__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

GNI mag TIMEWARP FOUR DECADES OF ROCKY HORROR

+

Ru PAUL MEET THE QUEENS OF SEASON 8

LOUD & PROUD NORTH & SOUTH

Issue 21 April / May 2016 £3.95 / €4.95

M U L CA N

A G G I McSW

S ON HI R A T BE S DID YOUTU N PAST: “I POR O DO” T D A IH WHAT

+

EUROVISION OUR GUIDE TO THE GAYEST SHOW ON EARTH

Y B R L E CO KELL

EXCLUSIVE!

E OOD S W U T M S E WE STAR N N N E R I O E VIV THE P M A D OF

CELEBS / FASHION / MUSIC / NEWS / REVIEWS / MOVIES / FITNESS / HOME / FOOD & DRINK


Lunns.com


Trade in, trade up or buy a previously owned watch of distinction The Pre-Owned Collection at Lunn’s is a range of previously owned prestige watches. The collection has been selected for its quality and character by our expert buyers. Each watch has been restored to pristine condition ready for you to wear and enjoy. The Pre-Owned Collection offers you the opportunity to own a watch of distinction, at the right price, with a one year guarantee.


luxury is now affordable

Quality, Service, and Trust


GNI mag EDITOR Kieran Clarke kieran@lambpromotions.com MANAGING DIRECTOR Tony Day tony@lambpromotions.com DIRECTOR Fred Scott fred@lambpromotions.com FASHION EDITOR Tony Webster PHOTOGRAPHY Tony Webster & Brad McClenaghan BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Daniel May daniel@lambpromotions.com SALES EXECUTIVE David Perry david@lambpromotions.com

20

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Christopher Megrath chris@lambpromotions.com SPECIAL THANKS TO Jamie Baird / Bliain Fitzpatrick / GastroGays / Grand Opera House, Belfast / Colby Keller / Latitude, Belfast / The MAC / Eamon McAuley / Hayden McGehan / Calum McSwiggan / SarahJayne Miskelly / Peccadillo Pictures / Tom Stuart and Fuel Theatre / Diana Vickers / Mark Irwin-Watson / Aodhan Woods

40

GNI MAG is published by: Lamb Promotions Ltd 145 Holywood Road Belfast, BT4 3BE

52

Telephone | 028 90654314 Website | gnimag.com All submissions to GNI are made on the basis of permission to publish the submission in GNI and its licensed editions worldwide. In the case of a picture selection, the editor’s decision is final. Any material sent is at the owner’s 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 GNI are accurate. However we accept no liabilty for any misprints that ap-

27

pear in this magazine. You should seek professional advice prior to following any advice offered in this publication. Lamb Promotions Ltd 2015

@gnimag

@ gni@lambpromotions.com @GNImag #TeamGNI /gnimag

61


contents

EDITOR’S letter SEX TOYS We tried them so you don’t have to. Still sore tbh I AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS We catch up with writer, actor and all round gorgeous human being Tom Stuart

STYLE

48

FASHION Pants and polaroid’s – it’s Boys On Film GET THE LOOK Do we really need to spell this out?!

LIFESTYLE INTRO

@GNI MAG PREVIEW Our roundup of the newest, hottest shit around TRIED AND TESTED Film reviews, tech, and who’s treading the boards this month BLIAINE FITZPATRICK The gay guy and Grindr HAYDEN McGEHAN Our resident translad talks sex ed and misogyny

FOOD Just in time for Easter: chocolate meets Guinness. Wait – don’t run away! TRAVEL: STOCKHOLM We get the inside track on this year’s Eurovision host city FITNESS Real men getting their kit off. You’re welcome. DATING Your dating problems solved by our agony aunt Eamon McAuley INTERIORS

GNI MAG WEDDINGS

FEATURES

DAMN IT, JANET! We chat 40 years of Rocky Horror with pop supremo Diana Vickers RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE Meet the queens of season eight EUROVISION 2016 The Gastrogay guide to the gayest night of the year (no, not Christmas)

THE SEX ISSUE

COLBY KELLER That sound you hear is your jaw hitting the floor LIFE IN THE CLOSET Inside the dating world of a closeted bi guy AODHAN WOODS Surviving sexual assult CALUM MCSWIGGAN The rising star of YouTube dishes on his porn past

56

Ryan and Patrick tie the knot in the swank Glasgow Corinthian

OUTRO

HEALTH Combating stress through exercise COMING OUT Electra La Cunt shares her story

Can you feel it? Spring is in the air. After what feels like an eternity we’ve finally banished the gloom of winter. Very soon every other ad on our telly boxes will be tarting up patio furniture, so we’ve decided to preemptively stock the fridges here at GNI Towers with Pimms and lemonade, With summer right around the corner that means most of us are about to start having a lot more sex. That’s right. You do it, I do it, and I’m fairly sure the birds and bees do it too. Having it off. Getting down and dirty. Playing hide the sausage. No matter what hilariously inappropriate thing you call it, whether you are having sex or not having sex, too much or not enough, our attitudes to sex shape our lives. So who better to front our very first sex issue than the most eligible man on the planet? If you don’t know him, please surrender yourself to the nearest gay bar for immediate reeducation. With a loyal coterie of fans, devotees, and worshippers, there is no doubting that Colby Keller is the porn star to know and love. In addition to making porn for a living, Colby is an artist, a qualified anthropologist, and a self-confessed “sex nerd.” And doesn’t he look pretty on the cover? We are also extremely proud to chat with dishy YouTuber Calum McSwiggan. His channel (eatgaylove) is everything you could want, which probably explains his 50,000+ subscribers. No sex issue would be complete without acknowledging the darker side of sex. This is why we sat down with an incredibly brave young man named Aodhan Woods who suffered a horrific sexual attack at the hands of his two best friends. With his attackers starting lengthy custodial sentences, we ask Aodhan how to recover from a sexual assault. In this bumper edition we preview the queens of the newest (and so far best) season of Drag Race in Ru Paul herstory, and get the inside track on Eurovision 2016 Contest. Enjoy our first ever supplement for your gay marriage needs. Kieran Clarke GNI MAG Editor


@ gni mag Jayce @Just_Jayce

TerrenceHigginsTrust

The studies have ALREADY been

@THTorguk

rates by 30%. Long term it WILL

has the potential to revolutionise

done. #PrEP HAS reduced infection

Offering a tokenistic nod to what

save millions. @NHSEngland have

HIV prevention in the UK is

NO excuse.

Last month NHS England scrapped plans to make Truvada - the revolutionary drug that prevents HIV - available on the NHS. The National AIDS Trust called the decision to delay a decision for another 18 months “a shocking U-turn,” while The Terrence Higgins Trust said the decision was “shameful.” Many of you took to Twitter to express your shock, disbelief and sadness. Darren Scott @darren_scott

The NHS decision about #PrEP is maddening.

HIV Scotland @HIVScotland

We want to see #PrEP made

available to high risk MSM in high prevalence areas in Scotland

Matthew @Matthew_Hodson

Ryan @RyanJohnNelson

Efficacy of #PrEP has been

Shameful on @NHSEngland to

trial. We need access to #PrEPnow

U-turn that ignores all findings.

established. We don’t need another for the 1000s most vulnerable. Tom @PositiveLad

Once again the establishment, in this case @NHSEngland, have

shown that they don’t care about the health of gay, bi and other MSM

abandon rollout of #PrEP - a total

Jord Muckley @JordMuckley

The argument/evidence for

vaccination is irrefutable. #PrEP is

like a vaccination against #HIV, so if it can be stopped, then why say no? Patrick Strudwick

Westie @Westie_63

@PatrickStrud

I’m sick of the bureaucracy which

20,000 people to get help to prevent

kick #PrEP into the long grass.

England. How many people will be

allows @NHSEngland to effectively More HIV infections, less funding

them getting diabetes says NHS

given the drug that prevents HIV?

ON THE COVER

#PUPsofinstagram LOOKING AND THE HISTORY BOYS STUD (AND GNI MAG’S OFFICIAL BOYFRIEND) RUSSELL TOVEY LOOKS CUTE AF COSYING UP WITH HIS FRENCH BULLDOG ROCKY IN NYC. IF YOU’VE EVER WANTED TO FEEL JEALOUS OF A DOG, NOW IS THE TIME. 8 | GNIMAG.COM

shameful @NHSEngland.

‘INDIANA’ COLBY KELLER PHOTOGRAPED BY GABE AYALA FOR COLBY DOES AMERICA


For further information and bookings: T: +44 (0)28 9023 4888 E: thegreatroom@themerchanthotel.com


PREVIEW__ WHAT’S NEW

THE PASS @ bFI FLARE Ben A. Williams’ gay drama The Pass had its world premiere at the BFI Flare LGBT Film Festival this month. In this adaptation of John Donnelly’s critically-acclaimed West End original, Russell Tovey reprises his role as footballer Jason. With a story spread over 15 years, Jason’s promising career is thrown into question after a steamy clinch with teammate Ade (Arinze Kene) on the night before their first international match. Any film that challenges the taboos of out gay players in football can only be a good thing. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT BFI.ORG.UK/FLARE

10 | GNIMAG.COM


PREVIEW__ WHAT’S NEW

30 years since their first seminal album and the Pet Shop Boys are back with possibly their most accomplished offering to date. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have once again teamed up with producer Stuart Price to deliver a confident and catchy album that harkens back to the band’s heyday in the late 80s. Special mention goes to lead single, The Pop Kids, is a deliriously wonderful single that is already an instant classic. SUPER BY THE PET SHOP BOYS IS AVAILABLE NOW

APRIL 5 EXHIBITIONISM 50 years of Rolling Stones history will combine in the band’s first major exhibition. Join Mick Jagger, and the rest of them at the Saatchi Gallery until September. SAATCHIGALLERY. COM

APRIL 28 GAME OF THRONES After an explosive season finale last year, GoT returns to answer the big questions: Is Jon Snow alive? What the hell’s happening with Bran? Could Jorah Mormont be any hotter?! HBO.COM

APRIL 29 THE FESTIVAL OF FOOLS This much loved yearly tradition returns to the streets of Belfast over the May bank holiday weekend. Expect frolics and street theatre aplenty when it hits. FOOLSFESTIVAL. COM

MAY 4 DUBLIN GAY THEATRE Founded in 2004 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Wilde, the Dublin Gay Theatre festival showcases the best in local and international LGBT theatre. GAYTHEATRE.IE

MAY 14 EUROVISION Eurovision turns 61 this year, which means if it was a resident of Albert Square it would be ready to keel over in the Old Vic. Decant to your nearest gay bar for an evening of trashy Europop. EUROVISION.TV

GNIMAG.COM | 11


23 APR – 14 MAY 2016

The new play by Rosemary Jenkinson Directed by Jimmy Fay Starring Michael Condron, Niall Cusack, Susan Davey, Thomas Finnegan and Kerri Quinn

TICKETS FROM £10


TRIED & Tested TECH / Movies / BOOKS / stage

Drones. So hot right now. Whether it’s shooting nature documentaries in the Peak District, entertaining small children on a frosty Christmas morn, or drone bombing villages in Pakistan, you can’t go anywhere these days without hearing about drones. It is well documented that footage shot from drones accounts for at least 63% of all internet traffic*. Next to self-driving cars, drones are already changing the ways we live, work, and even shop, with Amazon Prime Air due to begin their drone delivery service later this year. Drones can also come equipped with a multitude of cameras, from the lowly megapixels to GoPro quality high def captures. So why shoot from the hip when you can shoot from the sky in glorious HD? No matter what your budget, we’ve rounded up the best drones around for you perusal. ( Just don’t come running to us when you crash your latest purchase into the neighbour’s chimney.) *Not a real statistic.

CODE BLACK DRONE £140 The Code Black is best selling drone of all time. A popular choice for amateurs and experts alike, this hefty drone utilises six-axis gyro technology for a speedy, stable flight and a guaranteed smooth landing. It can flip in the air, range as far as 100 feet away, and capture stunning GoPro-style video. Spare blades, replacement motors and more are available for the accident prone.

CHEERSON CX-10C £83 At about the size of an Oreo, the diminutive little quadcopter is the smallest commercially available camera-enabled drone in the world. It’s so small it can navigate through the tightest of spaces, and even has built-in LEDs to make night flying as simple as crashing a drone into a large body of water. With four replacement blades, the Cheerson CX-10C is ready to fly right out of the box.

HUBSAN H501S X4 FPV BRUSHLESS DRONE £323 This high-end drone uses the latest advances in drone technology to allows it to follow the remote control user wherever they go. With a twenty minute flight time on each charge, the Hubsan H501S captures real time in HD, and its powerful, durable motors allow users the chance to set the drone in one direction and allow it to run a solo course.

GNIMAG.COM | 13


2 5 -26 J U N E 2 E IKO N E X H IB

6 1 0 2 Y L U J 2 -3 R IDG E R D S - BA L LS B

- D U B LIN

ITIO N C E NTR

016

E - B E LFAST


TRIED AND TESTED__ MOVIES

HIGH-RISE

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

What it’s about:

What it’s about:

Wayne gunned down for the nth time was

1975. Outside London, neurosurgeon

Two years after Superman (Henry Cavill)

all a dream, the first of MANY this film has

Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston)

levelled half of Metropolis to stop General

to offer, most of which require a Ph.D. in

moves into a newly-built high-rise.

Zod (Michael Shannon), public spirit has

DC mythology to understand. Complicating

Initially sold as a dream of modern

turned against the Last Son of Krypton.

matters are stilted performances, bad casting,

living, it isn’t long before the

Fearing the power of an unchecked alien

questionable CGI, and storytelling designed

building’s amenities begin to break

with God-like powers, billionaire Bruce

simply to establish DC’s cinematic ambitions.

down. Caught in an uncomfortable

Wayne (Ben Affleck) decides to put a stop to

It’s no surprise that critics are falling over

middle ground between the upper

The Man of Steel before he can kill again.

themselves to write the most scathing review imaginable. If it wasn’t for Gal Gadot as

and lower floors, Laing surrenders to madness while the high-rise

Is it any good?

Wonderwoman, this long awaited slugfest

descends into all out war.

Zach Snyder opens the film with a fine (if

would be a waste of your hard-earned cash.

surreal) retelling of Batman’s origin. It’s all Is it any good?

downhill from here. Seeing mama and papa

Out NOW

Based on the acclaimed novel by J.G. Ballard, few films are audacious enough to open with a blood-splattered Tom Hiddleston barbecuing a dog on the balcony of a ruined building. It’s a credit to director Ben Wheatley for filling the ensuing two hours with enough violent and kaleidoscopic imagery to make Laing’s Alsatian hors d’oeuvres seem positively tame. High-Rise is destined to become a cult hit. It is worth the price of admission if only for Portishead’s dreamy cover of ABBA’s ‘SOS’, and the best delivery of “Right! Which one of you bastards is going to fuck me up the arse?” you will likely ever hear. OUT NOW

CLOSET MONSTER What it’s about: Oscar Madly (Connor Jessup) is desperate to escape his hometown. An aspiring makeup artist, he struggles with his absent mother and emotionally unstable father. Everything changes when Oscar

time director Stephen Dunn applies an

falls madly in love with a hunky colleague.

autobiographical brush in this charming and surrealist debut. Full marks to the

Is it any good?

propulsive soundtrack that features the likes

This offbeat Canadian coming-of-age

of Ladytron, Allie X, and Nils Frahm.

story features the vocal talents of Isabella Rossellini as a talking hamster, and

AVAILABLE NOW ON BFI PLAYER, AND

how often do you get to say that? First-

ON PECCADILLO PLAYER GNIMAG.COM | 15


TRIED AND AND TESTED TESTED__ BOOKS && THEATRE WHAT’S ON TRIED | BOOKS

THE 39 STEPS

PUCKOON

LYRIC THEATRE, BELFAST

THE MAC,

MARCH 29 - APRIL 16

APRIL 20 - APRIL 30

In this faithful and wildly inventive retelling of the classic Hitchcock

Based on the 1963 novel by legendary British comedian Spike

thriller, a Harris tweed wearing, pipe-smoking everyman is thrown

Milligan, Big Telly’s critically-acclaimed production of Puckoon

into a world of espionage, vaudeville and murder most foul when a

returns for another tour the UK and Ireland.

BELFAST

Set in the titular Irish village in 1922, the residents of Puckoon

female spy is murdered in his flat. The 39 Steps is peopled by a dizzying number of policemen, secret

wake to find that the map of Ireland has been redrawn overnight,

agents, and femme fatales, all of whom are portrayed by a tiny cast of

with the border between North and South cutting the village in

4. Michael Johnston’s performance is deeply indebted to the one made

two. With drink 30% cheaper in one corner of the pub, life in the

famous by Robert Donat in 1935 while Hannah Brackstone-Brown

newly divided Puckoon is thrown into an uproar. Director Zoë

channels the spirit of Madeline Carroll as the prissy Pamela. The show

Seaton describes the production as “the perfect blend of chaos and

is stolen by the double act of Michael Condron and Liam Jeavons, who

comedy.” The extremely dextrous company of six actor-musicians

play every other part between them with wit, charm, and creativity. It

go hammer and tongs with Milligan’s absurd comic work. Be sure

may have a criminally short run, but The 39 Steps is not to be missed.

to catch Puckoon before it finishes its tour in Glor, Ennis on June 4.

WESLO’S HOME-O-EROTIC COOKBOOK WESLEY SMOOTH / WESLO PUBLISHING / £27.99 Do you like your food piled high with lashings of

look — assuming you haven’t been hospitalised

innuendo? If you just shouted “Yasss!” on a train

with melon-baller induced injuries — but this one

packed with commuters then boy do we have a

goes a step further by accompanying each recipe

treat for you. Weslo’s Homo-O-Erotic Cookbook

with a picture of a dishy hunk. Bellissima! etc.

features over 100 tantalising recipes. If your

16 | GNIMAG.COM

Chapters include Rise and Shine (breakfasts),

culinary skills piqued with the perfect Pot Noodle

Afternoon Delight (lunch), Foreplay (starters), On

then fear not, each step of the process is carefully

the Side (sides), All The Way (entrees), A Sweet

explained. It’s traditional for cookbooks to show

Finish (desserts), What Happened Was… (cocktails)

you how your plate of gastronomic guff should

and Recovery (smoothies and protein shakes).


COLUMN__ BLÍAIN FITZPATRICK

MEAN GIRLS: THE MUSICAL

Tina Fey swears it’s happening. So fetch etc. LEGAL POPPERS

Excuse us while we throw an entire bottle in our face in celebration

Sex and the single man.

Blíain Fitzpatrick

THE BOY GEORGE BIOPIC

We agree, Gazza. The boy playing you *was* too pretty JADEN SMITH

So hot right now. Tearing down the gender binary and looking fan-fucking-tastic THE POP KIDS

10/10. Would bang AND recommend to a (gay) friend. Playing on a loop in your nearest gay bar from now until the eventual heat death of the universe

Let’s face it: as human beings, we

memory, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that

all have wants and needs. No matter how

until recently young gay men had few role

old you are our sexual appetites demand

models and even fewer guidelines on how

our attention. How we choose to deal with

to behave. Times have moved on, it’s now

our cravings provides a lot of insight into

time attitudes moved on too.

the way men’s minds work. Take Grindr. Every gay man under the

NHS ENGLAND

Scrapping plans to make PrEP available on the NHS will cost lives. #PrEPnow EUROVISION

Drink in hand, cackle at the ready, waiting for those “nul points” to come pouring in #MASC4MASC

Covered in glitter. Blind with makeup. Looking like you’ve fallen over in Lidl “SPRING”

@Metoffice Where’s the sun??

in the UK where marriage equality is

sun knows Grindr is primarily for hooking

still not a reality. The demand for legally

up. Yes? Not quite. I have always had an

recognised partnerships that aren’t civil

issue with the assumption that what a

unions is huge, so why when we are so

guy with a Grindr profile really wants is a

close to winning the right to marry do we

passport to unlimited sexual fulfilment. But

kick the legs out from under the stool?

there are those out there, myself included, who use it for entirely different reasons.

LOVE HATE

Northern Ireland is last remaining part

Last week I found myself under fire for

People have the right to live how they see fit, and so by that logic are free to fuck whomever they like, but I can’t help

my “naive” approach to the world of dating.

wondering if winning the right to marriage

Trust me, if I had a tenner for every time

equality while throwing monogamy out

someone told me “Promiscuity is the new

the window doesn’t defeat the purpose?

monogamy”, I could probably retire.

When you cut out the religious aspect of

Whether I like it or not, promiscuity

marriage what’s left is a bond between two

is the default setting for the majority of

people who have promised to love only

mankind. But promiscuity is not some

each other for the rest of their lives. There

chronic addiction, it’s a mindset that

really is no room for flexibility here.

has been encouraged over time until we

Weakening that bond by sleeping around is

reach the point where partnered guys will

the sexual equivalent of having your cake

happily sleep around because logic tells

and smearing it all over your greedy face.

them that’s okay. This negative feedback loop has become the new standard. I for one am supportive of all forms

Take a straw poll of a dozen gay men. Chances are that those of them who cheat on their partners rationalise what they

of sexual liberation. So long as we put

do by saying “If I can’t get my sexual

protection like condoms and PrEP firmly

kicks from my partner, I’m going to find

between ourselves and harm’s way then

it elsewhere.” I’m sorry, but doesn’t that

by all means go forth and rut like MDMA-

totally devalue what love is? Don’t get

enhanced rabbits. If you are single, I mean.

me wrong, I fully support and admire

These days you’d be forgiven for thinking

the unshackling of sexual potential that

that “monogamy” was a word we’d all

modern gay life provides, but when it

tricked ourselves into forgetting.

comes to bending the rules of a devoted

But why might this be, I hear you

MOVIE BUST UPS

ask. It’s no secret that for most human

Batman vs. Superman Ironman vs. Captain America Us vs. bored now

history gay people only existed on the

relationship where do we draw the line? If all we see is an endless buffet of sweaty torsos, can we ever enjoy the main course?

fringes of society. For many men, the age of criminalisation is an all too recent

BLÍAIN

GNIMAG.COM | 17


COLUMN__ HAYDEN McGEHAN

Everybody take some rubbers.

Hayden McGehan CRUSH SIGH. IS THERE ANYONE MORE PERFECT THAN TROYE SIVAN? WELL, APPARENTLY, YES. IN A NEW INTERVIEW WITH OUT MAGAZINE THE 20-YEAR-OLD AUSSIE HEARTTHROB CREDITED HIS “BEAUTIFUL BOYFRIEND” FOR HELPING HIM MAKE HIS BREAKTHROUGH ALBUM BLUE NEIGHBOURHOOD A REALITY. WE ARE QUITE LITERALLY DYING OF JEALOUSY OVER HERE. WHEN THE WORLD’S TWINKIEST YOUTUBER DEDICATES AN ALBUM TO US WE WILL KNOW WE’VE MADE IT. REACHES FOR THE VODKA*

HOW GAY IS... JAMES FRANCO

I came out swinging. The doctor

fully appreciate ‘people not parts’ being

collected me, took one look between my

a tagline to live by - both in the bedroom

legs and labeled me female. For 23 years

and on the streets. Sex isn’t about what’s

that was how I lived and learned. From

in somebody’s pants, it’s about the person

what I remember, the first 10 or so years

and their emotions. As a transman I am

were okay. We’re all kind of the same before

hyper-aware of the fact that what’s in my

puberty starts to do its thing.

pants isn’t the same as most other guys’, but

Then comes sex-ed, feelings, insecurity, and confusion. From learning about the pill to putting

have any less real. Discovering the gender spectrum places

condoms on fake penises, sex education

me right down the far end of being a man.

had me feeling like I was pretty abnormal.

And though there are guys I can level with,

I had no sex drive. I thought that the

there are also those with a shit attitude

sex act was disgusting. I believed that

to women that I definitely cannot. Man-

masturbation was only okay for guys,

exclusive groups and spaces can wear you

and that I was going to be a virgin forever

the fuck down.

because I was crushing on girls and girl/

As one of the guys I’m expected to join

girl sex wasn’t a thing. This same mind-

in, to talk dick size, the girls I’ve slept

set continued into my early twenties. It

with, to promote gender role nonsense

was only when I started discovering more

like ‘women can’t drive’. The pressure to

about myself and my gender identity that

be as misogynistic as my cis brothers is

anything started to shift.

overwhelming. When you’re living as cis,

Now that I’m six months on testosterone

you don’t really think about these issues.

I’m starting to look back at everything that

Life and sex are a wild ride. Boys are blue.

being a transman has taught me, like a

Girls are pink. And it is what it is. This

maturity towards sex. Sex is everywhere.

adventure has for sure complicated things,

But for the most part the representation of

though at the same time it has offered a

it pushes the idea that sex is only meant for

refreshing sense of freedom. I now know

Adam and Eve and is all about the orgasm.

my place in the world (and, thanks to a

Orgasms aren’t the only reason for a ACCORDING TO THE MAN HIMSELF, GAY “UP TO THE POINT OF INTERCOURSE,” WHATEVER THAT MEANS. IN A REVEALING INTERVIEW WITH ROLLING STONE THE CALIFORNIA NATIVE OPENED UP ABOUT HIS “ARTISTIC PREOCCUPATION” WITH GAY MEN AND LGBT STORIES. FRANCO’S NEWEST FILM KING COBRA — ABOUT THE 2007 MURDER OF PORN DIRECTOR BRYAN KOCIS — HAD ITS WORLD PREMIERE AT TRIBECA IN NYC THIS MONTH. PREVIOUS CREDITS INCLUDE THE GAY BEAT POET ALLEN GINSBERG IN 2010’S HOWL, AND A STARRING ROLE IN GLORIFIED PORNO INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR. SO… QUITE GAY?

I know that my junk doesn’t make the sex I

night of passion. Sex is for girls, boys and

certain injection, I get to party hard). Sex can be straight-up confusing. But as

everyone in between. STIs are not limited

a passing transman with (terrifying) white

to P+V sex. Sexuality is fluid. It is okay to

male privilege, I feel as though I have

just fool around and make each other feel

the power to do something about it by

good. Safe-words rule. Respect is cool. Not

educating my new brothers. And I get to do

wanting sex is a-okay. And consensual sex

so while standing beside the sisterhood, cis

is important no matter how you identify.

and trans encompassing.

Without exploring the world of trans, I wouldn’t know any of the above. I’d still

Catch ya on the flipside,

be living clueless and terrified of a dick coming anywhere near me. I get sex now.

Hayden


I understand it. I’m in a place where I can

lllads.tumblr.com

GNIMAG.COM | 19


DAMN IT, JANET!

(l-r) BEN FREEMAN,DIANA VICKERS, PAUL CATTERMOLE, LIAM TAMNE

20 | GNIMAG.COM


FEATURE__ ROCKY HORROR

Last year The Rocky Horror Picture Show turned 40. With a new show selling out theatres around the UK, we get the inside goss from pop starlet Diana Vickers. Altogether now... it’s just a jump to the left!

Everyone remembers their first time watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I was 13-years-old, and newly out to myself. One look at Tim Curry dressed in a basque, fishnettights, platform heels and made up to the nines connected with me in a way nothing had before or since. Besides holding the record for the longest-running film release in cinema history, since its debut in 1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show has grown to become a cult hit of mega proportions, and rightly so. “I SEE YOU TREMBLE IN ANTICI... Originally performed in 1973 as a stage musical under the slightly shorter name of ‘The Rocky Horror Show,’ the show opened to great success at London’s Royal Court Theatre. A satire of vintage horror and science-fiction monster films, Rocky Horror found a welcoming home in a 1970s Britain in the midst of major social upheaval. Its liberal use of rock ’n’ roll and the rising importance of gender identity meant it resonated well with its 1970s audience. Within a year of its stage debut, a film adaptation of the stage show was already well under way, with a cast that numbered several of the show’s original actors, including Tim Curry, Nell Campbell, and Patricia Quinn. In the film as in the play, and in the finest B-movie tradition, The Rocky Horror Picture Show begins on a dark and stormy night. The movie begins with lovebirds Brad Majors and Janet Weiss professing their love for each other at a friend’s wedding. On the way to meet their friend and former tutor Dr. Everett Scott their car breaks down, forcing them to seek shelter in a nearby castle, a castle that just happens to be hosting the Annual Transylvanian Convention... Brad and Janet are introduced to the Transylvanians by the hunchbacked Riff-Raff, his sister Magenta, and their tapdancing groupie Columbia. Immediately the floor show breaks into the film’s most famous number: The Time Warp. It isn’t long before Dr. Frank’n’Furter makes his grand entrance. This mad scientist, “sweet transvestite”, and the host of the evening’s festivities, was played with demented glee by British thesp Tim Curry. In his violently kitsch lab, Frank’n’Furter unveils his latest creation: a bodybuilder named ‘Rocky Horror’ who Frank built himself. Dressed in nothing but a pair of golden briefs, Rocky has “the Charles Atlas seal

WORDS | EVAN ARTHURS IMAGES | SEAN WEBB

of approval”. The story soon descends into murder, sex, and cannibalism. It isn’t long before the truth is revealed: that Frank’n’Furter and his company are aliens from the planet GNIMAG.COM | 21


FEATURE__ ROCKY HORROR

DIANA VICKERS AS JANET WEISS, BEN FREEMAN AS BRAD MAJORS

Transsexual, in the galaxy of Transylvania. When the film premiered in August 1975 it made household names of its cast of relative unknowns, with Barry Bostwick as Brad, Susan Sarandon as Janet, Tim Curry as Frank’n’Furter, Patrica Quinn as Magenta, Little Nell as Columbia and Rocky Horror writer Richard O’Brien as the manservant Riff-Raff. It was also considered to be a critical and commercial failure. It was only when the film became a fixture on the midnight movie circuit across the pond that its cult status as a rock and roll embracing, sexually dynamic classic was born. Over the next few year, audiences at midnight screenings around the world began ad-libbing lines of dialogues, which they would shout out to interact with the film, traditions that have since transferred to the live stage productions. If you have ever been to a live performance, you will know that the show is just one part of this unique experience. Decades after its release, fans still show up at to shows dressed as their favourite characters. Some fans went as far as bringing their own props to mime what was happening onstage. 22 | GNIMAG.COM

From ad-libbing lines of dialogues, to throwing rice on the stage, the audience is a huge part of what makes The Rocky Horror Picture Show so special.

Since then, a number of famous Rocky Horror traditions have been born, including throwing rice during the opening wedding scene, holding up candles during ‘There’s A Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)’, and squirting water pistols during the storm. (Almost all of these traditions are now severely frowned upon by most official performances. Dressing up is, however, encouraged.) ... PATION” These days Rocky Horror is more popular than ever. Later this year it will have an all-star remake starring Laverne Cox as Frank’n’Furter (yes, you read that correctly) and Adam Lambert as the doomed motorcyclist Eddie in a role made famous by Meat Loaf. Even Tim Curry -- Rocky Horror’s most famous alumnus -- will return to play the Narrator. A brand new stage production of the show is also currently touring the UK. In this new production stars of the X Factor, Emmerdale and S Club 7 unite to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the critically acclaimed musical. In this production, Janet is played by Diana Vickers,


FEATURE__ ROCKY HORROR

PAUL CATTERMOLE AS EDDIE, DOMINC ANDERSON AS ROCKY

GNIMAG.COM || 23 23 GNIMAG.COM


FEATURE__ ROCKY HORROR who audiences will no doubt recognise from her stint on

YOU ARE STEPPING INTO SOME SERIOUSLY BIG SHOES

The X Factor. Fresh from S Club 7’s sold out Bring It All Back

BY TAKING OVER FROM SUSAN SARANDON. I KNOW

Tour, Paul Cattermole will be treading the boards as rock n’

YOU HAVEN’T MET HER YET BUT DO YOU FEEL UNDER

roll renegade Eddie, and as wheelchair-bound Dr. Scott. Ben

PRESSURE TO MAKE SURE YOUR PERFORMANCE LIVED UP

Freeman aka Scott Windsor from Emmerdale and from various

TO THE ONE SHE MADE FAMOUS? “I love Susan Sarandon! I’m such a big fan.

other West End shows like Legally Blonde, Wicked, and the UK’s touring production of Happy Days trades Fonzy’s trademark quiff for Brad’s thick-rimmed glasses. All three will be forced to contend with The Voice’s Liam Tamne as Frank’n’Furter; Kristian Lavercombe, who is reprising his role from the previous UK tour as Riff Raff; and the rolling roster of narrators. It is a certifiable musical extravaganza features all of its famous musical classics including ‘Science Fiction/Double Feature’, ‘Dammit Janet’ and the timeless ‘Time-Warp.’ To find out more about this production we sat down for a quick chat with Diana Vickers. HI DIANA. YOU’VE PERFORMED ALL AROUND THE UK, ESPECIALLY YOUR AWARD-WINNING TURN IN JIM CARTWRIGHT’S THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE. YOU ARE FAR FROM BEING A STRANGER TO THE STAGE. DO YOU STILL GET NERVOUS BEFORE STEPPING OUT ON STAGE? “I’ve been doing musicals since I was younger, but obviously not to the professional standard of a big West End show. During rehearsals for Rocky Horror, I was finding it really difficult. A lot of the company had done it before and felt a lot of pressure. By the end of rehearsals I felt like I’d come such a long way, but at the beginning, it was really daunting. “The audience is such a huge part of Rocky Horror. I was so terribly nervous about what to expect from them that during rehearsals the director came over to me and said: ‘Diana

The story soon descends into murder, sex, and cannibalism. It isn’t long before the truth is revealed: that Frank ’n’ Furter and his company are aliens from the planet Transsexual, in the galaxy of Transylvania.

She was fantastic as Janet. Have I taken any characteristics from her? I guess a tiny bit. I wouldn’t say I’ve based my performance on hers. You have to put your own spin on it. “The major difference between our performances is probably in terms of my singing voice. I sing things a lot more of a rocky, sexy vixen sort of way. I love comedy too, that’s my thing, any opportunity I get I try and be funny I take it.” YOU ARE LUCKY TO WORK WITH A PRETTY FANTASTIC CAST, INCLUDING SOME ROCKY HORROR REGULARS. WHAT’S IT BEEN LIKE WORKING WITH YOUR CASTMATES? “Oh God, I have such a talented group of people around me! Liam Tamne who plays Frankenfurter is such a talented man. I just love him. I’m very, very, very close to him. We have such a great bond. He makes me laugh every single night, like smudging my lipstick on my face during a show. He’s so cheeky! He knows I’m the weak link when it comes to laughter. “Ben Freeman who plays Brad is great fun. He’s fantastic. His take on Brad is so funny. Honestly, everyone is fantastic.” ROCKY HORROR IS KNOWN FOR HAVING SOME OF THE CATCHIEST SONGS AROUND. WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE TO PERFORM? “Oh, there are so many! I enjoy doing ‘Eddie’ because it’s the point where all of the company is on the stage and it’s very funny

calm down, they aren’t going to eat you alive!’

and the choreography is fantastic. I also

It was terrifying! So that was a big challenge.

really enjoy doing ‘Floor Show/I’m Going

Nothing can prepare you for that first time you

Home’ because that’s the moment when

walk out on stage. But I’m used to it now, I’ve

Janet really comes out of her shell. It’s so

conquered my fears!

burlesque!”

“I do still get nervous, especially right before the second half, which is odd because you’d think it’d be easier. But in the second half, you have the bedroom scenes which are quite kinky, and you have ‘Touch Me’ which is always a big number to do. There’s lots of jumping around and singing at the same time, so you do always feel a

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW IS ON TOUR NOW

little bit more nervous about that.”

FOR TICKETS VISIT ROCKYHORROR.CO.UK/TOUR

24 | GNIMAG.COM


H

M

Y

D I G R Y B

Strength has a greater purpose Lyndon Court Belfast BT1 6EF 07724 705216

hybridfitnessni.co.uk


DONNELLYGROUP.CO.UK

NEW

1.2 POP

£149 DEPOSIT

£149 PER MONTH BASED ON PERSONAL

CONTRACT HIRE

DONNELLY BROS

DONNELLY BROS

028 9590 0219

028 8744 0703

MALLUSK WAY, NEWTOWNABBEY, CO. ANTRIM

DONNELLY M1 COMPLEX, 181 BALLYGAWLEY ROAD, DUNGANNON

DONNELLY BROS

DONNELLY & TAGGART

028 6633 0378

028 7122 9372

101 IRVINESTOWN ROAD, ENNISKILLEN, CO. FERMANAGH

CAMPSIE IND EST., EGLINTON, CO. L/DERRY

Fuel consumption in mpg (l/100km) and CO2 emissions for 500 range: Urban 49.6 (5.7) - 64.2 (4.4) Extra Urban 65.7 (4.3) - 78.5 (3.6), and Combined 58.9 (4.8) - 72.4 (3.9). CO2 emissions 113 - 90g/ km. )XHOFRQVXPSWLRQDQG&2ðJXUHVEDVHGRQVWDQGDUG(8WHVWVIRUFRPSDUDWLYHSXUSRVHV DQGPD\QRWUHñHFWUHDOGULYLQJUHVXOWV. New Fiat 500 1.2 pop white Standard paint all other colours are chargeable, MRRP £10,890

based on a 48 month personal contract hire agreement of one payment of £149 plus 47 payments of £149 per month restricted to no more than 6,000 miles per annum Prices correct at time of printing. Finance provided by Fiat Financial Services, PO Box 4465, Slough, SL1 0RW. Fiat Financial Services is a trading style of FCA Automotive Services UK Ltd. Finance available to individuals aged 18 years or over, subject to status. Written quotations available on YLX\LZ[0UKLTUP[PLZTH`ILYLX\PYLK;OPZVќLYPZUV[H]HPSHISLPUJVUQ\UJ[PVU^P[OHU`V[OLYVќLY6ќLYJVYYLJ[H[[PTLVMW\ISPJH[PVU6ќLYTH`IL]HYPLK and withdrawn at any time. Subject to availability. Models shown for illustration purposes only.


girl you better werk!

FEATURE__ RU PAUL SEASON 8: MEET THE QUEENS

WORDS | CHRISTOPHER MEGRATH IMAGES | LOGO TV

You ready kitty girl? Season 8 of the worldwide phenomenon that is RuPaul’s Drag Race is back with some of the fiercest queens and sickening looks that America has to offer! Ru is back on her search for a queen with charm, talent and looks to be crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar. GNIMAG.COM | 27


FEATURE__ RU PAUL SEASON 8: MEET THE QUEENS

1. 2. 3.

Acid Betty Cynthia Lee Fontaine Naysha Lopez

OVER SEVEN INCREDIBLE SERIES, Ru

based fail. Episode 1, the 100th episode, set a

Paul’s Drag Race has gifted us with more

new all-time high that forthcoming seasons

non-stop drama, death-drops, wig snatches

will struggle to better.

and high-fashion runways than we’ve ever seen before. Now, thanks to the acid-tongued and comedic talents that host RuPaul has

Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross

handpicked from thousands of entries, season

Matthews - have their nails well and truly

8 promises to be a standout year.

polished this season, and they haven’t

With a wealth of incredible talent and

4.

Kim Chi

5.

Bob the Drag Queen

6.

Thorgy Thor Chi Chi DeVayne

8.

Laila McQueen

9.

Naomi Smalls

held back. Michelle is throwing challenges

queens who had us enticed from the moment

left, right and centre, the guest judges are

they were announcedy, this season has no

shadier than ever, and Ru herself is taking

clear victor (unlike the inevitable win that

no excuses (witness the ruthless and now

was Bianca Del Rio back in season 6). We

iconic sashaying of two girls who failed to

haven’t seen this much talent and personality

deliver on - ironically - Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will

in Drag Race herstory, making season 8 the

Survive’). Ditto for guest judges Faith Evans,

most promising season yet.

Nicole Richie and Gigi Hadid, proving that no

Season 8 is also the first year to include queens from all around the world. Anime

7.

Ru PAUL - JOINED BY past judges

queen is ever safe. (Can we also talk about how gorgeous Michelle looks?!)

queen Kim Chi hails from Korea, Chi Chi DeVayne from Texas and Cynthia Lee

UNTUCKED! IS BACK FOR another year,

Fontaine from Puerto Rico. (Think aUnited

maintaining the format put to such great use

Nations conference, but with less sass). Before

in season 7. Thefly-on-the-wall style gives the

the first episode of the new season even aired,

queens a chance to appear in more than just

early favourite Bob the Drag Queen was

their drag persona, the viewers also feeling

booked in the UK, while Chi Chi flew off to

connected to the rising stars. Season 8 of

Europe and Kim Chi explored Asia.

Untucked! kicks every Wednesday, filled with

Come through, continental queens!

more hard truths, cat fights, backstabbing and eye rolling than we can handle.

10. Derrick Barry 11. Dax Exclamation Point 12. Robbie Turner

SEASON 7 LEFT A lot to be desired, whereas within the first 20 minutes of season 8

NO ONE CAN SAY at this stage who will

we saw a dramatic and sketchy history unfold

be crowned top queen in the live final due to

between Thorgy Thor and Acid Betty. We have

every queen being on top of their game. Past

everything crossed that this escalates into

queens, and even some winners, couldn’t

Alyssa vs Coco level rivalry. We also saw the

compete with the talent and personalities

entrance of Drag Race’s historic 100th queen

RuPaul has picked. Season 8 comes with the

in the shape of Britney impersonator Derrick

fiercest, talented, hilarious bunch of shady

Berry, Drag Race alumni returning for an

queens America has to offer.

iconic photoshoot, a runway challenge based

Never before has Drag Race seemed so

on looks past, and a lipsync battle to the tune

polished: from the queens to the judges, the

of Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’. And all this in the

proof is in the ratings, with the 100th episode

first episode. The first goddamn episode!

being the most watched ever. The little drag

It’s fair to say that no previous season has

show on LogoTV has moved from the fringes

been packed with this much content from the

to be a mainstream hit. We can’t wait to see

get go, and all signs point to season 8 being the

what else Ru and the queens deliver. Werk!

fiercest yet. We’ve seen the queens pushed to

28 | GNIMAG.COM

their physical and emotional limits, from on

Ru PAUL’S DRAG RACE SEASON 8 AIRS

stage break downs to an incredible roller-skate

MONDAY NIGHTS ON LOGO.


1 2 3 4


5 6 7 8


9 10 11 12


STAG AND HEN PARTIES

TAILORED TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS PACKAGES FROM ONLY â‚Ź75pp Accommodation, Day time activities & Night time madness all included

00353 876 553060 / info@partycarlingford.com www.partycarlingford.com www.partyIreland.ie

first floor victoria square, belfast first floor victoria square, belfast t 028 90326098 t 028 90326098

first floor victoria square, belfast t 028 90326098

new menu now available wagamama.com.ni

follow us follow us /wagamama northern ireland /wagamama northern ireland /wagamama belfast wagamama.com.ni /wagamama belfast


FEATURE__ THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2016

If all you know of Eurovision is Buck’s Fizz ripping skirts, ABBA slaying Brighton, and Saint Cliff then you don’t know Eurovision. From the hosts to the acts, the inside goss to the biggest shakeup in voting history, GNI MAG’s Gastrogays get the inside track on the 61st Eurovision Song Contest.

WORDS | GASTROGAYS IMAGES | EUROVISION

GNI MAG | 35

GNIMAG.COM | 33


FEATURE__ THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2016

The musical highlight of the year is almost upon us.

pop track titled ‘You’re Not Alone’. Bringing back the You Decide

No, not the Grammy’s, it’s not even The X Factor final – it’s

format after a six year break and putting the selection process

the Eurovision Song Contest! Now in its 61st year, and with a

firmly back in the voting public’s hands is likely to pay off for the

worldwide audience of over 500 million worldwide, the Contest

UK, who have previously sent big names like Bonnie Tyler and

is more popular than ever. It’s camp, it’s fun, it’s everything you

Engelbert Humperdinck to the Contest to often woeful results.

could ever want from a cheesy europop competition.

Who could forget last year’s cringeworthy finish at almost at the

This year the competition returns to Sweden thanks to Måns

bottom of the table for Electro Velvet?

Zelmerlöw who (with an Avicii-style anthem, never-before-seen

Speaking of dramatic changes, this year the Swedish

visuals and chiseled good looks) stormed to victory last year in

broadcasters who are producing the show have announced one

Vienna. Next month the reigning champ will co-host the Contest

of the biggest shake-ups to the contest in its history: a complete

in Stockholm alongside Petra Mede (who eagle-eyed viewers

overhaul of the voting process. Until now, most of us spent the

will remember as the 2013 presenter). The Swedes have been one of the hottest contenders in recent memory. At the turn of the Millennium, Sweden were the surprise winners with Charlotte Nielsen, following fellow diva Carola’s win in 1991, the gold-shoed Hereys brothers in 1984, and of course the iconic ABBA victory with ‘Waterloo’ in 1974. Throwing the 2012 winner Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’ into the mix, Sweden now sit on the cusp of matching the record set by Ireland who have won the Contest seven times compared to Sweden’s more modest six. For Ireland, some will say the finger has finally been pulled out following the threat of having its pristine title taken away. This year’s entry is former Westlife star Nicky Byrne, who will be performing ‘Sunlight’. The track is co-written with Lord of the Dance composer Ronan Hardiman, and Wayne Hector, a songwriter best known for his work with Nicki Minaj, One Direction and Olly Murs. ‘Sunlight’ has been well received by fans.

The UK reaches the Eurovision final every single year, not because they are consistently amazing (they aren’t) but as one of the so-called Big Five the UK is granted a space in every final . Who could forget last year’s cringeworthy finish at almost at the bottom of the table for Electro Velvet?

It’s a refreshing departure from recent Irish

night of the Eurovision final labouring through two hours of results, with clear favourites often obvious from the start. This year each country’s independent panel of experts will vote and their points, ranging from one to twelve, will be delivered via satellite by each country’s spokespeople, but then the total public vote will be added in a shock new move that will rank each country by total points received. Working from the lowest-scoring country to the highest will mean huge leaps and jumps across the leaderboard in the final part of the Contest, injecting a new energy, drama and excitement. Eurovision has delivered some historic moments to living rooms around the world, particularly its celebration of LGBT culture. Dana International became the first transsexual act in the Contest’s history, winning in Birmingham in 1997 with her legendary hit ‘Diva’. Conchita Wurst - the bearded drag queen with a Bond theme ballad to rival Adele’s - was a runaway winner two years ago, while Eurovision’s first and second gay kiss were broadcast

entries and stands a good chance of winning. Despite a back-to-

the year before that. Conchita may have been the most famous

back winning streak in the 90’s, Ireland has continuously fallen

drag queen to compete, but she wasn’t the first. Ukraine’s Verka

short over the past 15 years. Only Jedward saved face with their

Serduchka came second place in Helskinki in 2007, whilst in

joke act ‘Lipstick’, which saw the Dublin duo finish eighth in

2002 Slovenia sent Sestre, a cabin crew-themed trio who Sir Terry

Düsseldorf in 2011.

Wogan suggested should be hired by Richard Branson.

The UK reaches the Eurovision final every single year, not because they are consistently amazing (they aren’t) but as one of the so-called Big Five the UK is granted a space in every final alongside Italy, France, Spain and Germany. This is thanks to

THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2016

their contributions to the European Broadcasting Union, who

Hosts: Måns Zelmerlöw & Petra Mede

organise the Contest. This year, former The Voice rivals Joe and

Venue: Globen Arena, Stockholm

Jake are the British entry. They will be competing with an upbeat

Grand Final: 14th May 8pm (BBC One and RTE 1)

34 | GNIMAG.COM


FEATURE__ THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2016

Eurovision Facts: MORE PEOPLE WATCH EUROVISION (197M VIEWERS) THAN WATCH THE SUPER BOWL (160M VIEWERS)!

UKRAINE

SPAIN

Having withdrawn from the contest in

A change of pace for power ballad-

2015 due to the ongoing conflict in the

loving Spain, but proving to be

country, Ukraine is back with a highly-

extremely popular amongst fans.

charged, haunting track, the noticeably

Barrai’s ‘Say Yeah’ will annoy you and

political ‘1944’ by artist Jamala.

have you singing along simultaneously,

Traditionally, Ukraine has sent

this will split opinion.

high energy electro and pop bangers

ABBA WERE RUNAWAY CHAMPIONS WHEN THE UK HOSTED IN BRIGHTON IN 1974, AND YET THE UK DIDN’T AWARD THEM A SINGLE VOTE. UNTIL 1999 EVERY COUNTRY WAS OBLIGED TO SING IN THEIR NATIONAL LANGUAGE, WHICH GAVE A SNEAKY

that go down a storm, but given the

UPPER-HAND TO THE IRELAND ACT WHO

circumstances, the country has played

COULD SING IN IRISH OR ENGLISH.

the position they’ve been dealt with a song that some claim throws daggers

NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW THAT ABBA

at Russia with a defiant chorus sung in

ATTEMPTED TO ENTER THE CONTEST

Crimean Tatar.

THE YEAR BEFORE THEIR ICONIC WIN, BUT FAILED TO PASS THE SWEDISH SELECTION PROCESS.

DENMARK Denmark could send Dustin the Turkey to be honest. Why? Though Lighthouse X has a strong song in ‘Soldiers of Love’, the stats speak for themselves: on two separate occasions when Sweden hosted, its neighbour Denmark took home the title. Coincidence? Maybe… ICELAND

SUNG IN ENGLISH. THE LAST NONENGLISH LANGUAGE ACT TO WIN THE CONTEST WAS SERBIA IN 2007. FRENCH IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE OF EUROVISION. DURING THE FOUNDING OF THE CONTEST, FRENCH WAS CONSIDERED TO

Though they’ve come close a few times,

BE THE LANGUAGE OF DIPLOMACY.

Iceland is one of the longest-waiting countries gunning for that illusive first

EUROVISION’S ARRIVAL OFTEN MEANS

win. Could 2016 be the year they finally

THE BUILDING OF ENTIRELY NEW

grab the top spot? Greta Salóme, who

STADIUMS. FOR THEIR HOSTING DUTIES

competed for the Nordic country in

IN 2011 THE GERMANS SIDE DIDN’T

2012 as part of a duo, returns to try her

BUILD A NEW STADIUM, INSTEAD THEY

luck solo this time with the incredibly

BUILT ANOTHER STADIUM TO REHOUSE

catchy ‘Hear Them Calling’, which is impeccably current and uses powerful

ALBANIA

interactive visuals, not dissimilar to last

Eneda Tarifa was one of the very first

year’s success story for Sweden.

acts confirmed for the Contest last year

There’s also returning contestants

A HUGE AMOUNT OF ENTRIES ARE NOW

and her track powerful rock ballad

for Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina,

‘Përrallë’ will be performed in English

Bulgaria and Malta.

as ‘Fairytale Love’. Albania usually slide

THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM WHOSE STADIUM THEY COMMANDEERED. SPEAKING OF ‘NUN POINTS’, IN 2015 AUSTRIA BECAME THE FIRST AND ONLY COUNTRY TO RECEIVE NOT ONE SINGLE POINT WHILST ACTING AS HOST. RUDE!

GNIMAG.COM | 35


FEATURE__ THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2016

WON IN SPECTACULAR STYLE, BUT

into the final comfortably but have yet

GERMANY

SO DID SPAIN, THE NETHERLANDS,

to clinch a top 10 spot, so we think this

Following last year’s joint last position,

AND FRANCE. ALL FOUR COUNTIRES

might stand a good chance.

Germany was left red-faced with nul

RECEIVED THE SAME NUMBER OF

points. Not without controversy,

POINTS. THE RESULT WAS A FOUR-WAY

for two years running Germany has

SPLIT. THE HAGUE WERE CHOSEN TO

switched acts but Jamie-Lee Kriewitz

HOST THE FOLLOWING YEAR.

has a haunting number in ‘Ghost’. If she hits every note and enchants the

THE UK HAS THE DUBIOUS TITLE OF

crowd this could very well saddle itself

MOST RUNNER-UP VICTORIES IN THE

within the top ten on the night.

HISTORY OF THE CONTEST, COMING IN SECOND PLACE A RECORD 15 TIMES! NO NATION WANTS TO END UP WITH

UNITED KINGDOM

THE DREADED ‘NUL POINTS’ BUT

With the power back in the public’s

NORWAY HAS MORE REASON TO FEAR

hands to decide, the UK chose two

IT THAN MOST. THEY ARE THE WORST

former The Voice rivals to compete

PERFORMERS IN THE CONTEST’S SIXTY-

together to try bring the trophy back

ONE YEAR HISTORY, RACKING UP AN

to British soil. ‘You’re Not Alone’ is a

IMPRESSIVE 11 CONTESTS OF ZERO

refreshingly upbeat duet and stands

POINTS.

a chance, but in the context of every

ITALY

entry it’s probably the weakest of the

The biggest prospect for a Big Five win,

Top Five.

Francesca Michielin’s ‘Nessun Grado Di

THE ORDER IN WHICH A COUNTRY PERFORMS IS CRUCIAL. TOO CLOSE TO

Separazione’ is already a No.1 on home

THE START AND ACTS ARE FORGOTTEN

soil. This would be an interesting win –

BY THE END. AND NOBODY WANTS TO BE

the first non-English language song to

SECOND IN THE LINEUP, AS NO SECOND

take the title in a decade.

ACT HAS EVER GONE ON TO WIN. EUROVISION HAS STRICT RULES ABOUT WHAT’S ALLOWED AND NOT ALLOWED. SONGS AREN’T ALLOWED TO EXCEED THREE MINUTES AND NO ACT CAN HAVE MORE THAN SIX PEOPLE ON STAGE AT

FRANCE

ONCE. IN 2012 THE ROMANIAN ACT

France has languished at the bottom

MANDINGA HAD TO MAKE ONE OF THEIR

of the leaderboard for the past 4 years

OWN SIT BACKSTAGE WHEN THEY TURNED

but this year’s entry is sure to do well.

UP WITH SEVEN MEMBERS.

Though the French staunchly sing

SWEDEN

in their native language, Amir’s ‘J’ai

...Oh, that’s it? Yes, if you watched

BLOCK VOTING IS NOTHING MORE

Cherché’ has a rousing English chorus

Melodifestivalen – Sweden’s selection

THAN A EUROVISION URBAN MYTH. IF

that’s guaranteed to stick in your head.

show – you may have also been

WE’RE NOT BLAMING THE SCANDIS WE

disappointed in the runaway winner,

ARE BLAMING THE FORMER SOVIETS.

17 year-old Frans with ‘If I Were Sorry’.

IF IT’S NOT THE BALKANS, IT’S

An almost spoken-word number with

THE BALTIC’S. WESTERN EUROPE

an Ed Sheeran vibe and not much in

HAS WON AND HOSTED THE MAJORITY

the way of performance visuals, if we’re

OF THE CONTESTS IN THE PAST

to judge this entry’s popularity based

DECADE. ISN’T THAT RIGHT DENMARK,

on its storming of Melfest... this could

GREECE, AUSTRIA, FINLAND, NORWAY,

actually win the whole thing. Bummer!

GERMANY…?

36 | GNIMAG.COM


German Bierfest Belfast

6 1 0 2 y a M 8-22

1

e r a u q S e s u o H Custom

www.belfast.bierfest.co.uk


BioSURE

HIV Self Test

No clinics No waiting No questions Get your result in 15 minutes

MISTER B NOW AV

BioSure HIV Self Test allows you to discreetly determine your HIV status at a time and a place that is convenient to you. The test is easy to perform, requires only a tiny drop of blood and gives an extremely accurate, simple to read result in just 15 minutes.

MISSTIQUE EROTIC BOUTIQUE | 27

OPEN EVERY DAY

Store) - 12.12.2015 MissTique - Belfast (Adult Corporate User Guide - Logo:

www.hivselftest.co.uk

EROTIC BOUTIQUE

Gresham Street

R:227-G:4-B:33 Colour used Red: GLOBAL: RGB: - WEB: #E30421 CMYK:C:00-M:100-Y:90-K:00

MIS T E R B N OW AVA I L A B L E

tion: RGB: R:255-G:238-B:64 Colour used Yellow: distribu - WEB: #FFEE40 CMYK:C:00-M:00-Y:87-K:00 Used font for MissTique:

Impact

MISSTIQUE EROTIC BOUTIQUE 27 GRESHAM STREET, BELFAST

Oblique + BELFAST: Helvetica Bold Used font for ADULT STORE

OPEN EVERY DAY 9am - 9pm (Sunday 11am - 7pm)

w w w.misstiquebelfast.com 028 9031 4185


COLBY KELLER: ON A LIFE IN PORN AND DAME VIVIENNE WESTWOOD PAGE 40

THE

CALLUM McSWIGGAN: THE YOUTUBE STAR DISHES ON HIS PORN PAST PAGE 52

PLUS / CLOSETED LIFE PLUS / SEXUAL ASSUALT PLUS / SEX TOY T’N’T

X SEISSUE


40 | GNIMAG.COM


“A

ll the world’s a stage,” says Colby Keller. “And all the men and women

merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.” His accent is ambiguously mid-western; it is also rumbling, rich, and curiously exciting. As he narrates, his voice a good semitone lower than usual, there is an

MAN

indefinable something that compels you

NATURE

for a feature about one of the best-loved

VS

to listen on. For the uninitiated, these words form the opening part of one of the most quoted passages in literature: Jacque’s Seven Ages of Man monologue from William Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It.’ If this strikes you as a curious jumping off point faces in the adult entertainment industry then you don’t know Colby Keller. As the schoolboy “with his satchel and shining morning face,” he suggestively sucks a lollipop dressed as a smirking, halfnaked boy-scout. As the lover, “sighing

COLBY KELLER IS AN ARTIST FIRST AND A PORN STAR SECOND. WE

like furnace”, he reclines in an armchair,

CATCH UP TO TALK ART VERSUS SEX AND THE TRICKS OF THE TRADE.

wreathed in cigarette smoke, naked as the day he was born. As the soldier, “jealous

WORDS | KIERAN CLARKE

IMAGES | LEIF PARKER

in honour”, wearing nothing but a helmet and vest, he carries a fallen ally from the battlefield. The staging is immaculate. The play of light and shadow is reminiscent of Caravaggio, or, at least, vintage aftershave commercials. This short film is no full-frontal staging of Shakespeare designed to leave Daily Mail readers frothing at the mouth, but rather a promotional video to celebrate Grindr’s seventh birthday, and Colby Keller is the man tasked with bringing the sole character to life. “The Seven Ages of Man is one of the most iconic stanzas in [English Literature],” says the film’s director and Grindr’s VP of Marketing Landon Smithers. “We wanted to commission a piece that GNIMAG.COM | 41


FEATURE__ COLBY KELLER: MAN vs NATURE

took this timeless exploration and updated it to a modern gay man’s experience.” Explaining the seemingly unexpected decision to cast one of the world’s most famous porn stars in the lead role of a promotional video that will be seen by millions, he added, “While physically, [Colby] is an idol for many, emotionally he is raw, able to broadcast a beautiful range of interests. He isn’t afraid of expression on all fronts.” Colby Keller is as unafraid of expression as he is a varied and singularly talented artist. A collaboration with Grindr, he explains, was the ideal opportunity to “reach more into that space where sex and art have a relationship. That’s an area I’m also interested in.” To say that Colby Keller is interested in the space between sex and art is like saying that the Pope is interested in the Catholic church; at the risk of unfairly compartmentalising his entire artistic output, his collaborations and projects to date heavily suggest that the landscape between sex and art dominates who and what Colby Keller is. Colby — not his real name, “Colby like the cheese, Keller like Helen” — has turned his own identity into a weird metatextual side project. In interviews, he has been known to slip into the third person when discussing the finer points of who and what he represents. “I put a lot of effort into what I can do with Colby,” is just one example of his urge to turn everything into art. “Having a pseudonym, I can step back from reality and think about what that personality is, and who I am. We all have multiple faces and masks that we put on.” An apt casting, then, for this 35-year-old, 6-foot, 200-pound mass of muscle, fur, and contradiction.

B

orn in Ypsilanti, Michigan in October 1980 and raised in Houston, Texas, Colby’s father — an engineer who designed parking lots — came from a working-class Ukrainian family. His mother

converted to Christianity in the 1970s. Every Sunday she would take her four children to a local “Pentecostal, speaking-in-tongues church,” as Colby describes it while his father stayed at home. His obsession with all things Native American started young. In elementary school, he once performed a rain dance for showand-tell, while a framed print of Chief Sitting Bull remains one of his few treasured possessions. His fascination with human nature led him to enrol at the University of Houston where he later graduated with a Bachelor in Anthropology (“a degree that I use to this day but is not very useful in making money”, he admits). Later, this peripatetic porn star moved to Baltimore to study a Master of Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art. By the time Colby finished his degree in the early 2000’s, America was once again in the grip of an economic recession. 42 | GNIMAG.COM

“There have always been attempts to bridge the gap between art and porn. Jeff Koons, Asa Akira, Bruce LaBruce. I love the exploring the in between, the gaps themselves.” “I couldn’t find work to save my life,” he explains, preempting his imminent and unanticipated move into porn. “I was pretty desperate, honestly, so it was mainly poverty that motivated me to put in my application at Sean Cody. I saw it as something fun and sexy to try. And I had to pay bills. “I thought they’d reject me and was so depressed I wanted that negative affirmation. I was hungry for rejection.” Much to Colby’s surprise, a rejection was not to be. In 2004, he shot with his very first scenes with Sean Cody. Appearing on camera for the first time, he recalls, went about as badly as could be expected. “I was so nervous that in my first solo scene, I actually shot my load prematurely. I was mortified, but recovered quickly and ended up shooting again. To this day, I still get nervous. I’ve become more comfortable on a porn set because I know what to expect, but it took a long time to get there.” In the twelve years since shooting his first scenes, he has appeared in more than 90 movies and worked with studios including Randy Blue, Falcon, Men.com, Naked Sword, and Cockyboys. A single shoot can earn him up upwards of $2,000. With an army of fans, devotees, and worshippers, there is no denying that Colby is the one porn star to know and love. And yet he also happens to be far more than the sum of his admittedly attractive parts. He is a talented writer, with a regularly updated blog called Big Shoe Diaries (bigshoediaries.blogspot.co.uk). In addition to being a veteran porn star, he is also an artist and a selfdescribed “sex nerd.” Amusingly, he tells me he defines himself “a goofy, laid-back foodie that loves good beer.” With his tousled hair and boyish good looks, the man has earned an enviable star in the adult entertainment firmament.

I

n recent years, Colby has become increasingly known for his modelling work. In the autumn of 2015, he featured in a collaborative film between CockyBoys and BCALLA (the maverick designer better known as Brad Callahan).


FEATURE__ COLBY KELLER: MAN vs NATURE

GNIMAG.COM | 43


FEATURE__ COLBY KELLER: MAN vs NATURE

The result was a surrealist DayGo inspired autumn-winter

of “rebel” status — to the fashion world. Working in the adult

campaign that merged high-fashion with hardcore porn. The video

industry is a form of modelling. They’re actually quite similar. You

saw Colby making out with an Avenue Q style puppet, climaxing

are using your body as a vessel to communicate a story.

with a shower of glitter to mirror a very real climax of his own.

“Vivienne Westwood is not only a hero of mine, she’s a

“This isn’t art,” the campaign declared, “this is faggotry.” Quite.

passionate advocate for the environment. We all need to focus our

In January 2016, Colby traded BCALLA’s homoerotic designs for

attention on the problem of climate change, especially when our

a pair of couture leather heels when he became the newest face of Vivienne Westwood. Shot by photographer Juergen Teller in the

political culture fails to address the catastrophe coming.” Keller’s involvement in the project was very nearly shelved

alleyways, canals, shipyards and palazzos of Venice, the Mirror

when a scheduling conflict meant he would be filming a HBO

the World campaign aimed at “highlighting the beauty and decay

comedy in New York on the day Teller intended to shoot in Venice.

of the ancient city.” Beyond elevating the boundaries of wearable

A last minute reprieve meant he worked a 10-hour day filming in

fashion to new heights, Mirror The World was inspired by the

NYC before heading straight to the airport, flying to Venice and

urgent need to save the City of Bridges from mass tourism and

getting off the water taxi to shoot for Westwood. “It was pretty

its worsening subsidence into the rising waters of the Venetian

surreal,” he admits. “An amazing, crazy experience.”

Lagoon. Keller was handpicked by Dame Vivienne herself, after a photograph of him posing in a pair of vintage Westwood pants was seen by her 23-year old husband Andreas Kronthaler. Posing in little more than a pair of knee-length Westwood heels, the moment was a surreal achievement for Keller, himself a long time fan of the British fashion world’s septuagenarian enfant terrible. “She’s true to herself and her version,” says Colby. “She brings a much-needed dose of revolution — and not just the appropriation

44 | GNIMAG.COM

S

urreal experiences are increasingly the norm for Keller, who in 2014 agreed to have his face and torso duplicated by artist Cameron Stalheim for his Master’s thesis project: a 30-foot long merman in

Keller’s image titled Myth as Object. As a counter to the surreality of Myth as Object, Keller’s newest

project is more indebted to Jack Kerouac’s gonzo travelogue ‘On


FEATURE__ COLBY KELLER: MAN vs NATURE

The Road’ than Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Little Mermaid.’

For Colby, this was more than an opportunity to explore all that

Unable to afford a massive rent hike on his Baltimore apartment,

America has to offer, more than a solution to getting his “well-

Colby faced the very real prospect of homelessness. It was then

fucked ass” off the streets. Behind the pretty cinematography of his

that he struck on the idea of taking the Colby show on the road.

50-something travelogues is the question: Do we use art, and to a

To make that quintessentially American concept of a road trip into a reality, Colby gave away everything he owned. Titled

lesser extent porn, to breach the divide between love and longing? “As much as we want to penetrate [other people], throw one

Everything But Lenin — a reference to his beloved bust of the

body inside the other, we’ll never truly get entirely ‘inside,’,”

communist leader that he refuses to part with — Colby gave away

said Colby in a 2013 interview with the Huffington Post. “We

everything from his clothing to his beloved Native American

never succeed. All sex is a type of failure. Sex is a failure we feel

blankets and even his Instagram account.

compelled to reenact over and over, anticipating different results.”

The next part of the plan was to travel across America to meet his fans, blog his adventures, and most importantly of all make porn in every state. “Watch me fuck, join in the fun, or simply help me get a bite to a eat,” was how he introduced the concept on IndieGoGo. In less than a month, he raised more than $45,000, enough to buy a used Ford Escape, a mattress to sleep on, plus a few cameras. We caught up with Colby a few weeks after the project had come to an end. With certain corners of the internet anonymously decrying Colby Does America as “self-serving hipster porn,” I’m keen to see how Colby himself rates his success and to find out what it’s like to the turn the world of airbrushed studio porn a kind of cottage industry (albeit a cottage industry in the form of a red Ford Escape). Colby is quick to appreciate the metaphor but admits he is hesitant to agree.

While this may seem a surprising stance

“I’ve learned to differentiate enough between art and porn to know what I enjoy doing for myself and what other people enjoy watching me do.”

“I haven’t made any money from CDA so I don’t think it counts as a cottage-cum-SUV industry. I think the

for a man best known for fucking other men on camera, his comments struck a chord with my own complex relationships with sex, love, and porn. Three years after this interview, I am determined to find out if this is still the case. “Yes, I think [art and porn] help us breach that divide between fantasy and reality. Art is a representation, sometimes idealised, at other times critical. And importantly, how we perceive it is what gives it its actual meaning. The exact same thing is true for porn. “There have been and will continue to be countless attempts to bridge the gap between art and porn. Jeff Koons, Asa Akira, and Bruce LaBruce come to mind first. I love the exploring the in between, the gaps themselves. I wanted to make films that both blurred the lines between art and porn and explore the parts of the country that I think are just as, if not more beautiful, than California and New York.”

In the 12 years since Colby starred in his first solo scenes with

internet had already turned porn into a cottage industry. CDA is a

Sean Cody, the world of porn remains largely the same. Colby Does

collaborative art project paid for by amazing supporters of my work

America and crowdfunded projects like it are the crests of a wave

and collaborators in the project.

which, if successful, will change the way we think of porn forever.

“And yes, I love road trips, they are absolutely transgressive.

While some male porn stars happily work into their forties and

The very nature of travel is. Coupled with a remove from NYC and

fifties, we hope our favourite Texan has no plans to retire just when

southern California to create art and porn, it becomes triply so. I’m

the landscape of porn is just beginning to get interesting.

an explorer at heart and though tiring, I treasured the opportunity

“I’m not the type of person who likes to plan ahead,” he says. “At

to visit so many places I’d never seen and meeting new people

this point, I’m constantly surprised that porn companies out there

with whom I had the privilege of collaborating.

want to work with me. If I can make it in five years, if I can make

“I loved hiking, exploring caves, kayaking, surfing (my first time!)

it in 30 years, it’s like, sure, why not? If I could be the 90-year-old

and pretty much anything related to the outdoors, not to mention

porn actor, that would be great. I have no idea what tomorrow will

visiting hundreds of amazing museums and galleries in smaller

bring! But whatever it is, I’m ready.”

cities and towns across the country. “We learned quickly that the best way to get a video done was to show up somewhere and start hunting…”

WATCH THE COLBY DOES AMERICA SERIES NOW AT COLBYDOESAMERICA.COM GNIMAG.COM | 45


FEATURE__

LIFE IN THE CLOSET

46 | GNIMAG.COM


FEATURE__

LIFE IN THE CLOSET

Girls, Guys and Sex in the Closet WORDS | CHRISTOPHER MEGRATH

David is a businessman. Like many guys in their mid-twenties,

‘especially if I’m with a girl. If it was friends with benefits thing

David is well travelled, cultured and enjoys a drink. He also

with a guy then I’d usually tell him, but I still like to keep my

happens to be bisexual. Like thousands of gay and bi men around

sexuality to myself.’

the UK, he refuses to out himself. ‘I don’t want people to know about my sexuality because there’s

Coming out is an experience most gay man have to grapple with at some point in their lives. On the whole, reactions tend to

a chance they might think differently about me,’ he tells us. ‘I

be positive, or at least cooly muted. Only a small proportion face

know I shouldn’t care but no matter how much I’m reassured

rejection as a result of coming out. Nevertheless, the negative

there’s a constant voice telling me that everything will change. I

impacts of staying closeted are well documented, something David

know it’s 2016 and no one gives a shit but it still makes you think

knows all too well when it comes to meeting guys who are already

that something will and that instantly makes me not want to.’

out. ‘Generally, they understand my reasons because they’ve been

We’ve all been there. The faceless Grindr profile, the notable lack of girlfriends, the curious fascination with Eurovision: all classic signs of the closeted gay and bisexual man. We all know the

there at some point themselves and generally, if they’re decent people, they won’t try to out me. They know it’s important.’ Asking if he’s had any negative feedback from telling partners

difficulties and the stress that closeted guys face. It’s a known fact

he is closeted, David goes on to say, ‘Not really, but I can tell it sets

that life in the closet stunts our ability to show affection. Under

some guys back a little. It’s sad to see but what can I do?’

these circumstances it’s impossible to flourish emotionally or to

Apart from the occasional fling and - as he calls it - an “intimate

even grow as a person. Even with a growing acceptance of LGBT

relationship” with a friend, David doesn’t have a long history of

people among newer generations, that one simple step out of the

serious sexual partners. We can’t help but ask if all this secrecy has

closet can be the most difficult step some people ever face.

had a negative influence on his levels of intimacy. The strains this

When it comes to his friends David is blunt about his sexuality, but to his family it remains a closely kept secret. When we ask

puts on any potential relationship are obvious, but for David he sees this as more of an issue for his partners than an issue for him.

what it is that keeps him closeted, he explains: ‘People never seem

‘It probably does affect them negatively,’ he tells us, before

to understand what it means to be bi. They don’t get that you can

adding, ‘but they wouldn’t stay in my company if not being out

be attracted to both sexes and it gets pretty annoying.’

had a huge effect on them. I can guess that maybe they’d like to

This inability to connect with the people they like leaves

be a bit more social, to go out for dinner or drinks, but they can’t

people like David in a bind. Relationships, understandably, can

be open with everyone. So yeah, it does hinder things a bit. I’m

be difficult. ‘For the most part, I usually end up in friends with

sure they’d like to have a “normal” relationship and not a secretive

benefits situations,’ David explains. ‘Chatting to guys online can

one, but I’m just not ready to give them that yet. Hopefully in the

be difficult because you don’t always know who you’re talking.

future.’

It makes you wary to go on dates at all in case you meet with someone you work with or have a connection to. ‘If I really wanted a relationship, I’d stay discreet about it until

With no interest in finding love or even a serious relationship, dating apps like Grindr and Tinder are the go-to for many closeted men. David counts himself among the vast sea of blank profiles

I was sure we would stay an item. Not being “out” is definitely a

and faceless torsos that litter hook-up apps. (Pictures, he tells

factor for me not wanting a relationship. I prefer fun partners but

us, are “too risky.”) With his closeted status safe for now, David

for obvious reasons they need to be very mature.”

has decided to stay anonymous. He tells us that until the day

It’s not all doom and gloom for closeted guys like David. Being secretive about his preferences means he doesn’t need to discuss

he feels comfortable taking that one small step for gaykind he is determined to stay ‘a faceless profile on Grindr.’

his sexuality with potential partners. ‘If it’s a one-night stand then I wouldn’t tell them anything about being bi,’ he explains,

NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED

GNIMAG.COM | 47


REAL LIFE__ AODHAN WOODS

IN 2014, AGED JUST 17, AODHAN WOODS WAS SUBJECTED TO A HORRIFIC SEXUAL ASSAULT. HERE HE TELLS US HIS BRAVE AND REMARKABLE STORY .

It’s an unseasonably warm

hands, which tremble throughout

day in early March when I meet

our interview. ‘They were just so

Aodhan Woods for the first time.

mentally draining. I didn’t know

He is an hour late for coffee - I

what to say, you know?’

would be worried our meeting

braving the collective attention of

ahead to apologise. When he

the UK media, Aodhan is handling

arrives at the riverside cafe where

things remarkably well. ‘I think

we arrange to meet, he tells me has

I’m getting the hang of it now,’ he

come straight from filming a BBC

admits with an embarrassed smile.

documentary about sexual abuse. Since his attackers were jailed

The reason for this attention is

last month, Aodhan has been at

because as a survivor of sexual

the centre of a media circus. He has

assault, he has become an

been interviewed by every major

unwitting campaigner in battle for

news outleek. ‘Next week,’ he tells

justice for other men like him. After

me, ‘it’s the Guardian.’

a gruelling trial, he has bravely

‘The first interviews were the WORDS | KIERAN CLARKE IMAGES | BRAD MCCLENAGHAN

48 | GNIMAG.COM

For an unprepared 19-year-old

was cancelled if he hadn’t phoned

and selflessly waived his right to

worst,’ he explains. When he speaks

anonymity to raise awareness of

his voice is far steadier than his

this sensitive subject.


REAL LIFE__ AODHAN WOODS

“I’m not a victim. A victim is someone who lets what happened to them ruin their lives. I almost let that happen to me, but I reached the point where I realised I was letting them make a victim out of me. But I’m going to get through this. I’m going to be a survivor.”

In May 2014, aged just 17,

‘I had no idea any of this would

Aodhan suffered a brutal assault at

happen; I never thought I would

the hands of his two best friends.

get justice. At the time it felt like

Over a period of hours he was He

it was my own fault, almost as if I

was threatened with a knife and

deserved it. I know now that that’s

burned with cigarettes before

what they made me think. They

being locked in a cupboard with a

manipulated me. I can’t believe

pillowcase secured over his head

I ever thought that way. But the

with a belt. In court, it emerged

thing is, there are people out there

that a drumstick and a microphone

who do think that things like this

stand were used on him as part of

are their fault, even though it never

a series of serious sexual assaults.

is. It’s the fault of the person who

Drugs, the court was told, played a

does the thing to you.’

“significant role” in events. ‘About a month before it all happened they asked me to start

It’s this determination to help others that keeps Aodhan focussed. ‘The reason why I waved my

selling for them,’ Aodhan recalls. ‘It

right to anonymity is because I

was totally out of the blue. I knew

know people who have been in

they were big into drugs but I kept

similar situations to me, and they

my mouth shut because I didn’t

are still too afraid to come forward.

want to get involved. When I told

I thought, “If these people are too

them I didn’t want to sell drugs

afraid to come forward, how many

they started threatening me. They

other people must there be?”’ By

said, “If you don’t sell this for us

coming forward I wanted to give

we will send people to your house

people the confidence they need to

with crossbows.” What choice did

come forward by showing them the

I have?’

support I’ve had.’

When he returned a few days

‘Before I came out with my

later having sold nothing, things

story I thought, “If I do this and

quickly turned nasty.

even if one person comes forward

‘When it started I had no idea

it will have all been worthwhile.”

if they were being serious or not.

Even if it meant helping just one

They were telling me what they

person. My family and friends

were going to do but I thought

are extremely proud of me, it’s

it was some kind of sick joke.

been incredible, they have been

That’s not the way things went,

supporting me since day one. That

unfortunately.’

support really inspired me. My

At one stage Aodhan was told

mum says I’ve been so strong about

that photographs were being taken

the whole thing. I’m really happy

while the pair tortured him. He

to make people proud of me. I

was warned that if he told anyone

never would have had the strength

what had happened, the pictures

to come forward if I didn’t have

would be released.

that support, without it I would

When he was eventually let go his attackers gave him more mephedrone to sell. He was

still be too frightened to speak about it.’ ‘I don’t regret coming forward.

warned that the same thing would

It’s been one of the best things I’ve

happen if he failed again.

ever done. I’m really proud of the

‘It was the worst experience of

people who have come forward

my life,’ he reflects. ‘The whole

with their own stories. That’s all I

time I was traveling home after it

wanted to do. I wanted to try and

happened I thought: “What will

make the best of a bad situation

happen if I don’t tell anyone?”’

and I think I’ve succeeded.’

GNIMAG.COM | 49


Nexus NI provides specialised counselling for survivors of sexual violence and sexual abuse across Northern Ireland. If you or someone you know has been affected get in touch with Nexus, our services are open to anyone in need of support, no one should suffer in silence.

ised counselling available across Northern Ireland victims of sexual abuse and violence.

nexusni.org

ni.org028 9032 6803 info@nexusni.org nexusni.org 32 6803


REAL LIFE__ AODHAN WOODS

“When I heard how long they got I wanted to scream with happiness. I’m hoping that they come out of prison better people than when they went in.”

The first was handed an 11-

but you can’t move or speak. I’m

year sentence, half of which will

still trying to cope with that.’

be spent in custody. The second

Aodhan has been praised

- who claimed in court that he

far and wide for his incredible

was threatended into doing as

strength and determination for

he was told - later admitted six

justice. In court, Judge Gordon

counts, including one count of

Kerr spoke of the humiliation and

false imprisonment and two counts

degradation Aodhan suffered that

of sexual assault and attempted

night. Detective Inspector Trish

rape. Both were placed on the sex

Higgins from the PSNI said: ‘These

offender’s register for life.

were despicable crimes carried

With his attackers beginning

out against this young man. He

lengthy prison sentences, Aodhan

endured a terrifying ordeal at the

says he feels like he can finally start

hands of these defendants and

to move on. He is determined to

I welcome the sentences they

stay positive. He has a passion for

have now received. I encourage

music and is a talented musician,

anyone who has been a victim

something he hopes to pursue

of sexual assault to come forward

to university next year. ‘When I

and report it to police so that we

heard how long they got I wanted

can investigate and bring those

to scream with happiness into my

responsible to court.’

hands. It’s really

Regardless of the long-term

hard to describe how

problems he has been left with,

I felt. I’m hoping

Aodhan insists he doesn’t want

that they come out

to be seen as a victim. ‘To me a

of prison better than

victim is someone who lets what

when they went in.

happened to them drag them down

I hope they become

and ruin their lives,’ he explains. ‘I

better people.’

almost let that happen to me, but I

Aodhan continues

reached the point where I realised I

to struggle with the

was letting them make a victim out

long-terms injuries

of me. But I’m going to get through

he sustained that

this. I’m going to be a survivor.

night, including

‘I feel like after all this time I

his post-traumatic

can finally start to move on. The

stress disorder. He

only way to move forward is to tell

admits he still has

someone and you’ll soon realise

flashbacks to the

there is so much support out there.

night of the attack.

Don’t be afraid to speak out.’

‘Sometimes it’s so bad it makes me feel as if I’m still locked in the cupboard. Things have gotten better in recent months, but I still have a lot of nightmares. At one point I was getting sleep paralysis where it actually BRAVE AODHAN HAS WAIVED HIS RIGHT TO ANONYMITY

feels as if they are standing beside you

IF YOU ARE A SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ASSAULT CONTACT NEXUS NI ON (028) 9032 6803 OR EMAIL INFO@NEXUSNI.ORG ALTNERATIVELY CONTACT CRIMESTOPPERS ON 0800 555 111. THEIR NUMBER WILL NOT APPEAR ON YOUR TELEPHONE BILL

GNIMAG.COM | 51


INTERVIEW__ CALUM MCSWIGGAN: LIGHTS, CAMERA, CALUM

52 | GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW__ CALUM MCSWIGGAN: LIGHTS, CAMERA, CALUM

LIGHTS, CAMERA

C A L U M The internet is the 21st century way of reaching global celebrity status, and no corner of the web is responsible for churning out more fully fledged celebs than YouTube. The UK is home to its fair share of internationally famous vloggers. With the ten most popular British YouTubers having a combined following of more than 30million, Calum McSwiggan knows exactly what he’s up against. WORDS | CHRISTOPHER MEGRATH IMAGES | INSTAGRAM

An addictive content creator and generally gorgeous

‘When I started out on YouTube I fought really hard

individual, this 25-year-old Nottingham lad has one of

against becoming an LGBT YouTuber. I didn’t want my

the fastest growing YouTube channels in the UK. From

sexuality to define me. I just wanted to be a YouTuber

mental health to sex ed, baking rainbow cupcakes to his

who just so happened to be gay. But seeing the response

What’s In My Mouth? challenge, there’s no topic too

my LGBT videos had completely changed my mind.

taboo for this rising star.

Now I’m happy making LGBT content and I’m thrilled

He hasn’t yet reached the career highs of the likes of Joe Sugg (ThatcherJoe), Alfie Deyes (PointlessBlog) or Dan Howell (Danisnotonfire), but since starting out two years ago Calum’s channel (Eatgaylove) has already racked up an impressive 54,000 subscribers. We catch up with him after a brief stint exploring New York. It’s

with how my audience respond.’

T

o call that response enthusiastic doesn’t begin to cover it. Calum’s success has led to collaborations with some of the most famous faces around, from porn star Jake Bass to

a big start for 2016, but he assures us he has no plans to

Olympic poster boy Tom Daley. Just when we begin

start slowing down.

wondering what it’s like to work with such famous

‘All my evenings are spent filming and editing!’ he

faces we’re told: ‘Having Tom Daley and Willam in my

gushes. ‘It makes having a social life a struggle, but it’s

videos was absolutely amazing! There are dozens of

absolutely worth it. I try to surround myself with other

people I’d love to collaborate with. It’s one of the things

YouTubers because they’re in exactly the same boat. We

that keeps me motivated to succeed.’ Anyone else still

support each other, and that’s what keeps us going.’

to be ticked off the collab bucket list? ‘Troye Sivan! It

S

would be a dream come true!’ upport is a major part of what Calum does so

Of course, having a big name attached to your video

well. These days he is known as one of the most

doesn’t guarantee success. YouTube is cutthroat market.

vocal supporters of LGBT rights on a platform

For every hit (Gay Sex 101: Penis Size - 227,000 views /

that’s well known for inclusivity.

Gay Guys Try Weird Condoms - 69,000 views) an equal

But as he explains, LGBT videos weren’t always what he

number flounder, relegated to playlist history, never to

set out to create.

be watched again.

GNIMAG.COM | 53


INTERVIEW__ CALUM MCSWIGGAN: LIGHTS, CAMERA, CALUM

‘It can be incredibly frustrating to pour so much of yourself

‘I never want to turn on the camera

into your videos and then see them fail,’ he tells us. ‘Some of my

and talk about something unless I fully

favourite videos have had only a handful of views and that’s

understand it. This forced me to get a better

a difficult thing to face up to. I have had moments where I’ve

understanding of my own mental health,

wanted to give it up altogether, but you have to keep going

and I think talking about it in an open and

though. That’s the only way you can succeed. I guess the thing

objective way has been crucial to keeping

that keeps me going are my subscribers.

me healthy. When viewers leave comments

‘I have such a supportive audience. I always make sure I

about how I’ve have helped them deal

read every single comment. I usually just laugh off the hate but

with depression, it’s an indescribable

sometimes it can be really personal. There are vindictive people

feeling. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with

out there who will figure out your deepest insecurity and then

my videos. Seeing that become a reality

attack you for it over and over again. People comment on my

means the world to me. It’s the reason I

weight and my voice and my femininity all the time, but I try

keep creating.’

not to let it get to me.’

Being so influential gives Calum the

Internet nastiness aside, few can argue that Calum isn’t

potential to reach a wide audience,

downright gorgeous. Before we can remind him just how

something he has put it to good use. When

gorgeous he is, he is quick to point out he doesn’t get more

it comes to the LGBT community there are

attention than the average guy. While we find that a little hard

few YouTubers more open or vocal than

to believe, past squeezes have included a high profile YouTuber.

him. He regularly works with charities

Being a hottie is, of course, the least of Calum’s talents. He uses

like Stonewall and the Human Rights

his channel to tackle subjects like depression, coming out and

Campaign. We let him explain why giving

gender identity. Making videos, as he tells us, helped him come

back to the community means so much.

to terms with his own personal demons.

‘These are all charities that I have admired and looked up to while growing up. It was seeing the Some People Are Gay, Get Over It posters from Stonewall that helped give me the courage to be myself. ‘Working with them has been a dream come true, it’s everything I ever wanted to do with my life, and I feel so honoured to be a part of something so big and so important. ‘I’ve always been passionate about words and language and the power of persuasion. I guess that’s why I make videos. I love having the opportunity to change people’s minds, to share my opinions, and to help make a positive change. ‘I’ve witnessed a lot of discrimination against LGBT people in my time. I’ve been beaten up, I’ve had my teeth broken, and I’ve seen my friends torn apart. I’m not the kind of person who can sit around and do nothing about that. I can’t stand idly by and do nothing. So even if my videos make no impact, at least I can say that I tried to do something.’

54 | GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW__ CALUM MCSWIGGAN: LIGHTS, CAMERA, CALUM

I

n January of this year Calum became

checked the small print on the site where

a household name. He released a

their shows were being streamed. He was

video - a touching and thoughtful

assured that live performances could not

reflection on his recent past - that was

be recorded. ‘Obviously that was stupidity

watched more than 50,000 times in its first

and naivety because people did record it,

day. To date it has racked up half a million

and now it’s everywhere.’

hits. Within days the story made headlines around the world.

‘People started noticing and recognising me from those videos. Somebody even

‘It’s something I’ve hidden from family

threatened to send the videos to my mum.’

and friends until very recently,’ he said

Worried that his young fans might discover

at the time, ‘and something that I’ve kept

the videos online, Calum decided to tackle

hidden away from pretty much the whole

the problem head on, and publicly came

world. There’s no easy way to say this, but

out with the truth.

when I was a teenager, I did gay porn.’ The

‘I don’t regret what I did. I do admit that it

video (titled I Did Gay Porn & I’m Sorry)

was stupid. It’s very noble and admirable to

revealed how, aged 19, Calum was fired

stand up to homophobia but it’s not worth

from his job at a postal delivery company

it if you’re putting yourself at risk. Doing

for standing up to homophobic abuse.

porn helped me get through university and

‘The bills were coming in fast and I had

that’s great, but knowing that those videos

to find a way to pay the rent. Two friends

are now out there permanently for anyone

suggested we try out webcam shows.

to see makes me extremely uncomfortable.

They’d seen people making money off it

‘I think that’s the thing that people

and hoped I would do it with them. What

need to consider before going into the

started off as nothing more than chatting to

porn industry. If you’re happy with videos

viewers on a live feed with our clothes on

of you being available to your friends,

escalated into much more.’

family and future employers forever then

After a month of shooting four or five

great. Go ahead and do it. If you’re not

times a week in Calum’s student flat at the

comfortable with that then maybe you

University of Derby where he was studying

should reconsider. I did what I had to do,

for a Creative Writing degree, the group had

and that’s unfortunate, I just wish that I

performed ‘around 10 or 12’ live shows. The

had found a better solution at the time.’

shows ranged from half an hour to an hour,

‘This was the only secret I ever kept from

with members of the public telling them

my audience and it was an enormous relief

what to do in exchange for money. The site

to be able to share that with them. I got

even awarded them £2,000 for becoming

thousands of hateful comments for it, but

the most popular account. It was enough

sometimes you just have to take the hit and

to pay his entire rent for a year.

try and move forward.

Porn companies started to approach

‘My fans have been unbelievably

them, asking the trio to appear together.

supportive. All the hate has come from

All three declined. Despite his growing

people who don’t usually watch my videos.

income, Calum had many reservations

I think it’s important for something like this

about appearing on cam.

to get a lot of coverage, because it opens up

‘I wouldn’t say I was enjoying it,’ he recalls. ‘There was no part of it that was

some really important discussions, so I’m happy that it got the attention it did.’

really fun. We’re smiling and laughing on camera but it was all for show.’ Before the shows turned X-rated, Calum

YOUTUBE.COM/EATGAYLOVE

GNIMAG.COM | 55


FEATURE__ SEX TOY TNT

TRIED & Tested DUREX PLAY ALOE VERA GEL 60ML Comfort is king when trying to fit something the size of a courgette into your back passage. A good water soluble lube is essential. durex.co.uk £4.15 DUREX PLEASURE ME CONDOMS 14PK There’s nothing sexier than safe sex. Do as Tim Westwood says and “Wrap it up before you slap it up.” (Cringe.) durex.co.uk £9.57 WE-VIBE 4 PLUS This super comfortable toy is designed to stimulate anally and vaginally. Sync it to your smartphone and let its many settings get to work. we-vibe.com £127.99

56 | GNIMAG.COM

PULSE II SOLO Octopods have 8 eight arms, but this ‘Hot Octopuss’ is the only one you will ever need. hotoctopuss.com £69.00 TENGA EGG LOVERS HEART Curious about cock sleeves but don’t want to break the bank? These textured silicon eggs are the perfect intro. lovehoney.co.uk £9.99


FEATURE__ SEX TOY TNT

Forget the flowers, ditch the chocolates, and shred those Mariah Carey tickets. These days couples are more likely to treat their partners — and themselves — to a sex toy than a romantic meal

for two. From prostate stimulators you control with the swipe of an app to dildos that match the rhythm of your music, sex toys have come a long way since Anne Summers made her Rampant

Rabbits mainstream. In this special edition of T’N’T, we round up the nine essential toys and accessories to heat up any bedroom.

ORA 2 Press this nifty toy over the nearest erogenous zone and feel it deliver a luxurious swirling vibration designed to maximise any climax. lelo.com £129.00

LELO BILLY PROSTATE MASSAGER Curved in just the right way to stimulate the prostate, this near perfect toy is only let down by the fact it is sadly not waterproof. annsummers.com £72.90

DUREX PLAY O ORGASM INTENSIFYING GEL LUBE Lay back and allow this specially formulated lube to create layers of tingling, warmth and coolness exactly where you want it. durex.co.uk £12.91

GNIMAG.COM | 57


INTERVIEW__ TON STUART: AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS

LIFE’S A DRAG WORDS | EVAN ARTHURS IMAGES | MANUEL VASSON

58 | GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW__ TON STUART: AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS

I AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS IS AN EXHILARATING ONE MAN SHOW ABOUT LIFE, LOVE AND GOLDFISH. IT’S THE STORY OF A PERPETUALLY DRUNK DRAG QUEEN AND HER LESS THAN HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH ESCORT BOYFRIEND JACK. WE CHAT TO WRITER AND ACTOR TOM STUART ABOUT PERFORMING IN HEELS AND BRINGing YOUR ART TO LIFE.

First off, congratulations! You

Your performance is incredibly

premiered the show at the 2015

physical, how do you deal with those

Edinburgh Fringe to rave reviews, and

challenges that every night?

you’ve just finished your first UK

I have no idea! Everybody asks me that, but I really

tour. The show is destined to become

don’t know. As an actor you just have to do it. I

a cult hit. But how does a trained

always feel exhausted before the play starts and

Shakespearean actor wind up playing an

right after it finishes, in the moment when you’re

alcoholic drag queen?

doing it with a whole new set of people in front of

Thank you so much! Well, someone gave me a copy

you who haven’t heard this story. I feel so compelled

of the autobiography by Josh Kilmer-Purcell…

to tell the story that I just give it everything I’ve got. You just find the energy. When you love something

Not just someone – a certain Kathy

it’s never a labour.

Burke had something to do with it, if we aren’t mistaken.

There’s a real vulnerability to

Yes! Kathy is a good friend of mine. We often

Aqua. Does that bring any particular

exchange books if we think the other one would

challenges to your performance?

enjoy it. And I did enjoy it. I enjoyed it so much I

The whole show is full of challenges. Before this

ended up practically stalking poor Josh for about five

I’d never done drag, or lip-synched and danced, or

years to get the rights to it. There were lots of TV and

performed a one-man show. The biggest challenge

film companies in America who owned the rights,

was being so vulnerable on stage. There are times

which meant they wouldn’t be available for about

when I feel like I don’t have any skin on.

a year. So I would have to write to Josh every six

What’s extraordinary about Aqua is that I get to

months and then someone else would have taken it.

go onstage with loads of makeup and layers on and I

And he never got bored of me asking, bless him.

look completely different. In some ways I’m almost

So it’s been a real labor of love. I immediately fell

protected by the costume, so there’s this strange

in love with it. Josh’s writing is so honest; you can’t

dichotomy of being so vulnerable but also feeling

help but connect with it. I fell in love with the story,

really protected at the same time. And then of course

and I knew it was an important story that I wanted

throughout the play the armour comes of. Every

to help retell. Over the five or six years I’ve been with

step of the way has been a challenge, but a joyful

it I fell in love with it more and more and more. It

challenge. Each challenge has changed me, Tom, in

took a lot of perseverance.

some way.

Can you tell us how you went about

Josh came to see the play during the

adapting the book for the stage?

London leg of the tour. That must have

I’d never done anything like this before, so I didn’t

been emotional.

really know what I was doing. All I knew was that

That was possibly one of the most extraordinary

I had this story that I really loved, and I knew I

experiences of my life. It was bonkers. It was

wanted to turn it into a one-man show. The truth is

incredibly emotional for both of us. It was amazing.

that I really just gave it a go, and then went with it.

Afterwards I sat with him for a couple of hours

The hardest thing was trying to whittle down this

because we’d never met or anything. We just sat

beautiful 200-page book into a 70-minute show. You

and talked. He just absolutely loved it, and was

have to find the bare bones of the story, and which

very moved by it, and very proud of it. That was the

bits you can afford to lose without losing any of its

biggest validation I could have hoped for. I’ve never

depth, or poetry, or humour, or any of it’s layers. That

experienced anything like that as an actor. It’s an

was the difficulty. But I knew the story so well by

incredible privilege to meet your character.

this point that I inhabited it myself, so I instinctively knew what to cut and what to keep. I’ve spent such a

What’s the future for Aqua?

long time alone with the story – literally alone in my

The play will definitely have another life. I don’t

own kitchen – not knowing whether this was going

quite know that is yet. Aqua is too special to me,

to mean something to anyone but me, or whether

and the story is too special to me, to let go of just yet.

it was even going to happen. So to be touring the

We’re definitely going to restage the show, hopefully

country with it is particularly incredible. Hearing

later this year, maybe next year, but we will carry on

other people’s responses to it is mind-blowing.

telling it.

GNIMAG.COM | 59


Professional counselling for families, couples, individuals and young people Your relationship, your choice, your wellbeing

Relate’s relationship counselling service can help with: • • • • • •

Beginnig, mending or ending a relationship Improving communication in relationships Supporting parental and family relationships Reducing the negative effect of separation and divorce Helping young people cope Improving sexual relationships

Centres

Armagh | Bangor | Belfast | Ballymena Cookstown | Coleraine | Dungannon | Foyle Irvinestown | Lisburn | Newry | Portadown To make an appointment PHONE:

028 90 323 454

Monday - Thursday 9am - 8pm Friday 9am - 3pm www.relateni.org | email: office@relateni.org


FASHION__ BOYS ON FILM MAX WEARS ORANGE SPORT BOXER BRIEFS BY THE EIGHTH £40

BOYS ON FILM LIGHTS FLASHING GET THE PICTURE? PHOTOGRAPHY BY TONY WEBSTER FASHION BY THE EIGHTH

GNIMAG.COM | 61


FASHION__ BOYS ON FILM

MAX WEARS THE LOUNGE BOXER - THE ENGLISHMAN BY THE EIGHTH £52

62 | GNIMAG.COM


FASHION__ BOYS ON FILM

GNIMAG.COM | 63


FASHION__ BOYS ON FILM

MAX WEARS THE TRUNK - WHITE BY THE EIGHTH £33

64 | GNIMAG.COM


FASHION__ BOYS ON FILM

GNIMAG.COM | 65


FASHION__ BOYS ON FILM

MAX WEARS THE TRUNK - WHITE BY THE EIGHTH £33 JACKET - MODEL’S OWN, BY DKNY

66 | GNIMAG.COM


FASHION__ BOYS ON FILM

ALL LOOKS AVAILABLE FROM THEEIGHTH.COM AND FROM YOUR NEAREST DKNY STOCKIST GNIMAG.COM | 67


ED BEST WEDDING VENUE IN NORTHERN IRELAND 2013-2014

AWARDED BEST WEDDING VENUE IN NI 2013 & 2015 NI HOTEL OF THE YEAR AT ULSTER TATLER 2015 AWARDS

9

N O W O N T N E V E N AUTUM

e h s In t e r e s t F r e * t n o M 0 2 RM ANAGH’S PERFECT%WEDDING VENUE o s it p e D 0 1 h it w F IN A N C E 88 William St, Lurgan T: 028 3832 1607 www.perfectdayni.com

o hold Civil Ceremonies. akeside Overlooking Lough Erne. hitecture creates a Majestic Backdrop. FERMANAGH’S AWARD WINNING e Lake Cruiser- Perfect for pre/post wedding events & Hen/Stag celebrations.

Winner of Best Bridal Shop In Ireland 2015

WEDDING VENUE

ackages From ÂŁ40.00 per guest including: 7EDDING-EAL 7INE4OP5PFORALL'UESTS "UFFET BRA#ENTRE0IECES SED4ABLE-ENUS $RESSEDTOINCLUDE&AIRY,IGHT"ACKDROP#HAIR#OVERS Licensed to host Civil Ceremonies. ENTARY"RIDAL3UITEFOR"RIDE'ROOM Picture Perfect Setting Overlooking Lough Erne. PLIMENTARY'UESTROOMS Stately Architecture creates a Majestic Backdrop. Lady of the Lake Cruiser- Perfect for pre/post wedding events

ING WEDDcase

show/" , "

Ê Óä£x rther

r fu call fo please info

Wedding Packages From ÂŁ45.00 per guest including: • 5 Course Wedding Meal • Glass of Wine & Top Up for all Guests • Evening Buffet • Candelabra Centre Pieces • Personalised Table Menus • Ballroom Dressed to include Fairy Light Backdrop & Chair Covers         • Complimentary Bridal Suite for Bride & Groom      • Two Complimentary Guestrooms

88 William Street, Lurgan T: 028 3832 1607 www.perfectdayni.com Winner of Best Bridal Shop in Ireland 2015

   

Occasion Wear Store NOW OPEN 94 William St, Lurgan T: 028 3834 2069

Voted Best Occasion Wear Shop in Ireland 2014

   

Occasion Wear Store NOW OPEN 88 William St, Lurgan T:T:028 0286862 3832 2200 1607 www.perfectdayni.com E:Winner weddings@manorhousecountryhotel.com of Best Bridal Shop In Ireland 2015 www.manorhousecountryhotel.com

94 William St, Lurgan T: 028 3834 2069

Voted Best Occasion Wear Shop in Ireland 2014


get the look The weather is getting brighter but your clothes shouldn’t double that. Navy has been a staple of modern and subtle style and it’s not going anywhere. Particularly great for spring/summer weather, keep shorts professional yet stylish by interpreting them with more tailored styles in an array of subtle, darker colours for versatility with simple shirts. With the addition of a complimentary and simple matching jacket your look can fluctuate between sporty and fashion-conscious with ease. Concluding with a simple shoe and dark leather travel bag, it ties your effortlessly flawless look together, perfect for Spring/Summer.

Jacket £80 Levi’s T-Shirt £15 Linea Shorts £55 Original Penguin Belt £18 Howick Bag £340 WHOLE LOOK AVAILABLE FROM HOUSE OF FRASER HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

GNIMAG.COM | 69


Ireland 1922, and the Ulster Boundary Commission has drawn the new border straight through the small town of Puckoon. With the church separated from its own graveyard and drink now thirty percent cheaper in one corner of the pub, life in the newly divided village will never be the same again...

Directed by ZoĂŤ Seaton. Music and songs by Paul Boyd. Based on the book by Spike Milligan. Dramatised by Vincent Higgins and the Company.

“A PYTHONESQUE PIECE OF ODDBALL ENTERTAINMENT� Irish Times

TOUR SCHEDULE Pavilion Theatre, DĂşn Laoghaire Thurs 7th & Fri 8th April, 8pm %R[2IÂżFH ZZZSDYLOLRQWKHDWUHLH(free booking online)

Theatr Clwyd, Mold 0RQWK 7XHVWK0D\ %R[2IÂżFH ZZZWKHDWUFOZ\GFRP

Theatre Royal, Waterford 7KXUVWK$SULOSP ŸŸ %R[2I¿FH ZZZWKHDWUHUR\DOLH

Stourbridge Town Hall Theatre, West Midlands :HGWK0D\ %R[2IÂżFH ZZZGXGOH\JRYXNVHHDQGGR

The Playhouse, Derry~Londonderry 6DWWK$SULOSP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZGHUU\SOD\KRXVHFRXN

Key Theatre, Peterborough 7KXUVWK0D\ %R[2IÂżFH ZZZYLYDFLW\SHWHUERURXJKFRP

The MAC, Belfast :HGWK6DWWK$SULO %R[2IÂżFH ZZZWKHPDFOLYHFRP The Alley Theatre, Strabane 6XQVW0D\SP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZDOOH\WKHDWUHFRP Axis Theatre, Ballymun 7XHVUG0D\ %R[2IÂżFH ZZZD[LVEDOO\PXQLH

Borough Theatre, Abergavenny )ULWK0D\SP Â…Â… %R[2IÂżFH ZZZERURXJKWKHDWUHDEHUJDYHQQ\FRXN Span Arts Theatr Pop-Up at the Millennium Hall, Llanfallteg 6DWWK0D\ %R[2IÂżFH ZZZVSDQDUWVRUJXN

Blackwood Miners Institute, Caerphilly 0RQUG0D\ %R[2IÂżFH ZZZ\RXUFDHUSKLOO\JRYXNEPL Chipping Norton Theatre 7XHVWK0D\SP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZFKLSSLQJQRUWRQWKHDWUHFRP Eden Court, Inverness :HGWK0D\SP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZHGHQFRXUWFRXN Dundee Rep Theatre 7KXUVWK )ULWK0D\SP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZGXQGHHUHSFRXN Riverside Theatre, Coleraine 6DWWK0D\SP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZULYHUVLGHWKHDWUHRUJXN

Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea 7KXUVWK0D\ %R[2IÂżFH ZZZWDOLHVLQDUWVFHQWUHFRXN

Everyman Theatre, Cork 0RQWK0D\7KXUVQG-XQHSP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZHYHU\PDQFRUNFRP

The Market Place, Armagh 7KXUVWK0D\SP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZPDUNHWSODFHDUPDJKFRP

Bonington Theatre, Nottingham )ULWK0D\SP Â…Â… %R[2IÂżFH ZZZERQLQJWRQWKHDWUHFRXN

Mermaid Theatre, Bray )ULUG-XQH %R[2IÂżFH ZZZPHUPDLGDUWVFHQWUHLH

Middlesbrough Theatre 6DWWK0D\SP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZPLGGOHVEURXJKWKHDWUHFRXN

Junction, Goole 6DWVW0D\SP %R[2IÂżFH ZZZMXQFWLRQJRROHFRXN

Glor, Ennis 6DWWK-XQH %R[2IÂżFH ZZZJORULH

Moat Theatre, Naas :HGWK0D\ %R[2IÂżFH ZZZPRDWWKHDWUHFRP


LIFESTYLE__ FOOD & DRINK

CHOC GUINNESS CAKE

WORDS | GASTROGAYS

We want to have cake as often as possible, but it’s not always possible. By making slightly healthier choices it’s definitely less of a guiltridden sin. There’s almost no sugar in this Chocolate Guinness Cake recipe and it’s filled with fresh and natural butter plus topped with pure, whipped fresh double cream. We also gave this stout cake a kick up the arse by adding to the earthy undertones with a sharp shock of espresso to add richness and complement the chocolate and vanilla. Another surprising aspect of this rich, chocolate Guinness cake is that there is actually no real chocolate in it! It’s all down to the cocoa powder and Guinness to give it its colour. . RECIPE

Stew on a medium-low heat

and vanilla together until the

for 30 – 40 minutes or until just

250g plain flour

for about 15 minutes and then

mixture becomes pale and

cooked i.e. firm on the top and

125g cocoa

allow to almost cool. Using a

fluffy, then incorporate each egg

a pricked with a skewer that

190g butter

blender, blitz them into a thick

yolk one by one.

comes out clean. Allow the cake

250ml bottle of Guinness

paste with a jam-like consis-

250g stewed raisins

tency.

1 tbsp vanilla (paste preferably)

halves to rest in the tin before 5. Introduce the raisin mix and

turning out and taking off the

cooled espresso shot and whisk

paper, then allow them to cool.

1 shot of strong espresso

2. Re-weigh the raisin paste to

vigorously. Alternate the dry

50g caster sugar

get 250g as the mixture will

mixture with the Guinness in

8. Whip your double cream

2 large eggs, separated

have adjusted weight during

about 3-4 additions each.

until it is stiff enough to hold its

50g caster sugar

the previous step.

2 tbsp bicarb of soda

shape, and then refrigerate until 6. Finally, whisk the egg whites

ready to use. Once the cake is

1.5 tbsp baking powder

3. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C

until fluffy and just holding

cooled, sandwich the two layers

250ml double cream

and grease and line two same-

their shape. Stir the mixture

with a layer of cream about 1cm

sized baking tins.

into the cake batter lightly but

thick. Be careful not to reaching

quickly. Then decant between

the sides or the cream will spill

the two tins.

out. Then top the cake with the

1. Soak and stew your raisins. Pop them in a small pan and

4. Separate and weigh all your

cover them with just enough

ingredients. In a large bowl

water to submerge and no more.

whisk the softened butter, sugar

remaining cream and sprinkle 7. Bake in the centre of the oven

with cocoa powder to taste.

GNIMAG.COM | 71


LIFESTYLE__ FOOD & DRINK

RESTAURANT REVIEW

LATITUDE Located in the leafy suburb of Stranmillis in Belfast’s University

Starters include traditional prawn cocktail, calamari served in sautéed

Quarter, Lattitude is a globally inspired restaurant which offers a more

in garlic lemon and parsley, served with garlic mayonnaise, Moules

relaxed dining experience compared to its more up-market peers. Since

marinière cooked with white wine garlic, shallots, cream sauce, and a

opening in 2015, Latitude has become a hotspot for its emphasis on

surprisingly hefty portion of grilled children salad.

fresh, local fare served in a relaxed and unfussy setting.

The mains leave nothing to be desired, with an ample selection including: Warm chicken and beetroot salad char-grilled chicken

Latitude’s menu takes a little bit of inspiration from every corner of

breast served with mix leaves, beetroot and house dressing Cod

the globe in its dishes, all of which make full use of the freshest and

goujons fat cut chips and lemon mayonnaise Grilled beef burger

finest ingredients when seasonally available. Tasty grilled meats are

caramelised onions, lettuce, cheese, relish Pulled pork burger salad,

always a popular dish whilst main courses include daube of beef

cheese chips, relish Chicken Shashlik skewered chicken, salad, tomato

brisket with creamy mashed potatoes; pan seared sea bass fillet; beef

chutney Daube of beef braised beef with creamy mash roasted root

burger with pulled pork and skinny fries and moules mariniere with

vegetables, red wine jus

garlic bread. Portions are huge and guaranteed to leave patrons with a full stomach. There are also some delicious light bites to sample too for

The wine list is amply stocked and drinks are reasonably priced.

those who prefer a smaller dish. Latitude is a cool dining destination with a friendly team who are

Latitude Restaurant

more than happy to assist with menu recommendations and drinks

66 Stranmillis Road, Belfast

choices. The trendy dining room boasts a laid back atmosphere where

028 9066 8087

the drinks flow and the food always pleases.

772 | GNIMAG.COM


TRAVEL__ STOCKHOLM

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME IN THE LAND OF BJORN BORG’S, IKEA AND THE BRIDGE

Eurovision season is upon us, and this year it’s the turn of Sweden to play host to this year’s contest in May. This will be the third time the contest has taken place in Stockholm. The first followed ABBA’s iconic win in Brighton in 1974, and again in 2000 after Charlotte Nilsson’s victory in Jerusalem. Eurovision fans and tourists are set to descend upon Sweden’s LGBT friendly capital, setting it ablaze with color, song and dance. GNI MAG’s very own Gastrogays say “Hej Stockholm!” WORDS | PATRICK HANLON & RUSSELL ALFORD ABOUT

the city’. Gamla Stan, literally ‘Old Town’,

hour travel card will set you back around

57 bridges cross the city of Stockholm,

in the centre boasts buckets of old world

250SEK (approx £20).

which is spread across a collection of

charm with its cobbled medieval streets,

14 main islands within a wider Baltic

and is home to most of the city’s tourist

CULTURE

archipelago. This makes Stockholm one

attractions, including the Royal Palace,

Of course, you knew already knew that

of the most unique cities in Europe. Come

the Stockholm Cathedral and the Nobel

the Swedes are a beautiful, Elfin race of

knee-high snow or balmy sunshine,

Museum. In the south is Södermalm

platinum-haired, blue-eyed models, and

Stockholm is a must-visit port of call in

and SoFo, home to the bohemian set, an

you aren’t wrong. Another surprising trait

Scandinavia.

area where independent cafes, quirky

is their command of the English language.

Each of Stockholm’s islands has its own

boutiques, and speakeasies abound.

The Swedish command of English is

identity. Östermalm to the northeast is a

Provided you’re staying somewhat central,

exceptional; everyone from waiting staff

series of pristine boulevards for the well

Stockholm is very much a walkable city.

to retail employees will happily switch

heeled. Djurgården (with its acres of rolling

To get around you can take your pick

between the two.

green space) is known as the ‘lungs of

from the metro, bus, tram or rail. A 72-

74 | GNIMAG.COM

There are two important things to note


TRAVEL__ STOCKHOLM about Swedish culture: the first is that

ultra trendy restaurant/bar in Södermalm

and airport in 20 minutes. Perched on

alcohol is limited to bars, clubs, restaurants

serves meatball dishes of every variety.

a boulevard corner overlooking a leafy,

and few other places. You won’t find wine

From traditional balls with lingonberry

tree-lined park which houses the national

in supermarkets. You won’t see people

and mash, to wacky options of salmon,

library, the Scandic Anglais is a decadent

drinking on the streets. Off-licenses are few

moose or rooster, it’s all washed down

and glamorous hotel with over 200

and far between, and all of them operate

with a great choice of craft beers and

rooms, gym, two bars, a Jamie’s Italian

strict opening hours and rules. The Swedes

wines. Get here early before they sell out.

restaurant and bar serving sensational and

take alcohol abuse seriously, so beware. A

Pocket (Norrlandsgatan 31,

affordable rustic Italian plates. Our top

search for the nearest ‘systembolaget’ will

pontusfrithiof.com) is a restaurant from

floor double room boasted its own balcony

find you that bottle of Sauvignon Blanc if

the stable of Sweden’s celebrity chef

with stunning vista of the city as well as a

you really need it.

Pontus Frithiof. A fantastic option for

built-in sauna. Those little added touches

The second noteworthy aspect of

lunch or dinner whilst not blowing the

that elevate a hotel stay to another level

Swedish life is that, surprisingly, they’re

budget, the menu at Pocket is casual

– fluffy dressing gowns, designer toiletries

not entirely uptight. Swedes enjoy taking

brasserie, balancing French classics with

and platters of fresh fruit – were all present

time out daily for the important cultural

seasonal Swedish influence. This is a great

and correct.

ritual of kaffe och kakken. That’s coffee

option for walk-ins in a city where pre-

and cake to you and I, served in a ‘fika’ (a

booking is very nearly a pre-requisite.

colloquial term for a café). Café culture is

Smoked birch scents the air and a fierce

THINGS TO DO Whether you are a fan or not, a visit to

rife in Stockholm. On average, the Swede’s

heat emanates from the kitchen of Ekstedt

the ABBA Museum (abbathemuseum.

down 4.5 cups of the stuff each day. In

(Ekstedt.nu), the eponymous restaurant

com) is a must. Located on the quieter side

Stockholm the coffee shops open until

from Niklas Ekstedt. Ekstedt is one of

of Stockholm at Djurgården, the ABBA

late, with natives meeting for their daily

Stockholm’s most celebrated restaurants,

museum is an interactive and exciting

cuppa around 3pm when the cafés are at

situated alongside Humlegårdsgatan.

celebration of song and dance where you

their busiest. Chokladkoppen (Stortorget

The chefs cook without electricity or gas,

can follow the band’s rise to fame with a

18, chokladkoppen.se) is a must-visit gay

instead using wood-fired ovens, charcoal,

handy audio guide narrated by Benny,

café in the heart of Gamla Stan that serves

soot, ash, smoke and open fire. The end

Björn, Agnetha

a famous bowl – yes, bowl, you read that

result is a complex, diverse and exciting

and Anni-Frid. See their iconic costumes,

right – of hot chocolate that no trip to

seasonal four or six-course menu. The

sing along to their greatest hits and

Stockholm is complete without.

food is worth the expense, and if you are

even star in a music video as their ‘fifth

travelling with your partner try to dine at

member’. Entry costs 195SEK (£16). We

EAT

the chef’s bar for a bird’s eye view of their

recommend you visit on a Thursday to

The heady scents of cinnamon and

fascinating preparations. (If you are lucky

take advantage of the late night openings

cardamom waft through Stockholm.

you might even be allowed a glimpse into

and get your Dancing Queen fantasy on

You are never more than a few metres

a Michelin-starred kitchen in the literal

while no one is watching.

from freshly made semlor (cream cakes),

heat of service.)

kannelbulle (cinnamon buns) or slices

Another popular way to spend a few hours is at the Vasa Museum (vasamuseet.

of prinsesstårta (princess cake). Our tip is

WHERE TO STAY

se), which details the story of a giant 17th

to try the cardamom and pistachio buns!

We stayed at the Scandic Anglais

century warship which sank in Stockholm

Fabrique (various locations, fabrique.

(scandichotels.com/anglais) in the heart of

harbor on its maiden voyage and lay

se) is a Stockholm institution that has

Östermalm. It is seconds from some of the

untouched for 300 years until it was

now also branched to London and offers

city’s best shopping, and just one metro

reclaimed and restored. The museum is a

delicious sourdough breads and sweet

stop away from Centralen station, where

surprisingly engrossing tale of Stockholm

bakes made using traditional methods. Il

the ultra-convenient and surprisingly

through the ages told via its seafaring

Caffe (various locations, ilcaffe.se), Albert

luxe Arlanda Express connects the city

heritage. Entry costs around 130SEK (£10).

& Jacks (Skeppsbron 24, albertjacks.se) and Snickarbacken 7 are all excellent outposts to enjoy artisanal treats in a relaxed and cosy setting. It is practically impossible to visit Sweden without sampling the meatballs. Meatballs For The People (Nytorgsgatan 30, meatball.se) is the city’s first selfproclaimed ‘meatballaria’. This cheap but

MORE INFO: Both Dublin (Ryanair) and London (Norwegian, SAS, British Airways, Ryanair, Finnair) operate daily services to Stockholm’s airports. For up-to-date information, Stockholm’s tourism board run a Facebook page and website that is regularly updated at

gaylesbian.visitstockholm.com

GNIMAG.COM | 75


LIFESTYLE__ FITNESS

FITNESS 10 — Earn your carbs.

FATLOSS TIPS 1 — When it comes to training and nutrition, consistency is key. 2 — Find a physical activity that you enjoy and plan around it, but make sure you’re goal driven otherwise you will find yourself running in circles. 3 — Success depends on You. 4 — Find an experienced coach 5 — If you’re not nervous about your next training session, you are doing it wrong. 6 — Find a good programme and stick to it. 7 — When training remember: The bigger the base, the taller the peak. Too many people try to work at their physical maximum, only to find it later. 8 — Mobility comes first. It doesn’t matter how big or how strong you are, if you don’t have the flexibility you’re going to do more harm than good. 9 — Replace your weights each time you use them. Trust me on this one.

11 — Eat the rainbow. No, not skittles, but loads of differently coloured veg. 12 — Drink at least a half litre of water before breakfast and keep drinking it throughout the day. 13 — With protein powder, you get what you pay for. At Hybrid, we opt for ICON whey (see sidebar). 14 — Avoid coffee after 1pm. 15 — Cooking with coconut oil. 16 — Opt for dark chocolate over milk. The bitterness will stop you eating as much. 17 — Treat yourself every now and then. Don’t make yourself feel miserable. 18 — Eat a good source of protein like chicken or fish with every meal. 19 — If you do slip up, remember it’s not the end of the world. Put it behind you and get back on the wagon. MICHAEL LENNON PERSONAL TRAINER HYBRID FITNESS, BELFAST

ICON WHEY PROTEIN POWDER (AVAILABLE IN A RANGE OF FLAVOURS) £29.99 ICON Whey Protein Evolution is the purest form of muscle recovery and performance protein powder on the market. Sourced from hormone free Irish cows that are grass fed year round, this protein powder contains significantly more naturally occurring branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s) per serving than other whey protein products. Free from GMO ingredients, ICON Whey is non-denatured, nonacid treated, cold pressed whey protein designed to target type II muscle fibres and improve a person’s size, strength and lean body gains. ICONNUTRITION.COM

LS

THE ESSENTIA

It’s not just feeling good that matters, whether you are pre- or post-gym, looking and smelling good is half the battle.

JIMBAG RED HOLDALL £49.99 JIMBAG.CO.UK

76 | GNIMAG.COM

EAU DE LACOSTE ROUGE 100ML £47.00 LACOSTE.COM/GB

AMI ALEXANDRE MATTIUSI TRAINERS £235 SSENSE.COM


LIFESTYLE__ FITNESS

REAL MAN

NAME: DANIEL MAY AGE: 32 LOCATION: BELFAST OCCUPATION: GNI MAG BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER HEIGHT: 5’ 8” WEIGHT: 10st 2lb

TRIMMED OR NATURAL? DEPENDS ON THE TIME OF THE YEAR, FURRY FOR THE WINTER, CLEAN CUT IN THE SUN. BOXERS OR BRIEFS? BOXER BRIEFS, NO LOOSEY GOOSIES. GUILTY PLEASURE? SWEETS AND CHOCOLATE. FAVE PRODUCT? DISPOSABLE FLOSSERS; A MUST HAVE IN A MAN BAG.

“In an ideal world I would be in the gym every day but life gets in the way.” GNIMAG.COM | 77


YOUR DATING PROBLEMS ANSWERED__

Big moves and saying “I love you” Dating expert Eamon is here to help. Depression affects every aspect of our lives, including our relationships. Some days will seem better than others. On your better days, try to make an effort to show love and appreciation to your partner.

Hi Eamon, I’ve been dating my new boyfriend for a few months. Things are pretty great if I’m being honest. We click really well and I’m lucky to see him as much as I want. I like him enough to be honest about my feelings – whenever we say goodbye I always tell him I love him, but so far he hasn’t said it back and it’s starting to worry me. Should I stop saying it in the hope that he gets the hint? I don’t want him to think I’m angry or upset at him. Help! Paul, Cork Hi Paul. Telling someone you love them and not hearing it back is something I’m sure we all have experienced, so please don’t feel alone. It’s important to understand that many people associate saying “I love you” with new expectations or changes to a relationship. From what you have said about spending plenty of time together and clicking, it may be just the case that your boyfriend is enjoying keeping everything moving along pressure-free at this stage. As for you saying it, I think you need to do what feels right. If you want to express your feelings then do so, but instead of worrying about him not saying it back, perhaps just focus on all the good aspects of the relationship you have. Putting pressure on things, in my experience, only leads to more problems.

If you want Eamon to answer your dating problems email dating@lambpromotions.com. GNI MAG reserves the right to publish submitted material in whole or in part.

GNIMAG.COM | 78

Hello. My wife and I have been married for almost ten years. We are both teachers (in separate schools), which really puts a huge strain on our marriage. After feeling low for a long time I decided to see a doctor who diagnosed me with depression. The anti-depressants are helping a little, but not much. How do I get through this without hurting the love of my life? I don’t want her to suffer because of me. Louise, Dublin Hi Louise. I’m sorry to hear you are having a hard time at the moment. Depression affects every aspect of our lives, including our relationships. Some days will seem

better than others. On your better days, try to make an effort to show love and appreciation to your partner. Try to go for a walk, preferably with your partner. Make the effort to have a cuddle and above all else be honest with your other half. It’s possible that she won’t fully understand how you are feeling, but I’m sure she is trying hard to understand and help. It may also be the perfect time to perhaps reevaluate your working lives, as a change there could lessen the strain on your marriage, help with your depression, and improve your relationship overall. A good relationship is very therapeutic for somebody with depression, so try to keep positive and remember that this won’t last forever.

Hey Eamon, I’m moving to Liverpool in September for uni. I’ve been seeing a guy for a couple of months but he won’t commit to a relationship. Because I don’t want a ‘friends with benefits situation’ I’m happy to move on and make a fresh start. But how do I meet people in a city I’ve never been to? The gay scene there looks enormous. I’ve no idea where to start! Johnny, Belfast Hey Johnny. It sounds like you have an exciting move ahead of you. The truth is you won’t have to worry about meeting people because the gay scene in Liverpool is much, much bigger than either Belfast or Dublin. So you definitely won’t have a problem when it comes to picking people to choose from. If anything you will robably struggle to keep up with so many new faces. My advice would be to find a good group of friends. If you are new to a city it’s always a good idea to explore the sights and nightlife with friends as opposed to doing it on your own. When it comes to dating and potential new boyfriends love can strike when you least expect it. You could easily end up with a classmate or someone you meet at the student union bar. Above all else, be careful and stay safe until you are confident you know the city well. Good luck and let me know how you get on.


UnitShore 3 Lough Shore Courtyard, Shore Road, Jordanstown Unit 3 Lough Courtyard, 626 Shore626 Road, Jordanstown BT37 0ZT BT37 0ZT Telephone: 028 9086 000007761 Mobile: 07761 147757 Email: info@eamonmcauleyinteriordesign.com Telephone: 028 9086 0000 Mobile: 147757 Email: info@eamonmcauleyinteriordesign.com


OWROOM

HOMES__ INTERIORS

quickly t-term

clients rably etail can see or the or design ok 6 ening of

s Eamon rniture, ns.

“The response from the local area hasproducts already been fantastic and I Eamon can provide have been inundated with jobs from an for entire house remodel, numerous a client, from kitchens and living space refurbishments, bespoke sized sofas, a private home bar to bathrroms, bespoke furniture, living bedrooms, commercial spaces. I’m delighted with the list ofspaces, new clients and the uptake wallpaper, fabrics to custom from the retail customers.” made curtains. “The response from the local The final design of the studio makes it possible for people to come in area has already been fantastic and get inspired. “Nothing gives me more pleasure in this job than seeing and I have been inundated a clients face on the final reveal of my design, which willan have beenhouse a with jobs from entire collaboration with the client to their specification.” remodel, numerous living space refurbishments, bespoke sized sofas, private home If you haven’t already, call into the residential andacommercial studio for barwith to commercial I’m inspiration or to getstarted some great a great range spaces. of accessories Eamon McAuley his gift idea’s delighted with directly the list for of new interior designAlternatively, business in you can phone for your home. the studio a clients and the uptake from the 2013 and quickly learned that private consultation at your home. retail customers.” working from home was only The final design of the studio ever going to be a short-term To book an appointment at the showroom makesemail it possible for people solution. info@eamonmcauleyinteriordesign.com or call to come in 07761147757 and get inspired. Having found himself lucky “Nothing gives me more enough to gather a fantastic list HOWROOM pleasure in this job than seeing of clients very quickly through a clients face on the final reveal 13 and quickly recommendation, the business a short-term of my design, which will have grew considerably in the first been a collaboration with the year. Entering his second year ist of clients client to their specification.” onsiderably he started to look for a retail for a retail To get some great gift ideas premises that would enable an om you can see base for the with a great range of accessories expansion into the showroom n interior design for your home why not call into oom took 6 you can see today. Having the opening of the residential and commercial resided in Jordanstown, he studio for inspiration wanted to have a base for the roducts Eamon Alternatively you can phone poke furniture, “Thebusiness response from thethere local area has already been fantastic and I too, as for many curtains. have been inundated with jobs from an entire house remodel, numerous Eamon McAuley started his interior design business in 2013 and quickly the studio directly to arrange years the area had lacked an living space refurbishments, bespoke sized sofas, a private home bar to learned that working from home was only ever going to be a short-term commercial spaces. I’m delighted with the list of new clients and the uptake solution. a private consultation at your interior design service, which from the retail customers.” home. Having found himself lucky enough to gather a fantastic list of clients he learned from previous The final design of the studio makes it possible for people to come in very quickly through recommendation, the business grew considerably and get inspired. “Nothing givesshowroom me more pleasure in this job than6 seeing clients. The took in the first year. Entering his second year he started to look for a retail a clients face on the final reveal of my design, which will have been a premises that would an expansion into the showroom you can see To book anenable appointment at months to be transformed from collaboration with the client to their specification.” today. Having resided in Jordanstown, he wanted to have a base for the the info@ businessshowroom there too, as for manyemail years the area had lacked an interior design the shell it started with to the If you haven’t already, call into the residential and commercial studio for service, which he learned from previous clients. The showroom took 6 inspiration or to get someof great gift idea’s with a great of accessories opening it’s doors in range late 2015. eamonmcauleyinteriordesign. months to be transformed from the shell it started with to the opening of for your home. Alternatively, you can phone the studio directly for a com call its doors or 3 weeks ago. 07761 147757 The studio private consultation at your home.was designed to showcase the entire list of The studio was designed to showcase the entire list of products Eamon To book an appointment at the showroom email

INTERIOR STYLING BY EAMON McAULEY

W O N T N E V E G N I SPR

ON

rest 2 4 M o n t h s in t e f r e e f in a n c e *

STUNNING NEW SHOWROOM

info@eamonmcauleyinteriordesign.com or call 07761147757

can provide for a client, from kitchens and bathrooms, bespoke furniture, living spaces, bedrooms, wallpaper, fabrics to custom made curtains.

Furniture, Sofas, Giftware New cafe open in Boucher Crescent Belfast City Centre 17-21 Bruce Street, Belfast, BT2 7JD (028) 9032 3197

TORE Boucher Crescent NEW S45-56 Boucher Crescent, Belfast, BT12 6HU Tel: (028) 9521 5899

“The response from the local area has already been fantastic and I have been inundated with jobs from an entire house remodel, numerous living space refurbishments, bespoke sized sofas, a private home bar to commercial spaces. I’m delighted with the list of new clients and the uptake from the retail customers.”

Ballymena 33-35 Mill Street, Ballymena, BT43 5AA (028) 2564 9787

The final design of the studio makes it possible for people to come in and get inspired. “Nothing gives me more pleasure in this job than seeing a clients face on the final reveal of my design, which will have been a collaboration with the client to their specification.”

Newtownabbey Unit 5b, Longwood Road Retail Park Road, Newtownabbey, BT37 9UQ If you haven’t already,Longwood call into the residential and commercial studio for inspiration or to get some great gift idea’s with a great range of accessories 02890 for your home. Alternatively, you can phone the Tel: studio directly for a 862223 private consultation at your home.

* Terms and Conditions apply

To book an appointment at the showroom email info@eamonmcauleyinteriordesign.com or call 07761147757


HOME We have a look at freshening up your dining room in this issue. The Travers Diner set in Creations caught our eye. This oak set has a distressed finish, giving you a homely feel with a modern twist.

SP R IN G EV EN T N 24 Mo nt hs in te fr ee fin an ce *

OW ON

re st

Travers Diner £499 (event price) Travers Bench £225 (event price) Silla Chair £59 (event price) Set price for Travers Diner + Travers Bench + 3 Silla Chairs: £899 (event Price) Furniture, Sofas, Giftware New cafe open in Boucher Crescent Belfast City Centre 17-21 Bruce Street, Belfast, BT2 7JD (028) 9032 3197

ORE Boucher Crescent NEW ST 45-56 Boucher Crescent, Belfast, BT12 6HU Tel: (028) 9521 5899

Ballymena 33-35 Mill Street, Ballymena, BT43 5AA (028) 2564 9787 Newtownabbey Unit 5b, Longwood Road Retail Park Longwood Road, Newtownabbey, BT37 9UQ Tel: 02890 862223

Clock £249 Vase £99 Man ornament £74.99 (small) Prices will revert to After Event prices once the Creations Spring Event is over (spring event starts at the start of April). 24 months interest free finance (with 10% deposit) Terms and conditions apply.

* Terms and Conditions apply

GNIMAG.COM | 81


Corick House Hotel and Spa is the ideal venue for a Civil Ceremony/Partnership with a variety of suites available to cater for your wedding party, from our secluded Library Room which accommodates intimate celebrations for up to 20 guests, to seating 200 guests in our elegant Garden Room and 350 guests in our stunning new Orchid Suite. The advantage of having your civil ceremony in Corick House Hotel and Spa is the professional dedicated time and attention devoted to you and your wedding day. From the initial planning stages right through to your wedding day we will ensure that you get the highest level of personal service. No request is too big and no concern to small. For more details contact our wedding co-ordinator today on functions@corickcountryhouse.com or 028 8554 8216

20 Corick Road, Clogher, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT76 0BZ T: +44 (0)28 8554 8216 | E: reservations@corickcountryhouse.com www.corickcountryhouse.com/civil-wedding-ceremonies


GNI MAG Weddings


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__

Not many couples can thank not getting into a club for bringing them together. Ryan and Patrick made it work.

RYAN & PATRICK

PATRICK

PATRICK

We met though friends. We had crossed paths

We moved in together quite quickly, before that

so many times over the years without realising.

I had been living in Glasgow and just couldn’t

I still think it was fate. As soon as we met we hit

stick living with my mum again after being

it off, I only thought we’d be great friends.

independent for so long (sorry mum!).

Ryan ended up splitting from his ex, and

About six months after getting together

then one night when I was out with friends

we were away for the weekend and started

and we didn’t get into the club because I

drunkenly talking about getting engaged.

was far too drunk I ended up sitting outside

Neither of us ever imagined getting married, let

McDonalds drunkenly eating a Big Mac and

alone getting married to each other. When we

throwing chips and texting him to tell him I

got home and talked about it again I thought,

really liked him!

actually, why don’t we?

RYAN

RYAN

I wasn’t long out of a relationship when I met

Neither of us had that much of an opinion on

Patrick. I’m really glad I texted him back!

marriage before we that conversation. To be

GNIMAG.COM | 85


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ RYAN & PATRICK

honest it was one of those “When you

Corinthian was spectacular; they were

of transport and time restrains etc., so we

know, you know” situations. We moved in

so helpful, from our first time organising

arranged to have our photographs be

together almost straight away. It felt right

everything through to being there on

taken in the morning by the amazingly

and we didn’t want to miss the chance

the day. I’m still devastated it’s over! The

talented James McGrillis. It allowed our

to do it. It’s not like someone asks you to

day passes so quickly. You really have to

wedding party plenty of time to get ready.

marry them every day. It felt like the right

appreciate every moment.

next move, even if it was a bit earlier than

After that we quite literally strolled through Glasgow from our hotel right the

RYAN

way to the Cortinthian. Well, it wasn’t

The wedding day was unreal. When we

quite direct. We made a few fun stops

PATRICK

chose Glasgow we thought hardly anyone

along the way… Not many couples get

The wedding day was amazing. I couldn’t

would come, but they did! So we really

to say they went to the funfair on the day

have asked for nicer day. Originally

made a weekend of it. Even with the travel

they get married.

we decided to get married in Northern

we ended up with about 70 guests. The

Ireland but going away to get married

fact we run a wedding company together

PATRICK

was the perfect solution. We’d both spent

really put the pressure on to make our

The food at the Corinthian was beautiful.

a lot of time in Scotland, so I mentioned

own big day extra special. Our friend and

I’ve never seen a wedding meal like it. Of

the Corinthian Club in Glasgow. Ryan

family were expecting a lot!

course the drinks were flowing.

most couples make that step.

instantly fell in love with it. We turned the wedding day on its head

The Corinthian had a style and

One thing we both agreed from the

atmosphere that made us fall in love with

beginning was that we wanted brilliant

by having our photographs taken in the

it. It’s an old building with a lot of modern

food and loads of drink, and we didn’t

morning. This meant that we got to spend

twists. It oozes style and class and we

disappoint. We didn’t have a live band

the afternoon after the ceremony with

knew it would be the perfect backdrop for

– we aren’t that kind of couple – so we

our family and friends. I have family who

our wedding.

opted for a DJ to play our favourite music

live in England that I don’t see very often,

We wanted a really classy event, but

so it was important for me to be able to

still with a casual feel. We didn’t want to

spend time with them. Everything at the

put any pressure on our guests in terms

throughout the night. RYAN The food is such an important part of every wedding ceremony. Working in the industry you always hear what people complain about, and a substandard meal is top of the list, so we opted for a modern menu with a great selection. And who doesn’t love a few bottles of champagne? For fun we made each of our guests a little personalised gift bag. Every one of our guests got a totally customised present from us, something personal or special. It was a huge undertaking but it was worth it to see their faces when they realised what we had gotten them. We haven’t taken a honeymoon just yet. Our business is doing great so we can’t really squeeze any time off just yet to have one yet.

86 | GNIMAG.COM


THE BIG DAY__ TONY & DARREN

“I’m with the person who makes me smile more than anyone else. I can’t really remember what single life was like anymore” GNIMAG.COM | 77


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ RYAN & PATRICK

PATRICK

change from the way other people treat us

RYAN

Married life is good. We haven’t killed

a couple. I suppose it means we get taken

We do enjoy a lot of the same things. We

each other yet. I guess once you start

more seriously now that we’ve tied the

are big into our movies and binging on box

living together things tend to be very

knot. All in all it’s been fantastic. Married

sets, then again what couple isn’t? We love

similar once you get married.

life feels wonderful.

our nights out too, and of course our art

Not a lot changes, but I couldn’t be

and design. I think that’s how we manage

happier. I’m with the person who makes

PATRICK

to live and work together so well. Having

me smile more than anyone else. To be

We are into a lot of the same things, so

the same interests reduces the chances of

honest I can’t really remember single life

we spend quite a bit of time together.

us eventually killing each other.

anymore.

Everyone wonders how we can go to work together and then come home and still

RYAN

have things to talk about, but at work we

It’s been great so far. Because we live and

are both constantly doing different things

work together it means business as usual,

so we aren’t always tripping over each

IF YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR

but it’s a lovely feeling of security and

other (only sometimes!). I think we’ve

BIG DAY STORY WITH US, EMAIL

comfort. I think we’ve noticed a bit of a

found a good work/life balance.

KIERAN@LAMBPROMOTIONS.COM

88 | GNIMAG.COM


Light Blue Pantone 636 Blue lettering Pantone 2945

Fade Dark Blue Pantone 2945

Gold lettering Preferably Metalic 872 or Pantone solid 872

“Say I do at the Loughshore Hotel�

6XSHUE ZHGGLQJ IDFLOLWLHV LQ WKH KHDUW RI %HOIDVW FLW\ FHQWUH

From only ÂŁ25 per person...

75 Belfast Road, Carrickfergus BT38 8PH

Phone our dedicated wedding team on (028) 9336 4556 www.loughshorehotel.com

Exquisite Wedding Packages from ÂŁ25pp! Contact our Wedding Planner to book an appointment on 028 9024 1001

3DFNDJHV IURP  SHU SHUVRQ &DOO XV WRGD\ &OD\WRQ +RWHO %HOIDVW  2UPHDX $YHQXH %HOIDVW%7 +6

Ten Square Hotel 10 Donegall Square South Belfast BT1 5JD Tel: 028 9024 1001 www.tensquare.co.uk

    PHHWLQJVEHOIDVW#FOD\WRQKRWHOVFRP ZZZFOD\WRQKRWHOEHOIDVWFRP


Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke

STEP UP TOGETHER NI Team Trek Challenge 2016

Ordinary people who step up can make a big difference. nichs.org.uk/stepup2016 Registered Charity No XN 47338


HEALTH__

MANAGING STRESS

STRESS! Sandra*, a healthcare professional in her 40s, has been with her partner for almost 20 years and they have just celebrated the 5th anniversary of their Civil Partnership. But despite being happy to make a public declaration of her love for her partner in front of her friends and family, she has always been more circumspect when it comes to her colleagues.

Recently, one of her close colleagues asked

bound to have mental health problems.”

her, “Sandra, is there no one special in your life?” The concern in her colleague’s

SO WHAT IS STRESS?

voice and her obvious desire to see Sandra

Stress is a natural reaction in the body

in a happy relationship, finally prompted

designed to give short bursts of heightened

Sandra to say…”well actually, I am gay

energy or awareness such as the “fight

and I’ve been with Mags* for around 20

or flight” reaction which helps us run

years.” And with that, Sandra burst into

away from danger. In caveman times, the

tears. At first she couldn’t understand why

danger may have been a saber-toothed

she felt so emotional, but then later she

tiger, but nowadays the body is more

realised it was the relief from no longer

likely to experience stress because of

having to hide such an important part

worries about relationships, money, work,

of her life from someone she was with 8

unemployment or ill health.

hours a day. She had been unaware of the

Everybody, regardless of sexual

underlying stress that not feeling able to

orientation can have these worries, but

be truly open about her personal life was

for people within the LGB&T community,

causing her.

there can be the additional stress of

The underlying stress that Sandra felt

coming out to family, friends and

was low level but this is not the case for

colleagues, ongoing concerns about

everyone. If stress is not managed, it can

their level of acceptance and bullying,

cause mental health problems such as

harassment and stigmatisation.

anxiety or depression, and increase your risk of physical health problems. In 2014, researchers from the University

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF STRESS ON YOUR HEALTH?

of Cambridge reported that 12% of lesbian

As well as its potential to lead to anxiety

women and almost 19% of bisexual

and depression, extended periods of stress

women reported mental health problems,

can lead to a vast range of health related

compared with 6% of heterosexual

problems such as high blood pressure,

women. Meanwhile 11% of gay men and

heightened risk of blood clots and

15% of bisexual men reported problems,

increased risk of obesity due to the release

compared to 5% of heterosexual men.

of the hormone cortisol. These risks are

The 2012 report “All Partied Out?” by

worsened by the ways that we choose to

The Rainbow Project primarily looked at

cope with stress, such as smoking, alcohol

substance abuse. But the report also stated,

or comfort eating.

“Numerous comments from participants

Stress also seems to worsen or increase

in the survey, interviews and focus

the risk of conditions like Alzheimer’s

groups suggested a connection between

disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal

stigmatisation, mental stress and the use of

problems, and asthma, so being able to

substances.” One participant commented,

spot the early warning signs is important.

“I grew up thinking I’m not normal….. When you go through those formative

Physical early warning signs:

years and you’re thinking that, you are

- Insomnia and sleep disturbances

Sponsored by Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke


HEALTH__

MANAGING STRESS

- Fatigue

events that are stressful but how we

your readiness to cope with the stress of

- Muscle tension and pain

perceive them. Having a supportive group

day–to–day life.

- Heart palpitations

of friends and family members to talk to

- Stomach upset and gastrointestinal

and give you a different point of view is

Avoid unhealthy coping behaviours

problems

often key to successfully dealing with the

Smoking, drinking, taking drugs and

- Breathlessness without exertion

stress of day-to-day life. If you are unable

comfort eating are all normal reactions to

- Headaches

to get social support from your friends

stress. They may all make you feel better

- Weakened immune system which can

and families, you can try finding support

in the short term but they actually have

by becoming involved in community,

a negative impact on your ability to cope

the arts, social, athletic, artistic and other

with stress...

result in more coughs and colds. Psychological early warning signs:

groups. Mental health counselling and

- Inability to focus and concentrate

support groups that are sensitive to the

NICOTINE releases adrenalin which

- Loss of sense of humour

needs of the LGB&T community can be

increases your heart rate, blood pressure

- High levels of anxiety and worry

especially useful if you are coming to

and your breathing. The part of smoking

- Constant irritability towards others

terms with your sexual orientation or are

that does relax your body without

- Withdrawal from social contact

experiencing depression, anxiety, or other

harming it is the deep breathing and

- Lack of motivation to get things done

mental health problems.

inhalation. ALCOHOL as a chemical, is a depressant so

DEALING WITH STRESS

RELAXATION - If you can find a spare

can actually make feelings of depression

If you recognise any of these signs then

15 minutes, just lie in the dark, with gentle

or anxiety worse not better. It also disrupts

you need to learn how to cope with stress

music on or just in silence. Breathe deeply

sleep leaving us tired, irritable and less

in a healthy way. Of course the best way

so you are very aware of your breathing.

able to cope with what is stressing us in

to deal with stress you are under is to

Don’t think about what is worrying you.

the first place.

tackle what is causing you stress in the

Think about your breathing. If you can

DRUGS can increase our chances of getting

first place. But if the source of stress is other

do this regularly, it will help your blood

heart disease, stroke or lung damage, as

people’s attitudes towards you, which

pressure and help reverse some of the

they can cause high blood pressure, blood

is not something you can control, other

physical effects of the stress you are under.

clots, cardiac arrest or heart failure, as well

techniques are required.

as the dangers of addiction, overdoses and DO EXERCISE - Exercise uses up the

financial problems,

RE-FRAMING - If you can’t change what is

chemicals that stress releases into the

FOOD is sometimes used as a means of

causing you stress, you can try to change

blood system in a good way. Exercise

de–stressing as it is something we have

how you feel about it or how you respond

also lowers blood pressure which can be

control over. When we comfort eat it is

to it. There are many ways to interpret the

increased by prolonged stress.

often it is carbohydrates that we crave but

same situation so pick the one you like

these can make you sleepy and so are not

best rather than the one that upsets you

GET MORE SLEEP - According to many

what your body needs when it is trying to

the most and causes you the most anxiety

experts, most people need between seven

cope with a stressful situation. In addition

and stress. Re–framing does not change the

and eight hours of sleep each night. When

to this, an increase in weight due to

external reality, but helps you view things

you don’t get enough sleep, symptoms

comfort eating could lead to future health

in a different light and less stressfully.

such as moodiness, anxiety, aggression

problems, and have an adverse effect on

and increased stress levels can result.

your self image and confidence.

GET IT OFF YOUR CHEST - A problem

While sleeping more certainly won’t

shared is a problem halved. It’s not always

eliminate all stress, it can help increase

www.nichs.org.uk

*Name has been changed.

LISTENING UNDERSTANDING ADVISING SUPPORTING WE’RE ON YOUR SIDE


oad

d

TREET eet

STAG AND HEN PARTIES

TAILORED CafÊ TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS Queen’s Bar

Queens Arcade Belfast BT15FF

PACKAGES FROM ONLY â‚Ź75 pp Meal Deal for 2 Food Served 2Porterhouse Porterhouse Steaks Steaks Accommodation, Day2time with sauce and sides with sauce and sides activities & Night time Includesaabottle bottle of of madness all includedIncludes redor or white red white ÂŁ29.95 for 2 ÂŁ29.95 for 2 Thurs - Sat from

Road

Thurs– Sat from 5.00pm 5.00pm

t

G/gormley

reet

mile

Food Served Food Served

Who will be the biological Dad of your child and how will you both decide? For a gay couple there is a conundrum. Either of you could become the biological father, so whose sperm will you use? Who will be the biological father of your child and how will you both decide? Will you toss a coin? Or simply swirl your semen together and hope for the best? For many gay couples this is too random a way to make such a weighty decision.

Mon - Wed 12 - 7.00pm

Mon-Wed 12-7.00pm Thursday 12 - 9.00pm Thurs-Sat Fri - Sat 1212-9.00pm - 8.00pm Sun 1-5.00pm Sunday 1 - 5.00pm

The smart way is for you both to weigh up chances of success Č´UVWE\FKHFNLQJ\RXUVSHUPKHDOWKZLWKWKH6SHUP&RPHWWHVW When you have this information, you can make an informed, wise decision together on whose sperm to use to make the baby of your dreams. SpermCometÂŽ UHYHDOV\RXU6SHUP'1$+HDOWK

T: 90 249105 E: queenscafebar@hotmail.co.uk W: queenscafebar.co.uk

DUNN

LANDSCAPES

T: +44(0) 28 9023 8915 E: info@spermcomet.com The Next Generation Male Fertility Test

www.spermcomet.com

BESPOKE GARDENS & DRIVEWAYS DUNNLANDSCAPES.CO.UK | 07816 785 747 54 KNIGHTSBRIDGE PARK, BELFAST, BT9 5EH


COMING OUT__ ELECTRA’S STORY

Electra La C*unt is one of the most recognisable faces on the Belfast scene. GNI MAG catches up with her to talk coming out as a queen, MASC4MASC and dating nightmares

Tell us a little about yourself. My name is Electra La C*nt, I am one of the resident drag queens at Boombox nightclub, hosting Satisfy Saturday’s and performing at Sunday Service - Northern Ireland’s Biggest Weekly Drag Spectacular!

dress waving at her but she waved back politely. Eventually both her and my dad cottoned on (after a lot of back and forth shouting!) and realised it was me. My dad just said “you make a quare looking girl son” so I guess that’s a seal of approval!

When did you first realise you wanted to do drag? I’ve always been interested in transformations; like plastic surgery - the more extreme the more fascinating! I used to sell makeup, and the power of makeup through being able to change gender and your physical appearance really appealed to me. So I started doodling on my face with makeup I had left over, and then eventually I started going out in drag!

How did people react when you told them? I always say I am blessed when it comes to family and friends and they were all behind me 100%. It’s never been an issue at all because people understand why I do it, for expressing myself and my art.

Tell me about your coming out experience. When I came out as gay, my parents just got drunk and asked me. They were hugely supportive and I couldn’t have had a better reaction. Drag was a little bit more complicated. I didn’t really know how to say it! So my first ever Pride in drag, I was on the back of the Boombox float in a wedding dress in the pissing rain, and there in the crowd, like 20 feet away from me, were my parents. I thought well this is my chance. So I started waving down and I could see my mum sort of wondering why was this man in a

0808 808 8000

Was coming out a big deal for you or did it feel natural? For my friends it’s always felt natural to tell them anything. For people who don’t know me so well, it’s complicated because we live in such a small, sometimes still narrow-minded community where there is a lot of internalised homophobia within even the gay community. Anything “feminine” or “camp” is an automatic no no. Masc4masc and all that crap. I have a day job, so when I meet people I usually tell them I do that first then the drag kinda comes out later on in the conversation. So dating is hard, and I find it a hard to be open about it because for me it’s a job whereas others view it as a big thing and sometimes a “major turn off ”. Which I guess is a shame.

Textphone 18001 0808 808 8000

www.lifelinehelpline.info


COMING OUT__ ELECTRA’S STORY

COMING OUT

ELECTRA tells hER story. 0808 808 8000

Textphone 18001 0808 808 8000

www.lifelinehelpline.info


COMING OUT__ ELECTRA’S STORY

Has anyones opinion of you changed since you first did drag? Over the past two years of doing drag I find time is incredibly precious. So there’s a natural ebb and flow of friends that happens as a result of not being able to fit people in, but it’s opened up so many doors and new opportunities. I’ve made some life long friends in my sisters at Boombox, most definitely. I’m from Belfast which is a little bit more progressive than other places in Northern Ireland, so I struck lucky there.

What are the most important things in your life? Aside from alcohol, my family and friends. They keep me sane. What are your plans for the future? I’m always looking to push myself in my drag; go that extra bit further, make something bolder or bigger, shock and make a statement. I’m never going to stop that. My biggest critic is myself, so I’m always going to want to improve no matter what people tell me. The future for me is always how can I do better than what I did last.

0808 808 8000

Textphone 18001 0808 808 8000

www.lifelinehelpline.info


you’reinindistress distressor or despair, oryou you distress ordespair, despair,or IfIfyou’re someonewho whois, is,call callLifeline Lifeline24/7 24/7 know 24/7 knowsomeone someone on0808 0808808 8088000 8000. on 8000. 0808 808 You’ll immediatehelp help over the phone. appropriatewe’ll we’llgive give You’llget getimmediate helpover overthe thephone. phone.IfIfIfappropriate You’ll youan an appointment for face to face counselling ininyour your local anappointment appointmentfor forface-to-face face-to-face counsellingin yourlocal localarea you counselling areawithin within days. within 5 - 10 area 7 7days.

Calls to Lifeline are answered CallstotoLifeline Lifelineare areanswered answered Calls by qualified counsellors who byqualified qualifiedcounsellors counsellorswho who by can providehelp help and support canprovide provide help and support can and support con fidence.Calls Callsare are free from inconfidence. confidence. arefree freefrom from inin all landlines and mobiles. alllandlines landlinesand andmost most mobiles. all most mobiles. (Textphone:18001 18001 0808808 808 8000) 180010808 0808 8088000) 8000) (Textphone:


GNI mag THE AWARDS T W E N T Y

S I X T E E N

C O M I N G S O O N

nominated charity Partner


“McLernon Moynagh is a dynamic law firm that prides itself in providing a quality and confidential service to the LGBT community throughout Northern Ireland.”

- Civil Partnership advice & Dissolution - Family, Children, Domestic Violence & Matrimonial matters - House Sales, Purchases & Remortgages

- Criminal Law (24 hour on call) - Wills, Probate & Tax planning - Personal Injury, Litigation and Business Support - Free initial consultation & Legal Aid offered if eligible

T: 028 9042 2038 . W: www.mmsolicitors.net . A: 144 High Street, Holywood


Profile for GNI MAG

GNI MAG ISSUE 21  

Colby Keller, Calum McSwiggan, Rocky Horror Show, The Drag Race Queens, Eurovision, Sex Feature, Homes and Health, Coming Out, Theatre, Tech...

GNI MAG ISSUE 21  

Colby Keller, Calum McSwiggan, Rocky Horror Show, The Drag Race Queens, Eurovision, Sex Feature, Homes and Health, Coming Out, Theatre, Tech...

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded