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Issue 43 Sept/ Oct 20 £3.95 / €3.95
Rogan O’Connor Talks frankly about the opportunities being a reality TV star can offer, he tells us about “that” sex tape, and introduces his new clothing brand.
Boyz on Block
A super hybrid man band is about to break through, who are they?
Local lad Bliain used his lockdown time to re-evaluate where his life was going.
Love Me Do
Planning your big day during a worldwide pandemic can’t be easy.
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THE EDITOR // OPEN LETTER
AS COVID CONTINUES TO SURGE locally and across the globe we bring you this issue with optimism that the end is in sight. From our last edition we have thankfully seen some positive changes on the ground mainly in terms of the amount of people returning to Belfast, this being a mix of those feeling comfortable to venture out to shop and people gradually returning to work in offices rather than at home. Our city like so many others needs life and I for one love to see hustle and bustle and businesses being able to get back on their feet Today’s news (17th Sep) will be a welcome announcement for many as a date of 23rd September has been given for the reopening of wet bars.
DANIEL MAY Editor & Operations Director GNI MAG / Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd. Daniel has been with GNI MAG since 2015, steering the publication forward and keeping it relevant with our growing market. Originally from Craigavon, now living in Belfast, Daniel is a keen Thespian treading
It is a fair statement that the hospitality industry is one that comes towards the top of the pecking order in terms of being negatively impacted during Covid and the Lockdown. Thankfully the governments eat out to help out scheme gave a much needed boost to the takings of those able to sell food, though trading is nothing like normal, we all need to play our part if we want our favourite establishments to make it through the other side of this pandemic. Some businesses have made the decision to continue to offer discounts, which I’m sure diners will appreciate. Next on the agenda must be the reopening of the arts, this vital sector has been decimated. Personally I have not had the opportunity to perform for almost 6 months and the same is the case for thousands of others.
the boards and taking the lead role in many local productions.
For billions of people social media is a part of life, of late I have been conscious of the amount of bickering, people vocalising their views around Covid, there is unease and frustration across the province with opinions divided between friends, family and colleagues, some people follow the government guidelines by the book and others feel there is some type of global conspiracy afoot. It is understandable that after six months people are fed up talking about Covid, as annoying as it can be, remember to respect others opinions and views. Covid aside, America is a mere eight weeks away from the presidential election, people across the world will be watching with anticipation, California, Brazil’s Wetlands and Siberia have all been affected by wildfires, BLM Campaign rightly continues to populate the news and on our doorstep there has been a backstep in the Brexit/N.I Border debate. On a positive spin Same Sex couples can now have a religious wedding service, those planning their big day were able to register on 1st September, meaning we could see the first ceremony before the end of the month, we wait with excitement :) Hopefully come our next issue a lot of the above will be a distant memory and we will have more positive stories to share. On closing I again thank all those businesses, writers, contributors etc who see the importance of engaging with the growing LGBTQI+ community across the country, and to our readers we hope you enjoy this issue Over and Out Daniel
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BOYZ ON BLOCK
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BEAR WEAR FASHION
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THE RAINBOW PROJECT
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LETS FACE IT
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THE GOURMET BOYS
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BAR AND BLOCK
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SCENE OUT GARY DUFFY
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THE GRAND CENTRAL
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FITNESS WITH ANTHONY COOLEY
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OPERATIONS DIRECTOR / EDITOR Daniel May SALES Pauline Fitzpatrick DESIGN Tony Day
SPECIAL THANKS TO... Boyz on Block / Gary Campion / Callum Skeffington / Rogan O’Connor / Micky Murray / Declan McKenna / Carl Connielingus / Bliain Fitzpatrick / Eliad Cohan / Nick Stracener / Vic Gerami / Martin Murray / Bear Wear / Graeme Hamilton / Kirsty @ Dunadry / The Rainbow Project / The Gourmet Boys / Gary Duffy / Bar and Block / Martin Kearney / Hastings Hotels / Anthony Cooley / Gavyn Andrews / Misstique / Scott Starace / Connor Davenport / Robin Elliott / Chuff Media / Jeff Dorta / Project Publicity / Fiona Brown Communications
GNI MAG IS PUBLISHED BY... Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd 13 Union Street Romeo & Julian Belfast BT1 2JF P U B L I C AT I O N S LT D
www.gnimag.com email@example.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 liability for any misprints that appear in this magazine. You should seek professional advice prior to following any advice offered in this publication. Any opinions expressed are those of the writers and not those of GNI MAG or Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd.
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CELEBRITY, COLUMNISTS, FEATURES, ITâ€™S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE
INTERVIEW // BOYZ ON BLOCK
EIGHT // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // BOYZ ON BLOCK
BOYZ ON BLOCK INTERVIEW: GARY CAMPION
THE NAME IS A GIVE AWAY REALLY; A BOYBAND SUPERGROUP – WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? TAKE MEMBERS FROM FOUR OF THE BIGGEST BOYBANDS OF THE NINETYS AND NOUGHTIES, BOYZONE, ANOTHER LEVEL, 5IVE, AND PHAT’S AND SMALL, BANDS THAT BETWEEN THEM HAVE A WHOPPING 38 TOP TEN SINGLES BETWEEN THEM, PUT THEM TOGETHER, SIT BACK AND ENJOY! OUR GARY CAUGHT UP WITH SHANE LYNCH, DANE BOWERS, ABZ LOVE AND BEN OFOEDU AS THEY WERE SHOOTING THE VIDEO FOR THEIR NEW SINGLE IN GOOD OLE NORTHERN IRELAND…
YOU’RE HERE TO SHOOT A VIDEO FOR YOUR NEW SINGLE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND. SO, WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THIS IS A BIT OF A RANDOM COLLECTION OF BOYS, OBVIOUSLY FROM RIVAL BOY BANDS IN THE ‘90S, AND WE HEARD THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE THAT IT WAS PUT TOGETHER AT BOURNEMOUTH PRIDE. IS THAT CORRECT? Shane: Correct. Abz: It was indeed. AND HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT? Shane: Do you know, I’m going to start this interview by saying we are Boyz on Block and we have 38 top hits (laughter). So, that’s how, I’m just going to start the interview, with that. Now we got it out of the way (laughter). You know, we all booked for Pride individually, apart from me and Ben. I was DJ-ing for Ben, when he was hyping up the crowd. We were playing like a hip-hop set, and the boys were there doing their individual stuff. And before we were on, we were hanging out backstage. It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other, for sure, and
as we were, Ben himself put it, we were drinking a lot of lemonade and having fun. The night was going, we were just getting more jolly, and more jolly. And when we was going up to do my set, I says to Dane, I said, ‘Dane, you’re a proper DJ, aren’t you?’ I’m an entry-level DJ, I’m still green, you know what I mean? I’m infant in my state of quality when it comes to Dane. And I say, ‘You’re a DJ, aren’t you Dane?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, of course.’ I said, ‘Listen, come up with me, on the decks, just in case I press the wrong button.’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, cool.’ (Laughter). So that’s actually how Dane and me got up on the stage. It wasn’t just a random thing. In case I press it wrong and I say, ‘Oh, what do I do?’ And he’s like, ‘(Tuts and clicks) Oh.’ So, we were up on the stage, and then Ben, he was out, hyping up the crowd, playing some hiphop tracks. And it was going real good. And then Dane takes the mic, and then he just stands, joining with Ben on the stage. And then Abz was on the side, just hanging out, chillin’. He’d already done his set and stuff like that. I said, ‘Come on man, come on stage, look at the craic.’ We gave him the mic.
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INTERVIEW // BOYZ ON BLOCK
And as each member kind of joined the party, the crowd just got wilder and wilder. And it was just, there was an immediate understanding that this is amazing. It was like, ‘No way!’ Abz: Even that Brandon Block, if it was him, to come up and be start DJ-ing for a… What the…? Crazy. Shane: Amazing. Brandon Block came up and he said… ‘cause I was at the decks, the three boys at the front. Brandon came up and he went, ‘Yeah, go to the front with the boys. I’ll take over.’ And then Brandon was DJ-ing, and us boys were at the front, and we had the best evening. The best night. People were just buzzing, absolutely buzzing. And it was just a case of, look, I enjoyed that. And I said to Ben, ‘Hey, do you think the boys would be up for doing more of this? This was just cool.’ And we did. We just said, ‘Yeah, we like the idea, we like the boys.’
Dane: He knows, he knows all of it. It’s me that forgets stuff (laughter).
So, it was for you different, obviously with Stephen, with your band.
AND HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO SINGS WHAT THEN? Dane: We don’t. Abz: We can’t. Ben: No.
Shane: Yeah, I think, living closely to somebody. One of my best friends ever in life, you know. And I seen the struggles he went through, for sure. But I also seen the freedom he received when he did come out, and how amazing that was for him. So, I think it’s amazing that somebody in a band like that could pioneer a certain way. You know, it helped a lot of other kids out there to be able to say, ‘Listen, I’m gay too.’
BECAUSE, OBVIOUSLY, YOU AREN’T PART OF THE ORIGINAL, EACH ORIGINAL BAND? Shane: No, we don’t. It’s just freestyling. And I think that our show is a party, and if we turn around and one of the boys isn’t on stage, that’s okay. If two of the boys aren’t on stage… Ben: Plenty of times Shane’s been wandering off, and I’m halfway through the set. ‘Shane, mate! We’re halfway through the set!’ He’s getting a top-up (laughter). Dane:
True story (laughter).
And we started to talk how we’d do it, and what we’d do, and it was pretty much exactly what we did in Pride. We’d start with our DJ set, and just, each of them was start joining the stage as we go along. And it just became a big party, a block party.
True story, actually though.
BEFORE THE WORLD WAS GRIPPED WITH CORONAVIRUS, HAD A FEW GIGS WITH BOYS ON BLOCK UNDER YOUR BELT. BUT WHAT SORT OF SET LIST WERE YOU PERFORMING? WERE THERE RETROSPECTIVE CROWD PLEASERS FROM YOUR OWN BACK CATALOGUES? Dane: Well, that’s exactly what it was. Basically, our set, it is an hour long, let’s say. It’s a DJ set, and it is crowd pleasers. That’s exactly what it is. ‘90s and noughties, big club tracks that we know people will want to sing along to, haven’t heard in a while, or dance to. And then, as you’ve said, we throw all of our songs in. And if there’s a Five song on, obviously Abz will start to take the lead anyway, but then we’ll all jump on. We’ll all sing it.
Abz: I might forget the lyrics sometimes, and I’m hoping that one of you… (laughter) I’m hoping they cover me.
TEN // GNIMAG.COM
SO, OBVIOUSLY AS WELL THEN, BACK IN THE ‘90S, BOYBANDS ATTRACT PRETTY BIG GAY FOLLOWINGS, LETS FACE IT. Shane: Yeah.
Some of the best shows, G-A-Y
YEAH. AND, YOU KNOW, YOU ARE ALL HETEROSEXUAL MALES. THE ‘90S WASN’T EXACTLY GAY-FRIENDLY, LETS FACE IT. SO, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE FOR YOU, SORT OF IN YOUR CELEBRITY BUBBLE, AND BEING PINUPS, AND, MAYBE DOING THE LIKES OF GAY TIMES AND ATTITUDE? Dane: Yeah, it depends on people’s views. We really loved… like I say, G-A-Y was probably, I think most bands would say this, one of the best shows we would do. Funny enough, maybe because gay people at the time were so downtrodden, when you went to their show they let everything go. They were great, and they don’t care about showing you love. And they’re really, really great fans, and great supporters of what we were doing. So, we always had a great time.
BECAUSE STEPHEN WAS ONE OF THE FIRST IN THE ‘90S, REALLY, BAR GEORGE MICHAEL AND BOY GEORGE, WHO EVERYBODY KIND OF KNEW ANYWAY. Shane: Which you knew anyway, exactly. And I think most people knew Stephen was gay, but not really… I guess as the young teenage girls being into him and all that. It was amazing the support he received from that, and the understanding from people. And yeah, I guess that was a nice period of time to be… a breakthrough, I would call it, definitely. As much as there was suppression within the ‘90s, it was definitely also breakthrough. YEAH, OKAY. SHANE AND DANE, YOU’RE BOTH PARENTS NOW. SO, HAVE THE KIDS SEEN YOUR OLD VIDEOS, YOUR OLD PROMO PHOTOSHOOTS? Dane: Now? My son’s twenty-two (laughter). AND WHAT’S THEIR OPINIONS ON THAT, AND ALSO ON THE NEW DAD BAND? Dane: I think you’ve got this question mate. My son’s twenty-two, so there’s no point in me… (laughter). Shane: Do you know what I mean? But my kids have always seen me in a band. Like, my oldest is, she’s coming on twelve, and my youngest is seven. And they’ve been on tour. They’ve been to the shows. They’ve been to the gigs. So, it’s not really anything changed, it’s just I’m in a different band now. I mean, we’ve just finished a world tour last year, London. The most beautiful pictures I have with my two girls is we’re stood on stage with 20,000 people behind me in Manchester Arena. Crowd behind us, you know what I
INTERVIEW // BOYZ ON BLOCK
mean? And it’s magical. So, I’ve been doing this (laughs) for years.
listen to Five, they want to listen to Another Level, Boyzone.
BUT, DO THEY CRINGE WHEN THEY SEE YOU? LIKE YOUR OLD VIDEOS FROM THE ‘90S COME UP, SAY, ON THE MUSIC CHANNELS AND STUFF, AND THEY’RE LIKE, ‘OOH…’ (laughter) Shane: Hell no, they love their daddy (laughter).
Abz: Ben, for a grandad, you can set it off bro! For a grandad, you get that party lit (laughter).
Ben: Yeah, it’s a funny thing. I’m in this, sort of, new situation, where I have stepgrandchildren, you know. And they have just discovered it. So, he was at a surfing club, and he was telling the teacher that, ‘Oh yeah, my granddaddy, he sung this song, “Hey, what’s wrong with you?” Or something like that’ (laughter). And the guy couldn’t believe it. It’s weird to me. Yeah. But they’re just kind of discovering, so I’m going through it, you know. Zekey’s six, and Neroli’s four. And now it’s really weird, they want to
WE’VE HEARD, AGAIN, THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE, YOU CAN CONFIRM OR DENY, THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN VERY FREEING AND LIBERATING, BECAUSE YOU AREN’T SIGNED TO A RECORD LABEL. SO, WHEN YOU WERE IN YOUR BANDS, OBVIOUSLY WITH YOUR RETROSPECTIVE RECORD LABELS, HOW CONSTRICTED WERE YOU? YOU KNOW, WITH YOUR IMAGE, YOUR SOUND, THINGS YOU DID IN GENERAL. WHAT
I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE PHRASE IS FOR GRA… I KNOW DILF IS FOR DAD, SO WHAT’S GRANDAD? Ben and Abz: GILF (laughter).
CONTROL DID THEY HAVE REALLY? Shane: I think there was a certain amount of control to be had. But I think we’re not dismissing record companies at the moment. It’s just, we’re in our creative process where we’re, when we deliver to a record company, this is who we are. Don’t try and take us down a different avenue. And if you like what we’re doing, jump on board. If you don’t like what we’re doing, obviously we’re not for you. And I think that’s what we’re establishing in ourselves. We’re not anti-record company by all means. It’s just that we’re lucky enough to be able to be driven in our own perspective of what we want this music project to be. Because it’s beyond music, it’s not just a record company thing for us. It is TV shows that we’re looking at. It is different, and actually... It is collaborations with, like, Amen Shoes, what we came over here to shoot the video for, for the USA campaign. And so, it’s thinking way out the box for ourselves. I think that’s what we’re establishing. You know. YEAH.
ELEVEN // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // BOYZ ON BLOCK Abz:
Dane: Yeah, alright, I say. And as far as back in the day, I think it depends on the time. When you first start, you kind of want to be, not controlled, but you want to be told what to do. ‘Cause I was seventeen and we wouldn’t have had a clue. So, you kind of do whatever you’re told then anyway. And it’s probably for the best. Let’s put it… as a group personally, we were lucky that we had quite a lot of say in what we were doing. And our image was, we were trying to be an R&B underground group. So, we were allowed to, kind of, be that. But there were times when, you know, you had to do this. This needs to be done. YEAH. AND WHAT ABOUT YOURSELF WITH FIVE THEN, ABZ? Abz: I think we boys were very much. BECAUSE YOU WERE BAD BOYS? Abz: Yeah, so we weren’t afraid to say, ‘Nah’, you know what I mean? And it didn’t always do us justice, or do us well. I remember they had to fight, like for us to go to… they were asking us to go to Disney, to do a performance at Disney in America. And we were like, ‘Well, we don’t go to Disney, mate.’ Dane:
What? I would’ve been there in a
TWELVE // GNIMAG.COM
second. Abz: No man. We were fighting it, and we were like, ‘We don’t want to go.’ And we ended up going. They had to sort it out. But yeah, you’re allowed to have a voice, but it doesn’t always get heard, regardless, in that world. And I’m only talking from my personal experience. But it was very much, not contrived, but it’s very much, ‘Look, this is the set list. Follow it.’ I mean, ‘Don’t go off the beaten track. Just stay on that path, and do what they ask you to do.’ Whereas this feels a little bit more like we can bend the rules a little bit. YEAH, AND BE YOURSELVES. Abz: Absolutely. YOU’RE HERE IN NORTHERN IRELAND, SHOOTING YOUR VIDEO, WHY NORTHERN IRELAND? Shane: Why Northern Ireland? It’s because I think it has the scene that we were double bubbling with the USA campaign for the shoes, Amen Shoes. So, I don’t know how, of the models, I got these models, you know (laughter). We’re also shooting a mini film, which is also… it’s not just a music video. It dips in and out. With some acting scenes and stuff. So, it was just, the barren land and the suits were amazing contrasts and everything that we’re trying to do. The cobbled streets.
And also, to show the US how beautiful Ireland absolutely still is, and remains to be. So, it was all of that reason. OKAY. SO, WHAT’S THE SONG CALLED, THE FIRST SINGLE? Shane: Yeah, ‘All My Life’. WAS IT WRITTEN BY YOURSELVES? Shane: No, it’s a cover from K-Ci & JoJo, which are from Jodeci. So, it’s an urban-style record. DO YOU THINK THE OLD FANS ARE GOING TO APPRECIATE THIS NEW SOUND? AND DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO BRING NEW FANS WITH THE NEW SOUND? Shane: We hope we bring new fans, for sure. And we hope people like the record, and we haven’t alienated the fact of… you know, we haven’t just jumped into being this rock band, and what the Hell’s going on here? It’s still fitting within who we were and where we’ve come from. It’s just a bit more… well, I can only explain for myself. The boys are kind of a bit more urban than me. But it’s a bit more R&B, and something that my personal influences were, you know, I was influenced by. So, it’s very much, it’s still popular music. It’s still for the people. It’s still radio friendly. It’s still all of that.
OPINION // CALLUM SKEFFINGTON
CALLUM SKEFFINGTON BLACK LIVES STILL MATTER. IT HAS BEEN THREE MONTHS since protests erupted throughout America after the murder of George Floyd. It is impossible to see the footage of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer without feeling anger at this utter disregard for human life, so understandably these protests swept across the world faster than COVID-19. Everyone shared their black squares of supportive ally-ship, and then the discussions surrounding the Black Lives Matter dwindled away; hashtags stopped trending and then it happened all over again on 23rd August when Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer in Wisconsin. #BlackLivesMatter began back in 2012 after the death of Trayvon Martin; a seventeen year old boy who was shot by a member of a neighbourhood watch group in Florida, all because Trayvon ‘looked suspicious.’ The movement gained momentum in 2016 as regular instances of police brutality were being recorded and uploaded to social media. With heightened media attention, 2016 saw worldwide protests using the Black Lives Matter hashtag and campaigning for an end to racism across the world. Maybe you thought that the protests this year has been the first time that people, worldwide, have stood up in the face of racism. Maybe the quiet of lockdown made it seem as such. Maybe in our corner of the world we do not hear about the protests across America as much as we hear about sectarian violence or instances of
LGBT+ discrimination. But these protests have been happening year after year and they will continue until real changes begin across the world. It is an obvious fact that, throughout history, white people have used their power to withhold equality, dignity, and freedom from BIPOC. Sound familiar? The discrimination and injustices that racial minorities face are by no means the same as those we LGBT+ people face, however we should be able to relate to the frustrations, the anguish, and the need for support from others. We should be able to recognise that our desire for equality should not simply be a call for LGBT+ people being treated as equal; we of all people should be doing our part in campaigning for equality for all. We within the LGBT+ community say that society needs to move further away from homophobia and move towards tolerance, members of the LGBT+ community forget to practice that they preach. Transphobia and racism are very evident as some choose to discriminate against members of their own community. Trans people are fetishised, racist attitudes prevail and when challenged on the topic this is often dismissed as simply a ‘preference’. Monique Heart once said that ‘you can’t be black and gay,’ when referencing the difficulties she has faced as a black, gay drag queen, and I think that this is a simple statement that exemplifies the experiences of black LGBT people. I can’t even begin to imagine how exhausting it must be, being exposed to bigotry from all sides. Black queer people are burdened with the work of challenging homophobia within their Black communities, as well as taking up the fight against racism in all spaces. Whilst we have been fighting for marriage equality here in Northern Ireland over the past few years (and have finally reaped the rewards of this enduring campaign), black queer people were fighting for survival, and they still are. I may be part of the LGBT+ community but my race and my sexuality are mutually exclusive. My race does not invalidate the struggles I have faced due to the fact that I am a gay man, but my sexuality does not extinguish my privilege as a white, cis-gender man. We all need to make sure to do better and speak up against all forms of racial discrimination! We can not lose the unity that characterised the origins of our Pride movement.
Are we forgetting that Black transgender and queer people were on the front line for those six nights in the summer of 1969. It is about time we accept each other and treat each other with the respect that we would want ourselves. Black lives matter – now and always. Saying that Black lives matter does not make non-Black lives matter any less. Unless Black lives matter, all lives will not matter and therefore the campaign to end racial injustice will never be achieved. It is important to be an ally and support the message of Black Lives Matter. It is important to recognise the privilege you do have in order to recognise the injustices others face; privileges that we are not often made to think about but exempts us from the hardship of life that comes with being Black. You cannot expect the Black community, a community which has suffered for so long, to be the only ones trying to solve a problem that they did not create in the first place. It is only through coming together and joining forces that we can begin to ensure a better quality of life for Black people. Everyone must play a role in the fight. Racism exists here in Northern Ireland too, whether you want to admit it or not. Bringing awareness to this fact is important, but it is not enough; there are many ways in which we can be assisting the Black Lives Matter movement. Listen to the experiences of black people, listen to their stories recalled in their own voices and not relayed through news reports. Start the conversation and speak up, use your social media platform to spread the message, sign the online petitions, support anti-racist charities, but first and foremost you should be educating yourself. I have honestly learned so much just from researching the topic in order to write this column from an informed position, but in saying that I have only scratched the surface, and I have so much more to learn myself. If you’re tired of hearing about racism so much over the past days, just think how tired black people must be from facing it constantly. Twitter @callum_Skeff Website - catchingupwithcallum.com
This is an opinion piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG / Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd.
THIRTEEN // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // ROGAN Oâ€™CONNOR
INTERVIEW // ROGAN O’CONNOR
ROGAN O’CONNOR COULD THINGS GET ANY BETTER? EX ON THE BEACH STAR, MTV’S THE CHALLENGE WINNER, LITERAL DREAMBOY AND THRIVING ENTREPRENEUR WITH HIS FASHION BRAND. ROGAN TELLS US HOW IT ALL STARTED, FAMILY LIFE, EDUCATION, LOVE AND THAT LEAKED SEX TAPE
YOU HAVE SO MANY STRINGS on your bow, so to say, with your Fashion line Bearwear, Fitness, Dreamboys, Ex On The Beach, The Challenge on MTV and loads more, we will delve into all though I want to take things right back to the start. YOU ARE FROM STRATFORD, WOULD YOU SAY YOU HAD A REGULAR UPBRINGING? I was very lucky in terms of my upbringing, my mum and dad are still together, they are very loving and super supportive. I have a big brother a lot of people will know, his name is Max O’Connor, he won Mr Universe a couple of years ago, as you can imagine he is the
size of a house lol. There was always a bit of sibling rivalry though it toughened me up and made me the person I am today. We are a really close family, I also have a half-sister from my dad’s previous marriage, she is 10 years older and recently got married to her wife and they live in the forest of dean with their 10 dogs, she is literally the loveliest person in the world, not like me and my brother, she’s very loving and affectionate. WE DON’T REALLY KNOW MUCH ABOUT YOU UNTIL YOU CAME ON TO OUR SCREENS IN 2015? Well I did really well at school, I went to Ulster Grammar School, I got good
GCSEs, I got A Level’s in Business Studies, Psychology and Drama, the plan was to head to University though I was never good with authority so decided to get away for a year and went to Australia for a year, I worked in Bars and Farms though mostly I played professional online Poker which I was actually really good at, I had a real knack for the maths and reading people’s body language. I started going to casino’s at night, playing online in the day and reading books and learning. It literally funded my year in Australia and 6 months in Thailand, Vietnam, and other places. I remember one afternoon in Thailand winning £14,000 so thought to myself “I’m not
FIFTEEN // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // ROGAN O’CONNOR going home anytime soon”, most of the money went on having a good time, I had the live fast, die young attitude. I am lucky to be around considering the lifestyle I had. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE STRUGGLED WITH COVID AND LOCKDOWN, HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? I feel bad and hate saying it but it has been incredible for me, my clothing company Bear Wear really took off, we pride ourselves in selling the most comfortable tracksuits in the world and with so many people being at home, online shopping etc it worked out really well for us. We then brought out the quarantine hoodie which everyone seemed to fall in love with, we have sold out multiple times and from that we have gone from strength to strength, we moved into a new office. What started out as a hobby that I used to do a few hours a week has grown into a full-time business, some days working 9-9 working my bottom off turning my dream into reality. I really am so grateful and have to thank everyone who has supported us and embraced me and my vision. I’m not going to stop until Bear Wear is up there with the top clothing brands. On the personal side of things I started off lockdown really well, was training and running every day, I started learning Spanish, I got back in touch with a girl that I was on and off with for 5 years though with all the restrictions we couldn’t see each other. I was prepared to have her live with me and quarantine together though she wasn’t prepared to do that, she wanted to be together but be pen pals, which was very strange, so that all went tits up lol, so then I went back to my old friend Alcohol, I definitely drank way to much like everyone did for a few months, I got smashed all day every day for ages, thankfully that has been knocked on the head now and haven’t had even a spit of Beer in just over 2 weeks, which is the love of my life. I’ve gone from drinking round the clock to gyming daily now that they have all reopened. My next planned drink is a mini blow out over my birthday then getting back into sorting my body out, want to get it back to how it was when I was winning championships WE MUST ASK ABOUT THE SEX TAPE WITH JESS SHEARS DO YOU KNOW HOW IT GOT LEAKED AND WHERE WERE YOU WHEN HEARD IT WAS ON AN ADULT SITE? My iPhone/iCloud was hacked back around 2015 though the video never surfaced
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properly until Jess went on to Love Island, it was leaked a little before that though I managed to get it taken down. It went viral from Love Island, I’m sure it’s still on Pornhub or something even now. Jess was the person who contacted me when it was leaked, we kind of blamed each other, fell out and never spoke over it. Now she is married and has a kid and I feel bad for her and her husband that it is still out there, I don’t want it out there. I’m not embarrassed about showing flesh, I’ve been a stripper for years and have my Onlyfans page though when something personal is stolen it is completely different, a complete invasion of privacy. It is what it is though, it’s something I can’t get away from, people have even approached me on a night out showing me the video, I just say cheers and brush it off. I’ve paid thousands of pounds to get it removed, it’s off 90% of sites though somehow it is still around though as I said I’m over it though still feel bad for her and her husband. DREAMBOYS - TELL US HOW THAT CAME ABOUT DO YOU HAVE TO APPLY OR ARE YOU APPROACHED? So I was doing Catwalk at Britain’s Next Top Model, underwear Catwalk and a guy called David Richards who owns Dreamboys came up to me and said he wanted me to be a Dreamboy, I told him I couldn’t dance so he asked me to come and be a host. This is going back maybe 8 or 9 years, my job was to meet and greet on arrival and show people to their seats, that was about it really, I just stood about with my top off for photos. At the time I was working an office job for a stupid wage so I decided to just walk out, hit the gym get really buff and see what work I can get in TV, Modelling etc, when I see Joey Essex making millions, I thought if he is able to make a fortune on hair wax I can definitely do it, I have a business mind why can’t I do it. People always say they wouldn’t do reality TV though in honesty who wouldn’t want to try to change their lives overnight, of course you are going to jump at the opportunity to make easy money. I spotted that from an early age, watching Mark Wright, he is absolutely killing it and knows exactly what he is doing, Joey Essex plays it up and is a great businessman. There is money to be made and that’s what I did, long may it continue. DO YOU STILL WORK WITH DREAMBOYS NOW? Oh yeah I’m very much a Dreamboy and honestly can’t wait to get back on the tour whenever that may be, we are hoping for
January 2021. The guys are like my family, we live on a bus sometimes 5 days a week, they are literally like my brothers, we wake up together, eat together, train together, prep and perform together then a beer together after the show. When we are on tour, I’m with the guys more than my family and friends. The whole team are amazing, it’s a shame the way 2020 has turned out though 2021 is going to be even better. SO ON TO THE CHALLENGE, HOW DID IT FEEL WINNING SEASON 34, ALONG WITH CHRIS, JORDAN AND DEE AND SPLITTING 1 MILLION DOLLARS PRIZE MONEY BETWEEN YOU? It was so surreal looking at my bank that had been overdrawn suddenly with a cool 1/4 mill in there, I just thought it’s time to fucking party lol. That was my 2nd time on The Challenge, I was the first British person to enter and the first British person to exit after only 1 day lol, I was twice the size I am now and simply couldn’t do it, the first challenge was a marathon and I thought fuck this I’m going home, my legs weren’t having it, my back went and I got sent home straight away. Lucky the saw enough spice in me and asked me back to Season 34 and now I can say I’m the first British person to win the show OLD TWEETS RESURFACED AFTER 10 YEARS IN WHICH YOU USED THE N WORD WHILE QUOTING ONE OF DRAKE’S SONGS AND PULP FICTION. DO YOU FEEL THESE WERE ONLY BROUGHT UP DUE TO BLACK LIVES MATTER CAMPAIGN? Oh absolutely, firstly though I have to say using the N word was wrong, even though it was 10 years ago and taken out of context it shouldn’t have happened, I have apologised so many times about it and will continue to, it was fucking stupid of me. It was literally an anti-racism post, I said “You don’t realise how many times Drake using the N word until you say it out loud” somehow cancel culture on Twitter makes you racist, this is honestly so far from the truth that you could possibly imagine. For someone to go through probably 60,000 tweets over 10 years to find a tweet and try to make it racist tweet baffles me, there are some incredibly sad people in the world. Though again I will say using the N word is wrong. I KNOW YOU BROUGHT OUT A HOODIE WITH PROCEEDS GOING TO TWO CHARITIES, THAT IS SUCH A
INTERVIEW // ROGAN O’CONNOR LOVELY THING TO DO TO GIVE BACK, IT IS OBVIOUS THIS IS AN ISSUE YOU FEEL IS IMPORTANT? OMG it is so important, over the past few weeks we have been working around the clock to get this out, all the proceeds are being split between 2 charities, the main BLM charity and a local charity called Black Curriculum, which teaches Black history in schools, there is so much history that
RANGE, HOODIES, JOGGING BOTTOMS, SHIRTS/VESTS, CAPS AND EVEN COVID MASKS ETC. WHEN DID THIS ALL COME ABOUT? When I was young one my friends James had a nickname for me Rogie bear, unfortunately James passed away with Cancer when we were 23, it was a tough time though the nickname always stuck, other friends also called me the bear so
FORWARD AND CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO NEW PIECES? We recently brought out four new colours of tracksuits, matching t-shirts will all be available, we are also restocking larger sizes, people seem to prefer the larger loose fit so they will be back asap, we also have Basketball jerseys and so much more. YOU HAVE AN ONLYFANS PAGE, WHAT’S THE STORY WITH THAT? Well I have always worked in gay clubs, have loads of gay friends and family, am super close with the LGBTQ+ community, I am very comfortable with my sexuality so having a lot of male attention is fine with me, I’ve always been used to it and enjoyed tbh lol, why not, who doesn’t like attention. I would say at least 80% of people on my Onlyfans are men, maybe more. I’m a show off and a naturist and I though fuck it why not make money out of it, Onlyfans is a big business so I’m really giving it a go, I dabbled with it before but the last few weeks I’ve decided to turn it up a notch and it’s really flying at the moment. Since I’ve been sober, I have been so focused on business ALL THE GUYS AND GALS READING WILL WANT TO KNOW IF YOU ARE ON OR OFF THE MARKET? I’m single and really enjoying myself, I met a girl in Ibiza a few weeks ago, I’ve been spending a bit of time with her, I don’t know if it will end up serious so I’m still very much on the market but I’m also getting on a bit, I used to be a player “King Of The Fuck Boys” lol, now I’m kind of looking for the one and ready to settle down for the right person
kids don’t know about, right now kids are in chains and I don’t understand why we aren’t talking about it. I’m going out of my way to do this as I am so passionate about it, I’ve said publicly that if anyone isn’t in agreement with me and doesn’t support the BLM campaign you can unfollow me. SO ON TO FASHION, YOUR BRAND BEAR WEAR - OMG I LOVE YOUR
when I started the line we decided on the name Bear Wear. So many people love Bear’s, kids love them, you can dress up as them, there are bears in the gay community, I’m not gay though if I was I’d say id be a bear lol, so the Bear thing I could always relate to, I even three bear tattoos, I just love Bears Man lol.
LASTLY - ANYTHING EXCITING PLANNED FOR LATER IN 2020 OR 2021 YOU CAN FILL US IN ON? I have been working a lot on my acting, I have made cameos in different things but never delved into it properly until now, I’m the lead in a short film that we are shooting in Miami in October, my character is an alcoholic mechanic so I shouldn’t have any bother nailing that lmao. I am also filming a U.K film written by a guy called Damian Power, I am playing a guy called Meat who has a very squeaky voice lol, so I’ve been practising that.
WHAT ARE THE PLANS GOING
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OPINION // MICKY MURRAY
MICKY MURRAY CONVERSION THERAPY. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT Conversion Therapy
fund organisations to carry out reparative or conversion therapy.
I’ve been campaigning for a number of years, along with other activists, to have conversion therapy banned in Northern Ireland, so imagine my delight in 2018 when the UK Government committed to ending conversion therapy as part of their LGBT action plan.
The Departments current stance of “we don’t fund it” isn’t good enough, the bare minimum we can ask of our government is not to fund a practise that has been labelled as “torturous” in a United Nations report, a practice that causes mental health issues in a vast majority of people who go through the experience.
Unfortunately, to date, there’s been no movement on this. When the action plan was released we didn’t have a sitting Executive in the NI Assembly and so I wrote to the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, to ask if the practice would also be banned here, and he stated that “Whilst this is a national action plan, it covered some policy areas that are devolved and it will be for a new Executive to decide how best to take forward” and that his “Department does not fund any organisation to carry out reparative or conversion therapy on LGBT individuals”. This really isn’t good enough, I believe that not funding this type of “therapy” is the least that we can expect from our Government. When the Executive got back up and running I wrote to the Health Minister, Robin Swann MLA, to request that he take forward legislation to ban this “therapy”, but in the reply from his office, they stated that they had “no current plans to legislate for a ban”, and again stated that his Department do not
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We desperately need government departments to move away from “we’re not funding it so it’s not our problem” to “what can we do to make sure we’re actively supporting people to the best of our ability”, move away from the “we’re not discriminating” mindset to “we’re actively opposing discrimination” mindset, because by not taking any action they’re contributing to the problem. I, like many many others, have been offered conversion therapy, people think that because they don’t see it that it doesn’t happen, but actually it’s very casually offered throughout churches, by people who don’t actually understand what it is, what the process is, or how it effects people and it’s carried out by people who aren’t even qualified counsellors. It’s important to note that this isn’t “therapy”, it’s not counselling, the people providing this service are usually people involved in Christian organisations who have no experience, qualifications, or right to even attempt to counsel someone, never mind partake in a practise that according to a 2018 Ozanne Foundation report found that over 70% of survivors have had suicidal tendencies. A ban is the first step, conversion “therapy” needs to be categorised as a hate crime, they need to take this seriously and actively pursue people who are offering this through either their own organisation or referring to other organisations, and churches need to sit up and recognise that their casual “pray the gay away” attitude is a form of conversion therapy and it must stop. The Assembly need to make funding available for LGBTQ organisations to support people who
have gone through this, and to provide support to those who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. There’s a very long list of issues facing LGBTQ people and the LGBTQ sector that need to be addressed which have been overshadowed and ignored, things like access to health care, especially for trans people, and there are organisations such as The Rainbow Project, Transgender NI, Cara-Friend, and HERe NI, who are fighting to get access to ministers to talk about these issues, and they’ve done all the work and research, there is very little work for ministers to do to solve a lot of these issues. As part of my campaigning I started an online petition, which has gained over 11,000 signatures, if you haven’t signed it please go to https://www.change.org/p/northern-irelandhealth-minister-ban-conversion-therapy-innorthern-ireland/ Alliance MLAs Paula Bradshaw and John Blair have co-signed a motion and submitted it to the Assembly, which we hope will be tabled for debate soon, John Blair MLA, the first openly LGBT MLA in Northern Ireland, has agreed to hand the petition over to the Speaker of the Assembly, and Naomi Long MLA and Justice Minister is seeking a meeting with both the Health Minister and the Communities Minister to talk about legislating for a ban and who has the policy lead. You may also have noticed that I cut my hair off recently, after 16 years of long hair! To raise money for The Rainbow Project, I’ve already raised over £1,600, but if you’d like to donate, please go to www.rainbow-project.org/ fundraisers/off-with-his-hairI hope everyone is doing well, continue to look out for each other and lets make the most of what’s been a truly disastrous year!
This is an opinion piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG / Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd.
Be yourself Everyoneâ€™s welcome in our family
Fostering Northern Ireland. Start your fostering journey with us. /AFCNIfostercare 028 9046 0500 actionforchildren.org.uk/fostering Registered charity nos. 1097940/SC038092. Company no. 4764232. ÂŠ Action for Children 2020. 1411.
INTERVIEW // DECLAN MCKENNA
DECLAN MCKENNA TWENTY // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // DECLAN MCKENNA
WHEN HE PUT HIMSELF FORWARD TO PERFORM AT GLASTONBURY AND SUBSEQUENTLY WINNING THE EMERGING TALENT COMPETITION THERE, HE COULDN’T HAVE DREAMED THE LIFE HIS PATH WOULD TAKE. LITERALLY SIGNING TO COMUMBIA ON THE SPOT HAS CATAPULTED DECLAN TO A LIFE OF COLABORATIONS, MAKIMG MUSIC AND A UK, IRELAND AND EUROPE TOUR. HERE HE TALKS TO US ABOUT HIS MUSICAL INFLUINCES INCLUDING THE LATE GREAT BOWIE, HE ADVOCATES THE IMPORTANCE OF BANNING CONVERSION THERAPY, AND OPENS UP ABOUT HIS OWN PANSEXUALITY.
HOW WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD GROWING UP IN ENFIELD AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY? I was born in Enfield, and raised in Cheshunt actually, in the outskirts of, well, in Hertfordshire, just outside of North London. Yeah, it’s just quite a suburban town. A lot of commuting, and quite, very normal, British suburbia. At least, my section was that. And I grew up in a big family. I suppose it’s probably quite relevant. I had five older siblings. So, I was the youngest. And just sort of always been around music, really. My mum and dad were, not musicians with a capital M, but always did music in our church and stuff. And my dad always loved music, and played guitar. And Mum played piano and flute and stuff. So, I grew up in a family that’s definitely had a taste for music. Yeah. It was not the most exciting place to live, but I suppose it just made me want to reach outside of it. And I think exploring music helps me do that, in still, in an isolated way, but... BACK IN 2015 WHEN YOU WERE 16 YOU WON THE EMERGING TALENT COMPETITION AT GLASTONBURY THAT WAS BOUND SURREAL AT THE TIME, HOW DID IT COME ABOUT? I entered it myself. I didn’t have a team or anything that was doing it for me, at the time. I was literally doing what I always did. You know, applying to play at festivals and just trying to get a gig whenever I could, really. You know, without really much clue of what it would lead to. But it wound up with me actually at Glastonbury, signing to
Columbia Records there and then. Which was pretty nice full circle on the whole thing. But yeah, since then I’ve just been doing music fulltime. I mean, I’ve kind of wanted to do music fulltime from when I was about thirteen, fourteen. Just figuring out how to record from home, and working on little bits myself, and playing gigs or whatever. Pubs in London would let me in for half an hour and then kick me out. You know, all sort, of classic underage musician’s clout (laughter). WHAT DID YOU SPEND THE £5000 PRIZE MONEY ON? It all went on music stuff. It went on a new loop pedal, a new guitar and a spare guitar as well. Just for playing shows. I basically just renewed my old loop pedal rig, and got a new drum pad and just kitted out the… Yeah, I mean, well, it was PRS money, so if I blew it on anything else it would be a bit savage on the PRS. To just be like, ‘Two for the artist fund.’ It isn’t going to go. Yeah, I was very grateful for it, because my rig was very bootleg up until that point. I literally had, to go in for my competition I was borrowing a drum pad from my friend Max, who produced Brazil. It was very bootleg, and made up with Christmas presents and you know, just little things I’d collected over the years, and then actually hadn’t the money because… It was amazing. At that age as well, it was getting ready to do A Levels, getting ready to, I don’t know, not be doing music all the time, and maybe having to give up for that level. DID YOU MAKE A DECISION AT THIS POINT TO PURSUE MUSIC OR WAS
COLLEGE/UNI ON THE CARDS? Yeah, well you’re supposed to stay in school until you’re eighteen these days. But I was sixteen. I mean, I still plan to finish my A Levels. But I was doing my AS’s, and it got to October time. And it was like, just as the mad sort of stuff started happening with Brazil in America, on the radio. And it was an opportunity to go out there and promote it, from like March the year after. I was just like, ‘I’ve got to get out of this, and just go and do it properly.’ Because, I was like, ‘How do I know I’m ever going to get a jumpstart in a couple of years’ time to do this?’ It’s not I was really thriving at school, I was just doing it to do it, and get something out of it. But as soon as I could really have a chance to just do something in music, and actually work, and not have to go through the same ordeals that all my older siblings went through, going to uni and coming out of it, and being like, ‘What’ll happen now?’ It’s not exactly a perfect system. So yeah, I was delighted to just have the opportunity really. TELL US ABOUT YOUR MUSICAL ICONS AND WHERE YOUR INSPIRATION COMES FROM? I’m definitely influenced by David Bowie. Especially after he died. I’ve been a big fan throughout my teenage years. It was an amazing moment. So, I think, on this record specifically, I really looked towards the energy that I loved from Bowie, that I wanted to transfer onto this record. So, there is definitely a taste for that there. But I think I’d be uncertain to say it was a pure
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INTERVIEW // DECLAN MCKENNA
glam rock record. Because apart from that. But yeah, Bowie’s one of my big influences, for sure. WHO WOULD BE YOUR DREAM BAND OR ARTIST TO COLLABORATE WITH? St. Vincent is my guitar hero, really. I think she’s brilliant. She’s a very inspiring performer and writer. And, you know, a big fan of bands like Vampire Weekend. Big fan of Bob Dylan. Big fan of Kate Bush and things. So, a lot of classic songwriters, you know, Paul Simon, who I’m into. They’re the people I’m into on this album especially. Classic songwriters, from the ‘70s and that, were really sort of a thing to me. I got my first own record player in the time I was writing it. But I was kind of shit. Doing some charity shop gigging, and really getting into some of that stuff. WHEN CREATING NEW MUSIC ARE YOU SOMEONE WHO SITS WITH A NOTEBOOK JOTTING DOWN IDEAS OR DOES IT HAPPEN SPONTANEOUSLY IN THE STUDIO? Both really. I’m constantly noting down things. Very few of them actually get used, but I’m always… it’s that classic sort of thing of just writing down overheard things in conversations. It’s just little real-life moments to have fun, to give the songs a bit of life and things like that. But yeah, a lot of the time my favourite songs that I write are really spontaneous. Not even when I’m trying to write songs, it’s like, when I’m just walking through the grass or whatever, and your brain just naturally pulls things together in your head, and you wind up having written half a song. And then you’re running home to put it down. So, that kind of stuff is, I don’t know, a bit less easy to explain. But it’s often when you come off with some of the best things when you’re not even thinking about it really. When you’re just letting your mind wander. The creative process, sometimes, is just that (laughs). BEFORE WE TALK ABOUT YOUR NEW
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ALBUM WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT LOCKDOWN/COVID - HOW HAVE THE PAST FEW MONTHS BEEN FOR YOU? DID YOU OVERINDULGE WITH ALCOHOL OR LIKE MILLIONS ATTEMPT TO MAKE BANANA BREAD LOL? It was creative for a minute, but it just became apparent after a while that I was going have to figure out how to release an album. And a lot of other things took over from what I would describe as proper creativity. Sort of, more, well, not regurgitation, but having to play the songs, and record versions of the songs, and getting… not really doing performing as such, in the way that I enjoy. You know, performing live and that. But doing stuff on the internet. Which is fine. We had some fun doing some things. But it obviously got a bit taxing, trying to make up the same ground on the internet as you would be touring and that. It’s just less energising, less exciting. When I was playing in one environment, it was a bit strange, you know, restrictive. ZEROS WAS RELEASED JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO, 10 GREAT TRACKS WITH A VERY DISTINCT SOUND, ON LISTENING I FEEL LIKE THIS WAS WRITTEN FOR ME WITH MY NAME BEING DANIEL AND A SAGITTARIUS LOL. It was lol, this was the plan and it’s all come together. SERIOUSLY THOUGH I LOVE IT - HAVE YOU A PERSONAL FAVOURITE SONG? It always changes. But I think the one I really like, just at the minute, listening to it a few times this week is ‘Twice Your Size’. Because it’s just a song that really feels good. And I’m into that one at the minute. I HAVE TO ASK WHO DANIEL IS THAT YOU MENTION IN ‘BE AN ASTRONAUT’ AND THE TRACK ‘DANIEL YOU’RE STILL A CHILD’? It’s just, kind of like, an old character I stumbled into writing, maybe an
exaggerated version of myself. SO IS DANIEL YOUR SASHA FIERCE? (Laughs) A little bit, I guess. But it was more for about just giving off the story I wanted to give. You know, seeing people becoming lost in the internet, and seeing how, I guess, division, and how pushing people away can lead people in dark corners. And there’s so many dark corners to turn to on the internet. And it can sort of… you know… waves of anxiety as well comes into it. I think all of those anxieties and fears for the future and all of that, kind of just poured into the character that is Daniel. Because he’s not a perfect character. I think there’s moments on the record where he’s sort of sulking, and it is quite negative, generally speaking. But I think he’s been beaten down. And I think that’s what the record talks about. IN FEBRUARY YOU’LL BE TOURING AROUND THE UK AND EUROPE, HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO BE GETTING BACK ON THE ROAD? Yeah, I am. I mean, we’re very hopeful to be back, soon as it’s safe to be. I’ve really missed playing. So just, yeah, we did three shows at the start of the year, and didn’t really get much else. So, it was a shame really, to not have that when we’re releasing an album. But I’m buzzing now. I think there’s going to be a great energy, and a great excitement when we finally can do it. I THINK THERE ARE AROUND 36 DATES BETWEEN FEB AND JULY - IS THERE A SPECIFIC CITY OR VENUE YOU ARE MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO? I mean, two that are in my head are Brixton Academy, because I’ve been waiting to headline there for a long time. And Cyprus Avenue, being in Cork as well, because I have never played a gig in Cork but I’ve got a lot of family there. Yeah, it’s funny, I have the most Irish name, but then people are like, ‘Oh, you’re Irish?’ (Laughter). DUBLIN
INTERVIEW // DECLAN MCKENNA
AND TICKETS FOR CORK ARE ON SALE, ANY CHANCE OF BELFAST BEING ADDED? Well, I don’t know. We’re kind of taking it slow. But I’d love to. I’ve played a few gigs… I actually played some of my first gigs in Belfast when my sister was at uni there. So yeah, I’d love to head up there. I think the plan is to potentially do more in Ireland. Either in this one, or we’ll come up some other time. Yeah, I think we’ll be in Belfast on this record, so to speak (laughs).
dreadful. AND FINAL QUESTION - YOUR P R E V I O U S LY SAID YOU FEEL LABELS AREN’T IMPORTANT (I AGREE) AND AT A PUSH YOU WOULD DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS PANSEXUAL IS THIS STILL YOUR VIEW AND ALSO IS THERE A SIGNIFICANT OTHER IN YOUR LIFE ATM OR ARE YOU ON THE MARKET FOR GUY/GAL?
Yeah, I think pansexual’s a good label. I like it, you know. I’ve always struggled with that. Especially just being in the high school environment I READ YOU for a few years. I HAD BEEN think anything that VOCAL ABOUT way would be very B A N N I N G nerve-wracking to ZERO’S IS OUT NOW, AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE AND STREAM CONVERSION think about, to me. FROM ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS OR VIA DECLANMCKENNA.NET THERAPY, WE Because it’s, I mean, ACTUALLY HAVE it’s a fucking joke was alive in the present day. And so, that A PIECE IN THIS ISSUE ON THE TOPIC throughout school. Regardless of if your was just such a shocking story, and so AS IT HAS UNSURPRISINGLY NOT BEEN friends think one way. There’s always people devastating. And I think the time and the BANNED IN N.I - I WAS WONDERING that joke about that sort of thing. About reason for getting behind a campaign to IF THERE IS A REASON YOU ARE gender identity. About sexuality. Because I ban on LGBT therapy… it’s just that it is so PASSIONATE ABOUT IT? mean, people haven’t necessarily heard of… damaging. It’s not going to work. It’s not they can just be very, very ridiculous about going to help anyone. I mean, my initial exposure to it was a few it. Yeah, I tend to like that. I’m not someone years ago. Leelah Alcorn’s case became who’s very, very specifically adamant about It’s enforced suffering. It’s enforced quite big online. And that was when my any label particularly. But, you know, if we’re rejection of yourself. And it’s disgusting. generation discovered that this thing was going to go for one, that’s great. And yeah, And the stats all lean towards it being an happening. Because it was, prior to that, I mean, I am seeing someone. I’m seeing incredibly damaging and failing practice. just not something that I had been made someone for a few years. And, you know, And it’s just disgusting. So yeah, I don’t aware of, outside of a very extreme and that’s cool. think there’s any argument I could give in dated version of it. And not realising it favour of conversion therapy. I just think it’s
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OPINION // CARL CONNIELILNGUS
TRASH HITS & BITS WITH CARL CONNIELINGUS HEY THERE BEAUTS, CARL CONNIELINGUS COMING TO YOU AGAIN WITH ANOTHER LOOK INTO MY CRAZY WEE LIFE, THOUGHTS POST LOCKDOWN AND EVERYTHING THAT COMES WITH THAT!! JOIN ME AS I DELVE INTO MUSIC, MOVIES, DRAG TALK AND OF COURSE BELFAST PRIDE 2020..WELL WHAT THERE WAS OF IT LOL
POST LOCKDOWN CAPER
I AM WHAT I AM, SO MON JOIN ME FOR THE CRAIC & CONVO
MY JOKE OF LOCKDOWN: How does the Moon cut its hair?? Eclipse it hahahaha (Note: I know it’s shite but I found it very hilarious for many, many days lol)
So, I don’t know about yous lot but these past couple of months have been pretty f**kin hard for me from lockdown started to date and I did not see it coming. At the beginning I felt like I dove straight into it, trying to make it fun and “keep it going” with plenty of productive & creative Lives on Facebook between myself and my girlfriend Hayley, we really kept ourselves busy..to then totally burn ourselves out!! Then by the time July came, we just slowly started stepping back to concentrate on our mental health and survival, which is necessary for most of us and was for us!! To be honest, I’m so proud of the content we created while lockdown was happening because I know I even surprised myself and for that, I’m proud of us both. But what a crazy f**kin time we live in, right?? I mean looking back, humans have ALWAYS suffered in some way or another, haven’t we?? I believe that the human race has always suffered from PTSD, in all forms and it just gets worse & worse!! Starting from food for survival, wars for fields or crops, into actual wars (i.e. Nuclear/Iraq) for power, greed & money and now, science & technology massively holds that suffering in 2020!! It’s a shame that all those resources weren’t used for actual good, for every single person on this Planet and not just a select few!! I always imagine what it could have been or possibly even could be like, where each and every person lives a happy sustainable life with everything they need and no crazy pressures from jobs or family or friends, everyone is ok, no one is poor, hungry or dying before they should in old age!! Everyone is supportive and loved!! I’m crazy as f**k I know, but hey we all gotta dream something, right?? Lol I just want you all to know that this is a hard time for absolutely everyone and you are not alone!! Our circumstances will be different individually yes, but we’re all human, we all bleed the same!! So, let’s go a little easier on each other, let’s be kinder, be more helpful and let’s give other people a bit of a break because who the f**k needs that on top of everything?? I know I’d rather put positive energy out there because even the smallest amount of Love, WINS <3 <3
DRAG & PRIDE “That’s what my heart, yearns for now.. Drag & Pride” Ok, ok, so I changed the title slightly to fit my theme lol but if you don’t know, I was inspired by King – Love & Pride..check it out.
be proud of!! You can check out all my videos from Facebook https://www. facebook.com/carlconnielingus and Hayley’s videos on https://www.facebook. com/St0rmHayley :) :) . . I can’t wait to show you all what’s to come over the next couple of months hehe
Over Lockdown Hayley and I mainly concentrated on lives and makeup transformations but as time went on, we got really creative for different digital drag shows & projects and the content we released is definitely something to
And with all that, came Belfast Pride 2020!! It wasn’t the same, I mean of course it wasn’t, so I’ll get that out there now but I had a really fab time!! Between the bars doing their thing and The Pride Committee doing a Livestream on the
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day, which I got to be a part of!! I thought everyone done a fantastic job!! I knew a few fellow drag Performers where performing, so we went around to try and see as many of them as we could to show support, as it should be!! What was your experience?? Give me a shout on my email in the Outro!! And here, sure there’s always next year lol.
OPINION // CARL CONNIELINGUS
A TRIBUTE TO NOAH DONOHOE In April 2018 I moved in to an apartment block in South Belfast where I met Fiona Donohoe and her son Noah. Fiona was very bright and chatty, whilst Noah was shy but very pleasant & sweet in manner and was always smiling. You just knew she had a good lad there. Over a period of time through passing, you could tell he was very respectful, to the point that one day whilst he was playing basketball in our courtyard, he stopped bouncing his ball to say hello to me, another day he ran in front of me to open the door for me..he was 13 at this point and I just remember thinking to myself, wow that kid is so nice to stop his playtime to say hello or open the door for me, and I’ll be honest it made my day knowing that there were young lads out there that were good kids who would do very well in life!! Fast forward to the 21st of June 2020 and
MUSIC & MOVIES Recently I have collaborated with local producer & artist, Mister Underground with my vocals for a single on his new album coming 30/10/20. The single is called Only Sin and I can’t wait to show it off..so watch this space!! And whilst writing this column, it’s smooth jazz jams all the way baby…. Hayley and I decided we needed to get our movie on more, so recently we have watched The Matrix Trilogy, Blank Panther, The Craft, 1408 and we just started the Blade Trilogy too..ya can’t beat movie nights. If you guys have any recommendations, feel free to throw me a wee email.
the worst thing that a mother could go through, happened!! 14yr old Noah was reported missing, which was very unusual for him and a big concern to his family & friends!! Searches began from The Police & Rescue Service, and the public. For 6 days searches continued with very little information being given, leading to lots of confusion, conspiracies & wild rumours. Unfortunately, on the 27th of June, the terrible news came that Noah’s body had been found in a storm drain in North Belfast, along with other confusing details. We are still no further on with the answers deserved and needed for the family.
of us at GNI Magazine give you our support in the search for the truth. Please follow #RememberMyNoah #JusticeForNoah facebook.com/MyNoah-Donohoe twitter.com/MyNoah8
Since then Fiona, her sister Niamh, family, friends and now strangers have joined together on social media platforms to keep Noah’s name alive until Fiona gets the answers and closure she deserves!! Myself and all
I thought I was gonna tell funny stories every time here, but I’m limited!! So instead this is a shameless plug because I am now an Ann Summers Ambassador and I want to make it accessible to ALL groups, not just straight Women/Couples. I am currently in training but will be working on packages that cover a lot of the LBGTQ+ Community requirements, so that everyone can enjoy parties that talk about Sex, related to their preferences!! I’m really excited about this adventure because we are missing out in the community to talk about fun sex and safe sex, in a safe environment. I will be offering the services as Carl & CJ/ Claire, so there’s plenty of choice!! Let’s talk about Sex baby. To Keep up with that just head to my Facebook for updates: https://facebook. com/CJSummer83
Well guys, as always, I appreciate you all for taking the time to read my column and I hope you having a wonderful day when you read this!! Always believe in yourself, stay strong, show yourself some Love, be kind and I’ll see you’s next issue. Email: carlconnielingus@gmail. com Much Love and Peace Out, Kiss, Kiss from Carl ConnieLingus xx
This is an opinion piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG / Romeo & Julian Publications Ltd.
TWENTY FIVE // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // BLIAIN FITZPATRICK
TWENTY SIX // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // BLIAIN FITZPATRICK
THE “COVID LOCKDOWN” FORCED BLIAIN TO HAVE A LOOK AT HIS LIFE AND CHOICES AND PRESENTED HIM AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REINVENTION.
TEN YEARS AGO THIS VERY month I was packing up my apartment in South London eagerly waiting to embark upon a new and exciting chapter of my life back here in Belfast. I had just graduated having spent the previous five years at University studying Art and Graphic Design between three different Universities in three different cities. The plan was always to be an Artist of some description, my Degree was tailored towards a bougie future working at a fancy Advertising Agency but life certainly had other plans. When I moved to London it was essential to find work in order to sustain living there as a student, I’d always been drawn to the world of Cosmetics and Fashion so I talked my way into a Makeup Artist role at a super trendy Department store on Oxford Street. Before too -long I found myself intently immersed in this fun new industry, which was initially only used to support me whilst I pursued my career in art/design. Then just like that, University was over and the Recession was in full swing. It was a frightening time to enter into the world as an adult with no backing of a student loan or the cushion of University. The plan was always to stay in London and work as an Intern at an Ad agency Post- Grad but with no plausible way to support myself and no wealthy parents to speak off that could pay my rent I had no choice but to find full -time work back home in whatever industry I could find. Luckily for me I had a talent for makeup and a colleague hooked me up with an interview for a Dream role as a National MakeupArtist back in Ireland working for a major Luxury brand. I couldn’t believe my luck when I got the job and I whole heartedly immersed myself in my new found career of Makeup Art. Over the next four years I would continue my work in the beauty world but occasionally dipping out to pursue other freelance passions such as set and concept design for local theatre productions. Although my work in beauty has always paid my bills I always felt I had betrayed my true calling of being an Artist, therefore never truly at peace in my role. In this past decade there have been a lot of compromises for many of us. One of my biggest was the choice to fully embrace my sexuality as a gay man and endure all that would come with it. In essence that meant new friends in the form of anxiety and depression which would be key factors in numbing my creative flow for a few years. It’s no secret that LGBTQ people often experience Mental Health at a higher rate than our heterosexual brothers and sisters due to many factors that often stem from earlier in life. My experience within this chapter was unfortunately dark at times and I’m sure many that suffer will relate to my reluctance to elaborate on the personal moments. When you eventually get to the door of ‘coming out’ you expect it to be an easy ride from there and sometimes it is but sometimes you may wonder what could have been otherwise? One of the biggest obstacles I faced within this past decade was how my career in makeup would affect my romantic pursuits. Now, anyone that knows me personally will know that I am not the typical caricature of a super feminine gay man that works in beauty. I may be a makeup artist but I am not defined by it. This however did not make life easy as I would often dodge the question “so what do you do?” simply because the second I revealed the truth my potential date would jump to the conclusion that I wore more makeup than his granny and was therefore ghosted for eternity, A reality for many male acquaintances that work in beauty but suffer at the hands of the “MASC 4 MASC” idealism that plagues the gay community. Fast forward to 2020 I’m excited about the year like most of us, lying drunk under the Christmas tree dough eyed and hopeful about the year ahead. I had secured a city centre apartment, (my first time ever living alone) and I had big plans to reinvent myself, starting on the inside. Then BAHM!!! Just as the first snow started to fall we lost a family member, it was a sad and
TWENTY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // BLIAIN FITZPATRICK
confusing time and the first I had experienced loss. THEN Corona F**KING virus happens banishing us all in- doors like caged animals, in my case complete isolation for almost four months living alone. It was tough going but in a bizarre way I am grateful for it forcing me to become completely self- sufficient. I taught myself new coping mechanisms for my anxiety, I rediscovered a love of cooking and economising (sort of) but most importantly I faced up to my mortality. I imagine many of us did. With this came my need to get creative again so I dusted off some old sketch pads and then came the doodles. Mostly this was a way of passing the time and distracting me but it had a surprising reaction from many. Warming messages of encouragement would follow amongst tensely toned questions as to why this talent had been under the rubble for so long. The truth is... creative people are often the most gentle and the world as we know it is anything but
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gentle these days. Therefore we require armour to protect ourselves and indeed our talents so it can be easier to put them away for a rainy day... or in this case a lockdown. But what good lies in that? We all know our favourite songs, movies, books and art were created from places of darkness or great pain. Heartbreaks and loss are indeed awful to endure but once endured can flower the most beautiful content to make this scary world a much easier place to be a part of. I donâ€™t claim to be a great artist, or even an artist (yet) Iâ€™m just a guy that likes to create pictures and write a little, but 2020 might just be the nudge I needed to reboot the engines and have that much needed word with myself about the legacy I want to leave behind. If Covid has any great lesson to teach us it should be to find purpose, find your talent and apply it meaningfully to your life and of course... WEAR A MASK!
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MASSBRANDED // ELIAD COHEN
ELIAD COHEN // GETTING PHYSICAL BY SCOTT STARACE ELIAD COHEN IS THE IDEAL of masculinity: he’s strong, rugged, handsome, and he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He embraces his queerness, is playful and provocative. All of these characteristics and more are reflected in Eliad’s brandnew athleisure capsule collection for the urban man on the go. In the collection, he partners with Massbranded, the high-end men’s streetwear label that pushes boundaries. Massbranded for Eliad Cohen features seven styles that can be worn toand-from the gym, for casual nights out, while traveling, and on the dance floors. Inspiration for the collection was drawn from Cohen’s own military background. He served three years of army service in the Israel Defense Forces. “I wanted the pieces in the collection to feel like the uniforms used for physical training during military exercises, drills and off-duty time,” he explains. “It was also important that every piece seamlessly combined my personality, passion for fitness and way of life.” Eliad Cohen is an Israeli actor, model and entrepreneur. He is best known in the USA as founder of the international festival brand, Papa Party. Massbranded is the design house headed by designer Mass Luciano. With over fifteen years of experience in the fashion industry, Luciano has worked with international brands including Guess, Rock; Republic by Victoria Beckham and Lee Jeans. His rise to fame began in 2015
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MASSBRANDED // ELIAD COHEN when he competed for and won the titles of initially, Mr. Gay Hong Kong and ultimately, Mr. Gay World. The accomplishment inspired him to launch his energetic namesake streetwear label, Massbranded. Eliad and Mass were introduced by a mutual friend in Los Angeles last year and bonded over their shared interest in military gear. They talked about collaborating on a capsule collection and met up in London this past January to finalize the details. “It was important that each piece stood out in a way that appeared effortless, casual, sexy and cool,” Luciano says. Items in the Massbranded for Eliad Cohen capsule include the Reach Zip Up Hoodie and Track Pants (notable for their zippered side pockets, rib knit cuffs and mesh drawstring cords); the Renegade Sweatshirt and Shorts (featuring reflective tape at the sides that add a flashy flare to the pieces); the Shuttle Short (crafted from perforated neoprene with piping side details that flash when light hits them); and the Flex T-Shirt and Short (featuring black perforated neoprene panels with grey/tan taping details that reshape a man’s body to its maximum form.) Cohen says that he couldn’t be happier with the final result. “The collection is so comfortable. I’m wearing it everywhere.” “It is an extension of me and my personal style and I’m excited to share it with my Papitos.” Massbranded for Eliad Cohen is available at Massbranded.com. Follow on Instagram @mass_branded
THIRTY ONE // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // NICK STRACENER
NICK // STRACENER BEATING HIS BLUES, MEN, COMFORT FOOD, AND DJING DURING AN INTERNATIONAL LOCKDOWN - ONLYFANS TO THE RESCUE! BY CONNOR DAVENPORT
NICK STRACENER VIEWS DANCE MUSIC AS THERAPY AND A WAY TO ESCAPE LIFE’S BIGGEST HURDLES. IT’S WHY HE WAS PARTICULARLY DRAWN TO REMIX LINDSAY LOHAN’S “BACK TO ME,” A SONG ABOUT SHUTTING OUT NEGATIVE ENERGY AND REDISCOVERING SELF AND LADY GAGA’S “FUN TONIGHT”, A SONG GAGA WROTE ABOUT THE DISSOLUTION OF HER RELATIONSHIP, AND HOW HER MENTAL HEALTH AND EXPERIENCES WITH FAME ALSO AFFECT HER LOVE LIFE. IT IS A RELATABLE MESSAGE TO NICK WHOSE SOCIAL MEDIA NOTORIETY OFTEN INVITES CRITICISM. HE USES HIS PLATFORM, NEARLY 200K STRONG, TO SHOW OFF HIS BODILY ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND RELEASE HEAVY MATTERS WEIGHING ON HIS MIND. MOST SIGNIFICANTLY, HIS OWN MENTAL HEALTH. “PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS COME IN ALL SHAPES, SIZES, AND COLOURS AND I WANT TO REACH OTHERS WHO MAY BE GOING THROUGH SIMILAR STRUGGLES,” HE SAYS. “YOU CAN NEVER REALLY KNOW WHAT SOMEONE’S GOING THROUGH IN THEIR PERSONAL LIFE OR WHAT’S GOING ON IN THEIR HEAD. SEVERE DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY ARE HIDDEN DISEASES AND I HAVE FOUND, THE BEST WAY TO FIGHT IT IS TO GET IT OUT IN THE OPEN. IT’S NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.” ESPECIALLY IN THIS TIME OF COVID…
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WHAT’S THE BIGGEST THING WEIGHING ON YOUR MIND RIGHT NOW? For me, it would have to be: when will I finally be able to have a live gig, safely, again? IT’S AN UNDERSTATEMENT TO SAY THAT WE’RE LIVING IN WEIRD AND
THE BREAKUP HAS DEFINITELY AMPLIFIED ALL OF MY GLOOMY FEELINGS. BUT I CONTINUE TO LEARN MORE AND MORE ABOUT MYSELF EVERY DAY AND THE THINGS I NEED TO IMPROVE TO BECOME THE BEST PERSON THAT I CAN POSSIBLY BE. UNCERTAIN TIMES. WHAT IMPACT HAS THE LOCKDOWN AND THE LARGER STATE OF THE WORLD HAD ON YOU AND YOUR WORK? Just before COVID struck, I was on quite of an uphill climb. The bookings were rolling in from all over the USA and
Canada as well as international festivals. I was really looking forward to getting out there and showing people what I can do. But life has taken a turn for the worst. All of the gigs I had planned have been cancelled. I’m currently spending way more money on being a DJ then I’m making from it. It’s not cheap, with equipment and promotion, etc. HAVE YOU HAD TO RETOOL HOW YOU WORK TO STAY AFLOAT? Oh yes. Since I can’t play live, I’ve been concentrating on creating virtual sets and remixes of popular songs. At least it helps to keep my name out there. HAVE YOU DISCOVERED A BRIGHTER SIDE TO THE PANDEMIC? I try to be as optimistic as possible, appreciating the fact that I have had more time to focus on creating music and working on myself, internally and mentally, but I have to admit I am really struggling right now. It seems as if there’s no end in sight and it’s quite scary. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP YOU COPE? Spending time with close friends has been helpful. Also my music, and maybe a little bit of comfort food. I READ ON FACEBOOK THAT YOU’RE NOW LISTED AS SINGLE. WAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP IMPACTED BY COVID 19? I’ll tell you what I can tell you. I don’t think the outcome would have been any different if COVID hadn’t happened. Sometimes people just grow apart and it’s better to go in separate directions.
INTERVIEW // NICK STRACENER
THIRTY THREE // GNIMAG.COM
INTERVIEW // NICK STRACENER
I’ll always have love in my heart for him and I wish him nothing but success and the best in life, but I believe we exhausted all options and things weren’t working and it was better to split.
WHAT NEW MIXES ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW? I recently released my “Dance with Life Again” set and it’s full of lots of classic circuit music and some oldies and new songs as well. I also threw in my brand-new Gaga remix which I’m super happy with the way it turned out.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU LEARNED FROM THE RELATIONSHIP? I’ve learned to always follow my heart. I don’t regret anything about our time together because it was a learning experience that will get me one step closer to finding the person that I’m truly meant to be with. I now know the qualities that I need in a partner in order for it to work. ARE YOU APPRECIATING THIS TIME ALONE? This time alone has been difficult, especially with everything that’s happened in my personal life. The breakup has definitely amplified all of my gloomy feelings. But I continue to learn more and more about myself every day and the things I need to improve to become the best person that I can possibly be.
DO YOU EVENTUALLY HOPE TO MAKE ORIGINAL MUSIC? That’s the goal, yes. It’s a work in progress. I think I will have an original song produced this year by the absolute latest. I have a lot of ideas. I really want to find a vocalist who I can connect with as friends and make beautiful music with, together.
IN ADDITION TO MY DJING AND PRODUCING, I’M A FLIGHT ATTENDANT. SADLY, NONE OF THOSE JOBS ARE PAYING MUCH AT THE MOMENT. SO YES, THE ONLYFANS PAGE - DEFINITELY SUPPLEMENTS MY INCOME.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR ONLY FANS PAGE? WHAT GOES ON BEHIND THE LOCKED WINDOW? (Laughing) I always tell people this, it’s
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only $10 bucks and I think it’s worth every penny. You’re going to see everything. HAS THE PAGE BEEN HELPING TO PAY THE BILLS DURING THE PANDEMIC? In addition to my DJing and producing, I’m a flight attendant. Sadly, none of those jobs are paying much at the moment. So yes, the Onlyfans page definitely supplements my income.
HOW WILL YOU SPEND THE REST OF TODAY? I could use a nice scrub bath, but I have these stitches from the surgery so I can’t. Instead, I’ll probably eat! I ordered from Uber Eats earlier and it should be here soon.
Follow Nick on Instagram @ thenickstracener
FASHION, BEAUTY, HEALTH & WELLBEING, TAKING TIME FOR YOU!
FEATURE // DISARM HATE
DISARM HATE BY VIC VIC GERAMI GERAMI BY
‘DISARM HATE’ HATE’ FILM FILM CHRONICLES CHRONICLES 9 9 LGBTQ+ LGBTQ+ ACTIVISTS’ ACTIVISTS’ ‘DISARM TRIP TO TO AN AN ANTI-GUN ANTI-GUN RALLY RALLY AND AND DIFFERENCES DIFFERENCES TRIP AMONG THEM. THEM. AMONG THIRTY FORTY SIX FOUR // GNIMAG.COM // GNIMAG.COM
FEATURE // DISARM HATE NARRATED BY THE ICONIC ACTOR Harvey Fierstein, the ﬁlm seeks to create awareness about gun violence against the LGBTQ+ community following the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando that took 49 lives as the impetus About four years ago, an unprecedented massacre targeting the LGBTQ+ community added another mass shooting to countless others and briefly put gun reform on the front burner again. A gunman opened ﬁre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people, and wounding another 50. This was another wake-up call for America and a call to action for hairdresser and wig designer Jason Hayes and ﬁlmmaker Julianna Brudek.
“I wanted to bring awareness to how disproportionately gun violence has aﬀected the less privileged members of our community. Two weeks before Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered, Rita Hester, a trans woman of color, was murdered, and the media buried the story. Forgotten forever,” said Julianna Brudek. She added, “I did not want that to happen to the Hispanic LGBTQs that lost their lives at Pulse Nightclub. As a community, we must remember the hate crimes, and work together to stop the violence perpetrated on each one of us.”
Hayes who lives in New Jersey got into action and planned a national rally against gun violence and gun-control advocacy in Washington DC. Learning about the rally, Brudek decided to gather nine diverse LGBTQ+ activists and chronicle their journey in a documentary ﬁlm as they travel cross-country from Los Angeles to Washington DC to attend the rally. This was a crusade to demand LGBTQ+ equal rights, ﬁght the NRA, and challenge America’s obsession with gun violence. The documentary follows the cross-country trip of the activists from Los Angeles to Washington DC on an RV, visiting important places along the way. But despite the seriousness of the subjects tackled, gun violence, 2nd Amendment, gun safety, LGBTQ+ rights, the ﬁlm is very entertaining and has many light-hearted moments. It conveys the diversity within the queer community, including cast members who are not completely pro-gun control. At times, confrontations break out as each one shares their thoughts and experiences with gun violence, identity issues, and being LGBTQ+. Julianna Brudek’s journey to make the ﬁlm started after the Pulse Nightclub shooting the night before LA Pride. The following morning, a gunman was arrested in Los Angeles who allegedly had planned to open ﬁre on LA Pride participants. Feeling powerless, Brudek got into action.
cast member and an executive producer said, “The threat of gun violence is intersectional. When someone’s identity overlaps with multiple marginalized groups, their risk is compounded. Black Americans are 10 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than white Americans. Being a woman and trans exacerbates those odds.” She continued, “Disarm Hate,” which focuses on the discriminatory culture within America that informs the violence marginalized communities face. If we are ever to eradicate gun violence, we must interrogate the attitudes and beliefs that fan the flames of hate. Our journey was not about taking away people’s guns, it was about removing the barriers that obstruct their ability to recognize our humanity.” The documentary successfully probes the emotional journeys of the activists, who squabble, laugh, cry, and even fall in love throughout their trip. It also examines opposing views and counterpoints to their calls for gun reform from a pro-gun perspective, as they visit a shooting range and engage with a member of the Pink Pistols, a pro-gun LGBTQ+ group. Harvey Fierstein, who narrated the ﬁlm summed it up with, “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s deﬁnition of your life; deﬁne yourself.”
Beginning as a road trip, the journey turned into so much more than anyone could have expected. Exploring their similarities and differences, the group develops a life-changing bond as they visit prominent sites of gun violence that have affected LGBTQ+ people nationwide. This common ground opens discussions between the travelers and the people they meet along the way, that look to alleviate these horriﬁc hate crimes and bring a better understanding for all. The renowned trans activist and media personality Ashlee Marie Preston who is a
Disarm Hate is available on multiple streaming platforms including Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play/ You Tube Rentals, InDemand (Comcast & Cox), Microsoft Store, and Vudu. Stills + Film Poster + Photos: https:// photos.app.goo.gl/5wPccdDaEEAud4QN6 Trailer: https://vimeo.com/393234220 Clips: https://drive.google.com/drive/ folders/1oDUmrZoBmX2lZvRkkDd_ zutJp2XTw0Uw?usp=sharing Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ DOC2DISARMHATE/ Twitter: @DISARMHATE Instagram: DOC2DISARMHATE
FORTY FIVE // // GNIMAG.COM GNIMAG.COM THIRTY SEVEN
HEALTH AND FITNESS // MARTIN MURRAY
HEALTH AND FITNESS // MARTIN MURRAY WALK THIS WAY DUE TO THE INNOVATION OF THE health and fitness community over the last year, we are now working out in ways we never experienced. One issue I have found in adapting to new ways is that the shoes I use for the gym are no good in certain terrains so I thought I would look at how shoes can help and hinder performance. Time to kick off those Gucci loafers and look at function over form.
they have an ideal gait for running long distance. If you over pronate, so your foot rolls further inwards, your print will be more flatfooted You require well cushioned trainers with plenty of support to avoid injuryâ€™s and stable your ankles. If you under pronate, so your foot rolls outward, a high cushion is the way to go to balance the impact away from the outer section of the foot.
Park Life Grass is a great surface for runners. Grass is soft, has less impact and less rebound. Your legs will have to work harder on grass and become stronger which also helps with endurance and stamina.
Beach Body Sand is perhaps the best surface to train on because it is the most difficult. Road Runner This is probably the most common purpose of trainers so many are designed with this purpose in mind. The rules here can be applied to the purchase of any shoe. First, you need to understand the shape of your foot. You can do this by lightly wetting the foot and standing on printing paper to see your foot print. You could also use a non-toxic paint for a footprint or talcum powder on a dark surface. The idea is to identify if you are over pronating, under pronating or if you are a neutral runner. A Neutral Runner with high arches can go for a lightweight trainer as
Your time will be slower on grass due to the lack of rebound and the right shoes can make a difference, as the terrain is often soft and uneven. The key things to look out for when choosing shoes for training on grass are a good arch for support and traction due to the changing nature of soft ground. My personal recommendation are to include trail spikes. There are many forms of the spikes so speak to the sales person in a reputable sports shop and they should be able to find something for your specification.
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This difficulty comes from the uneven soft nature of the surface and from the danger of shells and sharp object. The key factors are good traction, quick-drying, lightweight, arch support depending on your specific requirements, breathability, Cushioning and trails. Longevity In order to get the most out of whatever shoe you are using you can use the following tips. - Never put your shoes in the washing machine - Let your Shoes breathe so donâ€™t store in plastic - Rotate your shoes. Leave 48 hours in
HEALTH AND FITNESS // MARTIN MURRAY
between wears. - Keep your feet dry. Dampness can cause mold and health issues. - Wipe of any marks r dirt as soon as possible. - Air Dry shoes after cleaning. Do not use heat. Football Shoes Remember the surface you are playing on is the key factor. Stud plates are not suited to artificial grass, as they are not designed to withstand the abrasive surface. Comfort is key. Look at the fit first and style second. Leather looks better but synthetic provides a better fit. Weight Lifting Shoes A raised heel helps with stability especially when squatting. A stiff heel helps provide further support. Straps also are better than laves. A wider fit shoe also helps with toe splay.
HAWT TO NAWT HAWT
THE FIRST WORLD GAY BOXING CHAMPIONSHIPS WILL TAKE PLACE IN SYDNEY 2023.
WORLD RUGBY IS CONSIDERING A PROPOSAL TO BAN TRANSGENDER ATHLETES FROM PLAYING WOMEN’S RUGBY BECAUSE OF SAFETY CONCERNS.
STARS OF THE US WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION INCLUDING INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED LGBT PLAYERS SUE BIRD AND DIANA TAURASI UNITED THEIR TEAMS TO PROTEST POLICE BRUTALITY. THE BBC ELITE BRITISH SPORTSWOMEN’S SURVEY FOUND THAT 68% OF FEMALE ATHLETES SAY THEY FEEL WOMEN ATHLETES CAN BE MORE FORTHCOMING ABOUT THEIR SEXUALITY THAN MALE ATHLETES CAN. THIS IS A WIN FOR FEMALE ATHLETES FEELING COMFORTABLE COMING OUT AND BRINGING ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT MALE ATHLETES ARE STILL UNCOMFORTABLE COMING OUT.
MANY UK AND IRISH LGBTQ SPORTS TEAMS HAD TO SUSPEND PRACTICE OVER LOCKDOWN DELAYING THEIR GROWTH AND TAKING AWAY SAFE SPACES FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER. SOME FEAR A SECOND LOCKDOWN.
THIRTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM
FASHION // BEAR WEAR
FORTY // GNIMAG.COM
FASHION // BEAR WEAR
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FORTY ONE // GNIMAG.COM
FASHION // BEAR WEAR
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FORTY TWO // GNIMAG.COM
FASHION // BEAR WEAR
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FORTY THREE // GNIMAG.COM
FASHION // BEAR WEAR
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FASHION // BEAR WEAR
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FASHION // BEAR WEAR
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DRINK // COCKTAILS
HARE RAISING COCKTAILS GRAEME HAMILTON COCKTAILS YOU’D BE HOPPING MAD NOT TO TRY IF YOU LOVE ALL THINGS FRUITY AND FABULOUS, TRY THESE DELICIOUS SIGNATURE COCKTAILS FROM EXPERT MIXOLOGIST GRAEME HAMILTON, BAR MANAGER AT THE RABBIT BAR AND RESTAURANT, BURROWED IN THE HEART OF TEMPLEPATRICK. THESE DELICIOUSLY HARE-RAISING COCKTAILS ARE THE PERFECT RECIPE TO TANTALISE THE TASTE BUDS AND OFFER THE PERFECT ACCOMPANIMENT TO THE ULTIMATE NIGHT IN WITH FRIENDS.
JESSICA RABBIT Lovely and sweet but a little bit sassy, this irresistible cocktail is a certified crowd pleaser. Infused with a range of sweet and citrus fruits along with a fresh taste of prosecco and a little kick of pink gin - this is The Rabbit’s signature cocktail, and it’s easy to see why... Ingredients (Serves 1) - 35ml Pink Gin - 35ml Prosecco -50ml Lemonade -25ml Lemon Juice -2 Raspberries and 2 Strawberries (for muddling) - 1 Raspberry and - 1 Strawberry (for garnish) - Sprig of Mint (for garnish) Method 1. Release the freshness! Muddle two strawberries and two raspberries in the glass part of a Boston Shaker using
ABOUT THE RABBIT BAR & RESTAURANT
Nestled in the heart of the picturesque village of Templepatrick, Co Antrim, The Rabbit Bar and Restaurant exudes sass, with a chic interior, bespoke lighting and eclectic décor for an unforgettable dining experience. Taking centre stage is The
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Rabbit’s show-stopping bar, adorned with glistening bronze, where expert mixologists shake up the finest libations. With a menu inspired by the American Deep South, featuring seasonal, local produce and the finest cuts of meat, The Rabbit
the circular part of the bar spoon. 2. Time to chill… Add ice to your goblet and set to one side. 3. Mix it up! Add lemon juice and pink gin to the muddled fruit. 4. Fill the glass with ice and place the tin shaker on top to seal. Then shake, shake, shake (for at least 10 seconds, or five bunny dips!) 5. Pop it like a pro – hold the shaker with the larger part at the bottom and clap your hands together hitting it where the tins start to part. It should pop open. Then remove the smaller half. 6. Empty any water collected at the bottom of your glass. Take your fine strainer and strain the mixture into the goblet. 7.Add a couple more ice cubes and top up with Prosecco 8. For the finishing touch – skewer one raspberry and one strawberry, place in your
is the perfect den for couples, friends and families to escape, with a menu designed for sharing. For more information on The Rabbit please visit www. rabbithotel.com.
DRINK // COCKTAILS
TROPICAL HARE An explosion of flavour, the Tropical Hare will have you thinking you have just hopped off a plane in the sunny Bahamas. Light, fresh and fruity this cocktail has infused together the sweet taste of fresh pineapple, the tantalising, orange flavour of Blue Curaco and the invigorating kick of Bacardi delicious! Ingredients (Serves 1) - 35ml Bacardi Carta Blanca - 15ml Blue Curaco - 80m Pineapple Juice - Pineapple chunks and leaves (for garnish) Method 1. Chill the glass – fill your
Rosetti Hi Ball glass with ice and leave to the side. 2. Time to shake things up – add 35ml Bacardi Carta Blanca and 15ml Blue Curaco to your Boston Shaker and mix. 3. Feeling fruity? Add the 80ml pineapple juice! 4. Add some ice to the mixture and shake together for 10 seconds. 5.Take your chilled glass and refill with fresh ice. 6. Use a hawthorne strainer and strain the cocktail into the glass, the pineapple juice will give it a lovely frothy head. 7. Finish off by garnishing with pineapple chunks and leaves.
VELVETEEN RABBIT For those looking for the ultimate taste of sophistication, the Velveteen Rabbit might be more of a hop in the right direction. This cocktail is subtle and savoury with a fresh, citrus twist. The mix of smooth merlot, dry gin and energising lemon juices will certainly leave you feeling like a happy bunny after the first sip! Ingredients (Serves 1) - 35ml Bombay Sapphire Gin - 40ml Merlot - 15ml Lemon Juice - 15ml Egg White - Dehydrated Lemon (for garnish) Method 1. Chill time… fill up a Rosetti Old Fashioned glass with some ice and leave to one side. 2. Add 35ml Bombay Sapphire, 15ml Lemon Juice and 25ml Egg White to the shaker and shake, shake, shake senora! 3. Add some ice to the mixture and shake it up again for 10 more seconds. 4. Grab your chilled Rosetti glass, remove the ice and refill with crushed ice. 5. Strain the cocktail mixture and pour into the glass 6. Float some merlot on top. 7.Almost there… garnish with dehydrated lemon wheel and finish off with two 5.5” sip straws.
FORTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM
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FEATURE // WEDDINGS
GNIWEDDINGS SAME-SEX RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES PLANNING FOR YOUR BIG DAY COVID-19 WEDDING RESTRICTIONS NIâ€™S FIRST WEDDING
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WEDDING // COUNTDOWN WHEN YOU’VE POPPED THE QUESTION • Work out how much you can realistically afford to spend • Consider dates that you’d prefer • Begin to jot down names of potential guests • Think about the type and style of wedding you really want 12 MONTHS TO GO • Choose your bridal/grooms party and if the dresses are needed start looking for the style you want • Confirm your venue and wedding date, try to block book some rooms for your guests • Check with your local authority what kind of notice is required for your wedding and arrange as necessary • Hire a photographer – be aware that good photographers book up quickly 11 MONTHS TO GO • If you need a separate caterer now is the time to book them • Speak to room décor specialist and florists and decide on the style you want to go for 10 MONTHS TO GO • You should be starting to get a firm hold on your guest list by now • If you’re having a gift list now is the time to get these nailed down • Search for an officiant for your ceremony if you need one • Start thinking about the music for your big day
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9 MONTHS TO GO • Remember those dresses you were looking at a couple of months ago, now is the time to get them ordered and have any alterations organised 8 MONTHS TO GO • Order any accessories you need to complete your fashion look for the day, it’ll save you frantically running about looking them closer to the big day • If you’re planning a big honeymoon, now is the time to get it booked 6 MONTHS TO GO • Get your invitations sorted, if you’re making them yourself settle on a design and figure out how you’re going to make them, and if you’re ordering them let your stationer know the style and how many of each type you need. • If you have longer hair or are planning make-up now is the time to start having a few run-throughs 5 MONTHS TO GO • Think about any items you might need to hire in for the day, maybe a grand piano or additional sound or lighting equipment 4 MONTHS TO GO • Choose the menswear for your big day and organise any alterations • Are there any additional women’s accessories needed e.g. lingerie or jewellery? • Send out your save the date cards
3 MONTHS TO GO • Make sure you’ve sorted your own accommodation for your wedding night 2 MONTHS TO GO • Get those invitations out • Confirm your menu with whoever is preparing food for you and your guests 6 WEEKS TO GO • Confirm all orders with your room décor specialist and florist • Get your wedding rings 4 WEEKS TO GO • Finish any craft projects you are completing yourself, you don’t want to be stressing about these in the run up to your big day 2 WEEKS TO GO • Confirm everything is in place regarding your marriage licence • Give your hotel or caterer your final head count • Work on your seating plan • Confirm all suppliers delivery or arrival times • Prepare a wedding day schedule and give out to all those on the schedule THE BIG DAY • Make sure your wedding party know their responsibilities (who is accepting gifts, who is paying suppliers, making sure people are signing the guest book etc etc) • Enjoy this day – it will go much quicker than you think
From today until your day, we do
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117 Milltown Rd, Shawâ€™s Bridge, Belfast BT8 7XP I +44 (0)28 9092 3500 I firstname.lastname@example.org
SAME SEX RELIGIOUS WEDDINGS FIFTY SIX // GNIMAG.COM
WEDDINGS // RELIGIOUS
FIRST SAME-SEX RELIGIOUS WEDDINGS CAN NOW TAKE PLACE. Campaigners now call on Government to allow conversion of civil partnerships to marriage – the final move needed for full marriage equality. Amnesty International has welcomed a change in the law introduced by the UK Government today which, for the first time, will allow same-sex couples in Northern Ireland to have religious wedding ceremonies. The Government introduced the change by laying new marriage regulations in Parliament. The law change – introduced after a long campaign by equality activists in Northern Ireland – will see the first same-sex church weddings take place from September 2020. From 1 September, couples will be able to register to marry in a religious setting, and religious bodies can choose to opt in to provide same-sex weddings. With a statutory 28-day waiting period, the earliest date for a same-sex religious wedding will be 29 September. Whilst campaigners welcome the move, they are urging the Government to make marriage fully equal by allowing same-sex couples with an existing civil partnership to be able to convert their partnership into a marriage. Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Director and part of the Love Equality coalition, said: “This is a landmark day for equality in Northern Ireland. After a long campaign, same-sex couples of faith will finally be able to marry in a church or other religious setting. “In line with our calls, we are pleased that the law will protect religious freedom, and that churches will neither be compelled nor prevented from offering wedding ceremonies to same-sex couples. “This is an important issue for many couples in Northern Ireland, who have previously been prevented by law from marrying in their own church. “We now urge the Government to finish the job of marriage equality in Northern Ireland without further delay, by allowing couples in civil partnerships to convert to married status if they so wish.”
The Rev Chris Hudson, minister of All Souls Church in Belfast – a member of the Non-Subscribing Church of Ireland – also welcomed the law change: “This is great news for couples who wish to celebrate their marriage in church, embraced by family, friends and the love of God. “I have already been speaking to a number of couples who have been waiting for this day so they can finally have the church wedding that they have longed for. Autumn wedding bells will be ringing in Belfast. “Until now, this legal right has been denied to churches, ministers like me, and same-sex couples of faith in Northern Ireland. “I want to pay tribute to the activists of Love Equality, Amnesty International and the LGBT community, who have led such a positive, love-filled campaign and ensured that no-one would be left behind in the fight for equal rights for all.” Same-sex civil marriage became legal in Northern Ireland on 13 January this year. The first wedding took place on 11 February, when Sharni Edwards and Robyn Peoples married in Carrickfergus. Religious weddings Under the new law, same-sex couples in Northern Ireland will be able to get married in a religious ceremony where the church or other faith group wishes to offer such weddings, but no church will be compelled to offer samesex weddings. Similar arrangements are already in place in the rest of the UK and Ireland. Conversion of civil partnerships Plans should allow same-sex couples with an existing civil partnership to convert this to a marriage through a simple administrative process. There are 1,200 same-sex couples in Northern Ireland who currently have civil partnerships. Government has committed to this law change by the end of 2020. The Love Equality campaign for equal civil marriage in Northern Ireland is led by the Rainbow Project, Here NI, Amnesty International, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Cara-Friend, and NUS-USI.
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WEDDINGS// SHARNI & ROBYN
THE BIG DAY // SHARNI & ROBYN SHARNI AND ROBYN WERE THE FIRST SAME-SEX COUPLE IN NORTHERN IRELAND TO GET MARRIED, WE CAUGHT UP WITH THEM TO FIND OUT MORE... TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIG DAY... SHARNI: Our big day was absolutely incredible, so good in fact I wish we could do it all over again already because it went way to fast for my liking. We had our wedding at The Loughshore Hotel in Carrickfergus. Our location was absolutely beautiful, we had looked at a lot of venues online but The Loughshore Hotel was the first we actually went to visit and as soon as we did we fell in love with the venue, the hotel is beautiful and exactly what we both pictured as we were looking around the venue we just fell in love with it even more so much so we had to put our deposit down straight away to secure our place as we didn’t want to even consider anywhere else. Plus the absolute bonus of the venue being right on the coast it was even perfect for our photographer and the wedding photos we dreamed of having on the beach even being a February wedding. We really wanted an intimate ceremony so we only invited 50 people to that part which ended up being the most perfect setting for ourselves, having made history and being on the news around the world having our most nearest and dearest witness us getting married was the best feeling in the world. We then had a further 50/60 people join us for the reception so we could celebrate in style and enjoy ourselves completely. WHAT ABOUT THE FOOD AND DRINK? ROBYN: The food was amazing, everyone
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enjoyed it including the two children who they also catered for at the Hotel, we had our cake made by heavenly treats and it was out of this world, everyone was complementing it throughout the day and still now talk about it, we also had a treat table from Heavenly treats which included macaroons, cupcakes, cake pops and rainbow pizza cake everything was perfect we cannot thank Alex enough she did an amazing job. DID YOU HAVE A HONEYMOON OR ARE YOU PLANNING ONE SHARNI: Yes! We’ve actually just arrived back from our honeymoon today. We went to Cyprus for 2 weeks, we literally left our wedding venue the early hours of the morning after our wedding and headed straight to the airport. It was perfect for us especially with how big & overwhelming our day truly was. Cyprus was beautiful & being a winter season there was hardly anyone there but yet was still relatively warm so I really can’t complain. It was nice to get away just the two of us and to let everything truly sink in. YOU WERE THE FIRST SAME SEX COUPLE IN NORTHERN IRELAND TO TIE THE KNOT, WAS THIS PLANNED OR WAS IT A HAPPY ACCIDENT? SHARNI: I still find it so surreal we were the first same sex marriage in N.I. it’s the best feeling in the world, we feel so humbled and grateful to having been able to accomplish this because we fell in love. This was not planned at all and was a complete coincidence, I’m quite an inpatient person and because we had been engaged since May 2015 I wanted to go ahead with a civil
ceremony as I couldn’t see the bill being passed any time soon in N.I. we’d already waited 4 years by this time. We actually booked our venue in January 2019 and had all our paperwork for a civil ceremony filled out already but as fate happened the bill for same sex marriage finally got passed in September 2019 just 4 months before our big day! As soon as we found out we went straight down to our registrars office to change our paperwork and found out we could potentially be the first to be legally married. We really couldn’t have asked for anything more all we’ve ever wanted is to be equal and finally our dreams were coming true. ROBYN: It’s still surreal being the first same sex marriage in Northern Ireland, I personally didn’t think it would happen anytime soon never mind to us. We got engaged in May 2015 and wanted to get married whether it be a civil partnership we just wanted to move forward with our relationship so we went to the registrar and got the papers for the civil partnership and had them filled in and ready to go however in September 2019 the bill was passed and the law changed so we immediately got the papers changed, we were told we could potentially be the first but never actually thought it would happen to us. We picked the date a year before the bill was changed and the reason for that date was that it was our 6th year anniversary so it will always be a special day for us being able to celebrate our anniversary and make history all in one day! The full interview with Sharni and Robyn is available to read in issue 41.
Make your day
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Its your day so have it your way! For additional information please contact Tel: 07802 341134 Email: email@example.com
COVID-19 // WEDDING RESTRICTION MARRIAGE / CIVIL PARTNERSHIP CEREMONY RESTRICTIONS FROM 25 AUGUST 2020 Be aware that your marriage/civil partnership ceremony must be conducted under the current NI Executive restrictions. In all instances outlined below social distancing rules must be adhered to. Indoor gatherings in a private dwelling are reduced from 10 people from four different households to six people from two different households. This means that numbers will have to be restricted in relation to marriage or civil partnership ceremonies indoors at a private residence. If all other participants at the ceremony are not from the same household (registrar can be the only person from a separate household) the ceremony cannot proceed indoors in the private dwelling. Outdoor gatherings at a private dwelling (including the garden of the dwelling) can take place with up to 15 persons present. There is no change regarding death bed ceremonies they can still proceed in line with previous guidance issued by GRO. Indoor gatherings in a non-private location, for example approved venue, religious location, registration office can still proceed as previously set out. Outdoor gatherings in non-private dwelling locations â€“ The Executive has stated that certain events can have more than 15 people (reduced from 30) attending including marriage and civil partnership ceremonies as long as a risk assessment is carried out and social distancing and hygiene regimes continue to apply. NOTE: information correct as of 17th September 2020, check current guidelines for further information.
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ADVERTORIAL // DUNADRY HOTEL AND GARDENS
DUNADRY // WEDDINGS THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM DUNADRY HOTEL AND GARDENS’ WEDDING MANAGER. Firstly, let me introduce myself, my name is Kirsty Campbell and I am the Wedding Manager at the 4-star Dunadry Hotel And Gardens, in County Antrim. It’s fair to say that 2020 has not been the year that we hoped or expected it to be, there has been hard times, but just as many good times. One thing 2020 has most certainly given us all is a different perspective on life and perhaps brought us all back down to earth with a firm bump. The real things that matter in life have become
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more apparent, clear and at the forefront of our lives. I am going to give you a little insight into what has been happening at Dunadry Hotel And Gardens. Now would be a good time to put the kettle on. Before I get started it would only be right for me to introduce the iconic hotel to those of you that may not know it. Dunadry Hotel And Gardens can only be described as a very special place. From the moment you arrive there is a sense of calmness and tranquillity. This little hidden gem has been lovingly restored
with authentic features remaining with a modern upgrade giving the best of both worlds. Historically a working Linen Mill the original features are one of a kind and the hotel is steeped in history at every turn transporting you to a lovely place. Described in 3 words – relaxing, unique and luxurious. The grounds are just as impressive as the interior, as the internal garden acts as the heart within the hotel. With every turn you can look out and see the breath-taking grounds, allowing nature to become part of your experience no matter the season or weather. The hotel is nestled on the
banks of the flowing Six Mile River among acres of lush, manicured gardens allowing for a little private oasis for married couples to escape for stunning photographic opportunities. The whimsical setting can accommodate a celebration from 2 persons up to 240, so whether you are dreaming of an intimate or lavish wedding we have an impeccable choice of locations throughout. We pride ourselves on being fun and relaxed, putting you and your wedding day right at the heart of this iconic venue. The Pandemic Pause……. Let’s take it right back to March 2020. Sadly, the hotel temporarily shut its doors and
ADVERTORIAL // DUNADRY HOTEL AND GARDENS remained closed until the 6th of July. But, what happened during those months? Well a lot actually… we have been very busy inside and outside. Inside, just like everyone we got around to all those little jobs that always get put to the bottom of the list! We worked at bringing new ceremony areas and intimate rooms to life within the hotel, giving an array of new locations for our couples to choose from. Externally we replanted over 300 new plants in our gardens to bring colour and more depth, and we also created a fabulous new outdoor space. Our new addition is called ‘The Secret Garden’. Tucked away this new space can be used for ceremonies, drinks receptions, photos and many more exciting things….but we aren’t giving all our secrets away. It really must be seen to be believed.
Here at Dunadry one of our signature parts of the day is the signing of the cork and we describe it as becoming part of the Dunadry family. As a little mark of what should have been we left one gap in our cork cabinet and named it ‘the pandemic pause’, as a
opportunity to welcome you and your partner to this ever growing Family. You can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s make your special day a reality.
GET TO KNOW KIRSTY QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS. What is your favourite thing about your job? I love helping couples’ piece together the most special day in their life and be able to be a small part in such a personal journey with them. What advice would you give your Brides and Grooms? Advice - it is your day do it your way. Don’t be influenced by family and friends or current trends stay true to yourselves and the meaning of the day! What is your favourite season for a wedding? Winter
Obviously one of the hardest parts of lockdown was that some of our wonderful couples had their special day postponed. It is never easy when everything that has taken so long to arrange has to be changed. Naturally, we don’t like change, but this situation has forced us all to move out of our comfort zone and embrace what we have got. Everyone has been so wonderful at taking on ‘the new normal’ and I believe if only one good thing has come out of this terrible time it is love isn’t cancelled. Although the day may not be exactly what was initially envisaged, the one thing I tell everyone is that the reason for all of this is the fact you love each other and will be married. All the other stuff can be changed and be different but at the end of the day the heart and love of the wedding day will always remain. THE DUNADRY FAMILY...
Favours or no favours? Favours Band or DJ? Band Wedding Cake or Wedding ‘Cheese’ Cake? Wedding Cake Sweetie Table or Donut Wall? Sweetie Table Gallery or River Suite for a Ceremony? Gallery Inside or Outdoor Wedding? Outside – Summer/Spring/ Autumn Inside - Winter little reminder in years to come of the time everything had to pause for the pandemic in 2020. All of us at the hotel are extremely excited for the future and that we have finally got back to doing what we love, planning and hosting so many couples’ wedding days and welcoming them to the Dunadry family.
Contact us: Dunadry Hotel And Gardens 2 Islandreagh Drive, Dunadry, Antrim, County Antrim, BT41 2HA Northern Ireland T: 0044 (0)28 9443 4343 E: email@example.com
Intimate or Lavish Wedding? Intimate Top Table or No Top Table? Top Table Quirky or Traditional? Either - a reflection on the couple’s personalities Real Flowers or Fake Flowers? Neither - Greenery Six Months to Plan or a Year to Plan? We can plan in any timeline – anything is possible.
And I would love the
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FEATURE // THE RAINBOW PROJECT
PROMOTING GOOD RELATIONS // AN UNFINISHED STORY “PICTURE IT” AS SOFIA FROM GOLDEN GIRLS MIGHT BEGIN, THE TIME AND DATE IN THE CORNER OF MY LAP TOP SCREEN READS 07.36 ON 14/09/2020 AND HAS JUST TURNED 07.38 AS I FINISH TYPING THIS SENTENCE. I’M LYING IN A LUXURIOUS MAHOGANY FRAMED BED IN THE BEAUTIFULLY CURATED MASTER SUITE OF THE RIVER MILL WRITERS RETREAT IN DOWNPATRICK. OUTSIDE AWAITS THE PICTURESQUE GARDEN WITH ITS SATISFYING SOFT GRAVEL PATH CRUNCH UNDERFOOT LEADING TO RIVERSIDE WOODEN BENCH SEATING WHICH IS COSSETED BY A WIND RUSTLING BAMBOO CURVE. IT’S AN IDEAL BIRTHDAY TREAT BOOKING FOR SOME OVERDUE CREATIVE CONTEMPLATION. ALAS ALL I CAN CONTEMPLATE IS THIS MORNING’S GNI DEADLINE TO SUBMIT AN LGBT+ COMMUNITY FOCUSED ARTICLE I PROMISED A RAINBOW PROJECT COLLEAGUE!
DEAN LEE THE RAINBOW PROJECT
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FEATURE // THE RAINBOW PROJECT APART FROM MY MAIN WORK as a Counsellor for the Rainbow Project I’ve also been co-ordinating an LGBT Creative Writing Group, Outwrite and addressing anti-racism initiatives through my work with the Gay Ethnic Group along with anti-sectarianism initiatives. Exactly a year ago this week in partnership with the whole LGBT sector and Community Dialogue I organised a Peace by Peace conference to create a space to explore how LGBTQ+ identities here intersect with other minority identities in a bid to more collaboratively and creatively address all social inequalities. A year on punctuated by the Covid 19 crisis and #BlackLivesMatter protests the message is as pertinent as ever. We should be working more collaboratively on understanding the roots, intersecting paths and possible ways forward for all forms of discrimination, inequality and oppression in our society both locally and globally. I’m encouraged that post George Floyd the message finally seems to be getting through as I’ve seen grassroots Facebook campaigns emerging such as Tackle Hate Crime Together and new event-based programme initiatives such as Pride in Solidarity. Of course we are also met with the inevitable backlash to any minority issue that is ever raised. Campaign is often met with counter campaign as we have also seen this summer around the reform of the Gender Recognition Act. As I sit here now at an elegant writing desk in this comfortable writer’s retreat, I am reminded of much more uncomfortable times in my life. I wrote a poem based on my experiences of racism in February 2020 and I returned to it after the murder of George Floyd to add a companion piece which is a less literary rant. One of my intentions here was to revise it, tidy it up and structure it better. I have decided to leave it in all its defiant raw messy form as a metaphor for just how much oppression is felt and how much work still needs to be done. If you would like to find out more about any of the Rainbow Project work I’ve referenced please don’t hesitate to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
George Floyd Post Scripts (Works In Progress) Consider the first a Legible Prescription Note for those finding it hard to breathe without vaccination from the coronavirus racism Fear, pain and persecutor denial NO LONGER blots the memory. Pen to paper is an answer. Whether IN YOUR FACE, behind your back, to someone else, in ignorance, institutionally bred, culturally flavoured, on camera or covered up. When these and other stories happen to you they happen to me and everybody So find your blank page, Fill it with what really happens As there are silent armies stationed inside and outside yourself Right here, everywhere waiting, listening. To heal To halt Secondly For the seemingly asymptomatic super spreader Whiter than white six counties Northern Irish fellow human beings who don’t yet realise Defensiveness does not help you or me heal from racism I know you’ve probably experienced discrimination too but it’s different no better no worse And I’m all ears if it’s really damaged you If you’d find the strength to confront your own pain constructively Instead of you using it to deconstruct mine Focus also on the story of racism here Not racism in a place you’ve barely been Yes its global And comes in many forms And we need to talk about them all But there are histories of slavery, colonialism, holocaust, oppressions all based on the false notion of white supremacy and evidenced by the fact of white privilege and there are majorities and minorities contextually, statistically and as you
happen to be ethnic majorities here right now yes that means people of white Protestant and Catholic backgrounds you’re in this together now Post plantation you’re virtual equals finally, terrifyingly sharing power. Set aside how you treat each other Check how you treat the ethnic minorities who have come to share these shores The migrant workers of old and new From Italians who brought you pizza and ice cream The Indians who have cultivated Belfast’s best multicultural festival The Chinese hot food carry outers The tireless NHS and food factory workers The asylum seekers and refugees The Irish Travellers who were probably here before you If you treat them well, as some do then we’re good to go, all grand But as soon as you make it a competition between orange and green Or who can be most seen To show solidarity online or at the rally Check what you reveal A simple are you ok will do for starters And if you catch a glimpse in the mirror of something you don’t like Try and look a bit longer It won’t kill you It might kill And for the bananas and coconuts of this world White on the inside, brown on the outside Don’t be a yellow belly Be the bridge you were born to be between The wrong and the right Black and white Freedom and slavery Singularly proud of everything you are Get your foot in every closed door Stick one finger in the air and another in your share of the pie Before someone else dies of oppression And all our breaths tighten.
SIXTY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM
PRODUCT // SHAKEUP
VEGAN, CRUELTY FREE SKINCARE COSMETICS SIXTY EIGHT // GNIMAG.COM
PRODUCT // SHAKEUP MEET SHANE AND JAKE Shakeup is founded by twin brothers, Shane Carnell-Xu and Jake Xu. Born in Beijing and grew up in the UK, the brothers, who use cosmetics themselves, struggled for years to find the perfect products that were best suited for their needs. So after extensive research, they set out to create their own range of vegan, cruelty-free cosmetic products, designed specifically for men’s skin type and concerns.
• Subtle undetectable and natural mattified finish PROUDLY BRITISH, VEGAN & ALWAYS CRUELTY FREE Our products are both formulated and produced in the UK, ensuring the highest standards of quality. They are vegan, alcohol free, nasties free and we say NO to animal testing, always. THE PRODUCTS
“Our dream is for Shakeup to be included in every man’s grooming and skincare routine, helping them look and feel their 100% every day! And as a proud British brand, we want to build a global reach to promote our liberal values and forward thinking attitude, and become a leader in men’s beauty.” FOR MEN We challenge gender stereotypes. We reject toxic masculinity. We embrace a new era in men’s beauty.
LET’S FACE IT BB TINTED MOISTURISER A moisturising formula that evens and brightens skin tone and covers blemishes. Cooling and hydrating. SPF 25. 24-hour moisturisation. 4 shades with colour correcting technology. 50ml Made in Britain, vegan and cruelty free. All skin types.
EYE EYE CAPTAIN UNDER EYE CONCEALER & MOISTURISER An effective liquid concealer that reduces appearance of dark circles and puffiness around the eye area. SPF 25. 24-hour moisturisation. 4 shades with colour correcting technology. Made in Britain, vegan and cruelty free. All skin types. 15ml
All products available from www. shakeupcosmetics.com there is also a step by step guide on how to use them, which is a super handy tool for anyone not ofay with beauty products
We are on a mission to break down the barriers and stigma around men’s cosmetics, by offering easy-to-use products with unique formulas, specifically designed for men. 4 MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S SKIN 1. Testosterone stimulation makes male skin, on average, 20-25% thicker than female skin. 2. Extra sebum production means male skin is oilier and shinier than female skin. As a result men are more prone to impurities and acne. 3. Due to more active sebaceous glands, men tend to have more and larger pores than women. 4. Shaving stresses the skin, so male skin can be more sensitive and reacts faster.
LIP LIFE TO THE FULL VOLUMISING & MOISTURISING LIP GEL A smooth and moisturising lip gel with nongreasy finish, that makes lips look and feel more plumped and firmer. SPF 25, made in Britain, vegan and cruelty free. 10ml TOILETRY BAG
HYBRID PRODUCTS = PROVEN SKINCARE BENEFITS + EFFECTIVE COSMETIC FEATURES SKINCARE BENEFITS • SPF protection • Certified 24-hr moisturisation • Proven ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Antioxidant Vitamin E and Butcher’s Broom COSMETIC FEATURES • Effective coverage, instant gratification • Evens skin tone and complexion • Colour Correcting Technology
SOFT FAUX LEATHER WASH BAG Keep all your essential skincare products tidy. This classic slate-coloured faux leather wash bag is the new must-have for any modern man.
SIXTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM
FOOD// THE GOURMET BOYS
FANTASY MENU SEPTEMBER 2020 THE GOURMET BOYS IN PREVIOUS EDITIONS WE HAVE CREATED OUR “FANTASY MENU”: A FAVOURITE STARTER, MAIN AND DESSERT FROM OUR MONTHLY CULINARY ADVENTURES. THIS MONTH WE’VE DECIDED TO RING THE CHANGES BY SHARING OUR FAVOURITE POST LOCKDOWN BREAKFAST, LUNCH, EVENING MAIN AND DESSERT. DURING AUGUST WE STARTED VENTURING OUT TO DINE, TEMPTED BY “EAT OUT TO HELP OUT”, AND IT WAS GREAT TO SEE MANY RESTAURANTS FULLY BOOKED FROM MONDAY TO WEDNESDAY. THE SCHEME WAS EXCELLENT VALUE WITH UP TO 50% OFF, UP TO A MAXIMUM OF £10 PER PERSON. SOME VENUES HAVE DECIDED TO FUND A CONTINUATION OF THE DEAL DURING SEPTEMBER, SO YOU’LL NEED TO CHECK WITH EACH RESTAURANT WHAT’S ON OFFER, AS THEY VARY CONSIDERABLY. MAY WE PRESENT OUR BEST POST LOCKDOWN PLATES :-
LUNCH Urban Scullery: Recently rebranded, with a new chef and culinary concept, Urban Scullery is situated at the city end of the Newtownards Road and is an excellent choice for a lunchtime treat that won’t break the bank, but uses quality local ingredients to create tasty and inventive dishes. We decided to share the 3 Tacos for £10 and chose; - the curried chicken with pineapple salsa and coronation mayo - the baked haddock fingers with ST BREAKFA ELFAST B T H IG E FR
curried peas and tartare sauce - the veggie chilli with guacamole and spicy mayo. We also had the Green Giant salad of fresh leaves, broccoli, courgette, edamame beans,
peppers and kale with hot dressing.
Freight Belfast: Together, this made a filling, but healthy Passing CS Lewis Square on the Newtownards
lunch for two.
Road, you could easily mistake “Freight” for some unremarkable industrial storage, and continue towards Ballyhackamore for some traditional breakfast fare. This would be a great shame as these containers house one of East Belfast’s quirkier eateries. An excellent choice is the Vietnamese scrambled egg, accompanied by puffed rice, beansprouts and other seasonal vegetables, served on a delicious caramelised onion flatbread, liberally sprinkled with seeds and chilli. This Asian breakfast alternative is fresh, spicy, and full of flavour. LUNCH N SCU LL
SEVENTY // GNIMAG.COM
FOOD // THE GOURMET BOYS
amusement, our waitress announced
Italian meringue, toasted, and served
No14 at The Georgian House,
that they were “all heads” and the
with a splash of raspberry coulis.
chef would not be serving them this evening, so instead we plumped for
After many weeks of cycling past
the fresh salmon. This was a succulent
and admiring the newly refurbished
flaky pink fillet, with a perfectly crispy
No14, we decided that a visit was long
skin and a selection of grilled market
overdue, and what a pleasure it was.
Soft and fluffy decadence on a plate!!
Follow @thegourmetboys on Facebook and Instagram Email - email@example.com
Jim, the chef, then gave us a quick tour of the building, and he shared some of
If you have any requests for restaurant
his plans with us which
recommendations send us a message
are sure to make No14 at
and we’ll get right back to you
The Georgian House the “go to” culinary venue in Comber. DESSERT Oliver’s Restaurant: After a deliciously satisfying 14 @ NUMBER
ER DINNER SE, COMB GIAN HOU THE GEOR
two courses at Oliver’s
Restaurant, we decided
fifteen minute drive from Belfast, (or
that we weren’t going
thirty, if like us you cycle the Greenway)
to have dessert, but
this is a beautiful building retaining
felt obliged to “have a
many original features and the quality
of the food is of a very high standard. And as we have the Fresh seafood is always available;
willpower of a gnat
lobster, scallops, mackerel and seabass,
we simply couldn’t
were just some of the temptations on
resist, and plumped
view as we entered the restaurant, and
for the chocolate and cookie slider
the fabulous langoustine tails on the
and the baked lemon tart Alaska with
specials board sounded too good to
bitter chocolate ice-cream, which was a
particular favourite: light crispy pastry
DESSE OLIVER’S R RT ESTAURAN T
topped with tangy lemon curd and Sadly, although much to our
cocoa-rich ice cream, smothered in
SEVENTY ONE // GNIMAG.COM
FOOD // BAR & BLOCK
FOOD // BAR & BLOCK
TYPICALLY OUR THANKS GO ON the conclusion of a review though I must give an initial thank you to the General Manager Tammy for arranging our review with such short notice. ___ Our food review takes us to Bar + Block in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. We arrived approx 6.30pm having requested a later than usual time for a Sunday dining experience, I am unsure how busy they may have been prior to our arrival though it was particularly quiet and relaxed on our arrival. I imagine this may have been 2 fold, the ongoing impact Covid is having on the hospitality sector and also the great weather may have enticed quintessential diners to catch some rays in the garden rather than heading out, who knows! Neither the less both made for an evening in our favour which I shall dive into now. Kristopher the restaurant Manager greeted us with a smile, brought us to our table, explained their Covid regulations and gave us an information sheet and menu which were all disposable. I must say I found the info sheet a breath of fresh air, with places having their own rules this sheet which was easy to follow left no room for confusion. Kris also pointed out the one way system in place with socially distancing in mind. After a few minutes of chit chat and examination of the menu Kris kindly gave us a few recommendations of his personal favourite dishes on the menu and also let us know what is most popular with the staff. He then left us, gave us some time then Justyna our server introduced herself and
processed to take our order, to drink I decided upon a bottle of Andrew Peace South Eastern Australian Chardonnay, it was lovely, I must admit I wasn’t familiar with the brand though I shall be looking out for it, my guest opted for a strawberry mojito which was highly recommended by our server and it didn’t disappoint.
My guest ordered the Steak Sampler - three steaks; 4oz* fillet, 4oz* sirloin and 4oz* rump. Served with beer-battered onion rings and your choice of steak sauce and beef dripping triple-cooked chips.
For food we decided to go with 2 courses, a main each and share a starter/desert. To start I was torn between a few things on the menu, the Korean BBQ Pork Ribs and Honey Mustard Mini Sausages are both up my street though I settled on the Salt & Pepper Squid, with chilli and garlic, served with lemon and garlic mayo and a wedge of lemon. I love most types of Seafood and have lost count of the amount of times things aren’t cooked correctly though I can say there weren’t any issues with the cooking of the squid, it was delicious, mouth sized morsels in a light crispy batter, great job.
As mains go and particular the taste, flavour and cooking of steaks we cannot fault at all, similar to seafood so many make errors with under/overcooking of steak, there was no sign of this which we applaud. Our dinner was brilliant.
For our mains we both opted for steaks, with this being a steak restaurant ordering anything else would be sacrilegious though I was intrigued by the Vegan Sloppy Joe Burger, this was one of the recommendations by Kris though I decided to try his other recommendation which was the 10oz Spiral Cut Fillet, again I hold my hands up and sway this was a cut I wasn’t familiar with. Created by spiral cutting the fillet and marinated in garlic, parsley and chilli for 24 hours for tenderness and flavour. Served with beef dripping triplecooked chips and chimichurri sauce. Wow, I’m drooling as I type, it was cooked to perfection and the sauce was to die for, I love spice and garlic and it had the perfect amount of kick for me.
We had a wonderful evening, service was flawless, friendly and efficient, the food was delicious and the atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming, we cannot recommend enough.
We also ordered sautéed mushrooms and garlic spinach for the table, both impeccable
To round things off for dessert we opted for the chocolate churros sundae which was heaven. Even though we were both fit to burst from all the food we’d eaten we still managed to find room and it was devoured. It was the perfect finish to our dinner. Not too sweet but didn’t lack sweetness at all.
Thanks again to Tammy the General Manager, Kris the Restaurant Manager, our Server Justyna, Darren the Barman and photographer, Ludo Chef who prepared our starter and finally to Blazej the Head Chef for the wonderful Main and Dessert. Bar + Block Steakhouse 2-6 Waring Street, Belfast To book visit www.barandblock.co.uk or call 0289 6931227
SEVENTY THREE // GNIMAG.COM
SCENE OUT// GARY DUFFY
GARY DUFFY SCENE OUT
BACK IN NOVEMBER 2018 I PROUDLY won my first GNI award for Local LGBT Entertainer of the year. It was my first time being nominated and I won. The feeling was like no other. From then I knew that I wanted to do my own music but with 2019 being a very challenging year for me personally I didn’t have the strength to focus on it. Just before lockdown I went into the studio to record my very first single Did You Ever Really Love Me? Which was an original song written by myself and Cathy O’Kane. The song was a very personal song for me as I wrote it about a breakup I went through in 2019. The song is an emotional ballad that I believe every single person can relate to and the reception has been amazing! I have to say a huge thanks to The North Belfast News, Blast 106, Lisburn FM and Juice 1038 for promoting the song and me as an artist. When lockdown restrictions were eased I was finally able to shoot the music video in which I told a story of being in love and then rebuilding your life on your own without the person you thought you would marry. The video has over 20 thousand views which makes me incredibly happy and proud. Thank you to everyone who helped make my vision come to reality especially Matty Killen who shot the video and Adam McCrea for starring in the video with me. My launch night for the single and video was a roaring success as Boombox had to close their doors after 45 minutes, it was completely sold out. I got to sing my song for the first time live on the night and it was just amazing. My new single “Going Nowhere” is coming to all music platforms at the end of September start of October which I’m so excited about. It’s an upbeat song but still a relatable song I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. This is only the start for me and there’s just no stopping me now. Thank you to each and every person who has supported me so far. Spotify- Gary Duffy Facebook- Gary Duffy (Sasha Fierce) Instagram- Garybuhhh YouTube- Gary Duffy Music
SEVENTY FOUR // GNIMAG.COM
SCENE OUT// GARY DUFFY
SEVENTY FIVE // GNIMAG.COM
RECOMMENDED // MARTY KEARNEY
RECOMMENDED // MARTY KEARNEY WHAT TO WATCH...
FILTHY RICH // Kim Cattrall it’s really hard not to like her, and the reason I say this is because of the beef she had with Sarah Jessica Parker, I was obsessed with SJP from I was ten years old so much so I use to carry around a 10x8 photograph in a cheap frame that reeked of windowlean because I cleaned it so much in my school bag I even took it on holidays, I liked her way before any one else did. And when I say obsessed I mean obsessed their was this onetime (one time at band camp, I bet u all said that in your mind) some fella in my class at school saw her in a Bruce Willis movie called Sticking Distance and said she liked her better than me.So, I told the teacher he was bulling me. SHE WADS MINE! any way my point is as I get older and now, I can so see SJP being a bit of a diva who needs to be called out and Kim was brave enough to do it. That said I would love nothing more for them to patch things up for the sake of the fans and give us a Sex and the City3 although if they ever did make it without Cattrall I heard producers where eyeing up Sharon Stone to replace her for the iconic role of maneater Samantha Jones, although I think casting a woman of colour would be even better like Kim herself suggested. Angela Basset has my vote. Any way I’m going of Track, Kim’s latest Project Filth Rich is a soapy drama that looks to be camp and over the top. Kim plays Margaret Monreoux an Oprah type co-founder of hugely popular Christian Channel The
SEVENTY SIX // GNIMAG.COM
Sunshine Network when her Husband Gerald McRainey (This is US) dies in a plane crash it comes to light(excuse the pun) that he had three Bastard children, and those illegitimate kids are out to get every penny they can get. Originally scheduled to be a mid-season replacement earlier this year, the Fox network the same network who bought us Empire held of on releasing the campy southern gothic drama I’m guessing due to the shit storm that is COVID-19. Smart move in the long run as all shows and new shows have been pushed back this season so hopefully well get at least 13 uninterrupted episodes. And I have a feeling the whole Pandemic could work in this shows favour. I just have a hunch about these things. The trailer was first released in May 2019 and there is a line in it where Ginger the illegitimate daughter try’s to show up Margret and says in an old timely southern belle accent “I believe you a wearing my colour” you can bet your bottom dollar I spoke in that accent in for about 7 hours. Saying “I do declare” and “as I live and breathe” before and after ever sentence. Watch the Trailer you will know what I mean. The Show is created by Tate Taylor who directed some fantastic films such as The Help and Girl on the train as well as one of the executive producers of Grace and Frankie. I think my fellow gays are going to worship this. (Again, excuse the pun)
RECOMMENDED // MARTIN KEARNEY
THE DUCHESS // My Favourite comedian Katherine Ryan has her very on sitcom on Netflix that dropped on the 11t of September, Unfortunately I haven got round to starting it as my list is super long but it’s going to get bumped up the list and it will be watched this week. Katherine Ryan who hails from Canada did not have much success in her homeland she moved to London and her career took off she did the stand- up circuit and was such a hit she has been invited as a panellist on 8 out of ten cats, never mind the buzcocks and have I got news for you to name a few she also stole welsh hunk Steve Jones presenting job for Reality contest show HAIR , and she has not one but two Netflix specials and they are hilarious. If you’re a fan of Ryan check out the show and with only 6 episodes raging from 2030 mins you could watch it in one sitting, if you’re not a fan or have never heard of her but like me you like your humour sharp, witty, inappropriate, sarcastic, crude and honest then you should also check it out.
RATCHED // Ryan Murphy and Sarah Paulson have teamed up yet this time to bring us a prequel series about sadistic Nurse Ratched from the novel and the 1975 Jack Nicholson movie one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, I myself have not read the book nor seen the movie but ill definitely watch it preparation for the show and get a round to reading book as I truly believe your never alone when you have a good book. I’m led to believe Mildred Ratched makes Annie Wilkes from Misery look like nurse nightingale. Louise fletcher the actress who played her even won an Oscar for the part and I have no doubt Paulson will at least get her fair share of accolades for the role also, she could poop on a wall and id like it. The supporting cast is also a cast of dreams, Cinthia Nixon, Sharon Stone, Judy Davis, Finn Wittrock, Sophie Okonedo, Vincent D’onoffio, Rossana Arquette and Desperate Housewives alumni Harriet Samson Harris and Charlie Carver also star. I bet you this will be the number one show on Netflix and will be another obsession for most of us.
EIGHTY SEVEN // GNIMAG.COM
REVIEW // THE GRAND CENTRAL
THE GRAND CENTRAL // REVIEW We are no strangers to The Grand Central Hotel having previously dined and stayed though I cannot recall when we last enjoyed a sophisticated afternoon Tea in an establishment that oozes luxury and class. Before I jump it it would be rude of me not to brag a little about Hastings newtest hotel, having opened its doors less than 2 years ago The Grand Central set in the Linen Quarter, merely metres from the iconic Belfast City Hall boasts a whopping 300 bedrooms all designed with comfort and relaxation in mind. Spread across 23 floors, the building towers well above all of its neighbours. The Observatory which is home to Ireland’s tallest cocktail lounge offers the most breathtaking panoramic views of the city which have to be seen to be appreciated. Diners can indulge in either the Seahorse Restaurant or contemporary Grand Cafe.
SEVENTY EIGHT // GNIMAG.COM
We arrived approx 1.30 giving ample time to check in prior to our 2pm planned afternoon Tea, I can honestly say when stepping out of the car and being greeted by a door man in tails you instontainuly feel important and invited to this extraordinary hotel. Checking in was effortless like one would expect, our bags were delivered to our room which is another touch that only ads to the experience and we were invited to proceed to the Observatory. I have seen the astonishing views before at night though they were equally as impressive in the daylight if not more so, having a clear view of the mountains and going’s on in the streets below. This was my guests first experience in the hotel and Observatory, to say she was blown away would be an understatement.
We were seated in a corner seat beneath one of the enormous Sea Horse logos at the side of the building, I couldn’t get over the sheer size as from the ground they are very deceiving. Our server was super attentive, offering an array of tea’s, coffee’s, cocktails, wines and more while waiting on our afternoon Tea. I love a traditional tea so I ordered that and on recommendation from our server also the University Quarter Gin Cocktail, which had Lemon, Strawberry, Peach, Rhubarb, Rose. It was lovely, so refreshing and not too sweet, just how I like a Cocktail. My guest also being a lover of Gin order the Botanical Gardens Cocktail with Lemon, Grapefruit, Elderflower, Passionfruit, Whites, sure assured me that is was beautiful So on to the Afternoon Tea, here is the menu:
REVIEW // THE GRAND CENTRAL
AMUSE BOUCHE A SELECTION OF FINGER SANDWICHES MADE WITH IRWIN’S BREADS Glenarm Smoked Salmon & Horseradish with Dill Crème Fraîche on Granary Bread Grant’s of Belfast Ham, Mature Cheddar & Ballymaloe Relish, on Granary Bread Roast Irish Chicken & Tarragon Mayonnaise, on White Bread Caramelised Onion & Goat’s Cheese Tartlet WARM SCONES Buttermilk Plain Scone and Fruit Scone Served with Clotted Cream and Selection of Preserves FROM OUR PATISSERIE Carrot Cake White Chocolate & Strawberry Mousse, with Sable Biscuit Macaroon Praline Choux Bun Chocolate & Raspberry Marquise Lemon & Coconut Tart I have been known to be fussy when it comes to sauces and fillings though I can honestly say everything was divine, my personal favourites had to be the Smoked Salmon Sandwich, Fruit Scones with a mountain of Clotted Cream & Jam and the Raspberry Marquise though we devoured the lot lol. With it being a beautiful day and belly’s full we spent the afternoon enjoying the sun at City Hall and also did a little shopping. Later in the evening when we arrived back to the hotel we were not quite ready for bed yet so ordered wine and beers from the room service menu and chilled out on the 2nd floor balcony, it was a great finish to a wonderful day. We woke around 9.30 after what can only be described as a phenomenal sleep and headed down for breakfast which was served in The Grande Cafe, Breakfast was served similar to a high tea three tiered silver display with fresh baked muffins, individual melon portions and granola and yogurt with berry compote. Tea and coffee was a given which was followed by a much needed full Irish breakfast, though many other options were available
from the menu for those who prefer something lighter. Breakfast like everything else was perfect, I had requested toasted Soda bread and my guest ordered extra toast, both arrived in a flash, the cooking of everything was flawless and I must comment on the produce, quality was certainly evident, all 17 items on the breakfast menu hail from N.I producers. Full info on them is available online via www.grandcentralhotelbelfast.com/ wp-content/uploads/2018/05/breakfast_ booklet_2018.pdf Thanks to the management for the invite and the staff who were friendly and super attentive for looking after us, we couldn’t fault a thing, until next time Review by Daniel May Those planning to stay have a choice between 8 room types which will suit all in terms of need and budget with rooms available from £65pps* Afternoon tea is priced at £30pp* Mon -Wed and £40pp* Sat and Sunday *Prices correct at time of printing Visit www.grandcentralhotelbelfast.com/
Testimonial From the get go I felt like a VIP , everything was out of this world. The romantic views from the observatory, classical music playing on entry to the room, the birds eye view from the free standing bath. The bed was like something straight out of a fairytale with its size and especially its comfort!!! Receiving the red velvet cupcakes on returning to the room were a lovely touch and really can’t fault the hotel. As a smoker, the private balcony on the 2nd floor was nothing short of exceptional! 24/7 room service even served pizza all night and other light bites were available 24/7 I could go on and go! If i could change one thing it would be the addition of a mini bar or Fridge in the room Emma McCallum
SEVENTY NINE // GNIMAG.COM
ANTHONY COOLEY // LOCKDOWN FITNESS
KEEPING FIT IN LOCKDOWN // ANTHONY COOLEY
PERSONAL TRAINER AT DEDICATED FITNESS BELFAST
I’M SURE LIKE MANY OF us at this stage are already fed up with hearing the word, “Lockdown.” I know I am, but it shouldn’t mean that because we are now at home more often we can’t be making use of that time to get in some good exercise. As a personal trainer, I know all too well how much our physical and mental health is being impacted on by the current climate we find ourselves in. Busy days filled with back to back Zoom meetings, kids crying out for another biscuit to steal you away for a moment and your significant other also getting in on the act just to borrow a little bit of time with you. Not to mention all of the other things needing sorted like that pile of clothes mounting up in the corner of the room which is getting taller by the day, wee Fido needing his daily walk and more serious concerns such as your own health, your families health, and financial worries. It’s certainly a lot to take on, and more than ever we are feeling the pressure. That is why I feel, more than ever we should be making the time to just get away from it all, to blow off some steam and generally feel a bit better about ourselves. Never underestimate the power of exercise and the amazing benefits that come with it. If you can free up 20-30 minutes out of your day to get moving a bit more, you will be surprised at how well you will begin to deal with all the stresses going on in your life. Exercise releases all those feel good hormones and endorphins which just might be that thing that helps you cope through these very trying times. I know for me personally, it’s been the thing that has kept my head above water for the past 6 months.
improve my overall health?” Or “ I don’t have any equipment at home because everyone and their Granny bought everything out since lockdown was announced.” You may also not be quite ready to return to a gym just yet, after all we are still in the midst of a pandemic. These are all perfectly understandable concerns. This is where I would like to offer some help. The most amazing thing is that you don’t actually need any fancy equipment whatsoever and you don’t need to spend a single penny to keep yourself fit. Yes you heard me right! There is so much you can achieve just using your own body. The key is to just get up and get moving around more. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk the dog an extra time throughout the day. The shop is only a 10-15 minute walk away? Then walk to the shop instead of taking the car. And if you find It hard to get about or have mobility issues, any sort of movement is enough. As long as you can get that heart rate up, you are doing good. And then there’s the dreaded Diet. This is where most people I have dealt with seem to struggle the most, myself included at times. I hold my hand up to say that even me, a personal trainer has gotten a little bit more cuddly in lockdown. It’s to be expected, most of us were or still are working from home. This means that all those lovely, tasty wee treats are all within arms length. The temptation is always there because you know those glorious snacks are only one Zoom meeting away. So how do we tackle that? The simple answer, just don’t buy them.
So, you might be asking, “ What sort of things can I be doing to better
EIGHTY // GNIMAG.COM
ANTHONY COOLEY // LOCKDOWN FITNESS
You would be surprised at how much easier you can resist these temptations when you know these things are not in the kitchen cupboard or even worse, right next to the laptop you are working from. What’s that saying, “ Out of sight, out of mind?” Well yeah, that! “But I don’t have time to make lunch every single day, so I reach for whatever is convenient.” I hear this all the time with clients and its true, we all love convenience to help us deal with our hectic days. So here’s a tip that I give to all my clients. When you are making the dinner each evening (which better not be a takeaway each night, naughty!) try to make a bit more than you usually would. With that little bit of extra dinner, put it in a Tupperware container and pop in the fridge for the following day’s lunch. It really is that simple! Since you are already putting the effort in to making a dinner you may as well have that for tomorrows lunch also. This should help you deal with those sorts of cravings you have throughout the day. And if you are snacking, try to be sensible and go for things that will sustain your hunger for a bit longer than just grabbing a chocolate bar which will only cause your sugar levels to spike and fall just as quickly leaving you feeling drained later in the day. So, back to the exercise bit. Here is a simple workout routine that can be done in the comfort of your own home using just your own body. It will help improve your overall fitness levels if done at least a few times a week. And will also burn some calories if you are trying to get back that pre-lockdown physique. Have a bottle of water at hand also because you are going to need it!
And as always if it’s been some time since you last did any sort of exercise or if you suffer from and health issues that you may be concerned about always speak to your GP first before undergoing any sort of training programme.
5 ROUNDS/5 EXERCISES BACK TO BACK WITHOUT REST (1 MINUTE FOR EACH EXERCISE) - Body weight squats (1 min) - Alternating leg Lunges (1 min) - High knees (1 min) - Press-ups (use your knees to make them a bit easier if needed) (1 min) - Crunches (1 min) 2 min rest between each round. And that’s it! Try and keep this going for the coming weeks/months and I promise you will reap the benefits physically and mentally! If you would like to get in touch, you can find me on Instagram @ tony_cools or on Facebook. Email enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org Let me know what goals you are working towards, I am always happy to chat. Stay safe guys, until next time. Coach Anto.
EIGHTY ONE // GNIMAG.COM
FEATURE // FACE COVERINGS
MASK // FOR MASK GREAT BRITISH DESIGNER CHILDREN’S REUSABLE FACE COVERINGS – JULIEN MACDONALD £15.00 boots.com
SINCE 10 AUGUST THE USE of face coverings in certain indoor settings, such as shops or shopping centres, has been mandatory. You must also wear a face covering on public transport. Coronavirus (COVID-19) usually spreads by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces, if you touch a surface and then your face without washing your hands first. This is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is important in controlling the spread of the virus. The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others. Because face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, from coronavirus (COVID-19) they’re not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing.
SOFT LOOP 3PLY FACE MASKS 50 Pack - £25 boots.com
ADJUSTABLE ROLL-UP UNISEX FACE VISOR £10.99 groupon.co.uk
NEQI REUSABLE FACE MASKS - 3 PACK (ADULT S/M - PINK) £15.00 boots.com
Here are various types we found online
LOULOU STRIPED JERSEY NECK WARMER £35 countryliving.com
EIGHTY TWO // GNIMAG.COM
TRAVEL // NORTHERN IRELAND
NORTHERN IRLEAND // STAYCATION WORDS: GAVYN ANDREWS
EIGHTY THREE // GNIMAG.COM
TRAVEL // NORTHERN IRELAND
2020 HAS BEEN A DIFFICULT YEAR
and in a huge array of locations from
Beach, In the Woods or a Flexible site
for everyone with travel restrictions
countryside, mountains, beaches,
central to everything
and even restrictions on leaving your
woods/forest or even parks such as
- Find out if the cabin is pet friendly
own house or visiting friends and
Centre Parks down in southern Ireland.
- Work out how far you want to drive
family. Some people have been lucky
Holidays in a self- contained cabin
and maybe hire a different type of car
or unlucky depending how you look
is really a product that can work for
- What opportunities for adventure and
at it to fly overseas and manage some
couples looking a romantic break or a
fun are in the Areas nearby you have
kind of a summer holiday but for many
large family wanting to get away from
we are still dreaming of that break
it all but stay together in a space that
- Does the Cabin suit the need of all
from the world of COVID-19. The
works for them.
your family age groups
back to work and send kids to school or
What you need to consider when
We often forget about how important
university even though the virus is still
looking at Cabin Holidays are:
tourism is in Northern Ireland and that
government has even asked us all to go
we have some unique world-class
going strong and in some areas cases have spiked again and again meaning
- What is your Budget for the
tourism sites and facilities right on our
the reintroduction of some localised
own door step from East to West or
- How long do you want to stay and are
North to South nothing is ever more
than 1-2 hour’s drive away. Depending
So for this issue I am going to simply
- How many beds are required i.e. only
where you choose to holiday wooden
say forget about the Spanish Costa’s,
family or additional beds for overnight
cabins will give you the opportunity
Gran Canarias and even the Greek
of course to forget the car and head
Islands and say HELLO to Holidays in
- Where do you want to be? i.e. at the
out on foot to explore the natural
Northern Ireland and in specific Hello to holidays staying in Wooden Cabins or lodges. Holidays in Northern Ireland often mean huge savings on flights or ferry costs and I feel this means that you should have more budgets to spend on adventure days out or excursions depending on the size of your family and duration of your stay. It is also handy to remember that here in the north of Ireland many parks, gardens and museums can be visited for free it just takes a little bit of extra planning with number of restrictions due to Covid-19. A holiday at home can often lead to the same old hotels and or even caravan parks and that’s why I’m highlighting Wooden Cabins because they offer something fresh, modern and unique not to mention at times quirky. You will also notice that due to the shape and adaptability of a Cabin that they will come in many shapes and sizes
EIGHTY FOUR // GNIMAG.COM
Donard Shadow Lodge
TRAVEL // NORTHERN IRELAND
location of it. Newcastle County Down offers you a truly unique opportunity for you to explore the sea, beaches and the mountains with the local tourism board and suppliers offering some really one off and unique tours on land or at sea. Your holiday here can truly be as detailed or as simple as you wish that the good thing about a cabin break because it really is a something unique to each and every customer. For me this type of holiday would be perfect for a couple like myself with dogs because we could pack the car up take the mountain bikes and wake up every day and just do something different. It’s down to you what the pace of your holiday is like and I adore nothing more than a slow pace of life with options to go out and eat and
Gorestown Glamping Chalets
drink and visit places or venues that make your break feel truly special and unique.
surroundings or even get on your
modern house today. This venue is
bike and cycle through small towns or
situated in an excellent location for
unspoilt coves creating family memories
exploring the south of Northern Ireland
on the way
close to Moy and also provides easy access to the likes of Armagh and
This accommodation type provides
Newry or even day trips to Dundalk’s
endless opportunities for Birthday
waterpark etc. Many of the cabins are
Parties, Romantic honeymoons or
also pet friendly. You will also notice
simply a weekend away. Holidays of
that many of these types of cabins
this type can be sourced directly from
now come with options of extras such
the owners of the cabins or through
as shopping delivered to you and or
online travel bookings sites as well as
depending on weather outdoor eating
through the Discover Northern Ireland
like BBQs etc. can be provided.
accommodation booking sites. A cabin provides the same type of family
Personally I have always liked the more
isolation bubble that you would need
traditional style Cabin’s like you would
if you have to isolate with family during
see in the ski resorts of Austria and I am
delighted to share with you the Donard
Autumn has arrived and winter will not be long in coming around so if you have not managed a summer holiday then please look into a winter break or even a Christmas break in a cabin could be something truly amazing. Even though you are planning to stay and holiday in Northern Ireland I highly recommend when booking that you take out travel insurance and know the cancellation policies of the Cabin provider well in advance just in case you have to cancel or the restrictions mean he cabin has to close itself. Explore your homeland and support the local tourism and hospitality industries.
Shadow lodge in Newcastle County You will find cabins can become a
real break away from your normal life and almost bring you back to your
This property comes highly
childhood. Gorestown Glamping
recommended by customers who
Chalets offer some highly modern
recently stayed at the property praises
chalets with many mod cons of a
both the property itself and the
EIGHTY FIVE // GNIMAG.COM
PRODUCT // MISSTIQUE
MISSTIQUE // GAY LOVE TOY GUIDE COZY NIGHTS AT HOME - HERE’S THE MISSTIQUE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST GAY SEX TOYS With these days of uncertainty and more time being spent at home, we’ve teamed up with our local adult store Misstique to help us discover what toys are out there, suitable for gay ladies and gentlemen alike, to truly make it a winter season to remember. From penis rings, anal beads and vibrators, right through to love eggs, p spot massagers and vagina balls, at first glance, Misstique seems to cover all bases, on their way to seriously bulking up your bedroom play time. ‘Sex toys for gay couples in particular need to have that edge’ says Frankie of the recently re-developed retail shop. ‘Couples are naturally more promiscuous, so it’s incredibly important to maintain that spice and seduction between the sheets, in order to maintain excitement and keep things fresh’. The best way to do it, of course,
is with toys. By experimenting in the ones you’ve tried before, that particular one you’ve had your eye on, or simply that little number your friends have been telling you all about, you are really able to broaden your sexual horizons and celebrate 2020’s year of the kinkiness in some truly erotic style. What toys are out there well worth a look at? Let’s start the party with something for the ladies, in the form of an incredibly exciting bit of bedroom tech. Including all the pulsating power of your favourite vibe, except this time in the form a bullet, a Remote Control Bullet Vibrator always guarantees a whole lot of fun. For such a small toy, enjoy hours and hours of hands-free pleasure, as well as all the discretion in the world, as you hit your favourite bar, pub or venue and have some naughty fun of your own. Out for that special occasion? Perhaps you’re enjoying a rare night out together? spark up your sex life with one of these incredible little pleasure givers. For such a small and simplistic sex toy, penis rings provide one hell of a bang for your buck. Often perceived as not suitable for same sex gentlemen play, this is where one of the biggest mistakes are made, because you too can learn to take full advantage. Enjoy all the benefits of a firmer and longer lasting erection with a penis ring, along with the incredible vibrations and stimulations most adaptations include. Perfect for anal play, a penis ring really gives you a license to thrill your partner in ways they’ve never felt before.
or straight. However, when introduced to your new bedroom of heaven, they can prove to be quite the show stopper. Perfect for shallow anal exploration and wonderful stimulation of the prostate, this form of sex toys are very well equipped to fulfil all of your back door needs. Used as a high grade piece of kinky artillery, bring your same sex foreplay back to life, as you switch up positions. MissTique do offer a great range of double-ended dildos, vibrators and anal douches, allowing gay couples up and down the country to truly go fully equipped. However, thinking a little outside the box, we turn our attention to their fabulous double vagina sucker, allowing both females to experience all the blissful pleasures they provide simultaneously. Causing the labia to enlarge and the clitoris to become exposed when pumped, a vagina sucker is a great way to enjoy the more sensitive touch of your partner. With this adaption allowing you both to get high on passion at the same time, prepare for an erotic explosion for a considerable time after removal ladies. Whether it’s the luxurious Strapless Strap-on, a handsfree vibrator that pleasures both females during penetration, or the new arrival of the Double Devotion Curved Stimulator, there are certainly a few eyebrow raising sex toys out there to leave you hot and steamy well into the night. Take a look around and shop with a completely open mind and you may just be surprised at what you stumble upon. Contact Misstique for more information, details below.
Prostate Massagers or P-Spot Massagers are fantastic tools for enhanced solo play, whether you are gay
Poppers, DVD’s, Toys, Clothing, Lubes & Better Sex! Misstique Belfast 27 Gresham Street, Belfast BT1 1JL
Mon - Thurs 10.00am - 7.00pm Fri & Sat 10.am - 9.00pm LATE NIGHTS Sunday 12 noon - 6.00pm SHOP ONLINE:
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HERe NI empowers, supports and advocates for all lesbian and bisexual women and their families. Our vision is that all lesbian and bisexual women are visible, included and valued in all aspects of society. 23 -31 Waring Street Belfast | BT1 2DX Tel: 028 9024 9452 www.hereni.org email@example.com @NIHERE
We provide regional LGBTQ+ youth groups across Northern Ireland, support for individuals, LGBTQ+ awareness training, community development, the LGBT Switchboard, and the LGBTQ+ Inclusive Schools Programme. 23-31 Waring Street Belfast | BT1 2DX Tel: 028 9089 0202 www.cara-friend.org.uk firstname.lastname@example.org. @Cara.Friend.NI @CaraFriendNI
SaIL provides support for trans people and their families. If you are a parent, grandparent, carer, sibling, friend or anyone who wants to talk about gender please get in touch. We are families who support families and we have a regional network of support workers and family members waiting to connect you to any information or support you need. We are here to help so that you know, you are definitely not alone.
GenderJam NI, the youth service provided by TransgenderNI, runs regular social get-togethers for trans, non-binary, questioning and intersex people aged 25 and under across Northern Ireland, with groups in Belfast, Newry and Derry.
51 Downshire Road | Newry | BT34 1EE Tel: 02895 320 023
Belfast Trans Resource Centre 98 University Street Belfast | BT7 1HE Tel: 028 9099 6819
The Rainbow Project is a health organisation that works to improve the physical, mental & emotional health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people in Northern Ireland. We deliver a range of services including Rapid Sexual Health testing and counselling. 23-31 Waring Street | Belfast | BT1 2DX Tel: 028 9031 9030 20 Strand Road | Orlan House Londonderry | BT48 7AB Tel: 028 7128 3030 www.rainbow-project.org email@example.com @TRPNI @THERAINBOWPROJECTNI
We support and advocate for the human rights of trans people in Northern Ireland, through community building, leading campaigns for social and political change, working with government and the community sector to improve policy and inclusion, as well as providing direct support and advocacy to individuals online and through the Belfast Trans Resource Centre. Belfast Trans Resource Centre 98 University Street Belfast | BT7 1HE Tel: 0300 302 3202 www.transgenderni.org.uk firstname.lastname@example.org @TransgenderNI
OUT North West is an LGBTQ+ Youth Support Service for 12-25yrs. We are based in The Foyle LGBT Centre in Derry. Orlan House | 20 Strand Road Londonderry | BT48 7AB Tel: 028 7128 3030
THE LOUNGE BAR
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