{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 1

GNI mag OUR HEROS Taking a look at the charity work of: / Leonardo DiCaprio / Marsha P Johnson / Sir Ian McKellen / Ellen DeGeneres / Emma Watson / Laverne Cox

CELEBRAT ING OUR 30T H ISSUE

THE LOCAL HOMOCULTURAL MAGAZINE Issue 30 February / March 2018 £3.95 / €4.95

THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND SLAVERY

This problem is closer to home than you think.

GLOBAL LGBT RIGHTS

Looking at our rights around the world.

ECO FRIENDLY FASHION

sir ELTON JOHN Our Icon

Created using natural fibres and innovative eco fabrics.

CALUM SCOTT

BGT Singing Sensation

Aydian Dowling Trans Activist

CELEBS / FASHION / MUSIC / NEWS / REVIEWS / MOVIES / FITNESS / HOME / TRAVEL / FOOD / REAL LIFE


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.


BULLITT HOTEL BELFAST 10% DISCOUNT FOR GNI READERS

BOOK ONLINE AT BULLITTHOTEL.COM AND USE PROMO CODE GNI18* *Available until May 2018. Terms and conditions apply.


SAT SUN TUES WED FRI SAT

15th 16th 18th 19th 21st 22nd

APRIL APRIL APRIL APRIL APRIL APRIL

BELFAST DERRY LOUTH WEXFORD KILKENNY CORK

© Ben Portsmouth, Taking care of Elvis

SSE ARENA MILLENIUM FORUM THE TLT THEATRE NATIONAL OPERA HOUSE THE HUB CORK OPERA HOUSE

SUN TUES THUR FRI SAT

23rd 25th 27th 28th 29th

APRIL APRIL APRIL APRIL APRIL

www.takingcareofelvis.co.uk

CORK KILLARNEY CLARE DUBLIN DUBLIN

CORK OPERA HOUSE INEC GLÒR ENNIS OLYMPIA OLYMPIA

In association with MLM Concerts


contents

GNI mag SKINCARE Looking at ethical skincare products. GENDER TRAFFICKING AND SLAVERY This is happening under our noses.

LIFE & STYLE

36 START

RECOMMENDED
 Marty tells us about the best entertainment over the next month or so. GEMMA HUTTON Baby Frankie has arrived. GREG MCCAW Moving in with bae. ALICIA V PERRY Her take on humanitarisim. SCENE OUT We’ve been out and about with our camera. ELTON JOHN - ICON Haning up his hat after half a century. AYDIAN DOWLING Trans activist and explaining why his fundraising efforts are so important. OUR HUMANITARIAN HEROS Five “A” listers we feel deserving of our applause. CALUM SCOTT BGT’s starlet is releasing his new album. STUFF Checking out the fab goodies from Misstique Belfast. ANOTHER WORLD Our very own local boy done good. TRANS PRIDE NI Have you heard about this?

THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE

ANIMAL TESTING Leave our furry friends alone!! CHARITIES Details on where you can get help. LGBT WORLD RIGHTS What we are entitled to across the globe.

MEET THE ARTIST Local poet Vincent Creelan. FASHION Komodo.co.uk FITNESS F**K Fitness (Daniel’s words not ours ) REAL BODY Darren talks about his fitness and diet.

GROOMING Gender nutral cosmetics. FOOD Sweet or Savory, that is the question. HOMES Decorating on a budget. TRAVEL Taking a look at what the Med has to offer. GNI MAG WEDDING Jayne and Laura share their big day.. COMING OUT Sharon tells her story. LGBT FAMILY When your child comes out as Trans.

MANAGING DIRECTOR Tony Day OPERATIONS & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Daniel May daniel@gnimag.com CELEBRITY EDITOR Gary Campion gary@gnimag.com SPECIAL THANKS TO Martin Kearney / Gemma Hutton / Greg McCaw / Alicia V Perry / Nora Calder / Cliff Carter / Kremlin / Matt Fishel / Aydian Dowling / Calum Scott / Connor Kerr / Vincent Creelan / Komodo. co.uk / Darren Keenan / Merchant Hotel / Berts Jazz Bar / Gavyn Andrews / Jayne and Laura / Sharon Murphy

GNI MAG is published by: Lamb Promotions Ltd 339 Albertbridge Road Belfast, BT5 4PY Telephone | 028 9045 5690 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 appear in this magazine. You should seek professional advice prior to following any advice offered in this publication. Any opions expressed are those of the writers and not those of GNI MAG or Lamb Promotions Ltd. Lamb Promotions Ltd 2015

@gnimag

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

26


MATT FISHEL:

Youtube sensation tells us about his new music. PAGE 24

HUMANITARIANS:

We showcase some of our humanitarian heros. PAGE 26

CALUM SCOTT:

Life since BGT, his new album, the tour and much more. PAGE 39

START!


Inte r io r D e s ig n Exc lus i v e S o fas Bedroo m , D i n i ng a n d O c cas io n a l F u r n i t u r e C a r p ets & R ug s Ac c e sso r ie s Paul Hampton Home 14 Boucher Way Belfast, BT12 6RE | 5 Harry’s Road Hillsborough, BT26 6HJ 02890 997645 | paulhamptonhome.com | info@paulhamptonhome.com follow us on facebook


Recommended Marty Kearney

CLAWS I heard about this show when I was searching Carrie Preston on IMDB. She seems to be in everything these days, I loved her as Arlene in True Blood and as Elsbeth Tascioni in The Good Wife. She also happens to appear on the show and i learnt that it stars Niecy Nash the scene stealing security guard from the short-lived Scream Queens and Judy Reeves from Devious Maids also appears as one of the main cast. I’ll give it a go i thought and after the first scene i just knew im gonna love this. It has that trashy guilty i shouldnt be watching this kinda vipe to it but trust me you have nothing to feel guilty about as Claws is one of the best shows to come out last year. Basically, Claws follows a group of nail technicians who all work in a beauticians in a strip mall in Florida, they get mixed up with the mafia, money laundering and murder. This is unlike anything I’ve seen before and for folk who like their shows with a full cast of female leads then this is for you. That said the male cast members are easy on the eye, Harold Perrineau is hot and one of my new favourite men Jack Kesy (Go Google him right now) has me weak at the knees. The character growth of these four women will have you rooting for our heroines and for the bad guys to get the comeuppance they deserve. With plenty of twists, turns and WTF moments this in binge worthy TV at its best. Claws has been renewed for a second season. You can watch the first season Online Now.

RED SPARROW Jennifer Lawrence is back, wether you loved or hated her last movie Mother (I loved it) you love Jennifer Lawrence, it’s like an unwritten rule. Red Sparrow is a Mystery thriller in which Lawrence plays a Russian spy taking the audience with her on first mission. We have all seen movies like this before, Nikita with Bridget Fonda, Atomic Blonde had Charlize Theron but Something tells me the whole world is going to want to see Miss Lawrence as a sexy Russian spy. Could Mother have damaged her career epically since she’s been nominated for a worst actress award at this year’s Razzie awards. I doubt it very much. Red Sparrow is in Cinemas 1st March

12 | GNIMAG.COM

VIP EXPERIENCE

Recliner leather chairs, free parking, a free small popcorn & drink, a goodie bag, a drinks reception and entertainment Dirty Dancing (1987) - March 9

CINEMAS.CO.UK


CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA WARNING THIS IS NOT THE SABRINA YOU THINK YOU KNOW. So I have a love hate relationship with Netflix’s Riverdale. I love it sometimes, I hate it sometimes, it tries to be Dawson’s creek and Twin Peaks and it is good but sometimes its crap. I get that I’m not a teenage girl, which is their target audience but I was broughtup with shows like My So-Called Life, Buffy, One tree hill so I have a soft spot for teen shows. Riverdale is based on the characters from Archie Comics, guess who also exists in the world of Archie Comics? Sabrina Spellman, so when I heard there was going to be a spinoff of Riverdale based on Sabrina I thought ack NO it’s going to be awful, Sabrina is all rainbows and unicorns for Riverdale but after doing my research the recent revamp of the Sabrina comic is as dark and scary as they come. Set in the 1960s in the town of Greendale not to far from a town called Riverdale lives a teenage witch with her Aunts Helda and Zelda her Cousin Ambrose and her talking Cat Salem. Again this is nothing like The Melissa Joan Hart Sabrina, this is a graphic novel with horror and violence and for any fans of the original should check it out. Fans of Riverdale should check it out before the Tv show is made. as Netflix has already given an order for 2 seasons of the chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Cast in the role of Sabrina is Mad Men’s Sally Draper Kiernan Shipka. No doubt I will write a piece on this show near its release date later this year but for now I recommend you get on Amazon and order book one of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina NOW.

LOVE SIMON From the production company that brought us 2014’s sleeper hit “The fault in our stars” comes Love Simon another teenage rom-com to melt our hearts. Based on the novel Simon VS the homo sapiens agenda. Love Simon tell the story of a closet teen dealing with family, friends school life, his first love and a blackmailer. What makes this movie so special is that it’s the first studio made movie to have male gay lead. This coming of age coming out story finally gives young gay teens a protagonist to look up to and hopefully it will give young people the inspiration they need to come out. Love Simon stars Nick Robinson from TVs Melisa and Joey, 13 Reasons Why Katherine Longford who I predict will be massive over the next few years, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer (ok we get it you take your kids to the park) Garner as Simons parents. Directed by Greg Berlanti who has given us some of the greatest shows in recent years Riverdale, Supergirl, Brothers and Sisters. Films like this show main stream audiences that its ok to be gay and it is. Released 6th April

GNIMAG.COM | 13

VIP EXPERIENCE

Recliner leather chairs, free parking, a free small popcorn & drink, a goodie bag, a drinks reception and entertainment Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion (1997) - April 20

CINEMAS.CO.UK


JESSICA JONES It’s no secret that I love Super Heroes, I write about a super hero or tv show in nearly every issue. And if you ask me DC are Marvel? I’d say DC simply because DC has Supergirl and Wonder Woman. That said I love the Marvel movies, Marvel TV shows and I put my hand up as I say Marvel kicks DCs ass in the movie department. Marvel has giving us some epic movies and some of the most beloved character’s in modern cinema but for me the best thing to come out of the whole Marvel cinematic universe is Jessica Jones. She’s also the best thing on Netflix. Jessica Jones is a former super hero who suffers from PTSD. Now a private Investigator Jessica uses her powers to help those who can’t help themselves, she doesn’t want to help but at the end of the day she does and that’s what makes her so great. Last seen teaming up with Daredevil, Luke Cage, and the Iron Fist in the Defenders, Krysten Ritter stole every scene she was in. The main cast of season one all return for this second season. Rachel Taylor as Adoptive Sister Trish Walker who I hope will become Hellcat from the comics, Carrie-Anne Moss as Lawyer Jeri Hogarth and Jessica’s Neighbour turned assistant Eka Daville as Malcom Ducasse. Season 2 of Jessica Jones will be available to stream from March 8th.

PROUD MARY Taraji P Henson is a regular feature here at my recommended column I did a piece on her Memoir Around the way girl and her mega hit movie Hidden Figures in previous issues. She back again on the big screen, I would say she’s made quite the transition from TV star to movie star, but she’s been in big budget movies for years for example Hussle and Flow and the curious case of Benjamin button for which she received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. Empires Cookie Lyons is without a doubt something magical and unique and bought to life by this fantastic actress. So that’s why I’m so excited to see her in this action movie Proud Mary. Henson plays a hit woman, but a job goes wrong and she is responsible for making an orphan of a young boy now she must take him under her wing and right her wrong. Make sure you all give Taraji another hit and go see Proud Mary. Released 23rd March

14 | GNIMAG.COM

VIP EXPERIENCE

Recliner leather chairs, free parking, a free small popcorn & drink, a goodie bag, a drinks reception and entertainment The Notebook (2004) - May 18 • Hairspray (1988) June 22

CINEMAS.CO.UK


I, TONYA I, Tonya tells the true story of professional figure skater Tonya Harding who hired her ex-husband to attack her rival Nancy Kerrigan. These events where true and tragic but this has been turned into a dramedy and I, Tonya has been a critical hit in the states and has been nominated for countless awards including Oscar awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting actress for Margot Robbie and Alison Janney. Alison Janney has even taken home the Golden Globe award for best actress in a musical or comedy at this year’s ceremony for playing the mom of Tonya. Alison Janney is gold at the minute she also won the Golden Globe for best TV actress for playing Bonnie in the hit show Mom starting Anna Faris. Bonnie is one of the funniest character’s and has the best lines on TV. Margot plays Harding and she also get a producing credit for this movie. Margot doesn’t seem to be going any where soon with two Harley Quinn movies a Suicide Squad sequel in pre-production and a Mary queen of scots epic to be released this year expect more great things from this gorgeous woman. Released 23rd February.

9-1-1 Ryan Murphy has done it again and brough us another hit show. He is one of my inspirations and an icon to me. I’ve loved all of his shows from Nip Tuck, Glee, AHS, ACS, Feud. His upcoming TV show POSE will feature mostly Trans actors. That’s what he does he make our community the new normal though the medium of TV, Creating LGBTQ characters and making them relatable and heroic to a main stream audience. Currently on the Air is mega hit 9-1-1 which follows the lives of Los Angeles first responders from the Dispatchers, Cops, Paramedics and Fire and Rescue. The drama is edge of your seat stuff. So far the emergencies has consisted of a baby trapped in a wall, a chocking snake, A home invasion, a roller Coaster disaster a suicide attempt a bouncy house blown away by strong winds with people trapped inside and its only aired 4 episodes so far but that’s not the reason why the show is so great, it’s so great because it stars living legend Angela Basset and Connie Britton AKA the late Rayna James from Nashville and Peter Krause you may remember him from Six Feet Under and Parenthood. Angela Basset plays Athena Grant a LAPD patrol Sergeant, Krause Plays Captain Bobby Nash of the LAFD and Connie Britton plays Abby Clark a 911 operator #911WHATISYOUREMERGENCY their lives are intertwined by these disasters but they are protectors and modern day super heroes and the writers have come up with a really smart way to have Connie Britton’s character be part of the action. 9-1-1 will be on UK screens very soon.

GNIMAG.COM | 15

VIP EXPERIENCE

Recliner leather chairs, free parking, a free small popcorn & drink, a goodie bag, a drinks reception and entertainment Mamma Mia! - Here We Go Again - July 20

CINEMAS.CO.UK


THE ULTIMATE VIP EXPERIENCE For £20 audiences can enjoy the following movies in our luxurious vip screens, a package that includes seating in Recliner leather chairs, free parking, a free small popcorn & drink, a goodie bag, a drinks reception and entertainment provided beforehand in our scenic Directors’ lounge. MARCH 9

APRIL 20

MAY 18

JUNE 22

JULY 20

DIRTY DANCING (1987)

ROMY & MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION (1997)

THE NOTEBOOK (2004)

HAIRSPRAY (1988)

MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (2018)

On each of these screening dates, refreshments and entertainment will be provided for each ticket holder From 7.00Pm, with the main feature being screened at 8.00Pm.

Book now www.odysseycinemas.co.uk

Proud to be a LGBT friendly venue


COLUMN__ GREG McCAW

! s s s s a a a Y

Bromance.

Greg McThis month has all been about big announcements! Kylie is back with a new single and Album on the way. When I go out I wanna go out “Dancing” , this is the first single of her fourteenth studio album and we love it. Album drops on 6th April though can be pre ordered via www. kylie.com

BROMANCE. BEFORE YOU START UNZIPPING your fly thinking this is the ultimate gay guy, straight guy story, sorry to disappoint, but I too am only in a position to masturbate over the idea of getting with my straight mate, apart from #backofthetaxi2007gate but that’s not what this story is about, this short word restricted story is about love, true love, the kind every dating app has failed to deliver for me, in the way we all have come to expect. So, settle, down, stick on ‘2 Become 1’ and read a story that might give you some v-day hope. Back in 2015 Josh and I crossed paths, two people with mismatched expectations and probably quite unrealistic expectations, why…?

Sad that Sir Elton calls it a day though buzzing to catch the tour After 50 years on top Elton announces farewell tour, over 300 dates across 3 years. Visit www.eltonjohn.com/tours for all the dates

Spice girls come back after a 20year hiatus What we “really really want” is a tour though atm this isn’t on the cards, what we do know for certain that plans are getting finalised for later this 2018. Keep up to date via one of the girls social media. twitter.com/ EmmaBunton

September 2018, we were camping in the Lake District, we pulled up in an Audi TT Sport, with a 10-man tent for two people, the whole thing was less North Face and more John Lewis. We immediately did what we did best and started to consume copious amounts of prosecco on the beach, we went for a swim, we laughed and I thought ‘the bromance is strong’ but all of that changed on the walk back when my dear friend stopped me and turned to me in tears and told me that he was in love with me, I didn’t know what to feel in that moment but over the next few weeks I fell in love with Josh and a month ago we moved in together.

...we were camping in the Lake District, we pulled up in an Audi TT Sport, with a 10man tent for two people, the whole thing was less North Face and more John Lewis.

When the digital world projects the perfect man in front of you every single day, you become accustomed to the idea of the perfect man, who fits your idea of perfect with little room for compromise, so we went our separate ways as mates and the reasons are not relevant anymore, what’s relevant is that we don’t give anyone the time to get to know us anymore, if IKEA did the ‘assemble at home’ perfect man, we’d all probably still queue up at the returns desk because of some minor fault because let’s face the reality of it, the modern gay man has become unconsciously (some consciously) shallow.

Over the next two years we built quite the bromance, we took time to get to know each other, we were never short of excited to be in each other’s company, we went on holiday, camping, regularly fell into fits of giggles over a bottle of Chilean Merlot. There’s no doubt that as two people we are opposites, Josh never sweats the small stuff, life is about experiences and you’ve got me, Mr Corporate who has spent the last ten years climbing the career ladder, we both love what we’re chasing but we’re chasing two different things.

So, what’s different to this story than most modern-day stories, for starter we really got to know each other, there was no pressure of dating, there was no expectations and both of us had our guard down. Opposites do attract but we have common ground, that common ground is a deeply inappropriate sense of humour, a love of travelling and a massive appetite for KFC, amongst many other things.

Let me finish by removing one word for you and be really clear on where I stand with it – ‘settled’ and I haven’t done it, I have accepted, as has Josh that love isn’t a checklist of what you want, it’s a bit deeper than that, I’m in love with a beautiful man who has wealth in smiles, kindness and charm. I accept that sometimes love at first sight is a thing and sometimes love grows gradually overtime, I agree that physical attraction is up there, but one thing I’m pretty sure about is if we want someone to love us and all our flaws, we need to open our minds beyond what we see straight in front of us.

This is an opinon piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG/Lamb Promotions Ltd.

GNIMAG.COM | 17


S M Y G 6 M O R F E S O O T H S C A F TO TER BEL A E R IN G

JOIN US ONLINE AT PUREGYM.COM *Members must be 16+. Joining fee may apply. See website for T&Cs.


COLUMN__ GEMMA HUTTON

BUZZING YES WE ARE!

Motherhood is coming.

Gemma Hutton

GNI MAG SIX YEARS OLD IT’S HARD EVEN FOR US TO BELIEVE THAT WE ARE SIX YEARS OLD IN MARCH. WE ARE PROUD OF WHAT WE’VE ACHIEVED, EVEN WHEN WE LOOK BACK TO OUR FIRST ISSUE BACK IN 2012 WHEN RUGBY STAR AND ANTI-BULLYING CAMPAIGNER BEN COHEN TRAVELLED TO BELFAST TO HELP US LAUNCH. AT GNI MAG WE’VE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO FEATURE SOME OF THE WORLDS BIGGEST STARS, ALL OF WHOM HAVE OFFERED WORDS OF PRIDE AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OUR READERS; ANASTACIA, MELANIE C, COURTNEY ACT, OLLY MURS, AND STEPS TO NAME A FEW. WE’VE COVERED BOTH “FLUFFY” TOPICS AS WELL AS TOUGHER TO TAKE IN ARTICLES. FOR THE PAST TWO YEAR’S WE’VE HOSTED THE GNI MAG AWARDS WHERE WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HONOUR AND PRAISE THOSE WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY HERE WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OUR LIVES. SO, SIX YEARS ON, THIRTY ISSUES, COUNTLESS WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS, AND WE STILL FEEL THE LOVE FROM YOU ALL. THANK YOU.

She is here. She has actually arrived into the world. Lil Frankie…. I thought the whole trying to get pregnant storyline would give me material for at least a year…But a year on and we have our girl. I have never been so traumatised, elated, exhausted, happy and genuinely terrified all within 24hrs. You can Google the shit out of everything, but there is so much you wouldn’t even think to ask. I had watched every episode of one born every minute. It looked tiring and emotional, and yes, there seemed to be some jam and Vaseline but other than that….nothing we couldn’t handle together? Ladies, gentlemen and those who are smart enough to transcend gender…one born every minute is a big. fucking. lie. What my wife went through in real time was a testimony to the power of any person with a womb. After 15 hours of pain, vomiting, needles, gas, and some substantial flooding, my 5ft 1” wife gave us a daughter. I have seen some crazy shit in my time, but it pales into comparison as to what the human body does in child birth. I have since booked myself in to be sterilised just in case. We got Frankie home after a lesson in how to bath her and feed her the bottle….n that’s it. Like….. panic set in on the way home…. We sat and stared at her chest going up and down while she slept. We had 999 dialled into the phone every time she made a gurgle noise in her sleep or coughed. We high fived each other each time we successfully administered a feed without being boked on .

Then she got constipated for 24hrs and I swear to God it was the most stressful 24hrs of my life. I Google every worst case scenario… messaged every mum I knew to reassure me I hadn’t managed to break the child in a matter of days. When she pooped the next day…we literally had a glass of wine to celebrate. This time 2 years ago I was a drunken meme lying in my hallway absolutely shit faced, and now I have dulux colour chart for poop. I have hot shit jet streamed at me, I have been pee’d on and honestly I would not change a second. I have started to write my next show, and being a busy mum will influence my writing from here on in as I begin this new chapter. Bottom line, we know how very lucky we were. We found a donor who was selfless enough to let us have a family. It’s something I will never be able to repay them for, but even more importantly....they never asked us too. If anyone wants to find out more about making a tiny human do contact Here NI or Rainbow. If anyone has any questions about the process we used, feel free to drop me a PM. I am more than happy to help others like us if I can. Here’s to 18 years of raw stand-up material.

“I have never been so traumatised, elated, exhausted, happy and genuinely terrified all within 24hrs. You can Google the shit out of everything, but there is so much you wouldn’t even think to ask.”

This is an opinon piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG/Lamb Promotions Ltd.

GNIMAG.COM | 19


COLUMN__ ALICIA V PERRY

Restoring Humainty.

Alicia V Perry THE PREDICAMENT OF HOW BEST to defend human rights is one of the most tenacious problems facing all human races today and is not so straight forward as it seems. Complex issues involving history, culture, identity, socialisation etc can present huge barriers to progress. However, huge corporations such as the United Nations and UNICEF boast an extensive background of humanitarian intervention which addressed responses to oppression, degradation, persecution and mass atrocities. Humanitarianism can be described as a proactive belief in the value of human life, whereby humans practice benevolent treatment and deliver assistance to other humans, in order to advance humanity for moral, ethical, altruistic and logical reasons. With that said, being a humanitarian doesn’t require a comprehensive analysis or strategy. In fact, every effort however slight contributes to advancing the humanitarian cause and we can all play our part in building more responsible and happier societies within a global framework. Remember, happiness is not something that is ready made, it is manifested by our own actions. Being a humanitarian can mean lots of different things to lots of different people. For example, providing humanitarian assistance can be helping communities identify their opportunities and challenges, helping them believe in themselves and look for sustainable answers for real change. A humanitarian is able to identify people’s needs and vulnerability with empathy for them. They’re passionate about walking the extra mile to help alleviate the suffering of those in the midst of a crisis. For me, being a humanitarian means to have human values and an understanding of human situations that we share, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion and social status. It is working towards common human goals and ensuring we support all people in the international community with respect and dignity. Being more humanitarian requires being responsible and conscious of the circumstances of other people’s lives and helping them on the basis of need, without discrimination. To be a humanitarian does not necessarily mean

you have to jump on the next plane destined for a third world country to exert your efforts and energy; you can play your part right where you are. You can always contact and support agencies such as UNHR, UNICEF, Children in Need, Comic Relief, etc. were your contribution will be very welcomed and will make a huge difference to the lives of those under-privileged and in severe poverty. Look at the community around you and try to identify

“For me, being a humanitarian means to have human values and an understanding of human situations that we share, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion and social status.” humanitarian issues that you can help address. It could be helping the homeless or the hungry, volunteering at an after school program, or simply just picking up litter. Look for things that you feel like you could help to improve. If there is a lower income community in your area, think about what types of things you could do that could improve their standard of living. There are homeless shelters and food banks in many communities that are always looking for volunteer help. Shelters for victims of abuse are also fairly common and need help organising and executing fundraising or day to day operations. You can offer your time to these organisations as a way to pursue local humanitarian work. You can help humanitarian causes by getting the company that you work for involved. Organise a whip-round at work or start a collection of clothing to help the area’s disadvantaged members. Many companies will not only authorise

you to pursue humanitarian efforts at work, they may even encourage it because it improves perception of the company in the communities they are operating in. One of the biggest challenges facing humanitarian organisations all over the world is funding. You can help by engaging your friends and family on social media and encouraging them to donate to humanitarian causes; never underestimate the power of social media. This is one aspect of humanitarian work you can do from home that can have a global reach. You can share content posted by your favorite humanitarian organisations and/or celebrity endorsements. Posting your own personal message about important causes with links to donate may help your message to reach people. Just being aware of what is going on in the world around you is a great way to keep informed of where you can help contribute. Global websites such as globalcitizen.com, dodo.com and irinnews.org, etc. all contain a plethora of up-to-date information that is presented in a creative and user-friendly format. Last but not least, lead by example. Don’t be distracted by petty comparison, be focused and captivated by purpose. Be a resounding mosaic of the battles you have faced and overcome, inspiring others in your quest to be a better person. If you have ever felt inferior, or powerless, or like you are simply too small to make a difference in this world remember the words of the Dali Lama ‘if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.’

This is an opinon piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG/Lamb Promotions Ltd.

GNIMAG.COM | 21


Adult Store - Gay Friendly Order Sex Toys discreetly online - Misstique - Gay Sex Toys Official stockist of best selling Fetish, Fashion, DVD's, Poppers, Lube & Underwear Great value and an extra 10% off with code STU10

www.misstiquebelfast.co.uk

27 Gresham Street, Belfast, BT1 1JL

Mon - Sat: 9am - 9pm | Sun: 12 - 7pm

WINNER Best Independent Business Award 2017 Over 18s only

PHOTO BOOTH

by Epic Journal


ADVERTORIAL__ THE TEA ROOM FINAGHY

The Tea Room in Finaghy is already becoming a firm favourite.

The Tea Room opened at the Finaghy Crossroads at the end of October and since then it’s been buzzing. A welcome offering to all and convenient to both South and West Belfast. Created and opened by a family team; siblings Tony and Rika who work under the matriorartic eye of their “auntie Cilla”. Interanally the decor is calm and relaxing with a hint of old world charm - just what you want from your modern tea room. It mixes upcycled chairs with new purpose built seating, even some of the new furniture is made from recycled building materials; the breakfast bar from scaffolding boards and the front of the serving bar from old dismantled pallets. They wanted to create an environment where people could throw off their coats and just feel at home. Indeed, pride of position on the wall is a gilded framed picture of the Golden Girls - surely they were the queens of tea and cake. The food and drink offering ensures there’s something to everyones taste. The tea is locally sourced loose leaf Suki Tea, and the coffee is local Robt. Roberts. Each day Auntie Cilla gets to work on the food, starting with baking fresh scones, traybakes, cakes and treats. She also prepares fresh stew and soup as well as a daily hot food speciality. Their menu also offers

everything you’d expect; sandwiches, toasties, paninis, baked potatos, as well as an excellent breakfast selection. Locals and regulars are loving the budget friendly afternoon tea too (pictured above), costing onyl £5.95 this is a belly busting treat for anyone. Opening seven days a week, The Tea Room in Finaghy is there whether you want breakfast, lunch, a bit of dinner, or a cuppa and a chat with your mate about the state of your love life. Monday and Tuesday open from 8.30am til 6pm, Wednesday to Friday open from 8.30am til 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday open from 9.00am til 4pm. They also cater for private tea parties, offering the option of either booking out THE NOOK which can seat up to 8, or offering the whole place which can hold up to 20 for a completely private party. So, pop in on one of these cold winter days or nights for a nice cuppa tea or coffee and sample some of the fresh home-cooked food and treats on offer.

GNIMAG.COM | 23


INTERVIEW__ MATT FISHEL

MATT FISHEL

24 | GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW__ MATT FISHEL YOU’VE BECOME A BIT OF AN LGBT INTERNET SENSATION WITH OVER 106K FACEBOOK FANS AND MANY SUBSCRIBERS TO YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL, TELL OUR READERS THAT MAY NOT HAVE HEARD OF YOU WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT AND WHERE THEY CAN FIND YOU? I am an out and proud rock musician and independent artist running my own label and doing it my own way! You can find me and my work on all social media and online platforms, including YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Spotify etc. And of course, at my official website – www.mattfishel.com YOU SET UP YOUR OWN RECORD LABEL IN 2010 DUE TO MAJOR LABELS TRYING TO REMOVE ALL REFERENCE TO OTHER MEN FROM YOUR SONGS. WE ADMIRE YOUR STANCE ON NOT WILLING TO COMPROMISE ON THIS, CAN YOU TELL US WHY THIS WAS SO IMPORTANT TO YOU? Thanks! I appreciate that! I’ve never been comfortable with deliberately curtailing my views or message to appease the more conservative, commercially driven establishment. It was always important for me from the get-go to feel true to who I am as a person and an artist. I feel passionately that art, and being an artist, is about sharing parts of yourself and communicating your story with others in the hope that you can entertain, inspire or move people, so they can relate to what you do and see themselves and their own lives reflected back at them in your work. I write about what I know and my own experiences - I just happen to be gay and have relationships with men, so to try and cover that up, or to be deliberately ‘ambiguous’ or consciously hide it from my work just doesn’t really make sense to me. WHY NOT DO A WILL YOUNG AND COVER IT UP LONG ENOUGH TO GET SUCCESS THEN WRITE THE SONGS YOU WANT? Well I can’t speak for other artists and their choices – everybody has their own path and goals…but for me personally, to be known for, or to have huge commercial success from work I don’t believe in or can’t stand behind is a different type of outcome that I’m not seeking. Of course, I am ambitious and want success in the things I do, but the successes I have had come from sticking to my guns and being true to my self from the start, and this is something I’m really proud of.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR SONGS? All my inspiration comes from my own experiences, be it the relationships I’ve had, how I perceive/ relate to society or where I see myself fitting into the world around me. I love writing about topics or scenarios that I haven’t heard sung about a lot. I often think, “What can I say that hasn’t yet been said in a certain way? How can I approach this subject differently, or express this emotion in a new way?” I’m very inspired by sexuality, and the various nuances and politics surrounding all different kinds of same-sex relationships, which I don’t feel get enough representation in music. I’m also very politically passionate and so my songs are a good place for me to vent about things that upset or infuriate me in life: injustice, hypocrisy, bigotry – those types of things. Sometimes all it takes is one passing comment at a party to set me off, and then a song will form from the anger or annoyance and the lyrics just come pouring out. Songs like Behind Closed Doors on Not Thinking Straight, and the recent single Bored Of Straight Boys came about from similar situations where I’d heard annoying homophobic clichés spouted at me one too many times, and I felt the need to call it out in a song. And there are also a couple of unashamedly romantic songs on the new album too. HOW INVOLVED ARE YOU IN THE CREATIVE SIDE OF YOUR MUSIC VIDEOS? Extremely! My songs and lyrics are very narrative and I’m driven by visuals, so whenever I’m writing or recording, each song plays in my mind like its own short film, with a distinct vibe, colour and aesthetic. So when it comes to making the videos, I always have a clear idea in my head as to the direction I want to go in. I start putting the feelers out to directors and animators who I want to work with and often spend a long time collating visuals and ideas to help them see my initial vision. They then come back with their own thoughts and the best videos come from a perfect collaboration between the two sides. I communicate every step of the way as I’m extremely passionate about the message and vibe I want to get across, so it’s important for me to work with people who are open to a collaborative approach. I’ve worked a lot recently with an amazing animator called John Howe who is an incredible artist with endless great ideas and whose judgment I trust implicitly. He’s always executed my vision exactly as I’ve hoped whilst bringing so many great ideas of his own to the table

and taking the animation to places I would never have conceived of. I collaborated with John on both the new vids for Bored of Straight Boys and LGBTQIA (A New Generation) and am thrilled with how they turned out.

much younger than themselves) with such threatening sentiments? It wasn’t even in a public forum, so it wasn’t intended to elicit a sensational group reaction or controversy amongst my fans – it felt more sinister, directed at me personally!

STEPHEN FRY IS A BIG FAN OF YOUR MUSIC, HAVE YOU GOT ANY OTHER CELEBRITY FOLLOWERS?

ANY ADVICE FOR BUDDING MUSICIANS OUT THERE WANTING TO MAKE IT IN THE INDUSTRY?

Tom Hiddleston once tweeted about one of my songs. And I always get really excited if one of my favourite bands follows me. Jinkx Monsoon follows me online - I’m a big fan of hers, and a massive Drag Race fan in general. Oh, I especially love that Armistead Maupin follows me on Twitter. I’m a huge lover of his books and was so excited when I saw that he’d followed me!

Ha, good question! I think it depends on your definition of “making it”. In fact, that’d probably be the best advice I could give. Start by questioning and assessing what “making it” means to you. To many people out there who aren’t musicians, the concept of “making it” is too often conflated with winning a big reality TV singing contest, or selling out a solo stadium tour, or having a number one hit single (what does that even mean in 2018!?) But in reality, there are tens of thousands of musicians working across the music industries in hundreds of different roles and capacities and achieving huge personal success. For some people, “making it” is getting regular work as a session musician, or having a song placed on an advert, or getting to work as an artist every day whilst making enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle and raise a family etc. Each path has different obstacles, so I’d say: set out your goals, be motivated and prepared to work your arse off, continually assess and reflect on your achievements and learn to enjoy the small successes as well as the big ones. Also, do NOT compare yourself to others. Ever! You never truly know what someone else’s backstory is, or what’s happening behind the scenes at their end. So celebrate what you’re achieving based on your own goals and strengths (which will change throughout your career), not in comparison to someone else’s.

WHO WOULD BE YOUR DREAM CELEBRITY FAN? I guess I’d have to say Madonna. As a kid I was so inspired by her spirit and message and risk-taking and refusal to curb her art and vision to appease the establishment. If she ever claimed to be a fan, I’d lose my shit! :) AS AN OPENLY GAY MAN IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED HOMOPHOBIA? TELL US ABOUT IT. Yes, certainly when I was younger and starting out. I’ve had executives in major labels literally laugh in my face when they’ve heard my songs and say things like “look, everyone likes gay people but no-one actually wants to hear about their lives in songs” (seriously!) The industry has moved on for sure, but I still think there’s a long way to go until there are a balanced proportion of major label artists releasing songs with openly same-sex lyrics. But where I really see it now is online. I’ve been very lucky and the majority of comments I receive are positive and from liberal, openminded people who love what I do. But I do get the occasional “fuck you, faggot!” comment every now and then. I don’t take it personally – trolling is an inevitable, albeit unpleasant, outcome of sharing your work online – and these comments are certainly not in the majority on my pages. But perhaps the most disturbing message I ever received was from an American man in his 60s who sent me a direct message to my Facebook fan page, saying “I would love to kill a faggot like you and watch you die, just for the fun of it”. Like, why the hell would someone take the time to send a message (especially to someone so

ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO PLUG? Oh, you know, nothing really… apart from perhaps my new singles LGBTQIA (A New Generation) and Bored Of Straight Boys, which you can download and stream everywhere now and watch the videos on my YouTube channel; both of which are taken from my upcoming album M/F, which will be released this Spring on download, streaming, deluxe CD and a beautiful double heavyweight vinyl package with lots of special features and deluxe exclusives – all of which will soon be available from my website store alongside my other current merchandise! ;-) And do come follow me on social media and say “Hi”!

GNIMAG.COM | 25


PROFILE__ OUR HUMANITARIAN HEROS

OUR HUMANITARIAN HEROS Humanitarian synonym: Social Reformer

26 | GNIMAG.COM


HUMANITARIAN HERO PROFILE:

SIR IAN MCKELLEN

SIR IAN McKELLEN

IMAGE CREDITS: WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/IANMCKELLEN

B

Born 25 May 1939 Sir Ian is an easily recognised and iconic English actor. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and two Critics’ Choice Awards. He has also received two Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nominations. McKellen’s career spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. A recipient of every major theatrical award in the UK, McKellen is regarded as a British cultural icon. He started his professional career in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of their highly regarded repertory company. In the 1970s, McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain. He achieved worldwide fame for his notable film roles, which include Magneto in the X-Men films and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, both of which introduced McKellen to a new generation. McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979, was knighted in 1991 for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in 2008. He has been openly gay since 1988, and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide. He was made a Freeman of the City of London in October 2014. In a 1998 interview that discusses the 29th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, McKellen commented:“I have many regrets about not having come out earlier, but one of them might be that I didn’t engage myself in the politicking.” He has said of this period: “My own participating in that campaign was a focus for people to take comfort that if Ian McKellen was on board for this, perhaps it would be all right for other people to be as well, gay and straight.” In 2002, he was the Celebrity Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade and he attended the Academy Awards with his then-boyfriend, New Zealander Nick Cuthell. McKellen has continued to be very active in LGBT rights efforts. In a statement on his website regarding his activism, the actor commented that: “I have been reluctant to lobby on other issues I most care about – against nuclear weapons, religion, capital punishment (anti), AIDS (fund-raiser) because I never want to be forever spouting, diluting the impact of addressing my most urgent concern; legal and social equality for gay people worldwide. McKellen is a co-founder of Stonewall, an LGBT rights lobby group in the United Kingdom, named after the Stonewall riots. McKellen is also patron of LGBT History Month, Pride London, Oxford Pride, GAY-GLOS, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, and FFLAG where he appears in their video “Parents Talking”. In 2006, McKellen spoke at the pre-launch of the 2007 LGBT History Month in the UK, lending his support to the organisation and its founder, Sue Sanders. In 2007, he became a patron of The Albert Kennedy Trust, an organisation that provides support to young, homeless and troubled LGBT people. In 2006, he became a patron of Oxford Pride, stating: “I send my love to all members of Oxford Pride, their sponsors and supporters, of which I am proud to be one... Onlookers can be impressed by our confidence and determination to be ourselves and gay people, of whatever age, can be comforted by the occasion to take the first steps towards coming out and leaving the closet forever behind.” McKellen has taken his activism internationally, and caused a major stir in Singapore, where he was invited to do an interview on a morning show and shocked the interviewer by asking if they could recommend him a gay bar; the programme immediately ended. In December 2008, he was named in Out’s annual Out 100 list. In 2010, McKellen extended his support for Liverpool’s Homotopia festival in which a group of gay and lesbian Merseyside teenagers helped to produce an anti-homophobia campaign pack for schools and youth centres across the city. In May 2011, he called Sergey Sobyanin, Moscow’s mayor, a “coward” for refusing to allow gay parades in the city. In April 2010, along with actors Brian Cox and Eleanor Bron, McKellen appeared in a series of TV advertisements to support Age UK, the charity recently formed from the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged. A cricket fan since childhood, McKellen umpired in March 2011 for a charity cricket match in New Zealand to support earthquake victims of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. In 2014, he was named in the top 10 on the World Pride Power list McKellen also has a history of supporting individual theatres. While in New Zealand filming The Hobbit in 2012, he announced a special New Zealand tour “Shakespeare, Tolkien, and You!”, with proceeds going to help save the Isaac Theatre Royal, which suffered extensive damage during the Christchurch earthquake. McKellen said he opted to help save the building as it was the last theatre he played in New Zealand and the locals’ love for it made it a place worth supporting. In July 2017, he performed a new one-man show for a week at Park Theatre (London), donating the proceeds to the theatre.

GNIMAG.COM | 27


HUMANITARIAN HERO PROFILE__ ELLEN LEE DEGENERES

ELLEN LEE DeGENERES

B

IMAGE CREDITS: WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/THEELLENSHOW

orn January 26, 1958 is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. DeGeneres starred in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted her syndicated TV talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003. Her stand-up career started in the early 1980s, and included a 1986 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. As a film actress, DeGeneres starred in Mr. Wrong (1996), appeared in EDtv (1999), and The Love Letter (1999), and provided the voice of Dory in the Pixar animated films Finding Nemo (2003) and Finding Dory (2016); for Nemo, she was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first time an actress won a Saturn Award for a voice performance. In 2010, she was a judge on American Idol for its ninth season. She starred in two television sitcoms, Ellen from 1994 to 1998, and The Ellen Show from 2001 to 2002. During the fourth season of Ellen in 1997, she came out as a lesbian in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her character, Ellen Morgan, also came out to a therapist played by Winfrey, and the series went on to explore various LGBT issues, including the coming-out process. This made her the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian character on television. In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi. DeGeneres has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys. She has authored four books and started her own record company, Eleveneleven, as well as a production company, A Very Good Production. She also launched a lifestyle brand, ED by Ellen. She has won 30 Emmys, 20 People’s Choice Awards more than any other person, and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. DeGeneres is a vegan. She previously described herself as a vegan and “big animal lover”, De Rossi, too, is a vegan. Ellen co-ordinates a vegan outreach website titled ‘Going Vegan with Ellen’. The site for The Ellen DeGeneres Show contains a section called “Going Vegan With Ellen”, in which she promotes “Meatless Mondays” and features vegan recipes. She has several times invited Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle to speak on her show about the organisation’s efforts in animal protection legislation. In 2009, PETA named her their “Woman of the Year.” In April 2013, she donated $25,000 to stop Ag-Gag anti-whistleblower legislation in Tennessee, which would prohibit undercover investigators from recording footage of animal abuse on farms. DeGeneres served as campaign ambassador to Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project in 2010, asking people to start “a new tradition by adopting a turkey instead of eating one” at Thanksgiving. In November 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named her a Special envoy for Global AIDS Awareness. On December 3, 2011, DeGeneres opened the show at the David Lynch Foundation’s 3rd annual “Change Begins Within” gala at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to raise funds to bring Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations suffering from epidemic levels of chronic stress and stress-related disorders. She says: “TM is the only time I have that stillness… it gives me this peaceful feeling, and I love it so much. I can’t say enough good things about it. All the benefits that you can achieve from sitting still and going within—it really is a beautiful experience. David Lynch is such a wonderful man to start this foundation to help people.” In 2012 Sgt. Chad Sparks and his wife, Ashley, had a newborn baby. Yet, medical expenses made the small family penniless. We learned that Sparks was injured in Afghanistan during his first deployment, yet here he was about to be deployed a second time, leaving his wife and baby behind with no money. Ashley wrote in to DeGeneres telling her they had to sell the baby’s things as well as their own (appliances, coffee pot and even parts of their car) to feed themselves. DeGeneres and country singer Dierks Bentley said they couldn’t allow that to happen and gave the Sparks a check for $50,000. You are likely one of the 3.3 million people who retweeted DeGeneres’ famous 2014 Oscar selfie featuring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Brad and Angie, Kevin Spacey, Julia Roberts, and for no apparent reason, Lupita Nyong’o’s brother. Since the photo was taken with a Samsung phone, Samsung agreed to donate a dollar for every retweet to the charity of DeGeneres’ choice. She chose two: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and The Humane Society, so Samsung gave each charity $1.5 million apiece. DeGeneres gave back in a big way after her home state of Louisiana experienced devastating floods in 2016, DeGeneres sent a $125,000 gift to a middle school for rebuilding efforts. Currently Ellen has many projects on-going and continues to be an ambassador for many humanitarian and charitable causes, Ellen you are an angel on Earth!

28 | GNIMAG.COM


HUMANITARIAN HERO PROFILE__ LEONARDO WILHELM DICAPRIO

LEONARDO WILHELM DiCAPRIO

IMAGE CREDITS: WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/LEONARDODICAPRIO

B

Born November 11, 1974 is an American actor, film producer, and environmental activist. He began his film career by starring as Josh in Critters 3 (1991). He starred in the film adaptation of the memoir This Boy’s Life (1993), and was praised for his supporting role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993). He gained public recognition with leading roles in The Basketball Diaries (1995) and the romantic drama Romeo + Juliet (1996), before achieving international fame with James Cameron’s epic romance Titanic (1997), which became the highest-grossing film of all time to that point. Since 2000, DiCaprio has received critical acclaim for his work in a wide range of film genres. DiCaprio’s subsequent films include The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), Catch Me If You Can (2002), and the epic historical drama Gangs of New York (2002), which marked his first of many collaborations with director Martin Scorsese. He was acclaimed for his performances in the political war thriller Blood Diamond (2006), the neo-noir crime drama The Departed (2006), the espionage thriller Body of Lies (2008), the psychological thriller Shutter Island (2010), the science fiction thriller Inception (2010), the biographical film J. Edgar (2011), and the period drama The Great Gatsby (2013). DiCaprio’s portrayals of Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004) and Hugh Glass in The Revenant (2015) won him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, and his role as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) won him the award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. He also won the Academy Award for Best Actor and BAFTA Award for his performance in The Revenant. DiCaprio is the founder of his own production company, Appian Way Productions. Following the success of Titanic in 1997 along with earlier films, 24-year-old DiCaprio established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting environmental awareness. It has worked on projects in over 40 countries and has produced two short web documentaries. The foundation has also funded debt-for-nature swaps. In 1998, DiCaprio and his mother donated $35,000 for a “Leonardo DiCaprio Computer Center” at the Los Feliz branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, the site of his childhood home Because of his active involvement in those causes, he has received praise from environmental groups. Among the accolades received were the Martin Litton Environment Award, in 2001, from Environment Now, and the Environmental Leadership Award in 2003 from Global Green USA. In 2007 he had a major role in The 11th Hour, a documentary about people’s relationship to nature and global warming. From a benefit “11th Hour” fine art auction he organised in 2013, he raised nearly $40 million to toward his foundation. He told attendees, “Bid as if the fate of the planet depended on us.” It became the world’s highest-grossing environmental charity event ever held. During the filming of Blood Diamond (2006), DiCaprio worked with 24 orphaned children from the SOS Children’s Village in Maputo, Mozambique, and was said to be extremely touched by his interactions with the children. He presented at the 2007 American leg of Live Earth, and in 2010 his environmental work earned DiCaprio a nomination for the VH1 Do Something Award, honouring people who do good. In November 2010, DiCaprio donated $1 million to the Wildlife Conservation Society at Russia’s tiger summit. DiCaprio’s persistence in reaching the event after encountering two plane delays caused then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to describe him as a “muzhik” or “real man”. In 2010 he also donated $1 million to relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake. In 2011, DiCaprio joined the Animal Legal Defence Fund’s campaign to free Tony, a tiger who has spent the last decade at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tête, Louisiana. In April 2013, DiCaprio donated $61,000 to GLAAD, an organization which promotes the image of LGBT people in the media. In accepting his Best Actor award at the 2016 Oscars ceremony, DiCaprio stated: “Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.” In July 2016 his foundation awarded $15.6 million to help protect wildlife and the rights of Native Americans, along with combating climate change. In July 2017, a charity auction and celebrity concert put on by the foundation had raised over $30 million in its opening days and was set to continue the following month. In April 2017, he promoted and protested President Trump’s inaction on climate change by attending the 2017 People’s Climate March. Leonardo DiCaprio is identified as one of the most active celebrities in the climate change movement. Many political figures continue to welcome high-profile influencers such as actors as Leonardo DiCaprio or artists to address political causes, environmental or not because of the high recognition that celebrities have.

GNIMAG.COM | 29


HUMANITARIAN HERO PROFILE__ EMMA CHARLOTTE DUERRE WATSON

EMMA CHARLOTTE DUERRE WATSON

B

IMAGE CREDITS: WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/EMMAWATSON

orn 15 April 1990 is a British actress, model, and activist. Born in Paris and brought up in Oxfordshire, Watson attended the Dragon School and trained as an actress at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts. She rose to prominence after landing her first professional acting role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, having acted only in school plays previously. Watson appeared in all eight Harry Potter films from 2001 to 2011, earning worldwide fame, critical accolades, and around $60 million. Watson continued to work outside of the Harry Potter films, appearing in the 2007 television adaptation of the novel Ballet Shoes and lending her voice to The Tale of Despereaux (2008). Following the last Harry Potter film, she took on starring and supporting roles in My Week with Marilyn (2011), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) and The Bling Ring (2013), made an appearance as an exaggerated version of herself in This Is the End (2013), and portrayed the title character’s adopted daughter in Noah (2014). In 2017, she starred as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the musical romantic fantasy film Beauty and the Beast. Her other roles include Regression (2015), Colonia (2015) and The Circle (2017). From 2011 to 2014, Watson split her time between working on film projects and continuing her education, studying at Brown University and Worcester College, Oxford and graduating from Brown with a bachelor’s degree in English literature in May 2014. Her modelling work has included campaigns for Burberry and Lancôme. As a fashion consultant, she helped create a line of clothing for People Tree. She was honoured by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2014, winning for British Artist of the Year. That same year, she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador and helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality. Watson has promoted education for girls, visiting Bangladesh and Zambia to do so. In July 2014, she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador. In September that year, an admittedly nervous Watson delivered an address at UN Headquarters in New York City to launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate for gender equality. In that speech she said she began questioning genderbased assumptions at age eight when she was called “bossy” a trait she has attributed to her being a “perfectionist” whilst boys were not, and at 14 when she was “sexualised by certain elements of the media”. Watson’s speech also called feminism “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities” and declared that the perception of “man-hating” is something that “has to stop”. Watson later said she received threats within 12 hours of making the speech, which left her “raging. If they were trying to put me off women’s rights work, it did the opposite”. Also in September, Watson made her first country visit as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to Uruguay where she gave a speech highlighting the need for women’s political participation. In December, the Ms. Foundation for Women named Watson its Feminist Celebrity of 2014 following an online poll. Watson also gave a speech about gender equality in January 2015, at the World Economic Forum’s annual winter meeting. Watson took the top spot on the AskMen “Top 99 Outstanding Women 2015” list on the strength of having “thrown her back” into women’s rights issues. The day after she turned 25, Watson placed number 26 on the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people; her first-ever appearance on the list. For its recap, former New York Times editor Jill Abramson noted Watson’s “gutsy, smart take on feminism” and called the effort to get men involved “refreshing”. In January 2016, Emma Watson started a feminist Goodreads book club: Our Shared Shelf. The goal of the club is to share feminist ideas and encourage discussion on the topic. One book is selected per month and is discussed in the last week of that month. The first book to be selected was My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem, whom Emma Watson would later interview on 24 February at the How to: Academy in London. Watson was criticised in March 2017 for a photograph published by Vanity Fair in which her breasts are partly visible; some in the news media accused Watson of hypocrisy. She was confused by the backlash, arguing that feminism “is not a stick with which to beat other women” but is instead about freedom, liberation and equality. “I really don’t see what my tits have to do with it”. She brought Marai Larasi, an activist on the issue of violence against women, as a guest to the 75th Golden Globe Awards in 2018.

30 | GNIMAG.COM


HUMANITARIAN HERO PROFILE__ LAVERNE COX

LAVERNE COX

A

IMAGE CREDITS: WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/LAVERNECOX

n American actress and LGBT advocate. She rose to prominence with her role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, becoming the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category, and the first to be nominated for an Emmy Award since composer/ musician Angela Morley in 1990. In 2015, she won a Daytime Emmy Award in Outstanding Special Class Special as executive producer for Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word. This made her the first openly transgender woman to win a Daytime Emmy as an executive producer. Also in 2015, she became the first openly transgender person to have a wax figure of herself at Madame Tussauds. In 2017, she became the first transgender person to play a transgender series regular on broadcast TV as Cameron Wirth on CBS’s Doubt. Cox appeared as a contestant on the first season of VH1’s reality show I Want to Work for Diddy, and co-produced and co-hosted the VH1 makeover television series TRANSform Me. In April 2014, Cox was honoured by GLAAD with its Stephen F. Kolzak Award for her work as an advocate for the transgender community. In June 2014, Cox became the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine. In February 2018, Cox became the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of any Cosmopolitan magazine. Laverne Cox has been noted by her LGBT peers, and many others, for being a trailblazer for the transgender community, and has won numerous awards for her activist approach in spreading awareness. Her impact and prominence in the media has led to a growing conversation about transgender people, specifically transgender women, and how being transgender intersects with one’s race. She is the first openly transgender person to be on the cover of Time magazine, be nominated for a Primetime Emmy, and have a wax work in Madame Tussauds, as well as the first openly transgender woman to win a Daytime Emmy as an Executive Producer. In May 2016, Cox was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The New School in New York City for her progressive work in the fight for gender equality. • 2013 – Anti-Violence Project 2013 Courage Award honoree • 2013 – Reader’s Choice Award at Out Magazine’s OUT100 Gala, honoring the magazine’s selection of 2013s 100 “most compelling people of the year.” • 2014 – Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine. • 2014 – Topped the British newspaper The Guardian’s third annual World Pride Power List, which ranks the world’s most influential LGBT people. • 2014 – Stephen F. Kolzak Award from GLAAD. • 2014 – Named to the EBONY Power 100 list. • 2015 – Named to the 2015 OUT Power 50 List. • 2015 – Included in the People World’s Most Beautiful Women List. • 2015 – Named in the 2015 Time 100 Most Influential People List; her entry was written by Jazz Jennings. • 2015 – Named by Forum for Equality as one of their 31 Icons of the LGBT History Month. • 2015 – Winner of a Daytime Emmy Award in Outstanding Special Class Special as Executive Producer for Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word. This made Cox the first openly transgender woman to win a Daytime Emmy as an Executive Producer; as well, The T Word is the first trans documentary to win a Daytime Emmy. • 2017 – Named to the 2017 OUT Power 50 List. While she has been a trailblazer for transgender rights, Cox acknowledged at the 2017 Bodycon festival that there is much work to be done in light of President Donald Trump’s directive to ban transgender people from serving in the military and his rollback earlier this year of Obama-era protections for transgender students in public schools, along with state proposals to restrict bathroom use. She supports the LGBT Data Inclusion Act, legislation to include sexual orientation and gender identity data in federal surveys, and encouraged the audience to “write letters, lobby, go to a protest.” “We’re in survival mode now, because so many basic rights we’ve fought for for a really long time are being threatened,” said Cox. “Trans people are being murdered disproportionately to other populations. I could go on and on. The shift that’s happened in the past few years is that trans people are more visible; because of social media, more of our voices are elevated, so we’re able to talk back in a way that we have not been able to before … But we need more allies coming on board to say these lives matter. I’m an actress, first and foremost. But I want to produce more and be involved behind the scenes in telling these stories, because I believe that so much going on with trans people, in terms of misinformation, has to do with how our stories are told in the media.” •

GNIMAG.COM | 31


HUMANITARIAN HERO PROFILE__ MARSHA P JOHNSON

32 | GNIMAG.COM


HUMANITARIAN HERO PROFILE__ MARSHA P JOHNSON

MARSHA P JOHNSON

I

n hard times we look to our heroes – those people in the world who do good things and great things. We honour them, for acts of charity or great successes, especially when we see them well represented. Across every screen now we can follow Ariana sing for Manchester, or Michelle Obama campaign for our girls. A quick google will throw you up every good act Ellen has done for her audiences and interviewees, even if they are questionable in motive or worth. Such is the beauty and power of our ever-increasing connectivity. Even heroes from decades gone by are remembered thanks to a presence on screens of smaller size and quality and on airwaves in analogue format. Last issue’s ICON – George Michael - wasn’t short of celebration for his charity work in his lifetime, nor is this issues’ - the great Sir Elton John. The TV may not have been 4K but the stars shone because the world welcomed them and their deeds are, mostly, worth the celebration. But some heroes aren’t welcomed. They aren’t plastered over every screen, neither in their life time nor in the present day. Some heroes lie quiet, lost in history. Some heroes die quiet, too. Thankfully, one of the heroes of our community, of whom we as LGBTQ+ persons and allies should be aware and to whom we are all indebted, has had her screen time more and more of late and, as of February 2nd, has had her story shared on screen thanks to Netflix. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson has recently been added to their expanding LGBT catalogue, and while this is good because we love diversity and representation, obviously, it’s also good because Marsha P. Johnson was most definitely not quiet about her life, nor was she quiet about our right to live ours however we damn please. Martha was LOUD. A self-described drag-queen, and someone who commonly employed the terms “gay,” “gay transvestite” or simply “transvestite,” terms culturally acceptable in her activist years, today it is unknown how Marsha would have described herself. Speculatively one could guess that she was a trans woman, or non-conforming, or bi-gender/genderfluid based on interviews recounting how a “Marshall” identity was presented, and was much different of a person. However even of our lost ones I feel speculation is an unnecessary evil, and misgendering our heroes is a heinous thing to do. And so, if any label is needed we should label on Marsha’s terms, or better yet, as Marsha was documented as saying to a judge on the ‘P’ of ‘Marsha P. Johnson’, we should simply “Pay it No Mind.” That said, remembering Marsha is exactly to pay mind to the many aspects of identity, sexuality, race and gender that remain to this day unequal in both society and in the law. Seeing laws overturned and executive orders issued against us should be enough to realise our identities are all too tenuously allowed by a stronghold of heteronormativity and a majority mindset geared towards fearing those different from, and unbounded by, labels and binaries. Marsha lived unbounded, and she campaigned for any-and-all seeking to live unbounded to be free to do so too: Present at the Stonewall Riots, it was Marsha and her friends such as fellow drag queen Sylvia Rivera, who fuelled the very literal fire for the gay rights movement to expand past the soft-activism of homophiles, pandering to the pinkwashing* of the crime families of New York. She took to Christopher Street and to the lamp-post climbing, brick-in-hand-bag dropping, bottle-throwing riot which paved the way for decades of protests, campaigns and pride movements which sought still to exclude trans and queer people, especially those of colour, despite the efforts of such people making the most difference. Often still it is the queer women of colour pioneering the trends we so casually absorb into our “LGBT culture” and creating the vernacular we throw around without real thought, oh yassss hunty, mhm it is. Often still these people exist marginalised even in our groups, and oppressed by more intersections of identity than anyone else. Often still it is trans women of colour who are murdered, in proportions like no other group, and it is they who see no justice thanks to bigoted laws like “trans panic” excuses and because too many of us stay quiet. And yet despite this all Marsha marched in front of the parades which sought to exclude her and kept up her call: “I want my gay rights!” Loud. In watching The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson it is easy to see an empathy in Marsha that extends beyond any remit. The type to give you the coat off her back, Marsha made every occasion with you feel like a party - one where you were always with the cool kids - yet she lived often on the streets, between apartments or hotel rooms and often used survival sex to get by. For the duration of her life, and even in the years following her death in 1992, sex work is the only option for many trans and queer women, and while I don’t condone the shaming of sex workers, nor conflate it with unhappiness, there is no doubt Marsha’s life was filled with violence and abuse and much of this came from working and living on the streets. Rarely though, was Marsha seen without a smile as many of the photographs and videos show, and her empathy, kindness and generosity expanded her advocacy further when she formed the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries organization with her friend Sylvia Rivera. Following the Stonewall

Riots and consequent protests, which often chose to promote respectability politics and exclude those most oppressed, S.T.A.R took in other homeless persons, especially queer, trans, and non-binary youths, giving them food and shelter when its founders could provide them. Sooner than see her newfound family selling sex, Johnson would instead sell herself to feed these youths and peers and pay the bills necessary. Marsha, was a humanitarian, because to her everyone was human. “How many people have […] to recognize gay people? How many years does it take for people to see that we’re all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race? I mean how many years does it take for people to see that? We’re all in this rat race together.” Johnson worked on in activism until her death. Expanding her reach, she formed ACT-UP, a political movement in response to the AIDS crisis which affected so much of her community and many of her friends and street family. Her passing has never been fulling explained, with the police having stated suicide but her friends dubious. As I suspect will be the case with so many lost heroes, we won’t ever truly know what cruelty took such a soul from us. What we can and must do is to continue on the legacy of a good and great soul, by speaking up for others where we see injustice and remembering those in our histories who did the most but received so little for it. Johnson never truly saw her rights attained, but she dedicated her self – a self which suffered from the oppression of many intersecting identities – to fighting, and continued to show kindness to those who could so easily overlook her in return. She did not stay quiet, she did not accept the status quo, and she never forgot anyone. Here is to remembering her, a hero, and to acting as she did, for the equality of all in our community. *Pinkwashing: The practice of a state or company presenting itself as gay-friendly and progressive, in order to downplay or distract from their negative behaviour. Often provokes cisgender white gay men to quiet other members of the community, using privileges existing in the world at large and “forgiving” the divergence of gay sexuality to recreate and exploit hierarchy among the LGBTQ community. WORDS: Cliff Carter

GNIMAG.COM | 33


ICON__ELTON JOHN

ICON Elton John

34 | GNIMAG.COM


ICON__ ELTON JOHN

A ginger page-boy. Kooky glasses. A worldrenowned talent. Iconic. Ten Tony Awards. Broadway fame. 50 years of touring. Totes iconic. 300 million records sold worldwide. Candle in the Wind. Lady Gaga as your child’s godmother. Absolutely fucking iconic. “Sir Elton John to retire from touring…” STOP THE PRESSES! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! PLEASE KEEP YOUR ARMS AND LEGS INSIDE THE MELLODRAMA AT ALL TIMES. ELTON JOHN IS…RETIRING?! “…with 300 date, 3 year farewell tour.” Oh. He’s just pulling a Cher, it’s fine. Don’t panic. What are we on now, the “Farewell to Dark Lady Turning Back Time Gypsy Goodbye Hullabalooza Finale Fifteenth Goodbye Encore Re-Vamp” tour? She must be running out of tour names now. I’m sure she can give him tips. They’re probably already discussing it - how to keep people around when you’ve promised to go already. Sounds like a Grindr date gone wrong really. Why do they always want to stay over when you’ve just had the most mediocre orgasm ever? And I swear if that’s your toiletry bag, girl. Don’t be getting any ideas. Anyway, I digress. What was I supposed to write about? Oh, yes. Cher’s tour. Wait, Cher doesn’t actually tour anymore?! STOP THE PRESSES! AGAIN! Really, I’ve just always wanted to say that, and it’s probably a good idea that we’re mostly digital and Tony, Daniel and Gary don’t actually have to sit anywhere near me when I’m writing. But despite the melodrama the fact of the matter is that one of the greatest gay icons of all time is retiring to spend time with his family, following a worldwide, fivecontinental farewell tour. I could get really salty and blame heteronormativity for him wanting to be a father or something but I’m fairly certain I’m supposed to be being nice about him and writing about his massive humanitarian contributions and I guess his kids will probably turn out to good people, if he’s anything to go by. Reginald Kenneth Dwight, (Oh honey), born 1947 in Middlesex, better known as Sir Elton Hercules John, (Hercules?! Really?) was playing piano at age three, producing complex pieces from memory at four and had won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music by eleven. By sixteen he was in his first band, and not long after supporting some of the biggest jazz and blues acts around.

He made his own big break after, thankfully, changing his name and working with Bernie Taupin to produce gospel inspired rock songs and ballads. His eponymous second album shot to fame after the success of Your Song and the rest, as they say, is history. We all know, and secretly love, Sir Elton for his sparkly specs and equally fabulous blazers. And there’s no one quite like him for delivering a beautiful piano ballad, evoking nostalgia, emotion and precariously-pitched sing -a-longs. Many still will remember the powerful impact Candle in the Wind had on us, re-released by Elton upon the tragic death of his friend Diana, Princess of Wales. The song became the fastest and biggestselling single of all time, eventually selling over 33 million copies worldwide, going certified diamond in the US – the only single to ever do so. Further still, it broke world records repeatedly and still holds the Guinness World Record title as the bestselling single since music charts began. Proceeds from the song exceed £55 million, and were and are donated to the various charities of which Diana was ambassador through her own charity Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Even so, the proceeds from Candle barely make a dent in the wider philanthropy of Sir Elton. In 2013 he publicly made an appeal with The Independent to end ivory poaching, and furthermore helped raise funds for the Rainforest Foundation Fund. His charitable work also unsurprisingly reaches into the arts, supporting both the Grammy Foundation and Exploring the Arts. Also, unsurprisingly, he supports the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the Trevor Project and STOMP Out Bullying, LBGTQ+ charities and allied charities in the States where he has made his permanent home with partner David Furnish, and sons Zachary and Elijah. Evidently Elton John has always felt the need to help, and to use his wealth and prestige to better the lives of others. Of the many other charities he has supported, from Oxfam and Race to Erase MS, to the Breast Cancer Research Fund and Project Angel Food, perhaps the most evidently close to his heart is his own - the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He first became involved in AIDs charitable work in the 1980’s - temporal epicentre of the AID’s pandemic - when a young

boy, Ryan White, was diagnosed with AID’s following a contaminated blood transfusion. At only 13 years old, White quickly and brutally faced discrimination; with HIV and AIDs being so poorly understood at the time he soon became the “poster-child” of the disease, appearing nationally in the media in attempts to destigmatize HIV and AIDs but facing much abuse. Seeing this, John initially loaned White’s mother $16,500 to purchase their home, then refused repayment. Instead of accepting her money, he set up a college fund for White’s sister and called upon his peers to use their voices and campaign with him. Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight then teamed up with Sir Elton to record “That’s What Friends Are For” with proceeds going to the American Foundation for AIDs Research. But following the untimely deaths of young Ryan, and Elton’s close friend the late, great Freddy Mercury, Elton set up his own charity to raise money in the fight against HIV/AIDs. Initially auctioning off his pianos and memorabilia, holding concerts and donating tens of millions of dollars, the Elton John AIDs Foundation continues to host its annual White Tie & Tiara Ball to consistently campaign for an end to HIV/AIDs and to fund its programs in 55 countries throughout the world. The Foundation maintains extensive grants and makes ground-breaking advances in its attempts to raise awareness of, and funding for, HIV/AIDs awareness. As of last December the EJAF combined forces with mobile app Kwippit to use the mobile platform as a means of garnering individually small but cumulatively huge donations, enlisting a whole host of celebrities to endorse the campaign including Boy George, Andy Cohen, Chris Colfer, Ellen DeGeneres, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Colton Haynes, Cheyenne Jackson, Heidi Klum, Padma Lakshmi, Adam Lambert, Cyndi Lauper, Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Stone, and Russell Tovey among others. The Foundation also took to South London in the same month and created a Social Investment Partnership to create a financial bond which would fund the HIV service providers in the area. Including Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations, these services can then proceed to expand their resources and facilitate intervention of HIV infection, along with facilitating the increased ability to provide testing in high risk community and to provide treatment and lifelong care to those already affected. With so many charitable feats under his belt perhaps the Hercules is fitting after all? Elton John’s mammoth philanthropic and humanitarian efforts are indeed herculean in effort and effect, eclipsed seemingly only by a farewell tour to end all tours, and a heart as big as his voice. Abso-fucking-lutely iconic.

GNIMAG.COM | 35


INTERVIEW__ AYDIAN DOWLING

Aydian Dowling 36 | GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW__ AYDIAN DOWLING Hi Aydian, introduce yourself to the GNI readers who may not know you and let them what you are about... Hi GNI my name is Aydian Dowling, I identify as a transgender Male, I have been on hormones from 2009 and started to document my transition since early 2009 before I started hormones on youtube via my own channel , youtube.com\ aydiandowelling . I documented everything from pre transition, post transition , surgeries etc . I then started my own clothing company, it is not only aimed at the trans community but also for anyone who is prideful in their own identity. Next I opened a non profit organisation which is now in it's 2nd year , so far we have raised 27,000 dollars. Due to this we are giving 10,000 dollars this year to a trans person in need You're well known for your body building and landing the cover shoot for Men's Health Magazine that recreated Adam Levine's naked shot. How important is physical health to you and how much of your time goes into it? Physical health is really important though I feel mental health is of equal importance, when I started working on the Adam shoot for Men's Health I was really focused on my physical appearance and let my mental health get pushed to the side, I thought looking great and having a 6 pack etc would make me mentally happy, I learned this wasn't the case and there needs to be a balance. Now I have much more of a balance. Back then I was working out 7 days a week, counting every calorie, carb, amount of fat I was in taking and judging my happiness on how I looked in the mirror. Now I make more happy and healthy food choices, I eat less processed food and more whole foods, I also eat less animal products, I am now better connected to my body. I preach that I am enough and am constantly trying to feel good enough, worthy of life and giving of my time as well. Obviously that affects your mental health too! Endorphins are one thing but can we talk about dysphoria: the feeling of detachment and distress towards your body - what are your personal experiences with it if you are willing to share? Dysphoria comes in waves but really started when I was younger and I would get menstruation each month which made me feel disconnected and angry, my body would be in a lot of physical pain. I wasn't taking the best care of myself, I hated using feminine

products that were needed. As it progressed I found my trans identity became in my voice and my features as they weren't very masculine looking and didn't feel inline, that's when I started my testosterone hormone replacement therapy (HRT) . My Dysphoria then moved to my chest, having breasts made me feel unconnected though when I started using a binder to compress them and change my shape I started to feel a lot happier and more masculine. I stuck with the binder for around 3-4 years then decided it was time to get top surgery as I had become so uncomfortable with my appearance I used to shower in the dark so I wouldn't have to look at my breasts. For years I never actually referred to them as breasts I always said chest or maybe my chesticuls lol. Now I'm thinking of getting a hysterectomy, its the right thing to do for my body and for me to continue to feel healthy and happy. It will be 9 years in October of taking testosterone though I still get Dysphoria from time to time especially in the gym when I see young guys who are bigger and stronger than me which makes me think if only I was born a man I would be like that, I think this is my own insecurity, I'm like everyone else we all have insecurities with our bodies, not just trans people. I have ongoing issues though I just deal with it day by day and remind myself I am happy at present and still plan to get additional surgery On another note about mental health any advice for those going through hormonal treatments or for their allies? Everyone is different but can they expect to feel like teens again? When you go through hormones people joke that its like a 2nd puberty, it kinda is, your voice gets lower, fat gets redistributed around your body, your hair line changes, facial hair starts growing, some people even think about sex a lot more like a teenage boy would. It can all be really exciting though like a teenager you can become really self involved and worried. My advice would be remember its not all about you, changes really effect the people around you and allies that are effected need to remember we really do care. It's best to talk it out as we are all transitioning together and having to deal and accept changes. The one word to sum it up is communication, it is key in life though vital when someone is going through their transition. What support do you suggest everyone have during that

time? Definitely therapy or spiritual healing it will really help you open up to yourself. Transitioning is so intense, even though the gender gap is closing you will be treated differently. Speaking of support, you met your wife after affirming your gender, how did that come about? I met Jennilee on YouTube, she was on talking about her experience while dating a transgender man, we knew of each other through YouTube, we always supported each other as did our partners at the time. Around 8 months had passed and we hadn't spoke during this time we both found ourselves single and began chatting, this was back in the day of instant messenger AOL lol . It was strictly friendship at the start though over time we began speaking more often online, we would call each other and Skype then I decided to go visit her and we decided to give a long distance relationship a shot. 8 years later we are married and have a beautiful relationship And now you're working towards being parents right? How is that going and what methods have you been using if that's not too personal to ask? Yes that's correct, Jennilee will be carrying the baby, we have been trying for around 6 months now (Oct 17). The first month we tried an at home insemination , since then we have been going monthly to the doctors though so far it hasn't been successful. We are really optimistic and have been documenting everything on you tube. Its been an exciting rollercoaster so far but we have all our family and friends behind us who are so supportive . With some of the recent TV series and celebrities we've seen parents and partners affirming later on in life.  Can you offer any advice for those already in relationships wishing to make gender affirmative changes? The best advice I can give is try and take a step away from labels and look at the human being, ask yourself do you love this person, do want them to be happy, are you seeing them suffering and struggling with the gender identity? I think that's what everyone needs to focus on, we need to stop focusing on labels, appearances can be deceiving, E.g. what may appear as 2 woman together doesn't mean they are lesbian. We need to stop putting people in boxes, what we should care about is that 2 people are in love, that's what's important.

Tell us about the charity you have founded. My clothing company is POINT5CC.com, I started the company out to help me raise funds to pay for my surgery as this wasn't covered by insurance, I was only 22 and had to raise over 7,000 dollars. It was impossible to pay this myself as I was only earning a few hundred a month. Thankfully I raised the money that I needed and decided to keep the company open to help fund programmes. One of the programmes was to give away new and used binders to those transitioning who needed help. In 2015 I missed out on getting a 5,000 dollar grant because we didn't have non-profit status, that's when I decided this is how we need to go forward. In our binder programme we have now given out over 2500 binders to over 35 countries, we also are due to give out 200 tuckers and offer electrolysis for trans woman who are in need. I mentioned earlier about our annual surgery fund after this years give away we will have raised and gave away 27,000 dollars. We want to help more people through our programmes. Pointofpride.org has been running almost 2 years now, you can find info about all of the work we do here. Finally with this being your humanitarian edition I’d like to chat briefly about global warming, I love the earth more than anything; it created us, gave us the animals and life, we need to give more attention to the earth. Last year my wife and I moved into an eco friendly apartment, we are limited to the amount of water and electricity we use, the land is an animal habitat. I feel great about the space we live in. I mentioned earlier limiting the amount of meat I eat, this is not because I am a vegan or vegetarian but because I feel if we kill the animals we are killing the earth. There is more deforestation due to the amount to trees we remove simply to feed the animals that are for human consumption than the amount of land animals would need or use naturally. This just doesn't make sense especially as its a known fact that we eat far more meat than what is recommended or needed. We need to eat more sustainable foods. I am trying to do my part by limiting red meat and I think we should all be conscious of this. I love to travel, do motivational speaking, host events and sit on panels to spread information & love on the things I am passionate about and can relate to.

GNIMAG.COM | 37


27thFebruary - 3rd March 2018 at 7.45pm

Theatre at the Mill Tickets are priced from ÂŁ18 - ÂŁ20 Book online www.theatreatthemill.com or phone the box office on 02890340202 (opens 10.00 am - 5.00 pm)


Mr Calum Scott CALUM SCOTT, THE SEEMINGLY NORMAL DOWN TO EARTH BLOKE FROM KINGSTON UPON HULL WHO SHOT TO FAME IN THE 2015 SERIES OF BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT. HE WOW’D SIMON COWELL WITH HIS STRIPPED BACK RENDITION OF ROBYN’S DANCING ON MY OWN – EARNING THE GOLD BUZZER AND SECURING A PLACE IN THE FINALS. THAT SONG WHEN INDEPENDENTLY RELEASED AFTER THE SHOW ENDED SLOWLY CREPT UP THE UK CHARTS PEAKING AT NUMBER TWO AND EARNING CALUM A DOUBLE PLATINUM DISC FOR OVER 1.5 MILLION SALES. SINCE THEN CALUM HAS RELEASED HIS SECOND SINGLE RHYTHM INSIDE, HE’S DUETTED WITH IVETE SANGALO ON THE SOUNDTRACK FOR THE 2016 SUMMER PARALYMPIC GAMES, HE’S COVERED THE WORLDWIDE CROONERS CLASSIC SHE’S LIKE THE WIND, AND A FEW WEEKS AGO HE RELEASED HIS LATEST SINGLE YOU ARE THE REASON. WE TOOK TIME OUT WITH CALUM TO SEE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS HANDSOME CHAP WHO’S BEEN BUBBLING AWAY IN THE BACKGROUND FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS NOW…


INTERVIEW__ CALUM SCOTT

The more I thought about it I just thought it was a phase and then I started losing sleep over it, feeling sick about it all so I thought I would talk to one of my best friends at the time about it all, and long story short that friend completely abandoned me and left me high and dry on my own at 14 years of age with no real friends.

CALUM, WE’VE WANTED YOU IN GNI MAG FOR A WHILE NOW, SO THANKS FOR TAKING TIME OUT. YOUR LATEST SINGLE “YOU ARE THE REASON” IS BEAUTIFUL, AND I DON’T THINK THERE’S ANYONE OUT THERE WHO COULDN’T SEE THEMSELVES IN THE VIDEO. TELL US ABOUT IT…

“I’M NOT THE GUY YOU’RE TAKING HOME” IN THE SONG RATHER THAN PRODUCE A MORE HETERONORMATIVE VERSION, AND THIS WAS BEFORE YOUR SEXUALITY WAS REALLY MAINSTREAM PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. WERE YOU NERVOUS ABOUT THAT SUBTLE NOD TO WHO YOU ARE?

opportunity to leak the information. Luckily I had great support and I had a chat with Attitude magazine after the single had come out and received nothing but positivity around it all, I look back now and wonder what all the fuss was about. I now I am more proud and happy than I ever have been about being gay and I am loving life and everything I am getting to experience.

You are the reason is one of the special tracks on the album to me. It’s a track about love, but love in all its forms not necessarily romantic love it could be parental love, friendship as you can see from the video, there are so many different reasons for love and I wanted to show that. The message from both the song and the video is that love conquers all and that no matter what you go through you are going to have turbulent times with relations whether that’s with your son, daughter, boyfriend, girlfriend or even your relationship with god. It’s kind of an uplifting song, it’s a song that everyone has commented on and the positivity around it has been amazing, like you said it’s a song everyone can relate to and see themselves in the positions shown through the music video. I just feel very privileged to have been able to have create a song that has such relatability across the spectrum. When I was writing the song it actually came from a place of anxiety and started off “without a reason” but then we were writing we realised that you know you have these ups and downs in your relationships but the love that you feel for each other gets you through it. I’ve had so much feedback from it from all around the world I am super proud of it.

You know what I get asked this a lot but when I first started performing this song as a cover even before BGT, then I came across the acoustic beautifully slowed down version of it and it never occurred to me about changing the lyrics because I very much related to them as a gay man myself I’ve always been the guy falling for the straight guys. Then when I took it to BGT and had the success there with it, questions about my love life and stuff came up within interviews and I became quite terrified that it would all come out and that people would judge me and it would all be over. Pretty much the same anxieties that most people from the LGBTQ community experience but magnified in front of the world. Even then with the lyrics staying the same, the version and the interpretation of it is what really struck with people, but the response from the gay community was just phenomenal and they really were the ones that noticed most that I hadn’t changed the lyrics and were asking why and if I was gay and inside I was wanting to say to those people yeah I am gay but I was so nervous of what reception I would get. I needed time to adjust and sort it out in my own mind cause at the time I had gone from living in this small corner of the world in Hull to then being known and recognised around the country and then globally but at the same time I wanted to come out on my own terms before it would all get too big and someone would take the

WE CAN’T IMAGINE WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE TO COME OUT TO THE WORLD, FOR MOST LGBT FOLK BACK HERE IN NORTHERN IRELAND COMING OUT TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS CAN BE SCARY ENOUGH. WHAT AGE WERE YOU WHEN YOU CAME OUT TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND HOW DID YOU DO IT?

PEOPLE WILL PROBABLY STILL INITIALLY KNOW YOU FROM BGT AND DANCING ON MY OWN. YOU DECIDED TO KEEP THE LYRIC

40 | GNIMAG.COM

I always knew I was different but I could never really put my finger on what it was, when I was around 13\14 I had a large group of friends mainly lads and we did all the usual things like BMX and skateboarding etc but then the other lads starting bringing girls into the group. I don’t know if I was being protective because I wanted to just hang with my boys or if it was that I just didn’t like girls but I knew there was something there but I just couldn’t get round to understanding it and then conversations about proms and things started coming into the mix and I knew at that moment I just wasn’t interested in girls, but I wasn’t interested in boys sexually either. The more I thought about it I just thought it was a phase and then I started losing sleep over it, feeling sick about it all so I thought I would talk to one of my best friends at the time about it all and long story short that friend completely abandoned me and left me high and dry on my own at 14 years of age with no real friends. So for a long time I


INTERVIEW__ CALUM SCOTT associated telling people about my sexuality with loosing people, it took a while for me to come to terms with it all. There is a song on the album called “only you” which is about one of my best friends Dan who is still one of my best friends to this day that stood by me the entire time and helped me to be able to tell my mum and helped give me the confidence to move on from the past. My dad left us when I was two years old and moved to Canada I only told him a few years ago so it is all still relatively new with him but I was equally if not more frightened about coming out to my Dad as I was to my Mum. Once I had told all my family and friends I thought phew that’s that done with but then I had to do it all again with the press, media and fans which at the time was very daunting. I am proud and confident now of who I am and for being a gay man and I love the fact that I have this voice now within the industry where I can talk about my experience and hopefully help other people come to terms with their own sexuality, I feel very empowered now. YOU’VE SAID IN OTHER INTERVIEWS THAT SONG-WRITING HELPED YOU THROUGH YOUR CELEBRITY COMING OUT. IS THERE A SONG BY ANOTHER ARTIST, THAT WHEN YOU HEAR IT, REMINDS YOU OF WHO YOU ARE AND WHY BEING TRUE TO YOURSELF IS IMPORTANT? I am probably like most gay men I grew up listening to my mums music when in the car and that and it was all big icon stars like Whitney Houston, Elton John, George Michael and Prince, huge huge singers and quite a few of them were gay artists themselves. At the time people like Elton John, Boy George etc. because they were superstars they weren’t exactly relatable to me as they were such huge stars at the time I couldn’t relate to them as little Calum from down the street whereas nowadays it’s the norm you have all these sports stars, soaps and TV stars all coming out that are a little bit more relatable and that gives other people the inspiration to come out more so now I guess. Growing up there have been so many tracks that I have listened to and related to but one that really hit a note with me was a stripped back acoustic version of Lady Gaga’s “Born this way” which lyrics really hit home, such a beautiful, powerful song with lyrics that more or less say except me for who I am which is just so empowering and it’s something that I have tried to translate into my own album, I would love to become an activist through this album and help people to feel that same empowerment. SO, YOU WORKED AN OFFICE JOB AND A PART TIME MEMBER OF A MAROON 5 TRIBUTE BAND BEFORE BGT. YOUR LIFE MUST BE VERY DIFFERENT NOW. WHILE THE REST OF US ARE DOING THE 7.30AM COMMUTE TO WORK FOR THE DREADED 9-5, HOW DOES CALUM SCOTT FILL HIS DAY? I still think back to all that and it just feels like a different life as it is a million miles away from where I am today, I keep waiting to wake up and realise this is all just a dream and have to get back to answering the phones and making the tea’s and coffee’s again. Its surreal looking back, I’ve been really busy lately with polishing off the last of the album and promoting it and the new single. My diary is just back to back I don’t know where I am from day to day but I love it! Promo aside I am getting to travel and see the world and perform to people everywhere which is so humbling. I am telling my story through my music and the positive response has been immense, I really am living the day. I was at the last Grammy’s and was introduced to Nile Rodgers and he was like “I know who you are” which is just something that I would never imagine happening like NILE RODGERS oh my god hes a legend and he knows who I am……its times like that where I am

expecting to wake up with my head on my keyboard and that it’s all been just a dream, I just almost hit the floor. WORKING AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS ACROSS THE GLOBE MUST BE BOTH AMAZING AND TIRING AT THE SAME TIME, WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE SO FAR AND WHY? AND HAVE YOU BEEN TO BELFAST OR DUBLIN YET? You need to ask my agent that I would really love to do a full gig in Belfast, I have been there when I was supporting either Jamie Lawson or a band called Boyce Avenue I can’t remember which but what I do remember was the passion you Irish have for music and the intensity of your support at gigs singing songs back, the Irish definitely as among the loudest crowd to play to. As for picking a favourite place I couldn’t just pick one as there have been so many places that have been major highlights for me like Brazil and getting to play at the Para-Olympics there to a massive crowd, but another that holds a special place in my heart is one of the first home coming gigs I did after BGT the reception was just amazing. So to answer your question I cannot pick a favourite I just love getting the opportunity to travel and bring my music to my fans whether that’s playing to 25 people down the road from my home or 25,000 on the other side of the world I still give every performance my all, that comes I guess from putting the graft in during the early days with the Maroon 5 tribute and gigging by myself not always to the biggest or most responsive crowds. WHERE IS HOME FOR YOU AT THE MINUTE, DO YOU GET TO SPEND MUCH TIME THERE, AND WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT GETTING HOME? Home for me is everywhere at the moment as I am just travelling with work so much but my true roots will always be in Hull. In time I guess I will have to settle in one place which will more than likely be London for work logistic reasons. For me one of the best parts of going home to Hull would be when I am in the car or on the train and I see our famous suspension bridge I just get this warm feeling inside that I am home, it’s all very nostalgic for me having grew up there for over 20 years to doing what I am doing now. I am a massive massive family man so I just love getting home to spend time with my mum, sister and my nephew and of course all my other family and friends that I don’t get to see as much as I would like with being so busy with work at the moment, it’s all a crazy adventure at the minute but family will always come first should it ever come down to that. I just feel very fortunate to be given this opportunity to do what I love and have the support of my family friends and fans. DO YOU EVER HARK BACK FOR THE SIMPLER LIFE WHEN NOBODY KNEW WHO YOU ARE? Yeah occasionally, but especially when I am away and miss family events and parties as they are a big part of my life and I miss the routine of the simpler life as with this career it is all very hectic and on the go all the time. If you are asking me to choose between my old life and the current job I think you will understand if I say the current job, I am living the dream and getting to do what I love for a living what more could you want in life really? In no way would I ever be inclined now to go back to an office job, I’ve been there done that and got the T-shirt, I am loving the new challenges with my music career.

Omg that is ridiculous does he really do that? There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my fans, I am so going to regret saying that now aren’t I haha! I am all about giving back to my fans; I love my meet and greets getting to chat to the fans, singing to them, having pictures taken with them, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. How can anyone deny their fans a picture is beyond me, it’s such a small thing that can make their day so why would you not do it for them. I always remember when I did a quick visit home to do a show following BGT the show itself was only 20mins long but I did over 3 hours of meet and greet afterwards so hopefully that gives you an idea what I am about. You obviously can’t see everybody every time because of time schedules and that but I try my best to fit everyone in and I also manage my own social media and try to reply to as many of the messages as I can, so when fans get a reply it is from me. SO YOU’VE A TOUR COMING UP (UNFORTUNATELY NO BELFAST DATE, BUT YOU WILL BE IN DUBLIN), WHAT CAN YOUR FANS EXPECT? WILL IT ALL BE VERY STRIPPED BACK AND INTIMATE OR RATHER ENERGETIC? ANY WEE SECRETS YOU CAN LET US IN ON? Firstly I really do want to come to Belfast it’s not that I don’t want to its just down to dates, times and schedules and what works and fits best but I promise I will mention it to my agent and slap their wrists a little I promise and hopefully do something there real soon. The tour itself will be very like the albums sound mixing the ballads in with the tunes that get people up on their feet, that are more upbeat and empowering. I don’t want to be the sort of artist people just put on when they need a good cry, I would like to think I am more versatile than that. I want to have the moments with my fans and create memories not just for them but for myself also as you’re only here once. AND WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR CALUM SCOTT, WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY? I am so grateful for everything that has happened so far and will be even more so for everything that is going to happen this year and after but I suppose just looking to the future I have a UK and European tour coming up I would love to do a world tour and visit parts of the world I have never been before. Of course it would be lovely to gain the accolade of a number 1 album, but the main thing for me is that my music reaches people that either need or want it or people that have never heard of me before, I just want to grace as many peoples ears as I can really and make as many new fans as I can. The world needs a lot more love at the moment as there is a lot of negativity around and I am honoured to be in people’s ears for their entertainment as chessey as that sounds. I would love to see you guys at the tour in Dublin. CALUM’S DEBUT ALBUM ‘ONLY HUMAN’ WILL BE RELEASED ON THE 9TH MARCH, AVAILABLE FROM USUAL OUTLETS OR VISIT CALUM’S WEBSITE WWW.CALUMSCOTT.COM FOR MORE INFO.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU REFUSE TO DO FOR A FAN, EXAMPLE WE HEAR THAT CHRIS PRAT REFUSES SELFIES?

GNIMAG.COM | 41


STUFF

STUFF__ MISSTIQUE

We popped along to Misstique Belfast...

42 | GNIMAG.COM


STUFF__ MISSTIQUE

LIQUID GOLD POPPERS ROOM AROMAS BEST SELLERS 3 FOR £10 IN-STORE SPIT WATER BASED LUBRICANT 250ML FREE SACHET SAMPLES AVAILABLE IN-STORE CANDY POSING POUCH VARIOUS DESIGNS YUMMY FLAVOURS O/S £4.95 WWW.MISSTIQUEBELFAST. CO.UK BOUND TO PLEASE BONDAGE TAPE AVAILABLE IN BLACK £4.95 IN-STORE AND WEB WWW.MISSTIQUEBELFAST. CO.UK FIFTY SHADES FREED AWASH WITH SENSATION WAND MASSAGER (MAINS) COLOUR..PURPLE £99.95 IN-STORE AND WEB WWW.MISSTIQUEBELFAST. CO.UK ROCKS OFF PROSTRATE MASSAGER BIG BOY 7 SPEEDS COLOUR BLACK £68.95 IN-STORE AND WEB WWW.MISSTIQUEBELFAST.CO.UK BIO (VEGAN) LUBRICANT SILICONE & WATER-BASED VARIOUS SIZES FROM £9.15 IN-STORE AND WEB WWW.MISSTIQUEBELFAST.CO.UK PRORINO POTENCY POWER SHOTS INSTANT ENERGY AND ENHANCER 60ML £9.95 IN-STORE AND WEB WWW.MISSTIQUEBELFAST.CO.UK MEN’S UNDERWEAR VARIOUS BRANDS SIZES X-SMALL - XXL COLOURS AND STYLES VARY PRICES FROM £13.99 IN-STORE AND WEB WWW.MISSTIQUEBELFAST.CO.UK MISTERB TOY CLEANER KEEP YOUR TOYS CLEAN SPRAY BOTTLE 200ML £12.95 IN-STORE AND WEB

GNIMAG.COM | 43


FEATURE__ ANOTHER WORLD

CONNOR KERR If you’d met Connor five year’s ago, you wouldn’t believe this is the same man today, he tells us about his journey... INTRODUCE ANOTHER WORLD BELFAST TO US CONNOR... Another World Belfast is a not for profit volunteer collective. It was conceived in central Bolivia last year and has grown exponentially after a chance regroup with my friend, and now business partner, Rebecca Clough. Rebecca was not long back from having worked in finance and marketing procurement for Diageo in London for 13 years and is the MD of a national retailer. So brings this commercial experience to the project. For our first phase, which was live in Nov and Dec ‘17, we have been working our asses off, alongside a great team to fundraise for relief for The Rainbow Project who do an amazing job in supporting Northern Ireland’s LGBT and fellow volunteer collective The Homeless Period which is directed by great human Katrina McDonnell and do their bit for Belfast’s Homeless women. Soon we will be heading for full charity registration to fundraise for ourselves to support our own services such

44 | GNIMAG.COM

as The Love Pack, a care package programme for our countries most vulnerable. Our first drive was a massive success with over 5000 separate items donated and in turn fairly and evenly distributed to groups including the homeless, victims of sexual trafficking, refugees and asylum seekers and private cases recommended to our team over the Christmas Period. Myself and the Another World team of volunteers are so very excited by this arm of our project and we can’t wait to keep collecting for, packing and distributing The Love Pack again someday soon. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NEXT FROM YOUR TEAM? MORE POP-UPS? A permanent campaign? Our vision for the future is to be in the position to assist people living in need here at home and around the world. Our planned services will include community building, art therapy, a good human mentor programme, volunteer facilitation and training for the field, cultural education and a great social

enterprise to power the lot. My lips are sealed for now on the exact details as they are still being formed but what I can say is that the end of the year is looking bright and we cannot wait to see what fortune it brings! WHERE WERE YOU AT WHEN THE VOCATION HIT? IN LIFE? IN YOUR CAREER? IN THE WORLD GEOGRAPHICALLY SPEAKING? Well for many years in Belfast I worked as a fashion hairstylist and events producer, from that I got in contact with a unique ethical clothing brand that turns tires into shoes to save them from landfill. My email of interest included a small thank you for the work that Indosole did for the environment and before I knew it I was being invited by the CEO to visit and later intern with their design and make facility set in the rice fields of the island the gods, beautiful Bali. It was when with the Indosole team working alongside their factory workers to hand finish their stylish product that I met a man that has Inspired me ever since. Carlos Ferrandiz of


FEATURE__ ANOTHER WORLD The Harapan Project told me of his efforts to supply educational, medical and basic needs aid on an island, a few hundred miles east. It was in this moment I admittedly interrupted Carlos’ passionate description of his work with a few words that would change my life in so many ways. I said “I will come”, then at the table I started looking for flights, obsessively checking my bank balance and working out just how long I could afford to volunteer before the end of my first trip. The first of many. Inspired by Carlos and The Harapan Project I went on to Australia dipping back into my now “old life” to work a few FASHIONWEEK styling jobs on the continent alongside, at one point, 4 other jobs to save enough to fund myself to further my experience in helping others in an essential aid and assistance setting. Then from Australia I would fly next to COLT, a children’s shelter in Phnom Phen, Cambodia before taking further positions in that country followed by further exploration in the field in positions around the world Europe, South and Central America. It was on my last assignment in Central Bolivia that my current pace took a massive hit. After a traumatic series of medical events including a parasitic infection that was slowly eroding my nerves and immune system to the point of me being unable to walk. It’s in moments like this you re-evaluate and at that point I decided it’s now or never for the support project I had been planning over many diaries and notebooks kept in the years gone by. I am so happy to say that I am now as fit and healthy as ever, thankfully I look upon that part of my journey with gratitude. I am so thankful today for that push, that awful time has given me so many opportunities since. Opportunities to work with incredibly passionate people, without them this dream would not be a reality. “IF YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE WORLD, CHANGE SOMEONE’S WORLD WITHIN IT.” IT’S A POIGNANT MANTRA IN RECENT POLITICAL TIMES - WHAT OR WHO BROUGHT THESE WORDS TO YOU? That’s a mantra I have been using for quite some time. When I first started volunteering with a malaria campaign in Eastern Indonesia I always heard the same thing when I would call home with news of often horrifying recent events. There would be days that I would call my friends and family with news of an infant death, many other children on the edge or some other horrible detail. The answer would always be the same. “Come home, you can’t change the world”. It was after one of these very calls that Carlos the project founder who had given up his previous life and flown 10,000 miles to fight poverty and disease added that last half. Yes, you may not be able to change the world but what you can do though is make a massive impression in the lives and hearts of the people around you. I love it! I feel like it applies perfectly to the work that I do but also to anybody who would love to better themselves and in turn the lives of the people around them. For me Its magical to know that you can access that power, if you choose to be a good human. POP-UPS BEING ALL THE RAGE LATELY, YOU TURNED THE MILLENNIAL GIG-ECONOMY INTO GIG-FUNDRAISING. TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR LAST PROJECT... You could say ‘all the rage’ or you could say it’s a necessity in the current acute funding shortage problem for small

businesses and charitable projects. The Another World pop up concept was conceived out of that necessity along with a desire to develop fundraising ideas and a concrete mission to be formed by myself and Becky over the intensive few months we spent on University Street at the end of last year. For us it is paramount that we are passionate about the causes that we choose to support in future. Settling on connecting the people who care with the causes that matter sits well with both our aims to assist with a focus on homelessness, refugee aid, asylum seeker assistance and those who find themselves living on the edge in our local and global society. All of Another World Belfast’s previous projects have taught us so many lessons. Our recent non-profit pop up salon running alongside a fantastic series of ‘Strong for the Week’ yoga and meditation events have shown us the power in giving and getting a little something back, you give and you get! It really is a great way to fundraise for relief while having the opportunity to grab a captive audience as you raise awareness for your cause and others as well.

Another World Beneficiary Storehouse have pack events regularly and need people power to get those food and feminine hygiene packages out. All hands-on deck! Another world is possible, we can hear her breathing. WHAT’S THE END GOAL FOR YOU? The end goal for me personally is probably just what everyone on the planet searches for. My energy comes from being surrounded by great people and if I can guide that crowd towards a greater good then I will be happy. That’s it isn’t It? Happiness is the end goal. As for the dreams of the Another World team we can’t wait to launch our permanent base and projects and with them a number of campaigns and fundraising mechanisms to help the people we share the planet with. So many have already been willing to help and we are still constantly receiving offers to help on our next phase. We love how the people of Belfast have embraced this, in such a short period of time. People here are known for their generosity and community spirit. At Another World we plan to help to connect those in the community with some time and a wish to help, and to come along and help us help a tonne of people just like you and me who for some reason or another have found themselves on the edge and in need of support. Arundhati Roy said “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way, on a quiet day I can hear her breathing.” We can too. PHOTO CREDIT: CARRIE DAVENPORT PHOTOGRAPHY, MARTINE EVANS AT DUO IMAGE. ANOTHER WORLD CONTACTS:

I THINK PEOPLE CAN OFTEN FEEL SO HELPLESS WHEN THEY FEEL UNDEREDUCATED ON SOMETHING OR UNDERFUNDED TO GIVE THEIR SPARE CHANGE - IF YOU’D LIKE, WHY DON’T YOU LEAVE OUR READERS WITH A MESSAGE ABOUT HOW THEY CAN HELP CHANGE SOMEONE’S WORLD WHEN THEY THINK THEY CAN’T... To be honest I have been in the same position more recently than you may think. Sometimes I think it may be that the less you know the better, but one common lesson from my experience and education has taught me you can never judge a book by its cover, especially when we are talking about a vulnerable person. I cannot at a glance on the street, effectively assess a person’s needs. If they are genuine, if addiction is a struggle for them, if as a big bloke when I approach them I would seem in some way intimidating or threatening. It’s because of this I use my most instinctive action as a lead. A smile breaks a thousand barriers and sometimes that’s all it takes. Recognition is free to you but could be priceless to another person. I would advise and have trained myself not to offer any cash but to ask what that person may need. A coffee or a few coins isn’t always that persons most pressing need. For example, a £5 phone top up can make the world of difference. As for volunteering I would of course love to see all of the Another World team of incredible volunteers and I hope a host of energetic new members next time round. If you are interested in the meantime try searching for a one-off event with a charity that you like the look of, that way you can give back with no commitment. Lots of small organisations like The Homeless Period and

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ANOTHERWORLDBELFAST WWW.ANOTHERWORLDBELFAST.CO.UK @ANOTHERWORLDBELFAST

GNIMAG.COM | 45


SCENE OUT__ KREMLIN BELFAST

We love a good night out at Kremlin, Belfast.

46 | GNIMAG.COM


INFO__ TRANS PRIDE NI

TRANS PRIDE NI WE CAUGHT UP WITH MICHAEL TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TRANS PRIDE NI... Hello, I am Michael, a trans man. I attended the Gender Identity Clinic in Belfast for 9 years and I have been attending a Transgender support group in Northern Ireland for adults, for the past 7 and a half years. I am currently setting up Trans Pride Northern Ireland as a Charitable Company.

to celebrate Gender Diversity, helped the general public understand Transgender people more and they also helped to increase gender equality.

Adrianne and Michael need £2 000 to pay for decorations, room hire, music and insurance. Please help them raise this money to ensure that transgender people are better understood and no longer marginalised in Northern Ireland.

The Companies aims are to: • Benefit the public by changing attitudes towards all Trans people, including those with disabilities, in Northern Ireland. • Celebrate gender diversity and the achievements of all Trans people, including those with disabilities, in Northern Ireland. • Ensure gender equality for all Trans people, including those with disabilities, in Northern Ireland.

The plan We are working towards a day of celebration and inclusion on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 in Belfast city centre. More details will be available closert to the time, please keep an eye out on our website. Contact details

The Story... Celebrate Gender Diversity After suffering over 80 transphobic hate incidents between them, Transgender couple, Adrianne and Michael attended Sparkle in Manchester in 2013 and Trans Pride in Brighton 2014. These two events helped

over 80 hate incidents. They are now planning to hold Northern Ireland’s first ever Trans Pride in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 2nd June 2018, to raise awareness of Transgender people. They hope to hold Trans Pride NI events every year after that.

Web: https://transprideni. wordpress.com

Stop Transphobia As a transgender couple, Adrianne and Michael understand how difficult it can be to be a transgender person in Northern Ireland, especially as they suffered

GNIMAG.COM | 47


ANIMAL TESTING:

You may think it’s a thing of the past, but it’s not. PAGE 50

WORLD RIGHTS:

We take a look at LGBT rights around the world. PAGE 54

THE

TRAFFICKING:

Human trafficking and slavery is happening all around us. PAGE 60

HUMANITARIAN ISSUE


THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ ANIMAL TESTING

ANIMAL TESTING 50 | GNIMAG.COM


THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ ANIMAL TESTING

Animal Testing….Thought it was a thing of the past? Shocking investigations reveals the big beauty brands are STILL being tested on animals • • •

Animal testing was banned in the UK in 1997 and in the EU in 2009 In China, products manufactured outside country must be tested on animals While big brands do not undertake testing themselves, they know the fees they pay for access to Chinese market may fund tests

Fluffy white rabbits jump excitedly around their cages. But they are not at a pet shop, about to be taken to a loving home; they are waiting their turn to be tested on. Cosmetics such as moisturiser will be dripped into their eyes and slathered onto shaved backs. This will often leave them in pain and may render them blind. Afterwards, they are usually unceremoniously killed. If this sounds so horrifying it must be illegal, that’s because it is — in the UK at least. But while animal testing was banned in the UK in 1997 and in the EU in 2009, some of Britain’s most popular brands are still funding testing on animals. Incredible as it seems, this is the beauty industry’s dirty little secret, and the price some high end brands pay in order to sell their products in China. In China, it is compulsory that any product manufactured outside the country must be tested on animals. Even those made in the country can be subject to testing. The brands do not undertake these tests themselves, but know the fees they pay for access to the Chinese market may fund tests that would be illegal in Europe. But for many animal lovers, that’s simply a technicality and not one they’re happy to excuse. The latest brand to get into hot water over this is Nars, best known for its multi-tasking eye, lip and cheek stick, The Multiple, and a cheek tint with the rather risque name of Orgasm, which launched in 1999 and became the best-selling blusher in America.

In June, Nars announced it would begin to sell cosmetics in China. Fans took to social media to say they were ‘disgusted’ that a brand that previously claimed to be ‘cruelty-free’ had made this decision. Petitions sprung up alongside campaigns to boycott the brand, with bloggers creating lists of alternatives to Nars products. Nars defended the move, claiming: ‘We have decided to make Nars available in China because we feel it is important to bring our vision of beauty and artistry to fans in the region. Nars does not test on animals or ask others to do so on our behalf, except where required by law. But does the brand really want to share their ‘artistry’ with Chinese women — or merely cash in on what is set to be the world’s largest beauty market, worth an estimated £38 billion by 2020? It’s clear that in chasing the Chinese yuan, brands risk alienating British customers, many of whom are horrified that in buying something as innocuous as a moisturiser they could be tacitly paying for animal testing.

accidentally buying into a brand which allows its products to be tested on animals? Sadly, it’s not straightforward. Almost 200 of the world’s biggest beauty brands are owned by seven conglomerates. And each has brands in China. Take L’Oreal, for example. While some of its brands, such as Urban Decay and haircare brand Pureology, carry a crueltyfree logo, it also owns Maybelline, Kerastase, La Roche-Posay, Lancome and Kiehl’s, all of which are sold in China. Similarly Unilever, which owns cruelty-free brands not sold in China — Ren Skincare, Murad and Dermalogica — owns Dove, Vaseline and Pond’s, which are. The ugly truth is that in buying a product that bills itself as cruelty-free, you could inadvertently be supporting a parent company that sanctions animal testing.

Animals can have chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their skin or force-fed to them in lethal doses,’ said a spokesman for animal protection organisation Humane Society International. ‘As well as causing suffering, many of these tests are unreliable in predicting real chemical reactions in people.

Want to go cruelty-free? These are the cruelty-free brands you can buy safe in the knowledge that they don’t trade in China or make money for companies that do: • BARRY M — inexpensive, independent make-up brand with many vegan products. • THE BODY SHOP — sold by L’Oreal to ethical Brazilian company Natura, which doesn’t sell in China. • CHARLOTTE TILBURY — high-end, independent cosmetics brand. • DR HAUSCHKA — ethical green brand that hasn’t tested on animals since it was founded in 1967. • LUSH — the hippy beauty store, started in Poole, Dorset, remains true to its crueltyfree roots. • NEAL’S YARD REMEDIES — vegetarian, Fair Trade and all-round ethical good guys. • PIXI — a cruelty-free cult favourite not sold in China or owned by a mega company that sells other products there. • PAUL MITCHELL — the haircare brand pulled out of China when testing became mandatory. • SKYN ICELAND — independent, 100 per cent vegan, not tested on animals or sold in China.

Yet how are British consumers to avoid

WORDS: Gary Campion

For in the UK it seemed that the battle against testing cosmetics on animals had already been won. In 1989, The Body Shop began a campaign to end animal testing in cosmetics, the first beauty brand to do so. Billboards were plastered with their slogan ‘Against Animal Testing’ and the company’s owner, Anita Roddick, led anti-vivisection protests. And public feeling against animal testing remains strong. In 2012, after an outcry, cosmetics brand Urban Decay backtracked on plans to move into China, saying ‘we did not feel we could comply with current regulations in China and remain true to our principles’. It’s little wonder, given the stomach-churning accounts of animal testing in China. Mostly, it’s rats and mice which are tested on, but rabbits and guinea pigs are, too.

GNIMAG.COM | 51


HELP!

RAINBOW PROJECT

PETER THATCHEL FOUNDATION

STONEWALL

The Rainbow Project is a health organisation that works to improve the physical, mental & emotional health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people in Northern Ireland.

The Peter Tatchell Foundation (PTF) seeks to promote and protect the human rights of individuals, communities and nations, in the UK and internationally, in accordance with established national and international human rights law.

Stonewall was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who had been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act.

We are the largest LGB&T organisation in Northern Ireland and have two centres: one in Belfast city centre and the other in Foyle, L’Derry. The Rainbow Project is devoted to promoting the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people and their families in Northern Ireland, as well as those questioning their orientation or gender, through partnership, advocacy and the development and delivery of appropriate support services. https://www.rainbow-project.org Belfast Office 23-31 Waring Street Belfast BT1 2DX Tel:028 9031 9030 Foyle Office 20 Strand Road Orlan House Londonderry BT48 7AB Tel:028 7128 3030

The PTF seeks to raise awareness, understanding, protection and implementation of human rights, in the UK and worldwide. This involves research, education, advice, casework, publicity and advocacy for the enforcement and furtherance of human rights law. We have charitable objectives and provide public benefit. http://www.petertatchellfoundation. org/ 14 Marshalsea Rd, London, SE1 1HL Office number: 020 3397 2190

Stonewall is renowned for its campaigning and lobbying. Some major successes include helping achieve the equalisation of the age of consent, lifting the ban on LGB people serving in the military, securing legislation which allowed same-sex couples to adopt and the repeal of Section 28. More recently, Stonewall has helped secure civil partnerships and then same-sex marriage and ensured that the recent Equality Act protected lesbian, gay and bi people in terms of goods and services. In 2015, and following a six-month consultation with trans communities, Stonewall became trans-inclusive On 23 September 2003, we were granted charitable status (Charity Registration Number 1101255). Stonewall receives no core government funding and funds are instead raised in a variety of ways including donations, sponsorship and fundraising events. Stonewall is a member of the Equality and Diversity Forum, a network of national organisations committed to progress on age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation issues. http://www.stonewall.org.uk 192 St John Street London, EC1V 4JY Tel: 020 7593 1850


THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ CHARITY

KALEIDOSCOPE TRUST

LGBT FOUNDATION

Established in 2011, The Kaleidoscope Trust works to uphold the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people in countries where they do not have their equal rights and are discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Established in 1975, LGBT Foundation exists to support the needs of the diverse range of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans. We believe in a fair and equal society where all LGBT people can achieve their full potential. #EqualityWins underpins much of what we do and we aim to be; ‘here if you need us.’

Harnessing the energy of the LGBT community in the UK, where we have seen such progress, to encourage social change abroad is a complex challenge. It requires diverse, subtle and longterm approaches. www.kaleidoscopetrust.com The Print House Studio, 18 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL Phone: 020 8133 6460

We are a nationally significant charity firmly rooted in our local communities of Greater Manchester and provide a wide range of evidence-based and cost effective services. Each year, we serve over 40,000 people, achieving an average 98% satisfaction rating, as well as providing information to over 200,000 individuals online. As a result, we serve more LGBT people than any other charity of our kind in the UK. Throughout all of our work, we support LGBT people to increase their skills, knowledge and self-confidence to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing. We also work in partnership with others to build strong, cohesive and influential LGBT communities. Working together, we are changing LGBT lives for the better and securing a safe, equal and healthy future for all LGBT people. www.lgbt.foundation 5 Richmond Street, Manchester M1 3HF Tel: 0345 3 30 30 30

LGBT HUMANISTS UK

CARA FRIEND

Founded in 1979, originally known as GALHA, LGBT Humanists is a democratic, membership organisation based in the UK with members worldwide, promoting Humanism and LGBT equality.

Cara-Friend was established in 1974 as a voluntary counselling, befriending, information, health and social space organisation for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans (LGB&T) community. Since then we have established ourselves as one of the most encompassing organisations in Northern Ireland, bringing together all ages, all genders and sexual orientations under one umbrella. We advocate unceasingly on behalf of the LGB&T community with the media, churches, government departments and politicians alike.

LGBT Humanists promote Humanism and LGBT equality, working to combat prejudice and discrimination against humanists and LGBT people. In furtherance of these aims it: • Holds regular open, public meetings in London with speakers and discussions • Maintains a website that promotes our work worldwide and links to other relevant online resources and organisations • Carries out other occasional media work including radio, press and TV to promote its aims • Makes submissions to government committees and responds to government consultative documents that concern our areas of interest • Supports demonstrations and other groups that advance our aims • Provides stalls and information at as lesbian/gay, Humanist and other public events • Organises an annual lunch to publicise the work of a public figure involved in LGBT rights and/or Humanism

www.cara-friend.org.uk 23-31 Waring Street, Belfast, BT1 2DX Tel: (028) 9089 0202 Office Hours: Mon - Fri 11am - 4pm

www.lgbthumanists.org.uk

GNIMAG.COM | 53


THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ LGBT WORLD RIGHTS

YOUR LGBT RIGHTS AROUND THE GLOBE Most of us have clawed our way through January and are coming around to the idea of loosening the post-Christmas purse strings to book a well deserved wee break. According to Travel experts SkySkanner flights to certain locations can be up to 20% cheaper when booked in February. Music to your ears? Mine too. Thanks to Lonely Planet we also have a major dose of Holiday inspiration with the Top 10 Must-Visit countries this year. For our community travelling overseas can mean more than just picking a swanky hotel and jumping on a plane, we need to first ensure that the countries we want to visit actually want us visiting. Let’s take a look at the list and how their laws are shaped for the LGBT community.

South Korea is tipped as offering a city break like no other with the option of wandering through the bustling street markets, discovering ancient Buddhist temples or escaping to a host of magnificent mountains. If youíre a member of the LGBT community in South Korea you have no protection from discrimination under the laws of the land. It was all going so well, I think Iíll give South Korea a miss.

PORTUGAL • • • • •

CHILE • • • • •

Same-Sex sexual activity: Legal *Age of consent discrepancy Recognition of Same-Sex unions: Yes Same-Sex Marriage: No Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: Yes Laws concerning gender identity/ expression: Legal gender available (Surgery required)

Tucked away in South America there is no question over the glorious sights that you would stumble upon if you travelled to Chile. With an array of natural landscapes, from moonscape deserts to snow-capped mountains Chile has something to offer all of us. *Questionably the age of heterosexual consent in Chile is 14 and for homosexuals this is raised to 18.

SOUTH KOREA • • • • •

54 | GNIMAG.COM

Same-Sex sexual activity: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex unions: No Same-Sex Marriage: No Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: No Laws concerning gender identity/expression: Legal gender change (No surgery)

Same-Sex sexual activity: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex unions: Legal Same-Sex marriage: Legal Anti discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: Yes Laws concerning gender identity/ expression: Legal gender change (No Surgery)

Portugal is becoming an increasingly popular destination for quick city breaks, with striking landmarks and an incredible foodie scene. For the majority of us looking for a sandy beach type holiday Portugal will tick all of the boxes. Full marks all round for Portugal and their LGBT legislation.

DJIBOUTI • • • • •

Same-Sex sexual activity: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex unions: No Same-Sex marriage: No Anti discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: No Laws concerning gender identity/ expression: None

This lesser known name has escaped the arrival of tourists for some time although popularity is slowly rising for this splendid country nestled in the Horn of Africa. With dry landscapes, volcanic formations, beaches and also home to one of the worldís saltiest bodies of water, Lake Assal, Djibouti is sure to continue to climb the top destinations ladder. Djibouti showcases some of the worst LGBT laws on the list and given the violence suffered by many of our community in Africa I wouldnít recommend this little beauty spot anytime soon.


THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ LGBT WORLD RIGHTS

NEW ZEALAND • • • • •

Same-Sex sexual activity: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex unions: Yes Same-Sex marriage: Yes Anti discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: Yes Laws concerning gender identity/ expression: Legal gender change (Surgery required)

New Zealand is probably on every other bucket list in the world. The sweeping landscapes in this scenic country provided the backdrop to the Lord of the Rings series, an amazing holiday for those who love scenery for a good Instagram Snap. If youíre into urban life New Zealand offers amazingly vibrant cities such as Auckland and Queenstown. Another example of a country leading the way with LGBT legislation.

MALTA • • • • •

Same-Sex sexual activity: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex unions: Yes Same-Sex marriage: Yes Anti discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: Yes Laws concerning gender identity/ expression: Legal Gender change (No surgery)

Capital city Valletta has been named Europeís Capital of Culture for 2018, this has no doubt landed Malta as a hit with would be travellers this year. Malta offers ancient cities, pristine beaches, awe-inspiring temples and glorious weather - Where do I sign up? Malta is a leader in LGBT rights and no doubt a safe space for our community.

GEORGIA • • • • •

Same-Sex sexual activity: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex unions: Yes Same-Sex marriage: Yes Anti discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: Yes Laws concerning gender identity/ expression: None

If you’re wanting a Cultural holiday this little wonder often slips under the radar and the lack of tourists might make it even more appealing to some. Tucked between Europe and Asia if you plan a visit itís said that you shouldn’t miss the 12th century monastery of Vardzia ñ another one off the bucket list. For the LGB community Georgia is a firm head for legislation. With no laws at present which recognise the identity of the Trans community, some of us may leave a question mark over Georgia.

MAURITIUS • • • •

Same-Sex sexual activity: Male Illegal / Female Legal Recognition of Same-Sex unions: No Same-Sex marriage: No Anti discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: Bans some discrimination Laws concerning gender identity/ expression: None

A picturesque honeymoon destination with sandy beach, crystalline blue waters, tropical fish and mouth watering local cuisine what could possibly put you off Mauritius? An almost 100% fail record for LGBT rights, I’d rather not give the backward country of Mauritius a single brown penny.

CHINA • • • • •

Same-Sex sexual activity: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex unions: No Same-Sex marriage: No Anti discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: No Laws concerning gender identity/ expression: Legal gender change (Surgery required)

The Great Wall of China, another firm bucket list favourite; add Beijing and Shanghai to the mix and you might just have your dream holiday. There is no doubt that China would offer a completely unique experience. I don’t even need to consider LGBT rights in China, in fact it wouldnít matter if they were the best in the world; the horrendously cruel Yulin

Dog Meat festival is enough to put me off ever visiting. It’s a NO from me.

SOUTH AFRICA • • • • •

Same-Sex sexual activity: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex unions: Yes Same-Sex marriage: Yes Anti discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation: Yes Laws concerning gender identity/ expression: Legal gender change (Surgery required)

Wildlife safaris are a massive attraction for those who travel to South Africa. If thatís not your thing you can soak up some sun on the coast, explore vibrant culture and enjoy the bustling urban city life. Parts of South Africa can be dangerous for tourists and itís always best to do your research before travelling. Again the LGBT legislation in South Africa is certainly moving with the times however the Trophy hunting which plagues the land would certainly put me off.

LGBT legislation around the world is continuously improving and as tourists we should consider these laws before travelling. Remember, this consideration should not be limited to the countries you believe to be safe for LGBT tourists. Hot spots like Dubai see thousands of LGBT tourists flock to their shores each year because a blind eye is often turned to cash heavy tourists despite homosexuality being punishable by death in the Emirates. In this case the question we should ask ourselves is not whether we would be safe but whether we want to hand our hard earned cash over to these governments? Tourists may not receive the death penalty but there are plenty of natives to the United Arab Emirates who do.

GNIMAG.COM | 55


SERVICE - REPAIR - INSTALLS DOMESTIC AND COMMERCIAL 07821 277 641

FACEBOOK.COM/GLO.HEATING


THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ SKINCARE

BEAUTY WITH A CONSCIENCE With everyone becoming more aware of animal testing and the benefits of natural products we decided to try out five of the best brands available on the market. All of these brands focus on natual ingredients that are free of animal testing. Over the past few weeks we have tried and tested samples provided to us and here are our favourites and recommendations...

What we’re all about From superfoods to probiotics, we’re learning that nature has everything we need to keep our bodies healthy - and that doesn’t just mean what we eat. Around the world, from Arctic forests to sun baked deserts, scientists have discovered plant ingredients that deliver real skincare benefits. Inspired by these discoveries, Natures Alchemist was born.

Burts Bees has been offering distinctive earth-friendly natural health and beauty care products for over 30 years. From a beekeeper’s baclyard in Maine to the leading edge of natural, Burt’s Bees Knows natural body care solutions from head-to-toe and operates with The Greater Good top of mind. No phthalates, paraben, petrolatum or SLS and no animal testing.

The brainchild of Clean Beauty Co. founders Dominika Minarovic and Elsie Rutterford who launched in 2016 and took social media by storm. BYBI Beauty is the new eco-luxe diffusion line of super stylish but also sustainable high-performance skincare products. Designed to appeal to mainstream beauty junkies as well as green girls, BYBI stands for By Beauty Insiders. Keen to challenge the perception of what constitutes luxury ethical beauty, the founders discovered there was a gap in the market for fresh, cool, modern yet natural beauty products that appeal to both health and image conscious consumers.

Launched in 2007 Melbourne, Australia, after identifying a gap in the market for high efficacy, environmentally sustainable and affordable natural skincare. Since then, Sukin has grown to become Australia’s Number One Natural Skincare Brand*. Sukin, utilises an abundance of beautiful botanicals, antioxidants and essential oils to restore the natural vitality and radiance of your skin and hair. Our extensive product offering boasts skincare innovation and natural beauty and are proud of our extensive No List. All of the products produced are naturally derived, cruelty free and vegan.

NATURES ALCHEMIST is a superior blend of nature and science. Formulated to be suitable for vegans without parabens and gluten, the collection is tailored to meet specific skincare needs with each product containing multiple active ingredients. Infused with fresh, vibrant fragrances, and dressed in simplistic packaging that looks great in the bathroom, we’re a fun brand with a serious purpose. And because we believe animals are not ingredients, Natures Alchemist products are ALL vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and never tested on animals.

Having been in the healthA superior blend of nature care profession for over and science. Formulated 20-years and more recently to be suitable for vegans a sister in a busy Emergency without parabens and gluten, Our credentials Our ranges Department in Belfast Carol the collection is tailored to ✓ Cruelty free HYDRATING ❖ In-Shower Moisturiser developed this handmade meet (200ml) specific skincare needs ❖ Facial Mist (120ml) ✓ Skincare specialists ❖ Gel Face Mask (100ml) brand. with each product containing Most of her adult life she multiple active ingredients. ✓ Gluten free NOURISHING ❖ In-Shower Moisturiser (200ml) suffered from severe psoriasis Infused with fresh, vibrant ❖ Body Whip (200ml) ✓ Created by vegans (100ml) and for years shuddered ❖ Cream Face Mask fragrances, and dressed in at the thought of using B A L A N C I N Gsimplistic packaging that✓ Vegan Body Polish (200ml) the harmful medication ❖❖ In-Shower looks great in the bath- ✓ Active Ingredients Bircher Scrub (300ml) ❖ Clay Face Mask (100ml) prescribed to counter her room, we’re a fun brand ✓ Paraben-free symptoms. with a serious purpose. And MULTI-TASKING ❖ Hand Therapy (75ml) She began looking more because we believe animals ✓ Recyclable packaging closely at the ingredients in are not ingredients, Natures @natures.alchemist products and was astonished Alchemist products are ALL Natures Alchemist is available from selected Superdrug stores now. at the nasties included! vegan-friendly, cruelty-free Priced between £4.49 and £7.99 www.superdrug.com | For further press information, imagery or quotes p contact Bux & Bewl Communications antonia@buxandbewl.com | lauren@buxandbewl.com 07737230 On behalf of Athena Ltd She began looking for and never tested onBrands animals. generalenquiries@athenabrands.co.uk organic products for her own skin and so the story beganmaking organic skincare products by hand for sale to the public.

GNIMAG.COM | 57


NEW! Facial Cleansing Towelettes THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ SKINCARE

BYBI BEAUTY SUPERCHARGE SERUM

EXFOLIATING FACIAL CLEANSING TOWELETTES WITH PEACH AND WILLOWBARK

This new corrective Supercharge Serum will seriously perk up tired, dry and lacklustre skin. Packed full of 15 nutrient rich oils including watermelon, squalene, prickly pear, lemongrass and jasmine, just a couple of drops of this highly concentrated, antioxidant infused treatment deeply nourishes skin to promote a healthy, revitalised and glowing complexion as well as rapid cell renewal. 100% natural - vegan - cruelty free – ecofriendly packaging.

Formulated for normal to dry skin types, these are infused with peach and willow bark extracts to exfoliate and remove dirt, oil, and make-up from your skin leaving it feeling smooth and naturally clean.

£32.00 and available from BYBI.com and Selected House of Fraser Stores

£6.99 (25 count)

Cleanse and tone your skin in one easy step with Burt’s Bees® range of Facial Cleansin NATURES Available in threeCOFFEE NEW varieties, these natural pre-moistened wipes gently clean and SCRUB ALCHEMIST make-up withoutThis having to rinse. HYDRATING luxurious Coffee Scrub IN-SHOWER exfoliates your skin and MOISTURISER 200ML £6.49 (30 Count) leaves it hydrated and Facial Cleansing Towelettes with Cucumber & Sage Extracts radiant. Coffee is known for Perfecting the art of alchemy with Formulated for normal to dry skin types, Burt’s Bees® Cucumber & Sage Towelettes ar its antioxidant properties. Nature’s Alchemist. A superior blend of soothing Cucumber and fresh cleanse and soften skin, gently removing oil, di It is rich in minerals andSage to nature and science. vitamins and is cellulite’s No. The HYDRATING range has been expertly make-up without the need for rinsing. 1 enemy! We have developed this face and body scrub using locally sourced spent coffee grains with organic oils and essential oils. £12.50 available at www. mrsrganics.com

blended to help infuse skin with moisturising nutrients. Formulated with Avocado oil to help replenish moisture whilst Dragon fruit oil helps quench and maintain skin health.

Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Towelettes with Peach & Willowbark £6.99 (25 Count) Ideal for normal to dry skin types, Burt’s Bees® Peach & Willowbark Towelettes are Infu peach and willow bark extracts, to exfoliate and remove dirt, oil, and make-up from yo leaving it feeling smooth and naturally£5.99 clean. Available at Superdrug Online and in Selected Stores

Facial Cleansing Towelettes with Pink Grapefruit Seed Oil £6.49 (30 Count) Specially formulated for normal to oily skin, Burt’s Bees® Pink Grapefruit Towelettes ar enough to use everyday (even on acne-prone skin) and softly cleanse away pore clog make-up for beautifully clear skin, naturally. SUKIN FOAMING FACIAL CLEANSER KEY PRODUCT CLAIMS: KEY INGREDIENTS: A soap free wash providing a gentle,

• Removes dirt, oil & cleanser make-up non-drying to remove impurities leaving your skin feeling • Cleanses & tones in one easy step

• Peach & Willowbark extract • Cucumber & Sage

• Dermatologist tested balance your skin.

• Pink Grapefruit

soft, clear and clean. To purify and

£7.95 Available at Boots Online and

Burt’s Selected Bees®stores NEW Cleansing Facial Towelettes (£6.49/6.99 RRP) are available from Feelunique Gorgeousshop.com and Amazon.co.uk

RESCUE BALM

This wonder balm soothes, restores, calms and aids chapped dry skin – www.faceboo

Please check prices and availability before going to press. soothes roughness, redness and minor skin irritation. Works wonders on For further information, samples or images please contact Fluorescent PR: @BurtsBeesU cold sores, burns and new tattoos.

Chloë Freestone T: 0207 254 5122 E: chloe@fluorescentpr.com £17.50 available at www.mrsrganics.com

58 | GNIMAG.COM

@BurtsBeesU


B EST FOR: DRY, FLAK Y SK IN

BEST F OR: D ULL NESS

THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ SKINCARE

SUP E R DETOX MASQ

P U R I F Y ING NATURES FA C I AL MASQUE ALCHEMIST MULTIRRP: £11.95 TASKING HAND THERAPY Key Ingredients: Perfecting the art of alchemy with Kaolin, RosehipNature’s Oil, Alchemist. A superior blend of nature Jojoba Oil, Vitaminand E science.

The benefits of all three NATURES ALCHEMIST ranges in one supercharged formulation. Formulated with NOURISHING Coconut probiotics and Lingonberry oil, HYDRATING Dragon fruit extract and Avocado oil, and BALANCING Turmeric and Agave.

BEARDY BALM This Beardy Balm will shape your beard, moustache or goatee! It contains castor oil which will give your facial hair a lovely subtle glisten. It will also condition your beard and ensure the skin beneath is moisturised. £13.50 available at www.mrsrganics.com

£4.49 Available at Superdrug Online and B EST FOR: in Selected Stores

OILY T-ZON E

BYBI BEAUTY’S PRIME

O I L B ALANCING TIME FACIAL POLISH The vegan certified, micro-bead free and eco+ C H AR COAL friendly packaged scrub you need. Cruelty A NT I - POLLUTION and micro-bead free, this light, soufflé-balm FA C I AL MASQ UE like formula smells good enough to eat and

blends all-natural, vegan certified ingredients RRP: £11.95 including fruit acids to nibble away at dead Key Ingredients: skin cells, jojoba beads to gently scrub, and marshmallow root and cocoa butter to leave Bamboo Charcoal, skin super soft. Avocado, Rosehip, Suitable for all skin types BYBI Beauty’s Quince andPrime Coconut Time Facial Polish is gentle enough to use every day and is available in two sizes of eco-friendly tubes, made from sugar cane – no nasty plastic packaging here. 30ml - £14 and 60ml - £24 Available from BYBI.com and Selected HOF Stores

RRP: £1 Key Ing Greens Spirulina Parsley, and Ros

BEST FO R: BEST FOR: D EHYDRATION

SUKIN HYDRATING FACIAL MASQUE

HYDRA MASQ

RRP: £1 Key Ing Butter, A Pineapp Fruit Ext

Rich mango seed butter, avocado oil and olive fruit extract provide hydration and help protect the skin’s moisture barrier, while enzymes offered in papaya and pineapple nourish the complexion and help impart a healthy glow. £11.95 Available at Boots Online and Selected Stores

Sukin products are available from selected Boots and Holland & Barrett stores nationwide and Whole Fo NATURES ALCHEMIST as well as online at boots.com, hollandandbarrett.com, amazon.co.uk andMIST in selected independent retail HYDRATING FACIAL Perfecting the art of alchemy with Nature’s Alchemist. A superior blend of nature and science. For more information and images, please contact: The HYDRATING range has been expertly blended to help infuse skin with moisturising nutrients. F L U OR ESCENT PR | SIOBHAN@FLUORESCENTPR.COM | T 020 7254 5122 Formulated with Avocado oil to help replenish moisture whilst Dragon fruit oil helps quench and maintain skin health.

SEAWEED SOS

£5.99 Available at Superdrug Online and in Selected Stores

Irish hand cut wild sustainable seaweed infused with salts and organic essential oils for a rejuvenating and hydrating bath-time boost and detox. £13.50 available at www.mrsrganics.com

GNIMAG.COM | 59


THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ TRAFFICKING

W

hen I see the words Human Trafficking and Slavery I am guilty of permitting my mind to ponder only on countries like Russia were around 20,000 North Korean workers are sent to ‘Labour Camps’ each year thus being forced to live in brutal slave like conditions. China, where the gender imbalance means there is a high demand for women on the perverted black markets. In China it is commonplace for men to kidnap women after enticing them with the promise of high paying jobs or money. The dire reality is, the women will be trafficked, enslaved in a ‘marriage’ and will suffer lifetimes of prolonged sexual exploitation. Foolishly I don’t often consider the reality that Human Trafficking and Slavery is occuring much closer to home. The bitter truth is every large town and city in the UK falls foul of these harrowing human rights violations. Last year the National Crime Agency warned that the threat of these crimes was continuing to grow. This warning came after UK police forces revealed they had 300 active investigations targeting modern slavery. Some victims in these cases were allegedly as young as 12 years old. In Quarter 3 of last year the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) - the UK’s official framework for identifying victims of human trafficking reported a staggering 1322 cases. Of these, just 4 cases were reported in Northern Ireland. In an interview with the Independent Kate Robert’s head of the Human Trafficking Foundation indicated that the UK wide figures are grossly underestimated, “We know modern slavery and human trafficking are a much bigger problem than is being identified, yet we’re still stumbling around because we don’t have proper data”. Just a few years ago Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were forced to apologise for their failure to investigate the child abuse allegations more thoroughly in what has largely become known as the ‘Rochdale Scandal’. GMP identified 47 girls as survivors of the child sexual abuse ring. The girls were mainly white British and the 19 perpetrators were majority British Pakistani this prompted widespread discussion on whether the failure to investigate them was linked to the authorities ‘Fear of being accused of racism’. In Rochdale girls as young as 13 were plied with alcohol and drugs before being subjected to the most harrowing forms of abuse. One 15 year old survivor was too drunk to recall being raped by 20 men, one after another. Another girl was so drunk that she vomited over the side of the bed as she was being raped by two men. At least one of the girls had an abortion after becoming pregnant. We are mere humans and genuinely understanding the trauma for each of those 47 survivors is so beyond our comprehension that we cast aside the thought of it happening under our noses. In a appalling turn of events the longest sentence handed out was for ring-leader 59 year old Shabir Ahmed who claimed during the trial the girls were

60 | GNIMAG.COM

‘Prostitutes’. Ahmed was sentenced to 19 years for rape, aiding and abetting a rape, sexual assault, trafficking for sexual exploitation and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children. Severe child abuse or rape are punishable with the harshest sentence possible in the UK - Life in prison. This raises the stomach churning question of why the evil man who orchestrated one of the UK’s most horrific child abuse rings did not feel the full force of the law? His British Citizenship was revoked and he will be deported at the end of his sentence however we as taxpayers are footing the bill whilst he continues to put up legal challenges. The threat will remain once he leaves the country that he could begin abusing children again. Every child involved has become a survivor but they will shoulder the weight of these crimes for the rest of their lives yet only 2 of the men convicted over the Rochdale scandal remain behind bars. Whilst we cry out for longer sentences for the safety of our children we also need brave men and

UK police forces revealed they had 300 active investigations targeting modern slavery. Some victims in these cases were allegedly as young as 12 years old. women willing to speak up to prevent another Rochdale. Those in the shadows who know about grave miscarriages of justice which are swept under the ever rising carpet. We need people like Maggie Oliver the recent Celebrity Big Brother contestant who helped expose the Rochdale child sex abuse ring and subsequently walked away from a promising career as a Detective Constable with GMP. Oliver puts her resignation down to spending four months getting to know two girls and encouraging them to give evidence only for the Crown Prosecution Service to decide not to call one as a witness. Courageous Maggie said, ‘We betrayed the trust of those girls and it made me ashamed to be a police officer’. Has Rochdale finally prompted the Government to ensure they take every action to protect vulnerable children and adults? Perhaps a report published by the Work and Pensions committee in 2017 will give us some insight. They found that the data collected by the NRM was ‘generally substandard’ and accused the mechanism of being ìnothing but a piece of paperî

to victims. With realistic estimations of victims of modern slavery in the UK being between 10,000 and 13,000 the NRM were warned that their mechanism meant that once victims were identified they had no automatic formal immigration status or rights. As a result when a person bravely escaped their captors they were often left with little or no support resulting in them being re-trafficked. Anti Slavery International reports that in the UK the most prevalent form of modern slavery is forced labour, in which people are doomed to work for others in harsh conditions or in criminal activities, often for little or no pay. The most common areas of exploitation are construction, car washes, catering, factories or in private homes. In the Work and Pensions Committee report one Client Mí, told of how he courageously escaped his traffickers but for 4 years the government failed him and did not recognise that he was a potential victim of modern slavery. In the report we hear of how M’s Jobcentre advisor knew his story but did not pick up on the situation. Was another blind eye turned as happened in Rochdale for so long? The Home Office made attempts to close the gaps identified by the report with a reform in October 2017 on the NRM including trebling their ‘move on’ support and expert advocates for child trafficking victims. Last year there were major failings yet again for the victims of Trafficking and Slavery perhaps these recent changes will pave the way for a United Kingdom which will be representative of a civilised society where we value and care for the most vulnerable. Time will tell. In recent years there has been a dramatic rise in Human Trafficking and Slavery worldwide. According to the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commission: ‘There are more slaves today than ever before in human history. There are now an estimated 45 million slaves worldwide, with approximately 13,000 enslaved in the UK’. Anti-Slavery International give the following advice for identifying those in slavery and what actions you should take. Slavery is often hidden and can be difficult to identify, but there are few signs which might mean that someone is in slavery. Someone in slavery might: • Appear to be in the control of someone else and reluctant to interact with others • Not have personal identification on them • Have few personal belongings, wear the same clothes every day or wear unsuitable clothes for work • Not be able to move around freely • Be reluctant to talk to strangers or the authorities To find out more information or joint the fight visit www.antisalvery.org


THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE__ TRAFFICKING THE CHRISTMAS ISSUE__ SCROOGE

HUMAN TRAFFICKING & SLAVERY the shocking reality

61 GNIMAG.COM | 63


REAL BODY:

Antrim lad Darren Keenen tells us his diet and fitness regime.. PAGE 71

TRAVEL:

Gavyn gives us his take on the sunny Balearic Islands. PAGE 78

GNI WEDDINGS:

Jayne and Laura let us in on their beautiful big day.. PAGE 83

LIFE & STYLE


MEET THE ARTIST__ VINCENT CREELAN

MEET THE ARTIST

VINCENT CREELAN

WHAT SORT OF ART DO YOU CREATE? I have come to accept that I call myself a poet. I published my first collection Driftwood & Solitude last May, and had a launch party in The Black Box, which was such a great night. The form, the meter the style of my poetry varies a great deal and I never know until I actually put pen to paper how it will look on the page, despite maybe having mulled over the piece in my head for months. Mostly I write free form/ verse which is much like the rhythm of natural speech, sometimes rhyming and if I really want to make life hard for myself I try a traditional form in terms of stanza etc such as a sonnet or villanelle but I get little or no joy from that type of exercise.

Trespass I journey, my body freshened by new air hanging around me, fresh currents breathed in. Beside me, they swelter, forcibly wallow in staleness, enveloped in toxic powerlessness; fated, stripped and shipped. The air bears Saharan sands and seeds. Wantonly beached driftwood in solitude arriving worn, wet, out of place to some undiscovered land from long determined paths. Landfall in blindness released and rests in fear in an unimagined whereabouts, from places of sand, of wasteland of desecrated ruination, of remembered blood and fire. Some reach out, offering a healing hand and revealing gesture, with understanding of their unseen chronicle, knowing what is left behind and what cannot. Finally, a space to feel safe. To be safe.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO THIS, WAS IT A JOURNEY THROUGH DIFFERENT CREATIVE INDUSTRIES? Educationally I wanted to be involved in the arts but got side tracked into science. Later during my time as a police officer (third career) I always knew there was a good book or two there to be written(just not by me as it turned out) but I didn’t get involved seriously in writing until I left the police. Then I had time to focus on what I wanted to do as a retired 45-year-old ex-cop / environmentalist /wannabe archaeologist, pagan, gay man, father and partner. I laboured on two books for a couple of years, entirely as a personal project, a kind of legacy thing. One night I had this revelation; I couldn’t write decent prose to save my life! I read poetry, had a very close friend in the USA whose poetry I loved. He advised me to consider that path in creative writing. That’s what I have done for the past 12 years. WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY CREATING? Poetry that tells a story, is part of my experience, takes you on a journey and explores themes. My first collection started with sex, being gay, a man who likes, loves men. Then policing, the subject matter which I always assumed I would write about, came very late in the process, but is perhaps some of my best work. The environment, social issues, family, life and living motivate me, as does dance as a form of moving meditation as well as pure fun, and a spiritual aspect to the world we live in which I explore through Druidry. The main thing is the poems need to be understood, not too easily accessible I suppose but neither should you need a degree in Middle Eastern religious philosophy to comprehend them. Some openness to different interpretation is always good I think. WHERE CAN WE READ YOUR POETRY? My collection is available at No Alibis book shop in Belfast or Gays The Word in London. vincecreelan.com and ipoet.org.uk are links to my online poetry blog on WordPress.

GNIMAG.COM | 63


FASHION__ ECO FRIENDLY

ECO FRIENDLY SPRING TRENDS 64 | GNIMAG.COM


FASHION__ ECO FRIENDLY

New season collection all available at: www.komodo.co.uk

GNIMAG.COM | 65


New season collection all available at: www.komodo.co.uk

66 | GNIMAG.COM


GNIMAG.COM | 55

GNIMAG.COM | 67


FASHION__ ECO FRIENDLY

New season collection all available at: www.komodo.co.uk

68 | GNIMAG.COM


FASHION__ ECO FRIENDLY

New season collection all available at: www.komodo.co.uk

GNIMAG.COM | 69


LIFESTYLE__ FITNESS

F**K FITNESS. Forget about the fad diets and trendy exercise regimes, do what suits you. PEOPLE SAY JANUARY IS THE ‘BLUE’ month! well not when it comes to fitness! Most people set unbelievable goals in January and it’s safe to say by now you have said F**K it to the gym. I hold my hand up as I type (impossible I know LOL) and admit I am a serial fad follower, trying different plans and attempting different trends to get into shape, I can honestly say most are complete rubbish with no proven results, in fact less than 1 in 10 actually work. There are only two ways to get and stay in shape! I know what you are thinking diet & exercise? Yes they are vitally important though today I’m talking about; doing what suits you & goal setting. Lets face it otherwise you will pack it in no time! Doing what suits you In the past I have touched on this though never actually focused on it. The old saying comes into mind “Don’t run before you walk”, everyone has heard this term and knows the meaning though in this instance I’ll give you an example of what I mean; after a weekend of eating takeaways and a mountain of junk food you feel guilty and tell yourself “I’m starting back to the gym tomorrow and I’m going every day”. I’m sure your intentions are there though it simply won’t happen, after 3 days you’ll be in agony and sitting back on the sofa feeling sorry for yourself with a Mars Bar (other tasty chocolate is available).

70 | GNIMAG.COM

What I suggest is breaking yourself in easy, maybe 2 classes/sessions each week and build up when you start feeling more motivated. There is no need to go more than 4 times a week or aim to go every 2nd day. Most importantly “Do what suits you”, we all like different things and have different life’s/schedules, there are parks and gyms all over the place and exercise videos FREE online, figure out what’s best for you and get pumping iron (so to speak). For me I like to mix things, the odd spin class for cardio, weight training in sets to keep things tight and a dance class every now and then to help with overall fitness and to get the brain ticking with the coordination. Goal Setting We all have goals in life, why not set goals in fitness? It can be simple things like; I’m walking to work today, I’m going to get up 30 mins early so I can get 10,000 steps, I’m no longer eating from the chippy at lunch as I want to fit into a dress/suit, I’m going on holidays and want a rocking beach bod so I need to lose X amout of weight. Keep your goals realistic and achievable, I guarantee once you start doing what suits you and have goals in place you will be in the shape you want to be in in no time. Good luck getting into the shape that suits you


LIFESTYLE__ REAL MAN

NAME: DARREN KEENAN AGE: 23 HEIGHT: 5’ 11” WEIGHT: 76kg

TRIMMED OR NATURAL? Definately natural. BOXERS/BRIEFS? Boxers. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE GROOMING PRODUCT? I would have to say beard oil. I love my beard and keeping it shaped and trimmed. WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? It has to be watching Holyoaks. WHAT ONE PRODUCT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? Bulldog Beard Oil.

& “I generally try to keep fit by exercising and walking. I don’t go to a gym but walk to and from work everyday and then more at the weekends too.”

GNIMAG.COM | 71


LIFESTYLE__ GROOMING

Grooming is genderless Daniel’s five step plan... THE DEBATE ON WHEN EXACTLY makeup was invented has been an ongoing row with scientists across the world for many years, though one thing we know it was aimed solely for females! As far back as the Egyptian times they burned wood and used the ash as a modest form of eyeliner, with the goal to make their appearances more attractive to the opposite sex, well we are well into the 21st century, times have definitely changed. Woman are no longer the only ones who can benefit from using makeup to improve and enhance their appearance. The male beauty industry has been on the rise for many years now. With male grooming becoming more and more “acceptable”, cosmetic giants have been quick to jump in on the trend. However, it is only recently, with social movements stemming from the internet, that the rise of a more individuals fighting gender norms that has caused the male beauty industry to propel itself into the spotlight. Acceptance and demand of what men want for their beauty regime has increased rapidly in a short span of time, from a simple concealer to a more extreme male beauty regime that includes beard fillers, clear mascara and even

72 | GNIMAG.COM

matte finish bronzer’s. A simple YouTube search for men’s beauty now gets you thousand of results, ranging from hair tutorials to makeup and skincare aimed specifically at a male audience. Weather you identify as a straight, bi or gay male generally the goal for makeup is to give yourself a flawless yet descrite effect (I am sure all the queens are rolling their eyes now lol). So here are my top tips: 1. Face This is by far the most important step, you need to commit to a daily routine to get your skin in the best condition possible, you are never going to get the results you want trying to apply products over rough, flaky, greasy skin. Get a few products to suit your skin type and get creaming up. 2. Eyebrows Trim, Shape & Tidy - No one wants to look at caterpillars above someones eyes - enough said, get them fixed! 3. Conceal If you have followed step one your good to

go, you can get products from as cheap at £1 in the bargain stores and as expensive as £160 online that have random ingredients like caviar. Personally something around £10-£20 is ideal and will really make a difference and give your complexion an even glow. 4. Contour Lets face it at the minute everyone especially our queen friends are the pro’s at it, my advice is less is definitely more, don’t do traditional thick cheek bone lines, opt for a subtle approach put a small amount down the side of your nose and use sparingly to highlight your best features. 5. Final Step Get yourself on to social media and see exactly how its done, there are reams of tutorials out there. Wear your makeup with pride and smize. Words by Daniel May


AFTERNOON TEA AT THE MERCHANT HOTEL The quintessential Afternoon Tea experience To book, visit our website www.themerchanthotel.com


SPRING TIME SELF-INDULGENCE BEFORE WE ALL START COUNTING THE CALORIES TO FIT INTO THOSE SUMMER BEACH SPEEDOS. WE DECIDED TO TAKE ON THE UBERTRENDY AFTERNOON TEA OFFERINGS. AND TO KICK IT

BERTS JAZZ BAR W

e arrived at Bert’s Jazz Bar at lunch time on a Sunday afternoon, following a very heavy celebratory Saturday night - so we were delicate, and in dire need of something to mop up the hangover. Having done a bit of research before booking our afternoon tea, we knew that this was going to be more of a savory offering. After being greeted at the door we were shown to our table, it was a in a comfortable private booth. The mood in Bert’s is beautifully moody, like a luxurious gentleman’s club. Our waiter came to our table and we ordered the afternoon tea option without prosecco - we literally couldn’t face any more alcohol after the night before.

beetroot and goats’ cheese macaron and the most delicious croque madame muffin. On the bottom tier (which was my favourite) was a scotch quail egg and a mini pork en croute - literally mouthwatering. We were served tea and iced water to wash it all down. Once we’d finished with our platters we were treated to scrumptious petit fours - a wee sweet treat at the end. For me personally, being a very plain eater, this offered me the chance to try miniature versions of foods that I normally wouldn’t try. And I was pleasantly surprised that I liked so many of them.

The afternoon tea arrived on a three tier platter for us to share with individual sandwich plates. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about everything that was on our platter, explaining what each item was. The sandwich offering included four open sandwiches on a mixture of sourdough and ciabatta bread with topping such as house-smoked chicken, Bayonne ham and apple, and reblochon with red onion marmalade. Moving onto the platter, unusually we started at the top and worked our way down. On the top tier the tomato gazpacho was served in a shot glass and was beautifully tangy, next to this we had smoked salmon with orange on rye. Moving down to the middle tier was a savory

THIS WAS A HARD ONE TO CALL, THEY ARE BOTH COMPLETELY DIFFERENT OFFERINGS; IN BERT’S WE WERE TREATED TO THE MOST DELICIOUS SAVORY DELICACIES, WHILE IN THE MERCHANT WE INDULGED IN SWEET TREATS THAT HAD OBVIOUSLY BEEN PREPARED WITH LOVE AND ATTENTION BY A MOST SKILLED PROFESSIONAL. SO, IN THE INTERESTS OF COMPLETE

74 | GNIMAG.COM


OFF WE PIT THE BERTS JAZZ BAR’S SAVOURY AFTERNOON TEA AGAINST THE SUGARY SWEET AFTERNOON TEA AVAILABLE AT THE MERCHANT HOTEL. THIS IS WHAT WE THOUGHT...

MERCHANT HOTEL A

fternoon tea at The Merchant is a renowned treat in Belfast. We’ve all been jealous as our friends have waxed lyrical about their experience of it. So with this in mind we knew it had to be one on our list to try out. We booked in for a Thursday lunchtime, a treat to ourselves during our working day. The afternoon tea is served in the Great Room, which is the big opulent room you enter when you go through the grand entrance at the front of the hotel. You know as soon as you start to walk up those steps out the front that you’re in for something special. We were shown to our table and our waiter came to take our order. We ordered our afternoon tea and waited in anticipitation. And when it arrived we weren’t disappointed. The tree tier platter was an array of tasty, colourful looking treats, and the sandwiches were beautifully grouped on a side plate. This is what we devoured: the sandwich offering included chicken and roast pepper, roast beef with a red onion marmalade, ham and pickled cucumber with whole grain mustard, free range eggs with smoked mozzarella and celery, and smoked salmon with yuzu and roast artichoke. Moving onto the bottom tier of the platter was our baked section offering citrus and raspberry battenberg, and two freshly baked scones with clotted cream and a strawberry preserve. Then things got sweet, very sweet... we in-

dulged on: milk chocolate and orange cremeux, carrot cake with Valrhona dulcey creme fraiche, lemon yuzu and blackberry meringue tartlette, peanut and banana caramel sphere, and a seasonal macaron. By the end of this I was buzzing, such a beautiful variety of sweet treats - a definite sugar rush for me. Throughout our afternoon tea the waiter appeared with additional treats for us to try out. This is a beautiful venue to indulge and treat yourself or someone you love. There was definitely more than enough to eat, indeed on other tables we noticed people having food boxed up to take home.

FAIRNESS, WE COULDN’T CALL A SINGLE WINNER - THEY ARE BOTH ENTIRELY DESERVING IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DELICIOUSLY SWEET - GO FOR AFTERNOON TEA IN THE MERCHANT, AND IF YOU WANT A SAVORY SENSATION FOR YOUR TONGUE - GO FOR AFTERNOON TEA IN BERT’S.

GNIMAG.COM | 75


LIFESTYLE__ HOMES

FURNISHING ON A BUDGET. Furnishing your home can be expensive, we take a look at some wallet friendly options. RECENTLY WE DECIDED TO ‘do up’ our living room. We knew we wanted a corner sofa but unfortunately our budget was fairly small, so we had to do some creative thinking.

couldn’t find anything that would work that was in our budget. Luckily I’m fairly handy myself so for a fraction of the cost of what we found online I was able to buy the timber and build the unit myself.

The sofa I literally was rarely off Facebook Marketplace and after a few disappointments it finally paid off. The thing to remember is that if you think it’s a bargain so will others - so you need to act fast. We managed to get a beautiful big corner sofa for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

Dining chairs And this is where we got really cheap. It pays to let family and friends know in passing that you’re working on redecorating. For us we were lucky enough that a family member was about to dump their dining chairs, which were in perfectly good condition. Once we mentioned that we were working on our room, they were offered to us free of charge.

The walls It seems like the obvious thing to do is to go to one of the big DIY stores for your paint and paper. However we found that the budget stores like The Range or B&M Bargains also have decent decorating ranges in their bigger stores. We got beautiful wallpaper for under a tenner a roll, and the paint was a few quid cheaper than we’d have paid in our local DIY store. Bespoke Furnishings One of the biggest issues we had was an ugly radiator and electrical cabinet dominating one of our walls. The plan was to get a radiator cover or piece of furniture that would cover it but also double up as a TV stand. We

76 | GNIMAG.COM

Rugs and pictures We took a look around the rest of our house to see if there were items that we could swop out. It turned out we had a rug in a bedroom that suited perfectly in our newly decorated room, and the same goes for some of our family photors and wall art. Lighting I have to be honest that this was our biggest expense, but still at a fraction of the cost that we found in other shops. My biggest tip here was not to be inpulsive, shop about, look for sale items, and compare between shops.


CARLANTO CARLANTO CARLANTO

T I L E • S T O N E • B AT H R O O M S T I L E • S T O N E • B AT H R O O M S The Personal Touch T I L E • S T O N E • B AT H R O O M S

The Personal Touch The Personal Touch

5-7 Glenmachan Place, Boucher Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT12 6QH BT12 6QH 5-7 Glenmachan Place, Boucher Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim, Tel: 028 9023 0433 | www.carlanto.com 5-7 Glenmachan Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT12 6QH Tel: 028 Place, 9023Boucher 0433 Road, | www.carlanto.com Tel:Tel: 028028 90239023 04330433 | www.carlanto.com | carlanto.com

Carlanto FP Ad.indd 1 Carlanto FP Ad.indd 1

11/04/2017 15:57 11/04/2017 15:57


TRAVEL__ BALEARIC ISLANDS

Majorca, Ibiza & Menorca

Balearic Islands

WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?

such as Club 18-30 and Scene offer clubbing guests the perfect 24/7 party

These three well known islands are just under 3 hours flying time direct

money for you through themed bar crawls, daily booze cruise’s, club-nights

from Belfast or Dublin airports with low-cost airlines such as EasyJet,

holidays with Fresh faced UK young clubbing reps ready to spend your and more. It’s true if you have not been to Maga before your 30 then you

Jet2 and Ryanair offering frequent services

haven’t lived.

operators such as Thomas Cook, Tui Holidays

resort and welcomes everyone with open arms

what your budget.

I would recommend the much more diverse

think you are and wanting 24/7 party nights

down at the nearby city of Palma.

top of any clubbers wish list. At the southern

just Magaluf and I would highly recommend

resort called Magaluf (nick named Maga to

and older couples also because they have other

alongside well known holiday package tour

Magaluf is a very friendly and open minded

and Jet2 Holiday all providing seats no matter

the resort also has a few small LGBT bars but

Now if you’re aged between 18-30 or still

and relaxed atmosphere of the LGBT scene

then Majorca & Ibiza have to be at the very

Majorca is however much much more than

end of Majorca you will find the islands club

the island as a holiday destination for families

those in the know or Shag-aluf for obvious

resorts such as Santa Ponsa, Puerto Pollensa,

reasons lol). This is a large sprawling resort

Alcudia and Sa Coma all aimed at the more

surrounded by a large open bay which over flows into the more relaxed resort

family and relaxed holiday market.

needs and hence is seen as a Young and lively resort, its streets packed with

Club Holiday scene and Culture. Remember the Holiday Rep series Harry

nightclub offering you the best summer nights in the Med. Youth operators

island and is a real gem with many famous people owning private villas on

of Palma Nova. Magaluf offers everything that a young clubber wants and

Ibiza has to the most well-known holiday destination in the med for its

music bars and clubs as well as a square dominated by the Global BCM

on the Boat and Ibiza uncovered??? Ibiza is also nicked named the white

78 | GNIMAG.COM


TRAVEL__ BALEARIC ISLANDS the island.

The ultra-modern resort of San Antonia

(San An) is the beating heart of this island

large groups who often use the island as a training base.

and the resort explodes from the end of

Spain has been very popular for the

The Island Attracts International Djs,

the things we all expect from a holiday

May for the Clubbing holiday market. who have summer residencies in some of

the best known Club space in the world. Ibiza Rocks has to be one of the best brands around and so money is no object when paying customers attend lavish club nights. Like Magaluf San Antonio is a

purpose built resort offering anything and everything a tourist would ever need

or want. The resort is built around a large Marina and then bay leading to the more

relaxed resorts of San Antonio Bay and Port Des Torrent. Personally I would suggest San An Bay as it is very close to

the action but allows you a more peaceful evening if you need a break of the real

madness even for just one night. Ibiza like its big brother Majorca has so much

more to offer though than just its young and lively club scene with the historically Ibiza Town a true delight to explore day

or night and the beauty of the east coast resorts such as Cala Longa etc. Once you

have landed in Ibiza though I guarantee that you won’t want to leave and will at the very least return one more time.

Menorca maybe the smallest of the 3 islands but is by no means the other poor

cousin of the other two it is simply just not the same and very much stands alone

but for very good reasons. Having lived and worked in Menorca as a Holiday Rep I have to say that is one of my favourite destinations and would highly

recommend you to give it a chance and

let it charm you from the minute you land at Mahon airport. Menorca’s tourism is driven by family or couples business and it caters for these markets perfectly by

offering excellent large and small hotels and villas with fantastic quality and service. Menorca offers you a much more

Northern Irish market because it offers which is Sun Sea and well I will leave

the last one for you to decide. In 2018

Spain and its abundance of destinations and resorts may not be the cheapest for you to travel to anymore with the likes

of Greece, Turkey and Croatia offering

cheaper alternatives but if you want a fantastic holiday with good standards and

which offers you the warmest of welcomes then Spain is the place for you. Booking Tips, •

Book early if going clubbing as

seats can be hard to get for the main summer events. •

Make advance club night bookings

if you want to go to see a certain International DJ performance. •

Make sure you have some good

travel insurance which covers when you have taken alcohol. •

Spread the cost of you holiday

many offer low deposit and no spread the coast fees. •

Keep checking the Exchange rates

Best time is June, July August if

Best to travel in May, September

as they do vary vastly for Euros. you’re a clubber.

if you want to experience Ibiza without the clubbers. •

Hire a car it’s a pretty cheap option

and the islands are small so you will see so much more. •

Remember you can’t do everything

in a week or too so check out things for your next trip. •

Book via Travel Agent, Online, or

direct but make sure you check them all to get the best possible deal. WORDS: Gavyn Andrews

Spanish feel and things tend to be at a much slower pace that the others.

Son Bou and Bosh are my favourite resorts on the island offering some

fantastic low rise properties with crystal clear safe waters surrounded by many

bars shops and restaurants. Menorca has

some of the best waters port facilities also in the baleric islands and caters for

GNIMAG.COM | 79


CARLISLE HOUSE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTRE Helping You to face the Challenge of Alcohol or Drug problems Carlisle House offers a safe and structured space to help find constructive ways to meet the challenges of addiction problems. At the core of our approach is a focus on your strengths and expertise, and your ability to make the changes you need in life and your relationships. We will work in ways that acknowledge the importance of different perspectives, beliefs, cultures, contexts and life experience, and will adapt how we work according to your needs. To Find Out More Attend An OPEN MORNING Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the Month from 10.30am - 12 noon A short presentation will be followed by a tour of the centre and Q & A session facilitated by Services Users

2-4 Henry Place, Clifton Street Belfast, BT15-2BB Tel: 028 9032 8308 Email: Carlislehouse@pcibsw.org

Sculpting Solutions.

CoolSculpting targets and kills fat cells, is non-surgical with no downtime. Exclusively available in Northern Ireland at Martina Collins Dental & Skin Clinic, Lisburn Road, Belfast.

/ Chin / Back / Abdomen / Thighs

Book a consultation today on 028 9066 6684.

BEFORE

8 WEEKS AFTER CoolSculptingÂŽ Session

www.martinacollins.com


INNER 2015

THE WEDDING SPECIALIST Ireland’s Premier Stockist for Mori Lee

Perfect Day THE WEDDING SPECIALIST Ireland’s Premier Stockist for Mori Lee

Winner of 2017 Best Bridal Shop in Ireland 88 WILLIAM88 ST. LURGAN T: (028) 3832 1607 E: perfectdaylisa@hotmail.co.uk WILLIAM ST. LURGAN T: (028) 3832 1607 E: perfectdaylisa@hotmail.co.uk WWW.PERFECTDAYNI.COM WINNER 2015 WWW.PERFECTDAYNI.COM


ENCHANTED

WEDDINGS There’s something special about a wedding in a castle and with a one wedding a day guarantee, if you are looking for a unique and stunning background for your big day, the Ballygally Castle is the perfect wedding venue for you!

BALLYGALLY CASTLE

Enchanting escapes, everyday Contact our wedding team on 028 2858 1066 hastingshotels.com


GNI MAG Weddings


GNI WEDDINGS_

JAYNE AND LAURA

It definately wasn’t love at first sight for this local couple, but eventually love blossomed. After a three year courtship Jayne popped the question and thankfully it was a joyous yes from Laura. Their perfect day took place at their family favourite; Ballygally Castle where around 120 of their family and friends joined them to celebrate their love for each other. They tell us all about it... 84 | GNIMAG.COM


Make your dreams come true in The Heart of the City Various bespoke packages available. Call to book your show-round today.

Ten Square Hotel

10 Donegall Square South | Belfast | BT1 5JD | Tel: 028 90 241001 | www.tensquare.co.uk


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__

JAYNE AND LAURA

TELL US HOW YOU MET, WERE YOU SINGLE FOR LONG BEFORE YOU STARTED DATING? Jayne

We met in 2011 when I was part of the

committee for Belfast Pride and Laura started volunteering to help raise money. I thought

she was a bit annoying to be honest! I was in a relationship back then and Laura was a bit of a party animal. We didn’t have much contact other than Pride business over the coming

months, and when I became single again, we had naturally started chatting more. I asked

Laura out to dinner early in 2012 and we hit it off. She wasnít quite so annoying after all! Laura

I started raising money for Belfast Pride in

2011 and actually my mum met Jayne before I did when she went and collected tickets from

GNIMAG.COM | 87


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ JAYNE AND LAURA

“Jayne blew everyone away with her dress and how stunning she looked and the nightlight has to be when Jayne gave Abbie a little promise ring and made her own vows to her about becoming her Mummy. There was not a dry eye in the house!”

92 | GNIMAG.COM

her for an event. I had been single for around

tricked me as I had been winding her up about

socialising and meeting new people, having not

to Florida planned for the end of June and

a year at that point and was enjoying myself

long come out. I thought Jayne seemed lovely

but I knew she didnít like me, I think I was too loud and forward for her, something she later admitted. When she asked me out in January 2012 I was actually shocked, but pleasantly

buying me diamonds but we had a huge trip she kept saying that there was no way with

the holiday in the pipeline. She actually had

the ring hidden in the house since March! Of course I said yes straight away.

so. We went for dinner and a few drinks, with

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIG DAY

looked back since.

Jayne

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DATING

Ballygally Castle Hotel on the north coast. It

a second date that same week and we haven’t

DID IT TAKE TO POP THE QUESTION? Jayne

I proposed in 2015 so we were together about 3 years. We had been living together for a while

prior to that and I really wanted to make things official! I also wanted to secure our wee family

for our daughter Abbie who probably the most excited at the news. Laura said yes straight

away, and thankfully liked her ring which I had

We had the ceremony and reception all at

was the obvious choice for us as we like to go there for weekends away and family meals, I

think Norman the manager would have killed us if we went anywhere else. It was a perfect

day from start to finish and we just loved every minute. I cried when I seen Laura coming up the aisle towards me, she looked beautiful.

Everything just went so well and we danced the night away into the wee small hours.

picked myself. She’s fussy so that was a relief !

Laura

Laura

all again, it was the perfect day but went so

Jayne proposed in June of 2015. She sort of

I honestly wish we could go back and do it quickly. All the providers we had were so


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ JAYNE AND LAURA

amazing and it all just came together so well.

Jayne

the traditional choice but much more suited

as many little personal touches as we could, and

Ballygally at all. The food was beautiful and

a cupcake stand with the sign ‘Camp Up

We put a lot into the planning and tried to add I think it all paid off. We had around 120 of

our friends and family there, and it was just a

day full of love, friendship and celebration from start to finish. Jayne blew everyone away with

her dress and how stunning she looked and the nightlight has to be when Jayne gave Abbie a

little promise ring and made her own vows to

her about becoming her Mummy. There was not

We could not fault the service and standard of everyone was well looked after. We had a three

course meal in the late afternoon, accompanied by cocktails and a buffet in the evening.

Laura is known as the queen of shots in our

friendship circle so we just had to have little

shots for everyone as our favours. That provided a lot of entertainment during the speeches.

a dry eye in the house!

Laura

WHAT ABOUT THE FOOD AND DRINK

and alco-pops waiting for everyone. Not

90 | GNIMAG.COM

After the ceremony we had buckets of beers

to Jayne and I than prosecco. We also had

Your Cupcake’ and lots of stuff for guests to

decorate their own cupcakes which went down

a storm. Abbie was in charge of her own candy cart and had the job of restocking it all day, thought I’m pretty sure she ate more than

she put in the bowls. The hotels service and

food was amazing, and my Aunt Christine has actually held a dinner party for her friends

and recreated the whole meal as she loved it so much.


Hugh McCann's Boutique Wedding Venue Newcastle Co.Down 028 4372 6622 weddings@hughmccanns.com


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ JAYNE AND LAURA

DID YOU HAVE A HONEYMOON?

Laura

on the go. I love planning trips and organising

not unable to do things separately but we are also

watching box sets and usually have a new one

Jayne

Yes, we went to Thailand for two weeks. It was simply amazing. I planned the whole thing in

secret and only told Laura not long before the

wedding. We traveled around a bit to different locations, stayed in beautiful hotels and it was just fantastic. It was also so lovely just to be

away together to chill after the busyness of the planning and the wedding itself. Laura

Jayne planned the whole honeymoon herself,

which I fully trusted her to do as she plans all our

holidays. I was so pleased when she told me where we were going. It was the perfect mix of culture, activity and relaxing in paradise. Abbie stayed

with her grandparents and the only downside to

the honeymoon was how much we missed her. She got plenty of presents though!

ARE YOU INTO THE SAME THINGS? WHAT INTERESTS DO YOU HAVE THAT ARE DIFFERENT?

events and Laura is happy to let me and just

coming along. Jointly we love socialising with our friends and regularly host board game nights or

barbecues at our home. We also go to the cinema a lot together. Laura

I’m interested in politics and human rights issues, and am regularly on my soap box ranting about

something. Jayne loves computer games however

that doesn’t interest me. We do enjoy the cinema and our box set marathons together, but also

like evenings with our friends. We are partial to throwing a wee party every now and then.

DO YOU DO EVERYTHING TOGRTHER OR DO YOU LIKE TO KEEP INDEPENDENT? Jayne

We do do a lot together and with Abbie as

a family. We both have really busy jobs and

so I think it’s important to make the most of

weekends and family time. I’m more of a home

Jayne

We are actually quite different, I like computer games and things that Laura would describe

92

as geeky. We do have a mutual love of binge

| GNIMAG.COM

bird and Laura likes to head out and see friends and family sometimes too.

I think we are pretty independent as in we are

most content when spending time together and

with Abbie and our little dog Roxie. Family walks on a Sunday and movie nights with homemade

popcorn are perfect examples of family time, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.


y a D r u o Y at DUNADRY HOTEL Iconic Venue, Beautiful Enclosed Gardens and Stunning Six Mile River

NEW GRAND BALLROOM COMING 2018. To make an enquiry contact us on the details below

events@dunadry.com 028 94 434343 www.dunadry.com

Music CEREMONY MUSIC FOR YOUR BIG DAY DB MUSIC: 07712 209 163


If you're in crisis or despair or know someone who is, call Lifeline 24/7 on 0808 808 8000 Calls to Lifeline are answered by qualified crisis counsellors who can provide immediate support. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles

(Textphone: 18001 0808 808 8000)


COMING OUT__

SHARON

COMING OUT Sharon Murphy, 57 from Belfast tells us her story.

“I think that coming out saved me in a way. I didn’t have to play the straight person and pretend to like guys.” MY BROTHER AND I MOVED TO LONDON IN 1984. WE INITIALLY WENT TO SEE WHAT IT WAS LIKE AND THEN STAYED. WE LOVED BEING IN LONDON AND ALL THE EXCITEMENT, THE ARRAY OF CLUBS, PUBS, GAY PRIDE ETC WAS UNBELIEVABLE. WE HAD FOUND OUR GAY HOME!! IN 1986 MY BROTHER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH HIV WHICH WAS ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING. HE DIED ON NEW YEAR’S EVE OF 2006 WITH ME AT HIS SIDE. I DECIDED TO MOVE BACK TO BELFAST IN 2015 AFTER LIVING IN LONDON FOR MORE THAN 31 YEARS. WHEN I CAME BACK I EXPECTED ALL MY OLD FRIENDS TO BE THE SAME AND FOR US TO PICK UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF. I WAS VERY WRONG. I HAVE VERY FEW FRIENDS IN BELFAST AND COULD DO WITH SOME MORE TO GO OUT TO GAY PLACES WITH. ONE OF MY FRIENDS, JOANNE, HASN’T CHANGED A BIT, WHICH IS VERY REFRESHING AND WE DID PICK UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF. ____________________ WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALISE YOU WERE ATTRACTED TO SAME SEX PEOPLE? When I was about 21 . DID YOU TELL ANYONE AT THE TIME? I told my best friend at the time but I said I was bisexual as I thought it would be easier for her to accept but she didn’t. I told my friend because I wanted to do different things and go to new places with new people. It didn’t go down too well.

WHEN DID YOU ACTUALLY COME OUT? I actually came out in 1981 when I was 21 years old. WHO PROMPTED YOU TO DO IT? I went to a party which was all women and I realized that I was gay and needed to tell some people. HOW DID YOU DO IT? I just started hanging around with other gay people who I had met through gay clubs and been introduced to by other people. WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF YOUR FAMILY AND CLOSE FRIENDS? My younger brother was gay and he was the one that I found it most difficult to tell. He found out through someone else and then made me tell him. He accepted it very easily and started to take me to gay places and introduce me as his “Lesbian sister.” I also told my sister when she was in Belfast for a holiday. It seemed that all my family knew I was gay before I did!! ANY NEGATIVE REACTIONS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THESE? I didn’t have any negative reactions except for my best friend although she came around a little while later. HOW HAS COMING OUT AFFECTED YOU? I think that coming out saved me in a way. I didn’t have to play the straight person and pretend to like guys. I didn’t have to pretend to be interested in marriage and having children, it allowed me to be myself and be accepted for who I really am. I also helped other people to come out by sharing my experiences with them.

mean you will have support for telling others like your parents and other family members. I would advise people not to pretend to be someone else or to live a lie as it doesn’t allow the real you to come out. I would also tell them to be prepared for some people to be negative about it and try to change their mind. Others will celebrate their coming out. Be brave and live the life you want. ANY FUNNY STORIES ABOUT WHEN YOU CAME OUT TO SOMEONE? Everybody knew that I was gay except for my parents (at that time). One Christmas day when everyone was at the dinner table my mother asked “Sharon why don’t you marry Ruud?” My youngest niece at the time piped up, “Sharon is a lesbie”. Thankfully my niece couldn’t speak English and could only speak Dutch and therefore my mum couldn’t understand her. One time when my mum was visiting me in London, she was going to be staying at my flat which I shared with my girlfriend. We had a one bedroom flat with a double bed in it. When my mum asked where she was going to sleep I ran and locked myself in the bathroom leaving my girlfriend to show mum where she would be sleeping. We slept on a blow up mattress on the floor. My mum never batted an eyelid and this was well before she really knew about me being gay.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS THINKING ABOUT COMING OUT? Think of who you are going to tell first. This can

GNIMAG.COM | 95

If you’re in distress or despair call Lifeline 0808 808 8000


Family Owned, Family Managed, Family Values

Family Owned, Family Managed, Family Values • 24 Hour Personal Service • Hour Pre Arranged Funeral Plans 24 Personal Service • Floral Tributes Pre Arranged Funeral Plans • Memorial Repairs

• • • Floral Tributes – 028 9066 7784 •Belfast Memorial Repairs 799 Lisburn Road, Belfast 330 Woodstock Road, Belfast

Belfast –&028 9066 7784 David Crymble Sons has been serving the people of Belfast and

communities throughout Northern Ireland since 2004 from premises at Crymbleandsons.com

799 Lisburn Road, Belfast. info@crymbleandsons.com 799 Lisburn Road, Belfast first opening, funeral services have been arranged throughout 330Since Woodstock Road, Belfast ‘Our God will take care of everything you need Phil 4:19’ Ireland. We offer different types of funeral plans which may be pre-planned or prepaid. We are happy to advise, without charge, on Crymbleandsons.com any existing funeral plan. We also offer a bespoke design service for new memorials and can clean, repair or complete inscription work on info@crymbleandsons.com existing memorials.

IS STRESS IS STRESS GETTING IS STRESS GETTING THE BETTER GETTING THE BETTER OF YOU? THE BETTER OF YOU? OF YOU? TAKE THE STRESS TEST AT nichs.org.uk/stresstest TAKE THE STRESS TEST AT nichs.org.uk/stresstest TAKE THE STRESS TEST AT nichs.org.uk/stresstest

‘Our God will take care of everything need Phil 4:19’ We have recently refurbished our new premises on theyou Woodstock Road so that we can provide bespoke facilities and an outstanding level of service to the people and communities across Greater Belfast. Facilities include a private arrangement room, rest-rooms and funeral church.

We pride ourselves on our commitment to our clients, their families and the community at large and, to this end, we will work closely with local Churches, Charities and Community groups. You are more than welcome to call in to meet with David, Joy or Andrew Crymble, have a coffee and view the facilities personally.

Family Owned, Family Managed, Family Values

• • • •

24 Hour Personal Service Pre Arranged Funeral Plans Floral Tributes Memorial Repairs

Belfast – 028 9066 7784 799 Lisburn Road, Belfast 330 Woodstock Road, Belfast Crymbleandsons.com info@crymbleandsons.com ‘Our God will take care of everything you need Phil 4:19’

We have installed an automated external defibrillator (AED) at the front of the premises on Woodstock Road for the use of the local community.


LGBT FAMILIES__

MY SON

LGBT FAMILIES How life changed after the “I’ve got something to tell you moment”...

“I can’t tell you that I knew what was coming but I had noticed changes, although I hadn’t come to any conclusion about them.”

I’m driving home from Leo’s house after his “I’ve got something to tell you” moment. I’m perplexed and a bit baffled however not totally shocked. I can’t tell you that I knew what was coming but I had noticed changes, although I hadn’t come to any conclusion about them. I’m trying to get my head around what he said: “I’m transgender, I’ve been thinking of myself as a short dumpy man!” I’m thinking to myself what the f**k is Dad and Sister going to make of this, will this cause a rift in our family, will Leo be ostracized or suffer violence, what about surgery, will life ever be the same again? Well we are now 16 months further along the journey and I’m glad to say we are all supporting Leo in his new life. Leo wrote a letter to Dad and Sister to tell them but watching them read this was excruciating and when finally the realisation set in there was shock, there were tears, there were lots of questions and concern, and we felt we were

in mourning for the person we had loved. Thankfully there was help out there and Leo was able to guide us to internet sites for specifics and to sailni (sailni.com) to talk through our worries with other people who had transgedner family members. We weren’t alone and we got to understand more about the meaning of being transgender, but talking with Leo himself about his hopes and fears was the best solution for me.

acceptance even from my church friends. My relationship with Leo has always been good but it has been strengthened by being with him through his transition and that’s not just a transition from female to male. Leo has transformed. He is now a happier more confident “short dumpy man”

Leo is our child and while we didn’t understand what living as a transgender man entailed we loved him. I must say I have been amazed by the reaction of friends and relatives. I’ve found the best way to tell them depends on how close they are to Leo. I phoned aunties and uncles, who of course not only had to work out their own feelings but also to give me a great deal of support. Friends of mine who knew Leo well mostly got a text message. I haven’t told all my acquaintances but if there is an opportunity I do so. I have received only support and

GNIMAG.COM | 97


Positive Life is the only charity in Northern Ireland dedicated to supporting people living with or affected by HIV. Positive Life exists to promote a positive future for people living with or affected by HIV. We work to remove stigma by raising awareness of the impact of HIV. We work to educate and challenge the myths that surround HIV. We engage with service users to ensure they have a voice in the policy arena. We respond to people’s support needs in a way that creates independence Positive Life services include: • Rapid HIV Testing • Drop-in Service • Counselling • Complementary Therapies • Information Evenings • Social Events • Family Support Telephone: 028 9024 9268

Email:

info@positivelifeni.com

Call in:

20 Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast BT9 6FN

No matter what your race, colour, creed or sexual identity we’re listening at New Life Counselling. New Life Counselling provides counselling services for children, young people, adults and families. The service is open to anyone regardless of gender, age (5 yrs +), religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or cultural background. Our facilities in North and East Belfast are also designed to promote disabled access and we are keen to offer more support for those particularly coming from the LGBT community.

• Okay (only kids and youth) • Adult Project • The Family Project GETTING COUNSELLING

Our confidential referral forms can be accessed online through our website www. newlifecounselling.net or by contacting our office on 02890391630. New life Counselling is a charitable organisation and our services are provided free of charge to those who are in need, as a charity we do encourage donations and fundraising volunteers


2017

Be the toast of Belfast An open-air gathering meets a sight-seeing cycle tour on a moving, unique party around the streets of Belfast

£135

&

DEPOSIT

£135 PER MONTH

WITH PERSONAL CONTRACT HIRE

FROM

£8,495 M O N I C O

B A R S

DONNELLYGROUP.CO.UK

Book Now:

weetoasttours.com Call: 07591593441 Gift Certificates Available

   

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

Offers based on Personal Contract Hire - 2017 Fiat 500 Pop with £135 deposit followed by 49 monthly payments of £135. 8000 Miles per annum. Terms and conditions apply. Quotation for illustrative purposes only. Finance offer provided by Fiat Financial Services, PO Box 4465, Slough, SL1 0RW. At the end of the agreement you may return the vehicle instead of making the final payment. It must be in good condition and if you exceed the agreed annual mileage, you will be charged 6p per mile. Finance available to individuals aged 18 years or over in the UK, subject to status. Written quotations available on request. Indemnities may be required. These offers are now available in conjunction with any other offer. Offers correct at time of publication. Offers may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Subject to model availability. Please note colours and mileage may vary. Models shown for illustrative purposes only.


Profile for GNI MAG

GNI MAG ISSUE 30  

Our Humanitarian Issue, we showcase those global superstars who have made a difference for the good of the world. We have a look at Human T...

GNI MAG ISSUE 30  

Our Humanitarian Issue, we showcase those global superstars who have made a difference for the good of the world. We have a look at Human T...

Advertisement