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Issue 247 July 2010 Free

Family Pride Real family values on the march

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his June is the 20th anniversary of my first experience of Pride, and although I’m tempted to say it seems like only yesterday, it actually feels like part of a different life on another planet. I was living in London and was the father of a four-month old baby, and I didn’t know one other gay person. I was still inching my way out of the closet and although the bright lights of gay London were on my doorstep, it was a world I hadn’t the confidence to approach, never mind be part of. It took all of my courage to get the tube to central London to join the Pride March at Charing Cross. Throughout the journey in the stifling heat of the London Underground in high summer, my stomach was sick and my heart was pounding. I had brought my son with me, in a papoose, and only the rhythm of his breathing as he slept on my chest kept me from getting off the train and going home. When it came to it, I didn’t join the march. I was overwhelmed by the noise of it, the intensity of feeling, the sense of camaraderie between groups of people who seemed to all know each other, while I knew no one. I stood on the sidelines and watched the parade go by, wishing I could be part of it but feeling that I never would. It is that memory of standing alone on the sidelines with my child that I bring to every Pride I now fully take part in. Although times have changed radically since then, and we continue to move towards full acceptance in society all the time, there are still people standing on the sidelines, confused by what Pride means, feeling isolated and trying to come to terms with themselves. Every so often I meet gay people who are out of the closet, but are anti-Pride. Mostly they feel that the parade, or the people on the parade, don’t represent them and that Pride is about shoving our sexuality in people’s faces. Sometimes straight people ask me why there should be a Gay Pride march? They trot out the cliché that heterosexual people don’t have a Straight Pride march, do they? Sometimes, even though I know my reasons for going to the Pride Parade, I find it hard to explain why to these people. So I want to put it into one sentence, to sum it up in an easy soundbyte that explains without question why Pride is needed. So here goes: I march in Pride to celebrate myself in the face of the prejudice that continues to exist in Ireland and the world against gay people. I know that this sentence doesn’t address the concerns raised by the anti-Pride posse about how we might be doing ourselves damage by seeking to address prejudice and invisibility by marching in such diversity, as simplistically represented by the media with

“No matter how much society has evolved, there are still people on the sidelines who need to relax and laugh, to let go.” pictures of drag queens and men in leather. But to tell you the truth, I think this is an argument not worth having. Anyone who thinks there is an appropriate way to dress when celebrating who you are as a human being needs to look at themselves seriously and ask why they are threatened by different representations of sexuality and gender. After watching my first Pride Parade go by in London all those years ago, I got on the tube again with my son and went to the Party in the Park. As I wandered around the stalls and near the stage, men and women came up to me to say ‘Happy Pride’ and admire my (admittedly beautiful) baby. These were the first openly gay people I had ever spoken to, and one of them, a woman seeing that I was on my own, said, ‘Why don’t you hang out with me and my mates for a while?’ I was taken under their wing and sat in the grass for a few hours actually having a laugh with a group of strangers who just happened to be gay, just like me. For so many years, the sexual orientation I was born with had given me nothing but angst. Because I lived in a society that ridiculed and rejected such a fundamental thing about my humanity, I tried to reject my sexuality and hide it. I tried to bury a part of myself because I hated it. But suddenly, at the Pride celebrations, I was enjoying myself with other people who had learned, or were learning, to love that very part of themselves. If you see someone alone at Pride this year, go up and say hello. No matter how much society has evolved, there are still people on the sidelines who need to relax and laugh, to let go - even if only for a few hours - of the pain of coming to terms with who they are. I am happy to say that the year after my first tentative steps, I did march in Pride. I marched with my arm around my new boyfriend, side-by-side with a whole new group of gay and lesbian friends I had made, and I blew my whistle loud. It was one of the happiest moments of my entire life. 3

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WE got mail HIV Correction Dear Editor, Thank you for publishing my HIV story. I am glad I did it. There is a small mistake, however, and it could have been me not thinking through the sentence well enough, because it’s a logical mistake. The sentence says: “The question that haunts me when meeting other people is should I tell them I am HIV and hope they’ll still go for unprotected sex, or should I not tell and just have the protected sex?” I think I made the mistake, by not thinking how it would sound in English, because it made sense in my head in my own language when I came up with the thought, and I just translated it into English. What I meant to say is: “Should I tell them I’m HIV and hope they’ll still go for the protected sex, or should I not tell and just have protected sex?” So the word should have been ‘protected’, not ‘unprotected’. Yours, Goran Gloria in Excelsis Dear Editor, I would like to congratulate all those who took part in Glória’s performance at the National Concert Hall on June 12. It was phenomenal. It sounds corny, but for me the concert inspired a wonderful feeling of togetherness that so often is missing within the gay community. Thanks to all the hardworking Glória members for a great show and fifteen years of fantastic singing! Yours, Emma, via email MalawiAN Couple Dear Editor, Anyone perusing the newspapers of late may have seen the story about the Malawian couple who received 14 years hard labour for taking part in a gay marriage ceremony, before UN intervention saw them released. Scarcely a week went by after they got out of prison before the one of the men renounced his sexuality and began dating a woman. Now, not a person alive can blame this man for wanting the persecution and

Send your letters to or The Editor, GCN, Unit 2, Scarlet Row, Essex St West, Dublin 8. The opinions expressed on this page are not those of the NLGF or GCN. The Editor reserves the right to edit all correspondance.

scrutiny to disappear from his life, nor can any logical person believe that this conversion is genuine. Strangely, there has been no outcry about this: when punished for being gay, the world’s media was up in arms, but when punished and indirectly forced to assimilate, there is international silence. While it’s unclear what’s going on behind the scenes of the Malawi situation, one point remains clear: just because Governments may be forced to pay lip-service to equality in the face of international pressure, that doesn’t mean it will continue after that glare of the media subsides. Yours, Jean Dillon, via email HIV Shocker Dear Editor, I was shocked to read the story of 22 year-old Mark in GCN last month (Issue 226). While we constantly hear that young people are careless and uneducated when it comes to HIV, this is the first time that I have seen proof of the fact. I grew up in the 1980s at a time when HIV infection meant almost certain death and we were assaulted with images of emaciated men fading away. The fear that these images instilled meant that safe sex messages became hardwired to our brains. Now that HIV infection is no longer a death sentence and because we try to battle stigma with healthy images of people with the virus, what is the message we can give to young people like Mark, who think they are invulnerable? The scary thing about Mark’s story is how it intersects with Goran’s story in the same feature. While Mark doesn’t know who gave him HIV, Goran does, and it’s an unidentified man who is going around sleeping bareback with unsuspecting people. We need to find new ways of educating young people about the realities of HIV infection before more people like Mark are infected, or people like the man who infected Goran are stopped. Yours, Sean, Dublin

Unit 2, Scarlet Row, Essex Street West, Temple Bar, Dublin 8, Ireland. TEL: (01) 671 9076 / 671 0939 / 671 9325 FAX: (01) 671 3549 Email: Managing Editor: Brian Finnegan Deputy Editor: Ciara McGrattan Advertising Manager: Conor Wilson Distribution Manager: Lisa Connell Design & Layout: Fionán Healy & Karl Toomey Fashion Editor: Noel Sutton Contributors: Conor Behan, Oein DeBhairduin, Tom Byrne, Paul Coffey, Sinéad Deegan, Brian Drinan, Quentin Fottrell, Lydia Foy, Kieran Grimes, Andrea Horan, Neil Geraghty, Bob Johnston, Darren Kennedy, Declan Marr, Matt Matheson, Ray O’Neill, Jeanette Rehnstrom Cover Photography: Ronan Healy Photography: Peter Fingleton, Sean Meehan Publishers: National Lesbian and Gay Federation Ltd. NLGF Ltd is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. Reg. Co. No: 322162 CHY No: 12070 NLGF Board: Ailbhe Smyth (Chair), Sean Denyer, Orla Howard, Stephen Jacques, Richard Lucey, Patrick Lynch, Olivia McEvoy, Ciaran O’Hultachain, Neil Ward GCN Advertising Policy Gay Community News (GCN) does not necessarily endorse the quality of services offered by its advertisers. All ad copy must comply with the code of practice of the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland and GCN reserves the right to edit or refuse adverts if they do not comply with this code. GCN does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused by an error or inaccuracy in the printing of any advertisement. The placing of an order or contract will be deemed an acceptance of these conditions. The ideas and opinions expressed in any article or advertisement are not necessarily those of GCN. Don’t make assumptions about somebody’s sexual orientation just because we print their name or picture. Publication of any material is at the discretion of the publishers, who reserve the right to withhold, edit or comment on any such matter. Permission must be obtained prior to the reproduction of material published in GCN. We welcome submissions but cannot guarantee publication. If you are submitting on a professional basis and expect payment, you must clearly state this fact. We do not guarantee return of manuscripts or illustrations; so do keep an original copy. GCN’s list of subscribers is not given, sold, rented or leased to any person or organisation for any reason. © Gay Community News December 2009 The total average distribution of GCN as certified by the Audit Bureau of Circulation for the period Jan – Dec 2009 was 11,043 per issue.

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Letters 247.indd 1

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16/06/2010 20:54:01

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*Mother’s Pride, Saturday 26th June. Doors open from 5pm till very late. Admission is free before 10pm. €10 after 10pm. Our way of thanking you for supporting GCN Forever.

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NEWS It’s been a strong month for the GCN Forever campaign, which continues to go from strength to strength thanks to your generosity and dedication to keeping your gay community magazine going through the financial downturn. Personal donations came in at €595 and we would like to thank those who donated most sincerely. By far the biggest chunk of money donated to the campaign this month came from businesses on the gay scene. Student Club, PrHomo held a special fundraising night on Thursday, May 27, raising €800. The good

people at The Dragon collected at the door on two nights of Peaches Queen’s fantastic new night there and thanks to the generosity of many who attended, they raised a cool €2,360. A big thank you to Nuala and Declan at Dragon! New Saturday club night, Mother is packing them in thanks to promoter Cormac Cashman, host Will St Leger and a great team of creatives. This month it raised €1,120 towards GCN’s cashflow, which is much needed and appreciated. Mother’s milk, indeed! Our current total stands at €14,903 and the GCN Forever fundraising target for 2010 is €48K, based on an average drop in advertising revenue of €4K per issue, which is reflected in advertising drops across the industry. This month, with Dublin Pride bringing so many of us gorgeous gays together advertising has been up and we would like to give a big shout out to all our advertisers, who are supporting the continued

GCN needs your support to continue publishing through these difficult times. Fill in the form below and set up a standing order to help us over the next 12 months, log on to our website and donate whatever you can afford, or send cheque or postal order for whatever you can afford to GCN, Unit 2, Scarlet Row, Essex Street West, Dublin 2.


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publication of a much loved and valued resource for Ireland’s gay community. Keep taking ads! If you can afford just €21 a month on Direct Debit for one year, along with another €130 people doing the same, we will have reached our target this year. Plus, if you donate €21 a month or over, because we are a registered charity, your donation will be tax deductible. Your donation, of any amount, will go towards the printing and publication of GCN, which is a not-for-profit publication and a registered charity.

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My GCN STORY Conor Behan

“I first came across GCN when I went to college in 2005. I was coming into my own and the magazine gave me an insight into a vibrant community where politics, culture and new ideas all had an equal currency. More importantly, it made me feel less alone. My first time reading the Youth Issue was a revelation. It showed me a whole world of new possibility. I will admit to loving magazines in general, be it Rolling Stone or Elle but GCN was different. It was free first of all, and the fact it was distributed across my college campus made it an important symbol of both gay Ireland and the availability of free community information in a country where even the most basic things seemed to cost a fortune. If you are a straight person with no knowledge of gay Ireland and you pick up GCN in a restaurant, you can find yourself informed on a range of topics of importance. That would never happen online. Apart from helping spread information and roping in new recruits, the magazine serves an important function as a reminder to everyone that the LGBT community is present in this country. If there’s no GCN, what happens to the visibility of Pride Festivals, HIV awareness campaigns, gay youth groups and most importantly, the lack of equality for LGBT people? GCN has built up a strong tradition and holds an important place in the history of our community in Ireland. Not only that, but it still offers an important window into the world of LGBT rights when issues such as civil partnership, marriage equality and the Ugandan law on homosexuality are pressing concerns. Do you know of any other magazine in Ireland that would have given it’s front cover to a Marriage Equality campaign and rigorously inform people about on-going issues surrounding such legislation without regarding it as a niche issue? I can’t think of any other and if GCN were to disappear, I can’t see where we would see proper discussion around the things that really affect our lives as LGBT people. GCN has been all these things and more for me and I want it to continue that way. Let’s keep it so that in 20 years some other up and coming gay can tell us their GCN story.”

Families of Gays Need Support, Says A New Report Launched by Minister for Justice and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, TD, on Friday, June 18, Family Matters: The Experiences of Some Families of Lesbian and Gay People in Dundalk is a report on research carried out by Clarity Ltd on behalf of Dundalk Outcomers, with the support of Pobal. “We felt the survey needed to be done because we have noticed over time an increase in family members of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people - mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses - coming to us looking for support,” says Bernadine Quinn of Dundalk Outcomers. “Some parents, for instance, felt they couldn’t talk about their LGBT son or daughter with other family members and were feeling ashamed. “When an LGBT person is ridiculed or laughed at, often they are not the only ones to suffer.

Family members also come under attack or feel the negative side effects of homophobia.” Overall, 23 family members took part in the study, ranging in age from 16 to 86. “The survey results confirm what we suspected from the outset and this groundbreaking report means that going forward Dundalk Outcomers is becoming inclusive of the wider community. Not only will we be supporting LGBT people, but also we will be supporting their families and friends. We will become a broader community service,” says Quinn. “We are delighted that Minister Ahern launched the report. His recognition of it and of the service provided by Dundalk Outcomers is hugely important.” For more information on Dundalk Outcomers,

New Gay Sex Survey

A European Man-for-Man Internet Sex Survey (EMIS) is taking place this summer across 31 countries in 25 languages. It is the largest survey of its kind in the world and is being promoted in Ireland by the Gay Health Network (GHN), Rainbow Project NI and the Gay Men’s Health Service (GMHS). If you are a gay, bisexual man or a man who has sex with men, your input is wanted. The survey is completely anonymous, no name or address is needed and no record of your IP address is kept. This year GHN are hoping to have laptop computers (with mobile broadband) available at venues and events to make it easier to access the survey, and will be asking all LGBT and gay health centres to have computers online if possible. Similar to the Real Lives research, the information that men will supply is in line with the National AIDS Strategy Education and Prevention Plan, and will help local and national groups and agencies to plan and deliver the services you need. Log on directly to to do the survey, or alternatively click on the banner that will be on many social and community websites throughout Ireland. Further information is available from or at (01) 669 9553 7

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16/06/2010 19:22:47


Sports Pride Watch Gay

Diarmuid O’Connor Wet and Wild Sports Club

“I had been talking about it for setting up a gay club for years as I’ve been rock-climbing all my life. Eventually I had enough time to organise something so I contacted a few of the guys I knew who were kayakers. On our first outing, five of us went on a kayaking trip. It just grew from there. Four weeks after our first day out we had a beginners kayaking and rock-climbing day in Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey and most of the people who showed up have stayed on with the club. Since then we’ve had two weekend activities and five evening sessions and our facebook group membership has grown to 250. The activities we do are kayaking, rock-climbing, abseiling, hiking, camping, surfing, orienteering, horse-riding and fishing. It’s not ‘extreme’ sports - it’s outdoor pursuits. At the moment there’s at least one weekend activity planned each month. We’ve gone orienteering to the Phoenix Park a few times; we even played a couple of games of rounders, which was great fun. On average about 20 people turn up to our weekend events. The club isn’t just about activities - the idea is to get to know people who are into the same activities as you. There are lots of people in the club now who didn’t know each other six months ago, but are good friends now. We have a new members liaison person who helps new members joining the group. We are always welcoming new members and would encourage anyone who is interested to join us.” To contact Club, check out their facebook page: Wet and Wild Sports Club, or email: wetandwildclub

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Dundalk The very first Dundalk Pride takes place on July 16 and 17. The whole thing kicks off at Dundalk Outcomers at 6.30pm on the Friday, followed by electronica band, Eden playing The Spirit Store from 9pm. Later D Venue will play host to club night, Crème, where you can dance til you drop. Saturday July 17 features an Open Day in Dundalk Outcomers with stalls, workshops and a barbeque. Later that night, don your finery for a big gay ‘Wedding Reception’ party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Crowne Plaza has special room rates at €50 per person per night sharing,€75 single. To avail of the discount quote ‘Dundalk Pride Event’ when booking. Belfast Belfast Pride Festival Week is July 24 to 31. Following a successful night of science fiction thrills in 2009, there will be another ‘Northstar’ sci-fi night, with screenings of cult camp this year, while you will get a chance to grill your politicians at ‘Pride Talks Back’, and Belfast Pride will again be working with their friends in Queerspace, Amnesty International and the largest teaching union, the NASUWT, to provide a full week of talks, events, and fun. Northwest Pride lights up the Northwest from August 5 to 9 in Sligo and Leitrim, with

the Pride Parade on the Saturday in Sligo. Events include a multi-media exhibition, Freedoms at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre; Tea & Crumpets’ at The Glasshouse in the company of Border Action Gays Scotland; drama from Over the Rainbow and the Guild of Outstanding Outcasts; music and DJs, dancing and delight at the Pride Party, all with low-cost village accommodation available. Between now and August Northwest Pride is running a series of cross-border social events called ProudNet (funded by Co. Leitrim Peace III Partnership). If you’re in Leitrim or Fermanagh and want to make new friends, get in touch right away! Email or call 087 989 0336 for information on everything Northwest Pride.

Limerick The Limerick Pride festival runs from September 5 to 12 and will include the launch of the new Limerick LGBTQ History Archive Project, theatre, music and performance. The Parade, on September 11, is followed by a massive block party hosted at Trinity Rooms. There will be live music and drag performances with special guests, DJ’s spinning the tunes plus a barbeque and bouncy castle. Details will be updated on facebook and on Limerick Pride’s website, which is going live soon.



A new on-line survey for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the North East Region of Ireland has been launched Developed by young lesbian and gay people from counties Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan, the website has two functions: to provide a link to the survey, and to provide support for LGBT people through a broad range of information and links to other organisations. “We’re looking for a clear picture of the experiences of LGBT people who grew up or are living in the North East,” says John Ruddy, Youth Worker with AIM. “We want to


find out what challenges are faced and what supports are needed in the region, as well as inform LGBT people of services available and encourage them to meet other people.” The information gathered in the survey will be used to provide resources where possible, and to increase awareness of LGBT issues. AIM is a youth service run by Dundalk Outcomers with the support of Louth Leader Partnership and the Health Service Executive NE. It provides a safe place for young LGBT people to meet each other, and runs a series of projects and events throughout the year. More information on Dundalk Outcomers is available on

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“We are signalling our unremitting support for GCN and committing to ongoing financial contributions to ensure its survival, and we ask you to do the same. Why? Over the years we have appreciated the quality of the debate and dialogue that accompanies the exploration of many issues that impact all our lives. Topics such as Marriage Equality have been explored in depth, allowing an open and balanced expression of a rich variety of views, and giving visibility to the depth of critical reflection that has assisted the huge groundswell of support for the right to marry. We also acknowledge the creatively diverse expression of sexual and gender identity imaged in GCN. This iconoclastic approach breaks the stereotype of ‘sameness’ that breeds intolerance and sustains prejudice. At this time of unprecedented change it is vital that monetary constrictions don’t stymie and block the continued publication of GCN. We hope that many others will respond to this appreal and ensure that GCN continues to influence, inform, and support the lives we live and love.”


Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone

F GCN is not for profit, run by a voluntary organisation, and is a registered charity, no. 12070.

Forever GCN needs your support to continue publishing through these difficult times. Log on to and donate whatever you can afford, or send a cheque/ postal order for whatever you can afford to GCN, Unit 2, Scarlet Row, Essex Street West, D2.

FOREVER Help GCN, help your community.

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Ten Things/juLY JULY 4 TOP GUN Dublin’s Screen cinema gets all ‘80s homoerotic with Tom and Val hot ‘n’ bothered in flying phalluses.

JULY 20 - AUGUST 1 MAMMA MIA! The ABBA musical returns to Ireland, this time packing them into the Marquee in Cork.

JULY 7-18 CIRQUE DU SOLEIL The flexible performers of Canada’s gayest circus perform jaw-dropping stunts in Dublin’s 02 Arena

JULY 21 TO AUGUST 14 CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG Beware the West End child catcher, coming to the Grand Canal Theatre for a limited musical run. JULY 21 GRACE JONES Bond baddie and fashionista extraordinaire, Ms Jones hits the Wright Venue in Swords.

JULY 9 OXYGEN Get to Punchestown to see gay faves Florence and the Machine, La Roux and Gossip among others.

JULY 24 THE HUMAN LEAGUE Get synthisised with the ‘League at the Big Top as part of this year’s Galway Arts Festival.

JULY 15 PALOMA FAITH Pop cutie Paloma Faith (pictured) brings her inimitable brand of retro-pop to Iveagh Gardens in Dublin. JULY 16-17 DUNDALK PRIDE For the first time ever, the good gay people of Dundalk get on TMT_GCN_AD2.pdf the Pride calendar.


JULY 29 TO AUGUST 2 GAZE Dublin’s lesbian and gay film festival showcases the very best in queer cinema from around the globe at The LightHouse. See for details.



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It’s not often you get a chance to get up close and intimate with the iconic Tori Amos, but this month we’re offering you a unique chance to do just that. The Cornflake Girl will be returning to Ireland for the first time in five years to perform her greatest hits the gorgeous setting of Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens on July 16, and we have two much sought-after pairs of tickets to give away. All you have to do is visit www.gcn. ie to be in with a chance of winning. In case you don’t win, tickets are €45 from ticketmaster or the booking line: 0818 719300.

Homo Truths By Jeanette Rehnstrom

Shane Dillon (36) from Dublin My brother Owen has always been very interested in the Palestine/Israel issues. Recently, he was contacted by a man from the Free Gaza movement to see if he wanted to go on the flotilla but he couldn’t go. As I’d spent 11 years on Irish and British merchant ships, Owen was quick to offer my name as a replacement. After days of preparations we were finally united with the peace flotilla. On Sunday at 11pm we began to get calls from the Israeli’s armed forces requesting information as to where we were going, and asking for us to report to their port of Ashdod. They advised us that if we entered Palestinian waters we were in a conflict zone, but we kept on course. The Israelis began arriving in a variety of boats. They did not board our ship, but they did attack the ship in front of us, the Mavi Marmara. We heard and saw the Israelis use of stun grenades, tear gas, tazer guns, whilst the passengers and crew onboard were defending their ship by throwing rubbish bags and using water hoses to make the take-over a bit more difficult. We decided to make a run away from the flotilla so that we could get our satellites working again, which were being jammed by the Israelis. We wanted to send out images to the newsrooms. However, we were soon impeded by a problem with our engine and had to stop. There was some violence but in the end nobody on our boat lost their lives. Four hours later we were the first boat into the port. The Israelis had cleaned up and put curtains up over the damaged areas so that to anyone watching us arrive there would see nothing apparently wrong with the vessel. I was put into a detention centre and asked to sign deportation paperwork which I refused to do. It was at this point that I was told of the deaths, which really shocked me. I was mobbed by the media when I came back to Ireland. My brother and my nephew and niece were there to meet me. The Canadian media took a photo of me hugging my 17 year-old niece and put the caption under it saying that I was hugging my girlfriend. A longer version of this interview is available now on


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Scene & Herd Pussywagon At The George For Girls... Mother Keeps on Spreading The Synth Love... GAZE Gets Its Very Own Club... Photo by Peter Fingleton at WERK

The month begins with a brand new weekly night for girls at The George on Friday, July 2. Brought to you by DJ Karen, Pussywagon promises to kick ass, lesbian style. July 10 sees the third and last (please say it’s not!) outing for performance art club night, WERK at The Abbey Theatre from 10.30pm. If you haven’t checked it out yet, book now or forever hold your peace. Queer electro club Mother every Saturday night at Copper Alley (opposite the back entrance to the Front Lounge) continues to pack them in and the dancing is only massive. With DJs Philth and Kelly Ann pumping out a heady mix of retro and modern synth, it’s quickly becoming the club du jour on Dublin’s scene. Check out Mother’s Pride on Pride Day, June 26 for hours of the good stuff from 5pm until extreeeeemly late. New Thursday nighter from 11pm every week at The Sycamore, Blah Blah Blah features our favourite Mimi Rouge as resident DJ upstairs, while downstairs artist Will St Leger curates a live art show, complete with sounds from very special guest DJ’s. Other weekly clubs totally making the gay grade right now are PrHomo, still kicking the happy beats for students and their mates every Thursday at Basebar, Wicklow Street from 10pm and SUPERSUPERDISCO for boys, gals and everything in-between everything at Tripod

every Friday. Don’t forget all your regular weekly events at The Dragon, like Dolly Does Dragon on Mondays, pre-Glitz drinks on Tuesdays (with Glitz following in fine fashion at Break for The Border), new retro night WOW! on Thursdays and Spice with Victoria on Fridays. Sundays are a welcome chance to relax at Chillax. Meanwhile, over at The George, Wednesdays are Space N Veda, with Veda and the gang, while Thursday means it’s time for Davina’s House Party, with drinks promotions and kicking tunes galore! Sundays continue to be filled with Shirley’s Bingo!, still one of the best nights in town. Regular monthly club night, Cake hands out slices of the good stuff at The Academy on July 9, while alternative night Áit ait, goes ‘North’ for the summer on July 23 at Pantibar. Bring your own pork scratchings. The Dublin Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, GAZE will present its very own, very special after-screening party, Over The Rainbow at The Academy on Friday, July 30. Complete with a raft of DJ sets from Dublin’s gay scene faves, it’s a night of movie-related fun and performance to keep you GAZERS dancing into the wee small hours. Now that’s what we call fabulous.

EVERYTHING BUT THE PALE WATERFORD Wednesday night is bingo night with Charmin with great prizes to be won. Tyra and Cher bring you Dignity’s Got Talent every Thursday, while Friday sees DJ Pecs and Tyra play all your favourite hits as part of My Big Gay Friday! Charmin, Cher and Tyra are joined by special guests every Saturday for Pop Eletrik and Sunday brings you the Half-price Sale. July also sees the live final of Dragiators hit the Dignity stage after nine weeks of online competition. Check it out at Dignity kicks off its second birthday weekend bash on Friday, July 9 with a tribute to P!nk, The Glee Club tribute act on Saturday and on Sunday, Mr Pussy hosts a night of drag fabulousness. LIMERICK Thursday night is Karaoke night with the one and only Fada. Friday and Saturday are always great fun at Riddler’s with a party atmosphere where you can work up a stonker in time for Sunday’s hangover BBQ. La Boutique is in Dolan’s every second Saturday. CORK You can catch Ruby’s each and every Friday with DJ Jules. Chambers becomes Sinners every Wednesday night. Dust off your halo and dance ‘til the early hours with DJ Dave. Thursday is the Garden Patch with Daisy Dripps, while Sunday is Joanna Ryde’s Bingo Wings where you can win the jackpot, enjoy a dance-off or just skull loads of free drink. In Loafers, Tuesday night is open DJ night, Wednesday is midweek madness with Sinéad, while Fridays and Saturdays are always hopping. Instinct is open every day on Sullivan’s Quay. GALWAY Dignity’s Got Talent will be taking place every Thursday over summer with our very own TV Talent Show personality, Joanna Ryde. Friday is My Big Gay Friday and Joanna returns with special guests from all over the country on Saturdays. Dusty Flaps rounds out the weekend with Bingo every Sunday. Friday, July 9 sees The Glee Club doing their tribute thing at Dignity, while Friday July 23 is Kylie Goes Gaga night. CLARE The third Gay Clare/Outwest/Gay Westmeath joint disco takes place on Saturday, July 3 in the West County Hotel, Ennis from 10.30 ‘til late with special guests Sheila Fitspatrick and Madonna Lucia. For more information see Compiled by Kolyn Byrne


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Win a trip to the Gay Games!

GCN in association with German National Tourist Office and Out Now are sending two very lucky readers to Cologne for the Gay Games 2010. The Gay Games is the biggest LGBT sports and cultural festival in the world and will take place in Cologne from July 31 to August 7, this year. Some 12,000 participants from more than 70 countries will converge for the Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010 to celebrate the principles of participation, inclusion and personal best. You can be in with a chance to be at the heart of all the action! This stunning prize includes return flights for two flying out from Dublin to Cologne with Lufthansa and two nights accommodation in The Radisson Blu Cologne. We will even throw in two pink Köln WelcomeCards, which give free access to most of Cologne’s tourist attractions. To be in with a chance to win simply log onto before Friday, July 9

Basebar DOORS 10:30PM €5 (student ID) / €7

roar, govt id, over 18s

€2 sambuca shot €2 tequilla shot €2 apple sour shot €3 pint guinness €3 pint budweiser €3 pint heineken €3 pint carlsberg €3 coors/heineken btl €3 alcopops €4 glass of prosecco €4 vodka & energy €4 vodka & coke €4 vodka & 7up €4.50 rum & coke €4.50 gin & tonic €5 select cocktails

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16/06/2010 18:34:50

The Front Lounge wishes you a Happy Pride Tues 22nd June

Pride Factor Final

Join April Showers and special guest judges for Casting Couch karaoke final. Winner gets to sing at Pride and 1000 Euros. From 10pm

Thurs 24th June

Geili/Pride Ceili

One of Pride始s longest running events. Join us for Irish Music and dancing with Irish dancers to get you on your feet From 8pm -12.30pm

Sat 26th June

Dublin Pride 2010

Happy Pride everyone! Join us at The Front Lounge to celebrate Dublin Pride 2010. Open from 2pm with DJs from 5pm

June Exhibition Come to the Front Lounge to view the Pride Art exhibition. A group show by various artists celebrating the diversity of Pride

33-34 Parliament Street, Dublin Email:


Telephone: 01-6704112


find us on

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WERK LAUNCH Abbey Theatre, May 8 Photos by Peter Fingleton

PRHOMO GCN FOREVER NIGHT Basebar, May 27 Photos by Sean Meehan


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To see the full selection of these photos, visit

e d i r P y p p a H

ll! A To

MOTHER LAUNCH Copper Alley, June 5 Photos by Sean Meehan


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Sound Bytes On MiPod Every summer needs big pop anthems to provide the soundtrack to sun-sizzled days on the beach and sneaky cocktails after work. Kylie Minogue is first off the mark with her stunning new single, All The Lovers. Euphoric synth-driven pop with instant classic written all over it, this looks set to be another jewel in La Minogue’s pop crown. Katy Perry isn’t far behind with her breezy summer track California Gurls. All bubbly melody and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, it also squeezes Snoop Dogg in for a cheeky cameo, further cementing this as one of the big pop tunes for summer 2010. Rihanna goes for a more low-key take with her effort, the sultry Te Amo, a brooding tale of burgeoning lady love with a suitably steamy video to match. Ne-Yo is happy to plan a pop-themed rave up with his new dance effort, Beautiful Monster, an enjoyable piece of dance-flavoured pop music. Meanwhile, MIA goes for catchiest single yet with XXXO, a sparkling slice of electro pop that bristles with a dark edge provided courtesy of hotshot producer, Rusko. There are plenty of strong albums coming our way to soundtrack the summer months too. Newcomer Janelle Monae impresses big time with her debut, The ArchAndroid after plenty of buzz around her unique image, bold ideas and powerful voice. With this assured, brassy effort featuring a sci-fi theme (honestly) and oodles of inspired R’n’B/ soul tunes, she looks set to become a huge international star. Another R’n’B star on the up and up is the slightly more radio friendly B.o.B. Having had huge success with the single Nothin’ On You, the Atlanta born rapper/singer offers plenty more would-be hits throughout his debut, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, particularly on standout track Airplanes. LCD Soundsystem offer up plenty more jerky, powerful indie dance on their new effort, This Is Happening. A typical mix of introspective lyrics and wry humour, it still provides plenty more of the fresh ideas that make the band such critical darlings. In a similar vein we have Uffie with her long-awaited debut album Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans. Dripping in slick production and sharp lyrics the French Canadian electro rapper has plenty of attitude, but at times lacks the tunes to back it up. Still there’s enough swagger here to soundtrack more than a few summer nights out. Conor Behan

Regina George

1. Spectacular - Kiely Williams The former Nickelodeon child star and ‘Cheetah Girl’ has gone solo and this chick has totally changed it up. All for the good, in my opinion... this song is down right dirrty! In fact it’s causing a bit of a stir Stateside due to the low-budget video and filthy lyrics. 2. Dirty Picture - Taio Cruz ft. Ke$ha I’ve always had a secret soft spot for Taio Cruz. Add Ke$ha to the mix and you’ve got yourself something to get the any dancefloor movin’. It’s got a catchy beat and packs a punch. Click! Click! Snap! 3. Robyn - Dancing On My Own This little gem is taken from her upcoming album, Body Talk Pt.1 of three to be released this year. It’s packed with beats for all tastes, and is sure to be as big, if not bigger than her last album! Regina George DJ’s at RIP in The Button Factory, Dublin on Saturday June 18

match OF THE MAMAS red Corner: Christina Aguilera

green corner: kelis

Post baby and four-year career break, Christina goes left-of-field with Bionic (RCA),working with the likes of Le Tigre and Peaches, along with previous heavyweight collaborator, Linda Perry. The result is an uneven but interesting effort. The title track and My Girls feel like something fresh. You Lost Me and Lift Me Up are standouts, haunting ballads that allow Christina to showcase that voice. The rest however is campy dance pop, especially closing track Vanity, which is a drag queen anthem in waiting. 7/10

Another post-motherhood pop star with her eye on the dancefloor, Kelis returns with Fleshtone, a Madonna-style fusion of big name dance producers (David Guetta and Benny Benassi to name a few) and a continuous mix of floorfillers. Standouts like Acapella and 4th of July are assured concoctions with Kelis’ breathy vocals working a treat. But for all the big names and strong hooks it falls a little flat in places. Fleshtone at times feels a little anonymous for one of pop’s most individual stars. Still you’ll find more than enough fun in this collection. 8/10


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ack in 1998, when electroduo Eden appeared on the Irish scene (then known as Utopia), synth music was hardly top of the pops, so now that it’s utterly back in vogue (as the fans of new weekly Saturday nighter, Mother attest), ‘tis no wonder the boys are back in town after selling their wares to devoted Germany in the intervening years. Their brand new album, Electric is an affirmation of Mark Power and Ian Henderson’s abiding knack for blending synthesisers with catchy pop hooks. Written and produced by the pair over a period of 15 months, the first single If I Was A Pet Shop Boy, is a nod to another synth duo this synth duo hold in high regard. “We chose the title Electric because it states quite simply what the album is about,” says Power. “After the last album, the more acoustic Desolate Shores, we needed to say very clearly that this was going back to our roots”

Synth City

Eden’s single, If I Was A Pet Shop Boy is released on June 25 and they will play at the Dublin Pride White Party in Tripod on Saturday, June 26. Find out more at


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my inspiration



La la la La la la-la la La la la La la la-la la Kylie Minogue

Can’t Get You Out Of My Head

Photography by Miles Aldridge


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Hot Reels Edward or Jacob? If you don’t understand this question, then you are probably not one of the hoards of excitable teens (or oldies who should know better) who have salivated longingly over pasty-faced Mr Cullen et al over the past while. For those with an interest in the Twilight Saga, the release of Eclipse (July 2) will be a cause for mucho love-biting and eyeliner-applying. For everyone else it will be just another empty-headed teen grunge-fest, full of long, meaningful looks and ‘smell-the-fart’ acting. Following on from the last movie, Bella (played by the attractive, yet oddly dead-eyed, Kristen Stewart) is once again in danger and has to make a difficult choice: make out with the handsome vampire or make out with the handsome werewolf. Sigh. Throw in some furrowed brows, descending minor arpeggios and a bucket-load of fake contacts and that’s the whole movie. We can’t wait! Taking place in an unnamed African country torn by a rebellion, White Materials (July 2) follows coffee cropper Maria (Isabelle Huppert), a fierce and fearless white woman who refuses to abandon her land in spite of the unstable political situation that threatens her family. In this racially charged environment, Maria believes that to leave is to surrender: a sign of

weakness, of cowardice, wilfully overlooking the precarious situation this puts her family in. Maria’s ex-husband Andre (played by the Highlander, Christophe Lambert) attempts to change stubborn Maria’s mind but her reluctance to leave the land leads to devastating consequences for all concerned. Next up is Inception (July 16), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who has been in practically every other movie released this year (seriously the man is so over-exposed, he makes Paris Hilton look like a recluse). Anyway, Leo plays Dom Cobb, a man who is the absolute best in his trade - the dangerous art of extraction, which involves stealing valuable secrets from deep within an individual’s subconscious during the dream state. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in the world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. ‘How very Bourne’ we hear you think (in your subconscious). Luckily for Cobb, the film is longer than the 20 minutes it takes to establish this set-up and so onto the storyline: Cobb is offered a chance at redemption one last job that could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible: inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse; their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. A great cast (including Ellen Page and Cillian Murphy) and interesting premise make this one worth a watch.


Yvonne O’Reilly, GAZE Programmer

A tendency to move forwards rather than backwards means that my favourite movie ever is always the last best thing I’ve seen, which at the moment is Luca Guadagnino’s magnificent I Am Love. Exuding elegance, sophisticated and intelligent, this is a film about families, wealth, power and the lure of forbidden passion. Yvonne O’Reilly programs GAZE 2010 at The Lighthouse from July 30 to August 1. For more information visit

Ciara McGrattan

DVD Cinematic mourning doesn’t come more stylish than in Tom Ford’s BAFTA winning and Oscar nominated debut, A Single Man. Starring Colin Firth as George, a gay man contemplating suicide after the death of his lover, the film’s pristine visual design may sometimes distance the viewer from its emotional heart, but it is never less than compelling. It’s out on DVD this month for you to add to your collection of classic gay movies (if you have one), since whatever the criticism’s laid at its door, A Single Man is just that. The special features include commentary with producer/director Ford and a Making Of documentary.


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Labour is the only party consistently campaigning for LGBT equal rights: JOIN LABOUR LGBT MAKE A DIFFERENCE WWW.LABOURLGBT.IE   LGBT@LABOUR.IE

Group of the Progressive Alliance of

Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament

Alan Kelly MEP Proinsias DeRossa MEP Nessa Childers MEP

All Different - All Equal! The European Parliament supported by the Labour Party voted in April 2009 in favour of EU legislation to combat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the fields of social welfare, healthcare, education, and the provision of goods and services – including housing.

But more than a year later, the Irish and some other EU Member State Governments are still blocking the final adoption of this legislation! Labour insists that the Government must show leadership, go beyond rhetoric on human rights and adopt this legislation without any further delay.

‘Implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons’ EP resolution P6_TA (2009) 0211, 2 April 2009

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As part of the Dublin Pride celebrations, Bob Johnston has come up with his definitive top 30 gay books. Visit now to vote for yours and be in with a chance to win a €50 book voucher courtesy of The Gutter Bookshop. A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham (1990) The nature of friendship and family is explored in this novel about two best friends - one gay, one bisexual - who embark on a ménage a trios relationship with a woman, defying the conventions of their suburban background. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood (1964) With precision and unsentimentality, this ultimately uplfiting masterpiece follows a day of George Falconer’s life as he mourns the death of his lover of 16 years. Isherwood’s classic became an Oscar winning movie this year. Affinity by Sarah Waters (1999) All is not what it seems in Waters’ second novel, a Dickensian chiller set in Millbank women’s prison, where petty criminal and spiritualist, Selina Dawes weaves an erotic spell over sheltered, bereaved visitor, Margaret.

At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill (2001) Set in Dublin before and during the 1916 Easter Rising, this epic novel tells the love story of two young Irish men: Jim Mack and Doyler Doyle. Critics called it the gay Ulysees. Breakfast on Pluto by Patrick McCabe (1998) McCabe’s queer tour de force follows transgendered Patrick ‘Pussy’ Braden from small Irish town life to the dirty streets of London, circa 1970 as he searches for his mother. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh (1945) Oxford student, Charles Ryder falls head over heels in love with aristorcratic Sebastian Flyte, and then becomes embroiled in Sebastian’s dysfunctional Catholic family. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx (1999) Star-crossed lovers Ennis Del Marr and Jack Twist first appeared in this lean, beautifully crafted novella before they became screen legends. Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman (2007) The story of a powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ house, Aciman’s stunning debut novel is a psychololgical passion play. Carol by Patricia Highsmith (1952) An impressionable shop girl falls for a married woman and the object of affection is forced to choose between her lover and her daughter by a jealous, homophobic husband. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues by Tom Robbins (1976) The sexually ambiguous adventures of Sissy Hankshaw, a girl with unfeasibly large thumbs, who hooks up with lesbian cowgirl Bonanaza Jellybean among other philosophers, hippies and queer fashion tycoons.


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PRo:log/books Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin (1956) A young American, whose girlfriend has gone off to Spain, begins an affair with a doomed, beautiful Italian barman. Hero by Perry Moore (2007) Cult gay coming-of-age novel in which the central teen character grapples with sexual orientation and super-powers. Like People in History by Felice Picano (1995) Gay epic charting the lives of cousins Roger and Alisdair, who meet in 1954 and whose lives play out against the emerging gay rights movement. Maurice by EM Forster (1971) Published after Forster’s death, this semiautobiographical novel gives the author’s struggles with homosexuality a happy ending. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (2000) A laugh-out-loud collection of essays from the American gay humourist, taking in his childhood, career struggles and French language classes. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (2002) The painful coming of age of Cal Stephanides a boy who has a genetic deficiency causing him to appear female, this doubles up as a riveting Greek family saga. Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal (1968) Vidal’s uproarious transgender satire explores the homophobic machinations of the film industry, subverting traditional gender roles. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (1985) Brought up by a strict Pentecostal mother, Jeanette discovers she’s a lesbian. All hell breaks loose in this autobiographical classic. Orlando by Virginia Woolf (1928) The story man who falls asleep one day and awakes in a woman’s body, Woolf’s masterpiece

Friday 25th from 8:30pm Stereo Vibe with D.J Rafa Mafra


explores gender fluidity on an epic scale. Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote (1948) Capote’s Southern gothic debut focuses on a lonely gay teenager who, after the death of his mother, is sent to live with his mysterious father. Tales Of The City by Armistead Maupin (1978) The first of seven novels following a group of friends all linked to a house in San Francisco, this queer soap opera never goes out of fashion. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (2000) Two friends set up a comics company in 1940s New York in this rare hybrid of holocaust survivor novel and gay journey of self-discovery. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (1940) A deaf, mute gay man looses the love of his life when he is incarcerated in a mental asylum in this coded story of smalltown gay alienation.

KM Soehnlein, Author

The book I’m reading right now is Probation by Tom Mendocino. I’m only halfway through, but it’s clearly one of best novels of the year. Mendocino writes in the humorous, jaded voice of Andy, arrested for giving a blowjob in a highway men’s room. Andy’s wife leaves him, and he begins court-imposed counselling with a liberal, rather attractive priest named Father Matt. I have a feeling that in the end, Andy’s year of probation will turn out to be a very good thing. KM Soehnlein’s new novel, Robin and Ruby is published by Kensington, € 21.99

The Hours by Michael Cunningham (1998) Three female protagonists (one lesbian) in three different times, reveal the beauty and profundity of ordinary lives. Stunning.

The Story of the Night by Colm Toibin (1996) A repressed gay man falls in love with the son of an Argentinian presidential candidate against the background of the Falklands war.

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (1998) Young, gay, Nick Guest moves into the house of the rich Fedden family in the mid-’80s, exposing the selfish heart of Tatcherism.

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (1928) The live and loves of Stephen Gordon, a lesbian whose happiness is hampered by social rejection – this queer classic invented the genre.

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault (1972) A 15 year-old Persian who becomes the lover and confidante of 26 year-old Alexander The Great in this historical potboiler.

Trumpet by Jackie Kay (1998) A jazz musician lives with the secret of being a woman for years in pursuit of a musical career in this riveting novel that explores the nature of sexuality, race, gender and family identity.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1891) A young man sells his soul in order that he may stay beautiful forever and plunges into a hedonistic life in Wilde’s Faustian classic.

All of these titles are available from The Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, which will host a special Reading with Pride event on June 21 at 6pm

Saturday 26th from 9am till 1pm Pre Pride Breakfast

Salsa Saturdays 8:30 till Late D.J Alex

Millennium walkway, Dublin 1 WWW.GCN.IE 25

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Funny Boy Standing up in front of audiences across the length and breadth of Ireland and telling them gay jokes about yourself might be most people’s idea of hell. But for comedian-on-the-rise, Gearóid Farrelly, it’s something he has no choice but to do, as Brian Finnegan finds out. Although, coming from Bandon, Co Cork, Graham Norton cannot be listed as a gay Irish comedian; his career has been a British-based one. It’s not until now, with the arrival of Gearóid Farrelly on the comedy scene that we’ve had a bona fide homebased gay male comic queering the pitch in venues across the length and breadth of the country. Just home from playing four sell-out gigs at Kilkenny’s Cat Laughs festival, Farrelly is gearing up to MC at the Carlsberg Comedy Festival in


Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens this July. “After one of my gigs at Cat Laughs, I passed Ardal O’Hanlon backstage, who said, ‘Ah, howaya Gearoid’,” he tells me, still flushed with excitement after his Kilkenny debut. “I stopped for a second, staring after him, thinking, ‘I wish someone else had seen that’ and then I walked smack into a vending machine that I mistook for a door.” Although he’s 32, it’s still early days for Farrelly on Ireland’s comedy scene, so it’s no wonder he’s star-struck. “I was always interested in comedy,” he says, “but it’s taken me a long time to come to stand-up. I was doing amateur stuff for years, plays and pantos and musicals. After a while I did a few monologue shows and some character stuff in cabarets. That kind of segued into me doing character stand-up, where I was playing someone other than myself on stage, but after a while I got bored with that and decided not to do it anymore. “I still had an open spot booked for a comedy club that I’d booked months previously and the Friday before it was to take place, I decided to do stand-up just as myself. I spent a whole weekend writing an eight-minute slot and on the night it went really well. Based on that, I got offered another slot and things just continued from there.” The thing that would turn other people pale with fear is the spur that has propelled Farrelly’s comedy career since then. “I never associate stand-up with courage or bravery,” he says. “It’s like I have to do it. I have no choice. There’s no hiding away with comedy. You know whether people like you or not very quickly. I guess I’m quite a black and white person, so that attracts me, how cut and dried it is.” From the start, Farrelly has been talking to audiences about being gay and the reactions of those around him to the fact, and this is something he also feels compelled to do. “When I first decided that this is what I wanted, I had to face the fact that I might get heckled for being gay without saying I was. So I thought it was best to address it very quickly. I’ve never once had a homophobic heckle, which is very heartening. I did the support for Maeve Higgins tour this year and that was in every little venue across the country, rural places in the heart of nowhere, and I did my material and people enjoyed it. Having said that, there’s definitely been gigs where they thought I was shit, but it was the comedy not the sexuality.” For most gay comedians talking about their sexuality on stage there are fine lines between pandering to stereotypes for laughs, self-depreciation and educating largely heterosexual audiences. “I’m just me,” says Farrelly when asked how he negotiates these lines. “I talk about being gay and people’s reactions to my being gay. People often say very inadvertently say things that reveal the misconceptions they have about gay people, or the prejudices. At the time they might not be funny, but in hindsight they often are. “I often ask myself if I’m selling gay up the

“When I first decided that this is what I want to do, I had to face the fact that I might get heckled for being gay.” river. There are definitely things I wouldn’t do. To be honest with you I always thought the girls would like me, but the straight guys like me too. I definitely prod the stereotypes that are out there. Before I even realised I was gay I was hammering them. It’s just the way I am.” Getting on the Cat Laughs roster represents a milestone in an Irish comedian’s career, but without any established chain of comedy venues like Jonglers in the UK, what’s next? “In Ireland, the real way up is through television,” says Gearóid. “I’ve done bits and pieces. I did a pilot last year as a section of a larger show, which was called Gearóid’s World. I guess I should start coming up with television ideas quick!” In the meantime, he’ll be accepting all offers to perform in front of audiences. “In the past few years I’ve been constantly busy,” he says. “Something always comes along, so I try to have a bit of faith.” Gearoid Farrelly appears at the Carlsberg Comedy Festival in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens from July 22 to 25, www.


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Children of Gay Parents

Are you over 18 and a son/daughter of a parent who has ‘come out’ as gay, lesbian or bisexual? I am exploring the experiences of adult children with a parent who has disclosed a change in sexual orientation.

You will never be identified by name or otherwise during or after this research and all information given will be treated with the upmost respect and sensitivity.

My objective is to further our understanding of such experiences, and identify any supports that might be needed. If you would like to be involved in this important research, which I hope will be of enormous help in the future, or would like further information please contact me on:


086-8632221 or email

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Joe Higgins MEP sends his warmest greetings and solidarity to this year’s Pride festival


John A Reidy & Co. 09/06/2010 12:41:29



Our Legal Services include:

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We Are Family

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A new poster campaign across the Dublin’s Bus system and beyond is showing real same-sex parented families as part of the fight for full and equal gay marriage rights. As we gear up to celebrate our families with Dublin Pride, Brian Finnegan meets some of the people photographed for the campaign and asks them why they felt it was important to participate. Photos by Ronan Healy.


Gráinne, Orla, Clare and Daire rla and Gráinne and daughters, Clare and Daire have been a family together for just over seven years. “We met through Gráinne’s previous partner, Fiona, who died of breast cancer,” says Orla. “Fiona and Orla were good friends,” adds Gráinne. “During the three years Fiona was sick, she was always concerned about how things would be after she was gone. She always wanted me to meet someone else, and she thought Orla would be a good person for me.” The couple got together a while after Fiona’s passing at a party and to begin with divided their time between Gráinne’s house and Orla’s. “Gráinne’s life with her children gradually became a bigger and bigger part of my life,” says Orla. “I had no idea what it meant to start with. I had always wanted children in my life, so I thought it was fantastic. But I never realised what a big commitment they are.” When Orla and Gráinne got together, Clare and Daire were 11 and seven years old respectively. “I was a bit iffy at the time because I missed Fiona,” says Clare. “But I always got on really well with Orla, so I was happy too.” Daire, on the other hand, had no adjustment problems. “We spent time in Orla’s house and we were very comfortable there,” she says. “Orla was part of our family from the start.” Eventually, after a year, Orla moved in with Gráinne, Clare and Daire. “The kids had been through so much with us losing Fiona, I didn’t want any other huge change in their lives,” says Gráinne. “We were definitely staying in our house, as opposed to moving anywhere new with Orla. I wasn’t going to move them out of their schools.” Orla remembers a key moment in the evolution of their family about a year after she moved in. “I was in a restaurant with Daire waiting for Clare to celebrate her birthday. Gráinne couldn’t come. When Clare arrived a waitress came down and said, ‘There’s a girl here looking for her family’. It was one of the biggest moments of my life because suddenly Clare was saying the word ‘family’ and I was part of that. I’ve often felt that I’ve stepped into this family and that it’s difficult to be fully in there,

and that was one of the first moments of feeling that I am very much part of it.” Both Clare and Daire, who first spoke about their family in the Irish Times two years ago, have strong feelings about the lack of recognition afforded to them by the State. “I don’t see much difference between the way our family is as opposed to a family where the parents are split up and there’s a stepfather living with them,” says Daire. “I never made any secret of it when I went to secondary school. I never avoided the question and I talked about my family the way everyone else talked about theirs.” “I did this campaign because there are a lot of people who think that children being raised by gay parents is ridiculous,” says Clare. “There are lots who don’t even know a gay person, except for the ones they see on television. I wanted to get out there and say we’re a family like every other family. It’s unfair that we’re not treated differently by our government and not given the same rights.” Orla’s legal status is that she is technically a stranger to Clare and Daire, rather than recognised as the parent she has been to them for the best part of the last decade. “I still will be a stranger to them in law when civil partnerships are introduced,” she adds. “That’s the reason I’m part of this campaign. Any relationship I have with these children, if Gráinne is not around, will be gifted to me by Gráinne’s family and their Dad, which is not really where I would see myself at all. The only family that’s recognised in law is the married family, and we are not being allowed to marry.” Gráinne does not see herself as a gay rights campaigner, but being part of the campaign is something she feels strongly about. “I think that positive images of regular people doing ordinary things and regular jobs, living in semi-detached houses in suburbia, just as we do, are something that a lot of people can identify with. People think that gay people are really exotic, but we’re not at all. We’re just an ordinary family.” “Orla is not a blood relative, but she is my family,” says medical student, Clare. “She does all the boring stuff like driving us into school and college when it’s raining or taking us to this class and that class, or teaching me how to drive. It’s all the mundane stuff, but she is absolutely there for me if something happens and I rely on her as my parent.” “There doesn’t have to be a mother and a father

present,” adds Daire, who is about to go into fifth year of secondary school. “I think the most important thing to me is that everyone loves each other and works together as opposed to looking like the perfect nuclear family on the outside, but being anything but behind closed doors. I think our family works just as well as any other family and that we should be recognised the same as any other family. It’s absolutey wrong that we’re not.”


David and Gary avid and Gary were married in Canada last year at a ceremony attended by their families and friends. “We’ve been together 18 years,” says Gary. “At first we admired each other from afar.” “We were both with other people,” adds David. “I ended up living in Galway and although I liked Gary, he was in Dublin with someone else, so that was that. Then one day I was in the kitchen of my sister’s house in Galway and there was a knock at the door and there he was a bunch of flowers. “18 years later, I can’t fully say why it is our relationship works. It just does. I still find Gary as attractive as I did at the very beginning and our personalities work well together.” A holiday in Canada in 2008 started the couple thinking about how they could mark their commitment to each other, but it took an evening of ‘wine and workshopping’ with a friend and her flip-chart to bring them to the point of deciding on a Canadian marriage. “As soon as we made the decision, we realised it was absolutely the right thing to do,” says Gary. 29

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“We knew that Canada was the right place to go because of its willingness to embrace our wedding as something as significant; as equal.” The couple spent the two weeks leading up to their wedding in Toronto and were blown away by the level of congratulations afforded to them on their impending nuptials. “Everywhere we went, every service we availed off, when we told them we were getting married, they treated us so brilliantly,” says David. “The day itself was like every cliché in the book. I was anxious when I got up in the morning, but from the moment the ceremony began I felt pure joy. I had this huge, sappy grin on my face the whole day. I had been really looking forward to it, but I hadn’t realised how intensely happy I would be affirming and celebrating our relationship in front of all the people we love.” “Our wedding was an opportunity for me to show how much I love my husband,” says Gary. “It was a celebration and affirmation, and I enjoyed every minute of it.” Both David and Gary say that being married hasn’t changed the nature of their relationship, but David didn’t anticipate the sense of pride involved. “I love introducing Gary as my husband. It feels like something right and good.” However, on returning to Ireland there was also a sense of disappointment and anger. “I remember arriving back in Dublin in the rain and getting into the back of a cab and the driver saying the usual thing of, ‘Where were yez, lads?’ I had this moment of hesitation,” says David. “It felt awful after the freedom and ease I had felt around getting married in Canada. After a day of being back, I was really pissed off that effectively our legal marriage meant nothing here.” Getting involved in the We Are Family campaign is very important to both David and Gary. “We both felt that there is a really strong message behind the campaign and it’s one that we both believe in,” says Gary. “I want to have the same rights afforded to me in my marriage that my brothers have in theirs. Our families and friends threat us no differently to any straight couple, so why should we have to accept any inequality from the State?” “I’ve been out since I was 17 and I’ve been involved in LGBT organisations for a long time,” adds David. “I’ve never had any problem affirming

our rights as a couple, but since getting married I’ve only begun to think of us as being a family. Only in hindsight do you realise that in some way you have been undervaluing your relationship because of the way society might undervalue it.”


Gráinne, Trisha and Conor ráinne and Trisha met 26 years ago when they were both involved in a women’s studies group. Trisha had just separated and was the mother of a two year-old son called Conor. “Over a period of a number of years Gráinne and I got to know each other very well, as colleagues and friends,” she says. “It was a slow process.” It wasn’t until the two began working together to run a series of workshops for the group that the spark between them began to ignite. “We’d be in each other’s houses working until late,” says Gráinne. “Suddenly, it was like, ‘Oh, wow! Maybe we don’t want to be apart tonight and go to our own houses.’ Then, when it happened I thought, ‘this is it. This is something very extraordinary and significant’.” Although they lived near each other, it took some years before they moved in together. When they did make the decision to move in, Conor was five. “He has a very good relationship with his Dad,” says Trisha. “As do myself and Gráinne. Conor spent half the week with his Dad until he was in his early teens. We all live in close proximity, so it was easy for him to be between the two homes, as easy as these things ever are.

After the age of 14 he lived mostly with us.” “The experience of parenting Conor with Trisha has been great for me,” says Gráinne. “He is a gorgeous person and we’ve had such great fun with him. I’m so proud of him. He’s a very thoughtful and reliable 28 year-old man now, and I think these are really good traits. He’s still very connected to us. He lives nearby so he calls in all the time. “In the last five or six years we’ve been talking with him about our family “ says Trisha. “Gráinne sees herself as Conor’s parent and he thinks of her in the same way. She has had an enormous input into his growing up and life. Gráinne is completely committed to being his parent. Conor’s begun to recognise the anomalies and injustices for us because we cant get married. He’s begun to think in a political way about this. When it came to the poster campaign, he was very enthusiastic.” “The campaign is about visibility” says Gráinne. “It’s about putting out images of diverse family forms. The MarriagEquality campaign is about pushing the public to call on their politicians to see that equal samesex marriage is a good and a right thing to be legislating for. We want people who see the posters to be moved to talk to their TD’s about legislating for equality for gay families. People may go for civil partnership if it comes in here, and that’s fine, but without the option of full civil marriage, we are not equal.” “There has been enormous change in attitude, probably amongst younger people,” says Trisha. “When you listen to that generation of men and women, you become aware of an enormous shift in consciousness. The posters are a symbol of this change.” “A lot of people looking at the poster will assume Conor is the gay one because he’s a handsome young man, but that of course is just a stereotype,” says Gráinne. “The fact is that it doesn’t really matter who is gay in the poster. What matters is that we are a family.” The We Are Family campaign is an initiative of the MarriagEquality organisation who are working towards civil marriage for gay and lesbian people in Ireland. To find out more, visit

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The Pride of Dublin After a 15 year battle to get her gender recognised on her birth cert, transgender activist Lydia Foy is the Grand Marshal of Dublin Pride this year. Here, along with her introduction, are the complete listings for this year’s festival, which runs from June 18 to 27.


’m very aware of the leading lights who have come before me as Grand Marshals of Pride; Ailbhe Smyth, Tonie Walsh and David Norris, and it’s no easy thing to follow in their footsteps. However, in inviting me to be the Grand Marshal of Dublin Pride 2010, it means that at last the rainbow is all-encompassing and that’s a lovely thing to be able to say. Those who came before me are strong activists who have held out through thick and thin. For me, I felt I was backed into a corner and could do nothing else but fight for my rights as a woman who was born transgendered. I did not do it out of bravery or anything like that. It was a remarkably tough journey, considering the reactions of many in Ireland, but I had no choice but to carry on over the past 20 years. The naïve person that I was years ago used

to wonder why people had to be so loud during Pride marches. Did they have to dye their hair pink and go down the street shouting it out like that? But it slowly dawned on me that if you maintain a low profile and go around trying to please everybody, it doesn’t achieve change. You have to stand up and be counted. There have been people who told me that I was looking for publicity for myself by taking my case against the Irish government in order to have my birth certificate changed to recognise my gender. I was criticised for coming out of court with my head held high and waving to the photographers. But it was not a natural reaction to do this; it was a counter-reaction. The natural reaction would have been to bury my face in my hands and not have my privacy invaded, but if I did that I would have looked ashamed, running away from the court like some sort of sexual deviant. But I am not ashamed. I am proud of who I am. So I waved, the way we do when we walk through the streets during Pride to signal that we are not ashamed. We face the light and the truth - rather than hide from it. I want everyone who marches in Pride - lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and people who were born transgendered - to assert their value and feel equally cherished in Ireland, to feel that they can celebrate their individuality and still deserve equal rights all round. In my case I was lucky enough to get the first declaration that Ireland

was incompatible with the European Court of Human Rights, so my being Grand Marshal at Pride is a strong message for human rights in general in this country. The message to other people who were born transgendered is one of change, hope and inclusion. I was on my own for many, many years; isolated and on the fringes of the community. In April I went to the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) ‘Transforming Attitudes’ conference. I was surprised and heartened to see so many people there and find that lots of things had moved on. The next generation was out in force and it was exciting to see a new wave of vibrant, confident transgender activism. There aren’t that many of us ‘T’s in the LGBT community, which can be a disadvantage. We have talked about the spectrum of diversity in the community for years but there was a small band of people on that spectrum who were somehow missing. We said we were including them, yet they were really being left out. But if we’re missing one colour from the rainbow, we don’t actually have a rainbow. So this year as I lead the Pride Parade through the streets of Dublin, we will be celebrating a beautiful, full rainbow. I am honoured and proud to be given such a special role in that celebration and I wish everyone a happy, safe, fun and rainbow-filled Pride! 32

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DUBLIN PRIDE GUIDE FRIDAY, JUNE 18 Dublin Pride Launch Night Hosted by Veda Agnes Beaux Reves and guest. Venue: The George, admission: €5 before 10pm (all to Pride), €10 after 10pm. Spice Pride Shorts ‘N’ Shades Party Get into the summer mood with shorts and shades at Dragon. Free before 10pm, €9 after (Doors 8pm). The Wizard of Oz Go over the rainbow with Dorothy in a digitialy enhanced version of the gay favourite at the Screen Cinema until June 27. SATURDAY, JUNE 19 Societies Day A new, improved Societies Day at Outhouse where various LGBT organisations and groups introduce themselves, 2pm, free. Family Afternoon Family Fun House at Outhouse with clowns, face-painters, a bouncing castle, a games console on the big screen and lots of treats. All Children must be accompanied by an adult, 3-6pm, free. Gay Walking Tour Tonie Walsh, Katherine O’Donnell and Mary McAuliffe guide you around historic gay Dublin. Meets outside the Central Bank, Dame St, Dublin 2, 2pm, free. Baby Doll Ball Featuring burlesque star Chrys Columbine with Lauren Moore and the Baby Spice Girls. Sycamore Club, 10pm, €10 (a percentage of each ticket will be donated to Pride). Pride Furry Glen Club night for bears and their admirers (men only) at Pantibar, 9pm, €10 (€2 from each ticket will be donated to Pride). Pride at Nimhneach Dublin’s fetish and BDSM club does Pride. Fetish dress code mandatory, 10pm, The Academy 2, €15 (€2 from each ticket will be donated to Pride). The Royal Variety Show and Pride Dance Party hosted by Paul Ryder at Dragon, plus Pride Dance Party, 9pm, €5. RIP Rock, Indie, Pop night with DJ Regina George at The Button Factory, 11pm, €10/8, (€1 from each ticket will be donated to Pride). SUNDAY, JUNE 20 Sports Day Family fun-filled afternoon with lots of fun sports events followed by Pride Sports Awards in Pantibar. Meets at Phoenix Park across from Papal Cross, 2-6pm, admission free. Outhouse Theatre Night Acting Out theatre group perform for one night only in Outhouse theatre space, 7pm, free. Pride Unplugged Singer/songwriter night at The Button Factory, 8pm, donation at the door for Pride. MONDAY, JUNE 21 Pride Movie Night Screening of Alternative Miss Ireland 2010 plus entrance to Pride Film

Shorts Awards, Meeting House Square, 7pm, Pride Make and Do Panti hosts a pride special of her popular craft night. Pantibar, 9pm, donation at the door to Pride. Dolly Does Dragon Special With go-go boys and special guests at Dragon, 11pm, donation at the door to Pride. Workplace Diversity - Pride at Work Microsoft Ireland hosts an informal evening of discussion on the topic of LGBT diversity in the workplace at Dublin City Council Civic Offices, 7pm, free. TUESDAY, JUNE 22 International Dance Night with belly dancers and salsa experts and Brazillian babe, Twiggy at Outhouse, 7.30pm, free. Civil Partnerships Explained GLEN Information session chaired by Rory O’Neill with leading legal and financial experts at Dublin City Council Civic Offices, 6.30pm, free. Grand Final Pride Factor Karaoke song contest hosted by April Showers and surprise judges at The Front Lounge, 9pm, donation at the door to Pride. Glitz Pride Prom Meets up in The Dragon and Front Lounge from 8pm, offering free limo rides to the Prom at Glitz at Break for the Border, from 10pm. Admission at Glitz €12/ €10 Student (€1 of each ticket will be donated to Pride). Literary Night Literature and poetry with guest writers at Pantibar, 8pm, free. Did Anyone Notice Us? Showing of Edmund Lynch’s documentary on gay visibility in the Irish media 1973 to 1993, County Library, Tallaght, 7pm. Debate: A play Written by Séan Ferrick. A courtroom battle between God and Satan, runs at Theatre @ 36, The Teachers’ Club, Parnell St, until June 26, 7.30pm. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23 G-Spot Returns for one night only at Pantibar, starring Katherine Lynch and guests, 9pm, €5. Transgendered Support Group Summer Party Some sunny fun at Outhouse, 7.30pm, free. Project Hot Mess Four Houses (teams) compete to become the winner of Veda’s fashion showdown at The George, free before 11pm/ €4/€2 (students) after. THURSDAY, JUNE 24 Women’s Night Hat Party with prizes for the best headwear at Outhouse, 7.30pm, free of charge. Geili A fun-filled night of Irish music and dancing, this is ceilí gay style at The Front Lounge, 8pm, donation at the door to Pride. The Panti Show Expect hilarity with Panti and

Bunny at Pantibar, 9pm, donation on door to Pride.

Prhomo Pride Pride night for students with student prices at Basebar, Wicklow St, €7/ €5 with student ID, donation at the door to Pride. Davina’s Camp Attack Camp classics great giveaways at The George, free before 11pm, €4/€2 students after. Wow! Retro glamour and cocktails galore at Dragon, 11pm late, donation at the door to Pride. FRIDAY, JUNE 25 Wilde Off Scene Annual event for those who don’t go out on the scene, meets in a gay-friendly pub for a few drinks and chat, details at on www. Outhouse Film Night Sigourney Weaver stars in Prayers For Bobby, the true story of a mother who struggles to accept her son’s sexuality, Outhouse, 7.30pm, €20, all monies raised will go towards the upkeep of Outhouse. Bear Pride Men only night Copper Alley, Arlington Hotel, Temple Bar, 10pm (€1 of each ticket will be donated to Pride). Dyke Night Featuring Wallis Bird and special guests, Tripod, 9.30pm, €18/€14 for students /over 65’s. Spice Pride Uniform Fantasy Dress Ball Inviting you to play out that dress-up role with prizes for best costume, Dragon, 8pm, free before 10pm, €10 after. SATURDAY, JUNE 26 Champagne Breakfast What better way to kick start the day? Outhouse, 11am. Dublin Pride Parade Meets 2pm at Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, followed by Pride in the Park Party at the Civic Offices in Wood Quay. Gold and Friends alternative post-Pride party for over 50s and their friends, Outhouse, 7pm, free. Pride White Party Performers, dancers and DJs at Tripod, €18/€15 student/over 65’s. SUNDAY, JUNE 27 Pride Barbeque Iron Bridge, Aughavannagh, County Wicklow from 6.30pm. For further information visit Love and Remembrance Candlelight Vigil Remembering friends and loved ones who are no longer with us to celebrate Pride, Oscar Wilde’s statue, Merrion Square, 6pm. Pride Closing Party Shirley Temple Bar presents Pride Awards and Bingo with lots of special guests at The George, €1 from the door is donated to Pride. ON-GOING Pride Art Exhibition 1st - 30th June, Front Lounge. A percentage of all picture sales will go towards Dublin Pride. WWW.GCN.IE 33

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Cinema Paradiso The queer strand of the Galway Film Fleadh this year showcases a range of films and documentaries reflecting the best in gay filmmaking across the world. Ciara McGrattan previews the offerings.


ut on Film, the queer strand at the 22nd annual Galway Film Fleadh this July, has a selection of queer cinematic gems on offer to entice and entertain even the pickiest popcorn-muncher. This year’s programme includes films from such far-flung locations as Peru and New Zealand and reflects the innovation and diversity championed by the strand’s programmers, Colm O’Callaghan and Kim Merrifield over the

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls’

past five years. The unquestionable gem of the festival is Kiwi documentary, The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls. It tells the story of the world’s only comedic, singing, yodelling lesbian twin sisters, Lynda and Jools Topp, whose political activism and unique brand of entertainment has helped change New Zealand’s social landscape and turn them into beloved cultural icons. The film intercuts interviews with the twins and their comedic alter-egos, personal home movies and archive footage in an attempt to chronicle their journey


Go on log on only €9.95 p.m. Irish owned and operated.



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from an idyllic childhood on a dairy farm in Waikato to prime time TV, by way of the Auckland mayoral elections. Part biopic, part historical record, Untouchable Girls is a warm, funny and ultimately touching must-see. Another one to watch is winner of the 2010 Sundance World Cinema Audience Award, Undertow (Contracorriente), the impressive debut feature from Peruvian director, Javier Fuentes-León. Continuing Latin America’s exploration of magical realism in modern cinema, this is a haunting, bittersweet tale of a unique love-triangle set in a small fishing village. Miguel, a newly married and wellrespected fisherman and his beautiful wife Mariela are about to welcome their firstborn child. But Miguel harbours a scandalous secret: he is in love with Santiago, a visiting artist who has been ostracised by the local community because of his sexuality. FuentesLeón said at Sundance, “I firmly believe that most of the time our worst enemy is not necessarily the intolerance of others, but our own internal prejudices, and so I wanted to make that theme an important aspect of the film.” His movie does do with a powerful force. Also playing at the festival is the short documentary Stand Up: My Best Friend, which features a series of interviews with young LGBT people and their supportive straight friends and family members. Directed by Maurice Linnane, and produced in association with BeLonG To Youth Services, the film is a celebration of just how far Ireland has come in terms of sexuality and social inclusion. It follows the groundbreaking TV series Growing Up Gay which aired on RTÉ and followed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens as they faced the unique challenges of growing up in modern Ireland. The experiences expressed in Stand Up are by turn heartening and hilarious, and ultimately they inspire. Coming of age is also explored in Give Me Your Hand, a visually stunning road movie that explores the relationship between twins Alexandre and Victor as they travel cross-country to attend their estranged mother’s funeral. Director Pacal-Alex Vincent’s relies heavily upon the beautiful

landscape to reflect emotional complexity of his characters, making for an intense and arresting cinematic experience. Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement is an epic yet intimate film centred around a passionate 42-year romance between two women - the titular Edie and Thea. Beginning pre-Stonewall, Edie and Thea’s relationship provides an inspiring glimpse into lesbian life, love and activism from the 1960s up to the present day. Unable to marry in their home country, Edie and Thea leave for Canada to legalise their vows with the country’s first openly gay judge. This humorous, touching and empowering love story has been at hit at festivals around the world and is sure to entertain audiences in Galway. On June 28, 1969, NYC police raided a Greenwich Village Mafia-run gay bar, The Stonewall Inn. For the first time, patrons refused to be led into paddy wagons, setting off a three-day riot that launched the Gay Rights Movement. Told by Stonewall patrons, Village Voice reporters and the police who led the raid, Stonewall Uprising compellingly recalls the bad old days when psychoanalysts equated homosexuality with mental illness and advised aversion therapy, and even lobotomies; when public service announcements warned youngsters against predatory homosexuals and police entrapment was rampant. A treasure-trove of archival footage gives life to this all-too-recent reality, a time when Mike Wallace announced on a 1966 CBS Report: “The average homosexual, if there be such, is promiscuous. He is not interested in, nor capable of a lasting relationship like that of a heterosexual marriage.” At the height of this oppression, the police raided Stonewall, triggering nights of pandemonium with tear gas, billy clubs and a small army of tactical police. Stonewall Uprising is a fascinating and moving documentary recording the evolution of the gay rights movement and a must-see for all celebrating Pride in Galway this coming August. Out on Film at the Galway Film Fleadh, July 6 to 10,

The Complete Line-up Give Me Your Hand Tuesday, July 6, Town Hall Theatre, 10pm Coming-of-age road trip following twins on the way to their mother’s funeral. Stonewall Uprising Wednesday, July 7, Cinemobile, 6pm Fascinating documentary charting the birth of the gay rights movement. Undertow Thursday, July 8, Omniplex Screen 5, 7.15pm Poignant Peruvian drama that ponders the complex nature of love. The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls Saturday, July 10, Omniplex, Screen 7, 5.30 A riotous look-back over at the career of New Zealand’s beloved comedy duo. Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement Saturday, July 10, Cinemobile, 9pm Documentary following a devoted lesbian couple in the run-up to their wedding day. Stand Up: My Best Friend Saturday, July 10, to be screened with Edie and Thea Series of mini-interviews with LGBT people and their supportive best friends.


DAME STREET 30% DISCOUNT EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE TO ALL GCN READERS ON PRESENTATION OF THIS AD /MON TO WED ONLY/HAIRCUTS, COLOURS AND BLOWDRYS EXCLUDING GLOBAL KERATIN 12 WEEK BLOWDRY. DAME STREET PH: 01 6708 745/7 TERMS & CONDITIONS This offer is available on Monday – Wednesday appointments only and is not valid on blow dry only appointments or product purchases. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash alternative will be given. This offer is only valid at TONI&GUY, 52 Dame Street, Dublin 2. The discount will only be given on presentation of the original page from GCN Magazine.

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All About Adam

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Although Adam Lambert didn’t win American Idol in 2009, directly after the show he got his own Rolling Stone cover and used it to come out of the closet. Since then, despite controversies that might have derailed his career, he’s managed to sell gay to the masses. Conor Behan meets the world’s first global superstar who’s been out and proud from the beginning.


ew new pop stars land their first magazine cover with Rolling Stone or get Lady Gaga and Matthew Bellamy to work on their first album. But most pop stars aren’t Adam Lambert. Courting controversy for the last year, Lambert has picked up a huge following since finishing in second place on American Idol last year. All glam rock stomp and powerhouse vocals throughout his time on the show, Lambert got everyone talking. And not just about his voice. There was widespread speculation about his sexuality, with many saying Lambert was in fact gay. It didn’t take long for Lambert to confirm the rumours, and in an historic move he used his Rolling Stone cover to do it. With that, America not only got itself a new pop star but potentially its first superstar who was out and proud from day one. The momentousness of this barely seems to phase Lambert when I catch up with him during a whirlwind of promotional activity for the European release of his debut album For Your Entertainment. Describing it as “a fusion between pop and rock” that’s “camp and sparkly and glittery,” he’s clearly excited to be talking about an album that saw him working with a dream team of pop talent. The aforementioned Gaga and Bellamy, along with Max Martin and P!nk, are just a few of the stellar contributors involved. Lambert describes working with so many talented artists as “incredible,” adding that, “Gaga was a thrill to work with”. Album aside Lambert has attracted plenty of press attention since Idol, some of it controversial. His Rolling Stone cover became a media sensation with many surprised that a new star could land such a prestigeous cover at the start of their career. “It was the first chance I really had to open up,” Lambert says now, his ease with himself apparent in every word. “The people behind American Idol like to protect their contestants and not have them do press; not have them exposed in a way that they can’t monitor. And it’s a great help, because during that competition that’s the last thing you need”. Despite this he points out that they “couldn’t

have cared less” that he was gay. “It was my decision to wait until after the show to come out publicly. I know how my country is and I know that people jump to conclusions. I wanted to be seen as a singer before any labels were attached to me. I’m glad I did that and I stand by that decision because I think it helped my cause”. This canny self-awareness around image and identity served Lambert well when some controversial decisions threatened to derail his burgeoning pop career. An interview with Out magazine, America’s gay Bible, got the singer into hot water when their editor publicly derided Lambert’s decision to avoid questions that were ‘too gay’, creating a storm of negative publicity, particularly on the gay home front.

“I’m not a politician, I’m a singer. I asked to them to steer away from political questions and they got upset.” “They didn’t get the story straight,” Lambert says, without a hint of defensiveness. “They didn’t really understand what was going on. I merely said to my publicist that I would rather stay away from socio political topics that I’m not very well versed on. That’s not what I do. I’m not a politician I’m a singer. I asked to them to steer away from political questions and they got upset.” Instead of letting his fingers be burnt by this encounter, Lambert says he thinks the “gay press is incredibly important, although I also think it’s important to not get stuck into one niche. “I have this really great opportunity to be mainstream and to appeal to people across

the board. I hope that I can make music that everybody wants to listen to, not just gay fans, not just straight.” Another moment of controversy came when Lambert gave a sexually-charged performance at this year’s American Music Awards (AMAs), complete with some man-on-man kissing. Homophobic USA reared its ugly head and amid 1,500 viewer complaints, a slew of hatepress and cancelled appearances, it looked as if Lambert’s career might stop in its tracks. Speaking just after the AMAs performance, Lambert said he was “just in the moment” and criticised double standards which allowed straight female performers to put on highly sexual shows, but now he’s not too keen on expanding his thoughts on the anomaly. “That’s all definitely has blown over,” is all he will say, firmly putting the incident behind him. In the end, it did him more good than damage. If he was a burgeoning global brand by the end of Idol, he became a bona fide global star after the AMA’s, with press coverage of his kiss hitting every news-stand on the planet. He couldn’t have planned it better. When asked to recall the standout moment of the rollercoaster he’s been on ever since, Lambert recalls a recent visit to Australia where he performed at the closing of Sydney’s Mardi Gras. “My performance was at 8am,” he recalls, “so there were a lot of people there who had been up all night, while I had just had breakfast. The buzz was amazing and the experience left me feeling inspired. I ended up taking some friends out and going at 11.30 am to a club. It was hilarious trying to catch up with the boys who had been partying for 24 hours!” The following week Lambert was back in America playing to crowds of devoted straight fans. He’s the first pop star to be able to cross the bridge between performed homosexuality and actual, out and proud homosexuality to sell pop to the masses. The time is right, it seems, for Adam Lambert. Adam Lambert’s For Your Entertainment is released by RCA. For more information visit www. 37

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Photo by Aaron McGrath

Radio Gays

Left to right: Emma Carroll, Liam Cahill and Sam Lyons

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Throughout Pride and in the weeks beyond, Open FM will become the first ever Irish radio station broadcasting to the gay community. Ciara McGrattan meets its founders to see what inspired them to take the mammoth task on.


pen FM, the first ever radio station in Ireland aimed mainly at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is the brainchild of three very driven individuals - station manager, Sam Lyons, News Editor, Liam Cahill and Programme Director, Emma Carroll. The idea for the station was born out a perceived lack of radio content aimed at a very specific niche. “I was on my way to the shop one day listening to the radio and a thought popped into my head - wouldn’t it be great if there was a radio station aimed at the LGBT community?” says Liam. “So, I contacted Emma and she contacted Sam. A few days later and we decided to start our own one up”. “We’ve all worked in radio in various capacities,” says Sam. “So we’ve all experienced different formats of the medium, aimed at different demographics. I always wondered why there wasn’t a radio station aimed at a core demographic that isn’t just a ‘gay’ radio station but also one that can be broad and bring in all different aspects of the community, trying to alter perceptions at the same time.” An admirable aim, certainly, but rather difficult to execute. Can a demographic be both broad and narrow simultaneously? Often, by attempting to please everyone, one can end up pleasing no one. How does Open FM hope to avoid this potential pitfall? “The music a radio station plays has a lot to do with it falling into a certain category, but I think if we veer away from constant commercial music and focus on stuff people haven’t heard - new bands or new music - we’ll stay away from being commercial like the other stations,” says Liam. “It always comes back to the sound,” confirms Sam. “We want to celebrate openness through sound and we constantly return to that core principal; we always ask if what we’re planning to broadcast meets what we’re trying to do on a community level.” The journey from idea to execution has been quite a rollercoaster for the Open FM gang. Originally, the concept was to run a ten-day radio station that would coincide with the Dublin Pride festivities. A proposal and budget were submitted to the Pride committee, who initially appeared enthusiastic about the project. Several months and cancelled meetings later, the gang found out that last year’s Pride committee had dissolved, leaving them with an organisational nightmare mere months from their planned launch date. “The logistics behind it were quite enormous,”

says Sam. “Originally our licence application had to go under the Dublin Pride not-for-profit company application and the budget was, in our minds, coming from them. We knew we’d also have to raise funds so we started at that and then quite late - in January I think it was - we found out that the Pride committee was being completely restructured. It was then that we realised we’d have to set up our own not-for-profit company.” At this point, in the face of such seemingly insurmountable obstacles, it would have been understandable if all concerned had decided to disband and rejoin the hetero-centric radio world, but thankfully their naked enthusiasm sustained them “I was worried,” confesses Liam. “I remember Sam saying, ‘Look into my eyes - it will go ahead’. On a project like Open FM it’s really important to have a lot of faith - if you have faith in an idea it will work out in the long-term.” But there have been more bumps along the road. According to Sam: “At one point our licensing application was late in by a month, and we thought we were screwed because we decided to go for a 30 day licence instead of just a ten-day one - a decision that changed everything because it meant we had to revise the location, had to re-write the whole thing. Then I got a call saying we weren’t getting the licence for June. I was literally was about to cry.” Luckily, the team’s work was rewarded after they contacted some friends in high places. “When we heard we weren’t getting the licence, that’s when we started putting the big guns out. We emailed Senator Norris and a few other people and it was really weird, because suddenly, something did happen. Someone obviously spoke to someone because overnight the Chief Executive Officer became our main point of contact. We developed a strong relationship. She was really nice and she gave us the dates we asked for. That was pretty exceptional.” So, what are the future plans for Open FM? How do the organisers hope to capitalise on the exposure that will be generated during the Pride festivities, considering their radio licence is only for one month? “We’ve already arranged our first non-broadcast event in August,” says Emma. “We’ve got a cocktail tent at the Milk festival, which is sponsoring our weather and sports. Our website gets 14,000 hits a month, which is really high, so we will continue to run it and keep in touch with the community.” Open FM broadcasts on 89.90FM until July 11 with special coverage of the Dublin Pride celebrations on June 26

Open FM The Schedule Monday to Friday The Breakfast Booster Join RJ, Damien, Dan and Maria for late breakfast entertainment with a difference from 10 to 12am. The Lunchbox Playing the latest music with light chat between 2pm and 4pm. Afternoon Delight Bringing you the latest and best mixture of music heard in Dublin from 4 to 6pm. Drive It Join Riyadh and Nicole for the ‘pick me up’ you need after a long day’s work from 6 to 8pm. The DJ Angels Showcasing the best of Ireland’s up-and-coming DJ’s from 8 to 10pm. The Open Mouth A talk-show featuring hardhitting topics and lighter chats about things affecting the gay and straight communities. Saturdays The Breakfast Booster’s Best Bits Does exactly what it says on the tin from 10 to 12am. NewsHub Extra Looking back at the week in news from 12am to 1pm. The Wall of Sound A fast-paced comedy magazine show presented by Niall O’Keeffe with Dave Higgins from 1 to 4pm. Sat Nav Looking into issues of health affecting both body and mind from 4 to 6pm. The Scene A guide to what’s happening around Dublin from 6 to 8pm. The Vinyl Touch Ken Moloney and Lara King get you ready for a night on the tiles from 8 to 10pm Sundays Easy Mix Chill-out hangover tunes from 10 to 12am Best Of The Open Mouth Talk show best bits from 1 to 2pm. Documentary Hour True stories from 2 to 4pm. Ceol Nua Bringing you the best in new music from 4 to 6pm. OpenFlix - Paul and Damien review the latest cinema releases from 6 to 8pm. The Panti Show Join Panti, Brendan O’Loughlin and Lisa G for chat and fun from 8 to 10pm. ElectroLooks Upbeat tunes and chill out songs that will get the listener in the Pride mood. A special day of shows will take place for Pride on June 26. For more information visit www. 39

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THE FIVE MINUTE GUIDE TO: LEEDS The compact gay village in Leeds, surrounded by trendy eateries and galleries, is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend break, says Neil Geraghty. The first thing you notice as you draw into Leeds’ bustling railway station are the glowing red brick Victorian textile mills with chimneys resembling Tuscan towers, straight out of A Room with a View. The River Aire is not exactly the Arno but the beautiful old warehouses lining its banks are now home to some of the trendiest restaurants and hotels in the city all just five minutes stroll from Leeds’ compact gay village. This is the perfect locale for a relaxing weekend city break. Leeds was once one of the largest wool exporters in the world and its former wealth has left the city centre with a riot of whimsical Victoriana. The grandiose buildings have a hint of the Raj about them with Mughal-style domes sprinkling the skyline. On street level the original


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shop fronts have been sparklingly renovated making it one of the most elegant shopping centres in the UK. Pride of place goes to the Victoria Quarter, a sumptuous series of marble and gilt arcades with mosaics of languid Art Nouveau nymphs decorating the domes. Across Briggate, Leeds’ busy main shopping thoroughfare, you’ll find Thornton’s and Queens Arcades where, under pretty horseshoe arches, independent gift shops and boutiques overflow with designer gorgeousness. Kirkgate Market meanwhile is one of England’s biggest indoor markets where you can happily rummage around for hours in what resembles a giant Victorian greenhouse. Behind the elegant green and gold shop signs you’ll find an eclectic jumble of goods. At weekends after dark, Leeds can be a Jekyll and Hyde city. Culture vultures flock to the city’s top-notch theatres and concert halls while simultaneously gangs of marauding stag and hen parties invade the city centre. The goodhumoured chavvy debauchery is hilarious to watch but you might want to escape the micro skirts and ten-inch heels with a lingering meal at one of Leeds’ fabulous restaurants. Anthony’s serves up delectable French bistro classics with the odd Yorkshire treat thrown in under the awesome glittering dome of the newly renovated Corn Exchange. Gay venues in the UK seem to have a trainspotter’s fascination with railway aches and you’ll need to head to the railway bridge over Lower Briggate to find Leeds’ exceptionally friendly gay village. The New Penny claims to be the oldest gay pub in continuous use in the UK. Dating back to 1953, it’s amazing to think that gay punters were once sitting here clutching their ration books and watching the coronation. A few doors along, The Bridge Inn is gay Leeds’ epicentre with seismically loud music, X Factor evenings and regular Sunday night toga parties. Fibre is a pulsating lounge bar where you’ll find Leeds’ young glam gay brigade lounging on plush velvet armchairs clutching

their cocktails for dear life. Leeds’ huge student population infuses a lot of style into the nightlife so don your best glad rags and follow the fashionistas into the arches at Back Door Disco. When you’re fed up of posing and fancy something raunchier, slip next door to The Basement Sauna for some real x-rated Yorkshire pudding. Smart, fun and full of energy, Leeds has done a cracking job of shaking off its industrial decline and let’s face it, anywhere where old ladies in the shops still call you “luv” has to be an ace place to visit. Ryanair operates daily flights from Dublin to Leeds/ Bradford. For more information on Leeds visit www.

The Very Best HOTEL: 42 THE CALLS, +44 (0)113 244 0099,, Comfy warehouse living in a beautiful riverside corn mill. RESTAURANT: HARVEY NICHOLS FOURTH FLOOR CAFÉ, 107-111 Briggate A touch of Manhattan sparkle in The Victoria Quarter. BAR: QUEENS COURT, 167-168 Lower Briggate Sleek 21st Century lounge style indoors, quaint 18th Century charm outdoors CLUB: THE LOFT, 167-168 Lower Briggate Head upstairs for Curvaceous ‘50s decor and lashings of glitz. SAUNA: STEAM COMPLEX, Eyres Avenue, Armley Huge new sauna complex in the suburbs with a 25-man steam room.


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Changing the Culture. Changing the Rules. Changing the Lived Experience.

FAIRER FAIR RER IRELAND IRE Wis Wishing everyone eve a happy ha Pride 2010 Prid

GLEN Campaign for Legal Recognition of Same-sex Relationships and Families:



relationship recognition


legislative reform








community development

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16/06/2010 17:26:37



In a world where many people are dealing with negative baggage around sex, tantric massage can be a way of working towards healthier emotions and sensations. Declan Marr meets Tom Colton from Dublin’s Bindu Tantra centre to find out what it’s all about.


lthough the majority of us feel positively about our sexuality, sex itself is often regarded with an equal measure of fear and fascination. We may crave sexual intimacy, yet also take great pains to avoid it. We may wish to fall in love, yet fear our own vulnerability. And for those of us who have been lucky enough to be in long-term relationships, we may long to rekindle the passion, but have forgotten how to light the fire. There is also a certain embarrassment or even shame that is connected with sexual dysfunction. No one would be ashamed to have, for example, a liver or heart dysfunction. Instead they would immediately ask a professional for help. Tom Colton from Bindu Tantra Ireland is one such professional. “The purpose of tantra is to get you in touch with your own body, your own emotions and your own sensations and feelings,” he explains. “Through working with tantra we can remove blockages and create sexual confidence. People can get in touch with who they really are and feel sensations within their own body they’ve never felt before.” There are several stages of a tantra consultation, the first of which is an informal chat with your practitioner about why you are there, what your background is and an explanation of what you might expect. “This is done in a very relaxing environment, “ says Tom. “There is tantric music playing gently in the background, lit candles and the tantric energy is very much present from the beginning, which leads to a feeling of mutual trust.” This is followed by what Tom calls “the ritual”, during which he begins to work with your energy, to open it up. “I’ve been doing energy healing work in various forms for the past ten years,” he says. “With

healing and mediumship you are channelling external energies, but with tantra you are using your own energy to work with another person’s energy. That really appealed to me when I found it first.” From the ritual, the tantra session moves into the full body massage. “It’s not like a normal massage,” says Tom. “While there is some work with muscle and tissue, it is more about working with energy. It begins with a very soft, gentle touch. People start feeling the energy flow very quickly with sensations like tingling in the feet and hands, and heat generation throughout the body. As part of that for men we move into the lingam (penis) massage and the sacred zone (prostate) massage. “Men will experience a huge number of sensations from the sacred zone massage. Most men would only understand one form of sex energy release, which is ejaculation, but there are up to seven types of sensation he can feel. With tantra you are bringing those sensations into the body instead of releasing them and they can stay with the body for a couple of days afterwards.” Tantra professionals say there are many benefits from tantra massage. “It can change the way you view sexual

relationships,” says Tom. “It can help remove blockages that have been there for many years. The cellular body remembers deeply; even things like being told you were stupid as a child can have a negative effect on the sexual self. People might not know why they feel the way they do and with tantra we can release this feeling and work with the energy around it. “Some just come to feel the sensations, to feel their own sex energy, but we would see people who have sexual problems too. I have a lot of clients who suffered sexual abuse and have a lot of blockages connected to that.”

“Men will experience a huge number of sensations.” Because tantric professionals work with sexual energy, they are sometimes mistaken for sex workers. Tom is keen to explain the accredited background of all the workers in Bindu Tantra Ireland to distance it from other massage services. “We are the only company working in Ireland certified by the European Association of Tantric Professionals,” he says. “Because of the sexual difficulties or histories people may have, it’s very important that we approach people from a professionally trained point of view. If someone decides to do something about their sexual problems, they deserve to get the best treatment possible. Tantra is all about removing emotional blockages and helping people move on in their lives. It’s a very powerful thing and should be respected as such.” Not only does Bindu Tantra Ireland offer five levels of one-on-one and couple consultations, it also has a whole roster of other activites on the go, including a weekly Tantra Kirya Yoga, naked yoga class with a free first session, Tantra Workshops and retreats. “Our next retreat takes place in Spain from August 2nd to 9th,” says Tom. “There will be up to 50 guys there enjoying a week of tantric activities, sun, relaxation and good food.” Sounds good to us! Bindu Tantra Ireland, Dublin, phone: 086 023 4182,


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Wishes Everybody a Very Happy & Safe Pride The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 Tel: 01 664 0600 Fax: 01 661 0466 Email:

The National Lesbian and Gay Federation wishes everyone a powerful Pride 2010

NLGF 1/4.indd 1

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16/06/2010 15:46:27

16/06/2010 17:29:42



WHO’S WEARING WHAT AND WHERE? Name: Jane McDaid Age: 34 Location: Leeson Place, D2 Occupation: Youth Communications Wearing: Shoes from Flea market; Jeans from eBay. ie; Top from Chloe; Glasses from Miu Miu. Three words to describe your personal style: ‘Fast’, ‘Simple’, ‘Silhouette If your style was an inanimate object what would it be: A door Last thing you bought: A stripy swimsuit. Next thing you’re going to buy: A bag. Best place to shop in Ireland: Regional second hand shops, but it used to be Circus Favourite possession: My babies Favourite place to eat: Dillingers or Coppinger Row Favourite place to go on a Friday: Home

With stylist, Darren Kennedy As far as ladies are concerned it is unquestioningly acceptable, if not de rigueur, to openly extol the virtues of the high heel. The overwhelming popularity of movies such as Sex And The City 2 has created a generation of out and proud shoe-addicts who are revered by their female peers. However as far as us men go, footwear is not always held in such high regard. The

great thing about men’s runners, is the fact they are the ideal means of making a subtle style statement and a superb way of injecting some colour and personality into an otherwise somber outfit. Men’s fashion in comparison to women’s is much more understated and unless you’re planning to make a serious splash in the style stakes it can be difficult to differentiate your look. Runners are now sophisticated accessories that distract the senses with unusual materials, collaborative designs and surprising levels of formality. This season’s finest runners come in many fabrics, textures and designs with a focus on sleekness and simplicity. They’re a celebration of basic solid colours and shapes with soft accents. One of my current favourites is the Gucci Hi Top (pictured). Completely lace-free, these trainers flaunt rhodium buckles and in typical Gucci fashion are stylish without hollering it from the rooftops. When it comes to iconic shoe brands such Nike, Adidas and Reebok, it is the symmetry of a clean and simple creation that makes up a pair of Converse that wins my top spot. With any good pair of cons, they just get better as they mature and look great with a pair of jeans, chinos or even a suit. Darren Kennedy is a TV presenter stylist. He writes a daily fashion blog on


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16/06/2010 19:01:44

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16/06/2010 17:31:51

eating in and out

On the Side To compliment the saltiness of the chicken try this fruity couscous that bursts with flavour. Cook some couscous according to the packet instructions. Grate the zest of one lemon and one orange and stir through. Add chopped apricots, sultanas, freshly chopped mint and a splash of orange juice. That’s it all done!

Two Poofs in a Pantry STYLISH CITY CENTRE CONTEMPORARY DINING. 2005 Winner ‘Food & Wine/Evian’ Award for Best Dublin Restaurant, Best Chef Dublin and Best Overall Restaurant Ireland 109a Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 661 1919 Fax: 01 661 0617 Email:

To celebrate the unfeasibly long sunny season so far, Brian Drinan and Paul Coffey bring the summer into the kitchen with their super-simple Mediterranean Chicken dish. It’s so nice to bring home flavours of the Mediterranean to conjure up memories of one’s latest escapades. That is of course if one can remember one’s holiday escapades. With summer weather staying longer than expected (we keep thinking it’s going to break at any

moment now), we decided to bring the sun into the kitchen with this really simple and absolutely delicious dish for four. It’s just as good served cold as it is hot, and the ingredients couldn’t be less complicated. So, why not go Club Med with us? You know you want to! WHAT TO PUT IN Four skinless and boneless chicken fillets 25 black olives, chopped 15 sundried tomatoes chopped 300g feta cheese Four slices of Parma ham Drizzle of olive oil HOW TO MAKE IT 1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 5. 2. Crumble the cheese and mix with the tomatoes and olives. 3. Butterfly the chicken by making a slit lengthways down the fillet. 4. Stuff with the cheese mixture and wrap firmly with the Parma ham. 5. Place on an oiled baking tray and drizzle with remainder of oil. 6. Bake for approx 25 mins, ensuring that chicken is cooked through.


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16/06/2010 19:09:55

DILL_GCN:Layout 1

The Big Dish...



Page 1


Billed as one of Dublin’s best Italian restaurants, did Nonna Valentina reach Sinéad Deegan’s standards? It’s a bit of a pea souper.


ith Lock’s locked permanently, Nonna Valentina cuts a lonely figure overlooking Dublin’s Grand Canal between Ranelagh and the Harold’s Cross Bridge. Sitting right on my doorstep, it was perfect for some solo dining on the first really sunny evening we had in June. The main dining room is upstairs and it’s bright and airy with crisp, clean table settings and walls adorned with contemporary Irish art, including the famous ‘Swans’ by Graham Knuttel. Sitting by the window evoked thoughts of Patrick Kavanagh as Iwatching the rippling canal water and the life milling on and around it. Runners, lovers, a TV crew, children, cats and dogs - I never realised that stretch of road was such a busy thoroughfare. According to the menu blurb, Nonna’s offers diners an “Italian experience with a new approach to Italian food more often found in New York or London, rather than in Italy”. I ordered a glass of wine - the waiter’s choice since my knowledge of Italian wines is limited. A fragrant Tuscan white, fruity in aroma and slightly nutty in taste, it was very easy drinking indeed. As I perused the extensive menu, trying to figure out what I felt like eating - olive oil, balsamic and a basket of bread were delivered to the table. My heart sank. The bread looked like yesterday’s sliced brown and white. Not what I expected from a kitchen that bills itself as using “the most luxurious authentic ingredients from Italy”. Oh well, I was hungry and needed some soakage for the wine, so I mixed some olive oil and balsamic in the little dish provided and dipped the offending bread. Oh, my God. Who cares what the bread looks like when they serve balsamic that tastes this good. Thick, syrupy, sweet, with a tarty tinge - let’s say it was an education in itself. While I chewed, I settled on Vellutata di Piselli con Calamari to start and Pork with Crispy Ham con Marsala e Honey for my main, with Patate Arrosto con Rosmarino as a side. The Vellutata di Piselli con Calamari was

creamed pea soup with calamari - an unusual starter. I pictured a light frothy soup with crispy calamari croutons but instead received a bowl of thick green liquid, porridge-like in consistency with chewy calamari tentacles. Aside from being visually unappealing, both the soup and dish were extremely hot so it just tasted like scalded pea gloop. The main course was served with another waiter’s wine choice - a plumy red Tempranillo. I ordered the Marsala and Honeyed pork with Crispy Ham because I couldn’t choose between the extensive pasta and risotto options. I regretted the indecision once the dish arrived. Meat, meat and more meat. I thought the crispy ham would be a croquette-like side, but it was wafer-like, garnishing a mound of Parma ham, which in turn garnished medallions of pork. The marsala and honey sauce had a hint of spice balanced with plenty of sweet syrupy goodness. The pork was passable, saved by the sauce (once the ham mound had been moved to the side). The rosemary roast potatoes were crispy outside, fluffy inside and tasted more of black pepper than rosemary, but were divine. I opted for another glass of the white wine instead of desert. Outside my window, a cute gay with a new Shitzu puppy (who looked like he could do with a visit to Muttugly!), an RTÉ newsreader on a bike, a hair-stylist from Queen and the strange man who feeds the swans, all kept me entertained as I enjoyed the view and let my food digest. Nonna Valentina is billed as a venue for romantic dinners, but I would happily recommend it for solo diners too; just stick to the pasta or risotto and enjoy the bread, balsamic and people-watching! My bill came to €50. Nonna Valentina, 1 Portobello Road, Dublin 8, (01) 454 9866,

* OPEN SEVEN DAYS * 47 Ranelagh, Dublin 6 T. 01 497 80 10 47

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16/06/2010 19:10:11


Take Five... Sunless Tanners Summer’s here and most likely you have grey-blue Irish skin that’s been covered by clothes for months. Never fear, Declan Marr is here with his favourite fake tans. 1. Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel This great sunless tanning product is a bit expensive but the results are worth the cost, especially since it gives a virtually streak-free finish and the odour is more tolerable than that of most self-tanners. This has a gel-like consistency and goes on smoothly, leaving a slight sheen, so you can see where you applied it. 2. Fake Bake Fair Gradual Tanning Lotion review This gradual self-tan works well with very pale skin, giving a natural glow and a hint of tan, making you look fresh and healthy instead of blue-white. It’s the perfect non-fake looking tan for fair-haired or red-haired people. Its chocolaty smell might be off-putting to some, but I’d highly


PH: 01 672 9444 WAXING: Advanced & specialised (inc. back sack & crack) FACIALS: Pro skincare (Decleor) MASSAGE: Body therapy, Swedish & Indian Head Massage OTHER SERVICES INCLUDE: Manicures, Pedicures, Tinting etc

20% DICOUNT ON PRESENTATION OF THIS AD 64 Dame street Unit 1, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 E:

recommend it if you find other self-tanners make you look too brown. 3. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Gel You apply this product like a moisturising gel, being careful to cover all your body. As it doesn’t dry immediately, you can at least see when you’ve already applied and where needs attention. The colour it gives is golden, not orange and looks like a natural warm glow. If you want it to go darker, just apply more on the next day. 4. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs This spray-on tan make-up is available in four shades - light glow, medium glow, tan glow and deep glow and works well with legs that only see shorts for a couple of months a year. You spray the product into the palm of your hand and then rub over the legs, rather than applying it direct. There’s no need to wait around for the colour to develop and that makes it really easy to apply, as you can see where it’s going. 5. St Tropez Self Tan Spray This spray is easy to apply (especially if you use the St Tropez mittens). It goes on smoothly and dries fast, giving a good, golden natural colour within a few hours. It develops even more as time goes on. My only criticism is that after a shower, most of it comes off so you would need to re-apply it every other day if you want a longlasting tan. It looks good on fair skin too.

2 1 3 4 5

Beauty Bitch Segueing from spring into June, July and August always manages to inject a small lightness of step for gays the nation over, notwithstanding the fact that the gay gait is a spring in itself. So, what is it about this summer in particular that has warranted a memorable mention in the Beauty Bitch annals? Well, Dublin LGBTQ Pride Festival 2010 for one. Two: the release of Sex and the City 2. Three: June’s Vanity Fair with Ronaldo skimpily clad in custom-made Emporio Armani briefs (if your coffee table hasn’t been graced with said issue, go straight back into the closet wbecause we’re not that busy), and four: the end of yet another quadrennium, thanks to the World Cup (I don’t really mean number four. I just

wanted an excuse to use ‘quadrennium’ in a sentence). Speaking of Emporio Armani, allow me to complement them. They are currently running an online exclusive offer on their idiosyncraticallynamed Skin Minerals for Men, which includes a cleanser, moisturiser, eye and shaving creams. They are all worth ordering. So thanks Emporio Armani, for giving me free products and for giving Ronaldo his free custom-made briefs.


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Be Part of something

hUgEâ&#x20AC;¦ EMIS: EuropeAN MeNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sex survey


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The Gaga Campaign Pop music juggernaut Lady Gaga isn’t your typical HIV educator. But it makes sense that someone so candid about sex should lend her talents to HIV activism, says Tom Byrne.


heatrics aside, Lady Gaga - real name is Stefani Germanotta - has emerged since her 2008 mainstream debut as a bold new voice in the HIV awareness movement, joining celebrity advocates such as Bono, Annie Lennox, Sharon Stone and Sir Elton John. She’s been particularly outspoken regarding

HIV/Aids among women. The World Health Organisation estimates, HIV/Aids is the number one killer of women and girls between the ages of 15 to 44 worldwide. “I really don’t feel that there are enough women that are really educated about Aids, how quickly it’s spreading, how dangerous it really is and how many people really have it,” Gaga told Good Morning America. In response, she’s working to change that in a manner that’s as


alluring and in your face as her public persona. During Fashion Week in New York City last February, Gaga dropped jaws with her performance at a gala benefit for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. She also teamed up with Planned Parenthood’s Proper Attire condom line to encourage her multitudes of fans to have safer sex. And perhaps most important for her cause, Gaga - alongside fellow pop diva and HIV advocate Cyndi Lauper - has become a spokesperson for M.A.C Cosmetics. Proceeds from all sales of the company’s latest Viva Glam lipstick collection, ‘From My Lips’ benefit the M.A.C AIDS Fund, which will distribute funding to programs that address gender inequalities, domestic violence, discrimination and other factors that put women at risk for HIV. In a Daily Mail interview last April, Gaga put out the message that it’s okay to say no to sex. “I remember the cool girls when I was growing up,” she said. “Everyone started to have sex. But it’s not really cool any more to have sex all the time. It’s cooler to be strong and independent. “Something I do want to celebrate with my fans is that it’s okay to be whomever it is that you want to be. You don’t have to have sex to feel good about yourself, and if you’re not ready, don’t do it. “The rate of Aids infection worldwide is higher than ever for women in our particular demographic. Those most at risk are women in my age bracket, 17 to 24. This is a disease that affects everyone, not just the gay community, and right now it’s mostly affecting women.” With this in mind, free condoms have been handed out to people leaving her most recent concerts. Gaga, who is just 24, has her head screwed on about how she can actually effect positive change. “I’m so blessed that I’m here,” she told CNN in March. “I’m absolutely not one of those people who’s a self-obsessed, masturbatory artist who doesn’t care about my fans or my effect on my fans. I have a very keen understanding of my effect or what I can do.” Here’s hoping she spreads her message about HIV prevention to her legions of young gay fans.


TUESDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS 5.30 PM TO 7.30 PM Baggot Street Hospital, Baggot Street, Dublin 4. T 01 6699 553 (Note: New entrance on Baggot Street at No. 10 bus stop)

BOTH EVENINGS: NEW FROM OCTOBER 6TH • Walk in for FULL STI Screening • Blood Tests for HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis • Hepatitis Vaccine • Genital Wart and other Treatments • Information • Advice • Counselling • Support • Condoms • Lubricant GMHS STI CLINIC IS A FREE, FRIENDLY & CONFIDENTIAL SERVICE Deaf gay and bisexual men are welcome. We have a loop or we can arrange an ISL interpreter. Please SMS 0879410934 before Mondays 5.00pm to arrange. We can also arrange foreign language interpreter same arrangements. for services reports and links for sexual health and safer sex information in 9 languages.

50 WWW.GCN.IE GMHS Clinic 190 x 59mm.indd 1

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directory Outhouse 7.30-9.30pm. For more info: E: T: 01 873 4999

DUBLIN & THE EAST MONDAYS 1 Dundalk Outcomers Women’s Night 8-10pm. T: 042 932 9816 or 1 Iris (LGBT mental health support group) OUThouse, first Monday of every Month from 6.30pm.E:, T: 01873 4999 1 Bear Coffee NIght 7.30-9.30pm in Cafe 105 in Outhouse. or 018734999 1 Clowns - Learn how to juggle and be a circus performer, every Monday 7.30-9.30pm. E: outreach@outhouse, T: 01 873 4999 TUESDAYS 1 The Emerald Warriors training every Tuesday & Thursday at 7.30 in Bolbrook, Tallaght. Beginners welcome, no experience necessary, 1 Personal Development Course for Men. Six-week courses. To book your place contact GMHP on (01) 873 4952 or E: 1 Athy GLB group meets Tues every 3 weeks. T: 086 261 8808. E: 1 LGBT AA group meets weekly in OUThouse at 6.30pm. 1 Johnny (Men’s Gay and Bisexual peer group) meet Outhouse. 7pm. T: 085 747 8383 for details,, www. Second Tuesday of every month 1 Bi Irish social group for Bisexuals and friends . For info email 1 GIG (Gay International Group), multicultural group for women and men Outhouse 7.30-9.30pm E: outreach@outhouse, T: 018734999 1 Gloria LGB Choir, meets every Tuesday 7.30-7.30pm E: T: Ian 086 354 5011 1 Dundalk Outcomers Men’s Night 8.30-11.30pm. T: 042 932 9816 or 1 Dublin Devils FC, soccer club for gay men, all levels welcome.7pm in the Phoenix Park. WEDNESDAYS Friendly Gay Book Club meet at Outhouse 8pm on the first Wednesday of every month 1 The Phoenix Tigers, Dublin’s lesbian soccer team train Larkin College. 8-9.30pm. New players all levels welcome. E: Drop-in for LGBT young people ated 14-23, every Wed afternoon, 3pm, 13 Parliament St, D1 (01) 670 6223, 1 Over 18’s BeLonG To Youth Group, meets every second Wed at 7pm, 13 Parliament St, D1, (01) 670 6223, 1 Individuality, youth group for trans people aged 14-23, every second Wed at 6pm, 13 Parliament St, D1, (01) 670 6223, 1 Dublin Front Runners running club for gay men and women, all levels. Meet every Weds 7.30pm. E: 1 G-Swim, gay men’s swimming group, meet 8.45pm at statue outside the Markievicz Pool, Townsend St. E:, 087 666 5770 1 YO! Youth Night at Dundalk Outcomers. For 18-25 year olds only, 8.30-10.30pm. T: 042 932 9816 or 1 Amach Wicklow - Gay and lesbian group meets in Ashford on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 8:30pm T: (086) 235 2599 for more details. 1 Womens Tennis practice intermediate level on public tuf courts in Dublin. Weds 5.30 & Sat 11.00am. Call: 0863892992 for info 1 Transgendered Peer Support group, bi-montly from 7.30-9.30. For info: E: outreach@outhouse, T: 018734999 1 Garda Advice, second Weds of the month from 7-9pm. Free and confidential service. For info: E: outreach@outhouse, T: 018734999 1 GOLD Chat and Chew for the older LGBT community in Cafe 105, Outhouse. Info: E: outreach@outhouse, T: 018734999 1

THURSDAYS 1 The Lady Birds group for young women aged 14- 23, every second Wed, 6pm, 13 Parliament St, D1, (01) 670 6223, 1 N.A. meeting in Outhouse 8pm T: 873 4999 1 Rainbow Recovery AA Meeting, Carmelite Community, Aungier St, D2, 6.30pm, fully accessible 1 First Out is a confidential discussion group for women exploring their sexuality. First Thursday of each month in Outhouse at 7.30pm. Outhouse: 01 873 4999 1 The Emerald Warriors training every Tuesday & Thursday at 7.30 in Bolbrook, Tallaght. Beginners welcome, no experience necessary, 1 Women’s night 7.30-9.30 Social Group for all women in Cafe 105, Outhouse. For info: E: outreach@outhouse, T: 018734999 1 Acting Out: Drama group for men & women in the theatre space in

FRIDAYS 1 EAGLE, Gay Wexford social group meets the first Friday of every month in Wexford town from 8 p.m. til late. Text 0860792625 : 6.30-7.30, MonFri or w:, e: 1 Swimmin Wimmin, meets at 7pm for a swim, a chat or just a cuppa T: 087 773 1557 for info 1 Dining Out for gay men 087 286 3349 E: 1 AA meeting in OUThouse, 8pm 1 Men’s Night in OUThouse, 7-10pm 1 Queer Studies Group. Open discussions in WERRC Resource Room, Arts Annex Building, UCD Belfield 6-8pm. E: 1 Queer Conversations at Dundalk Outcomers. Check for updates on speakers and topics. T: 042 932 9816 SATURDAYS 1 Live, Let Live AA Meetings,Friends Meeting House Abbey Street D1 6.30pm 1 Dublin Front Runners: running club for gay men and women, all levels. Meet every Sat 10am, 1 Dublin Devils FC - soccer club for men, all levels welcome. Meet 1pm Sat in Phoenix Park. T: Mark on 086 805 9443 1 Women’s Golfing ‘Saturday Swingers, every second Saturday in Dublin. Tel: 087 987 1661, some experience neccessary. 1 The Dublin Gay Music Group is a gathering of gay men who meet each Saturday afternoon to listen to recordings of classical music. An outlet for enthusiasts of classical & operatic music, the focus is on musical appreciation. New members are welcome. 1 Open Night in Dundalk Outcomers 8.30 to 10.00pm SUNDAYS A.A. Meets in OUThouse at 6.30pm. 1 BeLonG To group for LGBT young people aged 14-23 in a safe & fun environment. Meets every Sunday at 3.30pm in Outhouse, 105 Capel St, D2, (01) 670 6233, 1 Out & About Hillwalking Group meet at National Concert Hall Earlsfort Terrace 10am for a Wicklow Mountain hike. 1 GLOW (Gays and Lesbians of Wexford) mixed social group, for details of meeting E: T: (051) 879 907 1 Dundalk Outcomers Fri, Sun & Wed 8.30-10.30pm 1

COMMUNITY CENTRES OUThouse, 105 Capel Street, Dublin 7 T: (01) 873 Cafe hours: Mon-Fri 1pm-10pm, Sat 1pm-6pm, closed Sundays 1 Dublin AIDS Alliance at Eriu Centre, 53 Parnell Sq, D1 T: (01) 873 3799 1 Dundalk Outcomers, 8 Roden Place Dundalk T: 042 932 9816 1

OTHER GROUPS ASTI GLB Network for second level teachers working in school. Meet monthly in ASTI head office. T: 087 629 7727. E: 1 Irish Queer Archive. Open by appointment only. E: 1 OUT4TENNIS is Ireland’s GLBT tennis network. For details of our tournaments and ladders as well as overseas tournaments, visit us at 1 G-Swim, men’s swimming group, meet Wednesdays, 8pm outside Markievicz Pool, Townsend St, 1 Changing Attitude Ireland. Christian pro-gay network of persons gay/ straight working for full affirmation of LGBT persons in the churches. Visit us at 1 Older Women’s wining, dining networking group. Regular meetings with a view to pursuing mutual social and cultural interests. Email: 1 LGB group for primary teachers in Ireland, North and South. The group has the offical sanction of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO). Contact or T: 087 695 2839. 1 Gay Book Group, first Wednesday of every month at Outhouse. 1 GLUE - Gay and Lesbian Unions Eire. Group lobbying for changes in the Partnership Laws in Ireland. 1 The Married Men’s Support Group meet once a month. Contact Gay Switchboard Dublin on 01 872 1055 for details. 1 Labour LGBT E: 1 Irish Shamrocks. Dublin based soccer tean, weekly training, new members welcome. Contact: 0860889273,, 1 Transgender Equality Network, E: or 085 147 7166 1 Gender Identity Dysphoria Ireland (GIDI). Lynda on 085 744 2697 or 1

E: or 1 Queer Men’s Night Out. Dinner, movie and a pint. Follow the link on 1 Kildare Youth Group, for 16-26 year olds . W:, e: 1 Athy GLB Group, meets October 17 at Athy Community Development, Woodstock St, T: 083 304 9363 1 Kildare Group E: for details 1 Irish Queers. LGBT activists organising on issues in Ireland and Irish America. NY 212.289.1101 and 1 Gay Bray Social Group for LGB persons in the Bray area. E: 1 Wet & Wild LGBT outdoor pursuits club, monthly activites, 1 G Force , Garda LGB Employee Support Network. E: group42732@ HEALTH HELP Gay Men’s Health Project (GMHP), 19 Haddington Road D4. Free sexual health service T: (01) 660 2189 E: 1 Johnny (Men’s Gay and Bisexual peer group) meet Outhouse first Tuesday of every month. T: (01) 873 4999 for details 1 Gay Health Network (GHN) T: (01) 873 4952 E:, 1 St. James’ GUIDE Clinic T:(01) 416 2315 or (01) 416 2316 1 Transgender Equality Network advice, help and support T: 085 147 7166, E: or 1 Drugs/HIV Helpline 1800 459 459 10am-5pm everyday 1 BeLonG To Drugs Outreach. Support for young people around drugs and alcohol T: Gillian (01) 670 6223/087 328 3668,, 1

HELPLINES Dublin Lesbian Line (01) 872 9911, 7pm-9pm, Mondays and Thursdays, 1 Gay Switchboard (GSD) (01) 872 1055 Mon–Fri, 7-9pm. W: 1 Dublin Transsexual Peer Support Group. Every second Wednesday. Information, assistance and support for those questioning their gender. Confidentiality is respected. T: Fiona on 087 9207013 or 085 147 7166 1 BeLonG To Youth Project, supporting and resourcing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people aged 14-23 T:01 670 6223; E:; 1 Greenbow LGB deaf group E: 1 Dundalk Outcomers, Louth LGB Helpline (042) 935 2915, For detailed listings, see 1 OutLouth 086 324 1579 1 Transgendered Equality Network T: 085 147 7166, or E: 1

STUDENT LGBT SOCIETIES National Union of Students in Ireland, Lesbian Gay & Bisexual Rights Campaign - Contact Laura Finlay, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Rights Officer E:, T: (01) 709 9300, M: 086 781 6393 1 National College of Art & Design LGBT, 1 Trinity College Dublin: 1 University College Dublin : 1 Dublin City University : 1 Dún Laoghaire IADT : 1 Dublin Institute of Technology: 1 Blanchardstown IT: 1 NUI Maynooth: NUIMLGBT 1 Tallaght IT: 1 Mary Immaculate College: 1

GARDA LIAISON OFFICERS Community Relations Section - Inspector Finbarr Murphy 01 666 3831/3811 1 Community Relations Section - Sergeant Andy Tuite 01 666 3831/3821 1 Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Unit - Detective Sergeant Michael Lynch 01 666 3366/3435 1 Pearse Street - Detective Brendan Supple 01 666 9000 1 Store Street - Martina McDermott 01 6668000 1 Store Street - Mark O Doherty 01 6668000 1 Kevin Street - Mark Bolger 01 6669400 1 Cabra - Brigit Burke 01 666 7400 1 Bridewell - Detective Frank Tracey 01 666 8200 1 Bridewell - Garda Ita Bradley 01 666 8000 1 Fitzgibbon Street - Garda Eoin Lynch 01 666 8400 1 Swords - Margaret Coyle 01 664700 1 Terenure - John Banahan 01 666400 1 Blanchardstown - Mick McCoy 01 6667000 1 Cabinteely - Derval Gillen 01 666 5400 1 Dundalk - Sergeant Vincent Jackson 042 933 5577 1 Kildare/Carlow - Sergeant Mary Corcoran 045 884300 1 Kilkenny - Inspector Padraig Dunne 051 305 300 1 Clondalkin -Stephen Dunican 01 6667642 1


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directory BELFAST & THE NORTH MONDAYS 1 GLYNI youth group for LGBT’s 16-25 years old, 64 Cathedral Buildings Belfast, 6-9.30pm, TUESDAYS Ulster Titans. Men’s rugby club. Training 7.30 - 9.30pm. for more


WEDNESDAYS 1 Collective meeting at Cara Friend Centre 8pm THURSDAYS Ulster Titans. Men’s rugby club. Training 7.30 - 9.30pm. for more


FRIDAYS Men of the North An alternative gay venue for men over 25 Meets on the 2nd Friday of every month at Mynt, Belfast., 1 GLYNI youth group for LGBT’s 16-25 years old, 64 Cathedral Buildings Belfast, 6-9.30pm, 1

SATURDAYS Ulster Titans. Men’s rugby club. Training 2pm. for more information 1 Inspace Coffee Lounge at Queerspace Cara Friend Centre 3-6pm Everyone welcome 1 Narcotics Anonymous Women’s Meetings 6.30pm - 8.00pm at La Verna Grattan Street (next door to Project School) 1

SUNDAYS Out & About (NI), LGBT walking group now in its third year. Last Sunday of each month; Check out E: for details. Cathedral Buildings, 3-6pm


COMMUNITY CENTRES Changing Attitude Ireland. E: 1 Rainbow Project Belfast. 2-8 Commercial Court Belfast BT 1 2NB. (028) 903 19030 1 The Rainbow Project 12A Queen Street Derry BT48 7EG (028) 7128 3030 1 QueerSpace in Cara Friend Centre Offices in Cathedral Buildings, Lower Donegall Street Belfast T: (028) 905 90257 and 1

OTHER GROUPS NIGRA (Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association) PO BOX 44, Belfast BT1 1SH T: (028) (048 from ROI) 906 64111 E: 1 Gay Men’s Spiritual Group meeting Clonard Monastery, Belfast, E: 1 Gay Policing Northern Ireland, E: 1 Gay Newry, check 1 Gay and Lesbian Across Down, 07791 398438, 1 Gay Men’s Spiritual Group meeting Clonard Monastery, Belfast. E: for details 1 Lesbian Friends Northern Ireland, a Social Support Group for LBT women 1 LGBT Youth Group. Dundalk Outcomers Age 14-23 all welcome e:, 1 Border Area Group (BAG), based in Monaghan, also includes Cavan, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Armagh areas, Tel: 087 775 8640/083 005 3909, 1 Causeway LGBT Network, for the Causeway Coast area, 1st Monday of month, 7-9pm,, call 0791 098 0314 on Thusdays, 7-9pm only. 1

HEALTH HELP 1 GUM Clinic at Altnagelvin Hospital, Anderson House, Derry, Mon, Wed & Fri 9.30am-11am Wed 1.30-3pm (028) 7161 1269 1 Women’s Health Clinic at Altnagelvin Hospital, Anderson House Derry, Thurs 9.30am-11am Wed (028) 7161 1269 1 Body Positive NI Room 308 Bryson Hse Bedford St, BT2 7FE


Tue–Fri 2-4pm T:(028) 9023 5515 AIDS Help North West/Letterkenny Helpline (074) 912 5500

HELPLINES Lesbian Line (028) 902 386 68 Thursdays 7.30-10pm 1 Cara Friend Belfast (028) 903 220 23 Monday – Wednesday 7.30-10pm 1 Rainbow Project Belfast 2-8 Commercial Court, Belfast BT1 2NB T: (028) 90319030 sexual health info and counselling 1 The Rainbow Project 12A Queen Street Derry BT48 7EG T:(028) 712 83030 1 AIDS Help North West/Letterkenny Helpline (074) 912 5500 1 The HIV Support Centre Mon-Fri 9-5pm T:0800 137 437 or (028) 902 49 268 E: 1 Donegal Text Line: 085 741 1607. E: 1

STUDENT LGBT SOCIETIES Queen’s University Belfast : 1 Letterkenny Institute of Technology: 1

PSNI MINORITY LIAISON OFFICERS Third party reporting of incidents can be made to: Rainbow Project Belfast. 2-8 Commercial Court Belfast BT 1 2NB. (028) 90319030; 12A Queen Street Derry BT48 7EG T: (028) 712 83030; Cara-Friend Gay Helpline (028) 90322023 or; Lesbian Line (028) 9023 8668 or 1 North Belfast 028 9025 9207 1 South Belfast 028 9070 0509 1 East Belfast 028 9025 9763 1 West Belfast 028 9025 9892 1 Antrim 028 9448 1657 1 Ards 028 91 829041 1 Armagh 028 37 521153 1 Ballymena 028 2566 4013 1 Ballymoney/Moyle 028 276 49 668 1 Banbridge 028 40 621368 1 Carrickfergus 028 90 259622 1 Castlereagh 028 90 901314 1 Coleraine 028 70 280906 1 Cookstown 028 79 399406 1 Craigavon 028 3831 5355 1 Down 028 44 611109 1 Dungannon & Sth Tyrone 028 97 750503 1 East Belfast 028 90 259824 1 Fermanagh 028 66 321557 1 Foyle 028 71 739751 1 Larne 028 28 271055 1 Limavady 028 7776 6797 1 Lisburn 028 92 600978 1 Magherafelt 028 7963 3701 1 Newry & Mourne 028 3083 2067 1 Newtownabbey 028 90 259319 1 Nth Down 028 91 474957 1 Omagh 028 8224 6177 1 Strabane 028 71 379803 1

CORK, KERRY & THE SOUTH MONDAYS 1 Phase 2 is a group offering a supportive welcoming space for older (35+) lesbian/bisexual women - 3rd Monday of each month 7.30 - 9.30pm. Tel: (021) 480 8600, E: 1 Kerry LGBT Resource Night (LGBT speakers etc.), third Mon of the month, contact KGLP, 087 294 7266 TUESDAYS L.Inc Drop-in - women only space - 11am 3pm Tel: (021) 480 8600, E:


WEDNESDAYS 1 L.Inc Drop-in-women only space - 11am 3pm 1 TENI trans support group, meets first Wed of every month at The Other Place, 8pm, Tel: (021) 427 8470, E: Tel: (021) 480 8600, E: 1 SOUTh Drop-in Centre Waterford. 1st and 2nd Weds of the month 1 1 8-10pm. P: 0862147633


Gay cinema night @ The Other Place cinema, 8 South Main Street, 8pm every Wednesday E5/3 Conc. Tel: (021) 427 8470

THURSDAYS L.Inc Drop-in - women only space - 11am 3pm Tel: (021) 480 8600, E: 1 UNITE Youth Group. A safe, fun, social space for Gay and Bisexual 17 23 year olds at The Other Place, 6-9pm, 1 Kerry LGBT Movie Night, first Thurs of month, contact KGLP, 087 294 7266 1

FRIDAYS Cork Gay Men’s Dining Group, 3 Fri of month to dine at local restaurant, 085 270 2396, 1 Friday Meltdown on Cork Campus Radio, 97.4FM w/ Allan, Caroline & Evan 1

SUNDAYS Cork Gay Hillwalkers group for gay men meet the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. Mountain hikes in Cork/Kerry/Tipperary/Waterford. T: (087) 973 6636


COMMUNITY CENTRES L.Inc resource centre for LBT women, 11A White St., Cork. Opening times: Monday-Friday 11-3pm Phone line 9-5pm daily. Tel: (021) 480 8600, email:, 1 Cork Gay Project for GB Men, Dunlaoi, 8 North Mall, Cork, T: (021) 4278 470, 1 The Other Place, 8 South Main Street, Cork T: (021) 4278 470 1 Waterford: sOUTh Drop in Centre. Chat, movies, games, books. Cheshire Homes, John’s Hill, (St Parick’s Hospital), 1st & 3rd Wed of each month, 8-10pm, E:, T: 086 214 7633 1

OTHER GROUPS Cork Gay Men’s Dining Group, 085 2702396, 1 North Kerry/West Limerick LGBT, Listowel Family Resource Centre each Saturday night, Call Martin, 086 855 6431 1 Kerry Gay & Lesbian Project, contact 087 294 7266,, 1 Kerry running club, 1 MEN (Male Emerging Network), social/support group for gay men, meets monthly 1 Mna Mna Ladies Choir, T: (021) 480 8600, 1 Social Groups, montly social events,, 1 Positive Positive: confidential support group for HIV GB men in Munster area, T: 085 834 3939, 1 Out4Tennis Cork, for men and women, 1

HEALTH HELP STD Clinic at Victoria Hospital., Cork Apt Necessary. Mon, Tues, Thurs 9.30-11.45am and Wed 2.30-4.30pm T: (021) 496 6844 1 STD Clinic at Waterford Regional Hospital Mon 2-4pm & Tues 10am-12pm T: (051) 854149 1

HELPLINES Gay/Bi Men’s Helpline Cork (021) 427 1087, Tue & Wed, 7-9pm 1 Cork Lesbian Line (021) 431 8318 8-10pm Monday 1 Kerry G & L Line (076) 615 4124, Tues 7.30 - 9.30 1 AIDS Helpline (021) 427 6676 10am-5pm Mon-Fri & 7-9pm Tues 1 NA Helpline (021) 427 8411 8pm-10pm Mon - Fri 1 AA Helpline (021) 450 0481 8pm-10pm every night 1

STUDENT LGBT SOCIETIES University College Cork meet weekly W: E: 1 CIT LGBT soc, meets every Wed at 8pm,, E: for details 1 Waterford IT (WIT) LGBT Society T: 087 252 7838, 1 Tralee IT: or call Ben at 085 754 7110 1

GARDA LIAISON OFFICERS Cork Bridewell - Karl Griffin 0214943330 1 Waterford - Inspector Padraig Dunne 051 305300 1 Waterford - Garda Sinead Donoghue 051 305 300 1

BED & BREAKFASTS Æmerson House, 2 Clarence Terrace Summer Hill North, Cork T: 086 834 0891,



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LGBT Youth Group for 14-23s. Safe, confidential, relaxed and fun environment for LGBT young people to meet. Info E: 1 Gay Clare Group, organises social events and supplies info, www., 085 72 2674 1 Over The Rainbow Drama Group, Sligo, Merville Community Centre, every Wed 7.30pm, contact Brian: 085 803 3665 1 AZURE - Sligo based social group, holding regular meetings and events, 1 Midwest dining group meeting in Tipperary. Contact Joe on 086 898 9626 for more details 1 AMACH!LGBT Galway, w:, e: info@amachlgbtcom, T: 0860694747 1 GOSSIP Trans Group: Galway Odyssey Support Centre &Information Project, E: 1

MONDAYS 1 Self Defence and Awareness Classes for Women in Limerick. Call Jai Chan on 087 676 1663. TUESDAYS ’I’m Out Here’ informal meet up every Tuesday in Sligo at 10pm. Text 087 986 2400 for details or log onto


THURSDAYS 1 Limerick Women’s social group meets every 2nd & 4th Thurs of the month at 7.30-9.30 in Rainbow Support Services, Contact us on (061) 310 10 E:

HEALTH HELP AIDS West T: (091) 562 213 E:, 1 Red Ribbon Project (061) 314 354 1 LGB Alcoholics Anonymous(Galway & Midlands area) every Saturday, 7.30pm. Call Denis (087 295 6233) or Paddy (087 250 7580) for details.

FRIDAYS OUTWEST Gay group for the West and North West, meets monthly first Fri of every month and holds discos and other events regularly. T: 087 972 5586, E:


SATURDAYS LGBT Youth Group meets every Saturday. Contact us on (061) 31010 or E: for further info. 1 shOUT! LGBT Youth Group meets every Saturday 4-6pm, Youth Work Ireland Offices,41-43 Prospect Hill. w:, e:, p: 0877738529 1

COMMUNITY CENTRES Rainbow Support Services, Leamy House, Hartstonge Street, Limerick, (061) 31010, 087 931 0252. Supporting the Mid-West Community.Drop in Mon-Sat 10-4pm, Mon-Sun 6-10pm 1 Rainbow Centre at 29 Mallow Street Limerick T: (061) 468 611 E: OTHER GROUPS shOUT! LGBT Youth Group, Saturdays,, E:, Tel: 087 7738529

... is worth a visit and you are most welcome. Friends from far and near

Crumpaun, Keel Achill Island County Mayo, Ireland +353 (0)98 43908 

Gay Sligo E: NW Lesbian Line (071) 914 7905 Tuesdays 8-10pm

STUDENT LGBT SOCIETIES Out in UL E: 1 Mary Immaculate College, Limerick LGBT Meet once a week, details by email to: 1 Sligo IT. E: GMIT LGBT and Equality Society. E: 1

GARDA LIAISON OFFICERS Clare/Shannon - Garda Paul Clancy, 06 365900 1 Galway - Sergeant Gerry Mangan 091 768 001 Oranmore - Paul Keane 09 794122 Castlebar - John Mahan 094 90222222 1

BED & BREAKFASTS SIDE BY SIDE B& B, Salthill. T: 087 94 7797/087 204 6285, email:, 1 Galway B&B (gay friendly), Close to city centre and Salthill, or 1800 32 123 1 East Clare ‘Gloccamorra’ B&B, Scarrif (gay owned), overloooking Lough Derg, 06 923172,



HELPLINES Clare Area Lesbian Information Line. To find out what’s going on in Clare Tel: 087 949 4725 1 OutWest Gay Helpline: T: 094 937 2479 OUT (For information or a chat in confidence) Wednesday nights 8 - 10pm 1 AIDS West T: (091) 562 213 E:, 1 Rainbow Support Services Limerick. Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite, Transgendered people; their families and friends. Confidential Helpline: (061) 310 10 Business Telephone: (061) 468 611. e-mail: 1 The Limerick Gay Switchboard and Lesbian Line is available Monday to Friday 9-5, and Tuesday nights 7.30-9.30pm for details Tel: 06 310 10 Tuesday and Thursday 7.30pm-9.30pm. 1 Red Ribbon Project T: (061) 314 354, Helpline : (061) 316661, Mon 2.15-5pm,Tues-Fri 9.30am-5.00pm, lunch 1.00-2.15

GROUPS 1 AA for the LGB community in the Midlands area call 087 912 2685 or 087 679 8495 for details 1 Gay Westmeath, T: 086 066 6469, 1 Éist youth group T: 086 303 5597 E: Dining Out social group Meath/ Cavan area. Last Saturday of every month. P: 0860737582, W:, E: cookiesdining.


GARDA LIAISON OFFICERS Athlone - Garda Pat Keegan 0906 649 2609 1 Athlone - Garda Mary O Connor 0906 649 2609 1

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classifieds Lads Good-looking male, Cork-based, early 40s, dark hair, blue eyes, well-educated, good health. Interests: music, nature, sports, travel, seeks honest friendship. Any nationality welcome, (20-35 yrs). Box No. July 001 Bi guy, mid-40s, WLTM other bi guy, mid-50’s to 60’s for fun and friendship. Hobbies include walking and swimming. Box No. July 002 Karl, gay male, 28, seeks fun/ friendship with similar guy aged 17-30 from anywhere. Text/call: 083 437 7445 or email okkreilly@hotmail. Thanks. Submissive guy, 47, seeks dominant master into spanking and bootlicking. I wear school uniforms. Leinster area, 087 696 1464 Male, 40s, would like a few genuine gay male friends. Phone or text 087 970 9310

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Dear Ray, Recently I met a guy (let’s call him Joe) in a chatroom where people usually go to hook up for sex, but instead of the usual sexual messaging, he and I hit it off straight away in a chatty way. Over a period of time we have been able to talk about most things and have ended up exchanging email addresses. We now email when we’re not on the chatroom. There is always a borderline flirty and sexual undertone to our emails, but it’s not the driving force. Our relationship is building up because we have so much in common. We’re the same age (34), we work in similar industries, have identical creative pursuits and hobbies, and I find talking to him intellectually stimulating. We’ve exchanged photographs and I find him very attractive, as he does me. I was beginning to think I had found the perfect man in the most unlikely place until last week when he emailed me and told me that he is married. He said it is a sexless marriage and he doesn’t feel in love with his wife anymore, even though he did once love her. He said he was not ‘out’ as gay to his wife, and that they have two daughters, aged seven and nine. I responded by saying that we are friends, that nothing needs to come of this; it’s not like we’re ever going to meet properly - he lives in Kerry, I live in Dublin. But he said he would really like to travel to Dublin to meet me in the near future, and that he really likes me. It is one thing that he is in a loveless, heterosexual marriage when he is gay, but with children involved, I don’t know what to do. Part of me has huge sympathy for him because he has had to live in the closet for so long, but another part of me wonders if he is to be trusted if he is going behind his wife’s back like this. Selfishly, I think, why shouldn’t I meet him and see if something works out? I’ve been alone for five years now and there were times when my hopes of meeting a compatible partner were completely crushed. But if I get involved with this man, won’t I be making my life complicated and won’t I be hurting other people? Yours, Fintan Dear Fintan, It is indicative of our 30s that our cynicism about relationships grows in parallel with an anxiety around our sexual desirability. We’re less likely to love freely and more likely to get hooked on things, be it drugs, alcohol, casual sex, anything to prop up the fantasy. As you have not met Joe in the flesh, he can only be a fantasy. But this is a fantasy you’ve fostered, where on-line exchanges have become “our relationship” with “so much in common”. So much, except that you aren’t a married, closeted father from Kerry. Fintan, you don’t find him very attractive; you find the fantasy and future you’ve projected onto him attractive. What you both have in common is that collision/collusion of horniness and loneliness that makes for any profitable chat room. I think it is important to ask yourself where your reservations are coming from. Though he is

married and closeted and something in you rails against this, you think of the people who may potentially get hurt, but what about you? Would you be comfortable, even after five daunting years of being alone, to have half a relationship? It may be that Joe has sincerity and depth and potential, but he has to prove that. You are projecting a future onto a virtual persona you haven’t even spoken with, one who is closeted, married and whom you ‘met’ in a hook-up chat room. Have sex with him, if sex is what you both are after, but don’t delude yourself or him into this being something other, at least thus far. You deserve something real, so bring reality into this exchange and if he can’t handle that, then you know where he stands. It is one of the great ironies of our modern lives that in our fear of being alone, we seek out the loneliest people in the loneliest places. Fintan, the dilemma here isn’t whether Joe is someone for you. The real question is whether you are someone for yourself. Find life, love, sex and connection in the real world before you forget what it is to be real. Be proud of who you are; only then can someone be proud to be yours. Ray Ray is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist specialising in individual and relationship counselling. He can be contacted on 086 828 0033

RelationTips Ten good reasons to celebrate your gay pride

1. There are many reasons not to celebrate Pride, but they all are born from fear, and apathy is calcified fear. 2. It takes courage to be proud of yourself, especially when the world disapproves of you. 3. Pride may come before a fall, but it is also what gets you back up off the ground. 4. Be proud, not vain. Pride is how we see ourselves. Vanity is how we want others to view us. 5. Pride bears witness, not to our difference, but to our equality. We all have the right to be proud. 6. Pride is strong. Arrogance is aggressive. 7. If Pride is political, it’s only because it’s so personal. 8. If you aren’t proud of who you are, how can you take pride in your relationships? 9. Remember, some people hate gays because of how we love and whom we love. To take pride in our love is the greatest revolution. 10. How powerful is it to hold someone’s hand, or to kiss someone, and not feel fear?


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Star Icons Star Rudolph Born 6, 1895 FridaValentino, Kahlo, Born JulyMay 6, 1907 Taureans their extreme and Likeare allknown those for born under the determination Cancer star, the few icons bornFrida underKahlo this sign displayed that virtue in such painter was empathetic to causes abundance than thebut bisexual silent movie star, Rudolph and people, that empathy was tempered Valentino. Anmoody international sex symbol, wascultivated so ambitious by her personality. Her he work for artistic integrity, heof almost destroyed his career. The the self-image a heroic sufferer, something ItalianCancerians immigrant made the commercially like tofew do,friends but itamong also broke down minded powers in Hollywood, who wantedtruths to keep him in social barriers and confronted society racially narrowtoroles. he carved a career tended buryAgainst underthe theodds, carpet. A trueout creative for himself that made so famous with that when he died Cancerian, shehim campaigned zeal for the at the age ofcauses 31, overthat 100,000 people attended funeral, where both interested her and his confronted sex and womensexuality and men head were seen on. to faint. TAURUS 21TO TOJULY MAY22 21 CANCER APRIL JUNE 22 Neptune is making its passage through careers If you want to talk through a deep issueyour or explain domain, revealing your Taurean trait of avoiding how you truly feel to another, there is no better uncomfortable to keep theyou peace. Now month than thissituations one. People around seem is the time to lay the foundations for much needed somewhat drama-focused. Allow them their FKDQJH7KHJRDOLVZRUWKWKHVDFULĂ? FH up in matters spotlight, but be sure not to get caught and woes that have nothing to do with you. GEMINI MAY 22 TO JUNE 21 Expect beTO busy this LEO JULYto23 AUG 23month, with a great deal of variety in your everyday Your sense Others may want you toschedule. follow their plan thisofmonth LQĂ? XHQFHZLOOEHIHOWDV\RXUHQWKXVLDVPVZHHSVRWKHUV but you need to follow your own, as although you along with you. Halfway through the month you will support people, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re no doormat. Take courage be especially aware of the emotional self. Seize the and strength in the knowledge that you are truly opportunity for release. loved and allow yourself to be free from doubts about self-worth and value. CANCER JUNE 22 TO JULY 22 You mayAUG be 24 feeling somewhat VIRGO TO SEPT 22 tired and irritable this month, but with an upcoming opposing This month has the makings ofMoon a very excitingPluto one in aspect swiftly approaching, much needed which things can happen so fast you mightemotional lose your ease start andeye youonwill yourand happy go be lucky self pace.will Keep your thebeprize youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll able once more. Financial stresses will also begin to ease to keep yourself on the right path. Stay true to your and return ofbyan oldlling friend is to be expected. pastachoices fulďŹ them.


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LEO JULY 23 TO 23 23 LIBRA SEPT 23AUG TO OCT With Mars, the planet of force, gracing domain of This month will be a time to enjoy theyour better things ZRUNH[SHFWDFKDQJHZLWKLQWKHVWUXFWXUHDQGĂ? RZ life has to offer. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry about whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next; of yourthe employment status. willpatience help you regain enjoy present. Just a bitThis more and a greater sense of prosperity within your life. Travel self trust and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be well on your way to a farmay be callingmore but forrewarding now your life. place is best at home. brighter, VIRGO AUGOCT 24 24 TO SEPT 22 22 SCORPIO TO NOV Take care not to keep yourself too busy. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a clever Now is not a time to spend wildly and focusing way to stay distracted from a sticky situation that on the essentials will carry you over to better you are not yet able to tackle, but such a tactic times. Business plans previously set in motionwill are ultimately its toll. words can beginning take to take formSharp and shape, butcut be deep a bit so beware of speaking to harshly aboutare someone this if more patient. Dreams this month fantastic, month. All is not as it seems in that department. not just ďŹ&#x201A;ights of fancy. LIBRA SEPT 23NOV TO OCT SAGITTARIUS 2323 TO DEC 21 Few things seem to change when you on Your sense of intuition is second tokeep noneyour righteye now, one spot, so relax and let life happen as it is meant so listen to it. Family matters are in great Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t underestimate yourdonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t needsacriďŹ for rest, Help when you can but ce renewal yourselfand rejuvenation. You need more then you realise. to please people who still want something toLove FDOOVIURPDQXQH[SHFWHGTXDUWHU*RZLWKWKHĂ? complain about. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your own happiness youRZ need towards brighter and much desired future. to focusaon.


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epi:log/opinion Una Mullally Colm O’Gorman Declan Cashin Ailbhe Smyth Deborah Ballard David Norris Suzy Byrne Stephen Meyler Lisa Connell Rory O’Neill Quentin Fottrell Anna Nolan


n the years I’ve been writing about gay civil rights for various newspapers and magazines, this is the first time I’ve actually written about gay life for a gay publication. And in the Pride issue too. What were the chances? One in 12, actually, judging by the number of contributors to this page. It’s the ultimate personal ad, if you think about it. Hell, I should be paying GCN for this. Now that I’m here, I wonder how to begin: ‘Dear Brothers and Sisters.’ Too familiar. ‘Comrades!’ Too militant. ‘My people.’ Too Evita. ‘Ahoy there, me hearties.’ Too pirate-like. ‘Friends, Gays, Romans.’ Too Shakespearean. Instead, let me start by saying how nice it is to be here in GCN and tell you how genuinely proud I am to have a walk-on part in all of this. Looking back, it’s been quite a ride: staggering through a stifling and oppressive education by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, an unseemly pox I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy; emigrating for economic and social reasons; coming home to fight the good fight, defecting from the Roman Catholic Church; and a few free theatre tickets along the way. Nice work, if you can get it. Politics aside, I’ve always appreciated the five-star friendships that being gay has brought into my life. I include ex-boyfriends in that. The way I see it: you can retire by the seaside with a labrador, a husband or wife, if you’re lucky - or bring your favourite exes instead. The best failed relationships are like the Maltese Falcon: lead on the surface, but solid gold when you strip it away. GCN has always been about the c-word: community. We don’t have a gay village in Ireland

like they do in New York and London with gays filling up every café and holding hands on every street corner, but we do have a kind of virtual village that starts in the pages of this magazine and stretches outwards. We have our global village too. Travelling solo a few years ago across the former Yugoslavia through Ljubljana in Slovenia, Dubrovnik in Croatia and Sarajevo and Mostar in BosniaHerzogovina, I was always just a double-click away from a new ex-boyfriend. My friend, Milan from Ljubljana still texts me every year during Eurovision. (They heart Linda Martin and Johnny Logan over there.) But this global community spirit was really brought home to me during a trip to Barcelona with another ex. An all-male crowd from a gay cruise was staying in our hotel. Every evening over cocktails, the jocks in rugby shirts, preppies in chinos and - my favourite - the dandies in multi-coloured tank-tops were out in force. Just like with Gay Pride, they were a diverse and lively bunch. Every morning, the breakfast hall would come alive with laughter and chitchat about who said what to whom, the excited clanging of plates, eye-popping beachwear and, in some cases, carefully applied spray tans. Then, one

“Even when we do achieve full equality, there will always be a reason to march with Pride.” morning, they were gone. Their ship had sailed. It was just us and some sepia-toned hotel guests. It was if all the colour and music had been drained from the world. Like all communities, we sometimes fall out. There is a joyless division between supporters of gay marriage and supporters of civil partnership. Both are on the right side of history. Let’s be clear: civil partnership is grossly inadequate; civil marriage is the ultimate, the only, goal. While it was the thankless job of one group to get the former passed into law, we - all of us - will continue to fight for the latter. There are opponents of gay marriage who believe that even civil partnership, though one small step, is a step too far. Shamefully, children in gay families remain unprotected by the law. That must change and, as a society, is nothing to be proud of. I don’t want to preach to the converted or wax on about heterosexuals who need to get their own houses in order before attempting to withhold the rights of others. (Though it looks like I just have...) Still, the global push for marriage equality, awareness of the need for basic human rights from Iran to Malawi, plus the odd local media firestorm, have lit a fire under a new generation. One of my most memorable assignments for the Irish Times was to interview the kids who went to their first Gay Prom with the help of BelongTo. A part of me used to mourn the loss of my first kiss - the fact that it was not a gay one - but I forgot all about that when I met those starry-eyed teenagers who now have that chance, and are embracing it. LGBT Noise too, I applaud you. When the day does come for full equality, there will still be cause to march. Even if we lived in a Utopia free from violence and discrimination, there would still be cause. We must never be allowed to forget these sometimes - though not always - dark days when some people are more equal than others. But every year during Pride, for the briefest of moments, the sun shall shine.


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