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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

Jack Savoretti

m a g a z i n e

Issue 36 April / May 2019 £3.95 / €4.95

Songwriting, the new album, and a tour on the way...

Claire Richards

Her latest album, what’s next for Steps, and what her kids think of it all.

Dolly Parton

Even your mum likes her, we have a look at the queen of country as our Icon.

Colostomy

Daryl tells his story of bowl cancer diagnosis and what happened next.

CELEBS / FASHION / MUSIC / NEWS / REVIEWS / MOVIES / FITNESS / HOME / TRAVEL / 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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CONTENTS //

CREDITS //

WHAT’S INSIDE

GO! [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [

12 ] 18 ] 20 ] 22 ] 24 ] 28 ] 30 ] 32 ] 34 ] 36 ] 38 ]

JACK SAVORETTI ALICIA V PERRY MICKY MURRAY SAM MCKINSTRY CLAIRE RICHARDS BUSINESS - DAMIAN GILVARY ARTIST - JAKE CROSS KWEEN - BLU HYDRANGEA ICON - DOLLY PARTON MAVERICK SABRE WERQ THE WORLD

YOU! [ [ [ [ [ [

42 ] 44 ] 46 ] 55 ] 56 ] 58 ]

HERE TODAY - GAVIN RENNICK ACCESSORIZE - BELT UP FASHION - BON VOYAGE FITNESS TRANSFORMATION BEAUTY - ACCUPUNCTURE

LIFE! [ 62 ] [ 66 ] [ 69 ] [ 77 ] [ 78 ] [ 80 ] [ 84 ] [ 87 ] [ 89 ]

REAL LIFE - THIS IS ME COMING OUT - ANDREW MOLLOY THE BIG DAY - LAURA & ANNETTE AGONY AUNT - TRUDY SCRUPTIOUS LGBT FAMILIES - ADI’S STORY REAL LIFE - 10 YEARS WED SCENE OUT - RAINBOW PROJECT SCENE OUT - THE NATIONAL SCENE OUT - BELFAST BEAR BASH

TEST! [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [

92 ] 96 ] 98 ] 100 ] 102 ] 106 ] 108 ] 110 ] 112 ]

[ 114 ]

RECOMMENDED - MARTY RELAX - THE CULLODEN HOMES - SOUNDBARS FOOD - THE NATIONAL TRAVEL - COPENHAGEN SEX - VEGAN TOYS ONE NIGHT STAND BELFAST ALT FASHION WEEK ALTR MAKEUP FOR MEN HISTORY - HARVEY MILK

MANAGING DIRECTOR Tony Day OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Daniel May GNI MAG WEDDINGS Daryl Shields EDITORIAL ASSISTANT India Day SPECIAL THANKS TO... Jack Savoretti / Alicia V Perry / Micky Murray / Sam McKinstry / Claire Richards / Damian Gilvary / Jake Cross / Blue Hydrangea / Maverick Sabre / Jeff Dorta / Gavin Rennick / ES Collection / Martin / Beyond Skin /Jashon Shankey Male Grooming / Rio Brazil / Daryl Shields / Andrew Molloy / Laura & Annette / Trudy Scruptious / Leo @ TRP / Nuala / The Rainbow Project / The National / Robert Brown / Martin Kearney / The Culloden / Gavyn Andrews / Misstique / Marine Hotel / Belfast Alternative Fashion Week / Altr for Men COVER IMAGE: TOM CRAIG GNI MAG IS PUBLISHED BY... Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd 13 Union Street Belfast BT1 2JF www.gnimag.com All submissions to GNI MAG are made on the basis of permission to publish the submission in GNI MAG 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 & Julian Publications Ltd or its agents shall be liable for loss or damage. We take great care to make sure all elements of GNI MAG 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 Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd. Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd 2019

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GO!

CELEBRITY, COLUMNISTS, FEATURES, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE


IMAGE CREDIT: CHRIS FLOYD

INTERVIEW // JACK SAVORETTI

TWELVE // GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW // JACK SAVORETTI

JACK SAVORETTI JACK SAVORETTI IS A SINGER-SONGWRITER BORN IN ITALY. HE RECENTLY RELEASED HIS 6TH ALBUM ‘SINGING TO STRANGERS INSPIRED BY THE SOUNDS OF CLASSIC EUROPEAN MUSIC. HE’S GONE FROM WRITING POETRY AS A KID TO QUITE LITERALLY SINGING TO STRANGERS ON HIS 2019 TOUR TRAVELING FROM ITALY TO EDINBURGH AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN. HE HOPED TO BRING A MORE ROMANTIC VIBE TO THE MUSIC OF TODAY WITH HIS UNIQUE WRITING PROCESS...

THIRTEEN // GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW // JACK SAVORETTI

YOU STARTED OUT WRITING POETRY WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG, DO YOU FIND POETRY & SONGWRITING MUCH DIFERENT? I don’t know. I didn’t used to. I used to write most of my stuff down and then kind of it would find it’s way into songs. But now it’s very much hand in hand, I don’t write at all unless I’m sitting at a piano or with a guitar. I think it has very much to do with scheduling, time is a whole different pace these days. WHAT MADE YOU PUT YOUR POETRY INTO MUSIC, IS IT JUST FOR THE LOVE OF SOMETHING YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE? I think it was actually music that I started to like when I was a kid, until I discovered music with poetry music was just music. It was just kinda fun background, but once I discovered songwriters like Simon & Garfunkel and James Taylor, Bob Dylan then suddenly I realised the element that poetry was in a song that actually told a story. And that was something that sort of really affected me, and still does. DO YOU FIND THE PROCESS DIFFICULT? No no no. I find it really pleasent. I’ve never been somebody to lock myself up away in a log cabin by myself and write. I like to write amongst chaos. I don’t sort of need my space to do it, it’s like a continuous thing I guess, whenever I get the chance. ARE YOU ONE OF THESE PEOPLE THEN WHO CONSTANTLY HAS A NOTEBOOK IN THEIR BAG? No no, it’s all in my head. I don’t write anything down. I write very very little down, my editing process is if I don’t remember it, ain’t worth it, kind of. That might also be that I’m very lazy but I’ve decided to describe it as my editing process. SO TAKE US BACK TO YOUR MID TEENS, WHENEVER YOU WERE GROWING UP, WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC WOULD YOU BE LISTENING TO?

FOURTEEN // GNIMAG.COM

I got really swept away with the whole 60s california sound, Jackson Brown, Joni Mitchell, The Greatful Dead. All that sort of 60s sounds of America was really where I found my obsession, my love for music. But then with recent years, especially with this last album I’ve really tapped into the upbringing I had from my Italian heritage and a lot of the european music that my parents were listening to from the 60s and 70s. That’s had a real affect on me and I’ve really sort of tapped into that with the last album. YOU DID YOUR STUDIES IN AN AMERICAN SCHOOL IN SWITZERLAND, DO YOU FIND THAT BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MANY PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT COUNTRIES WHO WENT TO THE SCHOOL DID THAT HAVE AN OF INFLUENCE ON YOUR SONGWRITING? Yeah, I mean it had an influence on me as a person, so therefore influenced my songs I guess, what I write about. I was brought up in an enviroment where pretty much every other person was from a different country. And I think that’s one of the things I’m most grateful of, my education - it allows you to be a bit more open minded, but not exactly better or worse than anybody who doesn’t grow up with that. It allows you to be a bit more patient, you realise that your first peception of somebody else’s culture most of the time is quite inaccurate because you’re basing it on your own upbringing. How somebody speaks, how somebody moves, how somebody dresses, how somebody looks, you’re kind of always relating it to your own upbringing and if it’s not like yours you’re sort of considering it wrong. When you grow up in an enviroment where everybody is from a different culture you realise that actually, they’re not wrong, it’s just different. And you learn to be a little bit more patient I guess, and give things a bit more time and not jump to conclusions. SO YOU TOUCHED ON IT BRIEFLY EARLIER, TELL US SOME OF YOUR MAIN MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS?

For this album it’s very based on this 60s movement that happened in Europe with the likes of Patty Pravo in Italy, this kind of music where very big classical sounds are suddenly introduced to rock music and it was then sort of rock entered into European culture and it sort of found its way messing with these deep rooted ways of making music which Europe had been doing for a long time and then suddenly there were all these grooves and rhythms and dirty guitar sounds but there were these huge string orchastrations in the back. And I really wanted to sort of bring that back because to me it’s a very romantic sound and I think today on the radio you hear a lot of love songs but there’s not much romance, none of them are very romantic, and when I say romantic I don’t mean “Baby I love you” it’s a mood, it’s a setting, romance is an atmosphere where you can feel it on the air. It’s not something somebody says and I hope this album creates that atmosphere. YOUR NEW ALBUM SINGING TO STRANGERS, I THINK THERE’S A DOZEN NEW TRACKS, DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SONG YOURSELF? I don’t. It can vary, I mean Candlelight, the first single is very important to me because it was really the sort of eureka moment of finding the sound and finding the direction of the album, and it sort of convinced everybody I worked with to really understand what I was up to. It got everybody excited which is why I decided to introduce the album, the album opens up with that song because it’s definetly the “Just so you know this is what we’re doing”. I mean the name Candlelight, it’s exactly that, it’s setting the mood, it’s lighting the candles and creating the atmosphere to which you listen to the rest of the album. Something I’m very proud of is on the D side, there’s a live performance of me singing a very well known italian song actually, from the 60s which I mixed with a tango song from a very famous composer and we played this live version in venice at one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world. It’s definetly a proud moment for me in my career but I just really wanted to put it on the album because it’s one


IMAGE CREDIT: CHRIS FLOYD

INTERVIEW // JACK SAVORETTI

FIFTEEN // GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW // JACK SAVORETTI of my finest hours. FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVEN’T HEARD THE ALBUM OR ANY OF YOUR MUSIC TO DATE HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND OVERALL? The song is about storytelling for me and about capturing a moment and I always use the example of a photograph. A song should have the same effect as a photograph, it should mae you see beauty in things that otherwise you might just take for granted and I hope that these songs do that, I hope that they take the mondane and they turn that to something magnificent. YOU’VE WORKED WITH TONS OF AMAZING PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY IS THERE ANYONE YOU’RE STILL ITCHING TO GET TO WORK WITH?

IMAGE CREDIT: CHRIS FLOYD

I always fantasise about working with amazing singers and like the list is crazy. Florence Welsh would definetly be up there on my list. When we’re talking about romantic, I think she’s one of the most romantic performers around these days that can create that incredibly romantic atmosphere. I’m a huge fan of Imelda May which I’ve had the luck to work with already but any oportunity we get we like to find

SIXTEEN // GNIMAG.COM

ourselves on the road together. I never sort of put it out there until it happens, it’s always been so random who I end up collaborating with. IS THERE PEOPLE WHO APPROACH YOU AND WANT TO WORK WITH YOU AND YOU DON’T WANT TO FOR A SPECIFIC REASON? Not really that I can think of. I’m pretty open I’d be rally shocked if someone came to me and I was like I don’t wanna do that. On this album I’ve collaborated with the likes of Kylie Monogue and the likes of Bob Dylan I think that should show that the spectrum is pretty wide when it comes to who I wanna work with. WHEN DO YOU HEAD OFF ON TOUR? We kick around the week before Easter in April and then we’ll be in the UK in May and we’re oming to Dublin sometime in May and Belfast on the 25th. YOU’VE BEEN TO IRELAND BEFORE? Yes yes yes, Belfast, I haven’t been for a while though so I’m excited to be back.

QUICK FIRE QUESTONS NIGHT IN OR NIGHT OUT? Night in these days MOVIES OR MUSIC? Music COOK OR TAKE AWAY? Cook everytime BOXERS OR BRIEFS? Boxers SNOG, MARRY, AVOID: KYLIE MINOGUE, IMELDA MAY AND SIENNA MILLER? Well I would song Imelda, marry Sienna and avoid Kylie cause she’s taken POOR KYLIE She’s taken, she’s very happily in love


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OPINION // ALICIA PERRY

LIFE IS PRECIOUS ALICA V PERRY

SLANG!

. FAGGOT . NOUN:

RELAXING IN THE BACK GARDEN of the most beautiful house I’ve lived in, wrapped up snug in a blanket, mug of hot chocolate, my wee Staffie beside me both of us illuminated orange from the glow of the fireburning chimea, I am overcome with emotion. Honest tears trickle down my warm face like two tiny cold streams racing in their course. My heart heavy as in my thoughts I am reminded of the magnitude of heartache felt across Ireland during a time when our Patron Saint Patrick is celebrated across the world. I feel so very humbled and Blessed for what I have in my life right now when I think of how cruel and unpredictable fate really is. I cannot recall a weekend for so much heartbreaking news like the one we just experienced here in Ireland during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. In the backdrop of the international festivities, while many were out celebrating in all their glory, in the home country of Saint Patrick many lives were cut short in the most tragic of circumstances. Three of our young people left their family hours before for a special St. Patrick’s Day party at a Cookstown Hotel in Co. Tyrone but never returned home. The teenagers lost their lives following a crush incident after several hundred people were trying to get into the venue after being dropped off by buses. In Carlingford Co. Louth, 30 year old mother of three had been out celebrating on a hen weekend. She had wondered off from her group of friends and disappeared in the early hours of St. Patrick’s Day. Within 48 hours a body was recovered

from Carlingford lough. Concurrent with both tragedies above there was devastation and destruction on Irish roads as seven people were killed in five separate road traffic accidents over the bank holiday weekend. Seven families suddenly plunged into grief, robbed of the chance to say goodbye and whose lives are changed forever. Another seven lives, gone too soon. There has been few times in my career where I have had to simply step away from all news, calls, emails, messages and social media but today was one of those times. I’ve been genuinely shocked at the amount of lives gone too soon, in such a short space of time and in considerable trauma. And for the loved one’s left behind I cannot even conceive a fraction of the pain they must be feeling nor the torture of the ‘what ifs.’ Just like that, gone too soon and never to return. I can’t help conclude that life itself is the most underestimated gift we have available to us today but we don’t value it enough. We live in a generation where social media and our phones are more important to us than making ourselves aware of what is happening around us, often until it is too late. The clock can’t be turned back, the fire can’t be relit and in the darkness we can’t find the light. It seems apparent that we have come to expect more from our social media and less from each other. We are inherently social creatures so this technological trend in modern life tends to compartmentalise us instead of uniting us and bringing us together; depriving us of our societal pre-requisite. Conversely, the increasing amount of time we spend on social media, decreases the time we would spend on real-world interactions in our quest for meaningful relationships and coexistence. When you remove social media, when was the last time you actually spoke to your loved ones? When was the last time you held someone’s undivided attention for a considerable period? When was the last time you took a break from social media for even one day? Life is never made unbearable by circumstances alone, but by regrets, a lack of meaning or a void of sense of purpose. We should be indulging in a life of cohesion and commitment, not emojis and hashtagging, counting our blessings as we go, not the likes and retweets we know. Be more present in the precious moments of life, cherish and value each other. Be more aware of everything else other than your phone; be more kind to each other because the saddest moments in life come when the person who gave you the best memories becomes a memory themselves. Speaking all this over with my best friend, who had been round earlier for dinner, she finished the conversation by telling me that she had forgot to bring with her the bottle of the vintage rioja she bought me. I simply replied “I would prefer not your presents but merely your presence.” This is an opinion piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG / Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd.

EIGHTEEEN // GNIMAG.COM

1. INFORMAL • OFFENSIVE a male homosexual. 2. a bundle of sticks bound together as fuel.

VERB:

1. ARCHAIC bind in or make into faggots. 2. (in embroidery) join by faggoting. In the 13th century faggot simply reffered to a bunde of sticks, from that it developed into a term for women who were a bit of a hassle and from that in the early 20th century it became a derogatory word to refer to gay men by. At the time it was used only to refer to feminine gay men synonomous with sissy or fairy but over time has developed into an offensive word used against anyone in the comunity.

And now all of a sudden people want to reclaim the slur? Not quite, there’s evedince of gay people reclaiming the word as slang as far back as the 1910’s. Obviously its not ok for straight people to use but queer people taking the term and making it something good will take away it’s power to hurt people. Just like queer, dyke and fairy are being reclaimed, faggot can be too. If you don’t like it then you don’t have to use it but power to anyone who chooses to and hopefully soon the word will have a more positive meaning.


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OPINION // MICKY MURRAY

THE IMPORTANCE OF VOTING MICKY MURRAY IF YOU AREN’T AWARE ALREADY, there is a local government (Council) election coming up, currently planned for 2nd May. The last Council election in Northern Ireland seen a turnout of only 51%. Working in politics I always get told the same thing, “I don’t vote because nothing changes”, yet nearly half of those who were registered to vote in 2014 didn’t vote. Northern Ireland seems to be always playing catch up when it comes to LGBTQ rights, it wasn’t until 1982 that being gay was decriminalised. It wasn’t until 2001 that the age of consent was lowered to be equal with heterosexual sex. It wasn’t until 2013 that we won the right to adopt, and even then only 1 out of 5 applications by same-sex couples are granted. It wasn’t until 2016 that gay and bisexual men could give blood, and even then you have to be celibate for 12 months before you can donate. It wasn’t until 2018 that same-sex couples could get IVF. Furthermore, we’re STILL waiting on marriage equality, despite a vast majority of the country being in favour. SO WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT YOU VOTE? Firstly, democracy works best when everyone is involved. If the only people who are voting are the people who are against people like you and I having rights, then the majority of our politicians will be people who are against you and I having rights, it’s as simple as that. Now things have improved

TWENTY // GNIMAG.COM

and we do have a majority of politicians who are in favour of LGBTQ rights, but we could do a lot better. Secondly, there is very little LGBTQ representation in Northern Ireland politics, we have zero openly LGBTQ MEPs, zero openly LGBTQ MPs, one openly LGBTQ MLA, a handful of openly LGBTQ councillors, and just more than a handful of LGBTQ candidates in the upcoming council election. Why is it important to have LGBTQ people representing LGBTQ rights? As much as some politicians understand and empathise on the struggles of LGBTQ people here, we are the lived experience, some of us have had vastly different experiences than others, but we are the lived experience. We’re the ones who know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and whereas a lot of our political allies are fantastic at articulating those experiences and the needs of our community, we need to have LGBTQ people spearheading the LGBTQ movement. Now I’m not saying if there is an LGBTQ candidate in your area you vote for them above everyone else regardless of their policies, be sure to find out if they are the best person to represent you, as you should with all the candidates seeking your vote, and ask them what theyíre going to do to better the lives of LGBTQ people in their council area. It’s easy to take for granted that the right to vote was an incredibly hard won battle, especially for women. So it’s easy to take for granted that other people who are voting will vote for people who will represent you and will work to make life better for you, but the only person that you can trust to go into that polling station on polling day and make the right decision on who you feel is best to represent you, is you. The deadline for voter registration is 12th April, you can register online at gov.uk/register-to-vote or if you are unable to get to the polling station due to illness or being out of the country then you need to register for a postal or proxy vote by 10th April via eoni.org.uk/vote/voting-by-post-or-proxy.

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

SING!

SMALLTOWN BOY BRONSKY BEAT “Mother will never understand why you had to leave. But the answers you seek will never be found at home. The love that you need will never be found at home.” A semi-autobiogrophical story written by openly gay trio Bronski Beat, Smalltown Boy and it’s accompanying music video follows the story of a young gay man who runs away from home. It closely resembles the story of lead singer Jimmy Somerville who left his smalltown in Scotland for London in the early 80s after which he was able to better enjoy the gay scene and meet people like him who he could relate to and be himself around. The music video was groundbreaking at the time, discussing the oppression of closeted homosecxuals in the 80s. It depics Somerville being attacked and bein brought home by police to the family he had ran from. The song highlighted the struggles of many gay people at the time and opened this discussion to many others, reaching number 3 in the UK charts. This strong message along with the catchy synth tune is why this song is still so popular today.


OPINION // SAM MCKINSTRY

HIDING BEHIND SOCIAL MEDIA SAM MCKINSTRY SOCIAL MEDIA HAS, OVER THE past ten to fifteen years, exploded and it is a rarity you will find someone who doesn’t have at least one social media profile. Despite its popularity, is social media really good for us? There is so much beef on social media. When you upload a picture, and your best friend doesn’t like it. That sinking feeling when you pluck up the courage to follow someone and they don’t follow you back, or the worst feeling of all, when you lose a follower. This kind of culture doesn’t really do anything but create unhealthy feelings and relationships. Long before social media was ever invented, people always put up a front to make themselves look better. Their front garden was perfectly presented, but inside the cat had pissed over the carpet and the spare bedroom looked like something you would see on an episode of hoarders. Social media has done nothing but exacerbate this. The amount of people who lie about how perfect their lives are on social media is astonishing. We see pictures of fancy cars and beautiful houses and in reality they just hopped over a fence to get a picture for Instagram. People for some reason feel a need to present a shiny happy picture of their lives on social media. I’ll be honest and admit that I have and sometimes do stunt on Instagram, so yes I am part of the problem. Studies have shown how social media has a detrimental effect on relationships, especially romantic relationships. So many problems

in relationships nowadays are caused by social media. All over Twitter there are memes about people being ‘crazy’ boyfriends and girlfriends, and the culture we live in thrives on it. Social media enables people to in effect have surveillance over their partner, which leads to people relying on this surveillance to have trust in each other. People see their significant other follow someone wearing nothing but a raggedy thong which causes jealousy in a relationship. Once the ability to see who your partner is talking to is gone, this jealousy turns into suspicion, which leads to ridiculous accusations such as cheating being made and petty arguments which could have easily been avoided. Twitter is one of the best places to share your thoughts, as controversial as they may be. Some people in relationships use Twitter, and other platforms, as a way to communicate to their significant other by being passive aggressive. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t done this in the past, but it does absolutely nothing but cause more problems. Furthermore, you just look like an absolute wet wipe, it’s not a cute look. Why do people think it is at all constructive to share their relationship problems with their followers rather than just calling their partner and having a civilised conversation? Social media has made us care more about getting sympathy from friends online than actually trying to sort out the issues we have with the people we’re passively aggressively tweeting about. One thing that nobody, and I promise you this, nobody cares about, is how ‘cute’ your baby looks when it is sleeping when you have already showed us about twenty times before. I will never understand why people need to inform the world of every time they’ve taken a fucking piss. Nobody cares. Another thing, have you ever noticed it is the least successful people who post those annoying quotes about success? Maybe if you spent as much time working and doing something productive as you do searching for quotes online, you’d actually be able to pay next month’s rent. Let’s not forget the people who harp on about ‘Karma’ getting people, if someone has done something to you deal with it and move the fuck on. You putting a quote on Facebook for the third time in one day is not gonna make karma get them any quicker. Despite all that social media is bad for, I probably could not live without it. It can be annoying a lot of the times, but then again if we didn’t have those annoying people on social media who would we gossip about? It may be quite hypocritical of me to tag my social media tags on this column considering how much I’ve just complained about it, but every follower counts. Go give my Instagram a follow @ samckinstry and my Twitter at @sam_mckinstry. This is an opinion piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG / Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd.

TWENTY TWO // GNIMAG.COM

BUZZ!

HERE WE GO AGAIN CHER AT LONG LAST IS coming back to Belfast and everyone is buzzin about it. On November 3rd 2019 she will be performing in the SSE arena, her first show in the country in over 15 years. The Oscar, Emmy & Grammy award winning diva holds the UK record for the biggest selling single of all time by a female artist for Believe and she’ll be dazzling fans with songs from her own discography as well as from fellow pop legends ABBA and her recent Dancing Queen album. Cher is one of the worlds biggest entertainers, at the age of 72 she’s more alive and energetic than ever, ready to wow fans on this amazing, post Mamma Mia tour. She began her career in the 60s with Sonny and Cher and through years of showing off her talents in acting and singing has gained a huge fan base throughout the world, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Cher. Decades later and she shows no signs of slowing down, only getting bigger by the minute, stealing the hearts of pop fans everywhere with amazing hits like ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ and her unforgettable rendition of ‘Fernando’. It was previously announced that she will be playing Dublin on November 1st. It would be a mistake to miss this legendary tour.


INTERVIEW // CLAIRE RICHARDS

CLAIRE RICHARDS

TWENTY FOUR // GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW // CLAIRE RICHARDS

EVERYONE KNOWS CLAIRE RICHARDS FROM THE LATE 90S, STEPS IS ICONIC BUT NOW WITH THE 2017 REUNION, HER BRILLIANT SOLO ALBUM AND HER UPCOMING CONCERT WITH NONE OTHER THAN CELINE DION SHE’S RIGHT BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT AND DOING BETTER THAN EVER. FROM BIG BROTHER TO LOSE WOMEN TO RAISING A FAMILY, CLAIRE REALLY HAS DONE IT ALL AND WE’RE EXCITED TO FIND OUT WHAT SHE DOES NEXT.

YOU’VE BEEEN BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT A FEW YEARS, WHAT DO YOU FIND DIFFERENT THIS TIME ROUND? I think the biggest difference is the whole social media side of the business now I guess. It’s just a whole different world to what we were used to, everything’s so instant now. And the way you promote stuff is different. IF YOU HAD TO PICK WOULD YOU START IT ALL AGAIN NOW OR DO YOU LIKE THE WAY IT WAS YEARS AGO? No I like how we did it. I feel like we really earned our place in the music industry, we worked so hard for it. Not to say that people don’t work hard for it now, but I think in the age of all these talent competitions and stuff like that… HOW DOES TEARS ON THE DANCE FLOOR COMPARE TO PREVIOUS STEPS ALBUMS? I think essentially it’s still very much a Steps album. God, the greatest hits was 2001 so it pretty much came 16/17 years since any new material. We were all a bit worried about that but we wanted to… I think what makes Steps Steps is the melodies, the choruses, the up beat kind of almost sad meloncholic bitter-sweet lyrics but with that real up feel to it. And us kind of dancing away with a big ol’ smile on our faces. So we really wanted to keep that, that’s the core of a steps song but somehow try and bring it into this decade and we did worry about that because we did worry about where we would fit in todays market but we achieved it very well. It’s still pop, we still had those great melodies, we still had those big massive choruses and the harmonies so I think that’s how we picked what essentially is Steps. HOW DID IT FEEL FOR YOU ON A PERSONAL LEVEL TO HAVE THE GROUP BACK TOGETHER? It was great you know? We have so much history, everybody knows our history, our ups & downs so when we did Tears On The Dance Floor it was so nice to all be involved

in the creative process, having a say in what songs went on the album and how they’re recorded. When a mix came back we could say ‘Actually no, still doesn’t sound quite like Steps. Our input was all over that album. I really enjoyed it. Back in the day it was always a little bit tainted and we were always knackered because of working so hard. Creating the last albumn we were all quite fresh and we were excited about it. The tour was brilliant, I had a whale of a time and last summer was brilliant as well so it just feels nice to be doing it, and to just be really enjoying it and just be doing it because we really really want to be doing it. IT’S BEEN TWO YEARS SINCE THAT LAST ALBUM, ARE THERE ANY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE THAT YOU CAN TALK ABOUT? We’re going to start recording the next album in the summer, we’re looking for music at the moment and we’ll start recording in I think July and August. So then we have plans to release kinda first quarter of next year I think. As long as we find the songs that we want and everything gets recorded and we get our shit together. Definetly next year. HOW HAVE YOU FOUND THE BALANCE BETWEEN BEING A MUM AND GOING ON TOUR AND WHAT DO THE KIDS SAY WHEN THEY SEE YOU DANCING ON STAGE? They love it, they absolutely love it. They’re nine and 11 and they still come to any show and they’re just absolutely struck by the whole thing, they really do enjoy it. Which is good obviously, I don’t want them to be embarressed by me. Yeah it’s like any working parent isn’t it? You just have to find a way to make it work and it’s all about juggling and the time that I am at home is quality time and when I’m here I am ‘Mum’ and ‘Wife’ I do the school runs, I cook the dinner, I do the ironing and washing and cleaning and I’m here, completely present. And obviously when I’m away my husband is brilliant, it’s definetly a massive team effort and without everybody wanting to make it work it wouldn’t. Again, it’s like the

TWENTY FIVE // GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW // CLAIRE RICHARDS

band really, without all of us wanting to make it work and to push through the times where it is more difficult, I couldn’t do what I’m doing. It’s down to them more than anything really. IN THE PAST YOU’VE DONE SOME REALITY TV INCLUDING BIG BROTHER, TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE ON THE SHOW? I really enjoyed it, I think em I was one of the lucky ones in that it neither did anything great for my career and it didn’t damage it either I think I’ve come out pretty unscathed. I hope that means I’m pretty sane and I’m quite a nice person. Genereally if you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re a nightmare or that you’re a little bit mad or that you’re actually not a very nice person being under that kind of scrtiny for that amount of time, it’s gonna come out. You can’t hide in that type of enviroment at all. I’m quite shy, I always was very shy and I’m not the kind of person who will walk into a room and go straight over to a person and start talking to them. I’ve never been like that and I still can’t do it. If someone talks to me I’ll chat all night long and sometimes that goes against me I guess because they’ll take that as I think I’m better than them or I’m stuck up or something, but I’ve never been like that. I was lucky in CBB because of Rylan I guess we struck up a real friendship and they were such a lovely group of people, we all got on so well. The 1st week almost flew by and we did nothing but laugh. And then obviously things started to happen and after about a week that’s when the cracks started to show and you start to see the real personalities and there wasn’t that many in there, obviously you had Nicole, she went bit scary. Being in the house was like time just stood , you forget that the real world’s going on outside and when I came out I just picked up where I left. I remember H saying to me ‘Oh my God, do you wake up in the middle of the night thinking there’s a camera on you?’ And I was like ‘absolutely not!’,I enjoyed it and I made some good friends out of it.

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YOUR FOCUS IS ON THE MUSIC RIGHT NOW... Yeah. I’m doing what originally brought me into this business in the beginning and that’s singing. I feel like I’ve missed out on quite a lot of time not doing that and I’m just loving it. I feel more passionate about it than ever. SO WHATS THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR SOLO ALBUM AND A TYPICAL STEPS ALBUM? I think it’s definetly turned out more pop than I expected. When I first started working on solo stuff I had in my mind that it was going to be a creating a country album though as we moved on I realised that I’m not a country singer and what makes country so great is the voices that come from that region and that area. What I did want to take from country music was a story or the lyrical content that means something that you can relate to. I’ve only

written one song on the album because I wanted it to be as great as it could be, I didn’t want to put pressure on myself or for anyone to expect me to write an amazing album when I’ve never done it before. I love listening to music, I love putting an album on and listening from start to finish. My goal was to achive just that, have people listen through and enjoy every song . There are more ballads on there than what would be on a Steps album, I wanted to show the side of my voice that you don’t really get to hear on Steps records so I suppose it’s not as trapped and certainly not as dancey and it’s not as poppy as a Steps record. Obviously some people are going to say it sounds the same because of my voice but I think we’ve made it different enough but not too far away that people go ‘Oh God, I can’t stand that.’ WAS THERE A PARTICULAR WRITER THAT YOU FOUND EASIEST AND MOST


INTERVIEW // CLAIRE RICHARDS

NATURAL TO WORK WITH? Well the two guys that I wrote Brave with were brilliant, we had two days in the studio, it was really easy. Sometimes it’s really easy to write with people and sometimes it’s not. I don’t play an instrument so you need the right people to bounce off. Producer wise I’m good friends with Steve Anderson and I loved working with him, he’s the Steps MD and been on board in all the solo stuff I have done. He worked a lot on the album and we had a great time. He recorded a lot of the vocals for a few of the other songs as well so I do like working with him, he just gets me, we love the same kind of music. It’s great and it’s pretty much all about singing.

real feel good empowering song that I wanted, I think everybody wants that song sometimes. You can relate to it for many different reasons, it can be for anything really. If you want to achieve anything really, it has to be down to you. You can’t make anyone else responsible for your own happiness, your own success. You have to somehow take responsibility for yourself at somepoint along the line and go ‘Right, this is it. No one else is gonna make it happen for me and I’m gonna do it.’ Even when people are telling you all day that you can’t and I think that should apply to everybody really. I think everybody should realise and recognise that, so it made sense for it to be the 1st single.

WAS THERE A PARTICULAR REASON FOR CHOOSING ON MY OWN AS THE 1ST TRACK? Yeah I think as soon as I heard it I knew I wanted to record it because it echoed my life a little bit in a way. It was that

ARE THERE ANY PLANS FOR YOU TO DO A SOLO TOUR? I did a small one just before Christmas I did four shows around England and Scotland so hopefully yeah. I’ve got a few shows in summer that are coming up, I’m obviously

performing with Celine Dion in Hyde Park. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT? Well, I am a massive Celine Dion fan as most people probably know. From the second I heard her singing I thought ‘Oh my God, who is she?’ I love her and everybody knows that about me. Our promoter is the same as the promoter who does British Summertime and my agent knew she was coming and nobody told me anything about it. Then she announced on the Tuesday or the Wednesday and then I went to people saying like ‘Oh can you get me tickets? I definetly want to go and see Celine!’ And then I got a phone call the day I was recording Graham Norton and like no one had mentioned it, it wasn’t even a possibility. I think no one could tell me just incase it did come off. So my agent, who is Steps’ agent as well, he wouldn’t let anybody else tell me, he rang me and then he started texting me like ‘You need to ring me I’ve got something I need to tell you’ so I’m just trying to get myself together and, I think I was doing radio interviews or something and he kept texting me going ‘Hurry! Ring me, ring me, ring me’ and I did and I think he was just as excited as I was. APART FROM CELINE IS THERE ANYONE THAT YOU’D LOVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH? I don’t know really. I think solo wise I’m sure there’s plenty of singers that would be just great to, it’s always great to sing with somebody who’s just got a great voice and that you can really have a good old- almost like a sing off with. So it’d be great to sing with somebody like that but, oh God I don’t know, I do love a duet, and I love listening to duets as well. I do love Michael Buble so I might say him. IF YOU PUT THAT OUT YOU MIGHT GET A WEE SINGLE WITH BUBLE... Yeah, you’ve got to put things out into the universe. THE NEW SINGLE 7 BILLION IS OUT NOW.

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BUSINESS // DAMIAN GILVARY

Working in housekeeping you’re very much on your own, cleaning 15 or 20 rooms then you’re done. However, Damian always went the extra mile, his supervisor loved his “perfectionist” attitude but despite this passion he wanted more career wise. The plan was never to stay in housekeeping forever, it was time to take the next step and an opportunity with concierge role arose. Although the interview was less than ideal “I couldn’t speak, my face was red, pimple face, I was not confident at all. But a chance meeting in the lift with his interviewer allowed for some casual chat in which he was asked the important question “How much do you really want this job?” and he wanted it and so he got it.

BUSINESS // DAMIAN GILVARY Damian Gilvary is the General Manager of the George Best hotel which opens in June in Belfast. We sat down recently for a chat about his career to date and what we can expect from this exciting new hotel. One of three planned to open through 2019/20. Damian didn’t do A Levels, he hated school. Not what you would expect to hear from a senior manager of a hotel group. He remembers career talks in school and endless questions on what he

intended to do when he left school. Traditional career choices like the building trade, car mechanic and more did not appeal. He never quite saw himself taking any of the routes he was told about. He really discovered his passion accidentally. At 16 he wanted to pay for his first holiday and took his first job cleaning at the Hilton, but long after the holiday had passed, he continued for pure love of the job.

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From concierge he steadily progressed through various roles until finally front of house manager. Relishing every role his professionalism and dedication was rewarded when he won ‘Hilton Best Team Member Of The Year’, ‘Customer Service’ and ‘Institute Of Hospitality’ awards for his extraordinary work in the field. Wanting to broaden his horizons and skillset he successfully applied to a senior role at the Hilton in Manchester. He loved working in a new City, making new connections and gaining invaluable experience. It was a chance meeting in the lobby of that very hotel that he was introduced to a representative of Signature Living, the affordable luxury

brand based in Liverpool. When he got the call to meet the Managing Director of Signature Living, he was back in Belfast working at the Clayton Hotel. They clicked immediately. “We got on like best friends, it was kind of natural and it was all really organic” but that didn’t mean he left the dinner with a job, there’s a lot of talent in Belfast so he had to fight for it. After meeting Lawrence Kenwright and his wife Katie Kenwright who run the business together. he blew them away with the team he assembled and his creative ideas. He officially got the job and began his journey with Signature Living. Now his job involves dealing with a wide range of different issues day to day. For someone who was used to organised to-do lists, hotel life was eye-opening, there’s always some sort of drama or someone new to meet. What makes it so exciting for Damian is adopting and living the Signature Living work ethos - everything is all about the guest and their experience in your hotel. In building the best team that doesn’t have to be micromanaged he has the ability to give guests the best experience possible “it’s all about the guest” is his work motto and it shows. With a further hotel The Waring opening in the Autumn, followed by The Crum in late 2020, Signature Living has to stand out with an extraordinary experience.


BUSINESS // DAMIAN GILVARY

The hotels will offer multi occupancy rooms, with specially designed baths (more than one at times) including a jacuzzi and more individually designed luxuries to cater to all kinds of guests. Wacky, wonderful and fabulous does not even cover it.

idea. It was in meeting her that he really connected to the football player. Admiring his clothes and artefacts, he realised how much of an amazing person he was and the hotel in part will reflect this. Whilst George Best

and hard work” Even now Damian admits to feeling nervous in challenging situations but “you sort of fake it til you make it with that sort of thing.” You draw on experience and confidence to see you though.

The theatre and the experience will have guests coming back time after time, offering something unique with every visit. When it comes to hotels you really must understand every guests’ individual needs and that’s what Damian and Signature Living hopes to achieve with the new George Best Hotel: “Hen parties, stag parties, mature tastes, young romantics” Signature Living, adapts and captures so much for so many different people. The building itself is a big part of the experience with heritage, renovation and regeneration central to the project. Being a listed building, we are very conscious and respectful of its past, but with a new quirky modern twist celebrating its future. “An afternoon tea or a themed event with a Harry Potter movie in the background, is not what we do. Where other hotels stop, we begin” High end hospitality meets high end theatre production. Damian met with George Best’s sister, Barbara, and describes her as very open, and fully supports the hotel

...I NEEDED MONEY TO GO ON MY FIRST HOLIDAY SO I TOOK WHATEVER, IT WAS HOUSEKEEPING. Airport bears the player’s name, Gilvary suggests the hotel will allow people to be closer to George Best than ever before, with possessions and memorabilia on show for everyone to enjoy. For people hoping to follow his career path of hospitality he says: “Look how fast I’ve progressed, but in hospitality you have to want to do it. You have to want to put in the hard work, be prepared to work long, and at times unsocial hours...Self-belief

The weeks are flying by and the hotel is opening on the 14th of June. However, the team have actually been employed since October last year, training, launching the call centre, and brainstorming new ideas and concepts, effectively putting the logistics of the hotel in place.

his first question was “Am I going to lose my staff?” Thankfully both Katie and Lawrence were so committed to opening in Belfast, they encouraged the team and I to just get on with it. We had 1500 people booked for Xmas parties and without the team we would never have been able to honour each of those bookings. We hired space in the ICC and basically lifted the George Best Hotel and provided what we hope was an unforgettable party experience. This is what makes Signature Living so unique, and why people keep coming back for more. We just make it happen. Signature Living are very excited to be a part of Belfast’s future “I’ve worked for hospitality brands and I’m very thankful and grateful for what I’ve taken away from them. However, it’s where they stop, we begin. And that is the experience. I want everyone who comes through our door to have an amazing experience.” and with Damian in charge it certainly seems that the George Best hotel is going to achieve that. www.georgebesthotel.co.uk www.signatureliving.co.uk

He says the team are the most important part of the business, along with the guests. When the original opening had to be delayed,

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ART // JAKE CROSS

MEET THE ARTITST // JAKE CROSS

WHAT SORT OF ART DO YOU CREATE? I like the term “art” because it’s a far cry from “hobby,” which I tend to hear a lot. I write fiction, mainly thrillers, and when plotting stories, it’s easy and fun and definitely a hobby. Not so easy is fleshing out that plot into a novel that’s going to have all the elements of characterisation, pacing, and intrigue required to make someone lose themselves in your work for hours at a time. That, I guess, is the art part. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO THIS? WAS IT A JOURNEY THROUGH DIFFERENT CREATIVE INDUSTRIES? I started writing when I was about 10 because my dad enrolled in a postal creative writing course. I wanted to impress him with what I could do. Since then there’s been no crossover of creative industries, because crafting stories in

THIRTY // GNIMAG.COM

words was the only thing I ever wanted to do. But it’s certainly been a journey. More than 30 years of trying to get published. If you’re an agent or publisher, chances are you

turned me down at some point. But now, finally, I’m signed with Bookouture, Britain’s biggest and best digital publisher, and I look back at my quarter century of failure as a kind of probationary period that many novelists have to endure.

WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY CREATING? Mainly, shocking twists in the story. That moment when the reader realises that every time they thought they had

a clever read on where the tale was going, it was exactly what I had planned. And I love the research that’s involved, because it allows me to read up on the most obscure stuff and fill my head with even more useless information.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS WORKS Out there right now are two books. One, The Choice, is about a man who picks up a female at the side of the road and, well, regrets it. The other, The Family Lie, follows a mother who wakes in the night to find her husband and child missing. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MINUTE AND WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOU? I’m editing my third book for the publisher and writing a pretty bizarre detective fiction novel. The latter is the one I picked out of dozens of stories bouncing around in my head. I wish I could write a novel a day to get through them all.

FACEBOOK: Jake Cross Author TWITTER: @jakecrossauthor INSTAGRAM: Jake_Cross_Author


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KWEEN // BLU HYDRANGEA

KWEEN // BLU HYDRANGEA

BLU IS BELFAST’S QUEEN OF THE MAKEUP BRUSH! I LOVE TO CREATE DIFFERENT WORKS OF ART, USING MY BODY AS A CANVAS. HOW AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST GET INTO DRAG ? When I was 11 I came across a little show called Rupaul’s Drag Race, I was instantly inspired by the glamour and the vivacious personalities of the performers on the screen. For years after this I studied the art of drag. When I was 18 I enrolled in university and struggled as I knew my passion was in drag. So after a year I dropped out, and within the year had applied to become a part of a makeup course. From there, I gained the courage thanks to my partner, to gather some

drag essentials and take to the stage. Once my first performance was finished, I was hooked! WHERE HAVE YOU WORKED? By day I work in MAC Cosmetics as a professional makeup artist, and by night I perform in the Maverick & BOOMBOX! On Wednesdays I perform in BOOMBOX alongside the fabulous Rusty Hinges for B*tch Please! And on Sunday, Rusty and I join Misty Falls for Sunday Service in the Maverick! You can also

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catch me, every so often, hosting for the RuGirls on a Saturday for Satisfy! WHO HAVE BEEN THE BEST PEOPLE TO WORK WITH TO DATE? I have had the chance to work alongside a powerhouse cast of queens and I really do feel I am part of the BOOMBOX family! Performing alongside the girls of Rupaul’s Drag Race when they come to Belfast is also a full circle moment, as without them Blu wouldn’t have ever happened. In my second year of drag, I also got the

chance to go to Amsterdam for the Milkshake festival, and there I met an array of inspiring queens! WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO WORK WITH? I would love to work with Rupaul someday, and now that Drag Race UK is a possibility for all of us, it would be a great opportunity! HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU? www.facebook.com/blu. hydrangea.1 Instagram - @bluhydrangea_


. ICON .

ICON // DOLLY PARTON

Dolly Parton

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ICON // DOLLY PARTON

WITH OVER 40 ALBUMS IN a career spanning over 50 years, Grammy, Tony, Emmy, Oscar and Academy award nominations, a broadway show, hell even a theme park, it’s no wonder Dolly Parton is a household name. She was born in a rustic one room cabin as the 4th of 12 children, her grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher and she grew up on a farm in Locust Ridge. A simple childhood for such a country and pop music sensation as she is now. So how did she get here? She began singing in church at the age of 6 and by the time she was 13 she had recorded her first single “Puppy Love”. Music was always her passion so immediately after graduating (like seriously, the next day) she moved to Nashville to be a songwriter. Looking at her now it’s hard to believe that when she started out she was told not to make country music because her voice was “not suited” but thank goodness Dolly went ahead and ignored them releasing “Dumb Blonde” in 1967 which reached 24 on the country chart. Not bad for someone who’s “not suited”. She then joined forces with Porter Wagoner and his label to begin a six year streak of hits for the pair but with no solo success. Frustrated with this Wagoner persuaded her to record a cover of Jimmy Roger’s “Mule Skinner Blues” as a gimmick but the gimmick worked thank goodness and thus her solo career had been well and truly launched into orbit. A short while later she releases the iconic “Jolene” which obviously tops the charts, then, continuing the pattern of chart toppers, she comes out with “I Always Love You”. Now, I’m assuming usually when Elvis told you he wanted to cover your song you jump at the chance, but not Dolly, unwilling to part with 50% of the publishing rights and rightfully so ‘cause the song is easily one of the hugest successes of her career. It’s this headstrong attitude that makes her so admirable even now. For the next few years it was easy sailing with a string of top ten country singles and her own variety show, but Dolly wanted more. She was obviously huge in the country world but she wanted to reach the mainstream pop audience. When producing her own album for the first time she tried to do just that… it didn’t really work, “New Harvest… First Gathering” whilst still a success amongst her country fan base didn’t really make an impression on the pop audience she was going for. So, never one to give up, she tries again, realeasing another album the same year. This time round she reached 20 on the pop charts and officially made her name known to the non-country loving world. What did she do with all this success? Quit while she’s ahead? She’s got over 10 years of pretty successful music going for her now, seems about time for a rest, but she’s still going and in 1980 she released

perhaps the most well known Dolly song of all time- “9 To 5”, to great success of course. You have to be truly incredible to put out a song that’s just as widely known and loved around the world almost 40 years after it’s release with no signs of ever fading into irrelevency, I guess we all just really hate working as much as we did in the 80s. Then as if that weren’t enough she goes and stars in the 1980 film of the same name, truly a blessing to the human race. So she won a Grammy, no big deal, we’ve established that she’s amazingly talented musicly but what about as a person? What has she done for us mere mortals? In 1994 she countributed the fantastic “ You Gotta Be My Baby” to the AIDS benefit album “Red Hot + Country” helping to raise money and awareness at the time. She also wrote music for ‘Transamerica’ a film about a trans woman going on a roadtrip with her son, and despite winning an Academy Award for her song “Travellin’ Thru” Dolly has said she recieved death threats for her part contributing to the soundtrack but this didn’t stop her from outwardly showing her support for the community. Despite her very religious upbringing Dolly Parton has always spoken out in favour of the LGBT community. “They know that I completely love and accept them, as I do all people. I’ve struggled enough in my life to be appreciated and understood. I’ve had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself,” she said in an interview with Billboard magazine. She has said that her first introduction to gay people was through her family, although she didn’t know at the time, she has helped members of her family through the coming out process, telling them “You don’t need to live your life in darkness.” She regulary speaks out about marraige equality and her love for her LGBT fan base, even entering a Dolly Parton lookalike contest against some drag queens and losing! Other christians have discouraged this, but she just responds saying “As far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they’re already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing. I try to love everybody.” She makes sure everyone feels completely welcome in Dollywood and at her shows no matter what and that is what really makes her such an icon. Over 50 years later and Dolly is still going strong, releasing music we all love, with her signiture look and great outlook on life it’s no surprise she’s been a gay icon for so long with no signs of stopping. So next time you find yourself wailing along to “I Will Always Love You” in the shower you can know how far Dolly really has come to be as renowned as she is today.

THIRTY FIVE // GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW // MAVERICK SABRE

MAVERICK SABRE // GROWING UP IN COUNTY WEXFORD, HE LEFT IRELAND AT 18 TO PERSUE A CAREER IN MUSIC, NINE YEARS ON HE STILL MISSES HOME. MAVERICK TELLS US ALL ABOUT HIS INSPIRATIONS AND HIS NEW ALBUM.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW INITIALLY

AN ACADEMIC?

THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A SINGER?

The new album kind of came after a big change period for me. I’d put my 2nd

I wasn’t an academic in the sense of the

album out under Universal and about

I think it was when I was quite young. My

normal school. School wasn’t really the

four or five months after that I left every

dad was a musician and always played

place for me to be fair.

one I’d been working with. I just wasn’t

music around me and it was kind of what

happy with how things were going so

I was brought up around so music was

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING

I left, I went independent. I spent the

just something that for me I latched onto

AWAY FROM IRELAND AND DO YOU

last two years sort of building my own

pretty young and I kind of was pretty

MISS IT?

team around me and making sure I had

determined when I was a kid. Whether I

the right group of people around me, a

realised it or not in the back of my mind I

I turned 28 this year and I’ve been living

group of creators around me to just put

was always walking toward it so yeah from

away from Ireland since I was like 18 or 19

my best, my all into a third record. I feel

pretty young. I first picked up a guitar

so about 9 years. I do miss it and I think

like that was successful. The album was

and started writing music when I was

when I first came back here I didn’t really

inspired by that. It felt like when I came

about 8 or 9 years of age.

miss Ireland because I was just finished

off my label it kind of reverted me back

school. I’d been working for a bit, I just

to the hunger I had before I signed to a

WAS THERE EVER A BACKUP PLAN

saved some money and London was just

label.

IN PLACE OR WAS THAT ALWAYS THE

this big new city for me that I just wanted

END GOAL?

to come back to. At the start I didn’t

WOULD YOU SAY YOUR CREATIVE

really go home that much but as the years

PROCESS HAS CHANGED IN THE PAST

Yeah well there was, I think as you go

went on I started to miss Ireland more

10 YEARS?

through school there’s always a kind of

and more and now I need to go back on

backup plan. Music was the only thing

a regular basis to recharge my battery.

No, do you know what? It’s actually

I really put anytime into, so my back up

So yeah I would say I definetly do miss it

reverted back to what it was when I first

plans weren’t even really well thought

yeah.

started to be honest with you. In a weird

through to be fair. IS IT SAFE TO SAY THAT YOU WEREN’T

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way, It’s like when I first started out, I THE NEW ALBUM IS OUT NOW. WHAT

produced everything 100% from start

WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR IT?

to finish and then as I started working


INTERVIEW // MAVERICK SABRE

with good producers and making good

He’s definately is a grafter,he’s in his mid

connections in a creative sense. I sat

60s now and he just made another album,

I love being in the studio,I kinda lock

back for a long while and I absorbed how

he got it all printed out with covers,

myself away, it’s a lovely part of the

the great producers around me do their

all mixed and mashed and got a band

process and I do enjoy it but the main

job and I was always execuitive, I was

playing on it. He’s still got that love for

thing is performing live and connecting

always involved but I learned from them

music, he still writes everyday, he plays

with people to perform my songs.

about the tricks of the trade and then

everyday and practices everyday, and for

Without performing live I don’t know if I

two and a half years ago when I came

me he taught me the love of music. He

would have the same energy for music.

off my label I thought It was time to sit

taught me music in a different way, an

down and start writing some new music.

appreciation of music in a comepletely

WHENEVER YOU’RE ON TOUR DO

I used everything that I’d learnt the past

different way. Before that there wasn’t

YOU HAVE ANY PRE SHOW RITUALS

couple of years and just started to learn

any inspiration from any Bob Dylans or

OR ROUTINES THAT YOU DO?

to produce myself again.

Tupacs, only my dad.

IN TERMS OF WRITING, HOW DO YOU

IN TERMS OF DREAMING BIG AND

stretches. When I first started, I used to

FIND THAT PROCESS? DO YOU FIND

COLLABORATIONS, ARE THERE ANY

be a rapper, I never used to know any of

IT A CHALLENGE OR DOES IT COME

ARTISTS YOU WOULD LOVE TO WORK

the technical side to warming up, so for

EASY?

WITH AT THE MINUTE?

years I lost my voice every night. I’d get

To be honest, it comes easy. There

It’s a random one but I’d love to do

The next morning I’d go to soundcheck

definetly are times when you can get a

something with Chris Stapleton the

and I’d just batter honey and steam and

block. There was a period of time when

country singer, I was just listening to

so sound check just barely being able

I wasn’t writing music for myself and

some of his tunes last night. There’s him

to sing. In the last four years I’ve started

I was just writing for other people. It

and there’s another country singer Jason

to warm up. I treat myself as an actual

was after the 2nd album when I had to

Isbell. Them and I’ve always wanted to

singing human being. I always listen to

get my head straight, and at the time,

do something with Janelle Monae, I think

before I go on, for years it was a Bob

making music for myself and the thought

she’s brilliant.

Marley song, it was a live performance,

I’m fairly simple, just a couple of

to the last song and I’d lost my voice.

process of making an album wasn’t really

then it was a Marvin Gaye song, I pick live

where I was at. In the evenings I started

BACK TO THE NEW ALBUM THEN,

producing a lot of hip hop beats, grime

HAVE YOU GOT ONE SONG THAT

beats, dance beats and just anything

REALLY RESONATES WITH YOU, IS

ONE FINAL QUESTION, WHERE DO

that was production based at home

THERE A FAVOURITE SONG THAT YOU

YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?

and then I started writing songs again.

KIND OF CHERISH THE MOST?

It can change, sometimes it’ll be easy, sometimes not.

performances to get me in the vibe.

More music and connecting to more Well there’s a couple on it, there’s a song

people around the world. Whatever

called War which is like, it’s towards the

reason you come into music for, mine is

WHO WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR

end of the album and it’s quite long. It’s

about trying to get a good message in my

BIGGEST MUSICAL INSPIRATION?

the song that really takes me away to

music accross and express how I feel and

another place, it’s the most atmospheric

kind of connect with people with every

That’s a tough one, it changes a lot. I

song on the album. It’s probably the most

album. Ten years time hopefully ten more

think my dad’s probably my biggest to

cinematic song on the album, we placed

years of success.

be honest, my dad really inspired me

it at the end of the album because it feels

growing up, he never made much money

like a moment of reflection before the

out of music or anything but he was

final piece.

always playing it. YOU’RE TOURING AT THE MINUTE, HE SOUNDS LIKE HE’S A REAL

ARE YOU MORE OF A LIVE GIG GUY

GRAFTER...

OR DO YOU PREFER THE STUDIO?

‘WHEN I WAKE UP’ IS OUT NOW

THIRTY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM


FEATURE // WERQ THE WORLD

WERQ THE WORLD // THE OFFICIAL RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE TOUR THE QUEENS OF RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE MUST SAVE THE GALAXY IN THEIR BRAND NEW WERQ THE WORLD SHOW, COMING TO BELFAST AND DUBLIN IN MAY AS PART OF THEIR EUROPEAN TOUR. THE ALL-NEW PRODUCTION FOLLOWS A TEAM OF INTERGALACTIC QUEENS INCLUDING AQUARIA, ASIA O’HARA, DETOX, KAMERON MICHAELS, KIM CHI, MONÉT X CHANGE, NAOMI SMALLS AND VIOLET CHACHKI ON THEIR MISSION TO THE SUN TO SAVE OUR SOLAR SYSTEM FROM A DARK ENTITY INTENT ON HARNESSING ITS POWER. MISSION LEADER MICHELLE VISAGE* GUIDES THE AUDIENCE THROUGH THE UNIVERSE FOR A DYNAMIC DISPLAY OF THE WONDERS HELD BY EACH PLANET AND ITS REGAL SOVEREIGN. WERQ THE WORLD TOUR 2019 ARE ON SALE NOW AT VOSSEVENTS.COM.

“I DON’T DEFINE DRAG, DRAG IS DEFINED BY ME.” // Aquaria has being doing drag since 2014 // Before the show, she trained as a dancer for 4 years and hosted parties at Art Basel // She’s often confused with Miz Cracker in New York’s drag scene // She’s the 1st contestant to have won both the “Snatch Game” and the “Ball Challenge” on the same season //

// AQUARIA THIRTY EIGHT // GNIMAG.COM

// ASIA O’HARA “I AM JUST LIVING MY TWEETY BIRD FANTASY.” Asia has been doing drag since 2003 // She’s the 3rd “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant with the surname “O’Hara” // RuPaul, by accident, slapped her in the face on Season 10’s Episode 8 mini challenge // She’s the 2nd queen to go off on RuPaul at a reunion, the first being Tammie Brown;


FEATURE // WERQ THE WORLD

// DETOX “TAKE LIFE LESS SERIOUSLY AND HAVE FUN AND TUCK YOUR D**K PROPERLY.” She’s mostly compared to a Brazilian actress named Claudia Raia and in her tour to Brazil, they pretend to battle in a lip-sync // She voices a character named “Donnatella Mewhattodo” in the WOWPresents+ show “Drag Tots” // She was in a car crash in 2009, as a result of this crash, she’s unable to grow hair on part of one of her eyebrows;

“FAR TOO MUCH SASS, WAY TOO MUCH ASS.” Kameron worked as a hairdresser // She typically does fantasy and creature makeup and for being known as a “muscle queen” // Everything she wore in her promo look was given to her by production except the jacket // On the first episode of Season 10, she was nicknamed “the trade of Season 10”

// KAMERON MICHAELS // MONÉT X CHANGE

I’M AN ACCIDENTAL DRAG QUEEN!

“BITCH, I’M A PETTY BITCH FROM BROOKLYN, I HOLD ONTO GRUDGES.”

Kim Chi is a 7’ tall, liveaction anime character and high-fashion model // Born in the U.S., raised in South Korea, and currently based in Chicago // Kim’s drag career started in November 2012. Kim’s work encapsulates the transcendental nature of drag, as the seemingly simple act of a man putting on a dress is transformed into fine art

Her favorite cake is red velvet cake // She is very good friends with Season 9 Runner-Up Peppermint // She is the first queen to ever walk backstage during a lip-sync // She is the first queen to win the title of Miss Congeniality as voted by her fellow contestants rather than the viewers // Monét appeared in a Pepsi commercial with Cardi B for the Super Bowl

// KIM CHI // NAOMI SMALLS “NAOMI IS A TALL GLASS OF WATER, SHE HAS LEGS ALL THE WAY UP TO HER ASSHOLE.” Her drag name was inspired by Naomi Campbell and Biggie Smalls // She has 11 siblings // Naomi got on the show after her first audition // Naomi is the first queen to win two makeover challenges // She was the youngest contestant of Season 8, aged 21, which is the minimum age, at the time of filming // Naomi is 6’5 feet tall without heels

PAIN IS BEAUTY AND I’M THE PRETTIEST Chachki won a few titles in Atlanta before the show // Her favorite songs to perform are from Kylie Minogue // She has a short past in pornography under the name “Frankie Malone” // She is the first drag queen to ever front a major lingerie campaign and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant to perform in India

// VIOLET CHACHKI THIRTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM


YOU!

FASHION, BEAUTY, HEALTH & WELLBEING, TAKING TIME FOR YOU!


YOU // HERE TODAY...

HERE TODAY // GAVIN RENNICK SO RECENTLY I HAVE BEEN LOOKING TO TASK MYSELF TO DO ONE THING EVERY OTHER MONTH TO DEVELOP AND LEARN A NEW SKILL, I KNOW I’M 32 BUT YOU CAN NEVER STOP LEARNING. I’ve been doing hair extensions for around 19 years and have normally stuck to traditional methods, examples being bonds and tapes. So I tried a new course and a new skill called LA Weave. I went to Manchester Airport for the course which was held at the one of the airport hotels. I have to say I was very anxious because learning although it can be fun, when your older it can be quite scary. But it was great I learnt a new skill taught by their UK trainer. I was the only male at the course which was refreshing in itself. Guy and girls everywhere, hairdresser or not, if you have an eye

for hair and would like to learn a new simple skill definitely give this course a go. It’s simple, effective and very easy to master and its a no mess application technique which I was very impressed with. Here is a bit more about the La Weave application.

LA WEAVE® is a unique product of hair extensions, the LA WEAVE® was created by the team at KM Hair Extension Training that came about with over a decade of hair extension training experience, travel, different hair systems and a creative team of experts. LA WEAVE is designed to bring you maximum profit in your salon, gone are the days with a four hour hair extension appointment and three hours removal. We have taken this away and replaced it with a 45 minute application time with hair extensions that last up to 10 weeks with no maintenance. Your client simply has a fitting and returns in 10 weeks to have a removal and refit. Benefits of the LA WEAVE: • • • • • • • • •

45 Minute Application 15 Minute Removal No Bonds No Glue No Heat No Plaits No Cornrows 8-10 Weeks Life 100% Re-usable

Have a look for yourself, its always great to have a new skill www.laweave.com

FORTY TWO // GNIMAG.COM


YOU // HERE TODAY... This month I’ve also been on a few journeys, one being to Izmir in Turkey where I went under the covers to see what it’s like to escort someone while they had surgery abroad!!! And I was very surprised in fact very impressed. It is always in the back of my mind whether surgery is something that I would be into or not. I see the benefits of a body reset and getting yourself a little helping hand and see the benefits of doing it yourself. So I went to Turkey to have a look at what happens when people go for surgery abroad and I have to say, I literally wanted to jump on the operating table and have the designer body I’ve always wanted. But this time I just sat back and observed. The company was called Revitalize

Inturkey, and from what I witnessed this company seemed to offer the complete package from airport to airport you were completely taken care of at every moment of the journey with them. The cost of surgery in the UK can be so unrealistic, however after sitting down with one of the owners from Revitalize, Turan explained to me that after 14 years of providing a service of cosmetic surgery abroad his company has gone from strength to strength creating the most inclusive hands free packages for their customers to come and have the most revitalising treatments abroad. Turan and his team have created a luxury VIP villa experience with private rooms and cottages with on hand staff to attend to your every need while

you recover in the villa on holiday in Turkey. HOW WONDERFUL. So yes I did get anti wrinkle injections while I was there in the clinic, I had to get something and the experience was amazing if I’m honest, I’ve had this treatment before but this was different, the doctor who was a plastic surgeon asked me what I wanted and liked (what look did I want) and said lie back and relax it was over in 1 minute so professional. So watch this space as I will be back soon with more about the villa and packages for cosmetic surgery abroad. Revitalize have UK consultations across the country!!! CHECKOUT THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA REVITALIZE INTURKEY

MARCH THANK YOU APRIL NEXT FLEXING (ARE YOU DOWN WITH THE LINGO? FLEXING IS FOR MEN, IT’S A POSE YOU ADOPT WHEN GETTING A PHOTO TO SHOW OFF YOUR JEWELLERY OR TRAINERS OR PART OF YOUR BODY, AND YES YOU CAN FLEX YOUR ANKLES) NIKE TRAINERS THERE SO NOT HOT RIGHT NOW THEY MAKE MENS FEET LOOK REALLY NARROW AND SKINNY SURGERY ABROAD SO HOT IF YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT COMPANY I GUESS. DERMOLIGICA INTENSIVE REPAIR MOISTURISER THIS STUFF IS AMAZING IF YOU WANT TO WHIP YOUR SKIN INTO SHAPE AND WHAT’S HOT IS THE GOSCARS!!!! CHECK BACK NEXT ISSUE TO SEE THE ALL THE GOSSIP AND AWARD WINNERS!!!

FORTY THREE // GNIMAG.COM


ACCESSORIZE // BELTS

ACCESSORIZE // BELT UP WHETHER OR NOT A BELT IS A MUST HAVE IS A MATTER OF OPINION, BUT REGARDLESS, THEY ARE NECESSARY FOR HOLDING UP THOSE BAGGY TROUSERS AND ESSENTIAL TO ACHIEVE THAT TAILORED LOOK. BLUE LEATHER BELT TK MAXX £7.99

BERNIE LEATHER BELT WHITE STUFF £25.00

MENS BROWN LEATHER BELT M&CO £10.00

BLACK STITCHED BELT TK MAXX £19.99

MENS WOVEN BELT M&CO £12

FORTY FOUR // GNIMAG.COM


update your profile

BALLYHACKAMORE - LISBURN ROAD - HOLYWOOD male grooming - barbershop - shaves - beards - detailing - waxing - manscaping - hair colouring www.jasonshankey.com


FASHION // ES COLLECTION

BON VOYAGE THE LATEST SWIMWEAR BY ES COLLECTION MODELS: OLIVER BUENDIA, ALEJANDRO CIFO AND THOMAS BUSSON PHOTOGRAPHER: ALEJANDRO BRITO

FORTY SIX // GNIMAG.COM


FASHION // ES COLLECTION

THIS PAGE PROCUCT: 1922 BASIC BOARDSHORT PRICE: €78 AVAILABLE AT: ESCOLLECTION.ES/EN

FORTY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM


FASHION // ES COLLECTION

THIS PAGE PROCUCT: 1922 BASIC BOARDSHORT PRICE: €78 AVAILABLE AT: ESCOLLECTION.ES/EN

FORTY EIGHT // GNIMAG.COM


FASHION // ES COLLECTION

THIS PAGE AVAILABLE AT: ESCOLLECTION.ES/EN

FORTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM


FASHION // ES COLLECTION

FIFTY // GNIMAG.COM


FASHION // ES COLLECTION

THIS PAGE AVAILABLE AT: ESCOLLECTION.ES/EN

FIFTY ONE // GNIMAG.COM


FASHION // ES COLLECTION

THIS PAGE AVAILABLE AT: ESCOLLECTION.ES/EN

FIFTY TWO // GNIMAG.COM


FASHION // ES COLLECTION

FIFTY THREE // GNIMAG.COM


FITNESS // I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE

FITNESS // BUTT OUT You’ve a mission if you choose to accept it, and you better! Big butts have been the trend these past few years, all the celebs are dawning their derrieres though more and more have opted for augmentations, Brazilian butt lifts etc rather than putting in the hours to get a naturally perked rear. With the summer season only round the corner, we are setting you a butt challenge, simple daily experiences to give an awesome ass in 30 days Follow the guide below. If you want to share your before and after pics email daniel@gnimag.com

SQUAT • Stand straight with feet hip-width apart. Stand with your feet apart, directly under your hips, and place your hands on your hips. • Tighten your stomach muscles. ... • Lower down, as if sitting. ... • Straighten your legs. ... • Repeat the movement. BURPEE • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides. • Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat. • Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto your hands. • Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core. • Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands. • Reach your arms over head and explosively jump up into the air. • Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep. WALL-SIT • Stand with your back pressing against a wall. • Slide downward into a squat position by moving your feet forward until your knees make a 90-degree angle and your hamstrings are parallel to the floor. • Hold this move as long as you can.

DAY 1 10 squats 30 seconds burpees 15 seconds wall-sit DAY 2 10 squats 30 seconds burpees 15 seconds wall-sit DAY 3 13 squats 30 seconds burpees 20 seconds wall-sit DAY 4 15 squats

40 seconds burpees 25 seconds wall-sit DAY 5 15 squats 40 seconds burpees 30 seconds wall-sit DAY 6 20 squats 45 seconds burpees 30 seconds wall sits DAY 7 23 squats 45 seconds burpees 35 seconds wall-sit

DAY 8 25 squats 45 seconds burpees 35 seconds wall-sit DAY 9 25 squats 55 seconds burpees 40 seconds wall-sit DAY 10 30 squats 55 seconds burpees 45 seconds wall-sit DAY 11 30 squats

60 seconds burpees 45 seconds wall-sit DAY 12 35 squats 70 seconds burpees 50 seconds wall-sit DAY 13 40 squats 70 seconds burpees 50 seconds wall-sit DAY 14 45 squats 80 seconds burpees 55 seconds wall-sit

DAY 15 50 squats 80 seconds burpees 55 seconds wall-sit

DAY 23 75 squats 100 seconds burpees 80 seconds wall-sit

DAY 16 55 squats 80 seconds burpees 60 seconds wall-sit

DAY 24 80 squats 105 seconds burpees 90 seconds wall-sit

DAY 17 55 squats 90 seconds burpees 60 seconds wall-sit

DAY 25 80 squats 105 seconds burpees 90 seconds wall-sit

DAY 18 60 squats 90 seconds burpees 70 seconds wall-sits

DAY 26 85 squats 105 seconds burpees 100 seconds wall-sit

DAY 19 65 squats 90 seconds burpees 70 seconds wall-sit

DAY 27 85 squats 105 seconds burpees 105 seconds wall-sit

DAY 20 70 squats 100 seconds burpees 80 seconds wall-sit

DAY 28 90 squats 110 seconds burpees 105 seconds wall-sit

DAY 21 70 squats 95 seconds burpees 80 seconds wall-sit

DAY 29 95 squats 110 seconds burpees 105 seconds wall-sit

DAY 22 75 squats 100 seconds burpees 80 seconds wall-sit

DAY 30 100 squats 120 seconds burpees 120 seconds wall-sit

FIFTY FIVE // GNIMAG.COM


EXPERT HELP // MARTY

EXPERT STYLE Martin, 38 from Lurgan, a Youth and Community worker feels stuck in a rut. He’d developed his own style that was basically born out of convenience. We sent him to our experts and this was what happened...

BEFORE Marty, tell us about your look before the makeover... Before the make over, I had got into my own style and kept it for a long time, probably depending on the same look most days as it was handy and easy to go with. My hair was a messy wet look which didn’t need much care for. My clothes, handy for the work I do and comfortable but not in with the style of the day.

AFTER So you’ve been primped and preened by some of the best in the industy, what do you think of your new look? After the treatmen my skin feels a lot fresher, smooth and already people in my life have made comments on the difference. This also applies to the hair, with a lot saying it suits me more and gives me a younger look. It is a big change for me regarding the hair, and one I feel I will keep. The clothes gave me a new look, that’s for sure, and a great look for a night out.

FIFTY SIX // GNIMAG.COM


EXPERT HELP // MARTY

HAIR

WAYNE SHANKEY MALE GROOMING

Upper Newtownards Road, Ballyhackamore, Belfast Following an extensive consultation and taking into account Martin’s current hairstyle, including his morning hair routine, we agreed on a style that met his needs. Blending the back and sides with clippers and scissors reducing the length and weight, and creating a tapered neckline, whilst shortening the top adding texture, creating a more defined fringe that falls naturally across his forehead. Hair was then styled using Jason Shankey styling paste. Martin’s beard is faded on the sides with the jaw line squared off and edges sharpened, finished off with Jason Shankey beard oil.

SKIN

TARA BEYOND SKIN

College St, Belfast

Martin came to us for a Skin Consultation on Friday 29th march, he presented with signs of acne rosacea and his skin was really dry and dehydrated. His at home skincare routine was minimal, a splash of water and some emollient cream. We first needed to tackle the redness in the skin as I knew it would take the longest to improve and we wanted to see some changed pretty quickly. I put Martin on a simple home care routine consisting of an Epionce Gentle Foaming cleanser to wash his face, we then used a SkinCeuticals B5 Hyaluonic Acid serum to add hydration and aid skin healing and finally we introduced an Epionce Renewal Facial Cream which is packed full of ingredients to reduce redness, calm breakouts and sensitivity and hydrate. When we started with treatments I knew we would need some kind of peel to kick start the skin. We decided on Obagi Blue Radiance Peel - a salicylic based treatment which gently exfoliates the top layers of the skin (which is made up of dead skin cells) to produce a fresh brightened complexion, promotes healing of breakouts and sterilises the skin to prevent further bacteria. We did one pep with Martin and 3 Led facial treatments. We used a combination of results driven products such as Epionce Purifying wash, Dermaquest BHA Dermaclear cleanser and soothing, anti-inflammatory serums and hydrating masks and moisturisers. While under the Led light we used a combination of Red, blue and infra-red lights. In combination these lights are used to reduce inflammation and redness, calm, soothe and heal the skin, promote hydration and the production of collagen and sterilise the skin. Over all we seen a good reduction of redness, but the most noticeable change was how much more hydrated Martins skin felt! Before we started this journey his skin was so dry and flaky and through a combination of products and treatments we revealed a fresher more hydrated appearance.

CLOTHES STEVEN RIO BRAZIL

Victoria Square, Belfast Having met Martin its was clear he is more comfortable in relaxed clothing so rather than going down a formal routine we thought that a smart casual look would be perfect. This would be a notacable change though something he would feel good in. To complete the look on the left we dressed him in: Grenson Sneakers 20, Paul Smith Socks, Oliver Spencer Jacket, Paul Smith Jeans, Psyco Bunny Polo Shirt. We look forward to dressing Martin again when he reaches his weight loss goals. All items featured are exculsive to Rio Brazil Belfast.

FIFTY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM


TREATMENT // ACCUPUNCTURE

TREATMENT // ACCUPUNCTURE I PERFORM ON STAGE A LOT AND USE THE GYM OFTEN WHICH HAS RESULTED IN OCCASIONAL BACK PAINS. I TOOK THE HOLISTIC APPROACH AND BOOKED TO SEE LOCAL ACUPUNCTURIST TRISH. SHE WAS SO FRIENDLY, MADE ME FEEL AND EASE, AFTER SOME FORMS AND QUESTIONS SHE NEW EXACTLY HOW TO HELP. MY APPOINTMENT LASTLY SLIGHTLY MORE THAN AN HOUR, I CAN HONESTLY SAY IT WAS AMAZING. I WAS KIND OF WORRIED ABOUT THE NEEDLES THOUGH THEY ARE SO FINE YOU BARELY FEEL THEM SO THERE WAS NO DISCOMFORT AT ALL. SHE ALSO DONE CUPPING ON MY BACK WHICH FELT ODD THOUGH STRANGELY NICE. USUALLY I TOSS AND TURN WITH BACK TWINGES AT NIGHT THOUGH THEY WENT AWAY FOR A FEW WEEKS AND I SLEPT BRILLIANTLY. I ALSO RECOMMENDED TRISH TO MY PERSONAL TRAINER WHO HAS BEEN 4 TIMES IN THE PAST 6 WEEKS, HE HAS ISSUES WITH HIS LEGS AND SAID TREATMENTS WITH TRISH HAVE HELPED TREMENDIOUSLY. I CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK FOR ANOTHER SESSION. CLINICS AVAILABLE IN BELFAST AND DERRY. THE ACUPUNCTURIST WWW.THEACUPUNCTURISTNI. COM TRISH O’ HARA T: 07525 419320

FIFTY EIGHT // GNIMAG.COM


TREATMENT // ACCUPUNCTURE

ACUPUNCTURE IS A FORM OF treatment that involves inserting very thin needles through a person’s skin at specific points on the body, to various depths. The oldest surviving acupuncture needles were discovered in the tomb of a Chinese prince, buried in 113 BC, but the therapy may date back centuries if not millennia earlier. It is based on the the idea of the body’s ability to return to its full state of health if given the stimulation to do so.

Laser Acupuncture or low-level laser therapy does what it says on the tin, activating the Qi flow with lasers rather than needles and is used in more sensitive areas like the ears.

A physiotherapy assessment is used to find the source of imbalance within the body so the acupuncture points needed to return the body and mind to full health can be identified. Acupuncture aims to restore all forces to a state of balance by enhancing the repair mechanism and decreasing recovery time. While it may not fully heal you on its own, it can improve the results of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Millions of people use these treatments every year sometimes as an alternative to traditional medicine but usually alongside regular treatments. Acupuncture targets the root source of the pain and aims to restore balance around it as well as forcing you to listen to your body and treat it in the necessary way rather than just taking painkillers to cover up the issues.

The needle is supposed to trigger the flow of Qi which should circulate amongst the organs but connect to the superficial skin. Regularly a balance exists within these systems but if injury or emotional trauma occurs it creates imbalance and results in pain, weakness exhaustion or disease. Acupuncture will increase Qi flow to the area that is lacking to restore balance and heal the body. Whilst there is little scientific proof that acupuncture points exist numerous studies suggest that it does work for certain conditions, whether there’s a real explanation or it’s just a placebo, many people who try acupuncture agree that it helps to relieve pain or enhance the results of treatment. The ancient treatment could be used to stimulate the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain relievers like endorphins and serotonin which is why physical therapists often recommend it prior to the other methods of therapy. It has been proven by the NCCIH to help in cases of lower back pain, neck pain, tension headache and migraines. The WHO lists many more so it seems that scientific or not the healing effects of acupuncture are undeniable. Whilst the pins may sting a little when inserted, once left acupuncture should cause no pain although in some cases a practitioner may choose to apply a little electric current to the needles which is called Electro-Acupuncture and is useful for chronic pain. Different practitioners may choose to use different methods of acupuncture. The Conventional Acupuncture method is described above and can be used for muscle relaxation or sports injuries.

The final form is known as Moxabustion and Cupping. These techniques are used to introduce heat to the points which will increase the circulation and remove waste.

After a session many people report feeling completely relax whereas others may feel energised but it will take multiple sessions for your body to experience relief from any troubling symptoms. Acupuncture, while an ancient method has been proven to work time after time. Whether it’s the rebalancing of Qi or the stimulation of the nervous system, it’s been shown on millions of occasions to help with both mental and physical problems.

BENEFITS OF CUPPING PAIN RELIEF & IMPROVING YOUR GAME. Cupping helps release painful, stiff and tight muscles, to ease pain. RELIEVES COLD, COUGH AND ALLERGY SYMPTOMS. Cupping is wonderful at boosting our immune system by moving lymphatic fluid and blood throughout the body. NATURAL STRESS BUSTER Alongside acupuncture, cupping is also well know for it’s pressure relieving benefits. DETOX Cupping supports moving stagnation and eliminating toxins, which damage our health and well-being. IMPROVE SKIN CONDITIONS Cupping therapy reduces inflammation, and even diminishes cellulite around the tummy and thighs.

Acupressure involves a physiotherapist applying pressure to the points by hand to stimulate the flow of Qi and is used more often with children or patients with fears of needles.

FIFTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM


RESIDENTIAL REHABILITATION WWW.CARLISLEHOUSE.ORG

HELPING YOU TO FACE THE CHALLENGE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUG PROBLEMS Make the first step in changing your life, visit www.carlislehouse.org 2-4 Henry Place, Clifton Street, Belfast, BT15-2BB Tel: 028 9032 8308, Email: carlislehouse@pcibsw.org


LIFE!

COMING OUT, FAMILY, WEDDINGS, SCENE OUT, ADVICE, LIFE IS REAL!


REAL LIFE // DARYL SHIELDS

SIXTY TWO // GNIMAG.COM


REAL LIFE // DARYL SHIELDS

THIS IS ME... The lyrics from one of my favourite songs from The Greatest Showman have taken on a whole new meaning.

I AM BRAVE, I AM BRUISED, I AM WHO I’M MEANT TO BE, THIS IS ME... Well, this is me; bowel cancer battler and survivor. It’s odd but I never thought I was going to get cancer but this is my story and cancer will always be a part of it. It gave me a fight for life and woke me up with a terrific bang. So I asked myself ‘why me’ and I answered, ‘well why not’...

SIXTY THREE // GNIMAG.COM


REAL LIFE // DARYL SHIELDS

stood at the bottom of my bed and just kept repeating ‘I’m sorry, I’m so sorry’. To be honest I think she was in shock more than I was. She was the same doctor who had examined me almost seven months earlier and had referred me for the colonoscopy. But at least now I had a label to put on all my symptoms after all these months of waiting. I think inside I knew what the diagnosis was going to be but denied it - in a way I couldn’t believe it would happen to me. But of course over the years you get to know your own body and my body had been telling me that something just wasn’t quite right. Things moved fairly quickly after that. I met my colorectal surgeon, Mr McAllister who looked after me throughout my treatment and confirmed my diagnosis which was stage 3 bowel cancer. It was incredibly overwhelming to hear how much treatment lay ahead of me. I was about to start five weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, followed by surgery and then, at the end of all of this I was told I would have to have a stoma bag. When I heard the words ‘stoma’ uttered to me I was literally filled with fear. Even though I had been diagnosed with bowel I’M IN MY LATE FORTIES, fit and healthy and I tried to negotiate with cancer in the hope it was nothing. I was unprepared for a diagnosis. Bowel cancer has five main symptoms. I had four of them - all pain free; bleeding, persistent and unexplained change in bowel habits, weight loss and extreme tiredness. I had a busy, stressful and pressured job working 70 hours a week so put the weight loss and tiredness down to that. But then I started to notice blood when I went to the loo. It most definitely was not meant to be there. So I went to see my GP within a week who examined me and referred me to hospital. Seven weeks later I underwent a similar exam in hospital and with relief and a red face I was told I probably had piles. As a precaution I was sent for a colonoscopy and that probably saved my life. It took seven months before the colonoscopy apppointment came through. Of course that’s too long to be on a waiting list for anything let alone with a cancer merrily growing in your

SIXTY FOUR // GNIMAG.COM

bowel. We are told catch bowel cancer early and give yourself the best chance. Thankfully I was lucky and got away with it - just - but we must change waiting times for others. I arrived at the hospital for my colonoscopy on the morning of Friday, April 27, 2018. I had decided to go to the hospital appointment on my own because if it wasn’t good news I wanted to be able to process the information and deal with my own emotions first - and not have to deal with how someone else was processing it. The examination was almost into its 35th minute and nothing had been found so far, only a little trickle of blood. All of a sudden one of the nurses stood in front of the viewing screen while another told me to take deep breaths of the gas and air and in that moment the realisation that they had discovered something was very real. For a moment, all I could think was this can’t be happening to me, this can’t be real. Cancer? Me. Really? The doctor entered the room and

cancer, the thought of a stoma bag just never ever dawned on me. The cancer diagnosis I could get my head around, but what about this stoma situation. This really was the unknown and I was terrified.


REAL LIFE // DARYL SHIELDS

BOWEL CANCER So many questions racing around in my head Questions about the stoma came in such a rush I couldn’t even ask them quickly enough. I felt that heavy feeling of dread closing in on me and it was overwhelming.

my hands. After a very long conversation with my surgeon I opted for the reversal. The decision wasn’t entirely straightforward but I’m young (kinda), I’m fit and healthy and if it works out great, if it doesn’t it’s a stoma for life.

Would it leak? Would I smell? Would IT smell? Would everyone know? How was I ever going to handle this? Oh God, the thought of any sort of romance or intimacy was abhorrent to me all of a sudden if I had to lug this awful thing about.

I had donated a kidney four years ago to a family member but even so I was unprepared for how tough my surgery was going to affect me. It was tough, really tough but each day that passed got a little bit better. Seven weeks on, I am pain free and doing physically and mentally really well. I was in surgery for more than nine hours after presenting my surgeon with one of his most challenging surgeries. I spent two days in ICU and five days on a morphine drip which sent me a bit off kilter. There were so many things that I just wasn’t prepared for; tubes coming out of me, my heightened sense of smell which made me feel sick, even over shower gel, moisturiser, toothpaste and mouthwash I was nil-by-mouth for the first five days after ICU but I had no appetite at all except for the best lolly pop I ever tasted. My hospital care was unbelievable, kind, caring and compassionate despite the usual staff shortages and pressure. Seven days post-surgery, I was taken off the morphine which might have managed my pain but left me on an emotional rollercoaster.

BUT IT WAS STOMA BAG OR NOTHING. I’D NO CHOICE. I CHOSE LIFE OF COURSE - AND A LITTLE BAG I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT. I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at the cancer centre at Belfast City Hospital Hundreds of patients walk through those doors on a daily basis and I got to meet some amazing people. Everyone was different, their treatment programmes different, their hopes and fears probably different too and their approach to their health news all totally individual. Of course we all had one thing in common, we are there to beat cancer. The heath care staff made sure I understood everything before my treatment started allowing me time to process it all. The treatment was tough, I had good and bad days. On the bad days I focused on the good days. With no other choice I got through. On Monday, July 30, I got to ring ‘The Bell’, and herald the end of my treatment. With 100 other patients looking on, it was a message to keep going and I found it a very empowering and humbling moment. So now the waiting game started. Tick tock for 10 weeks up to CT and MRI scans, blood tests and appointments with my surgeon. I had a huge decision to make, would I opt for a permanent or reversible stoma. Surprisingly that decision was in

At the same time, a very dear friend was dying and the impact of my grief for her just completely overwhelmed me. Paula, was my inspiration, she was incredibly strong and positive and I loved her dearly. She was there for me right from the start and on the day of my diagnosis she said to me, ‘Daryl, no pity parties. You have to be positive. Keep going, you’ve got to fight this.’ She fought her cancer right to the end with her family close by her side and she herself lived by the motto “Every day is a good day’. I couldn’t have got through the last nine months without the support and love of my family and friends. You can’t do this on your own, well you can but it will be a very different journey. My approach to having cancer has been to talk about it, if your talking about it your not dwelling on it, this has kept me really positive. Post surgery, I’ve gone from strength-to-strength and the stoma has actually been the easiest part to deal with as long as I’m always organised. I read a quote recently, ‘change your thoughts and you can change you world’ I did and it has…

SIXTY FIVE // GNIMAG.COM

. FACTS . Bowel cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer diagnosed in the UK, with 42000 people diagnosed every year. 9 out of 10 of these people are over 50 but it can affect anyone of any age,1 in 15 men and 1 in 18 women are diagnosed with bowel cancer in their lifetime.

SYMPTOMS INCLUDE A CHANGE IN YOUR BOWEL HABIT, USUALLY MEANING LOOSER, MORE FREQUENT STOOLS, PERSISTENT BLOOD IN YOUR STOOLS AND LOWER ABDOMINAL PAIN. Bowel cancer is treatable and curable if diagnosed early so if any of these symptoms go on for more than 4 weeks see your doctor. They will most likely examine your stomach and bum for lumps, arrange a blood test to check for iron deficiency anaemia (to find if there has been bleeding you weren’t aware of) and arrange for a colonoscopy, a simple test which is the most effective way of quickly identifying bowel cancer. If you have been diagnosed with bowel cancer talk to people, get support from friends and family and comminicate with people in the same situation. The unknown is scary so learn as much as possible about the condition and make sure to make time for yourself, make sure not to over exert yourself and just take it one day at a time.


COMING OUT // ANDREW MOLLOY

COMING OUT // ANDREW’S STORY ANDREW MOLLOY, 35 FROM LURGAN, County Armagh has been with his partner for almost nine years, he takes time out to share his coming out experience with us...

WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALISE YOU WERE ATTRACTED TO THE SAME SEX? Thats a funny one because when I was younger I used to watch Blue Peter (yes in the 90’s) and I can remember that I went from fancying Katy Hill to Tim Vincent in the space of a week. I think I was about 13 or14 years old. DID YOU TELL ANYONE AT THE TIME? Oh lord no! I didn’t know what gay was, I couldn’t tell anyone. Later in high school “gay” was a phrase used to make fun of and bully people. I wasn’t gonna paint a target on my back. WHEN DID YOU ACTUALLY COME OUT? I actually came out in stages I told a few people in my last year in high school, then family not long after. WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO DO IT? Well, I’ll be 100% honest here and you can laugh at it, when your mother finds mens muscle magazines under your mattress, and your stick thin with no athletic ambition. you know you’re caught out. HOW DID YOU COME OUT? Well after the previous encounter, and many denials and lying saying I’m not! One day on my way to work my Mum was dropping me in and on the way she asked me right out. I near died but i could just tell by her face that she just wanted to know, no judgement. She stopped the car on the side of the road and I said “yes I’m gay”. From that theres always one thing I’ll remember her saying “Now I know I can trust you cause you’re not keeping anything from me” which to this day blew me away. I just wish that back then a lot of other teenagers had a mother like mine. WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF YOUR CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY? Well my dad took it bad, years later I found out it wasn’t cause of me, he was going through some problems

SIXTY SIX // GNIMAG.COM

himself but he’s great now. My aunts my mums sisters were all “sure we knew already” and “sure it’s the same Andrew”. I think the dancing to Steps CDs gave me away. WERE THERE ANY NEGATIVE REACTIONS AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THESE? This is a weird one because the one person I thought would be alright with it wasn’t. My Granny came down and made a big deal about and told me I was confused and I didn’t know. At this point in my life I hadn’t even been with a guy.

I CAN REMEMBER THAT I WENT FROM FANCYING KATY HILL TO TIM VINCENT IN THE SPACE OF A WEEK. I THINK I WAS ABOUT 13 OR 14 YEARS OLD. I found out years later that my Dad (as it was his Mum) told my granny to come down and say this to me, she was alright with it and sees my partner as another Grandson. But the reason was that my dad didn’t want me to have a hard life, he didn’t want me to have to struggle, which i know a lot of people can do. HOW HAS COMING OUT AFFECTED YOU? After I told my mum it was literally like a weight had been lifted, and I know that sounds like an Xfactor quote, “having the time of my life” and “this is my final shot at fame”. But it really was, I went into work that day and came out to everyone there too - a lot of the staff were ex-class mates. It was so liberating that I wasn’t hiding anymore and I didn’t care what the reaction was. I was me and I was gonna be for the rest of my life. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS THINKING ABOUT COMING OUT? Things have changed a lot since I was younger and I know thats making me sound like an old queen now, but it has there was no internet, well not like we have now days. so


COMING OUT // ANDREW MOLLOY

no social media and ways to connect to the gay community. The advice I would give is just be you, don’t worry about what happens in high school because the people who picked on me and bullied me walk by me in the street say hi and don’t say oh theres the gay man. They see Andrew. To quote; “things get better”, cause they do, people grow and attitudes change, I mean look at the difference between the 90s and now. ANY FUNNY STORIES ABOUT WHEN YOU CAME OUT TO SOMEONE? Oh where do I start haha! You’d be here all day with some of them. My brother said he knew I was gay looking back. Like the time when I was a kid walking through the paddling pool in my mums heels and putting a hole in it. A lot of friends always said that my love of STEPS gave it away.

IT WAS SO LIBERATING THAT I WASN’T HIDING ANYMORE AND I DIDN’T CARE WHAT THE REACTION WAS. I WAS ME AND I WAS GONNA BE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. SIXTY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM


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LOVE // LAURA & ANNETTE

THE BIG DAY // LAURA & ANNETTE SIXTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM


LOVE // LAURA AND ANNETTE

SO TELL US HOW YOU MET, WERE YOU SINGLE FOR A LONG TIME BEFORE YOU STARTED DATING ? Laura: I was working in the bank on a six month contract, as I’d wanted to take some time out from hospitality, having worked in bars and restaurants for most of my working life, and a few months before I left, Annette transferred in from another branch. We became friends at first, as we were both recently out of relationships, but I think I knew pretty early on how I felt about her- I was definitely the one doing the chasing! Annette: We both met whilst working at Dankse bank. Laura was a new start, I had worked for the bank for some time so was able to help her when she first joined the branch. At the time we were both in relationships, however both were coming to an end at that stage. We were quite good friends after we’d split with our respective partners. With another friend

SEVENTY // GNIMAG.COM

of ours we had a bit of a heart break club, as they had also recently broken up with their partner. I had been in my previous relationship for over 9 years and was keen not to jump into another, however we became close over the coming months and I fell for Laura. HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DATING DID IT TAKE TO POP THE QUESTION, WAS IT AN IMMEDIATE YES? Laura: We were together about two years when I decided to pop the question. I’d arranged for us to go on holiday to the south of France, Marseille and Nice, as I’d seen this perfect secluded beach in a National Park in Marseille, and I knew as soon as I saw it that was where I wanted to ask. After a MUCH long walk than I anticipated, with the ring in the beach bag the whole time (and Annette getting increasingly confused as to why I wouldn’t let her hold the bag), we finally got to the beach, which was only about 30ft

wide in a little inlet, but unfortunately, we were on a bit of a rocky outcrop and couldn’t actually make it down to the beach. It was, however, just as gorgeous as I’d imagined so I decided to go for it. Annette was still trying to get down on to the beach so I asked her to sit down (took a couple of goes- I think I eventually told her to sit down). I asked her if she liked our little adventures, and when she said yes, I asked her if she would go on all her adventures with me. I don’t think she’d quite got where I was going with it at this stage so I popped out the engagement ring and she said yes more or less straight away (in her shock there was a bit of colourful language first...) Annette: Laura popped the question about 2 years after we got together, I immediately said yes….after a few choice words. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIG DAY... Laura: We got married in the Clandeboye


LOVE // LAURA AND ANNETTE

SEVENTY ONE // GNIMAG.COM


LOVE // LAURA AND ANNETTE Annette: The food and drink was extremely important to us both and was a massive consideration when choosing our venue. As soon as we saw the menu we were thrilled. And after hearing nothing but praise from past patrons we knew we had picked the right place. Food was beautiful and family and friends had nothing but compliments afterwards. DID YOU HAVE A HONEYMOON? Laura: We went on a ‘mini-moon’ straight after the wedding to Vienna for a few days, but we’re heading off to New Orleans and Mexico at the end of April for our ‘real’ honeymoon- extremely excited!!!

Lodge and had the most amazing timethe location was gorgeous, we had the ceremony in the Blackwood suite and then moved in the the Viceroy suite for dinner and dancing. I always thought that when people said that it was the best day of your life it was a bit of a cliche but honestly our faces hurt from smiling and the love you could feel in the room all day was overwhelming. I want to give a massive shout out to the Clandeboye staff too, particularly Graham and Ian, who genuinely could not do enough for us and made the day go like a dream. Annette: I was definitely the nervous one on the run up to our wedding day, but with plenty of encouragement and advice from my family and friends I made sure to relax and take in as much of the day as I could. I was assured that it would fly by in the blink of an eye, and I wanted to enjoy every bit of it. It truly was an amazing experience. Nothing went wrong and we both had an absolute ball. WHAT ABOUT THE FOOD AND DRINK? Laura: Amazing! I’ve never had very high expectations of mass catering, but our food was as good as any restaurant, and the choices we were given to pick our menu from was incredible, it was probably what sealed the deal, for me anyway! We also made mini bespoke sparkly cocktails for everyone as our favours which I loved creating and testing, obviously....

SEVENTY THREE // GNIMAG.COM


LOVE // LAURA AND ANNETTE Annette: We had a ‘mini-moon’ in Vienna which was brilliant, but have planned a longer trip at the end of April to New Orleans and Mexico. ARE YOU INTO THE SAME THINGS? WHAT INTERESTS DO YOU HAVE THAT ARE DIFFERENT? Laura: I would say we share a lot of interests, mainly food and drink, and our prettybut-dim patterdale terrier Morgan. I would say Annette is a lot more active than I am, and I’d definitely be more into music and comedy, but we love to share these things when we can. Annette: We very much like the same things. We are both obsessed with cooking programmes and animals. We enjoy being social and eating in nice restaurants. DO YOU DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER OR DO YOU LIKE TO KEEP INDEPENDENT? Laura: We do quite a lot together (continuing

the ‘adventures’ promised in my proposal), but we’re definitely not one of those couples that live in each other’s pockets. We each maintain our own social circle as well as our shared friends, and I think it’s just a bonus now to come back to the best wife at the end of it all!

Annette: I think we’ve found a pretty good balance between the two, we always make time for each-other but are very comfortable catching up with friends or attending work functions alone.


….your Perfect Day, done your way. It’s what we do.

Chimney Corner Hotel, 630 Antrim Road Newtownabbey, BT36 4RH Tel 02890 844925 www.chimneycorner.co.uk


AGONY AUNT // TRUDY SCRUMPTIOUS

SORT YERSELF OUT! TRUDY SCRUMPTIOUS I’M 35 AND I THINK I MAY BE BI THOUGH I’VE BEEN MARRIED FOR 6 YEARS AND I DON’T KNOW IF I SHOULD TELL MY WIFE, WHAT DO I DO? Honesty is the best policy, look at Donald trump! He only tells the truth! Just be the truest version of yourself nobody likes fake news ! I’M NOT OUT TO MY FAMILY SO TO SHUT THEM UP FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS I’VE BEEN BRINGING A FEMALE FRIEND TO DINNERS, WEDDINGS ETC. BUT NOW THEY’RE ASKING WHEN I’M GOING TO PROPOSE! HOW DO I TELL THEM IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN? Beards are the male version of contouring but I think you’ve taken this a bit too far! No I’d propose... running for the hills! Or ya could just have a break up, considering you’re NOT ACTUALLY GOING OUT with this very good friend, who’s pretending to be your “girlfriend”! She does deserve ring for effort at least! MY GIRLFRIEND SAYS SHE WANTS AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP, IS THIS JUST A CREATIVE WAY OF SAYING SHE DOESN’T WANT TO BE WITH ME? Well it depends on you? What type of open relationship are you comfortable with? Like Stormont... never open? Or like Pure Gym... open 24 hours and ready for anyone to pound away? You decide...

AND HER PARENTS JUST THINK WE’RE ROOMATES, HOW DO I TELL HER IT’S ANNOYING ME? I’d try the old conventional method... “you are wrecking me... tell your parents we are WHOMMATES NOT ROOMMATES!” MY BEST FRIEND AND HER BOYFRIEND HAVE BEEN SEEMINGY HAPPY TOGETHER FOR MONTHS BUT LAST WEEK AT A PARTY HE KISSED ME, DO I TELL HER? Depends did you kiss back? Was he hot? Did you like it? Some people’s moral compass point them in the right direction and others point south to a big erection! MY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED NEXT MONTH AND I’M INVITED BUT MY HUSBAND ISN’T. DO I STILL GO? Don’t go if her decision is based on homophobia. If she can’t support your relationship then you shouldn’t support hers! But if she’s just a tight arse or doesn’t like him then maybe seize the opportunity to get drunk and make it about you! I’VE BEEN WITH MY BOYFRIEND FOR MONTHS NOW BUT HE HASN’T DELETED GRINDR FROM HIS PHONE, SHOULD I BE WORRIED? Aaahhh, as the old Chinese proverb says “if he’s still on the apps he’s looking for chaps?”. Try talking to him to see why he’s still using the app , maybe he’s waiting for a conversation about commitment and he ain’t gonna find that on Grindr! I THINK MY BOYFRIEND MIGHT BE GAY, WE’VE BEEN WATCHING RIVERDALE TOGETHER RECENTLY AND HE SEEMS FAR TOO INVESTED ANYTIME ARCHIE TAKES HIS TOP OFF (WHICH IS A LOT), ALSO HE’S HAD THE NEW JONAS BROTHER’S SONG ON REPEAT FOR A WEEK BUT WHEN I BRING IT UP HE DENIES IT AND SHRUGS IT OFF AS A JOKE, WHAT DO I DO? I hate to break it to you but your boyfriend isn’t gay... he’s a 15 year old teenage girl who probably is afraid of Momo! MY SISTER JUST CAME OUT AND I DON’T KNOW HOW I FEEL. I CAME OUT TO MY FAMILY LAST MONTH AND NOW IT FEELS LIKE SHE’S STEALING MY SPOTLIGHT, OBVIOUSLY I’M HAPPY FOR HER BUT I CAN’T HELP BUT FEEL A LITTLE JEALOUS. DOES THIS MAKE ME A BAD PERSON? Sibling rivalry is a difficult matter and to be honest a little jealousy is to be expected at this early stage, but think of all the pride parades and fabulous events you can go to in matching outfits! And let’s face it at least you aren’t straight!

MY GIRLFRIEND WON’T COME OUT TO HER FAMILY, WE’VE BEEN LIVING TOGETHER FOR A YEAR

SEVENTY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM

HELP! SEXUAL HEALTH

Leo from The Rainbow Project answers that pressing question... I’ve been seeing this guy for a couple of months now, and I think we are ready to start having unprotected sex. What should we do to be sure that we are safe to do this? FIRSTLY, I THINK IT’S REALLY good to discuss condom use with your partner whether this means you’re going to be monogamous (meaning you are each other’s only sexual partner) or not. If you and your partner are only planning on having sex with each other then it’s important for you to know that you cannot magically create an infection between the two of you and it is safe for you to choose not to use condoms. However before you and your partner negotiate condomless sex I recommend you both get a full sexual health screen first (for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia) and also that you still attend regular screening including a HIV & syphilis test once per year (every 3 months if you’re mixing it up with casual partners more often). Unfortunately relationships break down and sometimes people have sex outside of relationships and this can put our partners at risk of an infection. Having condomless sex in a relationship means putting a lot of trust in your partner. You need to be able to have open and honest conversations about sex, including sex outside the relationship, so that you can make the decision to go back to using condoms for a while until you get tested if that’s what is best for you. If you’re going to be having sex with different partners, or if you just feel particularly anxious about HIV, then I would recommend considering whether or not PrEP is right for you. You can check The Rainbow Project website for information about how to access PrEP from the Royal Victoria Hospital clinic in Belfast or for more general information about PrEP you can check iwantprepnow. com We all deserve to have amazing sex and we have the best sex when we’re confident about what we enjoy and when we have our eyes open to any potential risks but when it comes to your sexual health – you can only really be responsible for yourself. So please don’t forget to get regularly tested regardless of what’s going on in your relationship!


FAMILY // ADI HEINISCH

LGBT FAMILIES // ADI’S STORY SEVENTY EIGHT // GNIMAG.COM


FAMILY // ADI HEINISCH

ADI HEINISCH IS A 34 year old General Manager of a Cloud Services company, living in Tel Aviv. Before having kids he had a completely different lifestyle. He was building a career in the hightech industry in Israel. He did his Padi Divemaster certification and traveled the world to dive, he also did his fair share of partying. But he always dreamed of being a dad. He wanted to be able to teach his kids about good and bad, to feel what it is to love and care for someone who needs you and loves you unconditionally.

are amazing and good and smart and beautiful and I do not regret having them for one second, but we shouldnt be afraid to say it out loud. ITS HARD.” It’s no different than straight people having kids. It’s okay to feel like your whole life is being sucked away into this. Be honest with yourself and share your feelings with others. It took a while to get back into a routine, balancing his carrer and kids. Mainaining a life of meditation, going to the Gym and spending time with people you love is hard so Adi takes the opportunity to reccomend two books: “Why Buddhism ia True” and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F##k”,He says they helped him a lot in figuring how to spiral up and live a life based on the right values.

To begin with he felt his partner was much more prepared than he was, but he says “I feel like the luckiest person in the world for doing it” and is thankful to his ex everyday for doing it. As a gay man who came out of at the age of 16, his parents were scared he wouldn’t have a family and kids so they were overjoyed to hear the news. They chose to use surrogacy in the US as they wanted to be the only ones involved in the education and for it to be a simple as possible for everyone. Portland Oregon was the chosen destination due to it’s pro LGBT surregacy laws but there were still moments of complication, culture clashes between Israeli & American doctors but everything was ok in the end. The decision was made to name them Ethan & Millie two nights before the birth. Millie isn’t a very common in Isreal name, it felt unique and international. Ethan means “tall and strong” in Hebrew. Life was changed completely once the children entered it. As a gay man with a multi vacation a year lifestyle it was a challenge he had to overcome. “My kids

AS A GAY MAN WHO CAME OUT OF THE CLOSET AT THE AGE OF 16, MY PARENTS WERE SCARED I WOULDN’T HAVE A FAMILY AND KIDS.

He always wanted his kids to speak both Hebrew and English and is proud of his kids ability to speak both languages. In Tel-Aviv the culture is pro LGBT. You see tons of gay families and people are always impressed by the fact that you have kids. Adi’s experience is extremily positive & he takes his kids everywhere. Once over the initial fear of being a divorced dad with two kids he found pride in his family. He leaves us with some wisdom for families in a similar situation: “Remember - it’s not easy, its the biggest thing you will ever do in your life and it will change your life forever. Make sure you have the support around you. Grandparents, family and people that support you, but also, it is thr most rewarding thing in the world. They talk about love that you’ve never felt before. Its no joke, its true.”

SEVENTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM


REAL LIFE // NUALA

REAL LIFE // WHY CAN’T WE CELEBRATE OUR 10TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY? EIGHTY // GNIMAG.COM


REAL LIFE // NUALA

THAT JUST DOESN’T SOUND RIGHT or have a nice ring to it ‘Civil Partnership

make an forever home for us. When we first decided we were going to

registrar then asked me are you sure you want to do this? I looked at my friend

Anniversary’ but that is the reality here

be civil partnered it was more of a way to

and we both looked astonished until the

in the North of Ireland. But to us and our

protect each other and our future of buying

registrar said no not your partnership that

family and friends we are wives and we

a home together ; we would be entitled to

date the following week is Friday 13th

are recognised as wife and wife but not in

be next of kin. At this stage we had been

March. I thought that would be a good

the eyes of the law; our love has no parity

together for six years and were ready to

date as my wife should remember it (she

in the North of Ireland. If we were born

move onto the next part of our journey

didn’t until after a few years).

in any other part of UK or Ireland our love

together. At the start we decided we would

would be equal; it’s a shame really that the

just go to City Hall and ask our sisters to

family and friends gathered in the venue to

North led the way in civil partnerships and

come with us to be witness. But thankfully it

witness our ceremony and spend the day

now we have returned to the dark ages. I

didn’t turn out quite like this.

with us. Everyone was dressed up to the

thought after 10 years of Berni only being

I am not sure of what happened next and

The 13th of March arrived and all our

nines and looked amazing. Our families

recognised as my civil partner, we would

had travelled from all over Ireland, England

have now been known as wife and wife; it

and Scotland to share our day with us, and

is so hard to believe that in 10 years there has been no progress on Marriage Equality here in the North of Ireland, but ‘hello’ welcome to the dark ages. People ask us why we don’t go to the South of Ireland or across the water to get married and my answer is what’s the point, as soon as you land back where we live our marriage is not recognised. The other reason is why should we go away and get married, we should have the option like most couples do and have a choice; a choice to get married here or foreign but still be married in the eyes of the law when they arrive home. Back to me my WIFE and our journey.

IT IS SO HARD TO BELIEVE THAT IN 10 YEARS THERE HAS BEEN NO PROGRESS ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY HERE

Berni and I met on the 8th March 2002; a

even the lord mayor Tom Hartley attended and presented us with beautiful Belfast Crystal glasses. After the ceremony we had the reception in St. Matthews which is where I was born. The evening was amazing and people still talk about it to this day. The group asked us what our favourite song was to start the evening and the song was ‘So What’ by P!nk. The group started with this song and the dance floor filled and stayed like that the whole night; the bar staff had to ask the group to stop playing to so they could get home. All the happiness of that day is flawed today because some politicians say that because we are gay women we are not

great date to meet as it was International

equal and don’t have the right to be

Women’s Day. When we met up we were

who we talked too but soon a few family

married as it against their faith/religion.

not looking for relationships as both of us

members found out and they were angry

Getting married has nothing to do with

had just come out of ones that were not so

and raging with us and called us selfish.

religion or faith it is a law abiding document

good. The more we talked and got to know

They called us selfish as they couldn’t

and if people want to they can attend their

each other the more in love we fell. We

understand why we would not want a big

place of worship for a blessing. What I am

often say we think it was our destiny to meet

day and invite all our family and friends to

calling for is civil marriage equality not a

as we had both lost someone we loved very

be part of it, like all other family weddings.

religious or faith based ceremony. There

much. Berni had lost her sister to cancer

Our thoughts were because it was a civil

is only one definition of love and when you

and I had lost my mummy; both died in the

partnership people might not think of this

fall in love and find your soulmate; your

same year and only a few months apart. We

as a wedding, we were wrong.

heart and emotions have no boundaries

were able to support each other during the

The day I went to the registrar to book

of gender so how can people think they

anniversaries, birthdays and other times our

our civil partnership my friend came along

can add boundaries. Life is hard enough

grief came to the forefront. We were able

with me. We were looking at a date around

and some people go through their life not

to understand how the other was feeling to

the 8th of March as this was the date we

finding that special person for them. So why

be supportive. Berni and I were together 7

met. There was nothing for that date so

should it be that when a person finds their

years when we decided to buy a house to

I said to look at the following week. The

special person and because they are of the

EIGHTY ONE // GNIMAG.COM


REAL LIFE // NUALA

comes to my love, even though I try to show my wife I love her every day I only feel able to do this at home or with my family and friends. We are not allowed to show how much we love each to the public by getting married. We cannot show our love in public because of the fear of being abused and sneered at, because the churches, politicians say it is wrong and immoral. I love my WIFE with all my heart and my love only grows with the years we are together. On March 8th this year we are together 17 years and on March 13th this year we are celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary; YES Wedding Anniversary because we do not need any church or politician defining our love and commitment to each other. Happy Anniversary to my beautiful, wonderful and loving Wife Berni, I am loving you today, tomorrow and forever. Your loving Wifey Nuala Always and Forever xxxxxx

same gender, people think they can make a difference and say this is not love and because you are gay you are not entitled to the same rights as our straight brothers and sisters. I have been to many family weddings over the years and the priest would talk about love and when you find love to cherish it and prove to that person how much you love them every day. I think it is lovely on one hand and then on the other I am annoyed and angry - I am not annoyed at the people getting married, I am so happy and full of nothing but love for them. I am annoyed and angry that because the people standing in front of their family and friends are woman and man; this love is celebrated in all parts of society. But when it

EIGHTY TWO // GNIMAG.COM


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EIGHTY FOUR // GNIMAG.COM


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EIGHTY FIVE // GNIMAG.COM


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SCENE OUT // THE NATIONAL

A GRAND RE-OPENING

EIGHTY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM


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EIGHTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM


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TEST!

TRAVEL, FOOD, HOMES, TECHNOLOGY, MOVIES & TV, WE TEST AND REVIEW!


RECOMMENDED // MARTY KEARNEY

RECOMMENDED // MARTY KEARNEY WILD ROSE // WHEN I WAS LAST AT the cinema a trailer for Wild Rose came on. As I never heard of this movie so I perked myself up on my seat and was in awe for the next two minutes. Wild rose is about a single mother from Glasgow who just got out of prison who dreams of making it as next Nashville’s next queen of country. When the backing song came on I got the chills, maybe it was the hangover I was nursing but I shed a few tears also. Jesse Buckley’s who appears as Rose voice was gorgeous and Julie Walters plays the mother of the title character. This is going to be the underground story with a soundtrack to boot for the summer.

FLACK // ANNA PAQUIN HAS BEEN WORKING steadily since she left her role as physic waitress and part fairy Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood, but this new role is definitely worth a mention. Paquin plays Robyn Flack an American PR executive living in London who on a daily basis must get her shady celebrity clients out of the messes and scandals they have found themselves in, and she will do just about anything to solve the situation. With only six episodes this can easily be watched in one binge session as it’s highly addictive and very enjoyable. Look out for Eve played brilliantly by Lydia Wilson, she steals every scene she’s in, her dry wit and sharpness would put some of RuPaul’s Queens to shame.

NINETY TWO // GNIMAG.COM

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RECOMMENDED // TV & FILM

DOOM PATROL // A DC UNIVERSE SHOW. DOOM Patrol is a team of super heroes so obscure even I never heard off them apart from one member Cyborg. Introduced in an episode of its sister show Titans (which I recommended in a previous issue) A lot of Doom Patrol is daft and stupid but it works for example look out for a floating unicorn head so keep an open mind. Members include Elsta Girl, Robot Man, and Negative Man and probably the most interesting is Crazy Jane who has 64 personalities each with its own super Power played by Diane Guerrero who you may recognize from Orange is the new black and Jane the virgin. Plus if you want to see Matt Bomber in a pilots uniform check it out. Also starring Brendan Fraser and Timothy Dalton.

THE ACT // I HAVEN’T SEEN ANY EPISODES of The Act yet but by the time this issue goes to print I’m sure I’ll be obsessed as will you I’m. The Act is a true crime series Starring Patricia Arquette. It follows the real life case of Gypsy Rose and the murder of her mother the sick twisted Dee Dee Blanchard who had Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. This true life case gripped America and who better to play the mother other than Patricia Arquette, she’s under rated and one of the best actresses of this generation. Joey King and Chloe Sevigny also star.

NINETY THREE // GNIMAG.COM

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RECOMMENDED // MARTY KEARNEY

AVENGERS: ENDGAME // THE END OF INFINITY WAR was the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers. For a whole year fans have come up with theory’s on how the fallen Avengers will return but we know they will, Spiderman (Tom Holland) already has a trailer out, Loki (Tom Hiddelson) and scarlet Witch (Elisabeth Olsen) have television shows coming out soon so at the end of the day we know good will triumph over evil. That said many of the dusted avengers will be missed with not a lot of screen time given to them. And even though Gamora (Zoe Soldana) was killed and technically wasn’t dusted she better come back. I reckon she’s not dead but in the soul stone (that’s my theory, they need her for guardians 3) Ant Man (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and new recruit Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) who has been confirmed as the most powerful avenger according to producer

Kevin Feige are all in on the action. I also hear that Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) will suit up herself and become the hero known as R.E.S.C.U.E. with her own iron suit. This Avenger’s movie could well knock Titanic and Avatar of the top spots for highest grossing movies of all time. The wait is almost over. DUSTED –Star-lord ,Spiderman, Shuri, Groot ,The Wasp, Falcon, The Winter Solider, Drax the Destroyer, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch ,Mantis, Gomora Dr. Strange ,Vision, Nick, Fury, Loki and finally Maria Hill . NOT DUSTED –Captain Marvel, Thor, Hawkeye, War Machine, Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, Ant Man, The Hulk, Rocket, Valkyrie, Wong, Okoye, Nebula, Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow.

BRIGHTBURN // WHAT IF SUPERMAN CRASH LANDED on earth and instead of being a beacon of hope and a super hero he was a menace and terrorized the people of his sleepy town of smallville, well that’s the pitch for Brightburn, Superman’s origin story with a horror twist, sure this has been done in comics with superman landing in Russia but this concept is great and I’m just surprised a movie like this hasn’t been done before, the trailer looks amazing and genuinely scary, with Elizabeth Banks starring as the Martha Kent type role and with the makers of Guardians of the Galaxy producing it, I’m sure this will be the sleeper hit of the summer.

NINETY FOUR // GNIMAG.COM

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RECOMMENDED // MARTY KEARNEY

GRETA // I LOVE A GOOD PSYCHO-BIDDY film. A horror genre made popular way back with Whatever Happed to Baby Jane? Psycho-biddy flicks tend to revolve a middle aged or mature lady who becomes sinister, psychotic and over the top. Greta is about a young woman (Chloe Grace Mortez) who befriend’s a lonely old widow (Isabelle Huppert) only to find that she has a sinter agenda towards her. Fans of films like Single White Female, Notes of a Scandal and one of my favorites The Hand That Rocks the Cradle should enjoy this movie. Directed by Neil Jordon who has had some good movies under his belt including Interview With a Vampire, The Crying Game and Breakfast on Pluto.

BAD MOTHERS // I DON’T REALLY WATCH SHOWS based outside the US and I know I’m missing out for example this one featuring Melisa George. Bad Mothers follows Sarah who finds out her husband has been having an affair with her best friend, but when her best friends turns up dead it’s the husband who is the prime suspect. Sarah is soon befriended by a trio of women who have branded themselves the bad mothers, they help Sarah clear her cheating husband’s name. If you liked Big Little Lies you will like this it is also has hints of Desperate Housewives plus the three hubbies are not bad to look at either.

NINETY FIVE // GNIMAG.COM

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TESTED // CULLODEN SPA

RELAX // PAMPER TIME AFTER A HEAVY WEEKEND IN CARLINGFORD THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO THINK OF IS MONDAY MORNING, WELL THE MONDAY I’M REFERRING TO IS ONE OF THOSE RARE EXCEPTIONS AS RATHER THAN THE USUAL GRIDLOCK TRAFFIC ON THE WAY TO WORK I WAS HEADING THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION TO THE CULLODEN SPA IN HOLYWOOD, AS I TYPE I’M WISHING I WAS BACK THERE RIGHT NOW...

NINETY SIX // GNIMAG.COM


TESTED // CULLODEN SPA

BEING MARCH, THE DAY WAS GLOOMY with copious amounts of rain in traditional Irish fashion, no sign of Spring in the air through in the Culloden Spa spring is in full bloom as I’m treating myself to their Spring Day Experience which I’ll give you a full rundown of. I didn’t time my journey though reckon it took a mere 20 minutes from Belfast and going away from the traffic it made the drive itself relaxing, I pulled up to the Spa around 11 am eager of the pleasures that lay ahead. I was greeted by the pleasant front desk staff who escorted me to a comfortable chair beside the pool. I was asked to fill out a treatment form, was offered refreshments then given a short tour and provided with a dressing gown and towel. With my Spring experience booked for 12noon, I had 30 minutes to kill. The jacuzzi and pool were calling me so once I de-robed I had a quick dip, chilled in the Jacuzzi for 15 minutes then relaxed by the side of the pool. Prior to my visit, I was informed that I could arrive as early as I liked to relax and use the facilities, in hindsight I wish I had of given myself another 30 minutes at least to use the steam-room. Note to self and readers leave plenty of time to lap it up :).

rooms, this place is really something else, green teas, fresh fruit a large selection of magazines all at your disposal and individual remote control beds to help you unwind in the position that is just right for you. I headed into one of the treatment rooms, Zamo who was providing the treatments introduced herself, we chatted a bit then we done some breathing exercises to help me unwind further, I was then asked to make choices between different oils and creams that would be used based on

All this relaxing has made me hungry, thankfully a light lunch was included within the package. I ordered their Vitality Healthy drink this was delicious, packed with Apple, Cucumber, Spinach, Celery, Lime and Pineapple. To eat I opted for the Cashel Blue Cheese Salad, I am somewhat of a salad connoisseur though this popped right off the page being so different, served with Mulled Poached Pear, Candied Pecans, Croûtons and a Honey Mustard Dressing, yum!

smell, I must admit I found then all lovely so was a tough decision, though it was a lovely touch to get more involved. I hopped up on the bed and the next 90 mins or so was complete heaven, I love massages as much as the next person but this was a different league,

So what is the package you ask, well I shall break that down before I continue: • Breathing & Visualisation techniques with crystals • Soothing facial using a Jade roller crystal • Scalp Massage • Warm Foot Cocoon • Robe, Towel Slippers • Use of all Facilities • Finishing with a Light Lunch As you can imagine after reading the leaflet I was so excited, so off to the treatment rooms I go, well all I can say is WOW!, once you open the door it is like being transported to the middle east, a Zen masters heaven, so relaxing and peaceful, with dimmed lighting throughout and calming music playing. I was given more time to relax prior to treatments in one of the relaxation

was so comfortable, Zamo went through some personal recommendations of products that would improve my skin e.g eye serum, overnight hydration cream etc and advised me to drink loads of water (guessing I was dehydrated from the weekend’s antics lol). She then brought me back to one of the relaxation rooms were I chilled for another bit.

The was also a breakfast menu for those in for early treatments and many alternatives on the lunch menu, E.g Avocado Toast, Glenarm Smoked Salmon and Moroccan Couscous which I could have happily eaten. Belly filled and well relaxed it was time to depart, the few hours I spend were wonderful. Cost for the Sring package starts from only £115 and worth every penny in my eyes. Available in both the Culloden and Slieve Donard Espa Spa’s. Visit www.hastingshotels.com/spa for more details or to book.

Zamo although being young, you would think she had decades of experience, I was probably only awake for around 20 minutes between the treatments. Each treatment was completely different so it’s impossible for me to choose a favourite although I will say the Foot Cocoon was a new one to me, it was lovely.

Thanks to Zamo and all the wonderful staff at The Culloden Spa, I had such a lovely day Review by Daniel May

Afterwards, I think I had to be woken up I

NINETY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM


HOME // SOUNDBARS

HOME // SOUNDBAR WE SET OUR ED ASSISTANT A TASK OF SOURCING US SOME FAIRLY FAB SOUNDBARS, SHE CHECKED OUT THE ONLINE REVIEWS AND THIS IS WHAT SHE CAME UP WITH...

JVC TH-D258B 2.1 WIRELESS COMPACT SOUND BAR £99.99 / CURRYS PC WORLD IMPROVE YOUR TVS SOUND QUALITY with this wireless compact sound bar. A smaller size is perfect if you don’t like the look of a bulky sound system. The compact design will help it easily fit in with the rest of the room so you can boost your sound without taking up too much space. It’s quick and easy to set up and comes with Bluetooth so you can give your music the HQ treatment. Definitely on the lower end of the price spectrum, it has average reviews of 4 stars with people saying the quality is brilliant and it’s improved their TV watching experience greatly. Sound can be easily tailored to whatever you’re watching, whether

NINETY EIGHT // GNIMAG.COM

it be an eerie and quiet horror film or a loud high thrill action this sound bar can accommodate. The low price does come with a couple of limitations though, the bar is best used with smaller TVs and the quality isn’t as great whilst listening to music, that’s not to be said it can’t be used with these things but just that you may be better looking at a different product if these are your main uses. Overall it’s an inexpensive high quality addition to any good movie night and hundreds of users will agree on the great value of this sound bar.


HOME // SOUNDBARS

LG SK1D SOUNDBAR - 2.0

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£57.70 / AMAZON

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• • •

Average 4 star review Bluetooth connection Easy to set up

Connectivity issues

• • • • •

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BMR loudspeaker drive units which allow sound across an exceptionally wide area. Built in subwoofer, no need for a seperate subwoofer. aptX lossless Bluetooth for audio streaming V4.0. Ready to be pluged and played with all important cables included Wall bracket Included. 4 star

PANASONIC SC-HTB8EB-K 2.0 SOUNDBAR £69 / CURRYS • •

4 star Bluetooth

Single soundbar provides better sound quality compared to your TV Dialogue mode to make every word and detail stand out Bluetooth connectivity to wirelessly stream music from any of your devices One connection to your TV Universal remote to command your TV bass module, Bluetooth devices and more 4.5 star

LOGIK L32SBT17 2.0 SOUNDBAR £25 / CURRYS • •

4 star Bluetooth

SAMSUNG HW-K360 SOUNDBAR 2.1CH, ACTIVE WIRELESS SUBWOOFER £145 / AMAZON • •

4.5 star Increased speaker capacity and improved active crossover to bring out the best in your movies and music tracks

NINETY NINE // GNIMAG.COM


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7

FOOD // THE NATIONAL

FOOD // THE NATIONAL THIS ISSUE WE HEADED TO THE NATIONAL for our food review. Those not familiar it is situated on High Street, one of the many establishments under the Beannchor umbrella, it reopened last month after an extensive refurbishment. Just a stone’s throw away from the Albert Clock. We arrived around 1pm, the restaurant was particularly busy, couple’s, groups of friends and local workers etc all dining, exactly what would one would hope to see. The place has a real modern industrial feel with super high ceiling, exposed beans and brick that is brought to life with greenery. The staff were super attentive and extremely friendly, we were immediately shown to our seats on arrival, perfect position in my opinion, almost in the middle of the restaurant with a clear view of the bar area and serving hatch just to our left, love how you can see the chef’s at work. Shows confidence. As much as I would have enjoyed wine we decided to behave as work beacons after lunch so we ordered water while looking through the menus, we had a choice of ordering from the Lunch menu, which consisted of Deluxe Sandwiches, Salads, Croque’s, Tapas and Sides or alternatively there were a few daily specials. Average dish cost was pocket pleasing £6.50 My guest having previously read the Menu online opted to go for the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, this was served with Crispy fried onions on red onion focaccia with a side of Fries. It has been a few weeks from we visited, and she is still raving about how tasty it was. I was torn though decided to give one of the specials a go though being my usual awkward self I asked for it to be tweaked slightly. The dish was a teriyaki pork open sandwich with egg though I asked for a salad version of this which the Chef was more than happy to offer. The pork was cooked to perfection with just the right amount of heat, served with Salad and 2 fried eggs, once I burst the yolks it ran all over the dish which was pure heaven. Simple yet so satisfying We also decided to order Tapas to share on the Menu you can choose 3 dishes for only £8, I could have happily sampled all 8 though we settled on the Charred King Prawns, Pork Belly Bites and the Smokey Almonds. The prawns were devoured in a flash (I love seafood) and there was almost a fight over the Pork Bites, they were divine, could have eaten a dozen of them. The size of the Menu in my opinion was perfect with the right amount of choice with something to please any palate. Right in the corner I spotted the following message “When you purchase a breakfast at The National you help feed a child that would otherwise go hungry. That’s because we donate a breakfast for every breakfast YOU purchase to FareShareNI”. What a great way to give something back. All in all, we had a lovely afternoon, I will definitely be back, the staff were friendly and the service extremely quick which is important over lunch, I would highly recommend visiting. Thanks to the Chef and staff. Review and words by Daniel May 62 High St, Belfast BT1 2BE www.thenationalbelfast.com

ONE HUNDRED & ONE // GNIMAG.COM


TRAVEL // COPENHAGAN

COPENHAGAN // A DANISH DELIGHT WORDS: GAVYN ANDREWS

ONE HUNDRED AND THREE // GNIMAG.COM


TRAVEL // COPENHAGAN

Gavyn Andrews

YOUR WRITER LIKE ANY TRAVELING MARKET THE

city is clearly very welcoming and open to

LGBT market has always liked to try new

the lucrative LGBTQ travel market. Pride

destinations, cultures and scenes and

events can be a must for any LGBTQ

so I wanted to introduce you all to the

traveler and Copenhagen will certainly

Danish delight that is COPENHAGEN

be hitting your sweet spot because not

which I recently added to my own list of

only does it have a fantastic annual Pride

adventures. Now usually when you tell

planned for 2019 but Copenhagen will

a friend or family member that you’re

also be city host for World Pride in 2021 as

heading to Scandinavia they will often

well as the Euro Games which will be a first

more than not automatically think you

for any European city (Yippee).

are going cruising but I want you to give the Danish capital of Copenhagen the

As I researched for my trip to this amazing

opportunity to welcome you with open

city I have to say I got very excited

arms, because I feel it delivers something

learning about Copenhagen and the

truly unique and very individual.

length of time gay men have been widely accepted into the beating heart of the

If unlike me you are one for history on

cities inner society. I guarantee you did

everything that is LGBTQ then you may or

not know that this stunning liberal city

may not already know that homosexuality

is the home to one of Europe’s OLDEST

for example has been legal (YES LEGAL)

gay bars Centralhjornet (I know my jaw

in Demark since 1933 and has allowed gay

dropped too).

marriage since 2012, so as you see the

OUR RESIDENT TRAVEL ADVISOR GAVYN Andrews from Antrim has over 20 years tourism and hospitality management experience. He worked his way up through the ranks from retail travel, business Travel, groups and events, hotels to overseas tour operations. As you can tell from his writing, his passion is travel and helping others discover the world we live in.

ONE HUNDED & FOUR // GNIMAG.COM

Now like me and many more before


TRAVEL // COPENHAGAN

Travel Tips COPENHAGEN

me you might have some misconceptions

Friday or Saturday night from 10pm until

about Denmark for example that it is not a

5am or the well-known and respected

cheap destination but I want you to make

SLM Gay Cruise Fetish club which offers

up your own mind. My advice is that it can

something a little more unique and is

be as cheap or as expensive as you want

open from Thursday to Sunday. If drink

it to be, from Hostels to First class luxury

is not your thing and you’re simply on

it really is your own adventure and budget

the lookout, the Amigo Gay Sauna is the

for that matter. Personally I think it would

place for you its open every day from

be a fantastic destination option ex UK

lunch time to around 7am and offers you a

and Ireland for either a long weekend max

safe space to relax unwind and indulge in

3 nights or a multi-center stop combining

whatever you fancy. MEN’S Bar is a simple

another city in the same area. The cities

leather fetish bar with a friendly but raw

major attractions are located in the center

atmosphere however everyone is welcome

of which many are free to enter and also

of course. In fact the city welcomes you

within walking distance from key hotels or

too push your boundaries and evokes total

the city’s main shopping district.

openness. You will get to know that the

old Latin Quarter (Near City Hall) is what Denmark’s level of integration and

you could call Copenhagen’s gay area and

tolerance explains what can be seen as

the hub of the LGBT nightlife. My advice

a relatively small gay scene compared to

is go and try everything as you only get

other destinations. However if you are in

one life and that the Danish people will be

need of some PURE GAY delights then I

more than happy to show you around gay,

would like to recommend that you give

straight, bi or undecided they even have a

G-Bar Aarhus Bar-Club a try on either a

bar called Jailhouse CPH.

Hostel dorms begin at 150 DKK per night but are more often than not around 200-250 DKK. Private double rooms with a shared bathroom cost 700-1400 DKK per night. Budget hotel prices – Guesthouses and budget hotels are widespread throughout the city and their prices on par with a hostel’s private room. Furnished apartments cost 500-800 DKK per night. If you are just looking for a single room in someone’s apartment, check Airbnb. You can find rooms for as little as 300 DKK (even less in the winter). Full apartments or homes on Airbnb will be closer to 760 DKK per night. Average cost of food – If you are going to eat out in a restaurant, be prepared to pay around 80 DKK for a cheap meal. You can find cheap outdoor hotdog and sandwich vendors for around 30-35 DKK. Groceries will cost around 340 DKK per week. In Denmark, it’s substantially cheaper to cook your own food than eat out. If you are craving a bite out, stick to pizza and kebab places as they are the budget options in Scandinavia. Transportation costs – The train from the airport to city centre is 40 DKK (and is very quick and easy to figure out). Local trains and buses are around 24 DKK for a two-zone (regular) ticket. The city is very easy to get around on foot, and even better for cycling. Bike rentals are around 130 DKK for a 24-hour period and are a great way to experience Copenhagen — it’s how most of the locals get around.

This city is truly amazing to explore and for me I thought it can be one of the best cities to explore either on foot or bicycle. I also really enjoyed eating the street stall food which filled me up during the day and saved me on money compared to eating out in the many cafes and or restaurants. You will find many money saving tips on the cities Facebook pages which will also be a useful resource when thinking about the LGBT options for your trip.

ONE HUNDRED & FIVE // GNIMAG.COM


SEX // ARE VEGANS BETTER IN BED?

SEX // VEGAN TOYS

ONE HUNDRED & SIX // GNIMAG.COM


SEX // ARE VEGANS BETTER IN BED?

“THE FUTURE OF SEX TOYS is vegan, says Northern Ireland’s (almost vegan) longest established adult retailer” Veganuary may be a distant memory, but for Northern Ireland’s biggest adult retailer the future of the sex toy industry is verifiably vegan. For vegans committed to choosing cruelty-free products in all areas of their life, bedroom supplies can be quite difficult to find. There are around 500,000 vegans in the UK, with numbers climbing steeply in recent years according to the Vegan Society. Reasons for switching include health, animal welfare and environmental concerns. That’s not a huge slice of the population, but its growing and cruelty free products are also of interest to vegetarians and the dietary agnostics; meat reducers. Greggs launched the Vegan Sausage Roll recently, in response to an ever-growing demand, why shouldn’t the adult industry do the same? After winning GNI MAG’s coveted Best Independent Business Award two years in a row, Misstique’s gay lifestyle superstore in Belfast’s Union Quarter is now leading the charge in conscientious shopping. Having recently celebrated their twenty-fifth birthday, Misstique Belfast has the distinction of being the first adult retailer in Northern Ireland to begin phasing out animal products in their toy and clothing range. “When you’re vegan, buying sex toys, lube and bondage gear is confusing,” said Frankie. “At Misstique, consumers know that vegan labelled products are 100% cruelty-free, Frankie went on to say “We contacted each of the manufacturers and asked where the materials came from,

where these objects were produced and if animal substances were used," Now a vegan lifestyle can not only be expressed in the kitchen and bathroom – it can also reach into the bedroom. “For vegans, buying lube, sex toys and bondage gear can be a challenge,” says shop manager Frankie. “Animal-based materials are very popular when it comes to sex toys, especially those on the kinkier end of the spectrum, like leather bondage cuffs, silk scarves and feather ticklers. Those who do not live nearby can take advantage of the option to shop online, with international shipping and discreet packaging available, whilst locals can enjoy the extended every day late night opening hours. The store, which has a strong Facebook presence, is not completely vegan, however has all vegan products clearly labelled. Persons of all orientations, genders and tastes, and can find a range of vegan products designed for their enjoyment, which are not found in many 'mainstream' sex shops. The good news is that as a vegan you can ditch the Viagra and extended-hour condoms and go vegan instead. Doctors agree: The best way to prevent artery blockages, improve heart health, and lower blood pressure is to eat a diet high in fiber, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You taste better. Meat and dairy products are distasteful in more ways than one, women insist. Former porn star Annie Sprinkle says vegetarians taste best. Eating fruit and drinking fruit juice a few hours before sex is thought to improve the taste, while cigarettes, alcohol, meat, dairy products, and deep-fried foods make semen less palatable…. And you’ll last longer!

“At Misstique all of our vegan products are clearly labelled so our customers can be 100% certain that what they are buying is ethically sourced and cruelty-free.” Our customers can make the choice of cruelty free erotic wear and toys safe in the knowledge that the quality will remain the same. Misstique currently has an extensive selection of vegan products available, ranging from everything from glycerin and paraben-free Sliquid lubricants, to the elegant and entirely vegan-leather Bijoux Indiscrets range, glass ‘Icicle’ dildos, and satin Japanese-style bondage rope. Vegan condoms, natural lubricants, and massage oils are also vegan-friendly and safe to use in the bedroom. In terms of sex toys, faux leather is used in many of the company’s products “Based on the growing popularity of veganism, I predict we’ll begin to see fewer and fewer animal products like leather, silk and feathers in our toys, and more and more cruelty-free alternatives like faux-leather and glycerin-free lubricants,” Frankie tells us. “Animal products in the sex toy industry are now the thing of the past—the future is sexy, the future is vegan.”

WRITTEN BY MISSTIQUE Misstique is located at: 27 Gresham Street, Belfast, BT1 1JL www.misstiquebelfast.co.uk

ONE HUNDRED & SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM


ONE NIGHT STAND // MARINE HOTEL

ONE NIGHT STAND // MARINE HOTEL THIS EDITIONS REVIEW TAKES US up the beautiful North Coast to Ballycastle awardwinning 3* Marine Hotel. Claire Hunter and her childhood friend Colum McLornan bought the derelict building back in March 2013, at that point it had been closed for three years, step forward to 2019 the hotel has more than returned to glory, boasting 41 bedrooms including exclusive modern suites and cool rooms for groups to get away for partying or for family or activity breaks. We were invited to see the extent of work that had been carried out after a whopping 1 million investment into the restoration. My only memory of Ballycastle was visiting as a child with family, think I was around 8, so I am keen to return to see how things have changed over the years and get to experience the place as an adult, I have heard there are quirky bars and plenty to do. My guest and I both had commitments so we didn’t arrive until around 4pm on Wednesday, had it not been for work we would have been arriving around noon. The drive was a breeze took a mere 60 minutes from Belfast which really surprised us, there was literally no traffic which I guess was due to the time of the day we departed. We parked up and had a brief stroll around, the Hotel couldn’t be any closer to the sea, this really is prime position, simply beautiful and so peaceful with boats docked up in the marina and people out with the kids and pets in playpark. Having spied an ice cream shop we couldn’t resist buying one while we took in our surroundings. Beside the

ONE HUNDRED & SIX // GNIMAG.COM

hotel, there are a few shops, cafe’s, tourist information point and secret bars which I will delve into later and lots more. The main stretch of the town is a short walk away. Ok so time to check in, we headed to the hotel. The ground floor is split into dedicated areas, with the Marconi’s Bar and Bistro talking up the right side, this is used for dining and drinks and to the centre and left is the reception area and a chill out cafe where you can enjoy a cuppa and tray bake. Checkin was as quick and pleasant as one would expect, the front of house team were friendly, gave some info about the hotel, breakfast in the morning and also booked us in for dinner before directing us to our room. Our room was at the end of the corridor on the right; this may sound bizarre though it reminded me of watching the Titanic movie, let me explain, I remember how Molly Brown described the ship, with the smell of fresh paint and beds and furniture that was yet to be used, this is the first thing that popped into my head. Our suite was literally brand new as were a lot of the rooms. To the right as you enter was a lovely modern bathroom, a dressing area with enough storage space for a family. Behind this was an enormous Super King Size bed, opulent freestanding bath and by the window (which had the most extraordinary views) was a table where you could sit and simply watch the world go by. The room had it all in terms of mod-cons, fridge, TV, wifi, you name it, everything had been thought about from a guests experience. We chilled in the room, had a few glasses

of wine and got ready for dinner. With bellies rumbling we headed downstairs to Marconi’s Bar & Bistro, anyone that knows me will be aware I’m a real foodie so I have done a tad of research prior to our visit. Pol Shields is the Head Chef, his food has put the restaurant on the map as he has been awarded Ulster seafood Chowder Champion and he is a finalist in the Institute of Hospitality awards. He is all about local produce and serves fabulous seafood, lunches and special events, on the first Friday of each month they do a Four Course Seafood Dining experience for only £28pp . Ok so back to our review, once seated we ordered a bottle of wine to share, having mulled over the menu it is with no surprise I opted to order the award-winning Seafood Chowder to see what all the fuss was about, WOW, I have tasted many a chowder but this is simply something else, packed with such an array of fresh fish, it was rich and so moorish served with Guinness Wheaten which I dunked in to mop up the beautifully creamy juices. My guest ordered the Santa Fe Fishcake which was served with a Mango & Chilli Salsa . Other options included Honey Whipped Goats Cheese, Salt ‘N’ Pepper Chicken, Crispy Mac ‘N’ Cheese and more For the main, on the recommendation of the server, I went with Braised Daube of Beef. This was as tender as can be having been slow cooked for 8 hours, it simply fell apart in your mouth, this came with Celeriac, Shitake and Dauphinoise potatoes. My guest went with the 10oz Sirloin , she


ONE NIGHT STAND // MARINE HOTEL tells me this was cooked to perfection, medium as she requested served with Saute Mushroom, Buttered Broccoli & Spinach, Bearnaise Sauce. Others mains included Duck Confit, Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken, Thai Seafood Curry. The Menu had just the right amount of choice, 8 small plates/starters, 8 mains, a selection on snacks, sides and desserts. Although busting at the seams we still managed to make room for desert, we decided to share the Paris Breast. As the name suggests this is a french dish, a chow like light pastry filled with a rich cream, fruit and nuts with a serving of ice cream on the side. On food alone, I have to give 10/10 there is nothing that could improve on. We finished off our wine and headed out into the town, be a shame not to. There were 5/6 different bars we stopped in two of them for a quick drink then at around 11.30 we decided to head back to the hotel. The plan was to go to bed then our taxi driver told us about the hidden bars right next door to our hotel. To the naked eye these looked like closed shops as from the street you can’t see light or hear noise, though once you open the door you are greeted with traditional Irish music, people playing their own instruments, not sure if this is a regular occurrence

though we lapped it up, was so welcoming. We ended up staying for around an hour before finally calling it a night We lay chatting for a bit then literally passed out, I can honestly say I had the most amazing sleep, typically I wake like clockwork at 7am though with the place being so quiet and the bed so comfortable I slept on to almost 9am, it was pure bliss. With breakfast being served until 10 we shook ourselves and headed down for such much needed grub. There was so much choice, self service continental items, cereals, breads, fruit, cold meats though what really needs a mention is the American style “do it yourself” waffle machine. This was such a novelty, great fun making them following the easy instructions and so tasty, I smothered mine with chocolate and syrup though other toppings were available. Hot breakfasts were also made to order everything from individual items to full Irish breakfast, no chance of anyone going hungry with something to please all on offer. Bellies filled again it was time to grab our bags and check out :(. I met with Claire (one of the owners) for a chat before unfortunately having to head back to reality, we chatted for a bit and she took the time to show me more of the beautiful recently refurbished rooms and the function rooms, multifunctional spaces which are perfect for weddings,

private parties and corporate events. I asked Claire where their inspiration came from, she said: “We never wanted to be the same as all the other hotels-we want to have something unique so we have collaborated with city firm ADO-Belfast, architects of Bullitt Hotel to create a truly seaside theme with a modern twist”. We did extensive research in places like Newquay in Cornwall and the west of Ireland to come up with a product that is different. This is what you will experience when you visit the Marine in Ballycastle and not just from the décor”. Claire was lovely, she also added “myself and Colum look forward to guests arriving, the hotel are happy to set up activities to personalise your stay”. On the doorstep the activities are endless- Sightseeing, rope bridge, causeway, Ballintoy, Game of Thrones, Rathlin Islan, cycling, golf, horse riding, walking, diving, paddleboarding- you name it, it’s right there. Thanks to Claire, Colum and all the staff for a wonderful stay, now I know how effortless the journey is and want amazing food and rooms you have I shall be making an imminent return. Words by Daniel May To plan your trip visit their website marinehotelballycastle.com

ONE HUNDRED & NINE // GNIMAG.COM


FASHION // BELFAST ALTERNATIVE FASHION WEEK

ONE HUNDRED & TEN // GNIMAG.COM


FASHION // BELFAT ALTERNATIVE FASHION WEEK

BELFAST // ALTERNATIVE FASHION WEEK WORLD EQUAL’S FASHION ETHICS EMBRACE diversity. After it’s launch in Belfast 2016, returning from sold out shows in London and Edinburgh on their debut UK tour, the Alternative Fashion Week nestled it's roots for a spectacularly memorable homecoming show at Belfast Castle on Saturday 23rd February 2019. Belfast Alternative Fashion Week was a plethora of original alternative & commercial creativity; showcasing incredible fashion, art and live music. Gaining mainstream media coverage including; Radio interviews on U105.fm with Frank Mitchell, prime time coverage on UTV Life with Pamela Ballentine. Along with massive full page features in the Irish News, Daily Mirror and Sunday World this cemented the alternative fashion scene firmly on the map. The Chichester Ballroom at Belfast Castle was more like an art museum with all the walls covered in famous Irish artist Alan Quigley's paintings. Alan’s art overlooked a fashion show never witnessed before in Northern Ireland. It featured local and London based performers and models from the LGBTQ community. Main sponsor Josh Mayhook, owner of jeanjacketdesigns with his jaw dropping collection, dressed many of the LGBT community in denim wedding dresses and steam punk themes. Made up of incredibly detailed and accurate hand painted real life & fantasy portraits with Swarovski crystals, for that extra sparkle, Jeanjacketdesigns stole the show with ease as people watched denim in action, like they have never seen it before. Jeanjacketdesigns dressed Singers Amrick Channa (who not only is Sainsbury's lead figure on their pancake advertising campaign, Amrick also performs soul and club anthems around the world to thousands of people and sings on the incredible LGBTQ track "LOVE IS THE ONLY LAW" which, includes Samantha Fox , June Brown aka 'Dot Cotton' and many more). Belfast's famous Counter

Tenor Singer and Drag Queen Delishus (Unplugged) O'toole hosted & performed. Hilarious comedian Drag Queen Alexis Cox modelled as did stunning Drag Queen Kitty Catt, the handsome LGBTQ Icon Dean Young. Model Adrian Shannon Anderson walked and Dancer Mark Purdy exploded into break dancing to electrify the runway further. All performed and modelled with elegance and style, in a proudly confident and exuberant manner to an audience that loved them. The famous folk band Na Leannai also James Kennedy, Saffron Gorman and up coming local stars VALE with Delishus O’toole all performed intermittently at the top of the runway, behind a beautifully giant light bulb sign that spelt out the word EQUAL. Delishus as the shows host would often take to the runway with microphone in hand. Safely surrounded in the arms of Alan Quigley's art and top class talented live musicians, this felt like a fashion show being held inside an art exhibition at the Louvre Museum in Paris. This is definitely an amazing new vibe! We cannot wait to see more of it in the future.

CREDITS: Runway Images: Knight Vision Photography Staircase Image: Mickey Shields Photography DESIGNERS: jeanjacketdesigns (London) TShirts: Bruno Tilley (London) Wedding Dresses: Jenny Lindolp Bridal Wear (N.Ireland) HAIR & MAKE UP TEAMS: Becky Bower, Lisa Bloomer, Gillian Cargo, Shaia Hassey, Alwyn OConnor, Greta P.

ONE HUNDRED & ELEVEN // GNIMAG.COM


MAKEUP // ALTR FOR MEN

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ALTR // FOR MEN

ALTR // MAKEUP FOR MEN SO I’M IRISH, AND SPEAKING for myself, I’m genetically built to have the potato look! We got sent a few ALTR for men products to the office. I’d seen them popping up on my social media over the past few weeks so I was keen to try them out. My face is fairly average, I’m kinda ginger so my skin is pasty and a bit blotchy. I’ve a fairly unhealthy diet so I also get the odd pimple (I’m really selling myself here aren’t I?) What I’m getting at is that generally I’m an average man, and I wouldn’t normally wear makeup. Recently though with the aul aging process kicking in I’ve embarked on a bit more of a regime regarding my skincare, even going so far as to have some anti-wrinkle injections. So I took home the Blemish Balm and the Face Fix (all the products are available to suit various skin tones). It was St. Patrick’s Day and I had arranged to meet my mates in town for our annual pub crawl. The Saturday night previously had been fairly heavy too though and my face was showing signs of “the fear”. I figured this was as good a time as any to give the Altr products a go. Firstly I got my wee tin of face fix, dabbed my finger in the product and lightly applied it to the baggy dark circles under my eyes. The result was instant; I did that thing where I done one eye and took a photo to see the difference between the two. Then I thought I’d be daring and try to do something with the general redness and blotchiness of my face. I grabbed the blemish balm and went to town. Applying a small squirt to my finger I dabbed it across my forehead, then a few dabs either side of my nose, and a wee line down the middle of it. Then I started spreading those dabs out and smoothing it out over my face. I have a beard so I was worried that it would look daft when it got to my beard line - it didn’t’. The overall effect was great, it just really gave my skin-tone a more even look. I went fairly light with it and I probably could have (and have since then) went a bit heavier for an even more flawless look. I went out and met the guys that St. Paddy’s Day, I’d only told one of them before hand about the makeup - he gave me the nod, the one that says it looks fine. None of the other guys noticed that I was wearing makeup, a few of them mentioned in passing that I was looking surprisingly fresh for someone who’d been on the lash the night before. Since then I’ve continued to use the product when I need a wee confidence boost, or when I’ve a pimple that needs hidden. I’d recommend to keep a few of these Altr for men products with the rest of your skincare products. You never know when you need a quick fix up. Buy these at www.altrformen.com

ONE HUNDRED & THIRTEEN // GNIMAG.COM


THE LAST PAGE - HISTORY // HARVEY MILK

HISTORY // HARVEY MILK HARVEY MILK WAS A LEADING political activist for the gay community in early 1970’s California. Born in Long Island in 1930, Harvey realised he was gay at a young age but knew at the time that for his own safety it was something he would have to hide. He graduated New York State College For Teachers with a Mathematics degree then, following in his parents footsteps, joined the US Navy before settling down and working at a Wall Street Investment Firm. Hiding his homosexuality he campaigned for republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and used conservitive politicall beleifs to ward off any suspicion that he may not be straight until meeting and befriending Tom O’horgan. O’Horgan was an experimental director in the New York Bohemian Theatre scene and helped Milk to become more progressive as well as more openly gay. When his partner joined O’Horgan’s production of “Hair” in San Francisco Milk followed. In San Francisco he began to enjoy the queer social scene more as well as marching on protests of the Vietnam war. These protests eventually got him fired from his financial analyst job in 1970 leading him to return to New York and work as an assistant to O’Horgan. Unable to stay away for long he Returned to San Francisco in 1972 and opened a small camera shop in Castro Street, “the heart of the gay community.” Inspired by the unfair taxes on small businesses he ran for a seat on the Board Of Supervisors in 1973 but was unsuccessful due to some of the more influential gay electorate who felt he should “wait his turn.” This didn’t stop his political efforts though. He co-founded Castro Village assosiation so he could unite gay business owners and launched the first “Castro Street Fair.” He formed an alliance with Teamsters Union, supporting their boycott of Coors beer and in return they promised to try and hire more gay drivers, increasing work for the gay community in the area. His political skills coupled with his charismatic personality made him known as the “Mayor of Castro Street”. In 1975 he ran again for Board of Supervisors and instead landed a post in Mayor George Moscone’s administration, working on the Board Of Permanent Appeals but was forced out after announcing his candidacy for California State Assembly, in which he was once again unsuccesful. Undetered by the defeat he founded the San Fransisco Gay Democratic Club which helped him to gain more political support.

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Then, seeking support beyond the gay community he promised to create low income housing, reform tax code and establish day care centres for working mothers. This all led to him eventually winning a seat on the City’s Board Of Supervisors, emerging as one of the country’s preeminent openly gay officials. With his new place amongst the city’s polititians he spearheaded a bill to ban discriminantion in employement, housing and public accomodations based on sexual orientation which passed with only one dissenting vot from Dan White. This measure became law on March 21 1978 marking one of the biggest stepping stones in California’s crusade for gay rights. The battle wasn’t yet won though as Milk spent Autumn 1978 campaigning against Senator John Brigg’s “6 Ballot Initiative” which would ban homosexuals and gay rights supporters from becoming teachers or working in schools. He gained the support of several important polititians including President Jimmy Carter and former California Governor Ronald Reagan which helped to defeat Prop 6 by over 1000000 votes that November. After resigning then failing to be reinstated months earlier former supervisor Dan White got into City Hall through a basement window with a .38 revolver. In his anger he first killed Mayor Moscone then with 5 shots he murdered Harvey Milk. on November 27 1978, at the age of 48 it was a tragic end to the life of one of the most influential gay politicians of all time. Tens of thousnands of supporters marched to City Hall that night for a candlelight vigil. White was sentenced to less than 8 years for voluntary manslaughter due to severe mental distress from losing his job which was proved by his junk food diet, known now as the “Twinkie Defense.” Outraged, protestors set police cars on fire at city hall and the SFPD responded by storming gay bars and beating patrons, at leased 120 people were injured in the “White Night Riots.” Although taken from this world far too soon, Milk leaves a great legacy. More elected officials including Gerry Studds and Barney Frank came out during his short time in the public eye, paving the road for more LGBTQ polticians to be open and campaign for gay rights. In 2009 his birthday, May 22 became known as Harvey Milk Day in California, a day to celebrate everything he did for the community not just in America but around the world and he was posthumously honoured with a presidential medal.


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Profile for GNI MAG

GNI MAG ISSUE 36  

Our latest issue is here, introducing a fresh new look. Bigger is apparently better too so we’ve added 16 extra pages. Inside you’ll see we’...

GNI MAG ISSUE 36  

Our latest issue is here, introducing a fresh new look. Bigger is apparently better too so we’ve added 16 extra pages. Inside you’ll see we’...

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