Magazine V4 Issue 11 - May/June 2017
Emily Keener Catherine McGrath
Evan Westfal Womenâ€™s AID NI
The Switch Inside:
Travel | Film | Fashion |Health | News
EILE Magazine | Who’s Who
Mark Anthony Mark is a UCD English graduate, who writes his own menswear fashion blog. Mark has also produced several fashion shows in the past, all in aid of worthwhile causes 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 a writer and broadcaster, originally from Dublin but now based in Nottingham 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 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 Women’s Aid NI on Domestic Abuse and the death of Connie Leonard
EILE Magazine | Welcome
Highlights May/June 2017 The Switch - P.22
Volume 4, Issue 11
New trans sitcom directed by Jem Gerrard
Editor-at-Large: Scott De Buitléir Editor: MKB
Travel - Pps. 38 and 40 Travel this month includes The Maldives and Florida
Health - Chronic Pain - P.42 Brian Rochford tells us about selfmanagement of chronic pain
Music - Pps. 6,10,14,18,26 Our music features this month include Emily Keener, Evan Westfal, Catherine McGrath, The Howlin’ Souls and Phoenix
Mark P.28 and Lisa P.32 Mark Anthony talks briefly about swimwear, and Lisa Reynolds writes on the recent Stephen Fry blasphemy débacle
Contributors: Mark Anthony, M. Butler, Scott De Buitléir, MKB, Lisa Reynolds, Brian Rochford, Frances Winston, Women’s Aid NI Photographers: LaFamos, Emma LeDoyen, Joseph Ritorto, Hazel Stanley 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 email@example.com Special Thanks to MKB for all her hard work, dedication and support. Web: http://eile.ie Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @EILEMagazine Facebook: http://fb.com/eilemagazine Note: All opinions expressed in this issue are the writers’ own.
…plus film reviews, news, travel, and much more! EILE Magazine
EILE Magazine | Editor’s Letter
The Howlin’ Souls
The Switch Sitcom
Lisa on Stephen Fry
Bear Pride Line-up
Health Manage Pain
Frances on Film
Women’s Aid NI
Trans Film Awards
NW LGBT TheatreFest
plus World LGBT News, Views, Arts, Entertainment etc
EILE May/June 2017 Edition! Welcome to the May/June issue of EILE Magazine EILE’s music section this month offers an eclectic selection, as we feature Phoenix, Catherine McGrath, Emily Keener, The Howlin’ Souls, and Evan Westfal. On a serious note, we were very sad to hear that GLEN was not financially viable and had been wound down, as it had been a huge support to so many for so long. On the health front, Brian Rochford writes on pain management , and Lisa Reynolds writes on Stephen Fry and religion. Frances Winston reviews some new movies, and our Travel section features exotic Maldives and Florida destinations. Mark Anthony writes about men’s swimwear, Women’s Aid NI write about domestic abuse and the death of Connie Leonard, Bear Pride have their line-up sorted, and Stunt Lover are giving two free gigs! We also have the NW Theatre Festival, a new LGBT web series, and news and entertainment from around the globe, so we hope you enjoy this May/June 2017 issue of EILE Magazine!
Scott De Buitléir Founder / Editor-at-Large
EILE Magazine EILE Magazine
See our film reviews by Frances Winston
Emily Keener Singer-songwriter, Emily Keener, Releases Light & Sound, the second single from her new album Breakfast In EILE Magazine this May, we feature Emily Keener, the eighteen-year-old singer/songwriter from Wakeman, Ohio, who advanced to the top 12 of NBCâ€™s The Voice, and who now releases her latest track, Light & Sound, the amazing second single from her new album, Breakfast. Light & Sound is a high energy, original piece, layered with gorgeous melodies. Emily is said to pride herself in writing honest and emotional lyrics, and this track is a great example of that. She has a wide-ranging voice that can handle pop or rock sounds, and her control belies her years, as she is mainly self-taught. Light & Sound was written by Emily, and produced by Noah Heyman and Dalton Brand. Since her well-received appearance on The Voice, Emily has been busy working on her album, Breakfast. The fresh, modern pop album is laced with folk influences, and beautifully composed, featuring Keenerâ€™s pure vocals over unconventional melodies and soft futuristic sounds. Emily started playing guitar when she was 11 years old, and began writing songs when she was almost 12. A natural curiosity and passion for music quickly saw her performing frequently. She has written over 100 original songs, and released three EPs and two LPs. Her songs are distinctly original and expressive. Before training with renowned vocal coach, Joan Ellison, and master guitarist, Tony Schaffer, Emily was entirely self-taught. With the guidance and support of her family and friends, fellow musicians, and many zealous music-lovers, she continued to grow in, and experiment with, her artistry. At 15, she recorded East of the Sun, an original EP backed by the amazing musicians of Norwalk, Ohio, that once made up The Womacks.
A year later, she suddenly found herself in front of millions of people on US national television, with her astonishingly well-received debut on Season 10 of The Voice. She had the honor of performing the songs of some of her greatest inspirations, including Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John, Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell, Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon, and Lilac Wine by Jeff Buckley.
captivating and complex second single. Many of the songs on Breakfast have stemmed from personal and emotional experiences.
“After the crazy journey I experienced on The Voice, I’m so ready for my original music to have the spotlight.”
To buy Light & Sound on iTunes, visit:
After advancing to the Top 12, Emily arrived home with a newfound sense of self, as she walked directly from the plane into the studio at Waveburner Recording.
Emily is said to be known for her old soul, and says her inspiration comes from artists like Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Jeff Buckley.
Get a physical copy + a free EP at:
Produced by Noah Heyman (The Womacks) and Dalton Brand, Breakfast is a beautiful compilation of Keener’s most precious stories that are both quirky and straightforward.
Inspiration aside, Emily manages to make new sounds with high energy in her own music, a great example being Light & Sound, which makes you want to hear more of this young singer!
The first single off of the album, Elevator, captures the feelings of young love and the struggles that come with finding yourself in it. The accompanying music video uses subtle imagery to portray these feelings in a beautifully visual way. Light & Sound is the
Breakfast is now available for download on iTunes and streaming on Spotify.
“This record is the result of the most intense and transformative year of my life,” comments Emily.
Emily’s music is now available on iTunes and Spotify, and you can watch her videos on YouTube. Keep up to date with her exciting journey by visiting EmilyKeener.com.
bit.ly/2geKgtq Stream it on Spotify at:
You can visit Emily at: http://www.twitter.com/ EmilyKeener IG: @EmilyKeenerMusic
Cover Art for Breakfast
After the crazy journey I experienced on The Voice, I’m so ready for my original music to have the spotlight”
Emily Keener Images: Joseph Ritorto
Last November, Evan (left and below) released his debut EP, Gay Pirates
10 EILE Magazine
Evan Westfal Canadian singer-songwriter, Evan Westfal, is writing music, fighting homophobia, and releasing his EP, Gay Pirates Evan Westfal is a singer-songwriter, actor, and vocal instructor hailing from Edmonton Alberta. His music has been described as “playful,” “intellectual,” and “hella gay!” and he consistently includes LGBTQ+ themes in his music. Evan released his debut EP, Gay Pirates, on November 11th 2016. The lyrical content of the EP is fun and playful, while retaining a cerebral integrity. Westfal describes the album as a series of lamentations and exaltations of a very gay love. He cites, among his many influences, Hawksley Workman, Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor, Sarah Slean, and Sara Bareilles. He is no stranger to the stage, having retained a bevy of performance credits, including having sung backing vocals for Josh Groban. Evan has worked with the Edmonton Opera Chorus in productions of Aida, as well as Tales of Hoffman. He also took part in the Canadian stage premiere of Dr.
Evan Westfal (centre) as Sir Joseph Porter
EILE Magazine 11
Horrible in the role of Captain Hammer. In February Evan sang with Opera Nuova in a Production of HMS Pinafore, taking the role of Sir Joseph Porter in this production. When he isnâ€™t performing in opera or musical theatre, Evan enjoys singing his original works. On June 2016 Evan played for the opening ceremony of the Edmonton Pride Festival. Outside of the realm of performance, Evan believes in social change through community work. He works for a program called fYrefly in schools, where he visits junior and senior high schools and educates students about the harmful effects of homophobia and transphobia. For over a decade, he has volunteered for Camp fYrefly, a youth leadership retreat for LGBTQ+ and allied youth.
12 EILE Magazine
Evan is also a vocal instructor with studios at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music (Edmonton, Alberta), as well as Gott the Gift Music Studio (Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta). He has been teaching for over 6 years, and his students have been the recipients of many awards, including Best Of Festival at the Fort Saskatchewan Music Festival. Evan went to MacEwan University where he studied contemporary music, and also attended the Canadian College of Performing Arts, where he studied musical theatre. Evan will be performing at two festivals this year, Nextfest, and Edmonton Pride, which he also played at last year. All this and releasing his EP, Gay Pirates, as well as working against homophobia, youâ€™d have to wonder where he finds the time to also rehearse, but he does, and he seems to have retained a great sense of humour through it all, if his lyrics are anything to go by! If you want to listen to Evanâ€™s fun, quirky and highly original EP, go to www.evanwestfal.com or visit him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Evan-Westfal-Music
EILE Magazine 13
Catherine McGrath Northern Irish singer-songwriter, Catherine McGrath, is one of the hottest young talents of 2017, with her pop take on country, which has captured the hearts of fans across the UK and Ireland.
As part of a wave of new releases from her forthcoming EP, she has recently revealed a fun-filled mini video for her brand new single Just In Case. It is the perfect accompaniment to this colourful, feel-good pop anthem, and is the third of four videos accompanying the songs on her brand new EP, Starting From Now, which is out June 9th via Warner Music. Catherine explains “Just In Case is about meeting someone new and how it first starts out, the chances are it’s not going to last forever, you won’t live happily ever after and that person won’t be the love of your life, but they could be…”. The previous tracks, Starting From Now and When I’m Older, came with special mini videos which capture the worlds of Instagram and YouTube, and upon their release both tracks were added straight to Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist and Apple Music’s Best Of The Week. In fact, Catherine has now had six consecutive tracks on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlists. Since moving to London from her hometown in Northern Ireland last year, Catherine has signed with Warner Music and released her debut EP One, which has had almost 1.5 million streams on Spotify. She has also performed a string of live shows and has recently been announced to play at this year’s British Summer Time in Hyde Park, on July 9th, with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Stevie Nicks. Catherine is supporting Picture This across their entire Irish and UK dates,
14 EILE Magazine
EILE Magazine 15
“Just In Case is about meeting someone new and how it first starts out, the chances are it’s not going to last forever, you won’t live happily ever after and that person won’t be the love of your life, but they could be…”.
16 EILE Magazine
including the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, and the Waterfront in Belfast, (details below) and over the coming months will make appearances at new Irish festival, Harvest, and The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. You can follow Catherine on: Facebook https://wbr.ec/catherinem_fb Twitter https://wbr.ec/catherinem_twtr Instagram https://wbr.ec/catherinem_ig
Irish LIVE SHOWS JUNE Fri 2nd - Olympia Theatre, Dublin (supporting Picture This) Sat 3rd - Olympia Theatre, Dublin (supporting Picture This) Sun 4th - Olympia Theatre, Dublin (supporting Picture This) Wed 7th - The Waterfront, Belfast (supporting Picture This) Fri 9th – Marquee, Cork (supporting Picture This) Sat 10th – Marquee, Cork (supporting Picture This) AUGUST Sat 26th - Harvest Festival, Westport, Ireland Sun 27th – Harvest Festival, County Fermanagh, Ireland
EILE Magazine 17
The Howlin’ Souls Rock/Blues band, The Howlin’ Souls, recently released their lively self-titled debut EP, a collection of banging tracks reminiscent of 70s rock. The EP is a mix of accessible classic and blues-rock, flawlessly meshed with catchy lyrics. The first thing that hit me though, was how like early Rolling Stones it sounded.
The first single from the EP, Anyway You Take It, was released in Autumn 2016 (the EP was released in April this year) and is full of feel-good guitar solos, satisfying bass tones, and the Jagger-like vocal supplied by singer-songwriter, Pete Smith. The band consists of Smith (vocals, guitar), Scott Sepe (guitar), Robbie Sokolowsky (bass) and Nate Lang(drums). If you’re a ‘Stones fan, you’ll love this! Co-produced by longtime engineer, Fritz Lang (CBGB’s, The Record Plant NYC, Sigma NYC), The Howlin’ Souls is a unique project that pays homage to rock music of the past while still delivering a fresh sound. The band is heavily influenced by rock legends such as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Beatles, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf as well as the Motown sound. It was important to the band that they stick with an old school approach of recording the tracks organically as a live band in studio, resulting in a cohesive four-song collection that transports the listener to a different time. The first single off the EP, Anyway You Take It, premiered on Paper Mag and as a listener, is the best first introduction to the band. Rich with electrifying guitar solos layered with infectious bass tones, the single is both timeless and exciting. “For our debut, we wanted to put out an up-tempo Rock n’ Roll EP that would give the listener a good idea about who we are” explains lead singer, Pete Smith. “The songs are all based on our personal experiences and people we’ve known while living in NYC. It encapsulates the years we spent as struggling musicians there.” Forming in downtown Manhattan in 2012, and coming from different backgrounds, each member adds their unique touch to the music. Both Smith and Sokolowsky have experience in film, and produce all of the band’s music videos.
18 EILE Magazine
EILE Magazine 19
Lang has an acting background and was cast as Carl Tanner in the Oscar-winning movie, Whiplash. Lang also worked with co-star Miles Teller as his real life drum coach for the film. Their collective influence and admiration of classic rock, blues and Motown shape the nostalgic, but fresh and engaging sound that is The Howlin’ Souls. Singer-songwriter, Pete Smith has infused his Indiana roots into his songs with raspy and honest vocals and lyrics reminiscent of Petty and Dylan. Pete’s guitar playing is supported by lead guitarist and New York native, Scott Sepe, who lends his nostalgic riffs to the Souls’ sound, pulling from the blues and modern rock standards he mastered as a teenager. The rhythm section is comprised of New England natives, Nate Lang (drums) and Robbie Sokolowsky (bass). Their shared love of classic blues, Motown and R&B offer a humble yet infectious backbeat groove. The Howlin’ Souls’ collective influence includes British rock greats The Rolling Stones, as well as the blues legends that inspired them - Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and the iconic Howlin’ Wolf (whom they honor in their name). Fritz Lang, long time engineer with time at CBGBs, Record Plant NYC, Sigma NYC and others, as well as touring with Miles Davis, the Stones, Prince and other icons of music, co-produced the record with songwriter, Pete Smith. Smith and Sokolowsky self-produce the band’s music videos while Lang has been taking roles in front of the camera, most recently as drummer Carl Tanner in the Oscar nominated filmWhiplash. In the Fall of 2016, the band released their first single, Anyway You Take It. Their debut self titled EP, The Howlin’ Souls will be released Spring 2017.
You can Download the EP on digital music outlets, and keep up with the band by visiting: TheHowlinSouls.com http://www.facebook.com/thehowlinsouls/
20 EILE Magazine
The Howlinâ€™ Souls Image: La Famos
EILE Magazine 21
First Trans Sitcom Coming June 13th First-ever Transgender Sitcom, The Switch Coming to Amazon, Google Play and iTunes this Summer, 2017, The Switch: Work, Love, Mortal Danger brings a cast of transgender comedians to what may be the most provocatively left-leaning TV show ever. In the comedy’s pilot, Sü flees the USA for Canada to come out as trans, only to wind up jobless and crashing with her ex, Chris, an adorable eco-terrorist who assassinates oil lobbyists for a living. The Switch has five trans stars, all played by trans actors. In this topical series, stable careers are out of reach, safety is an abstract concept, and reliable housing doesn’t exist. Here, the police can be as dangerous as the bad guys, the immigration system hates you, and keeping a job means settling well below your skill set. Yet community fights back with innovation and hope. 22 EILE Magazine
With the Trump government stoking the culture war with border harassment, cooking the planet, and telling trans children where to pee, The Switch isn’t just innovative comedy - it’s a fresh volley of humour in the culture war. Seeing the world from a young, worldly lens, The Switch combines dark humour, no-BS politics and video game references to make entertainment for today’s online world. Sü is played by pro wrestler Nyla “The Destroyer” Rose, Chris is played by political humorist Amy Fox, and Chris’ nemesis/neighbour cis Detective Sandra McKay is played by Andrea Menard of APTN’s Hard Rock Hospital and Blackstone. The Switch is the world’s first transgender sitcom in the history of television. No - really! Not only that, but it features transgender actors in transgender roles. And not only that, but it’s damn funny. What do you get when you mix contract killing, teenage blues, LGBT rainbows, weirdness, and a murder mystery? Welcome to East Vancouver! It’s the home of marginal living, social inequity, and Craneview Place, a former industrial site that is almost safe for human habitation. Meet some intriguing folks you might glimpse at the bus stop and not usually think think twice
EILE Magazine 23
about. Each is coming out of their cocoon, but what’s emerging and how will the world deal with them? Over six episodes, the story follows our characters as they try to solve whatever crises they encounter - or created. Our lead Sü botches the metric system while shopping for hormones online and winds up more than broke, then tries to pay off debts by moonlighting as a text-message dominatrix, until her boyfriend suspects she’s texting her ex, so she sets up a double-date, which leads to a fistfight over the bill, and before you know it, someone is trying to mess with her medical records, which is a problem because she’s already fudged her paperwork to be considered for gender reassignment surgery, and now she has to fix this without getting deported, while her roommate is still a wanted eco-terrorist - and that’s just one character. The Switch is produced by Trembling Void Studios. Political humourist Amy Fox is the series’ showrunner, co-writer, and co-star as Chris, the wanted eco-terrorist. Trembling Void funded the series’ first season through a Kickstarter campaign in 2014. They then developed an 8-month intensive actor training program to develop trans talent locally. In the end, only two of The Switch’s ensemble cast were brought in from outside Canada (Nyla Rose and Lindsay Coryne). Trembling Void shot all six full episodes over five and a half weeks in the spring of 2015, after turning a South Vancouver warehouse into a studio. Airing on Canadian Cable in 2016, The Switch was the first scripted TV show with a trans star. Now it’s launching on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play,Revry, Pay YouTube. The Switch has received recognition, accolades and press from both inside and outside of the LGBT community, including but not limited to The Hollywood Reporter, Bustle, FTMag, GLAAD, and CBC. Daily Xtra also featured it in 2015.
24 EILE Magazine
Jem Gerrard directs The Switch
Presales begin on June 13th, 2017
EILE Magazine 25
PHOENIX Announce New Album ‘Ti Amo’ Out June 9th! In EILE Magazine this month, we also feature Grammy-winning band, Phoenix, who are delighted to announce the upcoming release of their new album, Ti Amo, set for release on June 9, 2017 via Loyaute/Glassnote/Atlantic Records.
26 EILE Magazine
(Photo by Emma Le Doyen / Art direction Studio Mitsu)
The band members,Thomas Mars (vocals), Laurent Brancowitz (guitar), Christian Mazzalai (guitar), and Deck D’Arcy (bass) detailed creating the album to the New York Times earlier this week, who called it “the band’s most unabashedly romantic record yet.” Ti Amo’s first single, a brilliant, shimmering explosion, is called JBoy. Phoenix will be playing J-Boy for the first time on television on Tuesday, May 2nd, when they debut it on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and will make a welcome return to Ireland when they play Electric Picnic on Saturday September 2nd. Have a listen to J-Boy and see what you think! You can follow Phoenix at: https://www.facebook.com/wearephoenix https://www.twitter.com/wearephoenix https://www.instagram.com/wearephoenix http://www.wearephoenix.com and you can pre-order ‘Ti Amo’ here - http://www.smarturl.it/tiamo and http://wearephoenix.com/shop/
EILE Magazine 27
Having a keen mastering them, comes to having your modesty, w ball game.
You could say that swim any other piece of cloth duty free doesnâ€™t really catwalk, and, if this is t to be wary of.
We all know that the mi few seasons, and it has onto our beaches. Strip best of us feel a little vu print can even make t rugged. Khaki shades a
Aside from military prin for every guy. It is such However, that does no out your pair from 200 doesnâ€™t really work like
This season the stripes stacked or even layered crisscrossed stripes. You functioning like one too
Once a female favourite has never been a better prints. They are everyw life. They will also make be tricky to master. If y for something with a da 28 EILE Magazine
eep it brief
nthony on keeping it cool while keeping it brief on the beach
interest in everyday clothes, and , can be hard enough. But when it g one square foot of fabric covering well then, that is a whole different
Marks & Spencer
mwear should say more about you per inch than hing -no pun intended of course. Upgrading from cut it anymore. They say that every street is your true, then every beach is a minefield that we need
ilitary look has been doing the rounds for the past s now just gone full circle and made its way back pping down from time to time can make even the ulnerable, but opting for something like a military the skimpiest of swimwear seem that bit more also work with all skin tones. Winning.
nts though, nautical stripes should be a no-brainer h an effortless way to channel some Parisian cool. ot mean that you can run up to the attic and dig 06, when you took a trip to the south of France. It e that anymore.
s have gotten an upgrade. They could be tilted, d. Who knows? However, do stay away from those u donâ€™t need to be looking at a magic eye puzzle and o. Your eyes always need somewhere to settle.
e, now an everyday essential for most blokes - there time to dip your feet in the water that is botanical where. Floral shirts always add a little fun to your e for a great instagram or two. However, they can you are on the pale side, make sure you are going arker background. Similarly, if you have a darker EILE Magazine 29
complexion, then be sure to opt for a lighter background. It is all about that contrast folks. However, if you are not one for nautical stripes or crazy prints then donâ€™t fret. Opting for a simple block colour can be the best of the swimwear world. It is definitely one of the easiest options. Timelessly easy at that. Think of it this way, if a group of your mates want a group photo, and they are all in print and you are in a solid colour, who is going to stand out? Prints and graphics fade throughout the years, block colours do not. If you must have a block party all by yourself, then so be it. The sun comes out earlier and earlier every year. It goes away just as fast though, so we never know if we are coming or going with swimwear to be honest. However, the appeal of retro sportswear is as present as ever. This nostalgic swimwear tends to have more than a dad-bod about it these days though. It is that old-school vibe that designers have
30 EILE Magazine
latched onto, and updated. Nobody wants to look like your old PE teacher on swimming lesson day after all!
EILE Magazine 31
Shock! Horror! Not Everyone in Ireland is Catholic Lisa Reynolds looks at Ireland’s attitude to religion, and the recent blasphemy issue with Stephen Fry “Why should I respect a capricious, meanminded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?” - Stephen Fry speaking on ‘The Meaning of Life’ Recently the issue of blasphemy laws in the Republic of Ireland briefly came to the forefront in the mainstream media, after a complaint was made about actor, writer, and comedian, Stephen Fry. His comments about God were made on a 2015 appearance on RTE’s The Meaning of Life, with presenter Gay Byrne. During his appearance Fry said: “How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a 32 EILE Magazine
capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?” He continued: “Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? Because the God who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, utter maniac. Totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him?! What kind of god would do that?”
simply not acceptable. It’s perfectly apparent that he is monstrous, utterly monstrous, and deserves no respect whatsoever. The moment you banish him, life becomes simpler, purer, cleaner, more worth living in my opinion.”
I personally think his comments were very refreshing, and, as an atheist who was reared Catholic, his last comment is exactly how I feel. When I was Catholic I felt guilty about being Catholic, because it didn’t sit well with Asked about the wonders of the so much I believed in that the world, Fry said: Church was against. “Yes, the world is very splendid, but it also has in it insects whose whole lifecycle is to burrow into the eyes of children and make them blind. They eat outwards from the eyes. Why? Why did you do that to us? You could easily have made a creation in which that didn’t exist. It’s
The organised religion side of it I never liked. I just believed in God because that’s all I knew. My family was Catholic, so naturally I was reared Catholic, and I went to Catholic schools, and when you do, you aren’t really presented with other options to decide which you believe in yourself.
When I looked into it more myself, I realised that I didn’t believe in God, and I felt happier, because it truly was what I believed. I gained more confidence that things worked out for me because of myself, not because God was working His magic to help me. I felt happier and more assured in myself. Despite the increasing numbers of people in Ireland who don’t believe in any God, as the recent Census showed, it is very apparent that our country is still dominated to an extent by the Catholic Church. It is still very much seen as the main religion, with every other religion, or lack of religion, seen as almost a fringe concern. Take the Angelus for example. Who else bar a Catholic would get any comfort or hope from it? As Atheist Ireland’s Jane Donnelly said on Beyond Belief in 2013, if it looks like the Angelus, sounds like the Angelus and is called the Angelus, then it is the Angelus. Both Donnelly and Dil Wickremasinghe made the great point that it should be replaced with a moment of reflection for all. Donnelly argued that the Angelus as it is is a reflection of the privilege that the religious majority have. Almost four years on, and nothing has changed sadly. Alongside the Angelus in Ireland you don’t see much on TV that would be for anyone other than a Catholic in religious matters. I think sometimes it is thought that only Catholics exist in Ireland!
It’s probably not done deliberately, but due to the history and the power that the Catholic Church once exerted over Ireland, somewhere along the line the fabric was sewn, and hence for the most part do we see only Catholic ceremonies on TV. There is rarely a service from another faith, or a humanism service, or programmes in general about other faiths, atheism or agnosticism. I would never suggest that the Catholic programmes or services
Stephen Fry should be disposed of, but there needs to be more variety, and equality. Times like Christmas and Easter are taken over on TV by Catholicism. As an atheist, I celebrate those times too, just in a very different way. We even have a very Catholic influence that leaks into matters of politics, education, and healthcare - areas religion has nothing to do with. During the Marriage Referendum in 2015, there was so much religion involved
on the No side that it was embarrassing. Now I didn’t agree with what they were saying, but I knew they had a right to say it - I wasn’t running to the Garda Siochána every five minutes. One broadcast against God, and suddenly the Gardaí are involved, and Fry didn’t even mention Catholics in a negative light, it was only God, not people on this earth with feelings. Even if he had mentioned Catholics, it still would have involved freedom of speech as in the Marriage Referendum, but the point is, that it was a million times less hurtful to speak negatively about God, than anything that was said during the Marriage Referendum about people of other sexualities. For a long time in issues to do with sexuality and gender, many have argued for the cause of freedom of speech, on the grounds of religious belief. However, when the shoe is on the other foot, the cause of freedom of speech seems to be conveniently forgotten. In both instances, people are entitled to say what they feel, but as an atheist, I at least have the fairness to say that if someone has a problem with atheism, they have the right to say what they feel. It seems very one-sided when people who are only in favour of heterosexuality and cisgenderism bring up freedom of speech. Also other very noticeable things to come up in these debates is EILE Magazine 33
freedom of conscience, and freedom of religion -the two old chestnuts. I think it’s very clear that, in these situations, religion has nothing to do with it. For that to be the case, someone would have to be negative about people being of that religion, and in fact, the argument is against what they have said, and how they think on these issues. Put quite frankly, they could be any religion or lack of religion and the argument would be the same. As a former Catholic turned atheist, there is a definite cloud over your head in a still quite Catholic Ireland. There is most certainly a system of watching your ps and qs, and only going so far in what you say, even in this day and age. As you can imagine, not every atheist is rich, and so couldn’t pay €25,000 for having their point of view. And really we shouldn’t need to have that worry. After all I would only be saying what I feel, it’s up to everyone else to feel what they feel. I think the majority of people in Ireland, regardless of what they believe or don’t believe in religious matters, would agree with someone’s right to say what they feel. The law that brought about this whole scenario is, surprisingly, quite a recent law. It only came in on the 20th May 2009, and was introduced by Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, as an amendment. Section 36 has an indictable offence of “Publication or utterance of blasphemous matter” with a maximum fine of 34 EILE Magazine
€25,000. It states that it is material “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion” when it results in “outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion”. A defence is allowed for “genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value” while “Religion” does not include profit-driven organisations or those using “oppressive psychological manipulation”.
intentions. As time moved on, six bills were introduced between 1697 and 1713 to suppress ‘blasphemy and profaneness’ but none became law. By 1703, Thomas Emlyn, who was a Unitarian minister, was fined £1,000 and put in prison for a year for denying the Divinity of Christ. After his first sentence, Emlyn stayed in debtor’s prison until the fine was brought down to £70. Other cases were brought with no prosecutions made.
Under section 36, a court warrant can allow the Garda Síochána to go into the premises to find and take any copies of the blasphemous material. It is only the DPP who can begin proceedings. The history of people brought forward on charges of blasphemy are more than one might think, but thankfully, no prosecutions have been made since 1855. While I appreciate that Ahern did try to make the law unenforceable, it is still true that with it, there is always going to be a cloud above anyone stating their true feelings, and in a democracy that is very wrong.
In 1852, John Syngean Bridgman, who was a Franciscan friar, was convicted in Mayo after burning an authorised King James Bible, because he saw it as a souperist work that was inferior to the Catholic DouayRheims Bible.
Looking at the history of blasphemy, I found out that in 1328, Adam Duff O’Toole was burned alive in Dublin for alleged heresy and blasphemy. At first, he was tried under canon law before been handed over to the civil power as a repeat offender. As a member of the O’Toole family who launched Gaelic raids on the Anglo-Norman Pale, it is thought now by historians that the charges were brought with politically motivated
By 1855, at Kingston, Vladimir Petcherine, who was a Redemptorist Catholic priest, burned a Protestant bible, but was later acquitted after saying that he hadn’t meant to burn any Bibles. However, the case, which David Lawton said was banal and petty, was prosecuted by the Attorney-General for Ireland, and the SolicitorGeneral for Ireland, following a complaint by Robert Wallace, who was a Methodist minister. The 1937 Constitution says: “The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law” and that “The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty
God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion.” It says there is a guarantee of certain rights “subject to public order and morality” which includes a person’s right “to express freely their convictions and opinions” and “freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion”. Since 1855, the only attempt at prosecution was between 1995-1999. John Corway brought private prosecutions against Hot Press, for an article, and two editorial cartoons by Wendy Shea in the Irish Independent, and Martyn Turner in The Irish Times. This was during the 1995 Divorce Referendum. Which brings us up to date, and the Stephen Fry/The Meaning of Life incident. The complaint was made by a man in an Ennis Garda station in 2015, following the broadcast of the show. In 2017, the man contacted the Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan, and the case was taken up by Gardaí in Dublin, but was dropped at the investigation stage when there wasn’t an outrage about Fry’s comments. The man who complained said: “I did my civic duty in reporting it. The guards did their duty in investigating it. I am satisfied with the result” while The Meaning of Life host, Gay Byrne, said: “I just thought it as very, very silly. It’s an obsolete law and it
should be done away with. That is the end of it.” Mick Nugent, co-founder of Atheist Ireland, said the law was “dangerous and absurd” and said: “We don’t know when the next investigation might happen, or what the outcome might be. But we know that it will have to involve a large number of people demonstrating outrage. We have already seen around the world what can happen when large numbers of people demonstrate outrage about cartoons that they consider blasphemous. Internationally, this investigation has enboldened Islamic states who argue that western countries are hypocritical in telling them to end their blasphemy laws, which impose the death penalty. And it has further embarrassed Ireland among modern democracies.” There is certainly a religious privilege still around in Ireland today, even though we all know that we have citizens with a variety of religions, and with no religion. Our parliament has voted 97 votes to 18 that: “All members present shall stand while the prayer is being read, and when it is concluded, members shall remain standing for 30 seconds of silent reflection.” The prayer is, of course, Christian:
inspirations, and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance; that every word and work of ours may always begin from Thee and by Thee be happily ended. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.” An atheist cannot become a president or judge in Ireland, as they would be required to swear a religious oath. What has your belief in matters of religion got to do with politics or law? In the past, Eamon Gilmore has sworn a religious oath, to a god he doesn’t believe in, to take up public office. And, as we stand in the Constitution, while it doesn’t discriminate between religions, it is able to discriminate between religious and atheist bodies. And, of course, the State had planned to give ownership of the new national maternity hospital to the Sisters of Charity. Although it’s a lot better than it was in the 1950s, sometimes there are elements still left of the Priest standing on the pulpit trying to tell everyone how to live, and that unbelievers will all go to hell. Seriously, the majority of Irish citizens have gone far beyond that, so for crying out loud, let us break away from all the old rubbish that holds us back in the past. The Constitution, for the most part, needs a very long-awaited revamp. I’ll certainly be the first to sign that petition!
“Direct, we beseech Thee O Lord, our actions by Thy holy EILE Magazine 35
36 EILE Magazine
Dublin Bear Pride 2017! All Events FREE Admission! It’s that exciting time of year again! Dublin Bear Pride 2017 has launched, and the great news is that all the events are FREE IN, and all are welcome! This is the line-up for this year’s Dublin Bear Pride: Fri 23rd June 9pm at Oscars, Christchurch, Dublin Her Bee Bee Gees, with DJ Aggie 12am till late at STREET66, with DJ Pixie
Sat 24th June 1pm - Bears on Parade Sat 24th June 4pm - Bears & Beards With DJ Gav at Barbers Bar, Smithfield 9pm - George not Michael at Oscars, Christchurch, Dublin 12am till late at STREET 66, With DJ Gerry Moore You can get the full details on the Dublin Bears’ Events page at: https://m.facebook.com/Dublinbearsevents/ EILE Magazine 37
Travel When you picture paradise it probably looks a lot like the Maldives, Mauritius and Bali. These magnificent destinations offer visitors the ultimate luxury holiday, and guarantee that you will leave feeling relaxed and revitalised.
Or if it is something more exciting you are after, choose a South African safari adventure to get your heart racing and give you lifelong memories of following the Big 5 through stunning game reserves! With so many options for relaxation, adventure and exploration there’s a perfect holiday destination for every taste! Cape Town and Game Reserve Spend 4 nights in the 4* Southern Sun Waterfront Capetown on a B&B basis and 3 nights in the 4* Aquila Private Game Reserve on a full-board basis, from only €1,589pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 7 nights’ accommodation as stated, transfer on arrival, taxes and charges. Based on 2 adults sharing. Travel: June 2017 - other dates and durations available. Ref No: 1504432 Sri Lanka & Maldives Spend 4 nights in the 4* Avani Kalutara Resort on a full board basis and 7 nights in the 4* Meeru Island Resort & Spa on a half board basis, from only €2,189pp.
accommodation as stated, transfer on arrival, taxes and charges.
Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 11 nights’ accommodation as stated, flight transfer on arrival, taxes and charges. Based on 2 adults sharing.
Travel: August 2017 - other dates and durations available. Ref No: 1503769
Travel: June 2017 - other dates and durations available. Ref No: 1501476
Bali Sanur Spend 8 nights in the 4* Puri Santrian from only €1,579pp.
Mauritius Spend 7 nights in the 3* Coin De Mire Attitude on a half board basis from only €1,479pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 7 nights’ 38 EILE Magazine
Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 8 nights’ accommodation as stated, transfer on arrival, taxes and charges. Based on 2 sharing.
Maldives Image: Maldives.com
Travel: June 2017 - other dates and durations available. Ref No: 1504412 Singapore Stay with Penang & Langkawi Cruise Spend 2 nights in the 3* Miramar Hotel Singapore and 4 nights on onboard Mariner of The Seas from only €1,245pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 2 nights’ accommodation as stated, including a 4 night cruise, taxes and charges. Based on 2 sharing. Travel: October 2017 - ¬other dates and durations available. Ref No: 1504503 For more information on these offers or to book, visit www.travelmood.ie or call on 01 4331063 or visit the Travelmood store on Duke Street, Dublin 2, just off Grafton Street. EILE Magazine 39
Discover Florida with the family! Florida is the ideal sun holiday destination.With five distinct beach zones and some of the best theme parks in the world, you really cannot go wrong with the ‘Sunshine State’! Many Florida visitors head straight for the theme parks first, then decompress with some time by the water, making the beaches closest to Orlando always popular. With Universal’s new theme park Volcano Bay opening on the 25th May, there has never been a better time to visit. American Holidays has something for the whole family to enjoy, whether you go to a famous theme park, take a drive along Daytona beach, or visit one of the familyfriendly coastline shores, the possibilities are unlimited. If you are thinking of visiting Florida - or indeed any Stateside destination - pop into our shop just off Grafton street, this Saturday between 1-4pm, where you will not only receive expert travel advice but a little treat on us too, courtesy of The Cupcake Bloke #treatsunlimited Orlando & Beach Spend 7 nights at the 3* Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando and 4 nights at the 3* Barefoot Beachfront Hotel, Madeira Beach from only €939pp. 40 EILE Magazine
Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 11 nights’ accommodation as stated, 4 day car hire with Alamo, taxes and charges. Based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Travel: August 2017 - other dates and durations available Ref No: 1504331 Orlando & Caribbean Cruise Spend 7 nights at the 3* Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Orlando and 7 nights on board Carnival Magic Cruise, from only €1425pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 7 nights’ accommodation as stated, including a 7 night cruise, taxes and charges. Based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Travel: January 2018 - other dates and durations available Ref No: 1505709 Universal & I. Drive Spend 3 nights at the 3* Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando and 5 nights at the 3* Rosen Plaza, Orlando from only €1037pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 8 nights’ accommodation as stated, taxes and charges. Early entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and free transportation from Hotel to Universal Orlando Resorts also included. Based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.
St Pete’s, Florida
Travel: August 2017 - other dates and durations available Ref No: 1503377 St Petes Beach Family Spend 7 nights at the 3* Sirata Beach Resort, St. Petes,from only €752pp. Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 7 nights’ accommodation as stated, a 7 day compact car hire with Alamo, taxes and charges. Based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Travel: August 2017 - other dates and durations available Ref No: 1503352 Call American Holidays to book on 01 673 3804 or call into their office just off Grafton Street - 18- 19 Duke Street, Dublin 2 where the expert staff will help you plan your holiday of a lifetime. For more information visit www.americanholidays.com
EILE Magazine 41
Self- management and chronic pain Brian Rochford looks at how to manage chronic pain
Chronic pain can be described as pain that can continue for a timeframe longer than 12 weeks. It can be very persistent, and can remain for months, even years. There can be many causes for chronic pain, like prolonged illness, or even where you have experienced a fall or put a strain on your back. Chronic illness is often accompanied by a host of other conditions - like depression, poor sleeping habits, fatigue and poor appetite. You can also experience mood changes, and even anger and frustration. Simple day-to-day activities that you carried out without thinking before, now seem like a mountain you have to climb. Because pain can arise in various areas of your body, and can be present for a number of reasons, it is important that professionals and patients cooperate to pinpoint the symptoms and reasons, so that the best way can be established to help alleviate the suffering. So how do we begin to improve the quality of life for someone suffering from chronic pain? Our objective is to lessen the level of pain for the patient, and restore their ability to carry out normal activities with as little pain as possible. It is important to remember that there is no cure for chronic pain. However, there are very effective ways to manage it. Some treatment methods can provide better results than others. We will now discuss some of the methods presently on offer. Surgery, medications, electrical stimulation, relaxation techniques, and strategies to modify your behaviour have been known to be helpful. People have been known to supplement their treatment plan by using some complementary 42 EILE Magazine
methods and alternative medicines. Some find massage useful and also tâ€™ai chi exercises, acupuncture has also been known to reduce pain for some patients, and also mental relaxation exercises to calm anxiety and relieve stress and tension. Self-management programmes are becoming more prevalent in helping people to cope with ongoing pain issues. These are programmes that require the patient to become more active in their treatment. The patient is encouraged to become active in solving problems, and in making decisions, and also regarding a more active approach to managing their pain. There can be differences between some of the self-management programmes available, however, there are similar techniques and strategies involved in all. The general idea of the self-management programme is that the patient with the chronic pain is assisted in learning new thinking skills, and how to deal emotionally with the fact that they have an ongoing painful condition. Learning the importance of being able to communicate effectively about how they are feeling, with their family and friends and especially with their medical professional, is very important. For many, being able to develop this important skill can lead to a feeling of confidence and empowerment. EILE Magazine 43
King Arthur - Legend of the Sword 44 EILE Magazine
Frances Winston on Movies Directed by: Guy Ritchie – Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid BergèsFrisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana Let’s get the David Beckham-sized elephant in the room out of the way. Yes, he makes his acting debut in the flick. No, he is not as talented a thespian as a footballer. And yes, his fake nose looks ridiculous. Obviously cast because he’s friends with the director, he definitely won’t be performing Shakespeare any time soon. This novelty casting aside (and a rather dodgy cameo from Ritchie himself) the rest of the actors here are all solid, seasoned performers, so don’t let Beckham’s five minutes of screen time put you off. Pretty much everybody knows the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. But this is a Guy Ritchie film, so as you can imagine it’s somewhat grittier than what you might be used to. There are no knights and
no round table as this is an origin tale, telling how Arthur (Hunnam) came to take the throne. Banished to be raised in a brothel by his evil uncle, Vortigern (Law) he has no idea of his regal connection. But these things have a habit of coming out, and sure enough, his true heritage is exposed. But before he can become King, he will have to overthrow his uncle, and learn to control his famous sword, Excalibur. Of course, this being an origin tale means there is also no Guinevere, who appears much later in the Arthur mythology, and as such this is an extremely male-centric offering. Think Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in a medieval setting! Seemingly this has been savaged by many critics, but I have to say that it is extremely entertaining. It is completely over the top, and doesn’t really adhere to the idea of the noble King Arthur of legend, but Hunnam does a good job portraying him as a cheeky chancer. How that would translate to sequels when he is officially a monarch we’ll never know, as
apparently plans for further offerings have been scrapped after a poor performance in some territories. I find this surprising as it is a decent enough effort. Richie doesn’t really stretch himself by trying any new techniques, but if you liked his previous work you won’t be disappointed. Brash and flash (my friend actually described it as “noisy” but in a good way) it isn’t trying to be reverential, and clearly just wants to leave the audience with a smile on their face. Parts of it are extremely silly, but due to the tone of the overall piece they are not glaringly obvious. It is at its heart a good old-fashioned popcorn movie, that doesn’t require too much analysis. It’s not very deep, and it’s not going to change the world, but it is very enjoyable and a bit of fun, and doesn’t deserve to be taken as seriously as some people seem to have done. In Cinemas Now!
EILE Magazine 45
46 EILE Magazine
Frances Winston on Movies continued...
Directed by: Ridley Scott – Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup,Danny McBride, Demián Bichir Ridley Scott is back at the helm for this second prequel to his 1979 sci-fi horror smash, Alien. The franchise created not only an iconic monster in the form of the Alien of the title, but also gave us a kickass heroine, in the form of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. He’s obviously keen to continue this tradition. In the first prequel, 2012’s Prometheus, Naomi Rapace took on the role of Dr Elizabeth Shaw, who was the sole human survivor. In Alien Covenant, Katherine Waterston fills the role of the strong female hero, as Daniels. But Shaw isn’t forgotten, and we do find out what became of her, as this movie is set just 10 years after that tale. Daniels is a crew member on the Covenant of the title. A colony ship, it houses thousands of humans in cryosleep, along with thousands of embryos, all headed for a remote planet they intend to populate. After an energy surge forces the crew to wake up early, and kills several of their number, they follow an apparently human signal to another planet, in the hope that it will be a suitable new home for the colonists. You can probably guess what
comes next – they accidentally awaken alien spores that lodge themselves inside human incubators, until they’re ready to burst out! If that’s not what you were expecting, then the rest of this review will probably make no sense to you, as Alien Covenant completely utilises all the Alien mythology that audiences are familiar with, while building on the origin’s tale. Alien Covenant contains absolutely everything you’d expect from an Alien film – plenty of gore, sinister baddies, a strong female protagonist, fantastic special effects, and a plot-twist that you can pretty much see coming from – well – outer space. From a technical and critical standpoint, the script could do with some work. At the screening I attended, people were giggling in parts that I’m pretty sure weren’t meant to be funny. There is one scene where Michael is Fassbender seems to be inadvertently performing foreplay on himself through the dialogue (honestly I cannot think of a better way to describe it). His performance is also somewhat panto villainesque, and while it works on the whole, there is a sense that you should be shouting “he’s behind you” in parts. Waterston, however, is brilliant, and while comparisons to Weaver are
inevitable, she does manage to make her character distinct from Ripley. Billy Crudup is also great as the Captain, torn between his faith and his mission. Alien Covenant looks amazing, and the CGI is first-class as you would expect. Despite the aforementioned questionable dialogue, the story works, and it follows on nicely from the world created in the earlier movie. On the downside, we’ve seen these creatures so many times that the ‘shock’ factor is seriously lessened, and there isn’t much here that we haven’t seen before. Not the greatest film in the franchise by a long shot (although far better than Prometheus) Alien Covenant manages to be old-school while utilising modern techniques, which is not an easy thing to pull off. For fans of the franchise, Alien Covenant is a nice addition to the story. For sci-fi fans, there are enough effects, tech and alien encounters to satisfy, and for those just looking for something to excite their movie evening, this should have enough twists and turns to keep them engaged. Alien Covenant is nothing new, but is a fun enough way to kill a couple of hours. In Cinemas Now!
EILE Magazine 47
Mindhorn 48 EILE Magazine
Frances Winston on Movies continued...
Directed by: Sean Foley – Starring: Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davies, Andrea Riseborough, Russell Tovey, Steve Coogan If you have fond memories of the cheesy cop shows from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, this movie may make you reassess them. Julian Barratt plays Richard Thorncroft, best known for playing Isle of Man-based TV detective, Mindhorn, a quarter of a century ago. Unfortunately, some dodgy chat-show appearances, and changing tastes, mean that his halcyon days are long behind him, and he has been reduced to appearing in commercials for socks! Like so many of these former TV icons though, he still has at least one obsessed fan. Unfortunately for Richard, said fan ‘the Kestrel’ is wanted for murder, and will only talk to Mindhorn, whom he believes to be real. Cue Richard reprising his most famous role, in order to help the police, and raise his profile once more, but he soon finds himself in over his head, and trying to solve a crime for real. Barratt is best known for his work with The Mighty Boosh, and the surrealism is very much in evidence here. This doesn’t take itself very seriously, and it would be a mistake for a viewer to do so. There are lots of campy flashbacks and clips, and the influence of numerous cheesy TV shows from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, is very evident. Richard is stuck in a time-warp, unable to accept that his best days are behind him, and desperately trying to cling on to his leading-man status, courtesy of a hairpiece and a girdle. This leads to all sorts of nonsensical situations as he embraces his iconic role once more, oblivious to the fact that there are no cameras rolling. Barratt doesn’t play it for laughs, and takes it very seriously, which works wonderfully. He is ably supported by a wealth of well-known British talent, including hilarious cameos from Simon Callow and Kenneth Branagh. It embraces every single show business and actor cliché you can imagine, and it does have plenty of laugh out loud moments. However, at times – even by the standards laid down here – it does go somewhat OTT. Farnaby is an absolute caricature as Thorcroft’s stuntdouble, and there is a parade scene set on Isle of Man day that is far less slapstick than it thinks. This is an unashamed cheesefest that owes much to the easily-parodied shows of yesteryear. At 83 minutes it doesn’t outstay its welcome – if anything it feels like it ends rather abruptly. But there is enough humour in it to entertain most viewers. Not a modern classic by any means, and might have worked better as a TV show (a TV show within a TV show even) but all in all, it is good fun.
In Cinemas Now! EILE Magazine 49
50 EILE Magazine
Netflix has released the first look trailer for the new series Star Trek: Discovery.
Star Trek: Discovery will follow the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new lifeforms, and one Starfleet officer, who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. Star Trek, one of the most iconic and influential global television franchises, returns to television 50 years after it first premiered with Star Trek: Discovery. The series will feature a new ship, new characters and new missions, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. The return of the famed franchise will premiere this Autumn on Netflix, everywhere except the U.S. and Canada, where it will be available on CBS All Access, and Bell Media respectively, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network. Additionally, the series will feature 15 episodes, up from the previously announced 13.
Twitter:@StarTrekNetflix Instagram: @StarTrekNetflix Facebook: https://www.fb.com/StarTrekNetflix
EILE Magazine 51
Trans-fronted Band, Stun
Trans fronted Dublin band, Stunt Lover, made up of Kaylee Bear, San P up this weekend. The band count among their influences Band of Skulls happen
Friday 2nd June at 9 pm, at Tivoli Backstage (now ‘Stage 19’) on Francis Street in Dublin
“Dublin groups Stunt Lover & Ger Fox Sailing along with guest DAMH will t
and Saturday 3rd June at 9 pm, at Sin É, 14-15
“Stunt Lover and special guests Sundress [and maybe some other surprises!] t
Free rock g
You can visit Stunt Lo
https://www.facebook. 52 EILE Magazine
nt Lover – Two Free Gigs!
Peric, and Al Soldati, , will be back in Ireland for TWO free gigs, coming s, Bikini Kill, Black Keys, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The gigs are ning on:
n, with Ger Fox Sailing (with Derren Dempsey of Laminate, River Fane etc) and DAMH.
take the stage at Tivoli Backstage on Francis Street, for some raucous noise!”
5 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin, with Sundress:
ay event: rBO5jQ
take the stage at the fantastic Sin É bar on the Quays for some good aul’ rock”
over on Facebook at:
.com/stuntlovermusic/ EILE Magazine 53
NI: Opinion Piece – the death of Connie Leonard and the risks women face From Women’s Aid NI, this is an opinion piece on the death of Connie Leonard, and the risks that more women face in the current climate. However, it might equally apply to any victim of domestic abuse
could to escape the domestic violence she was being subjected to, and used all the legal tools available to her. She must have been hopeful the current system would protect her and her son, Conor.
The murder of Concepta Leonard is a tragedy -a tragedy, and so much more than that.
Hidden victims, hidden women
She must have been terrified all the time, once she realised what kind of person he was, and how violent he could be. He was, it turned out, a prolific abuser with a criminal record.
While this kind of murder is relatively uncommon in Northern Ireland, the intimate terrorism of women, even after they flee from violence, is not unusual at all. Last year, 29% of women in our refuges and 58% of women in our outreach services were seeking support and protection from their expartners.
Connie had done everything right – she had left the relationship, contacted police, sought support from Women’s Aid, and got a non-molestation order which was due to be renewed the day after her murder. She did everything she possibly
Connie’s murder wasn’t the random act of an individual crazy man, or an inexplicable ‘isolated incident’, despite the typical media narrative that tends to emerge when a woman is killed by a current or former partner. Deaths like Connie’s are the devastating
Yet it is this very attitude, of downgrading domestic violence to commonplace and unimportant, that allows abuse to escalate to the point of serious injury or death. If we don’t talk about abuse, or challenge abusive behaviours, or treat domestic violence as
54 EILE Magazine
And yet, despite all this, she was killed by this abusive man, and her son was stabbed trying to protect her.
consequence of situations in which there is a motivated perpetrator, a vulnerable victim, and an absence of social guardianship. This is what can and will happen if our efforts to prevent and intervene in abuse fail. This man murdered Concepta because he could, because he wanted to, and because there was nothing to prevent it and no one to stop him.
In the last week, Women’s Aid has been inundated by interest from local and regional media. While this is positive, it is in stark contrast to a normal day at the office. Because the majority of cases of domestic violence are not deemed to be newsworthy.
a serious issue, we as a society are condemning more women to suffer and die. We also need to ask ourselves how society’s attitude towards women encourages abuse. Because make no mistake, the vast majority of victims of domestic and sexual violence are women and the vast majority of perpetrators are male. And the epidemic of violence against women is inextricably linked to wider societal views and traditions relating to women. That is not to say that male victims don’t exist (they do), or that they are not important (they are). But when one in four women is likely to be affected by domestic violence in her lifetime, and over 700 women a year have to flee to Women’s Aid refuges because they are not safe in their own homes, we need to talk about the societal inequalities and public discourse that allow abuse to permeate in the privacy of the home. And we as a society need to put strategies in place to eradicate inequality, and gender stereotypes, and objectification of women. Otherwise there will be more Concepta Leonards in our future. We need to talk about AUSTERITY… We also can’t ignore the fact that deaths like Connie’s don’t happen in a vacuum. Often a victim’s level of safety and protection is only as good as the government’s commitment to help them.
We know that prevention and early intervention are most effective in stopping domestic violence from escalating to life-threatening levels. And that protective measures like refuges and specially-trained police officers can help keep victims and their children safe. Yet at this very moment, services are being cut, reduced or scrapped entirely. Less than two months ago, all refuge services for women and children across Northern Ireland had their budgets cut by 6%, after having had those budgets frozen for years. Like other services, we are also at risk of tender processes that fail to understand the need for specialised services, where qualified experts support women, children and men. Vital projects and services continue to be downsized or scrapped. The mantra of There Is No Money for vulnerable victims continues to be wheeled out, even as public money quite literally goes up in smoke. On a UK-wide scale, women have disproportionately borne the brunt of the austerity cuts – it is estimated that 86% of welfare cuts have targeted women and children. Research indicates that 2.6 million children in the UK will be living in poverty by 2020 because of the current programme of cuts.
UK. We do not yet have a domestic abuse or coercive control offence. We have no stalking legislation. There is no domestic violence disclosure scheme (also known as Clare’s Law) in place. No domestic homicide reviews are conducted to help us learn lessons from the killing of women. Northern Ireland remains the only part of the UK that does not have a dedicated violence against women strategy. In our courts conviction rates are shamefully low for domestic and sexual violence crime. The message this sends out is loud and clear: if you’re a perpetrator you can act with impunity, and if you’re a victim you’re on your own. So while Connie Leonard’s death is a tragedy, it is also a travesty. This is no isolated incident, but a damning indictment of our categoric failure to eradicate domestic violence from our society. It is a warning that we need to rethink what we do and how we do it. This is our wake-up call.
For more information, visit: www.womensaidni.org
Meanwhile, women in Northern Ireland have been denied many vital protections that exist elsewhere in the EILE Magazine 55
56 EILE Magazine
‘AWFUL GAYS’ A New Irish Comedy Gay Web Series Premiered May 4! Awful Gays, a new comedy web series about a gay couple in Dublin, premiered online yesterday, May 4th. The first episode, Happy Couple, shows Maurice and Kenny’s caustic reaction to a younger gay couple who have just got engaged.
Episodes will be released weekly on Thursdays on the series’ Vimeo channel (vimeo.com/ awfulgays) May 4th through June 15th. Awful Gays is a comedy web series about a truly awful gay couple, Maurice and Kenny, in post MarRef Dublin. What they lack in chemistry and common interests, they make up for in shared awfulness. In the series, they interact (argue) with a host of less awful gays and straights, including a new mother, a lonely old gay man, a newly-out teenager, and a recently engaged gay couple. In short, these are not the gays you voted yes for. The series was created by Mark Keane. It stars Colm Kenny Vaughan as Maurice, and Stephen Ryan as Kenny.
You can visit www.awfulgays.com for more information, and to watch episodes, or twitter.com/awfulgays, or facebook.com/ awfulgays for regular updates. In the first episode, Happy Couple, Maurice and Kenny accuse a young, happy, newlyengaged couple of being threatened by their relationship… Starring Colm Kenny-Vaughan as Maurice, Stephen Ryan as Kenny. Featuring Conor O’Dwyer and Kerwin White. Written and Directed by Mark Keane. Shot and Edited by Darragh Moran. Sound by Cole Delaney. Music: Singalong by Biggles Flys Again (bigglesflysagain.bandcamp.com)
EILE Magazine 57
Transgender Film Festival Awards 2017! The festival, in Kiel/Germany, includes documentary and feature films about Drag Queens (and Kings) and transsexuality. The audience decides on the awards, and you can see some of the winners below: Best Film of the Year: EKAJ by Cati Gonzalez https://www.facebook.com/EkajTheMovie Best Trans-Performance: Jonny Beauchamp in THIRSTY https://www.facebook.com/ThirstyMovie/ Elle Fanning in THREE GENERATIONS https://twitter.com/3GenerationsMov Best Actress (non-tg-role): Naomi Watts in THREE GENERATIONS Best Actor (non-tg-role): Badd Idea in EKAJ Best long Documentary: LUCY by Melinte Reitzema http://www.courfilms.com/lucy Best Song: “All That I Am” by Nicky Egan in the film THIRSTY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw1_Mgh0Qtg Best Short Film: PRINCESS by Karsten Dahlem http://www.loptafilm.com/portfolios/princess Best Trans-Performance in a Short Film: Phillip Breu in PRINCESS Best Actor in a Short Film (non-tg-role): Marc Benjamin Puch in THE WEDDING PATROL Best Actress in a Short Film (non-tg-role): Ava Taremizad in PRINCESS 58 EILE Magazine
Best Short Documentary: LIP SYNC 1000 by Joseph Wilson https://vimeo.com/214677677 Best Music Video: “Hum Hain Happy” by 6 Pack Band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blvOBnSRfVc EILE Magazine 59
‘Where We Are Now’ LGBT Theatre Festival (Irish North-West) The Rabbit’s Riot Theatre Company is a production company based in the northwest of Ireland, that aims to create thought-provoking and emotive theatre, using both established and new writing. Having just celebrated their first year anniversary, The Rabbit’s Riot has been bringing imaginative and topical theatre to audiences in Sligo, Leitrim and Dublin. They have staged a variety of shows, including a colourful and vibrant rendition of the iconic Alice in Wonderland, mythological pop-up theatre, and a bold piece of verbatim theatre, focusing on the issue of cyber-bullying and revenge-porn. Their next project is Where We Are Now, an LGBT theatre festival celebrating works written by and about those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and everything in between! Where We Are Now will take place 8th – 10th of June 2017, in venues across Sligo town, and in locations in Manorhamilton, Leitrim. It is a project that seeks to recognize and give an on-stage voice to members of rural communities in the Irish
60 EILE Magazine
north-west. It is the first collaboration of its kind between writers from across the globe and Irish directors and actors within Sligo and Leitrim. Tickets can be bought through The Rabbit’s Riot website: http://therabbitsriotthea.wixsite. com/rabbitsriottc/currentproductions. email address: therabbitsriottheatrecompany@ gmail.com. For the full Where Are We Now Festival line-up, go to: http://therabbitsriotthea.wixsite. com/rabbitsriottc/currentproductions These plays will be popping up and around Manorhamitlon, Leitrim & Sligo before and during the festival! Keep an eye on the festival’s social media pages to find out where. Visit: Instagram- rabbitsriottc Snapchat- rabbitsriottc
Photograph by Hazel Stanley – Model Kristopher O’Brien EILE Magazine 61
Little Gem: ¡NO! – Sediments LP – New Release POLYMUSICAL IMPROVISERS ¡NO! RELEASE BROODING AMBIENT PSYCH ALBUM ‘SEDIMENTS’ Para-psych improvisers ¡NO! release their latest major work, Sediments, this June. The LP appears courtesy of vanguard Irish independent label Little Gem Records. ¡NO! describe their sound as “psychiatric music ÷ 3 x history² ,” which roughly translates as free-form polymusical improvisation beyond specific genres. Still, recognizable currents emerge: psychedelia, free jazz, post-punk, no wave, noise, krautrock, kosmische, electro-acoustic and primitive musics colour the group’s sonic palette. ¡NO! is: Fergus Cullen: saxophones, guitars, voice, keys, synthesizer, clarinet, piano, flutes Jamie Davis: drums, percussion, saxophone Damien Lennon: bass, synth, percussion * (and formerly Graham Montgomery: guitars, keys, synth, Roland Handsonic, mbira, percussion; Graham appears on Sediments, but has since left the group).
62 EILE Magazine
https://www.facebook.com/notwhatuno/ Check out the little gem catalog of releases at https://littlegemrecords.bandcamp.com
Little Gem Records Basement 18 Kildare Street Dublin 2 http://www.littlegem.ie/ EILE Magazine 63
Design: Anthony Zagariko, exclusively for EILE Magazine
64 EILE Magazine
Quality LGBT News and Features – Produced from Los Angeles Available via podcast on our website (thiswayout.org) or on iTunes, and on 200+ Radio Stations Worldwide!
thiswayout.org | Twitter: @TWORadio Overnight Productions (Inc.)/”This Way Out” Post Office Box 1065 Los Angeles, CA 90078 U.S.A. EILE Magazine 65
120 Beats Per Minute, Inspired Premieres Remember the days when AIDS was considered by some to be a ‘gay plague’ and the word ‘condom’ was taboo in polite company? queries Robin Pomeroy of Reuters. If not, then you were too young to have lived through the 1980s portrayed in ‘BPM – Beats Per Minute’, a movie that premiered in Cannes on Saturday 20 May, and immediately became talked of as a possible prize winner. In an era before social media allowed like-minded people to form instant campaign groups, the film follows members of Act Up Paris, who meet every week to plan direct action stunts to force indifferent politicians, educators and drug companies to get serious about preventing and curing the disease. With its 80s nostalgia – including a remix of Bronski Beat’s gay anthem ‘Small Town Boy’ on the soundtrack – ‘BPM’ is in similar territory as the 2014 British film, ‘Pride’ – but with fewer laughs, more sex, and gallons of fake blood – used as a weapon by campaigners in a raid on a
66 EILE Magazine
Writer Director Robin Campillo, 2nd from left
d By LGBT Group Act Up Paris, At Cannes pharmaceutical company. Moroccan-born French writer-director, Robin Campillo, who wrote the 2008 Palme d’Or winner ‘The Class’, said he had allowed other projects to get in the way before finally getting round to telling the story inspired by his own work a gay man and Act Up member. “This was really a fear to confront a subject that is really important in my life, and really crucial,” he told reporters. In his five-star review, The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called ‘BPM’ “a compelling feature about love, life and friendship”. Romain Le Vern of French movie website Chas Reigns tweeted a survey of 11 French critics that put ‘BPM’ well ahead of the other movies screened so far in the race for the Palme d’Or, which will be awarded on May 28. -Robin Pomeroy (eile.ie 22 May 2017) EILE Magazine 67
“Hot To Trot” – New Documentary Film About Same-Sex Dance Sport 68 EILE Magazine
This amazing new documentary takes a deep-dive look inside the fascinating but little-known world of same-sex competitive ballroom dance.
HOT TO TROT follows a small international cast of four men and women, on and off the dance floor, over a four-year period. An immersive character study — and an idiosyncratic attack on bigotry — this powerful and celebratory story unfurls with the rhythms and energy of dramatic cinema. Major portions of HOT TO TROT were filmed at Gay Games 9 in Cleveland. If you’re in San Francisco in June or know people who live there, direct them to attend one of the two premiere showings as part of the Frameline 41 LGBT Film Festival. Watch the trailer and learn other details at: http://www.hottotrotfilm.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/hottotrotfilm/
EILE Magazine 69
Mullingar: Mullingar Pride’s IDAHO [IDAHOT] Exhibition Ten Weeks that Changed the World, a photographic exhibition from Alison Laredo, was launched officially by Cllr. Frank McDermott, An Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, on Tuesday May 16th, as part of Mullingar Pride’s IDAHO/IDAHOT campaign. IDAHOT is International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, and the exhibition, a chronicle of Mayo LGBT Equality’s canvassing efforts in 2015’s Marriage Equality campaign, was used to highlight how regular individuals can impact their own fortunes through political activism. Chairperson of Mullingar Pride, Nigel Connor, welcomed the group from Mayo, and emphasized how still today there is so much work to do to ensure that the LGBT community can live and thrive, as both individuals, and as a community, in Ireland and abroad. He spoke about the importance of LGBT visibility, and how there was still an onus on the LGBT community to support each other, and inform the greater population about inclusivity. He also thanked Miriam Mulrennan, the Westmeath County Council Arts Office, and the Westmeath County Council for supporting the exhibition. Jean Cross, from LGBT Equality Mayo, gave a stirring account of the canvassing efforts of the team in Mayo around the time of the referendum, and the impact the referendum had for the group. Marina Tuffy, Mayo’s ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year 2016’, gave a speech on the importance of the referendum, for her personally, and for the LGBT young people she works with. The exhibition runs for one more week in the atrium of Westmeath County Buildings in Mullingar town, and is free to view. (eile.ie 20 May 2017)
70 EILE Magazine
LGBT Equality Mayo meet with Cllr Frank McDermott, An Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council
Left to Right: Sylvie Gueriteau and Charles Badiller meeting the photographer Alison Laredo
Chairperson of Mullingar Pride, Nigel Connor
EILE Magazine 71
‘BeLonG To’ Calls for Public’s Support to Help Fund Vital LGBT Support Services National Organisation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Young People ‘Overwhelmed’ by Demand Two years on from the historic Marriage Referendum success, national youth LGBT support group, BeLonG To, is experiencing unprecedented demand for its vital support and advocacy services. The organisation urgently needs to secure funding to meet current demand, and is asking the public to support young people across Ireland, by donating online this week at belongto.org Moninne Griffith, Executive Director with BeLonG To, says that there has been a 100% increase in the number of people accessing the organisation’s services in the past year: “Each week, we have 150 young people coming through the doors in our Dublin services and hundreds more accessing support through the national network of groups, delivered in partnership with other agencies. As well as young people themselves, parents, social workers and teachers are also seeking information. There is no doubt there has been a huge change in Ireland. But we have to be realistic and remember that there are many thousands of people who continue to face harassment and prejudice because of their sexuality or gender identification. “We regularly support young people who have been kicked out of their home because their parents do not support them. Members of the LGBT community may have achieved equality on a key issue at a high level; but we cannot afford to let apathy set in. There are young people – and indeed older people – across every part of this country who are still afraid to acknowledge who they really are.” A recent report commissioned by BeLonG To reflected somewhat conflicting attitudes of 209 parents and 204 students: Just two thirds (67%) of parents say they would feel comfortable if their son/daughter were
72 EILE Magazine
lesbian, gay or bisexual Less than half (44%) of parents would feel comfortable if their child was transgender 71% of parents would feel comfortable working closely with someone who is transgender 68% of parents and 60% of students agree that transgender people should be able to change their legal documents Just 44% of parents and students agree that equality has been achieved for gay, lesbian and bisexual people Almost six in ten parents (56%) have tried to talk to their child about LGBT topics [From: LGBT Parents and Students Attitudes Report; Empathy Research. Fieldwork conducted December 2016 – 209 parents, 204 students]. It is estimated that 5-10% of the population in Ireland are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. BeLonG To offers a range of services for young LGBT people aged 14-23, with a focus on ‘wraparound’ support. The organisation works in collaboration with other agencies, including those offering mental health care and intervention, and sexual health support. BeLonG To also offers life skills education, where young people can build resilience, and develop key skills essential for dealing with the challenges they face in life. Anyone who wishes to support the work of BeLonG To this week can: Donate online: www.belongto.org Organise a company fundraising event Support the Dublin collection on Saturday May 27 from 11am – 2pm, on Lower Liffey Street, Dublin 1 More information on all of the organisation’s services, as well as stringent governance standards, is available on www.belongto.org To view the BeLonG To the Future video, visit www.youtube.com/ watch?v=9sF45u58qm4&t=6s (eile.ie 24 May 2017)
EILE Magazine 73
ACLU: After Seven Years In Custody, Chelsea Manning Is Finally Free “Chelsea Manning almost died on our watch. She suffered at the hands of our government, and the toll of her incarceration nearly killed her. But she survived. Through long stretches of solitary confinement, the systemic denial of health care, relentless abuse, and a lifetime of consequences, she will have a chance to live” writes Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, LGBT & HIV Project of the ACLU. Chelsea, who had been an army intelligence analyst, was released from prison last Wednesday 17 May, 2017, after seven years, having been convicted of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. She was arrested in 2010. On January 17, 2017, President Obama commuted Chelsea’s 35-year prison sentence. With the commutation, 28 years were cut from her sentence, and her life was saved.
74 EILE Magazine
Last February, when her sentence was commuted, Chelsea (29) wrote to her friends inside: “I never would have made it without you. Not only did you teach me these important lessons, but you made sure I felt cared for. You were the people who helped me to deal with the trauma of my regular haircuts. You were the people who checked on me after I tried to end my life. You were the people that played fun games with me. Who wished me a Happy Birthday. We shared the holidays together. You were and will always be family.” When she was requesting that her sentence be commuted, she wrote to President Obama: “I am merely asking for a first chance to live my life outside the USDB as the person I was born to be.” Attorney Chase Strangio says:
“And now she will get that first chance. She will be able to occupy her body, express her gender,
Transwoman Chelsea Manning (right) was released from US prison on May 17
“I am merely asking for a first chance to live my life outside the USDB as the person I was born to be”
navigate the world, share and grow, love and grieve, on her own terms. Nothing about the coming days or weeks or months will be easy — but they will be hers — and we will love her and support her and give her space to live”. She has said that she intended the leaks to expose wrongdoing. She will remain unpaid although still in the US army, while she awaits an appeal of her conviction. -MKB (eile.ie 19 May 2017)
EILE Magazine 75
US: Civil Rights Organizations Urge Trump Not To Appoint David Clarke at DHS Yesterday, (28 May) The Human Rights Campaign released a letter from America’s leading civil rights organizations calling on President Donald Trump and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John F. Kelly not to appoint controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke as an Assistant Secretary in the Office of Partnership and Engagement at the DHS. The letter is signed by executives from the Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, The Leadership Conference, Muslim Advocates, National Council of La Raza, and National Urban League, who make clear that
“Clarke’s record as Milwaukee County Sheriff and his history of incendiary and hateful statements make him unfit to serve in this role, as does his connection with antigovernment extremist groups.” Clarke has a long and expansive anti-LGBTQ record. He said that the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize marriage equality nationwide would result in a conservative revolt against President Obama’s “socialist agenda.” He condemned Democrats and advocates for calling on sensible gun safety measures following the tragic shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub that took lives of 49 people. He said on his right-wing podcast that transgender people “suffer from mental disorders” and “live freakish lifestyles” and said a supportive mother of a transgender elementary school student was guilty of “child abuse.” (eile.ie 29 May 2017)
76 EILE Magazine
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Image: Yahoo Finance
â€œ....history of incendiary and hateful statements...â€? EILE Magazine 77
EU Parliament: Persecution of gay men in Chechnya – MEPs call for urgent investigation Chechen authorities must end the persecution of gay men and an investigation must be held as a matter of urgency, Members of the European Parliament said on Thursday (18 May). MEPs say that Detention and torture of gay men in Chechnya must stop There is a need for urgent investigation by Russia EU and Council of Europe need to help the investigation MEPs are deeply concerned at reports of arbitrary detention and torture of men perceived to be gay in Chechnya (Russian Federation) and condemn Chechen government statements denying the existence of homosexuals in their country and inciting violence against LGBTI people. MEPs call on the authorities to end this campaign of persecution, and immediately release illegally detained persons. They also urge Chechen and Russian authorities to follow international commitments and to uphold the rule of law and universal human rights standards, to ensure the safety of all persons who might be at risk, including LGBTI individuals.
“Russia and its government carry the ultimate responsibility for investigating these acts, bringing perpetrators to justice,” MEPs say. They call for “immediate, independent, objective and thorough investigation” and ask the Commission, the member states and the Council of Europe to support Russia in this investigation. On 1 April Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that over 100 men, perceived to be gay, had been abducted and detained in the autonomous republic of Chechnya in the Russian Federation as part of a coordinated government campaign. Abducted victims had been mistreated, tortured and forced to disclose the identity of other LGBTI individuals. Reportedly, at least three men had been killed. (eile.ie 20 May 2017) 78 EILE Magazine
EILE Magazine 79
US: HRC Files Amicus Brief with Major Companies Supporting Transgender Student Gavin Grimm Yesterday (16th May) the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) filed a “friend of the court” brief (amicus brief) signed by 59 major U.S. companies, supporting transgender student Gavin Grimm, in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Grimm, a transgender boy, filed suit against the school board, alleging it violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by denying him use of the boy’s restroom. “These companies are sending a powerful message to transgender children and their families that America’s leading businesses have their backs,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Across the country, corporate leaders are speaking out because they 80 EILE Magazine
know attacking transgender youth isn’t just shameful — it also puts the families of their employees and customers at risk. Transgender students like Gavin are entitled to the full protection of the law, and must be affirmed, respected and protected in the classroom and beyond.” Leading American businesses have long expressed a commitment to LGBTQ diversity and inclusion in their workforces as evidenced by inclusive policies, practices and benefits. Businesses realize being inclusive is not only the right thing to do — it just makes good business sense as well. Companies that are inclusive of LGBTQ people and employees with LGBTQ family members are able to attract and retain the best and brightest across a wide spectrum of diversity, reap the benefits from increased engagement and productivity, and actively participate in the vibrant LGBTQ consumer marketplace. Having built inclusive workplaces for their transgender employees or
even transgender dependents of employees, companies have a vested interest in the legal landscape in which those employees and their dependents live, work or go to school. The 59 companies, representing over 1.6 million employees and $670 billion in revenue, signing the brief are: Affirm, Inc.; Airbnb, Inc.; Akamai Technologies, Inc.; Amazon.com, Inc.; Apple; AppNexus Inc.; Asana, Inc.; Bloomberg L.P.; Box, Inc.; Codecademy; Credo Mobile, Inc.; Dropbox, Inc.; eBay Inc.; Fastly, Inc.; Flipboard, Inc.; General Assembly Space, Inc.; GitHub, Inc.; IBM Corporation; Indiegogo, Inc.; Intel Corporation; Kaiser Permanente; Kickstarter, PBC; Knotel, Inc.; Linden Lab; LinkedIn Corporation; MAC Cosmetics Inc.; Mapbox, Inc.; Marin Software Incorporated; MassMutual Life Insurance Company; Meetup, Inc.; Microsoft Corporation; Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; MongoDB Inc.; NetApp, Inc.; Next Fifteen Communications Corp; Nextdoor.com, Inc.; NIO;
Pandora Media, Inc.; PayPal Holdings, Inc.; Postmates Inc.; Replacements, Ltd.; RetailMeNot, Inc.; Salesforce. com, Inc.; Shutterstock, Inc.; Slack Technologies, Inc.; Spotify USA Inc.; SugarCRM Inc.; The OutCast Agency; The Gap, Inc.; Tumblr, Inc.; Twilio Inc.; Twitter Inc.; Warby Parker; Weebly, Inc.; Williams-Sonoma, Inc.; Xerox Corporation; Yahoo! Inc.; Yelp Inc.; and Zendesk, Inc. The brief was authored by BakerHostetler, one of the nation’s prominent law firms. “BakerHostetler is proud to represent our clients, including these 59 leading companies, in pursuing their missions of diversity and inclusion,” said BakerHostetler Partner Ona T. Wang. “This brief underscores the ongoing commitment of major U.S. corporations and HRC to the fight for the full protection of the law for all individuals,” added BakerHostetler Partner Edward J. Jacobs. In June, a federal court ordered the Gloucester County School Board to allow Grimm full access to the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity, consistent with a ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. In August, the Supreme Court of the United States halted the lower court’s order, allowing the school board’s discriminatory policy to remain in place while the court awaited an application by the school board to have its full appeal heard.
In March, the Supreme Court of the United States sent the Grimm case back to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals following the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind guidance that protected transgender children in schools. Because the Fourth Circuit’s original ruling was heavily based on the Obama Administration’s guidance, the Supreme Court has asked the lower court to revisit the case and rule on the underlying statutory question regarding the scope of Title IX. Title IX should be understood to prohibit discrimination against transgender students including with respect to restroom access, regardless of the guidance. Last week, the lawyers representing Virginia transgender teen Gavin Grimm filed a brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals asserting that the case remains relevant even after Grimm graduates from high school.
face. A recent study correlated the high suicide rates of transgender students with discriminatory bathroom restrictions, and, according to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program, more than 50 percent of transgender youth will have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday. (eile.ie 17 May 2017) The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
Gavin Grimm Image: ACLU
Allowing transgender people to access facilities consistent with their gender identity — something compelled for years by laws in 18 states as well as embraced by hundreds of cities and school districts around the country — has not resulted in problems. On the other hand, forcing transgender students to use sex-segregated facilities contrary to their identity can impose real harm on transgender students, further compounding the discrimination and marginalization they already EILE Magazine 81
Information and support for women who need someone to talk to
DLL â€“ Phone: (01) 872 9911 (Callback facility available) 82 EILE Magazine
EILE Magazine 83
Chris Hughes, cofounder of Facebook
84 EILE Magazine
Successful LGBTQ Technology Entrepreneurs A high profile representation of the LGBTQ community in the technology industry is important, as it is the largest growth industry in the developed world, showing that LGBT people are capable of participating equally with others in this area without discrimination. LGBTQ organizations have been created to help ensure the communityâ€™s participation in this industry. For instance, StartOut helps entrepreneurs to start their own business, while also working to end discrimination within the technology industry, through established member chapters around the world. Lesbians Who Tech is a group specifically for the Lesbian community, also through a chapter organization, and Out in Tech is a social networking agency, encouraging internships and training in the sector. Many established technology firms have in-house LGBTQ networking groups. Also, there are conferences and symposiums on a regular basis, which cater specifically to the LGBTQ entrepreneurial community. The largest of todayâ€™s technology companies were started with the active participation of LGBTQ individuals. American Ric Weiland, who died in 2006, was a co-founder of Microsoft, while Chris Hughes was a co-founder of Facebook. At Harvard University, Hughes met up with Mark Zuckerberg, who presented him with the idea of a website that would link together the students of Harvard as a social network. Many smaller firms started by LGBTQ communities have also been successful.
Read more and see the complete list of notable LGBTQ entrepreneurs, go to Queerbio.com.
EILE Magazine 85
Gay Games - Re Paris in
From August 4 to 8, 2018, Paris will host the 10th edition o event in the wo
15,000 athletes from over 70 countries in Paris! Paris 2018 is preparin sharing. With sport a common theme for inclusion, the Gay Games a gay or s
Register for the greatest sporting and cultural event a
Book your favorite activity now! You can take advantage of the prefer March 2017. The sooner you
86 EILE Magazine
endez-vous with n 2018!
of the Gay Games, the largest sporting, cultural and festive orld open to all!
ng Games that will celebrate diversity, respect, equality, solidarity and are open to all, young or old, athlete or artist, experienced or novice, straight.
along with 15,000 attendees from over 70 countries.
rred price â€˜Blue Supportersâ€™ for the next 1,500 registrations before 31 u register, the more you save.
EILE Magazine 87
88 EILE Magazine
Information and support for women who need someone to talk to
DLL â€“ Phone: (01) 872 9911 (Callback facility available) EILE Magazine 89
90 EILE Magazine
Trans Sitcom The Switch