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EDITORS LETTER Publisher: Lamb Promotions Ltd Published: Bi Monthly Editor: Tony Day Fashion Editor: Alexandra Godfrey Research/Writing: Beth Evans Creative: Tony Craig Sales: Mark Mooney Fashion: Lifesacatwalk Stylist: Alexandra Godfrey Assistant Stylist: Laura McBurney Photographer: Tony Webster (Bigbad Llama) Make Up Artist: Grainne Frawley Hair: Love Hair Inc, Newtownards Models: Fiona O’Kane, Nicholas Gray, Gyasi Sheppy, Alexandra Godfrey, Laura McBurney Location:Millbank Studios Music: Producer Tom Reeves Appearance: Tony Scullion Appearance: Leanne Alexander Appearance: Grainne Frawley Reality Check: Jaiden Micheal Agony: Trudy Scrumptious Legal: Edwards and Co. GayNI News: David Monahan Seriously: John O’Doherty Se Homes Interiors: Lee Austin Homes Property: Lough & Quay Fashion: Darren Kennedy Food: Andrew Rudd Comedy: Gemma Hutton Tomorrows World: Tony Craig Design: Additional Photography: Editorial: Tony Webster (Bigbad Llama) Goscars: Mark Sloan Goscars/Scene Out: Simon Crawford (Smells Like Disco) Special thanks to: Coleen McMahon, Jonathan Scott, Brian and Billy, Nordie Shore, Marco and Sadie, Lisa Walker, and Rylan

WE’RE Happy birthday to us. What a year! We’ve had ups and downs and ins and outs but we’re still here, and for that we thank you – our readers. Read about abo the day Nordie Shore called into the office, our chat with Rylan, and Coleen McMahon’s views about marriage equality. On that same topic, John O’Doherty from the O’Dohe Rainbow Project gives us his opinion on the recent parliamentary debate. We were recently lucky enough to be awarded the Goscar for Best Media Contribution, for that we are extremely grateful and appreciative. Thank you so much for your support and votes. Tony

Subscriptions: For a free digital copy Subsc to your inbox @ Website: Twitter: @gnimag Instagram: @gnimag Advertising Sales: Tel: +44 (0) 28 9024 5460 Email:

All submissions to GayNI are made on the basis of permission to publish the submission in GayNI and its licensed editions worldwide. In the case of a picture selection, the editor’s decision is final. Any material sent is at the owners risk and although every care is taken neither Lamb Promotions or its agents shall be liable for loss or damage. We take great care to make sure all elements of GayNI are accurate. However we accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes that appear in this magazine. Lamb Promotions 2013

GNICONTRIBUTORS John O’Doherty – SERIOUSLY THO The director of the Rainbow Project in Belfast, John is also involved in a number of LGBT groups including the Northern Ireland Policing Board and The LGBT Reference Group

Beth Evans - THE FINDER Beth, or Betty to her friends and neighbours, writes about things that piss her off. Imitation leather, Prince and terrible puns are among the few things she enjoys.

Lee Austin - HOMES Offering a world of luxury timeless interiors, Lee Austin Design places absolute importance on understanding and translating the expectations and wishes of our clients through a personalised bespoke service

Greg McCaw – DATING Self confessed date-a-holic Greg guides us through the world of dating, drawing on his own often hilarious experiences.

Trudy Scrumptious – AGONY AUNT A tongue lined with acid but the body of an angel. Trudy has been answering your problems from the stage of the Sunday Bingo show for years.

Gemma Hutton – COMEDY The queen of comedy, star of the BBC show Find Me The Funny, and local legend on the scene. Gemma gives us comedy snippets from her life.

CONTAINS... Talk To Us Coleen McMahon Stra!ght? Rylan Nordie Shore

Travel p18 p24 p43 p46

Amsterdam Brighton



Fresh Fashion p27 This issue we take a look at everyone’s fashion stable, jeans.

Top Ten Apps Envy Tomorrows World

Regulars p71 p76

News In Briefs Dating Kitsch Bitch Gemma Hutton

p16 p118 p120 p122

Lifestyle p109 p110 p112

Looking for Love Test Drive Clean Machine A to Z of Crap Movies

p62 p106 p108 p124

GNICONTENTS Health & Grooming Big Guns Quiff Eyebrows

Locals p39 p40 p41

Homes Small space, Big ideas Hot property

Coming Out Jobs for the boys Partners Social Network

Events p82 p86 p92 p116

On The Level p102 p104

Transition Period In the Ring Seriously Tho Boys don’t kiss boys

Flick to the back for our comprehensive guide to check out what’s happening on the scene in Belfast and Dublin.

Directories p64 p68 p78 p88

Civil Partnerships Eating Out Guide Directory

p50 p94 p128


When Gemma Hutton said she was holding a Parliament reunion party we just had to make sure we were there.

Robert Brown hosted another amazing Bubu in March and GNI were there to see it all happen. Bubu is on the first Friday of every month in the Shoe Factory.

GNIGOSARS On 1st March 2013 the GNI team glammed up and headed to the Kremlin for the 14th Annual Goscars. Upon arrival we were offered beautiful cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Just when we thought the night couldn’t get any better we were awarded Best Media Contribution. Big celebrations ensued...

Most Attractive Male Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award PA Mag Lochlainn Best Gay-Friendly Business Spaghetti Arms Best Online Contribution Grindr Best Gay Friendly Restaurant Nandos Best Dressed Male Gary McAlorum Best Dressed Female Claire Montgomery Most Attractive Female AJ Personality Of The Year Pauletta Stilletta Most Popular Beverage Rekorderlig Best Act Of 2011 Lucy Spraggan Top Facebook Friend Winnie Best Media Contribution GayNI Magazine Couple Of The Year Michael & Gary Best Gay Anthem Scream & Shout ft Britney Spears

NEWS IN BRIEFS Here is the GNI take on some of the latest news stories this week...

Shivering heights So, Northern Ireland has hit the headlines again. But this time there isn’t a flag in sight – probably because a mere mortal would find it impossible to fly a flag in this Spring’s apocalyptic storms which come complete with blizzards and Wuthering Heights style howling winds…I’m half expecting Cathy to show up and beg me to let her in at my window. No chance love. Shut up and drive! Now, I love a diva, but you’ve got to know your audience. Apparently Rihanna left 2,000 school children from Illinois waiting three hours to watch her perform. Then when she finally did arrive she played a 12 minute gig… 12 minutes… I can’t even finish my breakfast in 12 minutes. It transpired that poor RiRi was stuck in traffic in Chicago; it wasn’t her fault… Doesn’t she have her own hovercar by now?

This one takes the biscuit Did you hear the one about the dangerous triangular flapjack? A school in Essex has banned triangular shaped flapjacks after a boy was hit in the face with one of the

“I’m half   expecting   Cathy  to   show  up  and   beg  me  to  let   her  in  at  my   window.  No   chance  love.” pointy treats. Catering staff have been warned that from now on they may only serve square or rectangular flapjacks. The precautionary measures have been called

GNINEWS ‘half-baked’ by the Health and Safety Executive. It may be controversial, but I think the fault lies with the flapjack wielding child rather than the shape of the ammunition. You booze you lose After much debate over this year’s budget, and plenty of speculation over projected alcohol taxes, Chancellor George Osborne has announced that tax on beer will drop by 1p a pint. Well, that’s not exactly the outcome we had anticipated, but good news for the lager louts! Taxes on other alcohols are set to increase by 5.3%, adding 10p to a bottle of wine and 40p to a bottle of spirits. Bad luck winos and vod guzzlers; maybe it’s time to change your poison.


BEAUTIFUL BOY _ Coleen McMahon sings ‘Beautiful Boy’, the backing track to Shane Bitney Crone’s video, ‘It Could Happen to You’, a video that through its heart wrenching story and hugely personal message has gone viral across the globe. The song has catapulted Coleen to stardom. GNI caught up with her to talk about the song that changed her life...

You have an amazing voice. How long have you been singing? Thank you very much. I have been singing since I was about eleven months old, according to my parents. Your voice has recently become widely recognised following Shane’s YouTube video. Did you know it was being used in the video? Actually, yes. Shane is a close

friend of mine. He asked me if he could use ‘Beautiful Boy’ because he felt the song would really touch people and help convey the emotional element of the video. Did you anticipate the HUGE response it’s had? I knew the video would reach a lot of people, but I never imagined it would have such a viral response. It is truly remarkable.

How well did you know Tom? Had you already written the song for Tom or did you write it after his accident? I knew Tom very well. Up until his passing, I had known him for about eight years. We were roommates for a while, so we spent a significant amount of time with each other. I had a song idea before Tom's death that solely included chords and melodies, but

never developed it fully. I was in New York recording an album when I received the tragic news. That song idea came into my mind immediately and I knew that it would be ‘Tom's Song’. I booked the first flight back to Los Angeles and finished his song, which I named ‘Beautiful Boy’. How did you feel when you saw the touching but

heartbreaking video with your song as the soundtrack to it? I felt not only happy, but truly honored that I was attached to Tom's life and his and Shane's story. Your song ‘Beautiful Boy’ is obviously extremely poignant along with the message in the video. Does all your work carry such strong emotive messages? I don't know any other way to

write, but from the heart. I feel that music is the one language that can be understood by everyone. It is so important to me to make sure and let my soul speak for itself through my songs. You also sang at a memorial concert for Tom. How were you able to focus on your music when you were also there to remember a friend’s life? It must have been...

very upsetting for you. Honestly, I do not know how I did it that day. I was sobbing through the whole service, except when I got up to sing. I felt Tom sitting there with me, and I believe he gave me the strength to sing his song. It was my tribute to him. This journey must have been full of conflicting emotions the sheer tragedy of losing a friend and the attention it’s brought you as a singer. Talk me through it all...

Yes, it sure has been a roller-coaster of emotions the past couple of years. He was one of my best friends, and still is. The success of the song has only humbled me more. The money and fame isn't important to me. Just knowing that people are moved by my music brings a smile to my heart that no amount of money or recognition could buy. How strongly do you believe in marriage equality? Do you intend to continue to

campaign for the cause? I believe that all loving and committed LGBT couples who want to spend their lives together deserve the right to get married. They deserve the same protection rights as those under the contract of marriage. The constitution states that all men are created equal, and that should apply to everyone, straight or gay, in all areas of life, including matrimony. This is not a religious issue; it is a civil rights issue.

What are you feelings about people’s opposition to marriage equality? Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But, in my opinion, people who oppose marriage equality don't fully understand the term. Many of these people are basing it off of religious beliefs. It is not about that. It is about the right to love whom you wish to love and have the same rights as any straight married couple, as far as protection goes. Love is love is love. Does it really matter what gender it is? It must have been hard watching a friend like Shane grieving. As his close friend, watching Shane grieve was one of the hardest things for me. He loved Tom with all of his heart. He lost his best friend. What do you think Tom would have thought of ‘Beautiful Boy’? ‘Beautiful Boy’ was written for Tommy, and I think he would love it for that reason alone. What do you think Tom would think about what Shane has achieved in his honour? I think he would be very proud of Shane for standing up for equality and fighting for the right to love, because that's what they had; unconditional and genuine love. Do you have a life motto? I came up with this saying a long time ago. It says: "A life lived for others is a life worthwhile." We are all in this life together as one. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all made of flesh. Spreading love amongst one another is something that could change all of humanity, and I am determined to walk that path with open arms. You are releasing a new single called ‘Ashes’ over the coming weeks. Is there a story behind this? ‘Ashes’ was written a couple of years ago while going through a break up. It's a song about the heartache, longing and pain that one feels when they lose someone they thought loved them. It's definitely not a ‘rainbows and sunshine’ piece. It's raw and bare of any sugar coating. What’s next for you? I am on the verge of releasing the music video for my single "Ashes". It is being submitted to Television Networks at the moment, followed by the release online. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. I feel so honored!


Do you have a gay following? I do, yes. I have gotten numerous messages on my Facebook Fanpage from gay couples in response to Shane's video and my song ‘Beautiful Boy’.

Joesph McGukian playing Simon, the office dogs body. GNI talk to Gerard O’Donnell about new Irish sitcom, Stra!ght?

Stra!ght? is an exciting new Irish sitcom written by Gerard O’Donnell and Barbara Barry, and produced by Michael Conlon. Stra!ght? focuses on Gabe: an uptight, sharp tongued man who finds under pressure to find a girlfriend. The characters surrounding Gabe assume he is gay. Stra!ght? is a funny, original and insightful production that depicts a modern day man struggling with his sexuality in a progressively forward thinking Ireland. We chatted to the show’s lead writer, Gerard O’Donnell. Why could Stra!ght be a roaring success? Usually directors / writers are encouraged to try to fit in with the current trend or popular style. We’d rather make this series for less money using lesser-known actors and be true to the originality. Interesting relatable characters and good writing will ensure a success. Target audience? Anyone with a quirky, daring sense of humour. Is it full of fresh new talent or might we recognise a few



FRESH FASHION Our new Fashion Editor Alexandra Godfrey talks us through the thinking behind this issues fashion shoot. They are the common denominator of couture. They are the backbone of everyone’s wardrobe. They are this summer’s statement piece. Dress them up or dress them down - but whatever you do, make sure you make your mark with Jeans. Whether you’re 16 or 60, find the perfect pair of Jeans and all eyes will be on you. Like a diamond, the cut and the colour are what it’s all about, so think sexy shapes and summer colours and you’re already halfway there. Get it wrong and you’ll give Jeremy Clarkson a run for his money, but get it right and it could be your lucky night! Think James Dean or Steve McQueen and you’re on the right track. You can’t go wrong with a simple white Tee for understated simplicity and sex appeal, but if a bit of sparkle and bling is your thing, then dress those babies up! Straight off the peg, ripped, shredded, painted or cropped – let your Jeans do the talking! Traditional blue makes way for rainbow hues and mismatched legs. Pumps, heels, boots or sexy painted toes – anything goes when you’re creating your look. Be individual. Be bold. Be sexy. Be You.


GNIFASHION Laura – Vintage Levis – Stylist own Alexandra – Vintage Levis – Stylist own Gyasi – Clockwork Orange - Diesel Larkee Fiona – Clockwork Orange – True Religion Nicholas - Clockwork Orange - Edwin Jeans


Fiona – Clockwork Orange – True Religion Nicholas – Clockwork Orange - Replay Anbass Green

Nicholas - Skull Jeans Gyasi – Next – Skinny Fit Red Jeans Laura – Vintage Levis – Stylists own


GNIFASHION Gyasi – Clockwork Orange - Replay Anbass Blue Jeans

Fiona – Clockwork Orange – Salsa Wonder Jeans Gyasi – Clockwork Orange - Diesel Larkee Nicholas - Clockwork Orange - Edwin Jeans

GNIFASHION Credits Photographer – Tony Webster Make Up Artist – Grainne Frawley Hair - Love Hair Inc, Newtownards Fashion Stylist/Editor – Alexandra Godfrey Assistant Stylist – Laura McBurney Models Fiona O’Kane Nicholas Gray Gyasi Sheppy Alexandra Godfrey Laura McBurney Location – Millbank Studios

Tony Scullion

Personal Trainer 07830329074 No matter how fit you are puny arms won’t do you any favours. Whether you want to pump your guns just a bit or you want arms to rival Arnie’s, here’s Tony to tell you how to get those arms sculpted for the summer. Below is a sample Bicep and Tricep training routine. You should rest 60-90 seconds between each set. Do 1 or 2 warm up sets for the first exercise on each muscle group. Go as heavy as you can without sacrificing technique, controlling the movement of the weight (no swinging) and keeping elbows in and shoulder blades squeezed to minimize assistance from other muscle groups.

BICEPS High Cable Concentration curls E-Z bar preacher curls 1 arm dumb bell concentration curl Standing barbell curls TRICEPS Tricep pushdowns 1 arm overhead dumb bell extensions Triceps machine extensions Reverse grip 1 arm cable pushdowns



4 4

10 - 12 10 - 12

3 3

10 - 12 10 - 12


8 - 10


8 - 10


12 - 15


12 - 15



Leanne Alexander

Salon Owner - Love Hair Inc 55 South Street, Newtownards 02891 827305 The quiff is the hairstyle with a thousand attitudes. Whether it’s retro, modern, dramatic, edgy, professional or playful, the quiff will always look cool. Celebrities addicted to a nifty quiff include Bruno Mars, David Beckham, Elly Jackson, Zac Efron and Zayn Malik. Here’s how to create your own traditional quiff: For the perfect quiff all you need is hair, as silly as that sounds! Make sure you have longer, heavier hair at the front. To begin, use a volume moose on towel dried hair. Dry the hair forward and grip your quiff firmly to mould its shape using a hair dryer to help it set. Once you’ve achieved the desired shape, sprinkle a megadust/volume powder in behind the quiff to give it more hold. Finish it off with a few squirts of hairspray. Don’t overdo the greasy products. Tip: use a light coating of shine spray to give that authentic finish.



Grainne Frawley GrainneFrawleyMakeUp

No one wants a giant hairy caterpillar sleeping on their forehead… so, why don’t you give that fella his marching orders? Your eyebrows are a key focal point of your face and help to express a wealth of emotions, so shaping them correctly is very important. Here’s freelance make-up artist and beautician Grainne Frawley to show you how: With eyebrows there is no 'one size fits all' shape. Saying that, 9 times out of 10 keeping them on the thicker side is more flattering. If you have naturally neat eyebrows, simply remove the stray hairs from between them with a good pair of tweezers and stick to taking the hair out from below the main shape. Thick bushy eyebrows need a little more attention! After tweezing the selected hair from between and below the brow, take an eyebrow brush, brush the hairs into place and using small scissors, trim one hair at a time - not too short as this will prevent the hairs from lying flat.



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*His words, not ours.



GNI caught up ith Rylan on his recent visit to Belfast, where he played to a sold-out crowd in the Kremlin. He gave us his thoughts on Gay Marriage, being yourself and coping with bullies...

Hi Rylan. How do you do? All good – living the dream! You were in Love Actually!? Yes! People are always surprised to hear that! Were you really Ron Weasley’s body double? Yep – I was a little ginger kid so I guess they must have thought I’d be perfect to play Ron! If you see the back of his head it’s probably me! Have you been treated well by the public? At the start it was hard – there was a lot of negativity. I was scared to go out on my own, and people even started targeting my mum. Somehow it’s turned around. It’s been amazing doing The X Factor Tour as I’ve had the chance to see so many of the people who voted for me! You’ve been getting naked a lot recently. We saw the

Cosmo shoot you did to raise awareness for male cancer charity Everyman. Did you get to keep the giant cocktail glass? Ah I wish! It was the exact same glass we used on the X

“I was   always  the   gay  ginger   kid  ...  I  never   fitted  in.” Factor for Spice Girls week! I was nervous beforehand, but the team were great and I felt at ease…. I made sure I had a spray tan before! How do you feel about the recent vote on gay marriage in The House of Commons (400 for and 175 against)? It’s ridiculous that in 2013 the rights still aren’t equal, but this

GNITALKS TO... is a big step. I’m an ambassador for Stonewall and they’ve been fighting this battle for a long time. We watched the feud unfold between yourself and Speidi. Does genuineness always wins out in the end? I hope so. I was myself from day 1. I think that’s why the public liked me. Are you in touch with the other CBB contestants? Yes, all of them! Razor (or Dad as I call him), Lacey, Tricia and Kathy Beale (Gillian) came to see me on tour at The O2. And Claire from Steps came to Wembley. She brought her kids and they’d drawn me pictures! You were bullied as a kid. What would you say to your bullies now? Look at me now?! Haha. It was tough growing up. I was

the gay ginger kid… I never fitted in. It teaches you a lot about yourself and you learn who your true friends are – I’m really grateful for that. A lot of young gay people are still being bullied today. What advice would you give them? I get loads of messages from 16-year-old gay lads saying they’ve come out because of me – that’s amazing. I just hope people can learn to be happy with themselves. The bullies are probably doing it because they’re insecure about who they are anyway. You went live on stage at the Kremlin in Belfast on 9th March. Did you enjoy yourself? I loved it! I’ve had the pleasure of performing over here a few times and it’s always been really special. You guys know how to party!!

What’s next for you? Hopefully a holiday! I’ve got some more TV projects coming up, and I’m getting involved in Comic Relief! I feel very lucky! Thank you very much! Thanks!!

FAILTÉ... GNI talk to the internets hottest new comedy act, FNT live & about their hit Nordie Shore.

GNITALKS TO... You might recognise these guys from YouTube sensation ‘Nordie Shore’. Three of the Friday Night Therapy Live crew came to the GNI office for an exclusive interview. Some craic was had! Some people might find Nordie Shore offensive. What do you say to them? Jordan (Dean): It’s not real so I don’t see how you could be offended. It’s a parody of Geordie Shore. I’ve watched about 12 hours of Geordie Shore now, and last night one of them queefed in the Jacuzzi... that’s when you expel air from your vagina. And the other night one of them was getting waxed and shat herself in a beauty salon. That’s on MTV as a reality show, so our parody isn’t actually that bad! Diona (Caoimhe): It’s a bit of comic relief. Ruth (Cookie): Some people

take it seriously because they’re confused about whether it’s real or not. Jordan: We didn’t trick people into thinking it was real; we just said nothing and let Facebook do the rest. How did you all meet? Diona (Caoimhe): I met Jordan 2 ½ years ago. Jordan wrote and I acted, and he had the idea of setting up a comedy sketch group. Ruth and I lived together whilst studying Performing Arts. Jordan went to school with Dave (Beanzy) and sourced some of the other guys. It all happened quite naturally. Jordan (Dean): We’re lucky no one was shit because it could have gone really wrong. Who has influenced you? Jordan (Dean): FNT was set up because myself, Tom and Mark are big Saturday Night Live fans. 30 Rock influenced me as well. That’s the life I

want… I want someone running about with an inflatable c**k in my office. I want to come to work and have some craic. Describe a belter night out in Belfast. Ruth (Cookie): Monday night in Union Street. Start at about 5 for the promotions and happy hour. Blocked by 11 o’clock with your £6 wine. El Divino until 2 or 3 and then on to a house party and get home 2 days later. Diona (Caoimhe): Whereas I’d go get a Starbucks and take a wee walk round Botanic…. 2010 Diona wouldn’t have done that! Ruth (Cookie): No, she’d be out in a wee glitzy number, legs out and all. Best chat up line? Ruth (Cookie): Someone said this to my friend, ‘Can we play house? You pretend to be the back door and I’ll smash you in.’

Jordan (Dean): ‘Fáilte to my d**k’. And in episode 1 I say ‘Will you let me and my mate take turns b**king your wee h**e?’ If she says no, your mate says ‘just your front bum love’ to let her know you’re gentlemen. Do you think Northern Ireland will be ‘left behind’ in the legalisation of gay marriage? Ruth (Cookie): It’s something so many people have suppor ted for ages and it’s a really big step forward. It’s sad that we might be left behind. We’re letting everybody down because every family has a gay person in it, whether they’re proud of that or not. Jordan (Dean): I have a lot of Christian friends and family who suppor t gay marriage because it encourages love and stable relationships. I think the problem is that mental people shout louder than everyone else. Will there be a gay character in Nordie Shore? Jordan (Dean): YES! Ruth (Cookie): Jordan does the best impression of a gay man. Jordan (Dean): Oh, stop. I’m blushing. We will have a couple of gay characters. There’s going to be a massive twist… in a very non stereotypical way. We have to ask… in what order did you climb into the bathtub in episode 2? Diona (caoimhe): I ran the bath and said ‘get in’ but all these ones thought it was too hot. Jordan (Dean): It was like lava! Diona (Caoimhe): I went in first. Ruth has a weird phobia of wet clothes, but she got in second and soldiered on. Jordan (Dean): Then I got in. Diona (Caoimhe): And then Dave, who is a massive guy… our legs were all up round each other’s ears. Jordan (Dean): Yeah, it was disgusting. Describe yourself in one word. Desc Ruth (Cookie): Reem. Diona (Caoimhe): Indecisive. Jordan (Dean): Odd. Which is your favourite Power Ranger? Diona (Caoimhe): I always wanted to be the girl in the pink with

the brown bob. What do you call her? Jordan and Ruth: The pink one. Ruth (Cookie): I like the yellow one. Jordan (Dean): Tommy, the blue Ranger. Julian Simmons is in one of your sketches… Diona (Caoimhe): Julian is brilliant! Jordan (Dean): Julian Simmons is unlike anything ever. He’s not a presenter, he’s not a comedian, he’s not a weatherman, but he’s there! It’s brilliant. He’s meant to be the voiceover on UTV but he’s actually there, sitting on a chair, talking to you. He’s such a decent bloke. Who would play you in the Hollywood version of Nordie Shore? Diona (Caoimhe): Sheridan Smith. Ruth (Cookie): Kerry Katona. Jordan (Dean): Daniel Day Lewis would make a good Dean. Celebrity crush: Diona (Caoimhe): I fell in love with Noah in The Notebook, and I do realise that Ryan Gosling is not Noah and that he’s going with that bitch Eva Mendes, but I’ve been obsessed ever since. Jordan (dean): Sarah Beeny from Proper ty Ladder. She’s serious but also banter… she’s loaded, and she could help me with proper ty development... and she’s got a good rack. Ruth (Cookie): Mila Kunis and Pixie Lott. Jordan (Dean): What about NI celebrity crush? Zoe Salmon, I love you Zoe. Diona (Caoimhe): My boyfriend (E-ogh-an). What’s next? Wh Diona (Caoimhe): We’d love a live version of FNT to be shown on TV. Jordan (Dean): We’re working with Channel 4 and we’d love to get something on BBC NI and RTÉ. When and where can we see you on stage? Jordan (Dean): March 15th in the Black Box. Can comedy save the world? All: YES.


If you’re planning to have a Civil Partnership ceremony it would make sense to pick suppliers that are familiar working with couples planning their civil partnership. Let us help you The following choose! companies have told us they offer excellent Civil Partnership packages...




Your Wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and looking your absolute best is critical. Really think about your photographs, do you want to be haunted by dodgy hair pictures for years to come? It’s my professional opinion to stick to a timeless style, trendy styles can look really dated in years to come, make sure your style is classic and your colour is natural. Unless you've got very short hair, you'll want to get a cut a week before the big day (for guys with extremely short hair, do it two to three days before) it gives the hair time to relax into the style. Also I would recommend you spend more on this haircut than you normally maybe would, it will be worth it to get a seasoned pro, and tell them it's for your wedding so they will pay extra time and attention. If a beard is part of your usual look keep it, just make sure it is also well groomed, if you normally flit between stubble and clean shaved, go with the clean shaved look.



TRAVEL MOOD Travel the World with Citalia by Travelmood....

Love Italy? Travelmood love Italy so much they have a dedicated programme just for Italy, called ‘Citalia’ Citalia has been organising holidays in Italy for 80 years, and with that comes a unique level of experience and passion for this beautiful country. The staff travel to Italy every year, visiting the hotels, resorts & restaurants giving them personal knowledge of the holiday. As well as being a sister company of American Holidays they are part of TUI, one of the largest travel companies in the world. Fully licensed and bonded as a Tour Operator. You know your holiday is safe. There's nothing you could write about Italy that could possibly do it justice! From art to food, from stunning and varied countryside to historical

ruins, Italy has it all! Citalia provide holidays to Italy to cater for all tastes and budgets. Whether you're looking to explore the beautiful lakes in the North, marvel at unique beauty of Florence or Venice or simply

“Citalia has   been   organising   holidays  for   over  80  years.” escape from it all on a beach in Sardinia, they can offer it all for the best possible value! Contact Citalia today & speak with one of their experienced travel advisors on 02890511804 or book online at




The preparations in the lead up to your civil partnership can leave you completely frazzled. At Charcoal essential therapy we have treatments that will not only relax you before the big event but we also have a whole range of packages to make sure you look your very best. And not only for you, we can help with your whole wedding party (even the mother in law – great for scoring Brownie points). Check out our website for more information, and call in, we are on the Blacks Road, Belfast and have handy onsite parking. Tel: 028 9061 1403 Find us on Facebook




I always knew I wanted to do something creative. I found comfort looking over pictures my family had collected over the years, so I took to photography. I studied under the guidance of local artist Paul Seawright. Inspired, I hit the streets to put my own spin on life through a lens. I love documenting all aspects of life and I find photography a fascinating and highly expressive art form. I want my pictures to relay the emotions of an occasion, whether it’s a wedding, where I employ an unobtrusive blend of journalistic and portraiture style imagery, or capturing the simple beauty of nature in everyday life. Photographers see the world differently – at every turn there’s an opportunity for a great photograph. We don't live our lives in front of a white background, so why capture memories in a studio? I use natural light to produce real memories. Be it a portrait of your little one, a family gathering or your special day; let Flash Art Photography capture your memories for you.



SJ CAKES Sarah Janes Cakes can provide a limitless range of cakes for a multitude of occasions. We specialise in unique designs and can supply you with the highest quality cakes, personalised to suit the occasion. We can provide modern and fun cake designs . The type of cake is also up to you, we have delicious recipes for fairy cakes, sponge cakes, cup cakes, fruit cakes, chocolate cakes and more. Whatever the occasion, Sarah Janes Cakes can provide traditional, innovative, simple or elaborate cakes.

DKNI FLORIST At DKNI The Florist we provide top quality flowers to customers around County Antrim. Established in 1987, we have developed a reputation in the Newtownabbey area for the quality of our floral arrangements and the friendliness and efficiency of our service. Whatever you need, from the decoration of a full wedding venue to a single bouquet of flowers delivered to your door, DKNI The Florist is here to help. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss all of your floral needs. Visit our flower shop or call us on 028 9085 4450




The Award Winning Belfray Country Inn nestling three miles from the Historic City of Londonderry. Owners Brian and John and indeed their staff will make your special day one to remember with attention to detail being their top priority. With 19 luxury bedrooms, bistro, Palace Room Restaurant and indeed our beautiful Ballroom the Belfray has everything you might need… Catering for 40 persons to 180 persons in style. The owners will be on hand to guide you through every detail of your day. Website: Telephone: 028 7130 1480 “The Country Hotel in the City”



OUR EVENTS NI Our Events NI began back in 2009 with only two local wedding shows. Fast forward to 2013 and their portfolio has expanded to include 7 major wedding shows, the sensational Ladies Night, the colourful Fashion Beauty Lifestyle show and more recently, Man Time.

Northern Ireland’s first and only Men’s fashion event. Run by Kerrie Mann, John Stewart and their assorted team, April is a busy month in the Our Events NI calendar. First up Friday 12th April Belfast Ladies Night. A night described simply as the hottest ticket in town, featuring entertainment by the UK’s best male comedy strip Show. Followed swiftly by the ever popular FBL Fashion Beauty Lifestyle show a Spring/Summer event not to be missed. Not forgetting the Merville House Wedding Show to round off the month in celebratory style taking place on Sunday 28th of April. Merville House is a restored Georgian Mansion House, located in the residential setting of Merville Garden Village Newtownabbey.

Perfect for character driven, intimate weddings of all kind. Sunday 12th May will see our return to Holiday Inn Ormeau Ave, this modern city centre location is a hidden gem, with warm, welcoming, friendly staff and stylish interior this venue has rooms that cater perfectly to wedding plans small or large. On show day doors open 1pm-5pm with catwalk at 2pm and 4pm. Visit for more information Find us on and



CARRICK BLOOMS Your civil partnership is one of the most important days of your life. We have provided for a number of civil partnerships over the years and worked closely with both partners to ensure the right flowers and overall theme is carried through from the buttonholes, corsages and bouquets to the venue flowers. Carrickblooms Floral Design have all the answers for you for a free consultation contact our Floral Design Team.

SWIFT CHAIR COVERS Welcome to Swift Services, the wedding decor company for savvy and stylish couples. Swift Services endeavors to provide unique wedding decor tailored to your budget. Swift are known for being easy to work with at every stage of the wedding planning, with great customer service and an understanding of the bride’s vision of her big day. Book a consultation now by called Sinead 07590900853 or email



JAYMAR PHOTOS One of Northern Ireland’s best known and most respected photographers, Linda Salem of Jaymar Studios has a reputation for quality, outstanding customer service and attention to detail. Well experienced in photographing civil partnerships, Linda can tailor your photographic package to suit your day, whether it be a very small affair or the full works! Call now on 028 9048 7084 or visit our website on

DB MUSIC With almost 20 years experience in music for wedding services, dbmusic provides in Darren Baird, one of the province's most versatile musicians as an experienced and accomplished pianist, organist, singer and music advisor for your wedding or civil partnership. dbmusic can meet the most discerning requests for any service or ceremony to a professional standard. Whether traditional or contemporary, sacred or non-religious, dbmusic can cater for your individual musical requirements.


LOOKING FOR LOVE Why do so few of us find true love? Why do we spend our whole lives looking for fulfillment, for intimacy, for joy? Call Off The Search (the new book by Anna & Andrew Wallas) attempts to answer these questions with a rawness and honesty never before experienced in the self-help genre

Why do we look for love? Andrew: The existentialists said that we had to come to terms with being alone. I would say that all humans have a need and a desire to be connected. It’s a response to not wanting to be alone. Anna: How you know you feel loved by someone, is when you feel understood. The person in front of you gets you and that validates who you are. We seek love to find out more about ourselves Do you think the focus of this book on honesty will resonate with the Gay community? Anna: Absolutely. Regardless of whether you’re in or out, that level of personal dishonesty makes us feel alienated from ourselves, our friends and community. What we’re talking about is getting really real with yourself. Andrew: I’ve had a lot of friends who have struggled

with acknowledging their sexual orientation. And that process is a very good example of what we’re talking about. That all of us need to discover our truth. We have to discover our truth, be honest with ourselves and

“The more  you   enjoy  yourself   the  more   someone  will   enjoy  being   with  you.” then share it with people we trust. Whatever that is. In any relationship, it’s having the honesty to say ‘what is going on?’ For example I might often attack Anna, then I stop and I say, what actually happened was, you really hurt me. And rather than be vulnerable, it’s easier to attack her.

GNIBOOKS Andrew - what are your top tips each for finding your own happiness? 1. Be honest with myself as to why I don’t want the right person. Actually look at what’s stopping me from finding them. What am I frightened of? 2. Be honest. If you want to be with someone every second, tell them 3. Learn to apologise and be forgiving. It’s the quickest way through tension Above: Call Of The Search By Anna & Andrew Wallas Published by Cadogan Publishing Ltd

Anna – what are your 3 tips for accentuating your happiness with that right person? 1 – Know yourself. Know when you’re ready to meet that person. 2 - Have the courage to hold out for your dream. Not to compromise and settle. Go for it when you think you’ve found that right person 3 – Let yourself off the hook a bit. Enjoy your life – it sounds

clichéd but the more you enjoy yourself the more someone else will enjoy being with you. We don’t laugh enough as people. Make sure you do!

“As Marco   became   comfortable   with  his  male   identity,  I   became   comfortable   with  our   ‘straight’  (ish)   identity.”


After much talk about an adventure abroad, I jetted off to Europe with Marco (my boyfriend of 3 years). On our second day in Venice, as we sat by a pretty canal, I said, ‘This is the most romantic day of my life.’ Th That night Marco told me to put on my best outfit. We dined at a charming restaurant where we had a bottle of champagne and the best lasagne I’ve ever tasted. Afterwards we walked hand in hand to the middle of San Marco Square. Marco took out his iPhone and played "it's only love" by The Beatles, one of our favourites. All of a sudden he was down on one knee, holding out a ring, asking me to be his forever. I fell to my knees, crying uncontrollably with happiness. I agreed to marry the person I love, but the person I love hasn’t always been a man named Mar Marco; when we met he was a woman named Erica. I have primarily dated men, but had one meaningful relationship with a woman in college and I’ve always been open to whatever comes my way. I was always attracted to Erica. It was less physical and more about our connection. Beyond her tough exterior was a silly, light-hear ted person. It felt special to know the "inner Erica" - the one who could make me laugh so hard I peed and who I could be silly with in a way that I am only with my family. There were always sexual under tones but at first we only acted on them whilst drunk. I was looking for a flat in NYC and eventually decided to move into Erica’s Brooklyn apar tment. We said it was platonic but knew we were kidding ourselves. One afternoon we sat down and discussed our connection. From that day on we were a couple. When Erica broke the news to me it was like she was confessing a bir th defect, ‘I was born in the wrong body.’ I told her I would suppor t her no matter what. The biggest challenge was seeing my loved one in so much emotional pain. Luckily, as Marco’s body changed my feelings did not. At times it was so painful that I wanted to give up. But as Marco became comfor table with his male identity, I became comfor table with our ‘straight’ (ish) identity. After much struggle I finally feel like I don’t need to define my sexual identity. I’m in love with a man named Marco who was born a girl named Erica. I love his eyes, his lips, the way he smells when I nestle in his neck. I’m attracted to his strength, his vulnerability, and how he treats the people he loves. We hope to travel more and someday have a brownstone, children and a dog. I look forward to living life with my best friend. I hope someday people born in the wrong body don't have to suffer in silence and that our story can be par t of that change.

I used to think I was crazy or sick to feel like this. In the late 80's and early 90's nobody was talking about it. There were no words for what I felt, other than ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ -- which nobody knew how to deal with. The most brutal par t of my transition was being stared at everywhere I went, people asking whether I was male or female, and being referred to as an ‘it’. I still walk down the street and hear people say "is that a man or a woman?" 95% of the time they're not saying that but my paranoia is a direct result of the humiliation I've endured. I'm lucky my family suppor ts me, but it wasn’t always roses and butterflies. Every trans person undergoing this process risks losing family, friends, lovers, homes. I came out to my parents about 5 times. They couldn’t understand! Bu But once they did some research (bought books, talked to counsellors) it got much easier. To me, transitioning is a lifelong process but each person’s experience is different. Some have several surgeries and never feel complete while others have no surgery and feel that they have transitioned. I had my breasts removed but I require a revision. For me ‘bottom surgery’ doesn’t yet produce desirable results. Available options are experimental, expensive and invasive. I hope medicine will evolve so people can really change their sex, not only their gender. The blanket term ‘trans’ cannot encompass those who are gender queer, queer, cisgender, etc. I’m a transsexual because the issue I was born with deals directly with my assigned sex at bir th, not only my gender. Feeling that you were born in the wrong body denotes an issue with the body as a whole, being problematic in an existential way. Being trans has nothing to do ex with being gay or straight, or who you want to f**k - - it has to do with yourself and your identity. I don’t mind describing my ‘condition’ as a disorder. I understand why others do: it implies sickness or mental illness. I’m not sick or mentally ill. Something went wrong in the womb, whether I was exposed to too much testosterone or there wasn't enough oestrogen getting through. Whatever it may be, mine is a medical condition that requires medical assistance. medi Initially my relationship with Sadie was hell because I was wearing heavy emotional armour and kept my distance. Sadie found it hard adjusting to the changes and it almost broke us apar t many times. I had so many issues surrounding my body that having a relationship for the first time while transitioning was hugely straining. We got through it and found that true love really does conquer all. I have changed into the person I was always meant to be. We’re stronger than ever. I love Sadie to death. And I love her even more for sticking by me during something that made her question her own identity as well. que

“I love  Sadie   to  death.  And   I  love  her   even  more  for   sticking  by  me   during   something   that  made  her   question  her   own  identity   as  well.”


IN THE RING (CIVIL PARTNERSHIP VS MARRIAGE) What’s the difference between Civil Partnership and Marriage? We were confused too so we had a chat with Suzanne Rice from Edwards and Co Solicitors...

Marriage is always a hot topic of conversation whether it’s the latest headline of a glossy magazine or a chat between friends in a coffee shop. In Northern Ireland this topic hits a particular nerve as the changing boundaries of marriage and what role it should hold in society cuts across a number of issues including legal rights, religion and competing ideas of tradition. It isn’t surprising this topic has provoked some fierce debate amongst our politicians in recent months - not just in Northern Ireland but within the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland the vote in 2012 to reject the joint-proposal by Sinn Fein and the Green Party to allow gay marriage in Northern Ireland has obscured the straightforward legal fact regarding “gay marriage” and few people now will be any the wiser as to whether any

change would have impacted on the rights of gay or straight couples in Northern Ireland. Whereas our neighbours across the water are well on their way to establishing the rights of same sex couples not just to enter

“In Northern   Ireland  a   Civil   Partnership   is  not  seen  as   a  marriage.” into a Civil Partnership but to have that Partnership recognised as a “marriage” we, in Northern Ireland, are lagging behind. But really the question everyone should be asking is…”what is the difference between Civil Partnership and

GNILEGAL and Gay Marriage”? You could well be forgiven for thinking our politicians are merely seeking a definition of gay marriage rather then a legal right because in Northern Ireland the rights of same sex couples to access Wills, social security benefits, tax allowances and pension rights are the same as those offered by marriage thanks to the well publicised Civil Partnership (NI) Act 2004. However, were the difference in definition will arise, is not in divorce laws but rather children’s laws and in particular the rights of a gay and lesbian couple to foster/adopt a child. Under our current Adoption Laws you can foster/adopt a child if you are either single or married. In Northern Ireland a Civil Partnership is not seen as a marriage and so any couple in a Civil Partnership will be automatically ruled out of fostering/adopting.

It is somewhat ironic that Northern Ireland – which led the way in 2005 by being the first part of the UK to allow civil partnerships – is now lagging behind the rest when it comes to same sex adoption laws. The impact our out-dated adoption laws has can be seen on a daily basis when our televisions are awash with adverts for new foster and adoptive parents to meet the increasing needs of children in Northern Ireland yet same sex couples in a legally recognised partnership are not eligible. A recent judicial review brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission on this very issue heard Mr Justice Tracey state that preventing someone from adopting because of their relationship status is discriminatory practice. We now await our law makers putting these words into practice but this could take

some time. It is hoped the future for Civil Partnerships will be that they give not just same sex couples the same financial rights as married couples but also the most basic right to the most vulnerable members of our Society – a child’s right to be loved, cared for and raised in a family. Suzanne Rice heads Edwards & Co.’s Family and Matrimonial department and specialises in children’s cases and divorce. If you require any further advice on this topic or any matters relating to Family Law please do not hesitate to contact Suzanne directly at suzanne.rice@edwardsandco

Belfast Gay Men’s Chorus

MEMBERS WANTED A new Belfast Gay Men’s Chorus is coming….. If you are interested in joining please email us:


Well I'll  be   damned Get those clogs on, jump on your bike and put on the red light. Come on…. Am I speaking double Dutch? We’re off to Nether Netherlands, and it’s about Dam time.

Spring is about to spring… But that tempestuous winter made us want to hulk smash the weather man, and it’s not really his fault, the poor b*****d. Easter edges nearer and when there’s a break

from work there’s an opportunity to sit around wearing the same clothes for more than a week. Alternatively, you could go and get your rocks off. A home away from home for

for lots of you boys, Amsterdam is famously open, friendly and tolerant, and with over 30 gay bars and clubs you’ll be spoilt for choice.

“There are   few  things   more   exciting  than   Domino’s   pizza  and  ice   cream  on  a   boat  in   Amsterdam!” Church (at the Kerkstraat) is a gay dance and cruise club which has unsurprisingly just been voted best gay club in the Netherlands. Church hosts an underwear party every weekend which is well worth stripping off for. If you feel daunted by the ultra-gay,

ultra-shameless venues Amsterdam has to offer, gain some Dutch courage beforehand in one of the city’s many bars. Soho is a really popular gay bar on the Reguliersdwarsstraat (try saying that when you’re pissed!) and Prik, which has just been voted 3rd best gay bar in the Netherlands, is a quieter place with a great atmosphere. If the mere thought of walking/cycling around for hours gives you cramp, visit one attraction per day and spend the rest of your time in one of the Dam’s many great squares. Another restorative activity is the Canal pizza cruise. There are few things more exciting than the prospect of pizza and ice cream on a boat in Amsterdam! If you’re into flowers, Easter is the perfect time to visit. Dutch flowers will be in full bloom from the end of March to the start of May. Fields will be covered in crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, and the

GNITRAVEL Artis Royal Zoo has been planted with heaps of new bulbs to mark its 175th jubilee. If you suffer from chronic hay fever, however, maybe you’d better sit this one out. No one likes a snert* bag. Head to P.C. Hooftstraat to sharpen your posing skills: this is where you will find all the luxury brands (sky high quality with matching sky high prices). The filthy rich elite of Amsterdam will be out in their hoards, so don your favourite outfit, add some swagger and a pout, and join them. The street is so ‘happening’ it has its own website: It isn’t too hard to find good quality, good value accommodation right in the centre of Amsterdam, and as long as you aren’t way out beside the airport everything is close enough to stumble to from your hotel. The I amsterdam City Card comes highly recommended for saving precious dough during your trip. This essential piece of plastic gets you

unlimited use of the public transport system and free entrance into the city’s best museums and attractions. Order one in advance of your trip online at or pick one up when you arrive from various sales outlets including Schiphol Airport, Central Station, Amsterdam Tourist Office and Ticketshop Leidseplein. The I amsterdam city card is valid for 24 hours (¤€42), 48 hours (¤€52), or 72 hours (¤€62). *Traditional Dutch think pea soup.


Homomonument Westerkerk Church On the bank of the Keizersgracht lies this pink granite memorial dedicated to gay men and lesbians who have been subjected to persecution because of their sexuality.

De Bijenkorf Department Store This six storey department store is full of light, wonderful modern design and endless fascinating objects.

Rembrandt Square Amsterdam’s coolest square, also known as the Rembrandtplein, is always bustling with activity and provides shopping, dining and entertainment.

House of Bols Paulus Potterstraat 14 If you love cocktails you have to visit House of Bols! The tour incorporates aromas, images, & sounds to create a spectacular feast for the senses.

GNITRAVEL Blue Boat Company: Canal Cruises Stadhouderskade 30 Climb aboard one of these boats to enjoy the perfect canal cruise. You can even have dinner, or get married onboard!

Artis Royal Zoo Plantage Kerklaan 38-40 Located to the east of central Amsterdam, this historical zoo houses a large variety of animals, an aquarium, a planetarium, a museum!


Bar Prik Spuistraat 109 Voted best gay bar in the Netherlands with a terrace in summer, live DJs, impressive cocktails, and very hot staff, it’s not to be missed.

If you do like to be beside the seaside, head to Brighton… but be sure to leave your troubles, ill humour, preconceptions and embarrassing swimming trunks behind.

Kitsch yet effortlessly ultra-stylish, Brighton is a colourful and vibrant coastal haven waiting for you to delight in its captivating charm. With stripy deckchairs, sandcastles, candyfloss, arcade games, bright lights and fairground rides, it is lots and lots of fun. Miraculously, Brighton manages to remain laid back, cool and edgy, despite all of its seaside tack and fairground garishness. A long weekend break to Brighton is recommended. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are excellent for clubbing, with popular venues Revenge, Envy, and The

Basement Club (under Legends) putting on some great entertainment and club nights. If clubbing ain’t your scene, there are several fine pubs that attract throngs of wonderful boys and girls: The Amsterdam, Charles Street, The Bulldog, The Queen’s Arms and Doctor Brighton, to name a few. Top Tip: Watch out for ‘Wild Fruit’, Brighton’s infamous and ‘moveable’ club night. It takes place in clubs across the city (mainly on public holiday weekends and during Pride).



GNIJOHN O’DOHERTY equal rights were told that they were moving too fast, that they needed to be more conciliatory. It is never the place of the majority to tell the minority that they should slow down and wait for their equal status to be granted to them. Justice delayed, as the old maxim goes, is justice denied. As laws began to change, more and more LGB&T people felt safe enough to come out to their friends, family and co-workers. This meant that heterosexual people were being exposed to the diversity of LGB&T people and they learnt to find common experiences, values and aspirations. Heterosexual people learnt that LGB&T people were not the mythical bogeymen, here to corrupt society, but that we were their brothers, sisters, parents, children and friends with whom they have much more in common than the minor

distinction between the sexes to which we are attracted. The snowball effect of so many LGB&T people coming out cannot be overstated. It has forever changed the way the vast majority of citizens view and treat LGB&T people and entirely changed the way the state treats LGB&T people. In 2010, a Federal Judge in California was presented with a case dealing with the Californian ban on marriage between same-sex couples. California offered same-sex couples Domestic Partnerships which offered many of the same rights and responsibilities as married couples. In his ruling on the case, Judge Vaughn Walker held that: ‘domestic partnerships do not fulfill California’s due process obligations to plaintiffs for two reasons. First, domestic partnerships do not provide the same social meaning as

marriage. Second, domestic partnerships were created specifically so that California could offer same-sex couples rights and benefits while explicitly withholding marriage from same-sex couples…

The record reflects that marriage is a culturally superior status compared to a domestic par tnership. California does not meet its due process obligation to allow plaintiffs to marry by offering them a substitute and inferior institution that denies marriage to same-sex couples.’ The legal principle at stake is remarkably similar to arguments advanced in the UK, where opponents of marriage equality argue that there is no need to introduce same-sex marriage as we already have civil par tnerships and same-sex couples should be content with them. If the state creates a separate but equal form of recognising relationships between two women or two men has it fulfilled its obligation to treat all citizens equally? David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham answered this question exper tly during Parliament’s debate on the equal marriage bill when he said: ‘“Separate but equal” is a fraud. … “Separate but equal” is the motif that ‘“Separ determined that black and white could not possibly drink from the same water fountain, eat at the same table or use the same toilets. … It is the same naivety that made my dad a citizen in 1956 but refused to condemn the landlords that proclaimed “no blacks, no Irish, no dogs”. It entrenched who we were, who our friends could be and what our lives could become. This was not “Separate but equal” but “Separate and discriminated”, “Separate and oppressed”. “Separate and browbeaten”. “Separate and “Separ subjugated”. Separate is NOT equal, so let us be rid of it.’ The fallacy of separate but equal has real world impacts. Being viewed as less wor thy and less deserving of respect has serious impacts on the mental health of LGB&T people, par ticularly young people, still coming to terms with their sexual orientation. Suicide, self-harm, alcohol and drug abuse, and high-risk sexual activity can all be associated with the stress of being viewed as par t of a maligned minority group. These will not automatically be taken care of by the introduction of equal marriage. Every equality law brought in to protect LGB&T people gradually chips Eve away at the notion that to be straight is morally superior to being gay. Some commentators have suggested that equal marriage rights for same-sex couples is that last piece of the jigsaw and with the marriage bill passed, LGB&T advocacy organisations should shut up shop and bask in the finally-found equality. They couldn’t be fur ther from the truth. Equal marriage is not the end of the journey, merely the next step along the way. Far too many LGB&T young people experience violence and abuse in their homes and schools. Too many older LGB&T people live in

“Separate but   equal”  is  a   fraud.  …  It   entrenched   who  we  were,   who  our  friends   could  be  and   what  our  lives   could  become  ...   Separate  is  NOT   equal,  so  let  us   be  rid  of  it.”


complete isolation, cut off from family, friends and community. Suicide and self-harm still affect LGB&T people with far more frequency and severity than their heterosexual counterpar ts. Of course the marriage bill, as it currently stands, will only affect England and Wales. Same-sex couples who are legally married in England or Wales will only be recognised as civil par tners in Nor thern Ireland. This will create an unsustainable two-tier system of marriage within the UK and will inevitably lead to a cour t challenge unless the Assembly brings forward legislation. An indication of the likelihood of this could be seen when the Assembly debated the issue in October 2012. The DUP deb used its procedural veto to ensure that a majority vote in the Assembly would not be sufficient and that 40% of unionist MLAs would have to vote in favour for it to move forward. With the DUP currently holding well over half of unionist votes in the Assembly, the chan chances of homegrown legislation for Nor thern Ireland are very slim. When our elected representatives fail us in this manner, we must never be afraid to advance our cause through the cour ts. Nor thern Ireland was the last par t of the UK to decriminalise sex between two men and that only came about as the result of a case before the abo European Cour t of Human Rights in Dudgeon v UK. It may be that Nor thern Ireland will be the last par t of the UK to introduce marriage equality and it may be that it will only come from a judgment by the European Cour t, however, just as the Dudgeon case has had such far-reaching consequences (it was used by the United States Supreme Cour t when striking down American sodomy laws in 2003), it is highly possible that an equal marriage case from Nor thern Ireland will have a similar impact on the global movement towards marriage equality. While we should always stop and enjoy an impor tant victory, like the passing of equal marriage, we must never let it distract us from constantly striving to improve the mental, physical and sexual health of LGB&T people.


GNICOMING OUT Back in my teenage years I felt different to the other guys in my class, different to my peers, and at one point I even dated a girl. I knew in myself that I was gay and broke it off and this is when I began to explore my sexuality. It was easy being myself with my friends who were girls – every girl likes to have a gay best friend, but it was more difficult to come out to the lads. When I moved on to college I still hadn’t really come out properly, only to a few very close friends who I believed I could trust. I was really worried that I’d lose friendships if people knew I was gay. Although I was very secretive about it all, I wasn’t ashamed of who I was, I was just worried what people would think. I continued to meet guys and the girl I dated in high school would even come out clubbing

with me on the gay scene. Fast forward two years and I began dating a guy, I’d told him that I still wasn’t comfortable coming out to most of my friends and family. He promised that he understood and that he would

“He [said]  he   had  an  idea   and  was   proud  for  me.” keep my secret. However, like in all relationships we got into a row one day, and unfortunately he took it upon himself to contact my friends on my social media networks and tell them that I was gay. I felt powerless to do anything about it; I was working in a bar at the time and

couldn’t leave work. I was so worried that it would get back to my parents before I had the chance to tell them. My shift finally ended and I hurried home, my heart was beating in my mouth, the anticipation and nerves felt chronic. I called my mum up to my bedroom where I was lying on my bed. I was in tears so she brought me downstairs where my dad was, I sat with them both and told them that I was gay. They were shocked but I’d expected that. Tension in the house was high over the following week until my mum came to me and said “know what son, no matter what you are, you are our son and we love you.” Once I knew I had my parents on my side I grew the confidence to phone and tell my brother, who said he had an idea anyway and was proud for me.

After telling my family and feeling their support I was able to come out to my friends. They accepted it well and have helped and supported me through the rough times and the smooth. I’m 25 now, and looking back it has all turned out ok for me. If I had to offer some advice to other young people who are struggling with their own sexuality and don’t know whether to come out I would say this: don’t be ashamed of who you are, come out when you are good and ready, and be careful who you trust. I unfortunately put my trust in the wrong person. If you need to talk there are lots of help and support groups around who will keep your confidence no matter what.


e r e h were

GNIJOBS FOR THE BOYS I’ve had my current job for a year. Before this I spent almost 7 years with BP shipping. I attended Methodist College Belfast and finished my A Levels at Belfast Metropolitan College. I then studied at Warsash Maritime College outside Southampton. I’ve always enjoyed ‘driving things’ so I thought, “What’s the biggest, most impressive thing I could drive? A ship!” My dream was to bring the HSS into Belfast. I love waking up in different places: Alaska, a Norwegian Fjord, Ibiza, Vancouver, Capetown, Brisbane, Dubai, Wales, Barcelona, Cadiz, Florida. My job as a senior ranking officer comes with huge responsibility. The safety of 600 crew and 1500 passengers is always on my mind whilst threading a huge Cruise Ship through some of the busiest shipping lanes on earth. I moved to Cruise Ships for the socialising. Seeing

dolphins play around the bow and groups of killer whales pass by is a huge bonus. Cars are my passion, and this job has enabled me to fulfil my desires for new Audis, BMWs, Jaguars and Range Rovers each year. As with any job there are negatives. It’s hard leaving family and friends who I’ve become much closer to since coming out in March 2011. Their support utterly humbles me; it’s even called into question continuing with life at sea. So far the 3-4 months stint away has made developing long-term relationships difficult. Luckily I can call home whenever I wish. My advice to a young gay person wishing to embark on this career would be to choose carefully. I started working on Oil Tankers and some people may find the constant banter a struggle. Cruise Ship life is much more gay friendly.

In my rank I’m Senior Wacthkeeper for 8 hours a day. This is when I’m legally the Captain’s representative on the bridge, in charge of the safe navigation of the vessel. I’ve also been in charge of ensuring we remain upright! At sea you can’t call 999 so we have to be prepared in case of emergency. Onboard I have a wonderful social life, but if things ever get too mad I go for a stroll on the deck as we sail into the sunset ahead of another exciting day. My contracts allow me periods of 2/3 months at home. It’s tough establishing hobbies when you have to leave after 2 months, so I concentrate on catching up with loved ones. I’m currently dating, and remain hopeful that someone can handle me leaving for a few months at a time.


For free and confidential information and advice about your rights contact us on (028) 90 500 600



ike a lot of gay guys out there, I didn’t jump out of the closet when I was a teenager. I knew I was gay and did nothing about it. I did what was expected; got married and had kids. Fast forward past the ten years of marriage and now my life is pretty settled. I have two wonderful kids, a loving partner, and my ex-wife is my best friend. Our family may not be conventional but it works for us. Not so long ago, along with my ex-wife, I attended the parent teacher meeting in my four year old son’s pre-school. During this meeting I raised a query that my son had apparently been told by a member of staff that “boys don’t kiss boys”. The comment in itself isn’t drastic or immediately life changing, but, as I explained at the time,

“Telling [my  son]   that  something   he  would  see  at   home  ...   was  wrong  .” boys to kiss girls. This was like a red rag to a bull and at no point was an apology offered. The meeting ended and I headed over to the main school to discuss my concerns. I was told to put my concerns in writing. Getting back to the office I thought more and more about

what had just happened and I was in absolute awe that someone who I trusted with the care of my son was able to make these kinds of statements to him. Telling him that something he obviously would see at home when I kiss my partner was wrong. I didn’t think her non-apology, explanation and subsequent behaviour was appropriate so I contacted my solicitor to find out what my rights were. He advised me to get in touch with the Equality Commission, the organisation that deals with discrimination in Northern Ireland. In the meantime I tried to resolve the issue myself by contacting the school. It got to the stage however that we weren’t getting any resolution doing things this way so I contacted the Equality Commission for advice on

what to do. This was when things started to happen, and all very quickly. Right from the word go they were excellent. I was offered advice on my first call and a form was emailed for me to complete to start the process of applying for their help in pursuing a discrimination complaint. I completed the form and they granted assistance to help me. They set up a meeting with me and their legal representatives who talked me through what we needed to do next. Now this was my first time dealing with the law so I was obviously very apprehensive and nervous. The Equality Commission’s legal representative talked me through all of the various elements of what was involved in making a complaint of sexual orientation discrimination, which parts of my complaint were strong and which parts would be harder to prove should it have to go to court. The honesty gave me confidence that what I was undertaking was right. A meeting was set up which included the Equality Commission’s legal team, the Chairman of the pre-school committee, and myself. It was all very straightforward and resolved literally in around half an hour, and to my relief, without the need to go to court. All I ever wanted was an apology, and that’s what I got. About a week after the meeting I received a letter of apology from the staff member involved. I was also assured that the pre-school would be undergoing training and had agreed to review their policies with the Equality Commission and I would hope that this ensures that this type of situation doesn’t happen again. Along with this I received a settlement payment, but it was never ever about money. I returned to the school and handed the cheque back. If you are experiencing poor treatment because you are gay, lesbian or bi-sexual I would urge you to contact the Equality Commission. Without their help things wouldn’t have been resolved so quickly and easily. Give them a call on 02890 500 600 or visit their website to find out how they can help you too.

For free and confidential information and advice about your rights contact us on (028) 90 500 600

Are you being treated badly at work, in education or while using services because you are gay, lesbian or bi-‐sexual? We can give you free and confidential information and advice about your rights and what to do if you feel you’re being discriminated against. Equality law protects everyone whether they are gay, lesbian bi-‐sexual or straight.

Contact us on (028) 90 500 600 or visit our website


GNIPARTNERS In March 2010, Brian went over to his friend’s house to record some vocals for his band. When he went downstairs for a break and a beer, he got an eyeful of Billy! Brian went and asked “who’s that fit guy downstairs?” and found that Billy was his mate’s landlord. They swapped numbers, kept in touch for a few months and soon started dating. Brian and Billy have been a couple since September 2010 and moved in together in Belfast City Centre in November 2012. Despite being a couple for almost three years now, they have no plans to have a Civil Partnership. Billy says he would rather get married, “I understand the process we’ve had to go through to get here and I know others (including my gay dads) who have been together for years and are now civil partnered, but I’m all for equality.” Billy says his family have been

amazing, “I couldn’t ask for better. I came out when I was 14 and they have supported me ever since.” Both Billy and Brian were bullied when they were younger and feel sad that over 15 years later kids at school are still facing the same problems. However, they do believe things are getting better. Brian and Billy try their best to have date nights but as their work schedules are very different they find it difficult to spend a lot of time together. When they do get a chance, though, they like going to the theatre, cinema, and gigs, eating out and visiting family together. They want to travel the world together, and while at the moment that isn’t financially viable, they are planning their route and saving up to do it. Billy says he loves Brian’s smile… “Yeah it’s corny but it makes me happy!”, and laughs about a cute face Brian pulls

when he wants something: sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t! The couple also admit that they have a noise they make to each other, kind of like a homing signal. Get ready to hear it in the street boys!


Belfast boasts an amazing range of restaurants, and these days high quality cuisine is just as easy to find as convenience food. In recent years the city has been flooded with new and exciting eateries, serving traditional dishes from all around the world. Even if you live in Belfast, you may not have had the chance to dine out at all the best restaurants, or sample all the best cuisine. The following restaurants cater to everyone and provide exemplary dining experiences.

Picture: Tedfords Restaurant




The Potted Hen, in glorious St Anne’s Square in the Cathedral Quarter, has become a hotspot for Northern Ireland’s burgeoning foodie culture. The ‘Hen’ – now one of Belfast’s most popular restaurants, is synonymous with exciting, innovative food, with customers returning time and again to sample some of the finest cuisine in the city. Head chef Dermot Regan is passionate about using the freshest seasonal ingredients to create his wonderful dishes. His philosophy is all about letting the food speak for itself. The elegant bistro-style restaurant is open seven days a week. With the addition of a fabulous 50 seat upstairs extension, customers can sip delicious cocktails while they wait for their meal. In summer it is a haven for those who love to eat al fresco under St Anne’s stylish white colonnades. For more information go to



TEDFORDS Situated on the edge of the City's Buzzing Cathedral Quarter, Tedfords offers sumptuous food in stylish, recently refurbished surroundings. Chef/Proprietor Alan Foster uses only the finest local produce to give guests a dining experience which over the past 12 years has seen Tedfords establish itself as a firm favourite to both locals and visitors alike.

CHATTERS COFFEE SHOP Situated in the heart of the Bloomfield Avenue shopping district, Chatters Coffee Shop/Bistro, has been owned and run by its proprietors Alan and Raymond for nearly 16 years. Chatters provides a stylish, friendly environment to its many loyal customers – serving a full range of Breakfasts, Lunches, Snacks and Sweets and Specialty Teas and Coffees etc., seven days a week – our Sunday breakfasts and light lunches proving extremely popular. Chatters food is prepared daily, slow cooked, made in small fresh batches, and Chatters offers at least two non meat main options daily.



NO. 36

No. 36 on the Belmont Road offerings the best of home cooking, beverages prepared by experienced baristas and to complement a wide range of home baked goods. At No.36 we love food and believe that it should be fresh, sourced locally, cooked with passion and served with a friendly smile. We cook all our meat, fruit preserves, chutneys and sweet treats on the premises using recipes we have developed that we love and want you to experience. To complement our take on the breakfast menu a selection of homemade gourmet scones and muffins are available. At lunchtime you can find fancy tarts, delicious bakes, meaty pies and other hot pots in our kitchen. Our soups are inspired from recipes from Belmont road to Bombay served alongside gourmet sandwiches, Ciabatta and wraps. Our Friday night BYO is hugely popular and if you are organizing an event we offer an outside catering service.


SPRING CLEAN NG So, spring is around the corner. Time to get the duster out and give the space around you a spring clean. Make a play list with these songs on it to help you whistle while you work…

Lawson - Learn to Love Again Personally I’m loving the Lawson boys right now. Lovely lads, combining great guitar music and a pop feel. Learn to Love Again is in my opinion their best song yet and has been on my Favourites playlist for ages now! (Doesn’t hurt they’re a bunch of fifitties!)

Little Mix - Change Your Life Little Mix, Change your life has probably been all over your radio by now. This really reinforces that they are genuine girl band contenders for me.

Rita Ora - Radioactive Rita Ora is another for who 2013 is gonna be big! Radiocative will have you taking your hands off the iron and grabbing the nearest hairbrush! Her stuff is so SO catchy!

Olly Murs - Army of Two Olly Murs releases another new single from his second album. Army of Two is a stomp along and everything Olly seems to do at the moment turns to gold. This isn’t up to his usual standard but I’ll forgive him due to him having the ‘Cute Factor’!

Disclosure - White Noise Off the mainstream track, if you like your dance and garage, look out for Disclosure. They release their debut studio album in March and the first single that looks to do big things is White Noise. Catchy but for me also a little annoying! Harsh but fair lads! One to play loud to shake off the grey feeling though and one that will annoy the neighbours too! Lol! So get downloading, get humming, start smiling and let’s sing into Spring! Bye bye Winter!!

Justin Bieber - All Around the World Not quite daft punk and not ‘Baby Baby Baby’ either... but bound to sell by the bucket load. One to avoid personally!


Taylor Swift - 22 Picking up from ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ Taylor swift has put her love life problems RIGHT behind her and this is another catchy, reassuring, ‘you can still live like you were 22’ message that is a little shouty and makes her sound like an Avril Lavigne wannabe.... BUT it’s stuck in La my head whilst I’m fluffing the cushions so it can’t all be bad!

HELP ONLINE GNI were asked along to the recent launch of the new web based resource for LGB people by the Equality Commission. It has been in the making for a few years now and is designed to offer an easy to follow source of information and advice for people who feel they have been discriminated against due to their sexual orientation.

Chief Commissioner Michael Wardlow told us, “today we’re launching a new web resource for LGB people in Northern Ireland – So Me. It’s a hub for information and contacts, but also a new way for people to report anonymously, to share their experiences without having to give their names, and to access information, advice and support in a personalized, safe environment. So Me is linked to social media that are easily accessible to anyone.” During the course of the afternoon we were shown videos from people who have actually used the equality commission, and we were also told some awful statistics that brought home to us just why there is a need for a service like this. For example: In the Commission’s most recent ‘Do You Mean Me?’ survey, 53% of LGB people were likely to consider they had been subject to some

form of unfair treatment, up from 34% in the last survey in 2008. We were given a virtual tour of the website ( when it went live but it wasn’t until we got back to the office that we

“If you   believe  you   have  been   treated   unfairly,  you   don’t  need  to   put  up  and   shut  up.” got the chance to give it a good going over. The first thing you notice is that it sets out exactly what it is offering to you, the four tabs along the

GNIADVICE top make it really easy to navigate. Each section offers help, advice and case studies – all without bombarding you with jargon. Another great feature for those of you that may be looking at the site at work is the “quick exit” feature incase a colleague comes looking over your shoulder. The whole concept was summed up perfectly by Michael when he said, ““If you believe you have been treated unfairly, you don’t need to put up and shut up. SoMe is a new and additional way to access advice and information that could really help you deal with a situation in which you’re experiencing unfair treatment.”

I’m sure many of us dream of living in a large house where space isn’t an issue and our choice of furniture isn’t compromised by the dimensions of our floor plan. But the reality is that

most people live in a 2 or 3 bedroom dwelling where the luxury of swinging a cat isn’t an option. Never worry, Lee Austin is here to help you organize your space to ensure it is functional, practical and

equipped with all your wants and needs? Easier said than done? Not really!! The trick is to think outside the box by maximizing the space you have. Here’s how to do it...

“Keep it   clean!  Your   small  space   will  not   tolerate   clutter,  so  be   ruthless  and   throw  out   everything   you  don’t   need.”


In small spaces there never seems to be enough room for clothing, books, electronic media and work areas, but rather than thinking about traditional freestanding furniture, consider built in units and modular furniture systems that can be configured to fit your space wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling and accommodate all your storage needs in one compact area. Du Dual purpose is the way forward! Look for multiple uses in everything you buy and pick furniture that is mobile, allowing you to move things around to suit different purposes. Choose furniture that incorporates storage. An ottoman is cosy, but an ottoman with hidden storage is even better! Keep it clean! Your small space will not tolerate clutter, so be ruthless and throw out everything you don’t need. A place for everything and everything in its place! Don’t be afraid of big ar t or wall hangings: keep things visually interesting in the space you have. Mirrors are essential for magnifying and give the illusion of more space by bouncing light around. An array of lamps will also help. Arrange the space so it meets your needs and put money into the areas where you spend the most time. If you always eat in the living room, maybe you should invest in a coffee or side table that’s really comfor table to eat from and forego a separate dining table altogether. If this is too much of a compromise then why not get an expandable di dining table? What about colour? We all know white makes a room look and feel more spacious, but dark colours can also help to add depth when paired with the right colour finishes. Consider furniture that blends in visually with your floor or walls, whether it’s transparent or similar in colour. Don’t underestimate the impact clear furniture can have on a space. As for organization, really think about how you use your house. This will determine how it is organized. Think about where you open your mail, flip through magazines and pay the bills. Then place storage and bins in the places where you will be handling paper and other cluttering items. The floor is not the place for these! Remember, a small space doesn’t have to restrict your interior design ideas. Instead it can give you the oppor tunity to be really creative and unique!

HOT PROPERTY The thought of moving into rented accommodation can be exciting but, it comes with responsibilities and of course costs. Fear not, the experts at Lough & Quay, Estate Agents & Property Consultants are on hand to offer advice to establishing your accommodation budget and finding the perfect abode...

According to Ashleigh Sloan, Expert Property Consultant and Residential Lettings Specialist, Lough & Quay Estate Agents “The cost of private rented accommodation varies considerably between areas in Ireland, however, the average rent for accommodation in the Belfast area would be approximately £150 per week and ¤€250 per week in Dublin; this would be for accommodation for two people.” “Your local Estate Agent should be able to give you some approximate figures specific for your area. Whilst we can’t tell you exactly what the rent will be for your area we can give you some general advice and guidance on what to include when working out your budget.” Rent: The general rule is that cost per tenant falls as the

number of people sharing increases. The majority of properties will be suitable for sleeping 2 or more people. Ashleigh advises “Paying the rent has to be your number one priority and remember

“Paying the   rent  has  to  be   your  number   one  priority.” that once you sign a Tenancy Agreement you are committing yourself to paying the rent for the term of that agreement (even if you move out!)”. Utility bills: Gas and electricity may add as much as £20/¤€30 a week to your expenditure during the winter months. We would encourage you to preserve energy, where

GNIPROPERTY possible and think about your carbon footprint. “From 1st October 2008, all tenants moving in to a rented property in Ireland must be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate. This details how energy efficient a property is and it is always something to take into account when going to view a property” Says Ashleigh. TV License: If a property is rented on a shared basis then only one TV License will be required. If you have an individual tenancy for your room but share the communal area then you will need a license for each TV in the house. Ashleigh revealed “What you may not realise is you even need a TV license for online viewing using a laptop or tablet device. You can pay your TV license in a number of ways: all at once with your

credit or debit card (£145.50/ ¤€160) or spread the cost with Direct Debit (for as little as £12/¤€13.33 a month).” Contents Insurance: Every property offer rich pickings for burglars. You need to protect your valuables with contents insurance. There are an array of insurance companies that offer specialist policies to suit your needs. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of contents insurance as a tenant. Our consultants can offer you guidance when purchasing this essential cover” continues Ashleigh. Ashleigh pointed out: “Once you have established your accommodation budget, you can begin to explore the properties available to you; start your search by visiting property websites such as or We strongly recommend that

you then use a reputable lettings agency, who will offer you impartial advice and guidance in finding the perfect property for your needs.” Ashleigh concluded “At Lough & Quay we pride ourselves in finding the right property, at the right price for all our clients. We currently have a number of fantastic properties on our books and would anyone seeking rented accommodation to make an appointment with us to consider their options”.

We’re power hungry at the GNI offices, so the offer of an Abarth for the weekend set our pulses racing. This is how we got on...

I used to look on in envy when I spotted an Abarth on the road. Looking sporty with their bodykits, stunning alloys and spoiler. So when I got the call from Richard in Donnellys offering me one for a few days I jumped at the chance. The model I got was the 595 Turismo convertible. Thankfully I got it during that one week in February when the sun was actually out! So, I shamelessly dropped the hood and hit the road. Driving to the motorway the Abarth was sturdy yet nippy, easily pulling away first at the traffic lights. But when I got to the motorway this wee beast took on a life of its own. It powered to the speed limit without hesitation, confidently shattering my slight misconception that it was “fur coat and no knickers”. This thing had knickers alright, and I think they were Aussiebums! To make me fall in love even


DESIGN & POWER more, the interior of the car was stunning. The red leather sports seats complimented the cream of the dash beautifully, the fingertip controls on the leather steering wheel made it easy for me to take calls and change music, and the split

“Thankfully I   got  it  that  one   week  in   February   when  the  sun   was  out.” folding rear seats (believe it or not) created enough room in the back for me to carry a full size electric keyboard to a gig. The Abarth is a definite head turner and it has the power to substantiate it. I dare you to give it a go – if you’re man enough.

Not only are we too lazy to actually clean our car, we’re sometimes too lazy to even drive somewhere to get it done. That’s where David from Supreme Valeting comes in... Supreme Valeting NI: 07542 709505 ROI: 00 353 87 745 1585 Valeting

Recently I attended a local business meeting and was chatting to a colleague who mentioned that he was getting his car cleaned while the meeting took place. When the meeting was over we went out to the carpark to get into our cars and I noticed my colleagues car. It was sparklilng like a new penny on the outside and the interior was spotless. I got the name of the guy who did it and went home and checked out his facebook: Supreme Valeting. It had loads of photos on it and it also detailed his service; he can valet your car at home, at work or down in his yard. I booked my car in to be cleaned while I was at work. David arrived at about 10am in his jeep which was equipped with petrol power washer and industrial wet & dry vacuum system. I gave him my keys, he connected to our power and water supply


CLEAN MACHINE and set to work. Four hours later he came up to the office and told me to come down to inspect the car. I went down and there was my car, sitting gleaming as if it had just come out of the showroom. Inside it was

“Inside it  was   literally  like   a  new  car,  it   actually  had   that  new  car   feel” literally like a new car, it actually had that new car feel – right down to the paper sheets on the mats, and to finish it off David had hung a beautifully sweet smelling cranberry car freshener from my mirror.

For GNI’s first birthday we’re recapping the top 10 birthday related apps...

Parcelgenie Send gifts to friends without having to ask for their address. Choose a contact from your phone, choose a gift and send.

TRUTH or DARE? – the party game! If you think your party is starting to stink, inject a bit of fun. A virtual spinning bottle and 300+ questions and tasks.

Moonpig Have full creative control over the card you send.Pinch, zoom and edit images straight from your iPhone.

Cake Day – Celebrate Birthdays and Special Occasions Design 3D cakes and send them to friends on their birthdays. Write a message on the card and select candles, which the recipient can blow out as they make a wish!

Birthday Party & Event Planner Lite Your personal party organiser! Manage your guest list, assess expenses, and predict how much drink will be required. Age-ulator Age-ulator calculates exactly how long you have been alive, down to the second. This is need to know stuff! iFacts Free, 90.000 amazing facts. Learn everything about your special day. The extensive database is updated and expanded regularly.

Drinking Game (Lucky Wheel) Spin a wheel and do what the instructions tell you! 8,500+ Drink & Cocktail Recipes Use the search bar to find new recipes or take a risk and randomise! Happy B’day This helpful app notifies you of your friends’ birthdays so you won’t forget.





We all want that cinema experience in our living room, you’ve bought a big flashy TV and now you need the sound quality to match the picture. Which home cinema system offers the most. We have a look at three systems here but first we’ll tell you what the different types of systems are...

Sound Bar = A speaker system in a single cabinet that simulates surround sound 2.1 System = 3 Speakers (the front sub-woofer and two front speakers) 5.1 System = 6 Speakers (three speakers at the front, two at the back and the sub-woofer) 7.1 System = 8 Speakers (three speakers at the front, four at the back and the sub-woofer)

Samsung HW-E350 120W Soundbar, around £180 This is a great looking piece of equipment and is really easy to install. It will definantely enhance the sound coming from your TV, it’s not an ear splitting sound experience but it definitely adds depth. Remember though, you don’t get the blu ray player with this. Setup Sound Look Price


Samsung Smart HT- E6750 3D Blu-ray Theatre System WiFi, around £830 Set up is easy, follow the steps on the welcome screen, set the sound detection device (included) in your room and you’re on your way. The sound is crisp and well balanced for very small speakers. Tone is very good and it can go loud. The bass can go low giving a nice roar on some films where needed Setup Sound Look Price

Sony 1000W 3D Wi-Fi Blu-ray BDVN590, around £350 T his system offers a good solution for many who want a slimmed down surround sound system. If you need to buy a blu-ray in particular, and don't have a surround sound system, choosing this makes a lot of sense. An awful lot is jammed into this system which makes it a good investment. Setup Sound Look Price


GNITOMORROW’S WORLD Geek Alert! Each issue we are going to recap the world’s most recent scientific and technological advancements. Prepare to have your hair blown back...

The future is here. It doesn't seem so long ago that we all scoffed at the ridiculous ideas on display in TV shows like Star Trek. iPads, holograms and voice activated software seemed so far-fetched and we thought we’d never have that sort of tech in our homes. Fast forward ten years though and we’ve come a very long way we've even added to that list with the latest scientific marvel that is 3D printing. 3D printing works by taking a computer rendered object and printing 0.1mm layers of resin using a small roller. Following the roller each time, a set of print heads sweep over the resin adding colour and glue for the next layer of resin. Sounds simple enough right? Experts believe this will be the 'next step forward' with some predicting it to have further reaching implications than the internet! Already boffins have adapted the technology, with one

team printing human transplant organs and another adapting it to print chocolate sculptures. I wonder which team will win the Nobel Prize? It's already possible to buy a 3D printer online for around

“We’re holding  out   for  the   chocolate   printer.” £800. Don't get excited though: there aren't many source files available online to help you get print happy. Unless you believe cyber warriors Defcad, who state that they will be "the world's first unblockable, open-source search engine for all 3D-printable parts.” ...


PRINT IS DE AD LONG LIV PRINT. ...Speaking on a video on their website they expressed an interest in supplying blueprints for "the important things: not trinkets, not lawn gnomes, but the things that institutions and industries have an interest in keeping from us, things like access, medical devices, drugs and goods." Either way, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. Personally we're holding out for the chocolate printer, Eiffel tower for dessert anyone?

GNI talks to Lisa Walker about why she felt the need to establish a Gay Business Network...

GBN is something that started to develop itself after I started regularly attending networking events. As a financial adviser, networking, meeting people and talking to people is a sizeable part of my day and I find it strange that at some of these events people would turn up, give a thirty second pitch about their job, take your card and walk away. I decided to take it upon myself to make a change to this system and develop a new network that is based on the common shared goal of becoming more successful in our professional lives while at the same time sharing and developing a social culture which facilitates business networking. I realised that Northern Ireland doesn't have an established forum for gay professionals to develop their businesses together. I started discussing the idea with other gay business owners and professionals and soon realised the potential to promote businesses, advertise

and generate business for each other all over Northern Ireland and at the same time provide a social outlet. Our goals are to support and promote businesses in NI that are run by people within the Network. To create opportunities to work together, share experiences and become more profitable. To work alongside well established groups like GNI, the Rainbow Project and Here NI to further improve the image of Gay people in Northern Ireland. To develop a supportive social scene for gay people who want an opportunity to get involved in business in NI. We will be running monthly meetings as well as formal networking dinners and other social events. If you own or manage a business, are self employed, meet people as part of your job or if you simply feel that you have something to offer the group we would love to hear from you.



Ĺ?   Promoting networking and business opportunities within the LGBT Community of Northern Ireland. |


IMPRESSIONS Meet Greg, GNI magazine’s resident serial dater. In each issue Greg will drag you kicking and screaming through the ups and downs of his latest dates. To begin with, he’s here to help you in setting up your profile on all those crucial “dating” sites...


Newly single? We’re not fooled by the old ‘delete my profile and add a similar profile so that I show up as a new member in all my reinvented glory…trick’. You’ve cropped, edited and photo shopped your picture more than a bulimic model on the front of your favourite glossy. You’ve googled ‘witty taglines’ and learnt to reinvent yourself quicker than Lindsay Lohan can get bail. I’ve been out for 11 years; I really dislike the word ‘out’. It’s like I’m an underachieving business that’s yet to find its target demographic. It also seems to be the favourite question among the online dating elite. “How long are you out?” Do I answer, ‘long enough?’ And risk sounding like some vintage gay in San Francisco helping Harvey Milk make radical movements for equality, or do I say 11 years and wait as the recipient starts thinking, ‘He’s out longer than Girls Aloud, I really love Cheryl.’ During these 11 years I’ve become known as a ‘Serial Dater’. I’ve seen it all… I bring you online dating etiquette for the modern gay. The Tagline Like hearing a movie title for the first time, you’re either instantly encapsulated or left slating something you haven’t seen. When re-adding your profile avoid, ‘Back on here again…LOL’. The ‘LOL’ demonstrates your lack of articulation of the English language. Inject humour; a tagline doesn’t have to be serious. One I particularly like is ‘Artist seeking partner with visual impairment.’ The Picture Webcam pictures with shadows cast over your expressionless face scream: ‘Before our date, switch on your GPS, pack a rape alarm and tell 10 people.’ Great, your phone lets you take countless pictures of yourself in your favourite side pose… but you can’t walk sideways for your whole date. The Script Show people you’re sane and that at the very least you passed your GCSE English: Don’t use text speak. People don’t want to have to decipher your ancient Hebrew. Don’t write ‘No head melters’. It’s most likely you that’s unhinged to mention that. Don’t ramble on about your achievements; it’s not an application for ‘Pride of Britain’. Don’t say…’Don’t know what to put here LOL’. You’ve just shown that you have poorer literacy skills than the author of The Hungry Caterpillar. The only funny thing is that you’re verbally constipated. There you have you it, a well sourced opinion of what he doesn’t want. If you even loosely follow my advice then I’m pleased to say that GNI won’t be taking a non-molestation order out on you and you’re more likely to attract Mr Right than Mr Wanted by the local PSNI.

Hello my queer connoisseurs! My name is Trudy Scrumptious and I have been described as a good bottle of wine; timeless, long neck, big bottom, and you need to swirl me around your mouth before you get the taste!!! Now, let’s hear about you . . . . .

Dear KB, I was on POF and found a guy, he’s around my age and he’s fairly well to do. I’m skint though and I’m letting him pay for everything. Should I let this carry on until I get a job or call it a day and stop using the guy? Gerard Og, Pomeroy The only people who ever felt bad spending money were poor people. If he’s got it and wants to spend it on you then live it up like a real housewife of Pomeroy! Pomeroy? Where da feck is Pomeroy? It sounds like a toilet cleaner?!

Hi KB, I’m sick of being skint! I hate not going on nights out. I have a job so it’s not a problem of not earning, it’s just my wages don’t go far enough. I need my social life back, what should I do? Sarah, Larne Move out of Larne!

Dearest Gorgeous One, Our CP is planned for August this year but my fella wants us to have some fun at it and dress as a bride and groom. This may seem funny but he wants me to dress as the bride. I ain’t nobody’s bitch! He’s dead set on it and says he’s not going through with it unless I agree. I’m worried he’s being serious. Sean, Belfast

Kudos for calling me the gorgeous one, but gawd, we only got the right to civil partnerships a couple of years ago and you’ve already abbreviated it! W.T.F! But listen, who ever remembers what the groom wore? Steal that man bitch’s thunder by turning up like an extra from Big Fat Gypsy Weddings! I'm talking helicopters, awkward entrances and exits, fireworks, crystals, the LOT! Hello Miss Scrumptious, My best friend is gay; I’m his wee fag hag. Thing is he’s really camp and it’s embarrassing. I don’t know where it comes from! How can I tell him without hurting his feelings? Suzie, L/Derry Aww my wee fag hag/fruit fly/ovary donor/eggselent friend! Girls everywhere have issues with their gay friends’ overt campness for two main reasons; firstly it slowly crushes their self delusion that you are going to turn him straight! Secondly because it flags up their own freakish masculinity! So man up, shape up and start back-up dancing BRITNEY BITCH!

Dear Kitsch Bitch, I’ve seen you in the bar and you look gorgeous, I’m not talking about when you’re on stage, I’m talking about when you’re in your “day wear”. Fancy going out for a drink sometime? James, Finaghy Well James from Finaghy, since it’s one of my most original invitations, I’ll say yes! In fact I've been wanting to work a little day wear look for ages, skinny jeans, fine knit jumper with kitten heels, Jackie O shades and a pashmina! See ya there!

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GNIGEMMA HUTTON Well it has been a whirlwind of a 2013 already! I thought being made redundant would be the worst thing that could happen to me. It turns out it might have been just the thing to make me to get off my arse and do what I want to do. The first thing I did was organise a Parliament Reunion night, which was amazeballs. Next I decided to turn activist. I’m so outraged that the civil marriage laws aren’t changing in Northern Ireland so I joined the Pride committee. It’s a great team this year and I’m very excited about it! Next I plan to arrange an L.G.B.T. wedding fare in the summer. All wonderful on paper - but at one point I got to the stage where I was considering joining a sex phone line…. the auditioner on the other end. GUY: So what are you wearing? ME: Emmm…trackies n a vest top. GUY: What? OK…What have you got on underneath

your clothes… ME: Knickers n bra.. GUY: What are they like? ME: Clean! What are you trying to say mate?! Shockingly, I didn’t get the job. I don’t think I’m cut out for that sort of chat with blokes. I wonder if there are any lesbian sex lines? Although we’d probably ask the girls to read poetry, play guitar or talk about cats… That’s what gets ‘real’ lesbians going according to my anti-feminist mate Jack. I think he’s just bitter and confused that he’s single and ready to mingle…and yet certain women would rather go for another woman than swoon at his studdliness. He’s a twat but I love him. I’ve tried to correct his views on the world, but with some people there’s no point. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not homophobic; he just sees the world through shit tinted glasses. I learn how to be grateful for what I have by the long list of things he tells me he doesn’t have. For example, on 8th March I’m

hosting a women’s comedy night in Ards for International Women’s Day. I’m so excited about getting back on the saddle after my one-woman show. Jack turned round and said, ‘where’s my man-day? And they say men are sexist…what a joke.’ I tried to explain that men have never had to fight for the vote, or for equal rights….He thought a minute then said, ‘So not only do YOU get International Women’s Day….PLUS…you get Pride?!!! FFS Gemma when’s National Gemma Day?!’ Then slumped off for a feg. He has no concept of the fact that these aren’t just celebrations, they are days to remind people of the sacrifices our predecessors made for our gain, and the continuing fight for equality and justice all over the world for both women and the L.G.B.T. community. I was stunned. But he was right you know… ‘National Gemma Day’ shall be the last Friday of every month when it shall be tradition to buy me a pint.



‘Bambi’ initially flopped and didn't do much until Disney rereleased it.

Nicolas Cage has flirted with the flop on countless occasions. His films commonly follow the "rule of 4": any Cage film in which his hair is longer than 4” will be terrible (‘Con Air’, ‘Bangkok Dangerous’), while any film in which his hair is shorter than 4” will be good.

The Golden Raspberry awards recognise the worst in film. All-time worst actor: Sylvester Stallone, 30 nominations and 10 awards (so far).





Howard Hughes’ 1956 film ‘The Conqueror’ was a huge flop, plus 91 cast and crew members died of cancer. The US was carrying out atom bomb tests nearby. Medical professionals later attributed the symptoms to radioactive fallout.


‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’. Aliens?!

‘John Carter’ is the biggest flop in Hollywood history with Disney admitting that it expects to lose $200m (£126) at the box office.


‘Disaster Movie’: the most unpopular film on IMDb, with 53,671 votes and a score of 1.9. What a disaster. Elijah Wood divorces his parents with the help of Bruce Willis dressed as a pink bunny in ‘North’. ‘Fight Club’. How did this awesome film flop? Brad Pitt was in his prime, you know, before THAT ad. Since then however, DVD sales have soared.


Kiefer Sutherland was so dissatisfied with ‘Woman Wanted’ that he had his name removed as director. Pity he starred in it too..


Lovers Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart have been nominated worst actor and worst actress in the 2013 Razzies.

‘Monster’ star, Charlize Theron has made around 15 flops!



‘Adventures of Pluto Nash’: Eddie Murphy struggles to keep his lunar nightclub out of the hands of the space mafia.

Nothing good can come out of Paris Hilton’s ‘acting career’.

‘The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure’ made $1 million back on a $50 million budget. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. Not a flop at all but it was the first pirate movie in decades not to flop. Before then no one would touch the genre.


Dennis Quaid has had more flops than Tom Daly. His movies include ‘Pandorum’, ‘Battle For Terra’, ‘Smart People’, ‘American Dreamz’, ‘Flight of the Phoenix’, ‘The Alamo’, ‘Gang Related’, ‘Undercover Blues’ and ‘Flesh and Bone’. Heard of them? Us neither.


‘Rollerball’ gets 3% on Rotten Tomatoes. Director John McTiernan (‘Die Hard’) never really bounced back.



‘Titanic 2’. Enough said.


Uwe Boll has been called ‘the worst director ever’ more than once.

VHS won the videotape format war against Betamax in the 1970s, but the digital age has since rendered it extinct. Remember watching your favourite films (flops or not) on your VHS VCR? RIP VHS, we salute you.


Waterworld’: with hurricanes destroying sets, stuntmen getting lost at sea and the composer and director being fired, it’s surprising that the budget was the main story (it cost $175m). It was so bad it achieved cult fame and eventually actually made money.



‘Shawshank Redemption’ flopped. It wasn't until it received multiple Oscar nominations and was rereleased that it made its budget back.


In The Social Network, instead of using split-screen, David Fincher shot most of the scenes with the Winklevoss twins with two actors - Armie Hammer and Josh Pence - and digitally grafted the former's face onto the latter’s in post-production. No one really knew who Samuel L. Jackson was until 1994, when ‘Pulp Fiction’ was released. He was 46 years old.


‘Xanadu’: a 1980 musical fantasy flop starring Olivia Newton-John. Look up the plot, it’s mental.


Yucca flat: the setting of ‘The Beast of Yucca Flats’ (1961). Bill Warren: "It may very well be the worst non-porno science fiction movie ever made."


‘Zzyzx Road’ had a domestic gross of $30.

Sean Connery wore a toupee in every James Bond film that he starred in, beginning with ‘Dr. No’ in 1962. Brad Pitt has been banned from ever entering China because of his role in the 1997 film ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ Among the first films ever made was a series of shorts in the late 1870s that showed a horse galloping. Audiences were absolutely amazed. Because of his background as an actor, Ronald Reagan is the only U.S. President to have ever worn a Nazi uniform.



Stuff we couldn’t fit in anywhere else!




CHECK IT OUT! You’ve found it! The GNI guide to what’s on in the gay venues and the gay friendly bars in Belfast, Dublin and further afield. At a glance you can see exactly what’s on every night in for example Union Street Bar, or what’s happening in the Kremlin. There are also details of your favourite monthly nights including Bubu and Cherry. For when you fancy a bit to eat, either fine dining or something more casual, check out our eating out feature on page 94 or for more information and ideas why not reach us on one of the links below. @GNImag @GNImag

Saturday Kremlin: Revolution Union Street: Tina’s Trannyoke from 4pm, Grannie’s Time Tunnel from 9pm John Hewitt: The BIG John Hewitt early session from 5.30pm, traditional Irish music Foxes Den: Sue Ellen’s golden oldie show Deer’s Head: Spice Envy: Club night with DJ Bosco Central Bar Strabane: SATBEATZ Sunday Kremlin: Industry from 10pm Union Street: The Sunday Bingo Show John Hewitt: Month of Sundays, local Belfast talent Foxes Den: Sunday night disco Envy: Drinks promos Central Bar Strabane: Karaoke with Red Rodeo

Regular Monthlys Bubu @ The Shoe Factory – 1st Friday of the month (men only) Cubcake @ The Shoe Factory – 3rd Friday of the month (men only) Cherry @ The Shoe Factory – Last Friday of the month (women only) Hotel Motel @ Room 2, Mynt – Last Friday of the month Passion @ Bellinis (Newry) – 1st Saturday of the month Men @ The Foxes Den – Last Friday of the month (men only)



(1) Kremlin – 96 Donegall Street, Belfast, BT1 2JF (2) Union Street – 8-14 Union Street, Belfast, BT1 2JF (3) Shoe Factory – Union Street, Belfast, BT1 2 JF (4) Foxes Den – (first floor) 106-110 Donegall Street, Belfast, BT1 2GZ (5) Mynt – 2-16 Dunbar Street, Belfast, BT1 2LH (6) John Hewitt – 51 Donegall Street, Belfast, BT1 2FH (7) Rainbow – 67-69 Botanic Avenue, Belfast, BT7 1JL (8) Spice @ Deer’s Head (Saturday evenings only)

(1) The Dragon - 64 Sth Great Georges Street, Dublin (3) The George - 89 South Great Georges Street, Dublin (4) Front Lounge - 33 Parliament Street, Dublin (5) Pantibar - 8 Capel Street, Dublin (6) Rule @ The Turk’s Head - 27 Parliament Street, Dublin (7) Dandelion Nightclub – 130-133 Saint Stephen's Green West, Dublin 2 (8) Andrews Lane Theatre – 9 St. Andrews Lane, Dublin 2 (9) Copper Alley – Exchange Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2



GNI Issue 5  

Issue 5 of the GNI / GayNI magazine

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