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GNIMAG y o u r

l o c a l

h o m o c u l t u r a l

m a g a z i n e

Ben Adams

A1’s heart-throb, The Rocky Horror Show lead, Eugenius success and his new musical Bloody Nora.

Issue 35 Feb / Mar 2019 £3.95 / €4.95

One’s to Watch

Kylie Minogue

New Beginnings

Eight artists who are going to be massive in 2019

The pint-sized pop princess is this issue’s Icon

Become a better you, goal setting & money mangement

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


Kelly’s Cellars is Belfast’s oldest traditional Irish pub, often described as “a hidden gem that oozes old traditional values”. It’s famous for the best pint of Guinness in Belfast, served with our homemade Irish beef stew. Built in 1720, it is situated in the heart of the city. Kelly’s Cellars has changed very little in 200 years and still has most of its original features. Recently we refurbished upstairs into what is now a modern yet contempory bar, currently opened to the public at the weekend and available for private hire

30-32 Bank Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland (City Centre)

028 9024 6058 | www.kellyscellars.com | kieran@kellyscellars.com | www.facebook.com/kellys.cellars


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Drink in the View The Observatory is the Grand Central’s jewel From pavement to panorama, this is the tallest bar in all of Ireland and it makes for a phenomenally dreamy destination. Take in the view, pore over the dazzling menu and savour the most masterful mixology creations in Belfast’s most memorable cocktail lounge. Call 028 9023 1066 or visit: grandcentralhotelbelfast.com


SAME PEOPLE NEW NAME Openreach is the new name for the engineering team that build and maintain our broadband network. Whether you’re streaming movies or running a business, we’re here to keep Northern Ireland connected.

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GNIMAG

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MANAGING DIRECTOR Tony Day OPERATIONS & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Daniel May daniel@gnimag.com AWARDS CORDINATOR Anthony Rice anthony@gnimag.com SPECIAL THANKS TO Martin Kearney / Micky Murray / Alicia Perry / Sam McKinstry / Chuff Media / Gavyn Andrews / The Grand Opera House / Neil reading PR / Ben Adams / Joanne Clifton / Callum Evans / Ross Chisari / Conleth Kane / TIN / Revolucion de Cuba / Jack Tracy / Stuart Harper / Alex Lorimer / Lisa Barwise / Joe Walsh / Andrew Christian / Facetherapy NI / India Lee Reed / Misstique / Sasha Fierce / Gavin Rennick / Ten Square Hotel / The Kremlin / Colin & Tim / Adam Lennox

GNI MAG is published by: Romeo & Jullian Publications 13 Union Street Belfast BT1 2JF 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 Romeo and Julian Publications Ltd 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 Julian Publications Ltd. Julian Publications Ltd 2019

@gnimag

@ daniel@gnimag.com @GNImag #TeamGNI /gnimag

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contents NEW BEGINNINGS HEALTHY BODY AND HEALTHY MIND Alex tries to fend off his

continuing mid life crisis. MONEY

Getting past the Christmas overspend.

HOW TO BE A BETTER ME Warrior godess Lisa gives us

33

some tips.

GOAL SETTING Resolutions never work, set some achievable goals. LGBT IN 2019

START

What it means to Joe.

RECOMMENDED
 Marty tells us about the best

entertainment over the next month or so. ALICIA PERRY

Transphobic abuse. MICKY MURRAY

New goals for Micky. SAM McKINSTRY

Brexit, and what lies ahead for him ROUND UP

LGBT stories from across the globe. LOOKING BACK

Taking a look at a year gone by with GNI MAG.

ONE’S TO WATCH Eight artists to keep an eye out for this year.

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW We chatted to some of the cast prior to their arrival in Belfast. CONLETH KANE

Conleth gives us a track by track description on his debut album. TIN

The Aussie set to storm the charts this year.

ICON Taking a look back over the career of Miss Kylie Minogue. JACK TRACY

Love trumps hate in his new single.

LIFE & STYLE FASHION Andrew Christian’s latest underwear range. MEET THE ARTIST

46

India Lee Reed talks about her work.

STUFF

Looking at some cheeky Valentine’s gifts. MEET THE STAR

Sasha Fierce talks about her work. HERE TODAY...

Gavin looks at what’s hot and what’s not. FOOD REVIEW

Daniel heads to Ten Square. HOMES

Clearing the clutter. TRAVEL

Nice, nice(er) than you imagine. SCENE OUT

We went to Kremlin, and the launch of FaceTherapy NI BIG DAY

Colin and Tim’s beautiful wedding. COMING OUT

Adam tells us his coming out story.

30


ROCKY HORROR:

Catching up with four of the leads from the stage production. PAGE 34

ONES TO WATCH:

Eight up-and-coming artists to keep an eye out for this year. PAGE 29

ICON:

She’s the pop princess of our generation, we take a look at Kylie Minogue. PAGE 42

START!


MON 1 - SAT 6 APRIL goh.co.uk


Recommended Marty Kearney

TELL ME A STORY The three little pigs, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding hood are the tales all modified, retold and intertwined in this psychological thriller set in New York today. Created by Kevin Williamson who bought us the greats like Scream and Dawson Creek has created this twisted tale and its fantastic. It stars some great TV alumni from some of everyone’s favorite shows Dani Ramirez from Devious Maids and fresh from playing Cinderella in once upon a time is now playing a reincarnation of Cretel, The Vampire Diary’s Paul Wesley is one of the pigs, Danielle Campbell from the Originals is this generations Red Riding Hood, playing her grandma is everyone’s favorite man eater Kim Cattrall aka Samantha Jones from Sex and the City. Even Becki Newton from Ugly Betty has a recurring role. Season 2 has already been giving the go ahead, but I imagine different tales with the same actors playing different roles much like American Horror Story. Fans of the Grimm fairy-tales will love this show and the subtle hints and eastereggs it has tied to the original tales.

YOU This was actually recommended to me. I’ve watched one episode so far and by the time this goes to print ill more than likely have the series finished. Based on the novel of the same YOU is a psychological thriller for the social media age. Developed by super producer Greg Berlanti who created such shows; Riverdale, Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow and soon to be a Batwoman series. Starring Gossip Girls Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail who played a real life version of Anna from Frozen in season 4 of Once Upon a Time and rounding up the cast is Pretty Little Liar Shay Mitchell. Badgley plays bookstore manager who falls and stalks Lails character Becks who is so annoying and cliché, she deserves to be stalked. I’m hoping as the episodes go on she becomes more likeable but as for Joe the crazy one he’s bloody adorable he’s kind of an antihero and he can stalk me any day, in fact id even leave my blinds up and door open. YOU is on Netflix now.

12 | GNIMAG.COM

FROM BALLET TO BENIDORM

More than 40 sparkling shows to choose from


WHAT MEN WANT I can put my hands up and say I was wrong. In a previous issue I recommend our readers watch Proud Mary starring Taraji B Henson. It was a bad film and I’m sorry if you watched it, that’s 80 minutes of your life you’re never going to get back, that said Taraji B Henson did her best with a bad script and in my eyes she can do no wrong. Shes Cookie Lyon for crying out loud and she’s already proved she can be a leading lady as Hidden Figures starring her was a great movie. So I’m recommending her next motion picture What Men Want basically it’s just a version of the Mel Gibson film What Women want but this time is the lady who can hear what men are thinking, The trailer has some funny moments its produced by the guys who produced Girls Trip and fans of The Goldberg’s will be glad to know that the mom Wendi McLendonCovey costars and I’m sure you will all agree that’s a perfect recipe for a great comedy. What Men Want is out 22 March.

CAPTAIN MARVEL Another issue another super hero movie. Captain Marvel the 21st movie in the marvel cinematic universe but the 1st to have a female lead. The MCU have gave us some of the best female super heroes of our time including Black Widow, Scarlet Witch , The Wasp, Lady Siff, Gamora and from Black Panther Nakia, Okoye and Shuri but it’s about time we had a solo movie with a super heroine. Back a few years ago when Marvel boss Kevin Feige first bought us the news that Captain Marvel would have a standalone movie and it would feature the Carol Danvers incarnation of Captain Marvel I really hoped that they would cast Emily Blunt. That didn’t happen. Oscar winner Brie Larson will take on that role even though Emily Blunt wasn’t cast I support this casting 100 percent from it was announced and now even more so after I seen the trailers. Set in the 90s (so expect lots of 90s nostalgia and an 90s themed soundtrack) The world is in danger from an alien race and must be saved by Carol Danvers along with an eye patchless Nick Fury (Samul L Jackson) who we last saw turning to dust after “THAT SNAP” but in the nick of time was able to send a signal via a pager to Captain Marvel. Hopefully we will get some answers like where has Captain Marvel been all these years. She has been descried as being the most powerful person in the whole of the MCU and could be a key part in Defeating Thanos and bringing back those who faded away in infinity war. We also have Avengers: Endgame and Spiderman: Far from Home coming out this summer. We really are spoilt aren’t we? Captain Marvel is in cinemas 8th March

GNIMAG.COM | 13

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FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY I loved wrestling as a kid id play it with cousin and when my favorite wrestlers especially Lita

would jump from the high ropes and flick her long red hair id watch in awe. Starring F lorence Pugh Fighting with my family is a British

sports comedy produced by D wayne “ The Rock

Johnson” who also appears as himself in the movie and is based on the documentar y The wrestlers: Fighting with my family. This movie

tells the real life stor y of WWE superstar Paige Real name Saraya-Jade Bevis from Norfolk a two time women’s champion and at the age of

21 was the youngest person the hold a WWE Title.

Playing the parents is Nick Frost and

Q ueen Cersei herself the gorgeous Lena Heady, making an appearance is V ine Vaugh playing the talent Scout who brings Paige from England to the USA for tr youts. This movie looks like

an underdog stor y and the vibe I got from the

trailer is Mean Girls meets Fight Club meets Pitch Perfect. Fighting with my family is out the 1st of March

DIRTY JOHN Connie Britton is one of the best actress on TV without a doubt she’s recently received her second Golden Globe nomination and you can see why, you can’t see any traces of her previous Characters she’s played such as Tami Taylor (Friday Night Lights) Vivien Harmon (American Horror Story) Rayna James (Nashville) Abbey Clarke (911) and in her brand new show Dirty John a true crime series she plays the real life persona of Debra Newel who was the victim of psychotic Con man John Meehan. What he puts that poor woman though is harrowing. Eric Banna plays the scum John. I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crisps but the whole time watching I was like as if Connie would even look at him. Don’t get me wrong Eric Banna is a hunk of burning love but it just must be the character he’s playing, he would give creeps the creeps and again this just proves how good of an actor Banna is because John Meehan is one twisted manipulative bastard. Juno Temple and Julia Garner play the daughters of Britton’s character and are scene stealer in many scenes. With only eight episodes you can binge this in one sitting. Trust me you will be glad you did, this is one of those shows that will get you angry and shouting at the screen CMON CONNIE, DON’T BE SO BLODDY STUPID. But don’t you’re not allowed to shout at her.

14 | GNIMAG.COM

FROM BALLET TO BENIDORM

More than 40 sparkling shows to choose from


JANE THE VIRGIN (In my Latino accent) AHH Alas here we are here, (stopped doing the accent) the final season of Jane the virgin. I tell myself don’t be sad it’s over but be happy it happened. For those that don’t know Jane the virgin is comedy drama set in the style of a Telenovela that follows Jane A virgin and an inspiring writer who gets artificially inseminated by mistake. This beautiful show has all the conventions of a classic telenovela such as murder mystery, an evil twin and love triangles yet it has heart breaking moments and has a great balance with comedy and romance and the character development shows that the writers are the best in the business as the character Petra played by Yael Grobglas has some of the best story lines and her character evolves from antagonist to protagonist over the course of the first few seasons. This will be certainly bittersweet for me as Jane the Virgin is one of my top 5 shows but I hear a spinoff is in the works and the show’s star Gina Rodriguez will have not one but two movies coming out this year, an action flick Miss Balla and rom com Someone Great. I’m sure the rest of the cast will be offered plenty of work after the shows final episode. I will certainly miss the show, but until the spinoff ….To be continued…..

ESCAPE ROOM This concept has been done so many times but it works and the movies are always enjoyable. Escape room is about six strangers who must use their skills and wits to escape a deadly room and traps. I guess it’s a watered down version of the SAW movies so those who don’t enjoy torture blood and gore should be able to stomach this, the reason I’m looking forward to this that Debra Ann Wholl has a role and from the trailer she doesn’t last too long but I love her. Her character Jessica was the best thing about True Blood and again in Daredevil for me her role as Karen was the best thing about that show. Escape room is in cinemas 1st of February.

GNIMAG.COM | 15

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GNI MAG__ THE AWARDS

CONGRATULATIONS The 3rd annual GNI MAG AWARDS proudly suppored by Santander took place last November at the Crowne Plaza at Shaws Bridge in Belfast. Over 350 guests were glammed up and in attendance for the gala awards evening. Hosted by Trudy Scrumptious and our very own Daniel May, the event honoured and recognised those who’ve made a difference in our community, or who have proudly demonstrated their solidarity with our community. All of our winners were chosen by public vote, of which over 60,000 were cast. The Rainbow Project were the charity partner and raised £3450 through the event. Jayne Robinson, Sustainability Officer stated: “It was great to be involved in the GNI Mag Awards for the third year. This year we raised more money than ever before, through our amazing partnership with GNI Mag. A fantastic night was had by all our volunteers and staff members who attended the awards. We look forward to the next year and all the amazing achievements by our LGBT+ Community and beyond.” Planning for the 2019 awards are well underway, contact anthony@ gnimag.com for information.

16 | GNIMAG.COM


GNI MAG__ THE AWARDS

THE WINNERS Personal Contribution to the Community - Cara McCann Business Contribution to the Community Primark Influential Local LGBT Person - Electra La Cunt Local LGBT Veteran - Mizz Mae Unsung Hero of the Year - Gavin Boyd People’s Choice Charity - The Rainbow Project Grassroots Community Award - Positive Moving On Inclusive Education Award - Queens University LGBT Facilitator - PSNI Legal Representation Award - Wilson Nesbitt LGBT Friendly Employer - O2 Local Politician of the Year - Michelle O’Neill LGBT Ally - Grainne Gibson Local LGBT Entertainer - Sasha Fierce Best LGBT Night - Kremlin Most Inclusive Bar - Sunflower Best Same Sex Wedding Venue - Lusty Beg Island Outstanding Hospitality Award - Bullitt LGBT Friendly Financial Institution - Santander Independent Retailer of the Year - Fresh Garage Inclusive Salon Award - Paul Meekin LGBT Friendly Health Practitioner - Gary Seaton Most Inclusive Gym - Pure Gym GNI Mag Media Award - BBC Spotlight Transgender Teens GNI Mag Editor’s Choice Award - Cara Friend, educating the educator programme

GNIMAG.COM | 17


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COLUMN__ ALICIA V PERRY

Transphobia.

Alicia V Perry AS I SAT DOWN TO write my column for the start of the New Year my intentions for this piece are completely overshadowed hence the reason I approached our Editor with a request to write about transphobic hate crime in Ireland. I was shocked to learn that the south of Ireland has one of the highest rates of hate crime against the TNBI (Trans* Non-Binary and Intersexed) community in the EU but we have no laws to address it. That’s according to a new report launched last year by the Irish Council of Civil Liberties. The report, titled The Lifecycle of a Hate Crime: Country Report for Ireland – found that Ireland is “seriously deficient” when it comes to addressing hate crime in the country. According to the authors, from the point at which a victim reports a crime or incident to An Garda Síochána to the point at which a judge sentences an offender, the hate element of the crime is filtered out of the criminal justice process. In relation to transphobia, a 2014 Fundamental Rights Agency study found that the South of Ireland recorded the second highest rate of hate-motivated violence and abuse against transgender people in Europe. A total of 13% of trans people surveyed reported having been physically or sexually assaulted or threatened with violence, in attacks either wholly or partly motivated by transphobia, in the 12 months prior to the survey. However, it’s important to remember that a lot of transphobia goes unreported so this figure is higher and not representative of the bigger picture happening day and daily. In the North of Ireland transphobic hate incidents have increased by 7.2% and transphobic hate crimes have decreased by a similar percentage, from 2017 to 2018, according to figures from the PSNI. Due to the lack of government at Stormont, the North has not been able to pass legislation that would give officers more power in relation to transphobic hate crime and indeed what constitutes transphobic hate crime. For example, a general criminal offence (ie criminal damage, threats to kill, etc.) must be committed in conjunction with a transphobic hate incident, in order for it to be deemed criminal and an arrest made.

Conversely, under current legislation available to officers, the protocol for a transphobic hate incident is indeed to list it as an ‘incident’ and follow harassment legislation. Now for those who don’t know, this would mean police would record the ‘incident’ until another ‘incident’ happens which means, after the second

“While I get my fair share of abuse and hatred online and via social media, sometimes on a weekly basis, nothing compares to what I recently had to endure. ” incident, only then will they approach the perpetrator to ‘warn’ them that if there is a third ‘incident’ they will be arrested. I’m in no way qualified in this field of work but, shouldn’t we be trying to knock it on the head the FIRST time it happens? In theory, the way things stand, are they really trying to suggest that you must suffer THREE transphobic ‘incidents’ before someone is held accountable? My reasoning for such a topic is because I experienced what it is like to be on the receiving end of some despicable transphobia at the start of this year. While I get my fair share of abuse and hatred online and via social media, sometimes on a weekly basis, nothing compares to what I recently had to endure. The very personal attack was so insidious and twisted that it made me vomit. There is no place in our progressive society for any person who chooses to hurt another human being by resorting to such nasty and very cruel means such as transphobia. The detrimental effect this can have on a person’s wellbeing is unimaginable not to mention the irrevocable psychological impact.

To those people who commit such cowardly acts as hate crime, hating a person for something they cannot change, nor should feel like they should have to, I have this to say! We didn’t choose to be transgender but you do choose to be transphobic. We are very brave people to live our lives and integrate, you are very weak people to try to ruin our lives and isolate us. We face discrimination, victimisation and rejection daily, a lot more than you know! Trust me, one day, someone like you will be the reason someone like me gets pushed over the edge. The latest Trans* Mental Health; Wellbeing Survey (Ireland & UK) found that 78% of the TNBI community have thoughts about ending their lives and as much as 40% have attempted suicide; this is so wrong! Every single one of us has a moral obligation to confront, condemn and tackle transphobia. Just imagine, given these high-levels of suicide within our TNBI community, just imagine that one day you chose to be transphobic to someone. Just imagine how you would feel if you found out the next day they were dead. They took their own life and it was because of you – you were that final straw. Could you seriously suggest that you could walk around every day with that shame and guilt, knowing you had pushed a person to their death and not be bothered? Please, in 2019 make more of an effort to be a decent human being and at all costs, refrain from being a transphobic prick! Onwards and upwards! Alicia x “You may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise!” Maya Angelou.QU

This is an opinon piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG/Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd.

GNIMAG.COM | 19


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COLUMN__ MICKY MURRAY

Where do I want to be this time next year?

Micky Murray

I F YOU’RE ANYTHING LIKE ME yo u’ l l

my n e w th in g f o r th is m onth , I pl a nn e d

m a n in th e s tre e t w ho was con fus ed i f he

th e ne w year is here a n d t he Ja n u a r y bl u e s

f r i e n d Ch a n te l l e a n d h e r w if e G a b i in

w h e n e ve r yon e e l s e was j us t walk i n g by

be be yond hap py that C hr i st ma s i s o ve r,

a he ad a nd b o oke d to go a n d v is it m y b e s t

are behi nd us!

B r a z il in J u l y, o ve r th e e r r, c onte ntio u s

W h e n Daniel to ld me t he t he me of t hi s

I ’m re a l l y e xc ite d to b e a b l e to go a n d

issue was go i ng to b e ‘n e w ye a r n e w me ’ I h ad abso lutel y no ide a w he re I w a s goi n g

to star t. S o I star ted t hi n k i n g a bou t w ha t my plans were f o r th e n e x t 1 2 mon t hs,

w h at my Ne w Year ’s re sol u t i on s wou l d be, and where I wanted t o be t hi s t i me n e x t year.

I h ate m aking Ne w Ye a r ’s re sol u t i on s i n J anuar y bec ause the y u su a l l y on l y l a st a week, so if I ’m m aki n g a ny I a l w ay s w a it until the end o f Ja n u a r y or t he

s t a r t o f Febr uar y to ma k e a ny p l a n s or

big decisi on, bec ause w ho w a n t s t o ge t

to J anuar y and wait w ha t se e ms l i k e a n

age to p ay day AND t r y t o st i c k t o n e w year reso luti ons? S o, i n st e ad of g i v i n g

my self something I k n ow I won’t st i c k by, I d eci ded that I ’d m a k e t he de ci si on t o

do something ne w e ve r y mon t h a n d t ha t

se a son. S om e w h e re I ’ve ne ve r b e e n, a nd sp e n d a f e w we e ks re l a xin g in S ão Pa u l o

“I have only two rules, rule number one, do something that’s going to make your life better, and rule two, do something that’s going to make someone else’s life better.” a n d a f e w d ay s in Rio d e J a ne iro w ith m y

af t er watc hi ng Fr ien ds I l e a r n t t ha t R oss

t o do ing s om e s ite s e e in g, b e ac h d r in king,

w a s bei ng comp letel y u n re a l i st i c w i t h a

ne w thi ng e ver y day, a n d I ha ve on l y t wo

t wo, do som ethi ng tha t ’s goi n g t o ma k e

ma k e s it qu ite d iffic u l t to th in k w h a t I c a n

M y fir st big decisi on w a s some t hi n g f or

me, I LOVE tr avel lin g, a n d I a l w ay s w a n t to go som e where ne w a n d e x p l ore, bu t I

al w ay s leave it ver y l a st mi n u t e a n d e n d u p going some where c lose a n d c he a p. S o f or

I ’m s u r pr is ing a go o d fr i en d of m i n e who’s h ad a b it o f a h a rd ti m e recen tl y wi th a

we e d ay o u t, a nic e meal, an d s om e dr i n k s , to h e l p th e m re l a x a nd s m i le, s om ethi n g to o m a ny o f u s ta ke f or gr an ted.

I ’m pre tt y c onte nt wi th how the year

a h e ad is s h a ping u p, I ’ve m ade res oluti on s th a t, I h o pe, w il l te s t an d c hal len ge

m e th ro u g h o u t th e year an d I have a

ge n e r a l go a l to m a ke li f e better an d m ore fu l fil l ing f o r m y s e l f an d other s . I thi n k

it ’s im po r ta nt th a t we s et our s el ves goals , no t ju s t a t th e b e g inn i n g of the year but th ro u g h o u t th e ye a r, be as s elfi s h as you ne e d to b e, ta kin g c are of your s elf an d

d o ing th ing s f o r yo u, but do s om ethi n g

th a t ’s go in g to c h a l l en ge you an d p us h you

to w h e re yo u w a n t to be an d what you wan t to ac h ie ve a nd w h e n you c an , help other

a n d pa r t y in g B r a z il s t y l e.

I ’m gif te d in th a t m y jo b is e s s e ntia l l y to

s ome one else ’s li f e b e t t e r.

th a t ’s ju s t b e ing c o ur teous . S o thi s m on th

be st fr ie n d w h o I h a ve n’t s e e n in m on th s

r ules, r ule number on e, do some t hi n g t ha t ’s going to m ake yo ur l i f e be t t e r, a n d r u l e

r u d e l y ig n o r ing h is req ues t f or help, but

pe o pl e, l if t th e m u p an d m ak e them s m i le.

w ay I co uld decide on ce a mon t h w ha t

my n e w thi ng f o r that mon t h wou l d be,

w a s s te pping on to th e road or off a s tep

he l p pe o pl e a nd I l o ve it, b u t it ac tu a l l y

do t o fu l fil l m y s e c ond r u l e, w h ic h is to d o some th ing th a t ’s go in g to m a ke s om e one e l se ’s l if e b e tte r, I re m o ve d a po o r d e ad

mou s e th a t m y s is te r ’s c a t b ro u g h t h e r th is mor n in g a s a pre s e n t, b u t I g u e s s th a t ’s

j u st b e ing a go o d b ro th e r, s o I d on’t th in k

I c a n c o u nt th a t. I s to ppe d to h e l p a b l ind

This is an opinon piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG/Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd.

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COLUMN__ SAM McKINSTRY

One month in and it’s already near the end..

Sam McKinstry THE NEW YEAR STARTED WITH a lot of music and a bottle of Prosecco being poured down my throat. It was important to me that as I left 2018, I drank to forget about it. 2018 got off to quite a bad start and I was not going to let that happen with 2019. Although, as rough as 2018 was, 2019 is shaping up to be just as bad, if not worse. I’m not talking about for me personally, but for all of us. March 29th is going to be one of the biggest days of the year. It is not only the deadline for Brexit but it’s also my Mum’s 60th birthday, so get it marked in your calendars. Many of us will share similar New Year’s resolutions. Drink less, study more often, give up the fags. So far, I have actually been sticking to my resolutions, a single pack of cigarettes lasted me a whole three weeks and for the whole time I’ve been back in Manchester I have not been on a single night out. January has been going on for about 3 months so I am so glad it is almost over. Exams are finally finished which thankfully didn’t go too badly. Although, I’m not sure how well one can say an exam went if they sat it in the wrong exam room but I guess I’ll see when results are out. I officially became a Spinningfields boy (Manchester’s equivalent to Canary Wharf ), which is exciting although rotating the same two suits is going to get old very quick so I’m thinking of linking up a gofundme on my Twitter. Despite the feeling that January has lasted forever, it seems as though February has just crept up on us. Which means one thing, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. My boyfriend has very kindly let me know that Poundland is now selling engagement rings for an absolute bargain, so I’m assuming that for his Valentine’s present he wants the word ‘no’. Hopefully March will bring some nice weather because I am absolutely sick of this cold weather. The only things that makes this weather worth it are Christmas and New Year’s Eve but they’re over so there is genuinely no need for it. It is vile. Luckily for me, I will be flying off to Portugal at the end of March where I will be soaking up every ounce of sun I can. However, there’s just one dark cloud coming at the end of March. Brexit. For over two years the country has been in nothing

more than a shambles. During those two years we have learnt many lessons. The main one, in my opinion, is that the Tory party should not be in power and that as a collective conservatives are nothing but liars. Rewinding back to before the referendum, conservatives lied about £350 million going to the NHS. This was revealed to be a lie the day after the country

“My boyfriend has very kindly let me know that Poundland is now selling engagement rings for an absolute bargain, so I’m assuming that for his Valentine’s present he wants the word ‘no’.” made the mistake of voting to leave the EU. Since then there has been nothing but confusion. Theresa May told us there would be no General Election. Then there was a General Election. The general election in 2017, firstly, should have never happened, but secondly, resulted in the DUP propping up the Tory’s minority government. The party whose members have agreed with getting “the ethnics out”, have said gay and lesbian relationships “harm society” and have compared homosexuality to child abuse. This is the party who Theresa May has confidence in to help her lead the country out of the EU.

democracy. However, the legitimacy of the Brexit vote is very shaky. The people were fed lies by the Leave campaign, which has since been found guilty of breaking electoral law. The people who voted for Brexit voted on different grounds, and hardly any of the leave voters were happy with Theresa May’s Brexit deal which ended up being the biggest defeat faced by a sitting government in Parliament. Furthermore, in any healthy democracy there are regular, and may I add, fair elections and decisions made by the public. So why would it be such a bad thing if the people were given another vote on their future. We have seen the catastrophic effects the result of the referendum has had on our country. It is surely only right that we should be granted another one. So we as a country can decide to go with whatever deal is passed by Parliament, a no deal Brexit or if we should remain in the EU. Whatever happens in the end, hopefully 2019 ends up being a good year for all of us. For me, Iam going to try and have a successful year by learning from my mistakes made in 2018. I am not going to leave my assignments undone until a week before they are due, I am going to make much more of a conscious effort to improve my diet and lessen the amount of meat I consume, to do my part in fighting against climate change. Lastly, I am going to make sure I stop delegating my time to the wrong people, I am going to stop allowing myself to make time for people who are not good for me and instead make more time for people who genuinely care for me and surround myself with *pause for the generic white girl quote that is about to come* people with good energy. If you want to keep up with how my 2019 is going make sure you follow my Instagram @samckinstry and my Twitter @sam_mckinstry.

Since the referendum result real wage growth has been negatively effected due to the rise in inflation and the pound has still not reached pre referendum levels. Yet conservatives still think leaving the EU is a good idea. I do believe a people’s vote would lead to major questions being raised on the importance and legitimacy of our

This is an opinon piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG/Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd.

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FEATURE__ LOOKING BACK

A YEAR GONE BY 2018 GNI MOMENTS TO REMEMBER All of our previous issues are available to read for free at gnimga.com

HUMAN TRAFFICKING & SLAVERY

YUHUA HAMASAKI

As part of our Humanitarian Issue we took a look at Human Trafficking and Slavery. This very real issue is closer to home than you may like to think happening in every large town or city in the UK. In this piece we look at how we all need to be vidgilent to the signs that are right under our noses.

Drag Race star Yuhua talked to us about life after the show, leading the way across the globe for Asian drag artists, identifying as non-binary and advice for anyone who feels the same, winning awards & acolades, and how watching her mother sew encouraged her seamstress skills to make costumes for herself and other Queens.

TRANS PRIDE

NADINE COYLE

Trans issues have rightly become a huge talking point. Finally the rights of those who have often been overlooked in our community have a voice. We went along to the first ever Trans Pride NI in Belfast. The event was well attended with a host of guest speakers including Kellie Maloney and our very own Alicia V Perry.

We were like kids in a sweet shop when word came through that Nadine Coyle would grace our cover and grant us an interview. She talked to us about the Girls Allowed years, her solo career, touring, the possibility of joining the cast of hit TV comedy Derry Girls, and her much talked about and mimicked accent.

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FEATURE__ LOOKING BACK

RU PAUL

#METOO

She’s the biggest drag superstar in the world, and we were lucky enough to have her on the cover in 2018. We took at look at her book GuRU and shared some inspiration and motivation from it with you all. Gems such as... “my lips are overdrawn to compensate for my lack of giving a shit.”

The #metoo movement has rightly become a worldwide movement helping to bring to justice those who deemed their historic abuse of vounerable people acceptable. We investigated where it all started and how we can all become involved in making sure things we tolerated in the past can never be repeated.

THE BAND

CALUM SCOTT

After winning Gary Barlows BBC reality TV show “The Band”. These five lads were catapulted into the public eye as they were cast as the members of the band in the new musical featuring the music of Take That. We caught up with the boys on their tour when they visited Belfast.

Well 2018 was definately a standout year for Calum Scott. He released his album Only Human and embarked on a tour that took him all over the world. He released various duet versions of his now classic You Are The Reason, and opened up to us all with his coming out song No Matter What.

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NEWS__ ROUND UP

ROUND UP... ATTACKS ON LGBT PEOPLE SURGE ALMOST 80% OVER LAST FOUR YEARS Attacks on LGBT people surge almost 80% in UK over last four years More than one in five LGBT people verbally or physically attacked due to their sexual orientation or gender identity in last 12 months, figures show The number of attacks on lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the UK has soared by nearly 80 per cent in the past four years, new data shows. More than one in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation or gender identity in the last 12 months, compared with 16 per cent in 2013. The findings, released by charity Stonewall and based on YouGov polling of more than 5,000 LGBT people in Britain, reveal verbal and physical attacks are taking place against the LGBT community in all spheres of public life – from bars and restaurants to while trying to find a house or access vital services.

Alarmingly, amid the soaring scale of hate crime, there has been widespread underreporting, with the study showing that four in five LGBT people who experienced a hate crime or incident in the past 12 months did not report it to the police. The rise in crimes has created a pervading fear among the LGBT community as they go about their daily lives, with many avoiding certain streets and avoiding holding hands with their partners in public for fear of being attacked. For trans people, the findings are particularly alarming, showing that two in five trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident based on their gender identity in the last 12 months. Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people are also disproportionately affected, with a third having experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year, compared to one in five white LGBT people.

The most common type of hate incident experienced by the LGBT community was being “insulted, pestered, intimidated or harassed” – with nearly nine in 10 people receiving such treatment, according to the study. Unwanted sexual contact and threats of violence or use of force were also common – experienced by 26 per cent and 21 per cent of people respectively – while 13 per cent were physically assaulted by their abusers. The report shows that fear of discrimination and harassment in public places pervades the LGBT community, with one in five LGBT people who have been a victim of hate crime in the last year not feeling safe where they live. Source and Picture www.independent.co.uk, full story can be found there.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY PULLED FROM LGBT AWARDS SHOW The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has been removed as a nominee from the GLAAD Media Awards, with the LGBT media monitoring organisation taking its decision following allegations of sexual assault and misconduct made against the film’s director, Bryan Singer. He has denied the allegations. GLAAD’s move followed a report in the US publication The Atlantic in which four men alleged that Singer had sexual encounters with them when they were underage teens in the late 1990s. In a statement to US entertainment trade publication Variety, GLAAD said: “In light of the latest allegations against

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director Bryan Singer, GLAAD has made the difficult decision to remove Bohemian Rhapsody from contention for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Film Wide Release category this year.” Singer, who has denied all allegations made against him, has described the Atlantic report as a “homophobic smear piece”. The director was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody before it was completed amid reports of absences from the set and creative differences. Singer denied that he had behaved unprofessionally. The film received five Academy Award nominations on Tuesday, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Rami Malek as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Singer who also directed The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil and three X-Men movies - remains the credited director, but was not nominated. He is next scheduled to direct a remake of Red Sonja. Source and Picture www.rte.ie


NEWS__ ROUND UP

TRUMP ADMINSTRATION HELPS FAITH-BASED AGENCIES BLOCK LGBT ADOPTION

JAPAN’S SUPREME COURT RULES TRANSGENDER PEOPLE STILL HAVE TO GET STERALISED Japan’s Supreme Court rules transgender people still have to get sterilised The Supreme Court of Japan has upheld a law which forces transgender people to get sterilised before they can legally change their gender. The panel of four justices ruled unanimously on Thursday ( January 24) to reject an appeal filed by Takakito Usui, a trans man who wants to change the gender on his official documents, Australian outlet SBS News has reported. Usui was trying to overturn Law 111, which requires any person seeking to change their legal gender to have “no reproductive glands or reproductive glands that have permanently lost function.” Trans people also have to possess “a body which appears to have parts that resemble the genital organs of those of the opposite gender,” according

Trump Administration Helps Faith-Based Agencies Block LGBT Adoption The Department of Health and Human Services has exempted South Carolina’s faith-based child welfare agencies from non-discrimination regulations protecting LGBT and other couples. Last year, two states passed bills targeting same-sex couples who wish to adopt or foster children. As it turns out, that was only the start of a renewed attack on LGBT adoption. On Wednesday, the Trump administration gave those anti-LGBT efforts a boost by granting a request from the governor of South Carolina to allow federally-funded child welfare agencies to turn parents away based on religious beliefs. As CNN reported, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster had asked the Department of Health and Human Services in February of last year to exempt the state’s faith-based child welfare agencies from Obamaera non-discrimination regulations protecting LGBT and other couples. Although McMaster’s February 2018 letter made no direct mention of sexual orientation or same-sex couples, he specifically referenced a subsection of the Code of Federal Regulations which requires child welfare agencies that receive federal funding

to “treat as valid the marriages of same-sex couples,” in accordance with the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision. That particular subsection, McMaster claimed, forced faith-based child welfare agencies like Miracle Hill in Greenville to “abandon their religious beliefs or forgo the available public licensure and funding.” Dozens of civil rights organizations wrote a letter to HHS regarding the McMaster request, saying that granting an exemption would be, in effect, “taxpayerfunded discrimination.” In response on Wednesday, HHS issued a first-ofits-kind exemption for the state. LGBT and other civil rights advocates say it’s a continuation of what we’ve already seen in states like Kansas and Oklahoma, which both passed laws last year carving out room for faith-based child welfare agencies to cite religious beliefs in placement decisions. “There is absolutely a direct line because there’s a chronology here,” David L. Barkley, national religious freedom counsel for the Anti-Defamation League, told The Daily Beast. “First this happened on the state level, and then Miracle Hill moved forward with the application to HHS.” Source and Picture by www.thedailybeast.com, full story can be read there.

to the 2003 law, which was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court judges. Usui, whose legal campaign is now over, responded to the ruling by saying: “The essential thing should not be whether you have had an operation or not, but how you want to live as an individual.” Japan is in the process of addressing transgender rights Last year, the Japanese government announced that it would subsidise gender affirming surgery for trans people—as long as they are not receiving hormone treatment and do not have any other pre-existing conditions. Once the surgery is covered by public insurance in Japan, a patient will only need to pay up to 30 percent of the total surgery expenses, reported Japan Times. However, trans people in the country seeking gender confirmation surgeries still face numerous obstacles. Applicants are required to be sterile, single, without children under 20 and undergo a psychiatric evaluation to receive a diagnosis of “Gender Identity Disorder”—usually known as gender dysphoria in the US and UK. Source www.pinknews.co.uk , Picture from edition.cnn.com

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FEATURE__ ONE’S TO WATCH

ONE’S TO WATCH... GNIMAG.COM | 29


FEATURE__

ONE’S TO WATCH

DODIE The 23 year o ld si n ge r son g w r i t e r f rom E p p i ng i s ar g uabl y t he most su cce ssf u l DIY ar ti st o f re ce n t t i me s, ha v i n g bu i l t her self a conside r a bl e f a n ba se si n ce she began up lo adi n g mu si c f rom he r bedro om aged ju st 1 6 . dodi e ha s n ow had almo st 350 mi l l i on st re a ms across Yo uTube, S p o ti f y a n d Ap p l e Mu si c. S he has just com p le t e d a sol d ou t t ou r of the US and wil l u n de r t a k e he r bi g ge st UK to ur to date i n Ma rc h, cu l mi n a t i n g at L ondon’s icon i c R ou n dhou se. He r p re vio us t wo se l f - re l e a se d EPs, 2 0 1 6 ’s Inter t wi ned and l a st ye a r ’s You , bot h reac hed the to p 4 0 of t he U K of fi ci a l album c har ts, wi t h You p e a k i n g a t num ber six, des p i t e re ce i v i n g l i t t l e p rom o tion. Her thi rd EP H u ma n i s ou t n ow, t hi s i s surel y set to be D odi e ’s bre a k ou t ye a r.

ELLA MAI It ’s b e e n a ph e nom e nal year f or double G RAM M Y n om in a te d 23- year - old s i n ger s on g w r ite r w ith h e r b reak through s i n gle “ B o o’d Up” b e ing c e r ti fi ed q uadr up lepl a tin u m a nd re c e ntl y m ade hi s tor y as the l onge s t r u nn in g # 1 by a wom an on the B il l b o a rd R&B / H ip-H op A i r p lay c har t. T h e f o l l ow u p “ Tr ip” brok e i n to the Top 20 o f th e B il l b o a rd H o t 100 an d i s cer ti fi ed go l d . Fo l l ow in g th e re leas e of her cr i ti c al l y ac c l a im e d d e b u t a l b u m, E l la has recei ved t wo G r a m m y n om in a tion s f or ‘ S on g of the Ye a r ’ a n d ‘ B e s t R&B S on g ’ f or her s i n gle B o o’d Up a nd w il l s e t out on her fi r s t h e ad l in e UK to u r fin is hi n g at L on don’s O 2 S h e ph e rd s B u s h E m pi re.

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FEATURE__

ONE’S TO WATCH

FERRIS AND SYLVESTER Ferr i s & S y l vester ha ve be e n p rol i fi c nam es on the UK ’s li ve sce n e and have p layed to thou sa n ds of people this year, with ma j or show s along si de the li kes of Jade B i rd, Geo r ge E z r a, Er i c C l a p t on , R obe r t P lant and many m o re. The y ha ve played a num ber o f hi g h p rofi l e f est ivals this sum me r i n c l u di n g BST Hyde Park, the ma i n st a ge a t W ilder ness Festival a n d a sol d- ou t s h ow at R eep er bahn Fe st i v a l a mon g ma ny o ther s. Fer r is & S y l ve st e r h a ve now been anno u n ce d f or t he i r firs t f estival o f 2019 a n d w i l l p l ay at Euro soni c i n Janu a r y. I n j ust a year Fer r i s & S y l ve st e r h a ve been qui c k to c a p t u re t he h ea r ts o f fans and cr i t i cs across t he coun tr y. Now star tin g 2 0 1 9 w i t h th eir fi r st e ver head l i n e t ou r, t he ba nd make the statem e n t t ha t n e x t year is go i ng to be th e bi g ge st ye t .

GRACE CARTER BBC Sound of 2019 nominee Grace Carter has recently supported UK heavyweights Dua Lipa, Jorja Smith, Mabel and Rag N Bone Man, and will be touring in her own right in 2019 following the release of new track ‘Why Her Not Me’. Grace grew up in Brighton listening to the likes of Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone, which is evident in her powerful songwriting, which shows emotional and musical maturity. Armed with emotionally exposing songs and a once-seen-never-forgotten live presence, she’s definitely one to catch in the smaller venues while you can.

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FEATURE__

ONE’S TO WATCH

KAWALA T h e jo u r n e y o f KAWA LA s o far has been a ny th ing b u t tr ad ition al. Releas i n g through M a h o g a ny Re c o rd s , th e ban d, led by J i m H ig s on ( vo c a l s ) a n d Dan i el M cC ar thy ( g u ita r ) , c a m e to ge th er whi ls t s tudy i n g a t L e e d s Co l l e ge O f M us i c. I t was on l y a f e w m onth s b e f o re th e y agreed to drop out, h e ad b ac k to th e ir b e lo ved Nor th L on don a n d s ta r t th e b a nd . T h e y blen d en c han ti n g m e l o d ie s w ith c a ptiv a ti n g r hy thm s to create a s o u nd th a t is tr u l y th ei r own . 2018 has b e e n s pe nt pic kin g u p m aj or s up p or t from S po tify, pl ay ing th e f es ti vals , s el li n g out th re e c on s e c u tive L on don head li n e s hows a n d h e ad ing o u t on the road on B B C R adi o 1 ’s J ac k S a u n d e r s pre s en ts H op s cotc h Tour. 2 0 1 9 is s e t to b e e ve n bi gger.

SAM FENDER H a v i ng star ted the ye a r by be i n g n a me d i n B B C R ad io 1 ’s S o u nd of 20 18 list, S am has gon e f rom st re n g t h t o st re n g t h , w in ning th is year ’s Br i ts Cr i ti cs C hoi ce Aw a rd. Thi s f ol l ow s si g n i ng to Po l yd o r Rec ords ear lier in th e ye a r a n d re l e a si n g l a t e st si n g l e ‘ De ad B oy s ’ to acc laim. Having comp l e t e d a su cce ssf u l U K t ou r, t he No r th S h ie l d s nat ive recentl y p er f or me d ‘ D e ad B oy s’ on L a t e r… W i th J o o l s H ol land, and has enj oye d hu ge p r a i se si n ce t he re l e a s e o f h is d e b u t EP whic h was releas e d i n Au t u mn .

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FEATURE__

ONE’S TO WATCH

SELF ESTEEM 2019 i s se t t o be t he ye a r t ha t R e be cc a L uc y Tay l or, a k a S e l f Est e e m, drop s he r debut albu m on t he wor l d. For a l on g ti me Rebe cc a w a s di v i di n g he r a t t e n t i on , wo rking on p a i n t i n g, p r i n t s a n d v i de o a s S elf E stee m, w hi l st t he day j ob w a s w r i t i n g and p er f or mi n g a s on e ha l f of S l ow C l u b, but now the mu si c a n d t he day j ob i s S e l f Esteem to o, a n d R e be cc a i s re ve l l i n g i n i t. W itt y, inte l l i ge n t , e x t ro ve r t a n d p i e rci n g l y i nsig htful , R e be cc a n o l on ge r ha s t o worr y abo ut any body e l se ’s op i n i on or t re adi n g on any to e s, a n d c a n be w hol l y, won de r f u l l y her self, in du l g i n g he r l o ve f or c hore og r a phy and the ar t of t he p op p romo. Her recen t si n g l e ‘ R ol l ou t ’ ha s had e x t e n sive sup p o r t at B B C R adi o 6 Mu si c, e a r n i n g a sp o t on t he i r co ve t e d A - L i st , i t ’s on l y a matter o f t i me be f ore she e x p l ode s.

SOPHIE AND THE GIANTS Sophie and the Giants are practitioners of innovative, left-leaning pop: a raw fusion of the band’s collective influences, which range from the likes of Siouxsie Sioux and Blondie to Radiohead and Jamie T. The band was formed by Sophie (vocals and guitar), Chris Hill (drums), Bailey Stapledon (bass) and Toby Holmes (guitar) while all four of them were still at college. Shortly after graduation they moved to their adoptive hometown of Sheffield where they’ve been refining their intense, life-affirming sound. Recently they’ve been taking their music on the road, supporting Tom Grennan on the European tour, as well as select dates across the UK, and also playing with other like-minded acts throughout October and November. With only a handful of headline shows to their bow, but an ever increasing pile of killer singles, the band are set to take 2019 by storm.

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INTERVIEW__

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show arrives at the Grand Opera House Belfast from Monday 18th March 2019, for tickets visit goh.co.uk. Full info on tour venues, cast, reviews and more visit rockyhorror.co.uk We’ve caught up with some of the amazing cast to ask some questions about them and this exciting new production.

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INTERVIEW__

Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show tours the UK until 2nd November 2019. For tickets and venues visit www.rockyhorror.co.uk Production shots: ©The Rocky Horror Show by David Freeman

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW

DAMN IT, JANET, I LOVE YOU LET’S DO THE TIMEWARP AGAIN TOUCH-ATOUCH-A-TOUCH ME I’M JUST A SWEET TRANSVESTITE FROM TRANSEXUAL TRANSYLVANIA GNIMAG.COM | 35


INTERVIEW__

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW / BEN ADAMS and singing together, we put that song together while we were doing Flashdance and sent it off and it turned into an official Rocky Horror track which hasn’t been allowed to be done in many, many years so that was quite a privelidge. SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE WHO HAVEN’T HAD THE CHANCE TO SEE THE STAGE VERSION. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE?

BEN

Starred in Flashdance and is back as Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Show. He has been performing since the age of 8 and as a child sang at royal weddings in Westminster Abbey. As a teenager he was lead singer of a band A1 who had 2 UK number ones and toured the world. He is now a songwriter and producer working with many talented singers as well as releasing his own music. His 1st solo album 1981 will be released this year.

YOU’RE A HOUSEHOLD NAME, YOU’VE BEEN PERFORMING FROM THE AGE OF 8, YOU’VE BEEN IN THE BOYBAND SENSATION THAT IS A1, AND YOU’VE STARRED IN HEADLINE ROLES IN NUMEROUS THEATRE PRODUCTIONS. BUT MORE RECENTLY YOU’VE WRITTEN YOUR OWN MUSICAL EUGENIUS, HOW HAVE YOU JUGGLED YOUR TIME DOING ALL THIS AND ALSO WORKING ON YOUR SOLO ALBUM? I’m never really a person that can relax very easily, so even if I’m playing the Playstation, after about 30 minutes I get a bit giddy, thinking I should be doing something useful. I try to take every waking moment to work, I enjoy doing it. For example on the Flashdance tour instead of taking the days off, myself and Jo wrote a musical called Bloody Nora which is about to start, so while we’re doing Rocky Horror we’re rehearsing the cast and tweaking the script, editing songs and all that kind of stuff. So, I think, for me, there’s enough time in the day to do a lot of things. If I just do one thing I get quite bored quite quickly. IF YOU COULDN’T PLAY BRAD, WHO WOULD YOU PLAY?

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I’d probably play Frank if I couldn’t play Brad. I think that’s a really fun part to play. Again, it’s something that’s a completely different part and probably a bit of a challenge. Even playing Brad, who’s a completely different character from my own, my Flashdance character was fairly easy, it was an extension of my own character and wasn’t too much of a stretch. But I really had to do my homework to get into the part of Brad. It seems to be going down well for everybody. I mean, we’ve had some of the most hardcore Rocky Horror fans who’ve seen it year in and year out, they would be the harshest critics, and every single one without fail has said that this is the best cast they’ve every seen. There really isn’t a weak link, everyone is amazing. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SONG FROM THE SHOW? My favourite song is Damn It Janet which comes fairly early on in the show. Myself and Jo actually recorded that and released a version of that which you can find on Spotify. We also did a song called here and now from Flashdance and that did amazingly well in America and went straight to number one in the itunes charts, and this one had a similar sort of trajectory. We love working together

I actually prefer the stage show. I’d never seen the movie. I went to the stage show not knowing anything about it and I was so taken aback by the show itself and how good the soundtrack was, and how everybody in the audience were such devoted fans. I just had the best time at the theatre and that’s quite an important part of theatre for me. I’ve always wanted to write a musical, and as soon as I saw Rocky Horror the stage show I was like; I have to write my own musical and try and create the same sort of joy I saw people having at The Rocky Horror Show. When people come to Eugenius people say it has an element of Rocky Horror in it, and the element is that people can walk in to the theatre and forget about whatever’s going on in the miserable world, they can come into the theatre and enjoy two, two and a half hours of just forgetting about everything else and having the best time. That’s what Rocky Horror did for me, and that’s what Eugenuis has done for other people. To be honest, I watched the film second and it’s great, I don’t think you quite get that interaction and that feeling of seeing the magic in front of your eyes, it can’t compare to the theatre show it’s much better. If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll love the stage show even better, and you don’t need to have seen the movie to enjoy the stage show. It’s so out there and crazy but with the same message; you can be whoever you want to be. WHAT’S NEXT ON THE CARDS FOR YOU? Jo and I are on Rocky Horror till May, and we’ll be doing some workshops during that time on Bloody Nora, beginning to put that together for the actual stage show launch. Bloody Nora has a part for both me and Jo, so it may be an option just to kick it off and then let other people take over. To be honest it’s quite a tricky job to do the creative side and also be on stage because you’re trying to concentrate on completely different stuff. I don’t know if I could have done such a good job on Eugenius if I was in it too because there’s so much to sort out the band and the music, being able to sit back and look at it as a whole rather than get too into the nitty gritty worrying about lines. So there’s that and then it’s A1’s twentieth reunion so we are planning big concerts after I finish in May, then it’s just getting Eugenius back up and running and seeing how that goes – there’s lots of interest not just from the West End but also Broadway and other avenues that people might not expect, but it’s all very exciting. So there’s lots of things to be getting on with. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU LOVE MOST OR LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU COME TO BELFAST? Belfast in particular, there are so many amazing pubs that I went to, really old and really full of character. There was one very close to the theatre that was one of the oldest pubs in Belfast, I loved that, I loved the history of the place so I’m really looking forward to coming back.


INTERVIEW__ YOU WENT STRAIGHT FROM FLASHDANCE INTO THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, HOW WAS THAT? I had a month off before the beginning of rehearsals, we knew that we’d got the job earlier than that and obviously Ben and I being on the same show could go through our script and scenes together while we were on Flashdance. THE CHARACTERS ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, BUT ARE YOU ENJOYING WORKING WITH BEN AGAIN? Oh yeah, it’s perfect. We worked together for 16 months on Flashdance, wrote our own musical together, released some songs together and then we’ve just ended up on this together. It’s just perfect, we seem to come as a package now. We’re not really sure how it happened, we both got the audition, and they

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW / JOANNE CLIFTON

were at the same time – mine was like ten minutes after his. We were sat in the pub afterwards saying that we didn’t think we would both get it, either one of us or none of us. Most of our reviews about Flashdance said about our chemistry on stage, and we are like the best of friends, we’re basically the same person. We work well together and people can see that, I think that’s what helped us get this job. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A FAN OF ROCKY HORROR? I’d never seen the show or the film. I got the audition and then me and Ben watched the musical one on youtube, and I was like; I don’t quite understand it but I’m loving it. And then we watched the film and I had no idea what was going on but it’s amazing. Then I went to the audition and one of my audition scenes was the scene in the bedroom with Frankenfurter. So I had to sit on a chair in the audition room with about

4 or 5 people watching me pretend to have sex with Frank’n’Furter, which was awkward as I was on my own, it was the funniest audition I’d ever done. I came out and called my agent and said I need to have this job, it’ was different to anything I’d ever done before, and I think it will be the most fun thing I’ve ever done. And it really is! WE ALL KNOW YOU’RE A FABULOUS DANCER, BUT AS JANET IN ROCKY HORROR YOU DON’T GET TO DO MUCH DANCING… No, but I love that! I’ve been dancing since I was four so I’m so happy to have kind of stopped – I’m kind of over it now. In the show I do The TImewarp, which I have done since I was four in my Mum and Dad’s dance school at every Halloween party. The only thing is, on my other shows, if my singing or acting wasn’t very well at least I could rely on my dancing, whereas in this I can’t. So I really have to be on my game every night. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE LINE IN THE SHOW? Well, the funniest line isn’t one of mine, it’s Dr Scott’s. When he glues us to the spot I say; my feet, I can’t move my feet. Then Dr Scott who’s in his wheel-chair goes; my wheels, I can’t move my wheels! And that for some reason absolutely tickles me every time, I have to turn my face away from the audience. WHO WOULD YOU SAY IN THE SHOW IS MOST LIKE THEIR CHARACTER? I think Callum, he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever, ever met. The way he plays Rocky, he’s probably the one who’s most like his character. I think Ben is playing the opposite: he’s the boyband one, the cool one, the good looking one in A1, Mr Cool, and now he’s playing Brad with his glasses and his cumberbundt thing, and his Y fronts. Although I know the real Ben and he’s a wee bit of a geek.

JOANNE

Joanne Clifton recently visited Belfast as Alex Owens on the UK tour of Flashdance and now she’s back as Janet Weiss in The Rocky Horror show. She started dancing as a child and competed in Ballroom and Latin dancing before training with Team Diablo, the biggest dance school in Europe and winning the European professional ballroom championship as well as appearing on Strictly Come Dancing. She made her musical debut in Face The Music and has since been in many shows including Norma Jean the musical and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

PEOPLE WILL KNOW YOU FROM BEING IN AND WINNING STRICTLY, AND THEATRE FANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WILL KNOW YOU FROM THE STAGE, WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU? Obviously I would love to carry on with music theatre, it is my absolute passion. We’ve written our own musical which is called Bloody Nora, and that’s having it’s first read through with producers next week, so hopefully after this we can get that up and running. So I’m going to the other side of music theatre, as in the production side of it, the writing and creative side. There’s also the online dance school that me and my brother have done, we will continue to teach people online (cliftondanceacademy.online). I’m also hoping to go to New York to study at the Film Academy for a month or two, just to see about acting on television which I have never done.

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INTERVIEW__

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW / CALLUM EVANS

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE SHOW TO BE PART OF TO DATE? They’ve all been quite different, like Grease is your uptempo old classic musical that everyone knows, Miss Siagon is such a deep and emotional show – emotionally draining. SEEING AS IT’S HARD TO PICK A FAVOURITE IN SHOWS YOU’VE ALREADY DONE, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM ROLE OR SHOW TO BE PART OF? My principal at college asked me this. It’s just to be employed I think, I’m my own inspiration so I probably push myself in every way possible. I dunno, a favourite musical that I’d want to be in would be Newsies, it’s a Disney film that they’ve toured in the states and I think they’ve tried to bring it here. It has all different dance styles and there’s lots of different male characters in it. DO YOU HAVE A REGIME OR WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET YOURSELF READY FOR WORK? So it’s like a daily thing really. I have to do two hours at the gym every day. It’s an ongoing process, from the beginning of rehearsals I’ve been trying to do a different routine, except for Sunday cos that’s my rest day. I have to follow a specific routine to make myself look the part as Rocky’s so defined and strong and powerful. It’s quite a challenge, I’ve received a new diet plan and a new fitness programme that I’ve to follow which gets more difficult as the shows go on. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE PART OF THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW? It’s such an iconic show that’s on it’s 45th year, and the audience are a totally different cup of tea in itself. They’ve got their own script so when we do the show they’ve got the heckles coming in different parts of the show, and we’ve to adapt and react to whatever they give us. ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING PERFORMERS? If you put the hard work in you’re going to get an outcome. It’s not just going to come to you on a plate, you have to work hard for it. If it’s your passion, you’re going to want to do it.

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CALLUM

He has performed in many shows in the West End and internationally including Grease, Chess, Christmas in New York and Miss Saigon. As well as an actor he’s an accomplished gymnast coming 2nd in the British Acrobatic Gymnastic Championships and winning the Welsh Championship.


INTERVIEW__ YOU’RE AN AUSTRALIAN ACTOR WHO’S PREVIOUSLY TOURED THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW IN AUSTRALIA, WHEN YOU DONE THAT WAS IT THE SAME ROLES; EDDIE AND DR SCOTT? No actually, I was in the ensemble, I was a phantom over in Australia. So when I’ve come over here I’ve stepped up into bigger shoes to fill. I absolutely love the challenge of playing a lead role here in the UK. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE UK AND AUSTRALIA, BOTH IN GENERAL TERMS AND IN TERMS OF THE PRODUCTION?

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW / ROSS CHISARI

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE COSTUME OR ARE YOU ENVIOUS OF SOMEONE ELSES? I’m a little envious of Riff Raffs in his alien costume because it’s so over the top and you really only get to see it for about five minutes at the end of the show. HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT ON STAGE? I’m like a walking tourist over here so I like to get

out and see the sights. I keep quite fit so I usually frequent the gym five times a week, and I like to walk a lot. Every town we are touring over the next twelve months is a first time for me so I’m like a little small town kid in the big city every time we go to a new town. HAVE YOU BEEN TO BELFAST BEFORE? No, I have not been to Belfast. But I’m so looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to visting the Titanic Museum, I think it’s such a touristy thing for me to say, but I am such a tourist.

For starters, in Australia we don’t have such a lively, vibrant theatre culture. We have about four shows happening at once all around the country at the same time, ever, throughout the year. Whereas over here you’ve literally got 20 shows in town, 20 shows on tour, all happening – there’s an abundance of work. Secondly, the show, especially for us over here in the UK, the audience involvement is insane, the audience have literally come to the theatre and are putting on a show for us. It’s worlds apart, The Rocky Horror Show in Australia was fun to do but it’s nothing compared to what the UK experience has been like. DO AUDIENCE MEMBERS COME DRESSED IN ROCKY HORROR COSTUME IN AUSTRALIA LIKE THEY DO HERE? We did have a couple of Australian fans who put on some make up and some costume, but funny enough whenever we did have an opening night and some fans dressed up they were actually from the UK – they’d flown over to see the show and brought the UK mannerisms and call outs with them. We were very grateful because it sort of livened up the show for the Australian audience too. YOU’RE PLAYING EDDIE AND DR SCOTT, DO YOU HAVE A PREFERENCE IN THE TWO CHARACTERS? That’s such a tricky question, erm, look I love the comedic release that Dr Scott brings to the show, but I think you can’t go past playing Eddie. Meatloaf from the film is such an iconic role – who wouldn’t want to be paid to have fun and be a rockstar on stage, it’s the best job ever, right? WHO THAT YOU’RE WORKING WITH AT THE MOMENT IS THE FUNNIEST PERSON? The funniest person would have to be Rocky, he’s a bit of a method actor and the blonde hair is getting to his head a bit – I think it’s hilarious to watch him on stage.

ROSS

An Australian actor who is performing abroad for his first time in the Rocky Horror Tour. He’s been in many shows around Australia including Ghost, The Drowsy Chaperone and Aladdin. He even choreographed The Man Of La Mancha as well as staring in his own one man show Let Me Entertain You: The Robbie Williams Story. He is reprising his role as Eddie/Doctor Scott after touring with the show in Australia last year.

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INTERVIEW__ CONLETH KANE

CONLETH KANE Described by QX Magazine as “an infectiously energetic, refreshingly cheerful Singer/Songwriter”, Conleth Kane makes a return to The Crazy Coqs in London’s West End this February to a sold out crowd to launch his debut album ‘Proud - Live in London’. The album was recorded live on 24th October 2018 at Kane’s sold out London concert in Soho and is an 8-stong collection of original music, written and produced by Conleth himself. Originally hailing from Northern Ireland, Kane trained at the prestigious Arts Educational Schools in London and went on to perform roles on screen in BBC 1’s Casualty, came 4th on Ireland’s TV talent search ‘Fame the Musical’, as well as appearing in musicals on tour and in the West End before becoming a Singer/Songwriter. He signed his first publishing contract in 2017 after his self-penned music received critical acclaim and exposure on some of the biggest radio stations across the UK. He went on to perform live sets of his own songs on both BBC Radio London, BBC Radio Ulster, and Northern Ireland’s Number 1 Radio Station, Cool FM. Kane performed at the prestigious GQ Awards in London this year and the GNI Magazine Awards in Belfast as well as spending the last year touring his music all over the world, and recently returned from performing his songs live in Sydney, Australia as well as performing as a special guest for the London Gay Men’s Chorus at Pride In London and the Gay Mens Dance Company at The Troxy in London. He has been a headline act at Belfast Pride and Maspalomas Winter Pride. In 2017, Conleth won the ‘LGBT Personal Contribution Award’ at the GNI Magazine Awards in Belfast, voted for by the public. Ahead of the album release Conleth tells us the story and inspiration behind each track...

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INTERVIEW__ YELLOW BRICK ROAD (Music and Lyrics by Conleth Kane)

Conleth Kane, Lyrics by Conleth Kane)

From a very young age, I was very drawn to ‘The Wizard Of Oz’, I mean, I find it hard to think of a gay man who isn’t a fan. As I got older, I became fascinated with the fascination with Oz itself. Why as gay men do we all love this story, this film? Some link the LGBT community’s love for the land of Oz to Judy Garland’s unforgettable and very vulnerable portrayal as Dorothy, although as much as I love Judy, I read the book and saw animated versions of the story before I saw the musical film, and every version had me equally hooked. Back in my acting days I was cast as the Scarecrow in the RSC version performed at the Lyric Theatre Belfast in 2007, so I got to skip down the yellow brick road sometimes twice a day that Christmas. I was in my element. I wrote ‘Yellow Brick Road’ in under 15 minutes. It’s a fun, catchy guitarled pop song that features many references to key elements of ‘The Wizard Of Oz’, mixed in with a good old flirt. I love performing this one and it’s a strong album opener!

This song was written over WhatsApp! My good friend and Guitarist was coming up with some cool guitar riffs and sent over this really cool accompaniment and I wrote a hook line pretty much immediately. It’s a really uptempo, soul-pop number and played brilliantly by Declan. His guitarplaying is just world-class. I’m very lucky to have him. It’s a song we all can relate to. It’s quite exciting - that exciting stage of when you first meet someone and it’s very fresh, and how quickly things can develop - if the feeling is mutual! What’s cool about this song being on the album is this is the first time it was ever performed on stage, so there was a real buzz in performing it, and it went down really well!

I WONDER (Music and Lyrics by Conleth Kane) ‘I Wonder’ brings a big smile to my face every time I perform it. To think that I wrote this song on a bus and it ended up being my most successful radio song getting played on 5 major stations 6 months later. ‘I Wonder’ is essentially a heartache song - but it’s up tempo and very catchy, and tends to be a favourite amongst people who come to my gigs. The lyrics poured out of me one afternoon as I was still very much in the aftermath of my split from my ex partner. When I split with my ex, I would spend hours just wondering what he was up to, who he was with, if he thought of me still, would I see him again, was he with someone new etc etc. Writing ‘I Wonder’ was one step closer to feeling better again and I am forever grateful to the song for that. JIGGY WITH IT (Music by Declan McKerr and

CITY OF THE LOST BOYS (Music by Declan McKerr and Conleth Kane, Lyrics by Conleth Kane) I was a guest on Panti Bliss’s RTE Radio Podcast series last year and myself and Declan were recording it at the Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin (where the Spice Girls recorded their debut album!). Declan started playing some guitar chords to me before we recorded with Panti, and afterwards I went home and wrote 2 verses, then I wrote a chorus. I wanted to write a song about London. From the age of 6 I always knew that I wanted to live in London and be a singer, and that’s exactly what I am doing. I am very fortunate, however, along the way, and still to this very day there can be rather dark days in London. It’s not all razzle dazzle and bright lights, in fact some days it can be the opposite. Lots of the gay men flock from their provincial hometowns to escape to find a better life in London, but if you’re not careful - it’s possible to fall down a series of trap doors and get lost, very lost. For me, even when I have my down days, it’s usually the city itself that uplifts me and cures my sadness, so I wanted to pay tribute to my hometown and express my love for it through music. I adore this song,

and London. THE GRASS IS GREENER (Music and Lyrics by Conleth Kane) This was the first song I properly wrote. I owe it all to ‘The Grass Is Greener’. When I split with my ex, I really struggled emotionally. I was in a very happy/secure place and all of a sudden, without warning - the glass smashed. I cried for nights on end in my bed and one day I was at yoga studio on a mat and this song flew to my head. I ran out, grabbed my phone and recorded it so I wouldn’t forget it. I went home, made a video of me singing it, uploaded it to Facebook and 4 days later I have almost 100,000 views of the song on my Facebook page alone. It blew up in my face and led to all sorts of opportunities. We all lose someone at some stage in our lives and this song is a song of loss. When I listen to it, I recall how sad I was, but now I am so thankful that I experienced that sadness as it ultimately brought me happiness. I think this is the song on the album that everyone will relate to. It touches hearts, and I love it dearly. It’s very beautiful and it instilled so much confidence in me as a songwriter. It was a hard act to follow. LOVE POTION (Music and Lyrics by Conleth Kane) ‘Love Potion’ has a dark sentiment that has a conflicting musical accompaniment, as it’s an up-tempo blues style number. In London, and especially amongst the gay scene, there is a turbulent relationship with clubbing/sex/alcohol/drugs and there is an underlying psychology to it all that I find fascinating. It can be very easy to get lost in any corner of the gay scene, and ultimately it boils down to loneliness and isolation. There can be a lot of interpretations of this song, and for some it may touch a nerve, but music is meant to tap into all of our emotions and ultimately heal us. I wanted to push boundaries with this one. It’s an absolute belter to perform. I love performing this one at my gigs and I love how it touches each listener differently.

CONLETH KANE

WHAT I WOULDN’T GIVE (Music and Lyrics by Conleth Kane) This song is a tribute to my grandmothers. I love and miss them very much and not a day goes by that I don’t think of them. On the album, you can hear that I am a little overcome with emotion during the song, and I suppose that is the beauty of doing a live album. This is another audience favourite. I went really simple with this song, and it’s a song that tells the story of my unconditional love for my two best friends that I no longer have with me in this life, and how much I’d love to have them back. I feel their presence so strongly to this very day. I had to write about them, and for them. I owed it to them. As hard as it is to sing at my shows, it’s worth every second. PROUD (Music and Lyrics by Conleth Kane) This is the song that really defined me as a solo artist. ‘Proud’ is so simple, and without it sounding too cliched - I am so PROUD of it, and how it touches people. The messages I have receive about this song from every country across the world, blows my mind. When I look out at my gigs and see people sing this back to me, I can only describe it as euphoria. I love that I have written a song that empowers people, from every walk of life. This song is meant to install confidence in the underdog. There is a little bit of magic in this song and I feel it in the air everytime I sing it. It sounds incredible on the album, and I even sing the last chorus directly to the DUP. I’m not a politician, but I am a songwriter, and ‘Proud’ is my shield, my armour and I hope it can be for others too! ‘Proud - Live in London’ out Feb 24th on all major digital outlets

The album artwork is by Ross Mc Bride at Silverthorne Photography and Jock Mooney

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TIN TIN

PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH NORTHFIELD

INTERVIEW__

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INTERVIEW__

TIN

AN AUSSIE SINGER TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON Going to the other side of the world and conquering a pride festival tour is not something that many self-managed singer songwriters can brag about but that is exactly what Australian singer songwriter, TIN did. His eight shows across the UK and in the quaint Danish city of Aalborg were just one aspect of his many feats in 2018. Born and bred in the sunshine state of Queensland, Australia, TIN has been singing and writing pop music all his life and has gained international attention since his trek to London to work on his music and since, releasing his latest music video titled Don’t Say His Name. “One of my goals for 2018 was to book at least one pride festival show in the UK and one in Europe, so you could imagine how ecstatic I was to have been booked for nine shows altogether. The experience of performing in so many different cities was both thrilling and humbling. Moving to London was the hardest thing I’d ever done and to then be booked for all these shows made it all worth it!” As a proud gay man, TIN endeavours to inspire the LGBT community with his music. Whether it be through his raw lyrics or ultra catchy hooks, his intention is to always bring people together. His extremely raunchy and NSFW music video for his latest single, Don’t Say His Name, has been getting some hot attention too. The song talks of a one night stand and how TIN thinks of another boy he’d met off Grindr while taking another guy home. The music video is a depiction of this steamy romp and is definitely no holds barred. “I created this video for several reasons - the song is raw so I felt the video needed to be raw too. I also felt that even with all of the movements happening around the world, gay sex can still be seen as taboo while heterosexual sex is the norm. I wanted a statement being like ‘HEY, WE DO IT TOO! It was a concept that could have ended up looking awfully cheap but the general feedback has been extremely positive, most appreciating the beautiful cinematography.” That wasn’t all for the budding musician. He would then land a campaign alongside international underwear empire, Andrew Christian. A month long competition was held for the holiday season where the singer was seen in some highly erotic underwear shots as equally sexual as his video! So what’s next for this go-getting pop star? He has a short stint home in Australia hitting the scene in Melbourne conjuring a new single and video before heading back to Europe with a handful of shows already booked. With a streak like this, TIN is definitely an LGBT artist to keep your eye on. Don’t Music

Say His Name is and the music

out now on Spotify and Apple video is now on YouTube.

FIND TIN ONLINE t i n o f f i c i a l m u s i c . c o m youtube.com/tinofficialmusic facebook.com/tinofficialmusic instagram.com/tinofficialmusic

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ICON__ KYLIE MINOGUE

ICON Kylie Minogue

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ICON__ KYLIE MINOGUE Kylie is our pop princess from down under. How did she go from Aussie soap star to international pop superstar with 80 million sales, 14 albums: 5 number 1’s, 74 singles: 7 number 1’s including 2 million sellers is how. I Should Be So Lucky, Locomotion, All the Lovers, Can’t Get U, and Dancing. Love or loathe her, everyone has a Kylie track they just can’t get outta their heads ! Kylie had appeared in various Aussie shows, and then she popped onto our screen in Neighbours, punching Scott (Jason Donovan) on the veranda of number 24 Ramsey Street. Who would thought that 30 years later we would still be dancing to her 14th studio album and still just as much in love with her. So how did Kylie become the icon she is today? Many a soap star have tried to turn their hand to pop and failed, but for Kylie it was instant success. From the moment she performed “Locomotion” at a Neighbours charity event a superstar was born. We all know the famous story of I Should Be So Lucky being written in 15 min by Stock Aitken Waterman who had forgotten she was coming. The single hit number 1 in and was one of the best selling single of 1988. The soaring success of Neighbours and her on/off romance with Scott turned her in to a household name. Thier wedding being the most watched episode in shows history with over 20 million tuning in - Kylie mania was sweeping the nation . A debut album released in 1988 sold 5 million copies worldwide and a million seller with Especially for You (with Jason Donavan) meant it was time to hang up her overalls and wave good bye to Charlene . An equally successful 2nd album took the UK by storm proving Kylie was no one hit wonder. The 3rd album seen Kylie begin to take more control over her music, the bubblegum cheese was fading and her music becoming a little more mature and raunchier. This was the first of many image changes, with Better the Devil came the first taste of sexy Kylie, suddenly for a guy it was ok to like Kylie, Kylie was hot! As the 90s kicked in Brit Pop a was taking over and pop began to struggle, and for first time so did Kylies sales, her private life was becoming more intresting to the tabloids; her relationships, her music, her looks were all tabloid fodder.The 4th album was a more pop/R&B mix with a mature feel, failed to hit the heights of the previous albums, her least successful to date, meant it was time for a change. Feeling very much controlled trapped and like puppet she decided it was time to end the magic with Stock Aitken & Waterman, a greatest hits was released and a first break in 6 years was

taken . Always a favourite to the tabloids they wrote her off stating her career was over. As any Kylie fan will know she hadn’t earned the name of comeback queen for no reason. In 1994 with a new label signing with Deconstruct, Kylie returned with the dance classic Confide In Me which stormed straight to number two in the charts with sales of 180k. The album gained hit reviews with praise for her transformation and creative control on the album including songwriting . Kylie had pulled it off and adapted securing herself a place in a current music trend with no room for pop, she further proved her adaptability with the sultry dark duet with Nick Cave, this soon became a cult classic. As the 90s progressed indie and britpop dominated, 1997 saw her 6th album, anticipation was high with reports of writing every track

“Kylie propelled back to the top of the charts in those famous gold hot pants with Spinning Around.” for first time, writing with James Dean Brad amongst other highly sought-after writers, but the album seemed to be jinxed and doomed from the start. Plagued with delays and a respectful title change from Impossible Princess to KYLIE. We were presented with indie Kylie; darker, moodier, more personal writing than we had experienced, all this proved too much for Kylies fan base and although credited as her best work the album failed to match previous heights. Again, the tabloids had a field day with this. Fast forward three years, another change in lable to Parlophine and bang, back to her roots and to what she does best. Kylie propelled back to the top of the charts in those famous gold hot pants with Spinning Around. Instantly it felt like she had never been away, hit after hit poured from her 7th album “Light Years” including legendary track “Your Disco Needs You” in my opinon the labels biggest mistake for not giving a full single release). The Kylie train was well underway again 2001 saw the release

of Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, it beat the likes of Michael Jackson and Victoria Beckham to secure number 1 in the UK and in 9 countries, it sold over 5 million and became her 1st top 10 in the USA in 13 years, and the 28th best seller of millennium. Kylie fever had hit and everyone was infected, the album followed a month later an is her best selling album to date . Kylie again had reinvented herself and attracted another new set of fans, another album and tour followed. It was 2005 when news broke she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, an immediate haitus began. After a 3 year break from the limelight to focus on her health Kylie made what is arguably her most welcome comeback of her career with electro sounding “X” and it was business as usual. 2010 brought us our 4th decade of Kylie and an 11th album, her best in my opinion, introduced with the instantly catchy beats and trademark Kylie pop on All The Lovers, hitting the headlines with her open support to the LGBT community in the video refusing to edit same sex couples from the film. The album hit the top though the follow up singles failed to match the higher chart peaks of before as the digital age of streaming began to rule the charts. For her 12th album Kylie signed with Roc Nation, working with the top producers of the time - Sia, MNEK. Pharrell. She brought us Kiss Me Once, which peaked at number 2 in the UK and top 30 stateside. Sales where poor and the tracks described as weak and of that of a bored artist. As a result she parted ways with the company feeling mismanaged an citing artistic differences. Four years later Kylie done what only she can, she returned to the top of the charts with her 14th album. This was a new country/pop sound and image. In a year where she turned 50(yes 50), celebrated 30 years since her first single, she delivered Golden, her most personal album to date with every track having a personal story behind it. Written, produced and recorded in Nashville with every track being written by Kylie. The lead track Dancing couldn’t have been a more perfectly fitting description of Kylie . It would be easy to forget some of the transformations of Kylie over her 30 year career, as some would say every album came with a new a different Kylie. It is this ability to grow, adapt and move with the times that has made her the world icon she is today. Who would have imagined that this tiny, unsophisticated Neighbours mechanic with the dodgy perm would go on to become one of the worlds most successful sexy talented pop stars. For her gay fanbase it was always love at first sight. WORDS: STUART HARPER

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INTERVIEW__ JACK TRACY

LOVE TRUMPS HATE

…in Out Artist’s Powerful New Ballad 46 | GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW__ JACK TRACY

Jack Tracy stars as a 30-something gay lawyer, fresh out of a break up and looking to rebuild his life in the web series, History. But while we patiently await the premier of the show’s third season (February 2019!), Jack is releasing new music including “Wherever You Are,” a powerful ballad that packs the punches. The song and its music video are intensely personal, graphic, and sexually explicit with Jack Tracy appearing nude and in bondage gear.

“I think mainstream representations of gay love often cut around the actual sex in order to make us more palatable to straight audiences,” he explains. “It was important for me to make a song that expressed love in the way I experience it.” We sat down with him in New York to learn more. YOU LITERALLY BARE ALL — YOUR SOUL AND YOUR NUDE BODY — IN THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR “WHEREVER YOU ARE.” I find that the more vulnerable I am in film, the better it is received. There is a really great power in vulnerability. More people connect to it. It’s also a matter of personal growth for me to push myself to do things that make me uncomfortable. YOU ALSO SHOW OFF SOME FETISH GEAR. I think a lot of people look at fetish and role play as kinky and transgressive, which it can be, but they forget that it is also extremely intimate. I really wanted to portray the intimacy of that kind of connection rather than just its salacious eroticism. Personally, I find losing myself in erotic fantasy more romantic than any candlelit dinner. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE SONG. WHAT INSPIRED IT? I was in a relationship where things were very picture perfect but under the surface, I longed for more. It became a love song to someone I hadn’t met yet. BUT “WHEREVER YOU ARE” IS MORE THAN A LOVE SONG. IT CARRIES A SIGNIFICANT MESSAGE. I can’t sing songs about love or being fierce or making money moves or being sickening or voguing or whatever when there are literally Nazis marching in the streets of my neighbourhood. YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY, SUPPOSEDLY ONE OF THE MOST GAY FRIENDLY CITIES ON EARTH. And that’s what’s shocking! Hatred is everywhere. My personal experiences have been slight, fortunately. Someone pulling their car over in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen to call me a

faggot. Someone following me down a street screaming at me that I’m responsible for babies in Jamaica having AIDs. What I have experienced personally is trivial compared to the fact that we quite literally have a new group of proud nazis — the “Proud Boys” — taking over. WHO ARE THESE PROUD BOYS? They are white nationalists who commit hate crimes to rise in status in the group. They are unabashedly anti-LGBT and have shown a particular bent towards intimidating trans people. They are no longer basement dwellers and internet trolls. They are proudly welcomed into civil society by the right. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN AN ACTIVIST? I’m hesitant to call myself an activist. The activists are on the ground doing what I consider to be the real work: organizing, marching, rallying, protesting. To be honest, I’m too sensitive for that kind of work. It infuriates me and consumes me to the point of not being helpful. I consider myself more of an alarmist. I’m merely shining a light on LGBTQ concerns through an art form. FOR SO LONG, YOUNG GAYS HAVE TAKEN THEIR RIGHTS FOR GRANTED. But that’s what we wanted, right? We wanted our young people to live in a world where they had equal rights, were respected, had role models, felt free to live openly...that’s what we wanted for them. SHOULD THEY BE CONCERNED THAT THEY MAY LOSE EVERYTHING THE GENERATION BEFORE THEM GAINED? Yes, because the problem with humanity is that we’re shit when it comes to acting preemptively. We’re good at reacting to tragedies when they happen but very bad at preventing bad things from happening in the first place. We have to feel it. That’s what I hope my work does… makes people feel the threat and take action.

BY MICHAEL NELSON

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ADVERTORIAL__

Our Staff Night Out... Trying out the cocktail masterclass at Revolucion de Cuba ON THURSDAY 20TH OF DECEMBER the GNI team had the pleasure of having the Christmas staff party in Revolucion de cuda (Belfast). I used to be quite the cocktail virgin, mediocre at all things related to mixology. Sure I drink cocktails, but the thought of throwing bottles around scares me like no other. Aside from putting fruit in my G&Ts, I have little experience behind the bar. I attended my first cocktail master class. Revolucion de cuda is really quite charming. Located in Belfast City Centre, the upstairs balcony area where the class took place was very different, small and inviting, well lit with light walls. Keeping an open mind isn’t hard when you’re escorted to the first floor to enjoy reception cocktails. After our cocktails, we were able to watch Mark (Bar tender) start the first drink on the menu. Mark explained everything at the bar station to us, from the tools we’d be using to when it’s appropriate to use different kinds of ice. We learned how to properly shake and stir a cocktail, before we learned the components to making a perfectly balanced concoction, but that’s a secret for you to discover yourself. One by one we had the chance to make our own cocktail, I myself had no idea which one to choose so I decided what looked to be an easy one, well I just liked the look of the glass. Ever heard of a Zombie? If not, it’s a drink that was named as such because of how badly it made someone feel the next day. My second cocktail of the evening, a Zombie is made of apricot brandy, fruit juices and lots of rum. In Mark’s demonstration, he tested the proof of the rum by lighting the drink on fire, which he put out with cinnamon. The wow factor was not lost, especially when I was able to put out the

fire of on our own drinks. The pressure was on from there on out. The GNI team had a ball from start to finish, we managed to have the craic with Mark and get to understand the difference between a standard cocktail and the Cuban way. No matter how grossly inexperienced you are behind the bar, you can learn to make a stellar cocktail with the guidance of a masterclass at Revolucion. There’s a cocktail for everyone, where even the pickiest drinkers will happily guzzle their handiwork. Once the cocktail class had finished we had the chance to sit back and enjoy the drinks while still enjoying the company of Mark too. It didn’t stop there…The dinner buffet was out of this world, and the variety of food was amazing, ALL for one price. If you are in the mood for Cuban food but don’t want to limit to one particular dish, this is the place to come. The buffet will offer you a wide variety of authentic Cuban food. The staff are very friendly. The facility is very clean also. Whether you decide to go alone, in a pair or bring the whole crew out, it’s sure to be grand old time. The staff are very friendly. The facility is very clean also. I will gladly be back for dinner again. Well done Revolucion from everyone at GNI. To book an evening of great craic with friends and family visit www. revoluciondecuba.com.

25-39 Arthur St, Belfast BT1 4GQ www.revoluciondecuba.com


MONEY:

Christmas may have wiped you out, here are some tips to get on track. PAGE 52

A BETTER YOU:

Warrior Godess Lisa Barwise offers some advice. PAGE 54

GOAL SETTING:

Setting targets and achieveable goals for the year ahead. PAGE 56

NEW BEGINNINGS


NEW BEGINNINGS__ A HEALTHY MIND AND BODY

A HEALTHY MIND AND BODY WORDS: ALEX LARMOUR

Self-actualization

desire to become the most that one can be

Esteem

respect, self-esteem, status, recognition, strength, freedom

Love and belonging friendship, intimacy, family, sense of connection

SAFETY needs

personal security, employment, resources, health, property

physiological needs air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothes, reproduction

MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS

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NEW BEGINNINGS__ A HEALTHY MIND AND BODY

HOW TO ATTAIN OR MAINTAIN a healthy mind and body when your favourite things in life are sarcasm, smoking, wine, and chicken madras? I’ve been talking to everyone I know lately about maintaining good mental and physical health in the midst of personal drama and an early midlife crisis. A combination of relationship breakdown, job dissatisfaction and and bank account as miserable as the weather has led me into some cliched choices: a new car, new clothes, haircut- check check and check. My only remaining alternative is to consider actual meaningful changes to my physical and emotional well-being. Social media is awash with ideas to tempt me; the magic coffee beans that promise a bum like J-Lo with arms like Madonna is my favourite so far. I work with medics and everyone knows the basics right? Eat less and move more! Simple! Or it would be if people didn’t comfort eat when sad or smoke to calm their nerves not to mention drinking too much gin. So what’s the solution? One of my best friends is a research scientist and life coach; she assured me it is possible to be happy healthy and well balanced although I’ve been been sceptical I decided to follow some of her advice. There are 4 basic ingredients apparently: Healthy socialisation It sounds like an NHS initiative but it appears the trick here is to recognise your personality type and find friends that meet your needs. So if ur a massive introvert make sure all of your extroverted friends and relatives know to give you time out to recharge. Likewise if having lots of company keeps you happy and secure then go for it! Do evening classes, join a book club ; find something you enjoy and meet people through that. What I’ve discovered with some new found time on my own is that I crave company more than I realised so if anyone fancies a drink - give me a shout!!! Being content in your surroundings This is not to say you need to live in a BT9 mansion, more that you are happy with what you have. To be fair that’s a bit of a no brainer, if you live in a pigsty it’s bound to affect your mood. So I thought I would have a look at the Scandinavian mood setter Hygge. They are happy being cold and wet so why am I not?? Anyway Hygge is meant to convey coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. That sounds pretty

awesome to me. So I’m currently under a massive blanket with a load of Ikea candles burning with a roaring fire in the background. I’m still not exactly jumping for joy but I guess it’s better than smoking in the back yard. Work life balance This is a tough one for me; not because I’m a driven workaholic with no time for a social life, quite the opposite

A combination of relationship breakdown, job dissatisfaction and and bank account as miserable as the weather has led me into some cliched choices: a new car, new clothes, haircut- check, check and check! sadly. My 9-5 existence is by and large a bore with the odd office drama which becomes tiresome pretty quickly. I guess most people are in the same boat. It’s possible to get very serious about Maslow hierarchy of needs to help live your best life (I’ve attached a photo). Self actualisation would be amazing however in the absence of drive or ambition the best I’ve come up with so far is - work to live and accept it for what it is. Of course I’m being encouraged to change jobs and find new challenges; I’ve no doubt I will and it will make me feel better, meeting new people and learning new things is great although it’s a short lived high. On that note though I would love a new job so please help! Food and Fitness I have a confession disclaimer; I am lamentably unable to eat any veg apart from peas. So all of my advice and research has fallen down a tad with this bit and to be fair I’m bored to tears with stories of super food salads and magic tea

bags. Some of that stuff probably does work and I imagine has its place. If u need a bit of motivation and a kick start - a stone to loose for a wedding or an ex you want to make jealous then fill ur boots and eat as many goji berries as you can stomach. The reality is though that you will be more than likely back to square one in six months. So what’s the option - officially - regular moderate exercise, sensible diet, little alcohol and absolutely no cigarettes is the answer. Personally I think that sounds like hell on Earth but I have found something that works for me and who knows it might work for someone else too. About 18 months ago I joined a gym; mostly out of envy as some of my friends and family were parkrunning and generally being smug and fit. I’m not ashamed to admit my only motivation was pure jealousy and it felt terrible!! Anyhow what I’ve realised in that time is that it is possible to enjoy exercising- bare with me though because the explanation isn’t what you think! It isn’t because of cute guys with no tops on or even the preposterous possibility that the exercise itself it’s fun; that’s totally absurd! I’ve discovered that running a 5k and fannying about on a few weight machines has generally improved my physical shape; it’s tedious and boring but it has helped a bit. The weirdest bit though is that I now associate it with something I want to do and only recently discovered why. For months and months, even when I haven’t wanted too, I’ve dragged myself off in the evenings and weekends , sometimes not doing very much and frequently wishing I was on my sofa with wine- so why was I there? The answer is embarrassing. I really really love the hot shower that I’m not paying electricity for and at the end I get a fresh nicotine patch. I realise it sounds crazy but it’s actually become a reward and comfort scenario, until recently that feeling was one I only got with wine or cigarettes. I never got before why people comfort eat as it’s just not my thing but it turns out it’s all to do with how it makes you feel and we all need a treat. I still really feel like a cigarette sometimes, most of the time if I’m honest!! So life coaches and many many articles on healthy bodies and spiritual enlightenment haven’t really gotten me too far. But I suspect it’s one of those things where the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the constituent parts. The outcome for me looks a little like this - find people you like who make you laugh as hard as you can, move your body as much as you can even when you don’t really feel like it and perhaps most importantly; if your having a month like mine and all you really want to do is stay in bed with Ben&Jerry then do exactly that. Just remember to get up again tomorrow, have a really hot shower, slap on a nicotine patch and try again.

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NEW BEGINNINGS__ MONEY

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NEW BEGINNINGS__ MONEY

Christmas killed the credit cards and bank balance So you shopped till you dropped, drank copious amounts of alcohol, ate as if you were pregnant and caught up with family and friends that you don’t get to see enough of. Its Boxing day and you wake to the realisation that your bank balance is in the minus and the credit cards you keep for a rainy day have taken a serious pounding, your finances are about as health as your liver right lol. Figures are hard to keep a track of as many people buy gifts over a series of months, typically it is estimated that your average adult spends around £550 each there though from personal experience with 3 siblings, 6 nephews/nieces and friends that I always buy a present for, it’s safe to say you can times that by around 3. Kill me now! We all have the best of intentions and love to set budgets though 80% of us in the U.K admit to over spending and having to resort to other methods to get those all important gifts such as loans, credit cards, overdrafts and even the dreaded pay day loans which in themselves lead to even more problems when it comes to trying to repay them. Most of us will still be feeling the effects of Christmas until the Spring time so if you can’t get things in order by the end of January what can we do?

ONE: Don’t bust a gut So you know what you owe, don’t add to your woes by paying back what you can’t afford remember you still need to live, eat etc. Creditors can be more understanding than you think if you are upfront with them, they can freeze interest and give you the time you need. If you have extra pay extra if you don’t, don’t stress. Online there are loads of tools you can use for budgeting e.g Citizens Advice and Money Saving Expert both have a FREE Calculator TWO: Prioritise If you’ve been struggling with debt for a while, you may find you owe all sorts of businesses, lenders and even government departments money. But you still only have one pot of disposable income to work with. You’ll probably have tried your best to pay all off them off as much and as quickly as you can, and you may not have managed it. But the consequences of paying some bills are far more significant than others. When you’ve got your bases covered, work out which debts cost you the most in fees and charges, including the interest rate and work to pay them off or move them to a cheaper facility as soon as possible. THREE: Manage your debt List every debt you have – including longterm loans like mortgages – alongside the cost of that debt. This should include interest rates, arrangement fees and ongoing charges. Don’t forget to include varying debts like overdrafts – still an expensive way to borrow money despite a recent crackdown on extortionate fees. Re-order them in terms of those costs and work to either pay off or move them to cheaper deals as soon as you can. Sadly that may not be as easy as it used to be. For years, those with unsecured debts on credit cards could play the switching game – bouncing outstanding debt from one interest

free, low fee transfer deal to another. FOUR: Get help Time and time again debt advisers say people don’t seek help early enough. They battle away in isolation, risking the health and wellbeing of themselves and their household, when there are solutions for even the most complex and indebted circumstances. There are options for every situation. These range from personalised advice on the above steps to debt consolidation, agreeing an individual voluntary arrangement with your creditors to pay off a reduced sum over a fixed length of time, or even writing off your debts altogether. The government is also aware of the mounting personal debt crisis and has announced new steps for those in financial trouble including a new ‘breathing space’ procedure and a Help to Save scheme. If you have debts that you are worried about – of any size - get in touch with a debt charity such as Stepchange. FIVE: Shore up your future Once your immediate money matter are back under control, it’s time to rebuild the foundations for your financial future. Check your current credit score with one of the many free-to-use services now available and, crucially, keep checking it. Do the same with your budget. With your debts under control or even cleared, build an emergency fund first of all that would cover your monthly costs for at least three months. That way, the risk of falling back into debt in 2019 and beyond shrinks dramatically. All being well this piece will have given you some tips and reassurance, no matter how bad things are there is always a remedy. Maybe come xmas 2019 we will be more prepared. Words by Daniel May

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NEW BEGINNINGS__ HOW TO BE A BETTER ME RESOLUTIONS SUCK, RIGHT? I’M already sick of hearing, NEW YEAR NEW ME, aren’t you? Arrghhhh .... every January the same cliches come out. New Year, New Me I’m back on the #cleaneating Back at the gym On the wagon. Being good. On the diet. Why do I think resolutions suck? Because they appear to be more like punishment than something good or good for you. They are all about deprivation and denying yourself which just feels bad, right? They say: “You have been a bad person, you need to atone for your badness. Here is a stick now beat yourself with it”. When really, you just enjoyed yourself over the festive season and from this you ate and drank more than usual, you consumed more calories, sugar and alcohol and now your body feels sluggish and bloated. That is the truth of it. Nothing more. You are not a bad person because of this and your ‘goodness’ as a human being is not being called into question. You just made some choices and now it is best for you to make different ones. And if you truly honest with yourself, when did you ever stick to it anyway? We never stick to something longterm that feels BAD... we are not wired that way. We are wired to seek pleasure and make choices that feel good. There are easier ways to build healthy habits.  Ways that feel good, ways that you will stick to. There are easier ways to lose weight and easier ways to get back on track. Easier ways to make choices that bring you closer to a healthy and happy mind and body. Simply put, you can easily become the best version of you. You see, the diet that worked for your friend may NOT work for you. The exercise that you are doing might be making you more stressed or hold onto that belly fat. That sweeping statement you made at the end of the day, all cosy in your bed and full of carbs is almost impossible to stick to the next morning at 6am when you are cold and hungry. So what should you do instead? Simple... Ask yourself, “What can I do today to move me to a healthier, happy me? What can I do to eat better or get stronger today?” Here are my 4 Top tips to work on a being a Better ME (not a beaten me) STOP SETTING UNREALISTIC GOALS I know I am NOT a morning person. I have NEVER in my WHOLE life worked out at 6am. I’m a fitness professional and I can admit that to you now. If I were to set a goal to EXERCISE at 6am, I am actually setting TWO goals and massive expectations for myself…. to FAIL. This is just too

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much. I know in my heart of hearts that it is almost impossible. So I would never set that goal. I just had to be honest with myself. And this is what you need to do too. If you are starting from ZERO on the exercise counter, you need to be real honest with where you are, know that it is OK to be a beginner and then set yourself up to actually do it (rather than just talk about it). Choose a time you are more likely to attend like Monday or Tuesdays at 6.15pm (these are my busiest class times) and go straight from work before you talk yourself out of it. Pack everything you need in a bag beforehand and tell your colleagues or friends you are going. All of this is more likely to make you turn up. Make the goal just turning up- not about how many inches or pounds you want to lose- and just focus on being consistent. Then when you get more consistent with exercise, you can add the ‘morning’ habit in later. STOP MAKING SWEEPING STATEMENTS AND EMPT Y PROMISES “Tomorrow I will wake up early, make a green smoothie, do some yoga and meditate and stick to my diet ALL day.” you declare to yourself while lying in your warm cosy bed, full of carbs before you go to sleep. All whilst knowing: You are not a morning person, can barely be on time for work, you hate vegetables and yoga for that matter, and sitting still makes you fall asleep. You are just going to feel like a failure, and probably end up eating a whole cake later to feel better. Just pick one thing. One habit. Something you can break down into smaller chunks. Which leads us onto point number 3… START SMALL What if I told you that just 4 minutes of exercise you can do from home would be enough for you to see massive increases in strength, fitness and shave off a few pounds? Would you do it? I mean, we can all manage 4 minutes of exercise a day, right? This is why I LOVE kettlebell training. I tell everyone I am a lazy healthy person. It’s true, I’m not someone who naturally enjoys exercise and I am sure I have exercise ADHD and hate doing the same things over and over. However, kettlebell training is the most effective, fun, fast and addictive form of training that takes half the time of your normal gym workout and starting with just 4 minutes a day for 3-4 times a week you will see MASSIVE results. Why? Kettlebell moves like the Kettlebell Swing and later the Kettlebell Snatch recruit up to 600 muscles meaning you burn more calories and get stronger and fitter faster. No more spending hours on boring treadmills or hurting your knees running on pavements. This addictive form of training will hook you in with 4 minute workouts. I promise you. Once you start with just 4 minutes, you’ll find yourself doing 10 minutes next and the results will be incredible. You can start with my 5 Best Beginners Workouts for Women with follow along videos here:

www.warriorgoddesskettlebelltraining.com/ kettlebellworkouts FOCUS ON STRONG My mission is to be the kick ass catalyst in the Transformation of Strong Women around the World - Mind, Body & Character. In my studio in East Belfast I seem to have attracted feisty females. My work with women is an effect of my love of Female Empowerment and not my hating of men- or any human being for that matter. I pride myself on my compassion and humanitarism. However, there is something I see time and again: Women who are strong characters at home or in the workplace suddenly losing this sense of strength when it comes to their body image, their sense of self and confidence of their bodies. We are culturally dictated that we must look a certain way, act a certain way and behave in a certain way as women, and this is not even taken into account gender bias, and the additional struggles faced by the gay and transgender communities. Somewhere amongst all this, we lost focus on something that we can do, regardless of gender. label and background, that will truly transform us as human beings to being better. We can focus on Strong. Not just physical strength but mental, emotional strength and strength of character. For me, my whole life changed when I started kettlebell training. First because I made a lifestyle shift from working in a corporate world to working in wellness full time but mostly it was because I realised I was becoming a Better Me. Not better than someone else or because the old me was not good enough. I was working every day at constant improvement and this challenge, this striving made me feel more alive. You see, when I lift heavy weights I feel like a super hero. When I challenge myself and push myself to go a bit heavier or try something new, I feel like nothing is impossible. When I see the changes appear in my muscles or in the mirror, I feel empowered and feel like I have control of my body. When I look in the mirror and see the inside me be reflected on the outside, I feel like the most ME I can feel- the most authentic and genuine me. I believe: “Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise tones the body.” When you focus on being strong, everything else takes care of itself. When you focus on getting stronger physically, your mental, emotional and spiritual strength has to come up to meet it. So my invitation to you is, focus on being stronger and let everything else take care of itself. If you want to focus on Strong, work on being the best version of yourself and find out more about joining the Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training Tribe, you can email me at hello@ warriorgoddesskettlebelltraining.com or visit our website www.warriorgoddesskettlebelltraining.com. Lisa Barwise Wellness Alchemist Creator of Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training


NEW BEGINNINGS__ HOW TO BE A BETTER ME

Lisa Barwise is the creator of Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training, author of the Warrior Goddess Body Book, The 28 Day Warrior Goddess Body Programme and The Wheel of the Year Warrior Goddess Body. She has delivered personal training results to celebrities, athletes and women in their 40s and beyond through teaching more than 1000 kettlebell classes. Labelled as the “fairy ninja� to her Tribe, she delivers 14 classes a week in her studio based in Belfast, monthly workshops, beginners programmes twice a week and has more than 25,000 followers online or via social media.

HOW TO BE A BETTER ME GNIMAG.COM | 55


NEW BEGINNINGS__ GOAL SETTING

Ok, so it’s February already, January was a blurry month filled with moments of wishing you still had money in your account and living on spagetti hoops and toast - or was that just me? In that funny wee no-mans-land gap between Christmas and the new year I tend to get terribly sentimental, maybe it’s the comedown from the booze and Christmas parties. I often find myself reflecting on my life and the year gone by during this time. I’ll promise myself that there is a better version of me out there if I only seized the opportunity to find him, this usually means I’ll make those ill fated resoultuions that will literally be lucky to last. This year was going to be different! I wasn’t going to set unrealistic “new year’s resolutions”. Instead I set myself goals that I had a year to achieve. I’m a proflific list writer, and I sat down at the dining table armed with a pen and paper (very old school I know). And this is my first tip for you; write your goals down and stick them up somewhere you’ll see them every day. I’m often guilty of gliding through life not really achieving anything new or doing anything different, but I LOVE striking things off a list - and this year that’s just what I’m doing, I’m striking off each and every one of my goals. I tried to take a step back and look at my life as an outsider, I praised myself on what I had achieved and overcome, and I looked at things I could do to change my world just that little bit for the better, hopefully not just for me but for those close to me. I broke my goal list down into five different sections: > Family > Financial > Personal Development > Work > Home I’ll take a few minutes to go through my thought process and goals for each section... FAMILY I’m lucky enough to have an amazing family, and like most busy people I often don’t spend enough time enjoying it. I’m not just talking about my immediate family (husband, kids and ex-wife), but those familiy members who I seem to have sidelined as the years have

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gone on - through no fault of theirs, my life just took me over. So my family goal is to visit one family member each month, someone that I haven’t seen in a while. Hopefully allowing them and me to re-connect and rebuild a relationship. FINANCIAL Now, I’ve never ever been much of a saver. My money seems to go in one hand and stright out the other. I’m lucky enough that I don’t really have many bills, so I’m well aware that most of my money gets pissed up the wall in many of my favourite drinking establishments. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy this, or that I’m going to completely stop it, but I do need to be more financially aware, until recently I couldn’t have told you the price of a pint because I never really cared. I’ve set myself a financial goal, a savings target that I want to hit by the end of November. Initially I set myself quite a high target that would have seen me sitting in for months, but on reflection I realised that this was doomed for failure, so upon reflection I lowered this to an amount that would probably just mean missing out on a night out once a month.

WORK As I’ve said earlier, I’m prone to drifting through life. Again, I wanted to set realistic goals for my work life. I sat with my manager at the start of the year and we discussed where we wanted to take the business. We set some small yet achievable goals which will push the business forward and hopefully make it better for all of those who work with us. I also set myself a goal of setting up another small residual business. I get bored easily and at the minute I split myself between two different roles, I think that a third will complete my week - keeping it varied. HOME This was split in two for me; my home as a place, and my life within the home. As a building I set myself a couple of improvment goals for it, again things that I feel will be achievable by the end of 2019. As boring as it sounds I’m excited about getting a new front door this year - the one that’s there has been there since I moved in ten years ago, it’s time it went. My other goal for the house is to tidy up the front “garden”, it’s literally 5’ x 14’ so it really shouldn’t take much - but again it’s one of those things I’ve neglected for years.

My other financial target was to keep a close eye on my credit rating, and to teach and lead by example for my daughter who just turned 18. I want to demonstrate to her how important keeping a clean score is for how we all live today. And I can show her by historical example how easy it was for me to watch my score plumet.

In terms of my homelife, I just want to take time to smell the coffee and enjoy the homelife I have. My goal is to re-introduce things that my husband and I used to do, small things to show each other that we’re thinking about them.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT I’m 41 years old, and I figured if I don’t start to learn some new skills I never will. So my personal development goals were to learn two new skills this year. Things that will take some practice and trial and error to master. So, this year I’ve decided to learn calligraphy and candle making - both of which I think I’ll enjoy.

And that’s it, those are my intentions, or my goals for this year. All very small but hopefully achievable. With my list pinned to the kitchen wall I’ve already one thing ticked off.

My other personal development goal this year is to give something back. I want to offer some of my time each week to a charity. It’s time that I’d spend procrastinating on my sofa, so it might as well be doing something good for those less fortunate.

___________________

Set yourself some goals this year, realistic ones that will make you feel better about yourself when you hit them. Things that will fill you with a sense of pride and achievement, as you can see from mine, not all of them involve money, and for many of you none of your goals are faniancial and are more to do with enjoying the life we create for ourselves.


NEW BEGINNINGS__ GOAL SETTING

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NEW BEGINNINGS__ WHAT IT MEANS FOR ME TO BE LGBT IN 2019

WHAT IT MEANS FOR ME TO BE LGBT IN 2019 Joe Walsh, Family Support Officer, The Rainbow Project MY NAME IS JOE WALSH and I am fortunate enough to work for The Rainbow Project as the Family support Officer since May of last year. I am 43 years old and live with my partner of 20 years in Newtownards with our 6 cats. Yes, I am one of those people fitting neatly into parts of the stereotype. Working in the LGBT+ sector has been a massive privilege as well as an eye opener. I have met so many amazing people and been on a journey of possibilities that I never considered possible in Northern Ireland. For example as the Family Support Officer I work with same sex families, when I see two men working together to raise a child I feel admiration and a little part of me also feels like I have missed out on having a family. Growing up in Northern Ireland I internalised a lot of the hatred and Queerphobia and gave up on the idea of having a family of my own long ago. However, I do get to help others out and that is what I love about working in the LGBT+ community. My outlook changes from day to day about being gay and living in Northern Ireland. With the

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Stormont assembly being as useful as a perforated condom it feels very stagnant where the law is concerned, add to that a sprinkling of brexit fear and it ’s hard to see progress in this country any time soon and no progress means no equality for my community or for me. Once again we are at the bottom of the list of priorities. On the one hand there is a great sense of frustration at the system and on the other a feeling that “at least we have come this far”. When I read what is going on in other places across the world like Chechnya I feel helpless in the face of it but at least that kind of persecution

is not happening here and that means in some small way we can help. I come from a time before social media and even mobile phones were something everyone had, I remember having to go out to “gay” bars to meet people, the excitement in your stomach of meeting someone face to face and having to flirt to his face without any emoji, that was bravery. These days if you flirt with someone online they can just ignore you and you can pretend it never happened. Delete, delete, delete. I met my current partner in the Parliament bar in 1999, I was a computer engineer and

“Growing up in Northern Ireland I internalised a lot of the hatred and Queerphobia and gave up on the idea of having a family of my own long ago.”

he was a floor manager in a well known Belfast establishment. We bonded over the millennium bug and the end of the world, both of which never happened thankfully. Or did they? It would explain a lot that we are experiencing a glitch in the Matrix simulation! Over the years I have watched the LGBT+ community grow in confidence, every PRIDE a bigger and bigger success, trans awareness and LGBT adoption, civil partnership and equality inching closer, it’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride and we’re still on it. I have lived through 30 years of the troubles and 4 Ben’s on Eastenders, I think it’s time for some peace and continuity in society. I only hope that the next stop is marriage equality and a moving on to real equality. As my role model Wonder Woman often says, Love is the greatest power, there is nothing stronger. That means that fear is on the ropes and victory is just around the corner. Joe Walsh


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FASHION:

Andrew Christian showcase their latest underwear range. PAGE 62

FACE THERAPY:

We went along as Geri and Lisa opened their very own salon. PAGE 84

COMING OUT:

Adam tells us his story and how his was more of an evolution. PAGE 98

LIFE & STYLE


FASHION__ ANDREW CHRISTIAN

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FASHION__ ANDREW CHRISTIAN

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LOVE SPECTRUM There is so much to love about our Project Love Collection. When you purchase anything in our Project Love Collection, you have the option of paying-it-forward by giving a $1 donation to our community... and YOU get to choose where your money goes from ten worthy LGBTQ+ charitable organizations. With your help, we have donated over $100,000 to the various CHARITIES WE SUPPORT. In bright colors in our limited edition fabric, this brand new pair features bold contrast trim and stitching and our signature slimming waistband with LOVE written all over it. And with our Almost Naked, anatomically correct pouch, you are going to feel as amazing as you’ll look!

Your package will fall in naturally for a truly unique, enjoyable wearing experience. We’ve virtually eliminated sticking, squashing, re-adjusting, sweating and chafing. There’s a spectrum for sexy, and you are really high on it. You’re going to look amazing in our Love Spectrum Brief! MODELS: Arad, Walker, Nick Masc, Beaux Banks EAT ME BRIEF Be the snack that you are in our brand new Eat Me Brief! In a limited edition food print fabric, this is one super fun pair of briefs. It features our signature slimming Andrew Christian waistband and bright white contrast trim! It also features our bestselling Almost Naked pouch, anatomically designed to give you the most enjoyable wearing experience. There’ll be zero sticking, squashing, re-adjusting, sweating or chafing. You’re going to love wearing this amazing new style! We know we’ll love seeing you in it! MODELS: Cory Z MIDNIGHT ANIMAL Midnight Animal is what they call you. You are a creature of the night, and you look damn good. We made this brand new brief just for you. In limited edition print in a sporty, breathable mesh, each of our Midnight Animal Mesh Briefs features our signature slimming Andrew Christian waistband and black contrast details. MODELS: Nick Masc

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MEET THE ARTIST__ INDIA LEE REED

MEET THE ARTIST

INDIA LEE REED WHAT SORT OF ART DO YOU CREATE? I create content for YouTube and Instagram. I like to put together various styles inspired by people, art, fashion etc… to create my own unique fashion and makeup looks. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO THIS? WAS IT A JOURNEY THROUGH DIFFERENT CREATIVE INDUSTRIES? I would always use to get asked about my sense of style, like what inspired me to dress the way I dressed, or where I got certain clothes from which motivated me to start my own YouTube and Instagram pages. However, it wasn’t until a few years after I initially had the idea to start that I actually did it. What gave me the push to finally start was the many failed attempts to progress in the job I had. At the time I couldn’t see why I wasn’t getting the promotion but now, it’s clear to me that it wasn’t what I was meant to do, this, creating content, this is what I was meant to do. I have now been actively creating content for almost two years (two years on Christmas) and I have had the best two years of my life. Working with some cool brands, meeting awesome people and generally being able to share my creativity with the world. It also means so much to me that people are positively accepting my creations. I feel like sometimes the worst element of being creative is being afraid of not being accepted, which can ultimately hold people back from creating. WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY CREATING? My life is so hectic at the moment between doing a masters and working full time and sitting down focusing my energy on creating a look is something I find destressing, it’s like my kind of yoga. I love seeing my ideas come to life. When I’m styling or doing makeup I don’t think too much before I just let my creativity flow and hope for the best. Sometimes I have huge fails but it’s okay because I learn from them, I learn how to better myself. WHAT ARE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS? Instagram - @indialee_reed Twitter - @Indialee_reed Youtube – Youtube/Majestic.Glitter Blog www.indialeereed.blog

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STUFF

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MEET THE STAR__ SASHA FIERCE

MEET THE STAR

HOW AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST GET INTO DRAG ? Well it all started as a joke to be honest, I had went to the Sunday Bingo Show in the Union Street Bar for few years and a couple of regulars had left the show, I had put a status on Facebook saying now that the girls had left did that mean I would get a full time slot. The next thing you know Tina Leggs Tantrum had sent me a message on Facebook to say I was working that Sunday at the show. I was in complete shock as I was only messing around. I will never forget my first night performing, the room was filled with all of my friends and family and the atmosphere was out of this world. I had two dancers for my first number and I did comedy and sang live for my second. This was five and a half years ago and what had started as a joke turned into a dream come true for me. WHERE HAVE YOU WORKED? I have worked for The Kremlin and Union Street Bar for nearly five years which is the biggest gay venue in northern Ireland so I am so proud that I work there. You can see me perform at Cabargay, Trudy’s Illusion, and Glitzy’s TGIF, keep an eye on Kremlin and Union Streets social media to see when I am at these different shows. I have my own show in The Union Street Bar every Sunday night after Cabargay, the show is called Cabargay After Hours. I have also performed at many private venues for private functions. WHO HAVE BEEN THE BEST PEOPLE TO WORK WITH TO DATE? There have been so many people I love working with and have done for years but first and foremost I will have to say Tina Leggs Tantrum. We have worked together from the very start of my journey as she offered me the chance to start my drag career off. Tina is a legend and a funny bitch. I love working with my dancer and friend Kirstie Ellis. She helps me choreograph dance routines for shows, competitions etc and without her I would be lost. Pauletta Stilletta is like my second sister we are very close. We have performed together on different performances for our shows and we just have so much love for each other and what each other do as artists. She is a wonderful dancer. Trudy Scrumptious is someone I really look up to as a performer and again I have worked with Trudy over the years and shes an inspiration to not only myself but to so many young baby drag queens. Trudy has also given me fantastic opportunities over the years and I am so grateful for them. Glitzy Glamour just like myself is a live singing Queen and to me her pipes are incredible. She has invited me to perform with her a number of times and we always have a blast. WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO WORK WITH? I absolutely love working with my local queens but I would love to work with some of the Dublin Queens: Davina Devine, Bunny, Regina George etc. I watch all of them of Instagram etc to keep up with their shows and they just look like so much fun. TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU... Well I am a 27 year old man who works in a Financial Institution 9/5 during the week and a fabulous drag queen at the weekends. I have entered competitions and got placed 3rd and then 2nd and I never gave up. I kept working hard and then I won Local LGBT Entertainer Of The Year at this years GNI MAG awards. I honestly have never been more shocked or happy in my life. It really was such an honour to be nominated but to win was out of this world. The public voted for this award and they voted me as their winner, it doesn’t get better than that. 2019 is shaping up to be a busy year already as I will be heading into the studio to record some music in the hopes that I will be able to film a music video to release on social media. Keep your eyes peeled for Sasha Fierce!! Lastly I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been apart of my journey. Find me on social media... my Instagram username is garybuhhh so check it out and give me a follow. If you type Gary Duffy (Sasha Fierce) into Facebook you will find me.

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2A Grand Parade, Belfast, BT5 5HH t: 028 9543 5846 e: kellsbarbershop@gmail.com


COLUMN__ GAVIN RENNICK

Here today...

Gavin Rennick

F**k you… I say this in relation to my eternal quest to get the best anti-aging, the hottest trends or fads on the high street or simply from the click/swipe/touch/blow/whistle whatever way you choose to spend your readdies, I’m here to help point you in the right direction with what is hot in the UK/Ireland right now. To keep up with what’s the latest or who’s the hottest give this a read for your bi monthly does of realness. You can also follow my Instagram for makeup’s, makeovers a vlog or two at @grennickni. So, thank you…… next!!! @grennickni

Any fan of fashion is a fan of Moschino, their quirky yet out there take on pop culture really is refreshing, it does however firmly confirm the theory I had heard that fashion, like many other industries really does RECYCLE material (mainly the wrong type of material if you catch my drift #responsiblefashion). But I have to say that this bag for man or woman really knocks it out of the park for me as this bag made me look into the history of fashion, I guess that’s what fashion is all about; provoking a reaction so thank you Moschino!! This bag is called #MOSCHINOEYES Designed by CD Jeremy Scott. Im really looking forward to what comes next from these guys!

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If you’re on your travels this year or simply want to be down with the kids, this is the crossover I predict is going to be massive this year. I recon every single brand will be creating there own. I love this simply because I’m an Adidas junkie and it goes with everything!!! Plus if you’re clubbing and you have a crossover on, your more likely to get pulled (get it?) - you’ll get pulled because your wearing something someone can pull you by LOL....

So I really love anything that comes with a quirk or hidden meaning and I came across GUCCI’s new collab with Disney!!! I know right, does anyone else acknowledge what’s happening here with these Luxury Companies or is it just me??? I mean, talk about creating expensive taste with kids nowadays. However I think the collection is stellar and a great way to mix the revenue streams of both companies by creating a collection that co-insides with the animal of the Chinese new year! I would personally love a spice girls collab especially with the GUCCI trainer which is now ever so accessible to the teen generation... back to what I was saying, but everyone would see the Ginger Spice Platform Spice Girls GUCCI Trainer… Geri fans I know you want this!!!


COLUMN__ GAVIN RENNICK

JANUARY Thank You FEBRUARY Next So my thank you’s in January were Coconut body butter from the body shop!!!! Affordable and yummy…. keep you smelling good.

February next... pay check, that was a long ass month!

February next... Bodyguard at the Grand Opera House - make sure you get your tickets.

January, I do thank you, but can we have no more of the January sales I just want it to start being sunny again!!!

January Thank you for the new year but dry January isn’t for all… can’t wait until February when all my friends can have a drink again, it’s been one lonely month….

Clipper Tea thank you in January but please release something new that I can drink 3 boxes of while I cry my way though the last season of Schitts Creek. I’m so excited because the end of January / start of February we get season 5! So im super buzzed for that… and if you haven’t checked it out you really are missing a lot…

Oh yea I’m not a GOT fan so NEXT!!!!

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FOOD__ TEN SQUARE HOTEL

TEN SQUARE HOTEL

We tried a city break in our own town. THIS EDITIONS REVIEW TAKES US slap bang in the City Centre to the fabulously opulent Ten Square Hotel. I have lived just outside Belfast now for around 3 years therefore I don’t often indulge in the finer things that are literally on my door step. With new rooms, a trendy loft bar and Jospers Restaurant undergoing a refurbishment now is the perfect time to visit the hotel. The day is Wednesday 23rd January and like any other day I head to work only, I’m not doing a typical 9-5 as the POA is finish at 4pm and head off to chill in Ten Square. On arrival I was greeted by their super friendly front of house staff. Check in was smooth and effortless as you would expect, before getting my key I was offered an array of extra’s such as wake up call’s, taxi service and even asked what my favourite newspaper was as they would provide a copy the following morning, little things like this really stick out. So off to the Executive 4th floor we go, I recall having a walk around the new rooms with the Marketing Director approx 12-18 months ago and I must say the place is in the same pristine condition. Once in our room, the first thing I notice was a plate of chocolates and a welcome note from the management, this was such a lovely gesture and really made us feel special. The room itself was immaculate, so spacious with all the typical mod cons. The Bed which looked to be a King or possibly Super King was devine, I’m unsure if it had even been slept in as it was perfectly firm. It put my new bed to shame, the bed alone would make me book again. The view is also something not to be sniffed at, from the floor to ceiling door/ window you have the perfect view over city hall it was strangely relaxing to sit and watch people walking round while we sat and enjoyed a glass of Prosecco. We spend around an hour chilling in the room before heading downstairs to dine. With works nearing completion of Jospers dinner was being served from the Linen Bar on the first floor. The space is multi-functional, ideal as a back up dinning space though perfect for private functions. We were seated and asked what we would like to drink before looking at the food offerings, with the prosecco kicking in and us heading out to a concert we decided to order a bottle of wine, the list had so many options though as I have just returned from South Africa and the blues setting in we ordered a beautiful South African

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Sauvignon Blanc. On inspection of the menu it was exactly what I like to see, around half a dozen starters, 8 mains and 5 desert choices, by no means complicated which screams to me that the food will be fresh to order. There is nothing worse than being presented with a menu with too many choices. This Menu had something for everyone, and a lot of the dishes were GF. To start we decided to share 2 dishes, the first was the Garlic Mushrooms, these were delicious, cooked perfectly served with a Lemon Aioli, the portion was massive, I didn’t count though at glance I would say there was at least 20. The next dish was the Brie Bruschetta, as a cheese lover this called out to me from the menu. I can only describe this as a glamorous big sister to cheese on toast. The bread was perfectly crisp and the rich creamy Brie oozed over the top of it, it was simply to die for. I must also mention the Pesto it was so moreish, this was served with a side salad topped with a splash of balsamic Vinegar, yum! Both dishes were exquisite though if they aren’t to your taste alternative options were Soup, Devilled Chicken Wings which sounded awesome and Prawn Cocktail to name a few.

and super sticky, just want the doctor ordered on a cold evening. This comes with vanilla pod icecream though we decided to change things up and ordered it with Honey Comb ice-cream instead Jospers is due to be open by Valentine’s Day, to book or see the menu visit www.tensquare.co.uk/ Bar-Dining/Jospers/ With around an hour to kill before heading out we decided to retreat to our room, we even took the remainder of the wine with us, we chilled on the bed to allow the scrummy food to digest. When we came back to the hotel later that evening the plan was to have a drink in their new loft Bar though with the realisation of work in the morning, we thought it best to call it a night, I think we chatted briefly then both conked out. I am pondering how I can sneak one of the beds out without someone noticing lol, they really are so comfortable. I woke with a slight fuzzy head from the copious amount of alcohol though the perfect cure was waiting on me, no not a hair of the dog I’m talking about the fabulous walk in shower, I know the room is supposed to be for 2 people, but you could easily fit 10 in it.

After a short breather it was time to for our mains. I usually go straight for the steak as no matter how often I attempt to cook one at home it never tastes the same as what a restaurant prepares. The Main choices included 3 steak options though on this occasion I decided to order the Lamb Shank, OMG it was melt in the mouth, tasted as if it had been slow cooking for hours. This was served with a generous helping of mash potatoes, baby Broccoli and a jug of rich Meat Jus, I could of drank it LOL. My guest went with my usual stunt and ordered the Steak, a lovely Sirloin cooked medium, I did get a sneaky taste and it was lovely. This was served with roast tomato choice of side and sauce.

Our stay was short lived having checked out at 10.30am though it will certainly be memorable, from the staff to the food and bed I couldn’t fault anything. I will be back in a few weeks as I am keen to see the new Jospers Restaurant.

The menu also consisted of Fish, Pasta and Chicken dishes, definitely something to please even the fussiest of pallets.

Thanks to the Management, Staff Chef and Servers

By this stage we were bursting at the seems lol though our attentive server managed to talk us into ordering from the Sweet Menu. There were a few different options though the Sticky Toffee pudding was jumping out of the page, so we decided to order this to Share. It was pipping hot

A typical stay for 2 people including breakfast is around £120, bargain if you ask me and dinning wise you can from as little as £13 for 2 courses from their early bird menu The service, food and surroundings at Ten Square Hotel was faultless, we couldn’t recommend it more, whether it be for meeting with family/friends, treating someone special over Valentines or for the elusive first date it will impress on every level

Words by Daniel May


FOOD__ TEN SQUARE HOTEL

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LIFESTYLE__ HOMES

Clear the clutter. Tidy home, tidy mind. We take a look at some de-cluttering storage options. Chirstmas seems a lifetime ago. You’ve put away your pressies and packed away the tree and decorations. The madness has passed and now you can take a look around you and decide what you really need on show in your home. Now, I’m not saying chuck out everything and leave your place with no personality, but there’s a fine line between decor and clutter balance it carefully. I know for me that there are things I want to keep but I don’t really need them out on display. I work on the rule that if it has sentimental value to me I’ll keep it, but I don’t need to keep it on show. Take a look around your home, do you really need 7 candles in one room - have you ever actually lit any of them? Do you really need all those flowers and artistic twigs scattered about? Are your walls closing in on you because you think every picture you buy should go up? Remove some of the candles, strip back the twigs, and rotate the pictures - if you put a new one up then take an old one down. Look at places in your house for putting the stuff you want to keep but don’t need to have on show. Think smartly about your storage, there’s no point in just bunging everything mindlessley into the cubby hole under the stairs or into the attic, it will literally just gather there for years. Look at investing in some storage solutions, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Vaccumm pack bags are excellent for shrinking down the bulk of your winter wardrobe and thick duvets you hopefully wont need in the warmer months ahead. Store pictures and photos in underbed storage containers - they are perfect for this, they’re slim and usually come on wheels so you can pull them out easily when you need to.

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Cast your eye around for other things lying about. If your house is anything like mine then it wont take long for shoes to take over! Invest in a shoe rack for your room or out of the way storage area, and for your hall or wherever your shoes tend to gradually congregate look at some closed shoe storage so that your shoes don’t actually become part of your decor. Same thing goes for coats, it may have cost you hundred of pounds but do you really want it on show for everyone to see when you’re not wearing it - look for some cheap over door hangers - literally no installation necessary and you can hide your coats in rooms you don’t use much or on the back of your cupboard doors. Your kitchen can become a magnet for clutter, those benches don’t take long to gather stuff. De-clutter those counter-tops, do you really use that panini maker or spiraliser that much? Put them away, clear out your cupboards, organise them and make room for easy access to those bigger kitchen gadgets you don’t actually use that much. If you’ve no built in storage in your bathroom you could get some stylish wall shelving for your morning routine products, and for all the ugly cleaning materials maybe invoest in an under sink cupboard - these are easly found in the budget shops up and down the country. Generally, look for a home for everything. Get some storage boxes and give everything it’s place. Label boxes so you know what’s in them - it’ll make your life easier. Then just sit back and admire your clutter free home.


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TRAVEL__ NICE

Fantastic nightlife, romantic hotels & a foodies dream

NICE

NOW IF YOU ARE ANYTHING like me and attended High School in Northern

foot in this once small port it will be very clear to see that it has a very mixed

even once or twice (late 90s). As a student my first experiences of Gay France

type of mixes when taking any short break. One of my favourite parts of Nice

Ireland then you are highly likely to have been to France on a School trip maybe

was of cheap hostels, smoke filled bars, and new foods and often rushed visits

to specific tourist attractions etc. As you will surely agree this will very often

than not lead to very poor memories of any destinations you visited at this time. It is for these very reasons and for the purposes of this article I would therefore ask you all to completely forget those high school and often escorted coach

tours to France and beyond and open your heart, mind and most importantly your wallet to historic NICE.

Depending on the depths of your wallet or purse for your travel plans in 2019

you will be very glad to learn that Nice is connected to Ireland, north and south, by numerous airlines from Aer Lingus, Flybe, BA and Air France as well as

maybe the option of high speed train connections from the likes of Paris etc. To get the true NICE experience I would highly recommend going Business Class and living the dream from the minute you board your flight or upgrade your

mixed vibe where old meets new, and personally this has to be one of the best

has to be the beautiful Castel Plage area (Aka the Beach). Of course the beach

is only one aspect of any destination and so you must explore and stroll along

the Promenade des Anglais and soak in the French culture and the resorts art deco atmosphere before exploring the five star restaurants tempting you with out of this world cuisine day or night.

When I travel I always like to check out the best LGBT friendly spots or Man on Man action venues and NICE has some excellent spots for you to simply

indulge yourself with. Like any gay friendly tourist destination you will find a mix of high class bars and clubs mixed with some cheaper smaller alternatives

as well as some fabulous unique spots which will often host certain clientele

events such as fetish etc. Eagle Nice cruising bar has to be one of my top picks

as it offers friendly staff/clientele mixed with the excitement of the dark rooms. I promise you will go back and back and yup you guessed it back some more.

hotel room to a stunning suite.

In more recent years Nice has rapidly gone up in the LGBT rankings and is now

Nice is known as the capital of the French Rivera and from the moment you set

Nice also has offers fantastic LGBT annual events such as its Gay Pride and

82 | GNIMAG.COM

ranked 2nd most LGBT friendly destination in France just behind in Gay Paris.


TRAVEL__ NICE the new Queernaval carnival which I highly

code is open 7 days a week and offers theme

recommend you check out online. If nothing

nights.

else Nice really will inspire you to show you how colourful and wonderful life in the sun is

Morgan Club is again a gay cruise bar and

romantic old cobbled back streets you will for

is an anything goes venue and not for the

and with its brightly faded buildings and its

sex club in the very heart of Nice. This truly

sure become overwhelmed by the local people

faint hearted. The venue like Le Code offers

and international tourists that descend on this

facilities with all kinds of tools and toys with

gay mecca. LGBT friendly hotels are plentiful

some stunning Go Go male dancers and much

but like many gay customers I would suggest

much more.

you stay at the Le Negresco Hotel which really brings the atmosphere and style you would

Now any break to a coastal resort is never the

that it sit on the seafront is of course an added

beach and thankfully St Laurent – Eze Nice

expect of such a classical resort and the fact

same if it doesn’t have a Gay Beach or nudist

bonus.

will welcome you with open arms. This has to be one of the most popular beaches in the Cote

Nice Pink Parade AKA Gay Pride takes place

D’Azur for the LGBT tourist. I must stress

every year on the ultra-stunning Cote D’Azur

that it does not offer many services and can

and you defiantly do not want to miss it. The

be pretty tricky to reach but I promise you it

event usually happens towards the end of July

will be well worth the trek. Make sure you go

to early August and has been attracting huge

prepared for your adventure though and take

crowds since 2004. The parade itself actually

any drinks and snacks with you. As you can

starts late in the afternoon from 5pm with the

imagine Summer time is the busiest time and

ever colourful meeting point at Barla/St Jean-

you can find the beach by taking the 100bus

Baptiste. This really is one of the best Gay

Prides in Europe and usually ramps up when

from Nice to Monaco stopping at St Laurent

and following the trail for Castelleret Interieur

the parade returns from its journey along the beach back down to the grounds

to the beach.

Drink party starts with first class Dj sets, dancers and other various shows which

Hopefully by now you might be thinking of Nice as a possible Holidays

of the Museum Of Modern and Contemporary Art. This is where the Pink perform well into the wee hours of the morning.

Nice as I mentioned before has many different main stream bars and clubs and

the Eagle bar is for sure one that I recommend but it is only fair that I highlight

destination for 2019 and if not then surely it has to be on the Gay Pride list

of destinations to go and see. My promise is that it is waiting for you to enjoy, explore, relax and simply be yourself. Enjoy.

others for the many tastes that the LGBT tourist lusts for. Le Code is very much a hard-core cruise club and playground for men only. You will find the

venue has dark rooms, private cabins, slings, even a prison to name a few. Le

GNIMAG.COM | 83


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GNI WEDDINGS_

COLIN & TIM

Colin from County Armagh and Tim from Essex met by chance while visiting Dublin, love didn’t instanly fourish but a few months later another chance encounter reignited the flame. Originally having their relationship celebrated by a civil partnership in 2008, they decided to take advantage of the equal marriage option in the Republic of Ireland and were married in 2018. 90 | GNIMAG.COM


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ COLIN & TIM

GNIMAG.COM | 91


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GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ COLIN & TIM

TIM AND I MET IN DUBLIN back in 1998 I was living and working there while Tim was visiting for the weekend with a friend. Tim hails from Essex England while I come from Co. Armagh. I was single for a year or more when Tim and I met, and Tim was single for a 2/3 years prior to meeting me. We met outside a bar in Dublin we were both with our own groups of friends, we simply started chatting, Tim was beside me and began to speak to me, but I didn’t ever think he would be attracted to me. We departed company without exchanging details or numbers.

Several months later in 1998 an old friend of mine was out in Dublin when he bumped into Tim and his friends again. Tim was back in Dublin for another weekend break. Following this meeting Tim questioned my friend about me and after a few weeks Tim obtained my phone number. To my surprise he called me one day out of the blue saying, “ Hi I’m Tim from Essex do you remember me”. To be honest I was so excited to hear his voice but played it down as I didn’t want to sound uncool. Long story short we chatted for two hours that day and the rest is history as they say.

We had a civil partnership in 2008 here in NI this was a small intimate ceremony followed by a big party that night for our family friend’s and work colleagues. On this occasion it was Tim that proposed to me...via Text!! He text me “Mr Morgan will you marry me”. I replied with one word “yes”. As civil partnerships are the only option available to same sexed couples in NI this was the course we took. When the legislation changed in the republic of Ireland in 2016 we both discussed the fact that we would really love to have a proper wedding ceremony and this time a little more lavish that out first ceremony.

GNIMAG.COM | 93


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GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ COLIN & TIM

We got married on 14th sept 2018 at Tranquillity House between Omeath and Carlingford. The venue is spectacular with breath taking views of Carlingford lough. We were married outside under a stretched tent by a wonderful celebrant called Lorraine McCarthy. Our food was provided by McAteers Food House Dundalk and was superb on the day. We had a champagne reception and canopies after the ceremony before the main meal was served that evening. We had a live band called Kind Sized Jacks and a DJ that entertained the crowd until the early hours. We has a minimoon in Dublin after our wedding as Dublin has a special place in both of our hearts. We are going to India

in January 2019 and during this trip we are spening a week volunteering with the street children of new Delhi. We are both so excited to go on this trip as this has been a life time in the planning and top of our bucket list. We are both very sociable love similar music and movies however have some differences. I love musical theatre, singing/dancing while also very interested in yoga and meditation. Tim loves TV and particularly reality TV programmes. We both enjoy the outdoors e.g. walking along the coast or in the forest etc. We both adore animals and have had many dogs and cats over the 20yrs we are together. We enjoy each others company but also enjoy some me time when it happens.

GNIMAG.COM | 95


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COMING OUT__

ADAM

COMING OUT Adam Lennox, 21 from Carrickfergus tells us his story.

“I have experienced more difficult discussions with older family members around marriage rights in Northern Ireland, but I see this as a religious and generational barrier. ” WHEN DID YOU REALISE YOU WERE ATTRACTED TO SAME-SEX PEOPLE?

WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF YOUR FAMILY AND CLOSE FRIENDS?

I suppose it’s just works the same as straight people. Everyone comes to that age where they no longer see the opposite sex as having ‘cooties’, or whatever they say. For me, that just happened to be applicable to people of the same sex. I guess it took longer for me to figure out, just because we make the assumption initially that we are heterosexual.

Because I never came out as such, I still now have family and friends come to me and ask me about my sexuality. So far it has been really positive. No one treats me any differently, just as I should expect them not to.

DID YOU TELL ANYONE AT THE TIME?

No reaction has been outright negative, my whole family is very accepting. I have experienced more difficult discussions with older family members around marriage rights in Northern Ireland, but I see this as a religious and generational barrier. I know they don’t love me any less. It’s something I just sort of have to accept and not take personal, even though it personally affects me.

No I don’t think so. I think I needed time to process everything and work it out for myself before I even thought about telling anyone. When you are that age, and especially for gay people, you get very little knowledge or guidance from adults. WHEN DID YOU ACTUALLY COME OUT? There wasn’t really an exact time. I kind of just gradually stopped hiding who I was. The rest just sort of came naturally. HOW DID YOU DO IT? For me, I never had that surprise moment of coming out. It was more a case of if people asked then I told them the truth. Lots of the time people didn’t need to ask at all because they already knew from the way I spoke about guys and things like that. For me it was more a case of not hiding myself as opposed to coming out.

ANY NEGATIVE REACTIONS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THIS?

HOW HAS COMING OUT AFFECTED YOU? I would honestly say that there hasn’t been much of an effect! I think no effect is the best effect because I wouldn’t want to be treated any differently than anyone else whether this was better or worse. I wouldn’t want someone to think of me negatively but I also wouldn’t want special treatment or sympathy.

family members, calculate how best to approach them. It might even help to seek help from LGBT organisations. They deal with this sort of stuff and can really assist you in how to best approach the situation. ANY FUNNY STORIES ABOUT WHEN YOU CAME OUT TO SOMEONE? I used to date girls in high school. One girl I dated was so girly; always into her nails, her hair, makeup, the lot. I came out to her not long after we broke up. For a good while after that we were best friends and would constantly be at each other’s houses watching sex and the city and talking about guys. Strange how things escalate that quickly! THOUGHTS... I think it’s important to recognise that there is not one uniform way to come out; no step by step guide. Everyone needs to tailor coming out in their own way. For me, this was just a case of no longer hiding myself, no announcement required. I understand for others it is much more difficult and something that needs to be navigated with greater caution. I think I’m one of the few lucky ones to be surrounded by so many amazing people.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS THINKING ABOUT COMING OUT? I think everyone faces different challenges in terms of their sexuality. If you think that you might have severely negative reactions from

98 | GNIMAG.COM

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Profile for GNI MAG

GNI MAG ISSUE 35  

Issue 35 - 'New Beginnings' is here! Packed with all your favourite features, columns and loads of interviews. On the cover we have the g...

GNI MAG ISSUE 35  

Issue 35 - 'New Beginnings' is here! Packed with all your favourite features, columns and loads of interviews. On the cover we have the g...

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