride. Everything is so cleanly and precisely laid out that there is no sense of suspense here, which really would have tipped this into great movie territory. Also, some of the historical references may be lost on those who weren’t aware of them. He’s chosen well in his leads, and it’s astonishing to think that Hanks and Streep have never worked together before. They bounce off each other beautifully, and the dialogue is full of rat-a-tat back and

forths that they both do so well. The supporting cast are also magnificent, and no-one ever drops the ball. Visually they have totally captured the era, and the sets and costumes are fantastic. Especially noteworthy is the detail in the printroom scenes, which shows the once painstaking process of typsetting a newspaper. It is attention to detail like this that makes Spielberg great. Overall this is gripping and entertaining. You may already know the outcome, but you’ll enjoy the journey anyway. It is somewhat passive in its approach to telling the story, and even if you don’t know the facts, it’s painfully obvious that they have downplayed the role of The New York Times in the saga, in order to focus on the colourful characters at the helm of the Washington Post. This quibble aside though, The Post compellingly brings to life a sometimes forgotten historical moment, whose impact on the media is still felt today. An extremely good movie, but not a great one, this is nonetheless impressive and worth the price of your cinema admission ticket, not least because of the masterful work of the people involved. In Cinemas Now!

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Frances Winston on Movies continued...

Directed by: Jaume ColletSerra – Starring: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Elizabeth McGovern, Sam Neill Liam Neeson has a special set of skills which he has retired. However, he is forced to utilise them once more when his family is in danger…oh wait that’s Taken…no, hang on… Yes, yet again Liam plays a supposedly unassuming man, who is more than he seems. It feels like this is all he’s played since the aforementioned Taken, so at this stage he has it down pat. This time around he plays Michael McCauley, an unassuming insurance salesman, who is still struggling to come out the other side of the recession. After 10 years commuting to his job daily, he is fired, but on the train journey home that evening, he is made a very intriguing offer by a mysterious lady calling herself Joanna. She knows about his background as a cop, and says if he can find one particular person on the train he will get $100,000. Of course, if something seems too good to be true it usually is, and before long, Joanna is

threatening his family, people are dying all around him, and he faces a frantic race against time to save everyone. As you might have gathered, the story is pretty pedestrian and workhorse. Like I said, Neeson has been playing this role for a decade now. However, a quick glance at the cast list and you’ll see some rather impressive names, and it is this that elevates this somewhat from a straight to VOD thriller. Given the nature of the genre, which usually doesn’t require much more than furtive glances, and one or two intensely delivered lines of dialogue, in terms of acting, the cast all do a stellar job. Even though you can see certain plot twists coming a mile away, they work hard to try and avoid telegraphing anything, even if the script makes that impossible. That said, this is very much Neeson’s movie, and I doubt if the rest of the cast combined have as much screen time as he does, so if you’re planning on spending two hours in the company of Vera or Patrick or Sam, you may be slightly disappointed.

originality couldn’t have been maintained throughout. But at the end of the day this is an action movie, and it is in the fight-scenes and disaster set-ups that it earns it stripes. This is Collet-Serra’s fourth time to work with Neeson, so he knows how to shoot his brawling for maximum impact and effect. Equally, all the big set-pieces are suitably OTT and dramatic, and there are a couple of very wellthought-out scenarios. This does what it says on the tin. It’s an entertaining enough distraction for a couple of hours that doesn’t beg too much of the audience, other than to sit back and enjoy. It’s not high art, and nor does it claim to be, but you’re not expecting that going into a movie like this. If you still have a post-holiday season brain fuzz, and don’t want a movie that you will really have to focus on, then this is a perfect choice. In Cinemas Now!

The actual opening of the movie is extremely wellthought-out and beautifully shot, giving us a snapshot of McCauley’s normal commute over a period of time, and it is a pity that this

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Frances Winston on Movies continued...

Directed by: Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina – Starring the voices of: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Edward James Olmos While the Mexican Day Of the Dead may not be fully celebrated in this part of the world, chances are you have definitely heard of it. It featured in the opening of the James Bond blockbuster, Spectre, and has also featured in popular shows such as Glee and Family Guy. It is a day when people honour their departed family members, and features a lot of colourful celebrations. This film is set around those festivities, and sees a 12 year-old aspiring musician called Miguel (Gonzalez) finding himself trapped in the Land of the Dead. He is forced to seek the help of his late great-great-grandfather in order to get back to the Land of the Living before sunrise, or he will be trapped there forever. That may sound rather simplistic, but that is the plot in a nutshell, although there are plenty of tangents and adventures as Miguel tries to navigate his way home. Since this is a Disney Pixar production, it goes without saying that it looks stunning. The animation is top-notch, and even the skeletal figures in the afterlife are extremely expressive, despite not having fully fledged features for the animators to play with. It is as colourful as the festival itself, and feast for the eyes. And of course there are the songs, which are simply wonderful. There are definitely a couple of earworms in there that you will be humming for days. This is a story that will resonate universally, even if you’ve never heard of Day of the Dead. At its heart it’s a story about family, culture, legacy, life and death. This might sound rather heavy for what is essentially a family film, but it is handled thoughtfully. It always feels incredibly sincere, even in moments where it drags somewhat. It handles death in a touching, entertaining, and non-patronising way, that will inform rather than upset the LOs. It is surprisingly moving and affecting, even for those who are far more knowledgeable about the subject matter than their junior counterparts, and will definitely bring a lump to the throat of even the hardest-hearted cynic. A wonderful insight into an amazing Mexican tradition, this should raise a smile and leave you with a spring in your step. It may seem surprising given the subject matter, but this is a joyous and life-affirming movie. In Cinemas Now!

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Frances Winston on Movies continued...

Directed by: Martin McDonagh Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish The title and plot of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri might read like a ‘based on a true events’ type tale, and you would be somewhat correct in thinking that. Although ostensibly a work of fiction, writer/director McDonagh has admitted that he was inspired to write the movie after seeing billboards about an unsolved crime, while travelling “somewhere down in the Georgia, Florida, Alabama corner”. Using this as the basis of the story, he has come up with a crime-revenge drama, featuring a stellar cast. McDormand plays Mildred, a mother still grieving the loss of her daughter, who died as a result of a violent rape and murder. Frustrated by what she feels is the apathy of the police towards the investigation, she hires the three billboards of the title, and adorns them with posters which in sequence read: “Raped while dying”, “And still no arrests?”, and “How come, Chief

Willoughby?” Obviously this proves somewhat provocative with the townsfolk and police. Especially since Chief Willoughby (Harrelson) is openly battling prostate cancer. With everyone’s feelings heightened, and Mildred determined to stand her ground, there can be no winners in this battle of wills. McDonagh is renowned for his thought-provoking work, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is no exception. You don’t have to have experienced the tragedies depicted here in order to analyse the reactions of the characters and empathise with them. Like all his creations, they are deeply complex. No one is completely good or completely bad, meaning that your loyalties switch constantly while watching this. The part of Mildred was written with McDormand in mind, and it shows. She is fantastic, and really gets to run the gamut of emotions. Rockwell’s Officer Dixon is possibly the most complex character here, and the one that will have you scratching your head, and he does a fantastic job in the role. His character really does go on the proverbial journey that you hear tell of.

The only weak link I could find in terms of the performances was that of Abbie Cornish. She may look pretty as Chief Willoughby’s wife, but she has very little chemistry with Harrelson, her accent jumps all over the place, and you never really know what she’s doing there. While the script on the whole is wonderful, and laced with dark humour and drama, there are one or two plot twists that you can see coming a mile away. This doesn’t necessarily detract from your enjoyment of them, but perhaps slightly less telegraphing would have been nice. This minor quibble aside, this is visually stunning with lots of wonderful shots, and the sound editing is fantastic. Overall Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is a wonderful and unforgettable film. It is thought-provoking, and leaves you with more questions than it originally posed. While the ending is far from satisfying, it seems appropriate to the story, and you will be pondering it long after the credits role. Uncomfortable in places, but thoroughly compelling, I would be surprised if this didn’t pick up a few gongs in award season.

In Cinemas Now!

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A Night of Pure Delight! The Irish National Opera had its Inaugural Concert at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, last night, accompanied by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. And what a wonderful night that was!

expressively performing ‘Catalani’s Ebben? andrò lontana’ from La Wally, and setting the very high standard for what was to come. Ben McAteer, Baritone, sang Korngold’s ‘Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen’, from Die Tote Stadt, in one of the sweetest, purest, male voices I’ve heard so far.

The concert opened with the orchestra, conducted ably, energetically, and enthusiastically by Fergus Sheil, performing Wagner’s ‘Prelude to Act III’ from Lohengrin – an excellent and rousing rendition of the piece. In all of the following pieces, this orchestra performed wonderfully.

Mezzo-Soprano, Imelda Drumm, then sang SaintSäens’ ‘Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix’, from Samson et Dalila, and she certainly awakened the hearts of the audience with her beautiful voice, engaging fully with the listeners during the performance.

Soprano Máire Flavin was the first singer of the evening, dressed in gold and with a golden, melodious voice,

Next we heard Soprano, Orla Boylan, sing Verdi’s ‘O Patria Mia’ from Aida, a complicated piece sung with astonishing

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control and verve by this very accomplished dramatic performer. Mezzo-Soprano Sharon Carty then took the stage. She performed Gluck’s ‘Addio, o miei sospiri’ from Orfeo ed Euridice, an intricate piece where the singer took the audience to new heights in a virtuoso performance, with a full, controlled, and captivating quality to her voice. John Molloy, Bass, was up next, and did not disappoint. He sang Wallace’s ‘Hear me, gentle Maritana..The Mariner in his Barque’ from Maritana. His voice was strong, consistent, and clear, with a very engaging quality, and tribute must also be paid here to the lead violinist, Helena Wood, as she played the accompanying and

intervening violin pieces beautifully in this performance. Soprano, Anna Devin, then sang Gounad’s ‘Amour, ranime mon courage’ from Roméo et Juliette. Anna performed this powerful and dramatic piece in a way which left one wondering where her amazing voice came from, and acted the piece out very well. Next came a duet, with a first-class performance by Soprano, Jennifer Davis, whose beautiful voice was well-complemented by Baritone, Gavan Ring’s deep, rich tones, in a believable and well-acted piece from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Miriam Murphy next took the stage, and sang Giordano’s ‘La mamma morta’ from Andrea Chénier. This Soprano has a dramatic, full, powerful voice, using expressive effect to convey the drama of the piece brilliantly. Bass-Baritone, Padraic Rowan then gave a great performance of Rossini’s ‘Là del ciel

The ensemble with conductor, Fergus Sheil

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nell’arcano profondo’. His deep, well-rounded, confident voice and attitude perfectly partnered this jaunty and upbeat piece. Soprano, Claudia Boyle, sang next, and what a delight that was. There was an obvious joy and energy in Claudia’s performance, which carried the audience along with it, which is why they are there, after all. She sang ‘É strano!….Sempre libera’ by Verdi, from La Traviata, and duetted with the off-stage strong, resonant, tenor voice of Patrick Hyland. The closing number was of the whole ensemble, including the Irish National Opera Chorus, singing Verdi’s ‘Tutto nel mondo è burla’ from Falstaff, and it was fabulous, full of energy and wit, and the timing was spot-on. The orchestra had played a up a storm during each singer’s performance, and the high energy generated was due in no small part to themselves and their conductor, Fergus Sheil. Needless to say, the audience gave them all a standing ovation, for both singers and orchestra, and it was well-deserved, having given us a night of pure delight! -M. Butler For more information on operas to come from these singers over the next 12 months, go to:

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Jennifer Davis and Gavan Ring

A well-deserved standing ovation!

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Irish National Opera got off to a flying start on Tuesday of last week with a day of events throughout Dublin that culminated in the sold-out inaugural concert, The Big Bang! (You can read EILE’s review of it above, starting at page 44). 48 EILE Magazine

Tickets are now on sale nationw production, leading contempor darkly comic, sexually-charged Face – a co-production with N

Irish National Opera Tickets on sale for Thomas Adès ‘Powder Her Face’

wide for their first touring rary composer Thomas Adès’s d chamber opera, Powder Her NI Opera.

Powder Her Face opens on Saturday 24 February in the National Opera House Wexford, and tours to Watergate Theatre Kilkenny, Solstice Arts Centre Navan, Hawk’s Well Theatre Sligo, O’Reilly Theatre Belvedere College Dublin and Siamsa Tire Tralee. For Tickets go to: current-upcoming-productions/powder-her-face EILE Magazine 49

Three’s Theatre Company

Date Show

31st January – 4th February 2018 at The MAC, Belfast Fancy watching a typically clichéd, romantic, happily ever after love show this February? We thought not! Bin the predictable and be our date just before Valentine's. We promise to hit your sweet spot and be the one night stand you won’t want to forget.

us, in the restaurant, the bar, the nooks and crannies, the lift, the little rooms and all the spaces in between. Be a fly on the wall and then be our date. You might even meet the love of your life, (met them already? Well take them with you!) Three’s Theatre Company is an emerging company that creates unique and exciting work. Exploring the audience’s journeys throughout a performance and often multiple journeys through the same show is what excites us. Founded by Anna Leckey, Three’s Theatre dares to be different, merging theatre technology and physical performance, collaborating with different artists is how we work. Anna Leckey – Artistic Director & Producer Colm G. Doran – Director CAST Aisling Groves-McKeown

Ditch your date for the night with the choice of two set menus – take a unique journey through the MAC, as you join us in this immersive, site-specific performance, stumbling upon different dates along the way. Whatever menu you choose, this will be a story for your friends.

Catriona McFeely

What are you doing this February? You’ve got a date with Three’s Theatre Company, swipe right, you know you want to! Xoxo

Gary Crossan

Date Show is filled with surprises, first dates, married dates, young dates and older dates. A multi journey, site-specific, promenade performance that explores the love we look for on that first date, the happily ever after, and the bumps along the road to get there (maybe even a baby bump too). Although the MAC has 2 theatres, we have decided to use neither! Come and see the dates with

Jessica Samoy Plunkett

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Christopher Grant Dan Leith Daniel Kelly

Gerard Kelly

Lizi Watt Lynne Webber Mary Jordan Richard Palmer

DATE SHOW - its all about dating, good dates, bad dates, the lot. The audience will be guided around the public spaces of the MAC and stumble along different dates along the way. This Site-Specific Promenade production has a total cast and crew of over 25 people, and has been funded by the Arts Council NI, Belfast City Council and The MAC.

On at The MAC Belfast Promenade performance, please be prepared to walk the space, using both the stairs and the lifts. Best to ditch your date and experience this show single. Show Dates 31stJanuary – 4th February (several shows each day) Plenty of time to get you in the mood for Valentine’s day.

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US - Target Store Workers Petition Against Funding Anti-LGBT Politicians

‘Target’ workers demand that Target executives stop funding anti-LGBTQ and anti-worker politicians American local ‘Target’ store workers, based in Christiansburg, Montgomery County, Virginia, have been struggling to hold Target executives accountable for continuing to fund hate-based politicians, despite the executives promising to stop doing so several years ago. The workers have started a petition entitled: Tell Target to Stop Funding Hate On their website,, the workers group state that this year alone “Target has given tens of thousands of dollars to some of the most vehemently anti-LGBTQ, anti-worker politicians in the country. Based on our research Target has funded 28 of these politicians, all of whom voted at one time or another against passing

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the Employment Non-Discrimination Act which would give protection to LGBTQ workers against workplace discrimination”. These politicians include Rep. Cathy Rodgers, who not only co-sponsored a state bill in Oregon to ban gay marriage, but had ties to white nationalist James Allsup, or Sen. Roy Blunt, who voted to ban gay couples from adopting children. The group state: “As Target workers who are, or support, LGBTQ workers, we find it unconscionable that Target executives fund hate-based politicians who actively harm us as workers and members of the LGBTQ community. These actions by Target executives are completely at odds with their selfprofessed values of promoting diversity and inclusivity. We demand Target executives live up to their own standards and stop enabling hate”. The petition is posted here:

As Target workers who are, or support, LGBTQ workers, we find it unconscionable that Target executives fund hate-based politicians who actively harm us as workers and members of the LGBTQ community. For more, you can read their report A Tale of Two Targets at

-MKB ( 23 January 2018)

More information is available on their website:

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‘BeLonG To’ Announces New Chair of Board of Directors BeLonG To has announced that Nikki Gallagher, Director of Communications and Secretariat at SOLAS, has been selected as the new Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

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Nikki brings with her an impressive track record in governance, public affairs and communications, and a strong commitment to advancing the rights and welfare of children. She has been a member of the Board of BeLonG To for a year and a half. Her previous roles include Senior Communications Manager at the Ombudsman for

Children’s Office, and Press Officer for Fine Gael.

Nikki Gallagher

Moninne Griffith of ‘BeLonG To’ welcomed the news, and commented: “I am looking forward to working with this longstanding ally and supporter of our mission”. The Board of Directors plays an important role in supporting and advising the work that BeLonG To does. The dedicated group of experts in areas of leadership, communication, policy, and fundraising volunteer their time for this work. BeLonG To, aspires to the highest levels of governance and openness in all of their work to eliminate homophobia and transphobia, and support LGBTI+ young people and families in need. They operate to Charity Institute Ireland’s Triple Lock standards – transparent reporting, ethical fundraising and good governance. ( 20 January 2018)

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Design: Anthony Zagariko, exclusively for EILE Magazine

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Quality LGBT News and Features – Produced from Los Angeles Available via podcast on our website ( or on iTunes, and on 200+ Radio Stations Worldwide! | Twitter: @TWORadio Overnight Productions (Inc.)/”This Way Out” Post Office Box 1065 Los Angeles, CA 90078 U.S.A. EILE Magazine 57

India’s Supreme Court on Monday agreed to reconsider a 2013 decision, which had criminalised consensual sexual relations between same-sex adults. This is seen as a victory for equal rights campaigners. Lawyer Anand Grover, who appeared for five members of the LGBT community who had petitioned the court seeking a review of the ban, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation:

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“It is a big relief and a primary step taken by the Supreme Court to review its earlier order.” The petitioners had told the court they were living in constant fear of police action because of their sexual orientation. The court said a larger group of judges will re-examine the constitutional validity of Section 377 – a colonial-era law that prohibits “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” – widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex.

India: Supreme Court To Re-examine Validity Of Anti-gay Law (Section 377) “What is natural to one may not be natural to others,” the top court said on Monday. “A section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear.” “We are being cautiously optimistic about the development today. We have climbed mountains of hope in the past and come toppling down,” said gay rights activist Harish Iyer and host of ‘Gaydio’, India’s first radio show on LGBT issues. India’s Supreme Court had, in a surprise ruling in 2013, reinstated a ban on gay sex after a fouryear period of decriminalisation, which had helped bring homosexuality into the open in the socially conservative country. India’s LGBT community has argued the ban undermines fundamental rights, as it fails to protect them. But earlier petitions to review the ban were overturned by the court.

Although the law banning homosexuality is rarely enforced in India, it is used to intimidate, harass, blackmail and extort money from gay people, activists say. There are no official figures on the number of cases, and most go unreported, as victims are too scared to report crimes to the police, fearing they will be punished too, activists say. Gay sex is punishable by up to 10 years jail under the law. “We want to emphasise that we are not asking for any special rights. We are asking for constitutional rights given to any citizen in the country,” said Koninika Roy from the Humsafar Trust, which works with the LGBT community. -Suchitra Mohanty and Roli Srivastava, Thomson Reuters Foundation ( 9 January 2018)

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Washington State Dept of Health: Options To Change Birth Cert Will Now Be ‘Male/ Female/X’ Washington State residents will now be able to state their gender as X, rather than male or female, thus updating their birth certificates, in the case of transgender, intersex and other nonbinary individuals, according to Washington State Department of Health. On December 27, 2017, the Department of Health filed the Rule-making Order to adopt proposed WAC 246-490-075, changing sex designation on a birth certificate, under Washington State Register 18-02-048. The adopted rule:

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Sets application requirements to request a sex designation change on a birth certificate Sets designation options as male, female, and X Defines X as a gender that is not exclusively male or female, including, but not limited to, intersex, agender, amalgagender, androgynous, bigender, demigender, femaleto-male, genderfluid, genderqueer, male-tofemale, neutrois, nonbinary, pangender, third sex, transgender, transsexual, Two Spirit, and unspecified The adopted rule applies only to amendments made to birth certificates after the original record is completed at the time of birth.

The adopted rule differs from the proposed rule by clearly stating that an adult may apply for a sex designation change on their birth certificate, through a guardian appointed pursuant to chapter 11.92 RCW. This change reflects what is already provided for under state statute, and does not change the effect of the rule as proposed. The adopted rule will become effective on January 27, 2018. ( 8 January 2018)

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Pakistan Android app to report violence against transgender people A civil society organisation on Friday launched an Androidbased application, Trans-Muhafiz, to help report violence against transgender people, according to newssite Women’s health advocacy group, Blue Veins’ programme coordinator, Qamar Naseem, told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club that transgender people were a marginalised community in the country. He said the community lived life under very difficult circumstances, amid high incidences of harassment, violence, service denial, and unfair treatment, in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. Mr Naseem said the Trans-Muhafiz app was the first of its kind in the country, unique and simple to use in case of emergency, which could be easily downloaded and installed. “This Android application has been developed to improve the reporting of violence against transgender community. It has both online and offline reporting options. An online violence reporting system will create a more empowering reporting experience for transgender survivors, provide authorities with better evidence and data on violence, and facilitate the identification of perpetrators,” he said. The software programme has both online and offline reporting options The Blue Veins representative said the use of the latest technology would help empower the transgender community in raising its voice against violence, by developing an easier and more accessible reporting system for them. “This app’s users will have to add emergency contacts of the people, who will get alerts in case of emergency. In online report system of the app, not only text messages can be sent but violence

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can also be reported through voice massage, picture and video. In case of unavailability of Internet facility, the user can turn to offline option, which will on pressing offline option send SMS to added emergency contacts along with the location of accident,” he said. Mr Naseem said Blue Veins would host and maintain the app during and beyond the project’s timeline, and that it would help the transgender community report the violence case by rescue option at the time of violence, or can also report it by sending video or voice messages. TransAction Alliance provincial general secretary, Arzu Khan, said a large number of violence cases were reported in various districts of the province by people through mobile phone calls, Whatsapp groups, Facebook, and word of mouth, and most of them weren’t documented. She said 54 transgender persons had been killed in KP since 2015, while 607 cases of violence had been reported by the community.

cases of different kinds of violence, including sexual harassment, rape, gang rape, torture, extortion, denial of access to services, and misbehaviour at police stations and public spaces. TransAction Alliance Khyber Pakhtunkhwa President, Farzana Jan, welcomed the launch of Trans-Muhafiz, and declared it a historical and defining moment for the transgender community. “For the first time in the country’s history, we’ve an Android application promising our personal safety,” he said. Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network coordinator, Taimur Kamal, said the right to life, protection and security were the fundamental rights of the people under the Constitution, but transgender persons were killed or subjected to violence everyday in violation of their basic rights. ( 7 January 2018)

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Stonewall UK Equality Dinner 2018 The annual Stonewall Equality Dinner will be taking place on Friday 16 March 2018. On the night, guests will be welcomed to the Sheraton Grand, Park Lane where they will be greeted with a champagne reception, followed by a threecourse meal and dancing. Throughout the evening there will be a packed programme of entertainment. Guests will be given the chance to bid on some exclusive auction items and hear speeches from an exciting line-up of speakers, to be announced shortly. Stonewall exists to achieve real change for LGBT people, and are working towards a world where everyone, everywhere is free to be themselves. They can’t do this without your support, and joining them at the Equality Dinner is one way you can help to ensure that one day everyone, everywhere, is accepted without exception. When and where Date: Friday 16 March 2018 Time: 7pm – Champagne Reception, 7.45pm – Dinner, 1am – Carriages Venue: Sheraton Grand Park Lane, Piccadilly, London, W1J 7BX Book tickets If you would like to support Stonewall’s work and book a table, please contact the events team at or if you need any further

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information, call directly on 020 3795 3412. Stonewall expect this event to sell out very quickly. They strongly recommend booking early to avoid disappointment. Other ways to support One fantastic way you can offer your support to Stonewall is by donating a gift in kind. They’ll be offering a range of exclusive experiences and luxury items in their silent and live auction on the night. In the past these have ranged from bespoke artwork to flights abroad, gift experiences and tickets to a wide variety of events. If you’re interested in donating a gift in kind, or would like to get involved in any other way, you can email the Events team at

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Egypt: Two held in anti-gay crackdown freed on bail (Reuters) – Two people detained in Egypt in October, after allegedly waving a rainbow flag – a symbol of same-sex rights – at a concert, have been freed on bail, a lawyer representing them and a human rights NGO said yesterday, Tuesday 2nd. Sarah Hegazy, 28, and Ahmed Alaa, 21, were released and fined 2,000 Egyptian pounds* ($113) each, lawyer Amr Mohamed said. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information also reported their release on its Twitter account. It was unclear when their trial would resume. Hegazy and Alaa were among dozens of people detained in the conservative Muslim country last year, on charges that included ‘promoting sexual deviancy’. The crackdown was a response to a rare show of public support for LGBT rights in Egypt. At a September 22nd concert packed with 30,000 people, and headlined by Mashrou’ Leila, a Lebanese alternative rock band, whose lead singer is openly gay, a small group of concertgoers raised a rainbow flag. Local media said homosexuals were receiving foreign funding, and hosted callers who compared their threat to Islamic State. Egypt, a key Western ally in the Middle East, has been under fire internationally for its human rights record. […] *($1 = 17.6900 Egyptian pounds) -John Davison ( 3 January 2018)

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Homeless LGBT Ukrainians find shelter in Kiev Staring at the Berlin Wall mural of Soviet President, Leonid Brezhnev, kissing East German leader, Erich Honecker, on the mouth, Yevhenii Kalashnyk knew it was time to come out as gay.

increased their support for gay rights, since a proWestern government took power following the Maidan protests in 2014, and in 2015 passed a law banning workplace discrimination against the LGBT community.

The 20-year-old Ukrainian kissed a friend in front of the graffiti painting in September, and posted the photo on Instagram. The decision changed his life.

But critics say homophobic attitudes remain widespread. The country scored 19 out of 100 points in a 2016 survey by EU-funded, Rainbow Europe, ranking LGBT people’s rights in Europe.

“I was emotionally full,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.

Shortly after posting the kiss photo, Kalashnyk received a call from his mother.

He said he had only kissed another man for the first time a few months earlier, and had arrived in the German capital about 60-days into his first trip to western Europe, where he hoped to find some peace of mind after a difficult period.

“She asked: ‘Are you gay?’. I said ‘yes’ … Then she started saying very bad things,” he said, adding that his father also threatened him.

For while gay sex has been legal in Ukraine since 1991, it remains socially taboo with LGBT people facing stigma, discrimination, and sometimes violent attacks, rights groups say. Ukrainian authorities have 68 EILE Magazine

Too afraid to go home to Nikopol, Kalashnyk headed to Kiev when he returned to Ukraine about a month later, where he found accommodation with Insight, a local gay rights group. The organisation runs Ukraine’s first and only LGBT shelter – a four-room flat, with bunk beds, a kitchen, and communal area, in an old

apartment block outside Kiev’s city centre. Up to eight guests at a time can receive food, clothing, medicines, a travel card, as well as legal and psychological help, and can stay up to three months, extendable on an adhoc basis, Insight says. “It’s a great opportunity for people to adapt and start a new life. You don’t have to worry about finding work without knowing where to sleep,” said Pavel, a 48-yearold resident from Donetsk, who declined to give his real name. The facility was launched in June 2014 to help LGBT people fleeing the conflict in the country’s east, but has since opened its doors to those from other regions. More than 10,000 people have been killed, and 1.6 million forced from their homes, since pro-Russian separatists in the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk rebelled against Kiev’s pro-western government in 2014. Members of the LGBT community were also affected by the violence, with many

Yevhenii Kalashnyk, a 20year-old from Nikopol, poses for a photo inside the headquarters of Ukrainian LGBT rights group Insight, December 4, 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. Thomson Reuters Foundation/ Umberto Bacchi

losing their jobs, having their houses damaged, or suffering homophobic attacks amid the upheaval, said Olga Olshanskaya, the Insight shelter coordinator. She said transgender people were particularly vulnerable to abuse, as they had to show ID documents that did not reflect their appearance or sex at checkpoints in conflict-hit areas. “No one wants to leave their home, but (for many) coming to Kiev was the only hope,” said Olshanskaya in a room adorned by rainbow flags at Insight’s headquarters in central Kiev. Oksana, a 35-year-old transgender woman from Donetsk, said a militiaman manning a checkpoint pointed a gun at her head because of her looks weeks before she left for Kiev in 2014. She had started undergoing hormone treatment two years earlier, after another weapon – a hunting rifle she held

against her head – misfired in a failed suicide attempt. Until then, she had kept her sexuality quiet, fearing the wrath of her family. “I was born with all the right organs, two legs, two feet but … not in the right body,” she said. “To live life as some else is very difficult”. Oksana, who preferred not to use her full name, spent just over a month at the Insight shelter in Kiev, long enough to find work at a law firm, and has since founded an advocacy group for transgender rights called T-ema. But life in Kiev can also be difficult. Kalashnyk said he sometimes suffers verbal abuse and always carries pepper spray to fight off potential assailants. In 2015, several dozen protesters attacked a gay pride march, throwing flares and clashing with police.

In June this year, the same event went ahead largely without incident, under heavy security, following threats from ultra-nationalist groups supporting what they say are traditional Ukrainian values. Pavel, who works in the pharmaceutical sector, decided against attending the rally in case colleagues recognised him. “It could have been the end of my career,” he said. Some supporters of LGBT rights see progress in Ukraine as symptomatic of the country’s closer integration with the European Union, and rejecting its ties with neighbouring Russia. But change is happening too slowly for Kalashnyk. “I don’t see how I can realize myself here. I don’t see my future in Ukraine,” he said. -Umberto Bacchi, Thomson Reuters Foundation ( 3 January 2018) EILE Magazine 69

US: HIV Privacy Breach – Aetna Agrees To $17M Payout US healthcare insurer, Aetna, settled a lawsuit for $17 million, on Wednesday last over a data breach that happened in the summer of 2017. The privacy of as many as 12,000 people insured by Aetna was compromised in a very low-tech way: The fact that they had been taking HIV drugs was revealed through the clear window of the envelope.

had gotten forwarded to their house and someone happened to open the mail. Those were the types of things going through my mind.”

“I was shocked,” said Sam, who distinctly recalls the day he received the notice in August. (Kaiser Health and NPR agreed not to use his full name). The letter came to his mailbox in an apartment complex in New Jersey. He wasn’t directly involved in the lawsuit, but says the letter hit a level of vulnerability he had never felt before.

In an ironic twist, the letters were sent in response to a settlement over previous privacy violation concerns. Aetna had required members to obtain HIV medications through mail-order pharmacies. The affected people had taken medication to treat HIV or to lower the risk of becoming infected with the virus, an approach called PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis.

“I haven’t disclosed my HIV status to my parents,” said Sam, 36, who is a civil rights attorney. “Let’s say that letter

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In a statement, Aetna wrote: “Through our outreach efforts, immediate relief program and this settlement we have worked to address the potential impact to members following this unfortunate incident.” The insurer also said it is “implementing measures designed to ensure something like this does not happen again as part of our commitment to best practices in protecting sensitive health information.”

Lawsuits filed in 2014 and 2015 alleged that the policy

was discriminatory, that it prevented patients taking HIV medicine from receiving in-person counseling from a pharmacist, and that it jeopardized members’ privacy. Aetna settled with the individual plaintiffs, changed its policy to allow members to fill HIV prescriptions in person at retail pharmacies, and, in turn, sent out notification letters to anyone who had filled prescriptions for HIV medications. It was those notification letters that contained a large envelope window that exposed sensitive HIV information. While the stigma surrounding HIV may be less severe than it used to be, and treatments have improved greatly, Ronda Goldfein, director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, said the reality is that serious discrimination still exists. That means protecting patient confidentiality is critical to ensuring people feel safe getting care. As hundreds of calls from people who received the Aetna letter started coming into Goldfein’s office and others around the country, she learned of more harrowing

and devastating experiences. She said she heard from one man who had homophobic slurs painted on his door when neighbors saw the letter. Other letter recipients felt the need to move out of their neighborhoods. For one woman, whose status became known in her tight-knit immigrant community, “she stopped being able to function, she stopped being able to go to work, and she lost her job,” Goldfein said. The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and the Legal Action Center initially issued a demand letter in late August that the insurer stop the mailings. The company responded, setting up a relief fund for affected people and apologizing. “This type of mistake is unacceptable, and we are undertaking a full review of our processes to ensure something like this never happens again,” the health insurer said. Goldfein and others soon discovered that the mailing was more widespread than first thought: Up to 12,000 people had received it. Her agency, the Legal Action Center and Berger & Montague PC filed a lawsuit and sought class-action status. The privacy breach as outlined in the proposed settlement was twofold: Aetna released the names of 13,480 people to its legal counsel and a vendor without proper authorization. Of those, 11,875 got the letter that revealed they were taking

HIV medication. The proposed settlement is awaiting approval in federal court, but in it Aetna has agreed to pay $17 million and set up new ‘best practices’ to prevent something like this from happening again. As part of the payout, the law firms are setting aside at least $12 million for payments of at least $500 to the estimated 11,875 people who may have received a letter exposing that information, acknowledging that “the harm was in the status being disclosed,” Goldfein said. Plus, people won’t have to file additional paperwork and go through more mailings pertaining to their HIV medications. A fund will be set up for those who experienced additional financial or emotional distress. Individuals will be able to claim up to $20,000. The rest of the money will go toward legal fees and costs. “It’s a much bigger settlement than ordinary identity theft scenarios, where an online database has been breached and the main injury people are claiming is that they might be victims of identity theft and maybe have their financial information compromised,” said William McGeveran, a specialist in privacy law and data breaches at the University of Minnesota. The amount may be unusual, but McGeveran also said low-level breaches like this

aren’t. Companies may be so focused on IT security that they overlook other ways that privacy can be breached. “They’re more common than people realize,” McGeveran said. “There’s so much attention to cybersecurity, and rightly so, but a lot of medical privacy concerns are much more analog than that. They’re about things being overheard, they’re about paper records and in this case it’s about a paper mailing.” Beyond the payout itself, she hopes the suit helps change the culture of companies when it comes to the attention paid to medical privacy, and the rights of people with HIV in particular. To highlight that, lawyers used ‘Andrew Beckett’ as the pseudonym for the original plaintiff in the case, a Pennsylvania man from Bucks County. It’s a nod to Tom Hanks’ character in the 1993 film, Philadelphia, who was fired after his law firm found out he had HIV. This ‘Beckett’ is taking PrEP. “HIV still has a negative stigma associated with it, and I am pleased that this encouraging agreement with Aetna shows that HIV-related information warrants special care”, the man known as Beckett said in statement. -WHYY, NPR and Kaiser Health News ( 22 January 2018)

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Information and support for women who need someone to talk to

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Toronto - Bruce McArthur In Court Over Disappearances Of Gay Men Residents of The Gay Village in Toronto had been urging police to investigate the disappearances of two gay men last year, and finally charges have been brought against 66 year-old landscaper, Bruce Mc Arthur. He has been charged with two counts of first degree murder, although police have not yet found the bodies of the missing men, Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen. McArthur appeared in court on Friday last, but his appearance has been put back until February 14. Police say they have a ‘pretty good idea’ of how the two men died, and suspect that McArthur is responsible for the disappearance and death of other men who have yet to be identified. Det.Sgt Hank Idsinga stated: “In other words we believe there are other victims”. McArthur is a self-employed landscaper, who lives in an apartment in the Thorncliffe Park area of the city, and police are searching four other properties in relation to the disappearances. Police say that McArthur definitely had a relationship with Kinsman, but are unsure about the other victim. McArthur was active on gay dating apps, as were the missing men, and this has sparked fear among the gay community in Toronto about the safety of using the apps. Police are also co-operating with other investigators who are working on the disappearances of three gay men in 2012, from the Gay Village of Church and Wellesley. -MKB ( 21 January 2018)

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Police suspect: Bruce Mc Arthur

Police say they have a ‘pretty good idea’ of how the two men died, and suspect that McArthur is responsible for the disappearance and death of other men who have yet to be identified. Det.Sgt Hank Idsinga stated: “In other words we believe there are other victims”.

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Simon XO Image: LaFamos

EILE Magazine January 2018 (Vol. 5, Issue 6)  

EILE Magazine - The LGBT magazine for those who want another view

EILE Magazine January 2018 (Vol. 5, Issue 6)  

EILE Magazine - The LGBT magazine for those who want another view