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february / march seenmag.co.uk

ultimate fashion

Liverpool to showcase new trends

campophobia Does it exist?

issue eight free

developing nicely

Life through Matt Ford’s eyes

scouse & proud

Chris & Mark Scousewife dish the dirt


stylish, urbane and dog friendly

*

Book for a two course pre fixe or a la carte and we’ll welcome SEEN fans with a free glass of Prosecco.

Did we mention we love dogs?

Hope Street Hotel and her sister, The London Carriage Works restaurant, make a fabulous partnership for your celebrations; we have event rooms of charm and rooms with views; breathtaking panoramas of the city below panning from the Welsh Mountains out to the Irish Sea. We have huge beds with crisp white Egyptian cotton sheets, goose down pillows, warmed solid wood floors, rain dance showers, REN toiletries, complimentary Pellegrino and Panna water, 24 hours of room service, a classic movie library and free WiFi throughout. And, to top it all the best breakfast impeccably served in The London Carriage Works. We love weddings, civil ceremonies, anniversaries and birthdays, we love good food, good wine, good dogs, all children and Liverpool – but maybe not in that order! Rooms can be from £89.00 so visit our website to catch our popular dinner bed and breakfast packages. Contact us on 0151 709 3000 for rooms, ceremonies and events and 0151 705 2222 for table reservations. Hotel of the year 2010 and 2011, The Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Awards. Taste of the year 2011, The Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Awards. Best Value Urban UK Hotel – The Sunday Times Travel VFM Awards 2011.

www.hopestreethotel.com www.thelondoncarriageworks.co.uk


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february / march issue eight

TEAM

LETTER FROM

Director & Editor

As you have probably noticed, since our last edition of Seen Magazine we’ve undergone a huge revamp and complete redesign.

Rebecca Keegan

THE DIRECTORS

We took in readers’ feedback, spoke to some experts and had many long conversations (and a few ‘choice’ words) amongst ourselves and we have come up with this, an even more chic, cool and high quality magazine.

Rebecca@seenmag.co.uk

Director & Sales Tony Burns

Tony@seenmag.co.uk

Columnists & Contributors Andy Green Paul St German James Davies Chris Danks Joan Burnett Chris & Mark Johnson White John McGuire Paul Culshaw

Writer & Web Editor Natasha Starr Natasha@seenmag.co.uk

At Seen Magazine, we pride ourselves in breaking down barriers and keeping our product reader driven and of course, still family friendly. Anyone can pick up Seen Magazine no matter what age or gender. We’re excited to work with Liverpool photographer Matt Ford this issue, who produced our cover art. We’ve also introduced new columnists and revamped our pages into sections for easier reading. The entire edition highly benefits our advertisers who are given a fantastic show in the highest quality magazine in Merseyside. This year, we have some huge plans and although many are very ‘hush hush’ at the moment, we can reveal that we will be holding the Seen Awards again on an even bigger scale, we also plan to introduce some more events into the county after speaking with some of the most influential people in our area. Just watch this space to find out all about it. So as usual, we’re packed to the seams with some of the best content out there, and we have provided you with real features, real editorial and actual stories that you can read and enjoy. Just what you need from a good magazine. Do pop us an email over with your views on the new look of Seen Magazine; we are always pleased to hear from our readers and keep the magazine relevant to you. Here’s to a very exciting year ahead!

Rebecca Keegan & Tony Burns Directors

Design Jonathan Holden jonathan@concept22.co.uk

Account manager Robert Mogsa Robert.mogsa@seen.co.uk

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@seen_magazine

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A real life Erin Brockovich moment. Read all about it...

The Angel Times

January 30th 2012

Priceless

D N U O R G N O E K A T L E G N A CLAIM E S A C G IN N O IS O P D A E L G IN BREAK

a Claim Angel Peter said: “We deal with came we when but cases ual lot of unus across Joseph he didn’t realise he was entitled to compensation.” sed Fay added: “People can be expo when working in facilities that produce a variety of lead-containing products; these include radiation cal shields, ammunition, certain surgi equipment, fetal monitors, plumbing, and circuit boards, jet engines, ceramic glazes.” in Early symptoms of lead poisoning and adults are commonly nonspecific include depression, loss of appetite, , abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea from Lead Poisoning. r Othe pain. le musc and on, tipati cons “I was worried about losing my job, signs include malaise, fatigue, decreased e advic good me but Claim Angel gave o, and problems with sleep. my libid and put my mind at rest that of If you feel as if you have any employers are covered by an insurance ked by chec get toms symp these policy which is put in place for when Angel for can your GP and call Claim things like this happen. It means I e free on advic ation oblig no dly frien my take time off to get treatment and . pay 0800 319 6669 employer ’s insurance policy will for any loss of earnings I have had

s A leading North West Claim been has any comp Management ual praised for their help in an unus went l Ange Claim case. compensation beyond usual barriers when they were contacted by a local Plumber. be Joseph suspected something might was “I job: his to ected conn g wron d continually feeling tired and ill. A frien so s illnes d relate work a be could it said to I contacted Claim Angel and spoke Fay,” and Pete The pair worked day and night investigating the case and it was discovered that Joseph was suffering

Pete and Fay from Claim Angel.

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Had an accident or similar proble Contact one of our team at Claim Angel, who will be glad to take your call and be ready to answer any questions you may have.

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style

contents

february / march issue eight

style 30Spring Get ready for next season

Cover Artwork by Matt Ford

news Employers 6Top Stonewall praises merseyside businesses Street Quarter 8Stanley Gay area recognition News 12World LGBT news from around the globe

fashion queen 34Ultimate Liverpool’s drag acts to strut catwalk Scousewives 39Desperate Chris and Mark dish the dirt

work business interview 42The With Pink Sofa fire 45Quick BBH answer our questions spec 46Tech Geeky gadgets of 2012

life Homes 22Care The need for LGBT awareness on 24Spotlight Singer Craig Cavanagh

view nicely 48Developing Life through Matt Ford’s eyes

52Campophobia Does it exist? cheese 58Say Photographs of Liverpool’s nightlife

Climb 26Everest One woman’s inspirational challenge


One choice. Two options.

Liverpool’s ONLY authentic Italian Fish restaurant

Authentic traditional menu – real home cooking!

CROLLA PELLEGRINI

@italianclubnews


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news

Merseyside is a non stop place when it comes to LGBT news, there’s always something going on and we’ve taken some of the main stories from the past two months and crammed them into our pages of Seen Magazine. Andy Green gives us the latest information on the

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Stanley Street Quarter and advises us of some upcoming events, we speak to the Merseyside businesses that made the top 100 in the Stonewall best LGBT employers list and of course, we look at what’s going on nationally and internationally in our world news pages....

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news 05


Liverpool John Moores University.

STONEWALL PRIDE FOR LIVERPOOL BUSINESSES Merseyside businesses are celebrating after being named in Stonewall Top 100 Employers in Britain for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in 2012.

What is Stonewall?

Stonewall was founded in 1989 by a small group of women and men who had been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act. Section 28 was an offensive piece of legislation designed to prevent the so-called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools; as well as stigmatising gay people it also galvanised the gay community.

Clare Mawdsley-Geoghegan, chair of Plus Dane’s Something for Everyone diversity and equality group.

The aim from the outset was to create a professional lobbying group that would prevent such attacks on lesbians, gay men and bisexuals from ever occurring again. Stonewall has subsequently put the case for equality on the mainstream political agenda by winning support within all the main political parties and now has offices in England, Scotland and Wales. Stonewall is renowned for its campaigning and lobbying. Some major successes include helping achieve the equalisation of the age of consent, lifting the ban on lesbians and gay men serving in the military, securing legislation allowing same-sex couples to adopt and the repeal of Section 28. More recently Stonewall has helped secure civil partnerships and ensured the recent Equality Act protected lesbians and gay men in terms of goods and services.

LCH Chief Executive Bernie Cuthel.

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www.stonewall.org.uk

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“The prestigious list named Merseyside Police, LJMU, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust and the Plus Dane Group in the chart.”

Merseyside Police Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive said: “Competition for a place in the Top 100 was fiercer than ever this year, with new, more demanding criteria, every employer securing a position in the Top 100 has performed impressively – and the participating employers collectively employ over 1.9 million people. The Index remains a powerful tool used by Britain’s 1.7 million gay employees and 150,000 gay university students to decide where to take their talent and skills.”

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Liverpool John Moore’s University Meriel Box, Head of Staff Development, Academic Enhancement Unit and Chair of the LBGT Network at LJMU: “This is the third year we have been listed in Stonewall’s TOP 100. Last year we made history being the TOP University in the list and this year we also achieved the accolade of Star Performer Network. “We are delighted to be one of the Top Five Universities. We see it as an outstanding achievement for Higher Education staff development. It demonstrates that our policy of continual improvement in the work place is effective and diversity is respected, valued and celebrated at LJMU. “It is recognition for our university at an international level for staff and students, with whom we will be celebrating our continued success and marking LGBT history month in February.”

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Liverpool Community Health (LCH) The only NHS Trust in the North West to be named in the top 100 and LCH Chief Executive Bernie Cuthel said: “I am delighted and honoured that we feature in the increasingly competitive top 100 list of employers. This result shows how our core values – care, courage, collaboration, commitment and community - influence everything we do. “This success is even more pleasing given how the current tough financial climate has impacted on the Trust.” Vice Chair of LCH’s Pride in Health Staff Network, Tina Davies-Taylor, who is a Senior Project Manager for the organisation, said: “For LCH to have recognition of the work that is done to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff is magnificent. I am proud to work for an employer in the top 100. “As a staff network we feel that being involved with and therefore understanding the LGBT community is essential for any employer. “The work that was put into the submission to Stonewall was a real team effort with the Pride in Health Staff Network and the Equality and Diversity team working together.”

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Plus Dane Group The only housing association to make it into the list is heavily involved in work that challenges homophobia, such as Liverpool’s annual Pride event and the campaigning group Homes for Everyone. Among the initiatives which impressed judges at Stonewall was Plus Dane’s employment of Diversity Champions to promote gay-friendly working at all levels of the company, as well their progressive approaches to pensions, healthcare schemes, mentoring and training. Clare Mawdsley-Geoghegan, chair of Plus Dane’s Something for Everyone diversity and equality group, said: “One of the reasons why Plus Dane is so successful as a business is because we attract recruit and retain the very best staff. “Creating a workplace in which diversity is celebrated and equality is embedded and where gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees can truly be themselves is an essential part of that work and is one of the reasons why we remain the employer of choice in this sector.” The Stonewall Top 100 Employers result builds on Plus Dane’s top 40 placing in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for.

The submission to Stonewall included a staff survey and detailed application including information on the organisation’s policies, role models, support systems and general ethos.

news 07


Most of us know that the area around Stanley Street is essentially Liverpool’s “gay village”. It’s where the majority of the city’s gay venues are located and where a lot of us choose to spend our leisure time. In 2010 the council commissioned “Designing Out Crime” to explore ways of improving safety in the city after dark and one of the key recommendations was to create a vision for the city’s gay quarter, writes Andy Green. A consultation was carried out last year involving key stakeholders and representatives from the LGB&T community and the result was a very thorough report suggesting ways to develop and market the Stanley Street area. A steering group was formed consisting of residents, businesses, city councillors and officers, Liverpool Vision, Liverpool Pride, Gay Youth ‘R’ Out and LCVS and one of the first things to be decided was the name: The Stanley Street Quarter. This was followed by a branding exercise that produced a snazzy logo for the area that will soon be popping up all over the place. The first visible results of the steering group’s efforts are the recently installed rainbowadorned street signs; a small but significant step in raising the quarter’s profile and an acknowledgment of the LGB&T community. The signs are just the start of improving the appearance of the area which, let’s face it, isn’t exactly the prettiest end of town. As well as a facelift, a number of special events are planned throughout the year and the first of these is Mother’s Day on March 18th.

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news

I met up with project leader Paul Amann who is a member of the council’s City Centre Management team and also a prominent figure in the city’s LGB&T community and he explained the thinking behind the Mother’s Day event: “Mothers’ Day on Liverpool’s gay scene has long been one of the busiest and quite frankly craziest of days. The Masquerade has long considered it to be the peak day of the year and The Lisbon recognise it as one of their busiest,” he says. “Merseyside mothers of gays and lesbians flock to the scene to make it their own for the day and maybe get a sense of what the scene offers their children the rest of the year.” Mothering Sunday 2012 will be celebrated in the Stanley Street Quarter with local bars, cafes, restaurants and community organisations working together. A florist and specialist chocolate stall will be set up on a pedestrianised Stanley Street to ensure mums can be spoilt. Stanley Street venues will be offering a variety of mothers’ day specials and the opportunity to dine out with pavement cafés, weather permitting. The Lisbon will

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T

be offering a great range of traditional pub food up until 7pm with snacks in the evening, with the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or beer outside with tables and chairs (weather permitting!); special compilations CDs will be given to mothers on the day (first come first served). The newest addition to Stanley Street, Bar Wickid, will be offering a pavement café, together with longer established Navy Bar, Superstar Boudoir and Reform who may also have pavement café arrangements. Armistead will be open on Stanley Street with parents of LGBT people and LGBT parents being made especially welcome. Armistead will be acting as a hub for a number of community organisations including Queer Notions, Mersey Marauders FC, GYRO and Liverpool Pride. Although Paul promises the activities won’t be limited to Stanley Street: “The

Masquerade on Cumberland Street will be extending their traditional warm welcome to all of our communities’ mothers, making sure that this busy bar offers its very best with outside tables (weather permitting), with Phil and Jeff promising to spoil all the mums on the day. “Heaven, Pink, G-Bar and Garlands will each be offering something different for Mothering Sunday. So the future looks very exciting for the Stanley Street Quarter and other events in the pipeline include street markets and special days for the Queen’s jubilee and the Olympics. A more attractive and highprofile environment should certainly bring in more visitors and hopefully new investment to improve the area’s daytime offer. We’ve got a long way to go before we catch up with Manchester’s Village but with the council and community working together on a shared vision it’s definitely possible.

See you in Stanley Street on Mothers Day!

seenmag.co.uk

news 09


Under new management

Brand new bar in a well known and loved street! Friendly, Warm & Welcoming.

opening times monday to wednesday 12.00pm – 12.00am thursday 12.00pm – 2.00am fri and sat 12.00pm – 4.00am sunday 12.00pm – 12.00am

25 Stanley Street, L1 www.barwickid.co.uk


Green on Seen Andy has been on Liverpool’s gay scene for more years than he can remember and has Andy Green

Do we still need to fight for

equality?

been writing about it regularly for the last eight years and has seen many gay venues and organisations come and go in that time.

The quality of life for lesbian and gay people in this country has improved dramatically in the last few years, in fact we’ve never had it so good. We’ve got civil partnerships, better pension rights but I think the most dramatic change is how we are perceived by the wider community on a day-to-day basis. I remember not so long ago when a lot of people felt the need to hide their sexuality or at the very least not to draw attention to it for fear of the reaction it might provoke. But not anymore! Now we quite happily and spontaneously greet our same-sex friends with a hug and a kiss in the middle of a busy street in broad daylight - believe me that just didn’t happen a few years ago. The LGB youth of today are so much more confident and ‘in your face’ than they were 20 years ago and that’s because they feel they can be, society’s attitudes have changed. There are so many gay celebrities and soap characters these days that to a growing number of people a person’s sexuality is no big deal. There was a time last year when all of the three big weekend chat shows were hosted by gay men: Graham Norton, Alan Carr and Paul O’Grady. That must have some effect on the national psyche. We all know there are still the Neanderthals out there who will a have a go at anything they perceive as different from the norm but their numbers are thankfully diminishing and will continue to do so. The people we really have to worry about though are the extreme religious groups whose prejudice is borne out of faith and a misplaced belief that homosexuality is a sin. They are very much a minority in this country but they do have a disturbing influence in the USA where bigotry, fear and homophobic bullying

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has tragically led to several teen suicides. America may be the land of the free but surely an abhorrent group like the Westboro Baptist Church who picket funerals with placards saying ‘God hates fags’ should be banned. They are barred from entering this country and quite rightly so. If you look at the group’s website godhatesfags.com you can see straight away that they are clearly deranged and their whole belief is centred around homophobia and an absolute hatred of ‘fags’ and ‘fag-enablers’. Of course they are an extreme example and they wouldn’t be allowed to exist in this country because of hate incitement laws but the fact that they are tolerated in the most powerful and influential nation on the planet has to be of some concern. I wonder if things would be different if the Westboro Baptist Church were targeting ethnic groups? Some American states are ahead of us though when it comes to gay marriage but with positive noises coming from Downing Street on the subject I don’t think that will be too far away. So once we’ve got the right to marry what else is there to fight for? Well, not much in terms of rights in law but there’s still a lot of institutionalised bigotry to be tackled and homophobic bullying is still a problem amongst school children. But as more and more gay and lesbian people come out and prove, to those that don’t already know, that we’re not freaks then the better its going to be. Most prejudice is a result of fear and ignorance but once people realise that the gay couple living next door to them are actually quite normal then any antagonism should evaporate.

there was a time last year when all of the three big weekend chat shows were hosted by gay men Events like Pride are great for reminding the general public and ourselves of how many of us fabulous people there actually are - if I didn’t know better I’d think we were breeding! And I’m sure the positive reaction from the public to Pride must help people with their decision to come out or not. So the message is be out, be proud and we can continue to change society for the better.

andy green Do you have an opinion on Andy’s view? Email rebecca@seenmag.co.uk

news 11


WORLD

NEWS LGBT news from around the globe

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news

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HONOUR FOR JANE Gay actress Jane Lynch is to be honoured for her “authentic” gay lifestyle by US organisation the National Center for Lesbian Rights, receiving its Vanguard Award. The organisation says the award is for someone who exemplifies “values of equality and justice”. It is one of seven awards to be given at the 2012 Anniversary Celebration. Lynch is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester on the hit show Glee.

CAMERON CALLED UPON The Kaleidoscope Trust has called on David Cameron to back a new global initiative to combat human rights abuses against LGBT people launched by President Obama in January. The US government strategy to protect the rights of gay and lesbian people around the world and combat the criminalisation of homosexuality was set out in a major speech by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, at the United Nations in Geneva. Mrs. Clinton announced a new Global Equality Fund and urged other countries to support it. The Kaleidoscope Trust was among the international human rights organisations invited to meet Mrs. Clinton. It has welcomed the speech as a significant step forward in the global campaign to assert that, in her words, “it should never be a crime to be gay.”

TIME TO STEP UP Pop group Steps they will perform in Liverpool on April 4 2012. The Brit-award winning group - comprising Lee LatchfordEvans, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Ian Watkins (aka H) - reformed last year for a documentary series on Sky Living titled Steps: The Reunion.

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LEAF IT OUT Three men have been found guilty of a gay hate crime after handing out leaflets calling for homosexual people to be given the death sentence. Ihjaz Ali, 42, Kabir Ahmed, 28, and Razwan Javed, 27, were found guilty of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. They distributed a leaflet entitled Death Penalty? at a mosque and through letterboxes, Derby Crown Court heard. It is the first prosecution of its kind since new laws came into force in 2010.

TRAGIC END A fourteen year-old boy has become the latest suicide victim after suffering at the hands of anti-gay bullying, his parents claim. Phillip Parker reportedly took his own life in January after 12 months of torment for his sexuality. A Tennessean newspaper reported that Phillip hanged himself in his foster parents’ bathroom.

NOT SO SEXY IN CITY American actress Cynthia Nixon has come under fierce criticism from members of the LGBT community after claiming that her sexuality is a choice. She has been lambasted by the LGBT community for making her feelings known as a public speaker, but has now spoken out in the New York Times to underline her feelings on the matter. The 45-year-old who, told the New York Times: “I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ “And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me”.

FOOTBALL PLAYER FINED Leicester City player Michael Ball has been fined £6,000 by the FA for anti-gay comments he made on Twitter about Anthony Cotton in ‘I’m a Celebrity’. Ball, 32, admitted the charge of bringing the game into disrepute with his expletive-peppered tweet.The hefty sanction is, the Daily Mirror reports, the highest ever handed down to a player for a homophobic incident. Ball is the second footballer in recent months to vent on the micro-blogging site after a gay man appeared on a reality TV show.

SHOCKING TREATMENT A lesbian woman, who ended up in hospital after crashing her car, has claimed hospital staff stopped her partner from being at her side in her “time of need”. Kat Wilderotter crashed into a telephone pole in Takoma Park, Maryland last November after suffering an epileptic seizure while driving - in full view of her partner Linda Cole, who was driving behind her. But when Cole arrived at the front desk of the Washington Adventist Hospital, she was told she could not see her partner as she was not officially family, she claims.

news 13


DRINK • EAT • CELEBRATE

BREAKFAST • LUNCH • DINNER

An original and unique space, The Noble House is a celebration of quality food and drinks in an exciting environment. Be tempted by our delectable menu, exciting cocktails, finest wines and quality champagnes.

REGULAR EVENTS Friday Fizz Start your weekend in style and sophistication with Friday fizz and live music.

Sunday Lunch Served from 12pm every Sunday Have a lazy Sunday afternoon with live music and a traditional Sunday lunch from £8.95 plus 50% off our house wine.

TO BOOK CALL 0151 236 5346 www.thenoblehouse.co.uk Follow us on

Like us on

Fixed Price Menu (available everyday 12-7pm) Get 2 courses for just £14.95

Venture downstairs to our basement bar, a haven from the hustle and bustle of Liverpool’s business district, serving some of your favourite cocktails. Available for private hire.

The Noble House, Heywood Building, 5 Brunswick Street, Liverpool, L2 0UU

BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAX LEISURE LTD


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life

In our Life pages we introduce our new columnist

Paul St German. Well known on Liverpool’s LGBT scene, Paul will let us know what he’s been up to and all the events he is involved in. We research the experiences of LGBT older people who

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are worried about hiding their sexuality when it comes to going into nursing and care homes. We also put the spotlight on a local LGBT person and speak to a woman with a very inspirational story to tell...

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life 15


act now

Every day in the UK, eight women are diagnosed with and three die from cervical cancer. It is the second most common cancer among women in the UK and Europe. In women in their twenties, it’s the most common kind of cancer and can develop in women who sleep with women. The most effective method of preventing cervical cancer is through regular cervical screening. Cervical screening, sometimes called a smear test, is a five minute test that detects abnormalities at an early stage in the cells of the cervix. All women between 25 and 64 who have a cervix are eligible for free cervical screening tests every three to five years. In the past, lesbian women may have been advised by health workers that they didn’t need to be screened because they didn’t have sex with men. Or even recently, they may have been told by other lesbians that they don’t need screening. Women should however, be offered screening and consider attending, regardless of their sexual orientation. “It’s really important to have a regular smear test to check your cervix for any abnormalities. Cervical cancer is a largely preventable disease and, if caught early, survival rates are highs” said Fiona Johnstone, Director of Public Health for Wirral. She added: “Regular screening prevents around three quarters of cervical cancers from ever developing, so be sure to get tested and spread the word by encouraging others to go for screening too.” If you think you are overdue a screen or have never been screened, contact your GP practice and book an appointment today. It takes just a few minutes but could save your life.

Regular screening prevents around three quarters of cervical cancers from ever developing.

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If you live in Wirral, you can also have your smear test at any Wirral Community NHS Trust Contraception and Sexual Health Clinics. No appointment is needed, just call 0151 604 7290 for your nearest clinic and times. If you live in Liverpool, you can also have a smear test at Abacus, a free, confidential sexual health drop in service, just call 0151 284 2500 for further information. Sefton residents can also have a smear test at ISIS, the one stop sexual health service for Sefton, for further information call 0151 247 6025.

life 17


&

FOOD & DRINK IN THE CITY

Paul Askew / The London Carriage Works

Interview with a Chef Paul Askew and The London Carriage Works 1. In a nutshell, tell us about your training and career history before you arrived at Hope Street Hotel. I was brought up living all over the UK and then at 11 years old Dubai for 2 years then in Singapore where my family lived for 14 years. I can still visualise and smell the first spice markets and fish markets I went to plus the street food inspired me as I tasted flavours I had never imagined possible. At 15 I took a part time job washing dishes at Thornton Hall on the Wirral, I worked with a very old school brigade and quickly became KP/ commis before moving to De Vere Hotels. I studied at college for 2 years, I studied in Hotel Management then specialised in Cuisine and became a Sous Chef in Albany upstate New York. Two years of training others and learning to organise a busy multi national fresh orientated kitchen was fantastic. After working in country house hotels, I ended up at the Philharmonic Hall as Executive Chef where I became known for corporate hospitality cooking for the stars, the orchestra and the staff. In 2003 we opened The London Carriage Works and Hope Street Hotel with great critical acclaim. I was then invited into the Academy of

Culinary Arts with my boy hood heroes Albert and Michel Roux, Anton Edelman, Mossiman and Raymond Blanc. I am now the Chairman of Liverpool’s Restaurant Association and the tourism business network and we hope to be opening two new exciting concepts this year. 2. What is your signature dish to prepare? I don’t have one signature dish but I am well known for great seafood and game dishes but I love all kinds of food to cook with. 3. When was the last time you sat down and enjoyed a meal yourself? What was it? I went to a great restaurant in London called The Pollen Street Social, Jason Thertons 1 Michelin Star eatery. After an academy meeting, I had a Crab salad with Nashi Pears, Sashimi of Scallops with Horseradish Snow and a great Venison Loin. The Sommeliers wine matching was spot on as well as the food. 4. What dish on the menu is a must try this month? For me this month at The London Carriage Works you must try our venison Wellington which is on the menu until the end of February as a seasonal special.

RECOMMENDS

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RESTAURANT REVIEW / Best Italian in Liverpool / The Italian Club restaurant in Liverpool’s Bold Street is certainly one of the cities hidden gems. Seen paid a visit to find out what this eatery was all about. I entered the Italian Club expecting a bustling restaurant filled with shoppers taking respite and shelter. What I was in fact greeted by was a smiling hostess and although the restaurant was busy, it wasn’t ‘bustling’. There was a relaxed atmosphere, everyone had their food at their table, maybe a few glasses of lunchtime wine here and there but overall it seemed calm – very European. Perusing the menu wasn’t an easy feat. All the pickings sounded fantastic, and it took me a little longer than usual to choose a starter and main course as the choice was vast, certainly satisfying for even the most fussy of eaters. I decided upon a starter of Suppli Di Riso (Sicilian rice balls with Bolognese sauce and mozzarella garnishes with side salad) and a main course of Ravioli Ai Ricotta E Spinaci (Oven baked pasta parcels filled with ricotta cheese and spinach topped with mozzarella and parmesan.) The rice balls with Bolognese were fantastic and had I not such a huge appetite possibly sufficed as

a main meal! The ricotta cheese and spinach Ravioli I ordered for my main course was delicious. Topped with mozzarella it was rich yet surprisingly light and very easy to eat. The problem I often find with Ravioli pasta is the filling units. Often it’s not enough or over stuffed but at the Italian Club the chef has got it just right. The combination of fresh cheese with the spinach was perfect and in a large dish was more than enough! The Italian Club is suitable for everyone. There were some families in there, a couple who looked like they were on a date, four women having what seemed like a ‘girls’ lunch’ and a man sitting alone comfortably enjoying a meal and a glass of wine with a book in hand. The Italian Club doesn’t just offer great food (and might I say fantastic customer service), it offers escapism from the hustle and bustle of the real world. You could easily have stepped into a stylish Piazza restaurant where you will be given a warm welcome, a friendly smile and most importantly, you will be well fed. Just don’t plan to go shopping after the meal as trying on clothes will be impossible! As the famous Italian Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” And at The Italian Club they seem to live by this motto. Nothing fake, nothing over done, just great service and excellent food.

Meal total cost for two people £23.90 Overall review score – 10/10 Italian Club – 85 Bold Street, 0151 708 5508

MAKE YOUR OWN COCKTAIL

Emerald

1oz apple vodka / 1oz midori / 1/2 oz sweet + sour (juice of lemon + sugar) / 1 fresh kiwi Mix the apple vodka, midori and sweet + sour together add the juice from the freshly squeezed kiwi and shake well. pour into a martini glass, finishing off with a slice of fresh kiwi on the side! Deliciously sweet with a zing!

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WHAT’S ON IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS AROUND MERSEYSIDE... SENSE OF SOUND 

OLLY MURS

SENSE OF SOUND PRESENTS VOICES FESTIVAL 2012 / FRIDAY 16 – SUNDAY 18 MARCH Dedicated to the many forms of cappella singing, from hip hop to barbershop and contemporary jazz and choral styles. Sense of Sound is delighted to announce VOICES: a three day celebration of a cappella singing, set to take place at Liverpool’s Bluecoat and Black-E arts centres. www.senseofsound.org

RAT PACK VEGAS / FEBRUARY 25 / 7:30PM / FLORAL PAVILION Fun all the way as the “purveyors of cool” come to town with a sensational show featuring the greatest music of the 20th century. 0151 666 0000 / www.floralpavillion.com

RAT PACK VEGAS 

OLLY MURS / SUNDAY FEB 19 / LIVERPOOL ECHO ARENA Olly is about to embark on his UK Tour and is heading to Liverpool Echo Arena this February. 0844 8000 400 / www.echoarena.com

THE X-FACTOR TOUR / MONDAY FEB 27- TUESDAY FEB 28 / LIVERPOOL ECHO ARENA You’ve watched them on your TV screen, you’ve voted for them on your mobile, you’ve tweeted and facebooked your favourites, now you can see the final nine stars of The X Factor live. 0844 8000 400 / www.echoarena.com

HORMONAL HOUSEWIVES / WEDNESDAY APRIL 4 / FLORAL PAVILION

HORMONAL HOUSEWIVES

THE X-FACTOR TOUR

Join the Hormonal Housewives as they battle against weight gain, weight loss, mood swings, wine, PMS, men, going to the gym, waxing, stretch marks, men, chocolate, upper-lip hair, chocolate, men, chocolate ... and all the other joys of being a 21st Century girl! 0151 666 0000 www.floralpavillion.com

LORD OF THE DANCE / MONDAY FEB 13- FEB 19 / LIVERPOOL EMPIRE This phenomenon created by Michael Flatley, has captivated audiences around the world since 1996. 0844 338 0000 / www.bookingsdirect.com



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LORD OF THE DANCE

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Seen Socialite Paul has been on Liverpool’s gay scene for most of his life. Hot to trot, the former face of Paul St German

the city dedicates his spare time to working with committees to promote the Stanley Street Quarter as well as Liverpool Pride. On top of this he likes

I WOULD LIKE TO START BY SAYING THAT I AM ABSOLUTELY THRILLED ABOUT BEING PART OF

nothing more than a good party – and he’s usually invited to them all, when he isn’t throwing them!

TEAM SEEN MAGAZINE

AND WHAT A YEAR IT IS GOING TO BE The buzz in Liverpool is amazing everyone seems to be on a total positive vibe. 2012 is going to be Liverpool’s year and if we are not already on the map for being the most stylish and friendly city it’s just going from strength to strength. It’s the likes of Rebecca Ferguson and her fantastic new album, X Factor’s Marcus Collins and Craig Colton and along with Chelcee Grimes’s up and coming album, the flag is well and truly flying for Liverpool.

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We had a very positive meeting recently regarding Liverpool Pride 2012 and this year is going to be bigger and better than the last. I am also pleased to say that Liverpool Pride and Stanley Street Pride are joining forces to make this happen. I have also become a trustee of Liverpool Pride so I will be keeping you up to date with what’s going on. We are having plenty of fundraising events though the year which I hope you all will be getting involved in. This would be a good to hear if anyone had any ideas for fundraising, I would love to hear them. Just forward them to the.paul.german@hotmail.co.uk. Another good thing is we are well and truly on our way to having our own gay quarter. This is something that has been spoken about for many years but has never materialised. If you have not noticed already the street signs are up and I must say they are looking the part and rumour has it that other cities want to follow suit. So you may see these signs popping up everywhere from Canal Street, Soho, and Brighton or even as far as field as Paris. There are going to be activity days held on Stanley Street which will offer a range of themes to attract community members and local businesses to ‘’Do something different on Stanley Street’’. These activity days will run from previous nights to next morning. They will be developed to offer a strong timetabled day time offer with the potential for a night time economy to provide a complimentary offer.

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Also there are going to be street markets set up which run from Friday night to Sunday Mornings. This will be from April to October on a monthly basis commencing after British summer time kicks in. The markets will be taking place the first weekend of every month except August which will be Liverpool Pride. Branded stalls featuring Stanley Street logo will enhance the offer and we are going to have potential tieins with local businesses and the use of dedicated high end traders to make it a special occasion. There are also two other things I want to talk about one is Miss Alternative Liverpool’s 30th Birthday. This celebration is going to be amazing. So watch this space! I am going to be the Master of Ceremonies for this with the fabulous House of Suarez putting on what will be an outrageous performance (sorry but this party is by invitation only) so if you haven’t been invited there will be no entry.

Another good thing is we are well and truly on our way to having our own gay quarter. ”

The last thing is I am hosting a charity night at Envi Fleet Street. This is going to be in aid of Lilly Centre, this night is going to be full of fashion music and entertainment with clothing lines by Miss Francesca Couture, Lola Loves, Claudia Pink/ Silver Birch and Eat Your Heart Out Vintage along with performance from MD Productions, the Estrelles and House of Suarez with many more. Tickets are going to be priced at £10 so hope to see you all there, til next time...

Lots of Love Paul St German x

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back into the

CLOSET

Ageing LGBT Community feel forced to hide their sexuality when faced with the prospect of care homes. Seen Magazine finds out why this is and what can be done about it. A leading Merseyside lawyer says that many LGBT care home residents are hiding their sexuality out of shame. John-Paul Dennis, Head of Kirwans’ Private Client Department in Liverpool, believes that a sense of embarrassment, or a fear of acceptance about their sexuality, means that many of the ageing LGBT community are pretending they are straight. He also claims that their unease is deterring many others from moving into residential care in the first place. John-Paul says: “The LGBT community is an important part of our client base, and we are becoming more and more aware of their concerns around what will happen to them as they reach older age. “Moving into residential care can be worrying for any older person. But when that person is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, it can raise further concerns for the individual involved.” Kirwans recently launched their Pink campaign, a side of the law firm which is actively looking to support and communicate specifically with the LGBT community. John-Paul adds: “The lack of ‘gay’ or gay friendly residential homes in the UK is leading to people hiding their sexuality for fear that they will be ostracised or abused amongst fellow residents who carry with them deeply engrained prejudices and misconceptions about the LGBT community. “I would advise anyone concerned to make a health and welfare Power of Attorney stipulating where and how

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they are to be cared for. Their attorney would then ensure that this wish was followed out even if they lost mental capacity.” John-Paul’s claims are backed up by a recent Stonewall survey, which found that Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are consistently more anxious about growing older than heterosexual people. Some 72% of those questioned said they were concerned about the prospect of needing care later in life, compared with 62% of heterosexual people, while 50% were worried about housing compared with 39% of heterosexual people. John-Paul’s concerns are reinforced by the national Rainbow Lives project, which was last year awarded £2,500 by Unlimited Engage to investigate how they are treated as they get older and require support. Melling-based Rev Sr. Maria Renate has spent the past 12 months developing the national Rainbow Lives project alongside First Take Media and In-Trust Merseyside. Their initial funding by Unlimited Engage has now been matched by LCVS (Liverpool Charity for Voluntary Services) to continue their investigations in how members of the LGBT community are treated as they get older and require support. Following her research into the thoughts and feelings of older people, Sr. Renate says: “One conversation in particular was a telling indictment of how health service providers were viewed by older LGBT people. “At a recent Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton Silver Pride event, older LGBT people were asked about how they

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“THE LGBT COMMUNITY IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR CLIENT BASE, AND WE ARE BECOMING MORE AND MORE AWARE OF THEIR CONCERNS AROUND WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM AS THEY REACH OLDER AGE. JOHN-PAUL DENNIS, HEAD OF KIRWANS’ PRIVATE CLIENT DEPARTMENT IN LIVERPOOL. viewed the future. A same sex couple who have been together for two decades and who had a civil partnership in 2004, said they were prepared to have to pretend they were straight in the future. “They felt, that should they need to re-house or enter a nursing/ care home, or receive home care, they would be inclined to hide their gayness once again, as they did for half a lifetime, rather than face slurs and whispers, or leave themselves open to hate crime. ‘As strong as I am today’, one of them said, ‘when I’m at the gate of sheltered accommodation the closet door is going to slam shut behind me’.” The Rainbow Lives Project has developed a training package which is used by In-Trust Merseyside to provide much needed in-house diversity training for care workers and staff of residential care homes, Housing Associations and Sheltered Accommodation.

“ONE CONVERSATION IN PARTICULAR WAS A TELLING INDICTMENT OF HOW HEALTH SERVICE PROVIDERS WERE VIEWED BY OLDER LGBT PEOPLE.” REV SR. MARIA RENATE

John-Paul at Kirwans is now backing the Rainbow Lives Project’s call for the introduction of the Merseyside Navajo Charter Mark scheme, which would see each care home assessed on the steps they had taken to welcome those from the LGBT community into their home and make sure that they were both physically and mentally comfortable. Those that passed would be able to display the Navajo Charter Mark sticker in their windows. John-Paul said: “The Navajo scheme is an excellent way of ensuring that older gay people who need specialist care are able to access it without feeling that they have to go back into the closet. We welcome Rainbow Lives’ efforts to improve the lives of vulnerable older members of the LGBT community.” For more information on The Rainbow Lives Project, email rainbowlives@live.co.uk

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SPOTLIGHT ON CRAIG CAVANAGH ANDY GREEN SITS DOWN WITH UP AND COMING SINGER-SONGWRITER CRAIG CAVANAGH AT LIVERPOOL’S CHIC HOTEL INDIGO TO TALK HIS MUSIC IN THE PRESENT AND FUTURE PLANS.


IT’S HARD THESE DAYS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY TO ACTUALLY RECORD THE SONGS THAT YOU WANT

In keeping with his plan to not drink for 6 months Craig had a very un-rock’n’roll pot of tea, I on the other hand, with a reputation to think of, had a large glass of red wine. The afternoon went swimmingly from thereon in. Craig cites his influences as including The Stylistics, Coldplay, Kings of Leon and Leona Lewis amongst others - essentially eclectic. I started by asking Craig to give me some background into the musical world of Cavanagh. Or Mr C as he sometimes bills himself. “Where do I start? I’ve sang all my life, I used to do a lot cabaret shows, singing cover songs when I was 17 and 18 but then I took a break because I’d kind of lost the passion for it. But when I was 23, a couple of years ago, I heard a song on the radio by Coldplay, Rule the World and the passion came back. So I saw that this guy on the internet wanted a singer so I got in touch with him, he sent me a song, I sang it and he got back and said he wanted to work with me and thought I had a lot of potential. His name is Gary Irwin and we worked together in the studio on a few other songs and started a great working relationship. Since then I’ve performed at the Chester Festival in 2010 and also at several charity events including one for the Michael Causer Foundation.” Craig has recently performed at the rather fabulous Brink for Upfront Live so what’s next? “I’m currently working on an EP with Paul McCay, a very talented local musician, that will be out in the middle of February and consists of three covers and one original track. It’ll be available to download from my Facebook music page and other online outlets. I’m also working on a song for a boxer in London called Stuart Potasnick for a fight he’s doing that will be shown on Sky and that will also be available to download. I plan to be gigging around the country pretty soon too.”

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I was slightly surprised that this nice young lad is into boxing. I went to a gig last year to see one of my mates who’s in a band and there was also boxing going on and I got talking to a guy afterwards and asked him how he got such an amazing body and he said it was all down to the boxing training. So I went along to Kirkby ABC and asked if I could train with them. I didn’t want to fight, I love watching boxing but I’d never fight. I train with them three times a week and I‘ve got some really good mates there although I’m the only gay lad. I do it just to keep the body up. One thing you can’t fail to notice on meeting Craig is that he’s rather into his tattoos. People have been asking me why have I suddenly got into them but I’ve had them for ages,- I got my first one when I was 16 - it’s just that the first ones were where people couldn’t see them. I just keep getting them done and there’s a story behind each one but yeah I’ll probably be like David Beckham in a couple of years. I went on to ask him about his ambitions for the future. Obviously I want to get signed but it’s hard these days in the music industry to actually record the songs that you want. I‘ve always been about recording heartfelt songs about things you can relate to. But nowadays it’s all about doing what you’re told but artists like Adele and Amy Winehouse have shown that you can break out of that and I want to do the same. I really enjoyed meeting Mr C and I think he’s definitely one to watch. You can make your own mind up by checking out his Facebook page and Youtube and of course there’s his new EP that’s out later this month. •

andy green

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AINT’ NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH 26

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When thinking of ways to raise money for charity, there are a million things we can do. Marathons, shaving hair, sponsored silence, or more adventurous stunts like a zip wire or abseil. Nicola Morgan though decided to go a few steps further and climbed the highest mountain in the world to in aid of War Child, a charity which is working to change the lives of youngsters affected horribly by war.

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ount Everest was Nicola Morgan’s fourth ambitious trip she has taken part in, and she has described is as ‘by far the most life enhancing and amazing yet’. In the past, the mother-of-two has trekked in the Sahara, done Dog Sledging in the Norwegian Arctic and climbed Mount Toubkal in North Africa. “It’s really important to me to continually challenge myself in order to grow as a person. I want to enrich my life with as many different experiences as possible and leave little room for ‘what if’.”

Nicola told us about her trip and the amazing sights and people she met along the way. “We were away for 17 days, which is a long time for be to be apart form my kids, but they were so supportive of what I was doing. In all we actually climbed for 11 of those days.” The extreme challenge starts with a flight from London to Kathmandu, the largest city in Nepal. From there Nicola along with her group were taken to another airport for a flight to Lukla which is the world’s most dangerous airport based on the edge of a cliff. “That in itself is an adrenaline rush,” recalls Nicola. “The tiny plane was to land so close to the edge of a massive cliff.” The trek began from here.”The training I undertook before the trip was so valuable. I didn’t quite appreciate it until we got going, but the endurance you need for something like this is exceptional. “I was also determined that I wanted to do it without taking altitude sickness pills or any other medication, and I managed to do that which was a massive personal achievement. “Although your mind has to constantly be on what you’re doing, the experience gave me so much time to think. It was almost like being in tranquility. Some of the villages and towns we stopped in also really made me consider things.

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Although your mind has to constantly be on what you’re doing, the experience gave me so much time to think. “The children here were so happy, playful and lovely that it really made me think about how lucky we are at home. There are no game consoles, laptops, iPads or anything here – it’s so basic yet everybody is really happy. We take so much for granted here and it’s unbelievable how much people complain about things that really just don’t matter.” After stops, countless new experiences and some amazing friends made, Nicola struggled on her final hours of the challenge. “There were 14 of us on the trek plus a ‘tour leader’. The final number that reached Base Camp was 13, amazing given the amount of sickness we had along the way and the altitude problems people had.” One woman in the group had to be airlifted off the trek after suffering illness.

Fortunately one of the guys grabbed my hand and kept me going. Everyone has been so supportive of each other it’s made all the difference. “We arrived totally exhilarated and shattered. It’s amazing to think that two weeks prior to this we were a bunch of complete strangers and there we were hugging and crying and so very pleased for each other. “People say to me ‘why would you do that’ and apart everything else, I do these kind of things because I will not let fear of the unknown hold me back”. www.warchild.org.uk

Nicola adds; “The final push was so exhausting at one point if someone had said we had arrived when we were only half way there I would have been happy, taken a picture and gone back.

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The Spice Lounge. Perfect for all occasions. Step through the temple inspired doors and enter a world of authentic, contemporary indian cuisine at this exclusive waterfront restaurant. Ground floor: Great for an evening out with friends, family or an intimate meal with a loved one. Upper floor: Perfect to hire out for private celebrations. Bar area: Fantastic place to escape after a busy working day in a friendly, beautiful and luxurious atmosphere.

0151 707 2202 6 Atlantic Pavillion, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AE info@ spicelounge.uk.com www.spicelounge.uk.com


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style Merseyside is as stylish as they come, with fabulous fashion, unique taste and a great buzz, we certainly know how to turn up the heat. We have pulled out of the closet some of our favourite trends for the upcoming season and spoken to stylish

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Joseph Inzay about his plans to help Liverpool’s drag artists get on the map for their fashion sense. As well as this we’ve highlighted our favourite beauty buys, and are very excited to introduce a new celebrity column from Chris and Mark Johnson White from the cast of Desperate Scousewives. They fill us in on all the gossip of what they’ve been up to since the show’s first series ended recently...

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It’s time to spring into action with your wardrobe as the new season fashions are just around the corner. The nights are becoming lighter and the sun is slowly starting to peek its way through the grey clouds as a sign that the Spring lines are on the brink of coming out (yes – pun intended). So kick back and check out the Seen Style favourite items to keep you looking fabulous next season.

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women’s 1. This block colour leather bag from Bank is the perfect style and size to use every day for work. Bank, Block colour bag £35 2. This bright Tunic is good for Spring and can still be worn during the summer- a good holiday buy. Sainsbury’s, Trapeze Top £20 3. This long sleeve dress can be worn for work or dressed down to wear casually and at £17 it’s a good buy. Primark, Block colour dress £17 4. This Spring block colour and pastel shades are very popular and with this outfit costing £42 all together you can’t go wrong. All Primark, Blouse £10, Turqouise belted trousers £12, Bag £6, Animal Print Heels £14 5. These shoes from Office are great for work and are suitable if you are planning to go out for a drink afterwards. Office, Voyeuristic £65 6. These light Jeans are the perfect colour for spring to wear to go shopping, the cinema or a quick drink during the day. Fat Face, Jeans £45 7. These comfy lace ups are a great investment and are suitable to wear with your casual jeans. Office, Maestro Lace up £58

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men’s 1. This hold all from Ted Baker is a great investment. It is useful for overnight stays and also good for work and to carry your laptop. Ted Baker, Blue leather and cotton holdall, £160 2. To dress down at work or for a casual night out these trousers are very suitable. French Connection, Can cotton trousers, £50 3. Bank the perfect place for casual clothes and this sleeveless hoody is a great example. Bank, Sleveless hoody, £25 4. For just £22 for this whole outfit from Primark is great for dressing down at work and then for drinks straight after. All Primark, Shirt £10, Jeans £8, Belt £4

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7. These men’s Brouges from Office are great to wear with smart attire for work. Office, Donatell Brouges, £105 8. For a casual day or night out try these plain and simple jeans. Next, Jeans, £40 9. Already thinking about your summer holiday? These check Shorts are very stylish for the pool or beach this year. Red and Blue House of Fraser, check shorts, £ 55 10. At £12 these trainers are a great buy - suitable to wear with jeans and hoodys during the Spring. Sainsbury’s, Trainers, £12

5. Be bold and stand out with this coral jacket from The House Of Fraser. House of Fraser, Coral Blazer, £165 6. Colour block is not only popular with the women’s trends but also with the men’s and at £18 this is good value. Bank, block colour t-shirt, £18

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SOCIALITES TO SUPERSTARS... Liverpool’s chic Hotel Indigo sees some of the biggest names from around the globe pass through its doors. From socialites to superstars, this boutique hotel has fast become the most popular place in the city to eat, drink and sleep. In this issue we speak to Gary Scott, Manager at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill about what makes Liverpool so special we also hear from Hotel Reception Shift Leader, Yinka, about why Indigo is the place to see and be seen.

Frankie Cocozza The former X Factor and Big Brother star was seen at the hotel recently as he was making an appearance at a Liverpool gay club. Frankie was papped checking into the hotel, and returning later on followed by dozens of adoring fans (yes it was mainly females). Smiling as always, the young celebrity travelled with a small entourage and looked relaxed whilst staying there.

10 Chapel Street Liverpool L3 9AG 0151 559 0111


MORE THAN JUST A JOB.

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse.

YINKA As one of the hotel’s top Receptionists, Yinka Ojikutu is expected to go beyond the norm on a day to day basis, and she loves every minute of it. “It’s no secret that Indigo isn’t like any other hotel in Liverpool,” she says. “And it’s fabulous to be a part of such a thriving and exciting place. “My job is to make sure the Reception area is run smoothly, as well as take care of any special requests we receive. We get a lot of requests regarding guest’s birthdays. They usually give us their reason for a visit and if it’s a birthday or anniversary we try to make it a little more special for them, maybe with a nice champagne cocktail on arrival. “We get some more unusual requests when celebrities are staying and they need a section of the hotel or even an entire floor of rooms closed off for them and their team. We specialise in being able to cater for this type of thing and pride ourselves in keeping everything comfortable for all the guests no matter what’s going on. “What makes my job great is knowing that I can make a huge difference to someone’s business trip or city break by doing small things to make their stay more memorable – for all the right reasons of course!”

After working with North West based restaurant Heathcotes for 15 years, more recently as the GARY Operations Manager, Gary Scott decided that working with a hotel would be the best step to forward to developing his career. “I’ve always been involved in hospitality, it’s a fantastic business. When Indigo was due to open in the city I saw it as a fantastic opportunity. This is a hotel with personality. The members of staff are all different and we are encouraged to be ourselves, we don’t have to portray a dull brand or all act the same all of the time. “My job involves looking after anything to do with food or drink within the restaurant and hotel. The restaurant has a name of its own with it being The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, but people recognise it as being a part of Indigo and that makes us very proud. “People come back time and time again because of the great food, fantastic service and great surroundings. The menu changes every single day offering a fantastic variety – and we do try to use

local produce and infuse an element of ‘Merseyside’ into the offerings.” Gary believes Liverpool is a fantastic place for a restaurant such as Marco Pierre White Steakhouse to be based, he knows that it isn’t like any other offering in the city. He also loves the fact he loves his job! “I love the social aspect to it. The people we meet in the restaurant are fantastic, they come from all over the world and whether they are eating here because they have stayed at the hotel or not, they are always very pleased with the food and service. It’s very humbling to know that we help to shape their opinion of Liverpool, after all, it’s one of the coolest cities around.” Being in such a demanding industry did restrict the staff from taking time off over the Christmas period, though; “We threw a big staff party in January. Everyone worked so hard during the holidays so it was great to see people let their hair down a bit. “We asked everyone to give us a list of their favorite songs before-hand and made a playlist of them all, we all got the opportunity to get out of uniform and party – and party hard everyone did.”

Valentines Day Romantic meal in Marco Pierre White Steakhouse £50 per head includes amuse bouche for 2, 3 courses (dishes include ravioli of lobster, rib of beef for 2, welsh lamb, assiette of desserts for 2), coffee and chocolates. Why not make a night of it in a gorgeous Hotel Indigo room, call for our Valentines Day rate.

10 Chapel Street Liverpool L3 9AG 0151 559 0111


Fashion History. Merseyside’s drag queens will be given their very own fashion event this March with the Ultimate Fashion Queen show organised and directed by 20-year-old Joseph Inzay. The event, which will take place on the second night of two fashion shows at the city centre’s Kingdom Bar are expected to shake up the Liverpool fashion scene. “This will be my second and third fashion show,” Joseph tells Seen Magazine. “The first night will be Ultimate Fashion, and the catwalk will showcase fashion in general, but how we can take something that we might wear every day and make it much more unique. There are several top local and further afield designers showing their work, it’s going to be fantastic. “The second night will crown Liverpool’s Ultimate Fashion Queen – the drag queen of the city who shines above the rest in the fashion stakes.” Joseph believes in breaking the boundaries of fashion and wants to give the limelight to the drag queens who he believes aren’t appreciated for their sensational style; “People just don’t see how much work goes into dressing a drag queen. Hours and hours of styling go into the outfits and the overall look I want to take that diversity and put it on a stage for all to see. “Even when it comes to making clothes for a drag queen, the process is so sophisticated – but people just don’t appreciate it.” The 20-year-old thinks that Liverpool has some fantastic fashion sense, the new designers and people of the city just need a good event to showcase their style. “The Ultimate Fashion event will give a platform to designers to show everyone just what they can do. The Ultimate Fashion Queen show will give our gorgeous drag artists a stage to compete on with the winner being crowned on the night. “This will become a part of Liverpool history and will now run every single year.” There will also be entertainment from Mathew Martin and Beauty at the event.

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Event details. Day 1. Ultimate Fashion, showcasing designers’ latest lines. Kingdom Nightclub 8PM / Thursday, March 8 / Tickets - £5 Day 2 . The Ultimate Fashion Queen, Liverpool’s first Drag fashion show and competition. Kingdom Nightclub 8PM / Friday, March 9 / Tickets - £8.50 Weekend passes cost £10. For more information on the event or tickets email Joseph at inzayfashion@gmail.com

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BEST BEAUTY BUYS We have scoured the beauty rooms all over Merseyside to find the best buys for our readers. Everyone likes to know that there are special treats out there should they desire them, and at Seen HQ we have loved picking out our favourite trends for the next few months when it comes to perfect skin.

SkinScription The SkinScription range is described as advanced skincare. The science behind it is Chirality a Nobel Prize winning process which purifies all the ingredients to perfectly fit the chemistry of the human body. Chirality separates good effects from bad in any particular ingredient, providing a pure and effective product. www.traceybell.co.uk

Dragon’s Blood Dragon’s Blood is a natural alternative to Restylane injections curenlty loved by celebrities.. Restylane is sourced from the red sap of the ‘sangre de drago’ tree and works to form a second skin-like protective film on the skin, promising to diminish wrinkles and aging lines of the face. Trial volunteers saw a reduction in skin - sagging by 72% in three months and that skin is dramatically defined and volumized. They also saw an increase in skin elasticity by 92% in three months and they found skin firmer around jaw line and cheek bones with improved tonicity. www.thehousebeautyspa.co.uk

Sound way to clear skin This patented sonic technology is proven to be instrumental in improving facial cleansing; the first and most important step towards improved skin. The makers of Clarisonic are introducing the device through top spas and retailers in the UK. Clarisonic® is a professionalcalibre brush that uses a gentle sonic micro-massage action to cleanse deeply. Using any non-abrasive facial cleanser, Clarisonic works to unclog pores for. It is safe for virtually all skin types, reduces oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes and helps men with shaving rashes. It has also been shown to be helpful for people with ageing skin. www.thehousebeautyspa.co.uk

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SEEN’S FAVOURITE TREAT... Glossybox GLOSSYBOX is a monthly subscription for both men and women. With high end samples on offer, these little boxes of pleasure include beauty, skin care, makeup, fragrance, toiletries and more. From just £10 - £15 per month plus postage we are already in love with this product. With luxury brands such as Leighton Denny, Dermalogica, OPI, Illamasqua, Omorovicza, NARS, Philip Kingsley, Murad and Monu, we love that time of the month when our Glossybox arrives at the office full of treats! www.glossybox.co.uk

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&

Scouse Proud

Scousewives Desperate Scousewife stars Chris and Mark Johnson White are living a crazy life. Since the hit Mark & Chris

show series one aired, the boys have been busy being celebs – but insist they are keeping their feet firmly on the ground! They tell Seen readers what they’ve been up to recently.

Boot camp not so camp

Food for thought

No place like home

As you may have seen in the press we’ve just been to No1 Boot camp Norfolk with some other cast members. It was a welcome stint after an over-indulgent Christmas, but was hard work between the early mornings, relentless exercise, tiny portions of food and ice baths. Worth it though, we both lost weight, inches and toned up a treat – all ready for the next few months of partying.

All we could think about while we were away was our favourite pubs and restaurants! It was a pretty hot topic of conversation while we sat round the dinner table at the boot camp eating miniscule portions of food. As soon as we set foot back in our home city we were straight off to one of our favourite places. It’s no secret we love our meat – so Bem Brazil in Hanover Street was the top of list, it’s certainly one of our favourite Liverpool restaurants.

We’ve been all over the country with our work lately, London more recently and we’ve been to Nobu, Aura and BLG (British luxury club) which is members only. We loved it all but I theirs nothing like our home city! We are having a ball and it’s all down to the success of the show, we have had a lot of support from fellow Scousers and our fans have gone through the roof. We both think it’s about time that there is a positive gay couple in the public eye and we’re just so pleased to be a part of that representation. Hopefully when series 2 comes along there will be a lot more exposure for us and we are excited to show the nation how Liverpool rolls!

Stanley Street We are very excited for the Mother’s Day Markets in Stanley Street we think it’s amazing that every year our beautiful city is evolving. We are loving the new street signs around the gay quarter with the rainbows on and the new Stanley Street Quarter logo is fab. We will be trying to get to the Mother’s Day event to show our support for our community. It’s about time we got a little revamp. There’s nothing like a big night out in Liverpool’s gay town!

New jobs! Tracey Bell has been our little retreat since we got involved with Scousewives. We’re loving the fruit acid face peels that the Apt range has to offer as it leave us with a gorgeous fresh look and feel. We love the clinic and the team so much that we have partnered up with Tracey to start our makeup and hairdressing from there. It’s going to be so fantastic and a one-stopshop for everything you could need to make you feel (and look) a million dollars!

Until next time Seen Queens...

&

chris seenmag.co.uk

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Same-sex ceremonies to be performed in church. Jenniffer Skillen, Principal and Head of Family Law at Lees Solicitors, explains to Seen readers about the changes in the legal landscape for gay couples. “We know how stressful it is coming to terms with the end of a relationship, so we are opening our doors outside of the normal 9-5 office hours to make things easier. In special Family Law surgery sessions, our Heswall office will be open on Saturday mornings and our West Kirby office will offer late evenings Monday to Friday (all of February) for clients, and we will be providing free half hour consultations by appointment for new clients.” Jenniffer Skillen

Free half hour consultation... Call 0151 647 9381 to book with one of the team. Or to find out more about the services on offer visit our website at www.lees.co.uk

New laws that allow same-sex civil unions to be performed on religious premises took effect in England and Wales in January this year, but no one is expecting 2012 to be the year of the gay and lesbian wedding. The Church of England maintains that it is exempt from the new law. It says it is not guilty of discrimination because standard marriages and civil partnerships are – for now at least - legally distinct. What’s more, the Government has made it clear it will not force religious authorities to comply. Civil partnerships for same-sex couples were introduced in Britain in December 2005, giving them similar legal rights to married heterosexual couples, but official figures have shown that the number of civil partnerships being dissolved has doubled over the past year.

The legal procedure is similar to divorce; the civil partnership must be shown to have broken down irretrievably. The grounds can be any of the following - unreasonable behaviour, 2 years’ separation with consent, 5 years’ separation, or 2 years’ desertion. Adultery is one exception: in law it only applies to extra-marital intercourse between a male and a female. As with marriage, there’s much to be said for a pre-nuptial agreement. Whilst not yet enforceable by the courts, the process of creating one does encourage a frank discussion about assets and what should happen if the relationship ended. Gay pre-nups may also have a greater chance of being upheld because the civil partnership is borne entirely out of statute.

Expert family solicitors ready to

fight your corner

We have a wide range of Legal Services including: • Civil partnerships • Pre-nuptial agreements • Children • Wills, trusts & estates • Conveyancing

www.lees.co.uk

Where to find us: Birkenhead 44/45 Hamilton Square / 0151 647 9381 Heswall 90/92 Telegraph Road / 0151 342 6273 West Kirby 52A Grange Road / 0151 625 9364

CALL US FO R HOUR CONS A FREE HA LF ULTAT ION: Saturd ay mo rnings Heswa : ll – 01 51 342 6273 Late e ve West K nings: irby – 0151 6 25 936 4


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Quick fire

Q&A with BBH

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Business is a huge part of Merseyside, and the LGBT business community is stronger than ever. In our work section Chris Danks fills us in on the latest geeky gadgets to get your hands on, and we interview a business woman who is changing the facade of internet dating. We also hear from LGBT friendly solicitors BBH who give us a quick fire Q&A session...

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SITE FOR SORE EYES

Internet dating has a very definite stigma attached. Although it’s very popular among the LGBT community, in general websites can appear seedy and do attract some, well, not so savoury characters. Many men have some great stories to tell about how they met online, but not so many women are attracted to the sites. Seen Magazine speaks to one woman who is leading the way in female-only internet dating. Jane Hunt is the head of global sales and marketing for PinkSofa.com The team behind the website pride themselves on their ability to match women either locally or around the globe without any tacky or false profiles. “Pink Sofa is different from other sites. We connect lesbians in a safe environment. It’s not just a ‘pick up’ site, it’s mature, classy and above all, it provides something for everyone.” Many female only dating sites out there are overall run by men, but astonishingly, the entire team behind the Pink Sofa are gay women. “We are unique because we understand what women want. There are many of us (in Merseyside) who aren’t always out on (Liverpool’s gay) scene. “The site doesn’t allow young girls, or older ones for that matter, who just want to pick someone up or mess about. Pink Sofa is screened 24 hours a day to ensure that these profiles aren’t published. “It’s not about just a fling. Even if you want to make some friends, or just be in an environment with women who have similar interests, lives or stories to share the sofa is a fantastic place to visit and with over half a million members across the globe, 100,000 of which are in the UK, I defy anyone not to fine their someone special!”

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“IT’S NOT ABOUT JUST A FLING” JANE HUNT, HEAD OF GLOBAL SALES AND MARKETING FOR PINKSOFA.COM Jane, originally from Widnes first started working with Pink Sofa last year after meeting the owners. “I was immediately struck by how fantastic this website is,” she says. “I had known about it for about six years and knew straight away that it was different. “It’s safe, not intimidating and very friendly. We constantly get testimonials from our members telling us how they have met their soulmate and are moving in or having a civil partnership. We publish these messages on the site as they are a great way to see how successful the site is in connecting lesbians. We get an average of 3 fantastic testimonials a day from visitors, and thousands of women have connected with someone really special on there.” Being a lesbian woman in business, Jane has strong views on how the girls are doing. “In the business world it can be extremely difficult for women at the best of times, but being a lesbian woman can make things more complicated. I understand why many women feel the need to hide their sexuality – I’ve don’t it myself in the past and it’s not easy. “Things have changed massively though, being gay or lesbian is becoming much more accepted in general and things seem to be moving the right way for the future.”

FIND ME A DATE!

Are you looking for love but can’t find the right woman? Seen Magazine have teamed up with Pink Sofa to help you find someone special. We will look at your dating profile and send you and another lady out on a blind date to a plush restaurant paid for by us! After the date we will then interview both parties to get the feedback on the night for a special feature in the next edition of Seen Magazine.

HOW TO ENTER

You need to be a member of the pink sofa to be considered for the blind date! And single! Simply log on to www.pinksofa.com and when you join use the code ‘seen’ which will give you your 14 day free ‘try before you buy’ trial. Two girls from the Merseyside area will be chosen to meet. Terms and conditions *Prize does not include travel expenses. *Entrants for the blind date must be available for a week night (Sun – Thurs) in early March *Seen Magazine will provide a meal in a Liverpool restaurant including one bottle of wine between two people *Entrants must be available for a telephone or face to face interview with Seen Magazine both before and after the date * A photograph of selected applicants will be required

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L F

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Taking the stress out of

Buying & Selling your home.

At BBH we understand the stress involved in buying and selling your home so we ensure your transaction completes as quickly and stress free as possible. For further information or to instruct us please contact Nicola Vaughan on 0151 326 2388. Quote ‘Seen’ for a ‘free will’ when you instruct us to act on you property. BBH Legal Services Ltd, Eastham Hall, Eastham Village, Wirral, Cheshire, CH62 0AF Telephone: 0151 326 2340 | Fax: 0151 326 2375 | www.bbhlegal.co.uk BBH (Legal Services) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Reg. No. 561550

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Quick fire

Q&A

with BBH

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Why do I need BBH?

As property purchase is often complex, it is always in your interests to receive professional guidance. Our legal team is here to provide that level of service to you.

I am buying a council house, can you help?

BBH has many years experience in assisting local authority tenants to purchase their property. We will liaise with the Council’s legal department to speedily arrange the successful transfer of ownership.

Do you provide assistance if I am re-mortgaging?

Yes, we will make sure that your move to your new lender goes ahead with the minimum of fuss and can usually act on their behalf also to keep your legal costs down.

How much will it cost?

You will be provided with a written estimate of the costs involved; this will include our fee, land registry costs, stamp duty (where applicable). You will be kept informed of anything that might affect our quotation.

How long will it take?

Your BBH designated solicitor will deal effectively with all matters on your behalf; they will often find ways around potential delays to reduce time wasted.

BBH Legal Services Ltd, Eastham Hall, Eastham Village, Wirral, Cheshire, CH62 0AF Telephone: 0151 326 2340 | Fax: 0151 326 2375 | www.bbhlegal.co.uk BBH (Legal Services) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Reg. No. 561550


Tech News It’s 2012, and this year should see some amazing new gadgets coming on sale. Technology is

GEEKY

Chris Danks www.cyberhostpro.com

GADGETS

constantly changing and some cool new toys will be on sale this year.

COMING OUT IN 2012

Apple iPad 3

Freebie alternatives & downloads

Rumored to be on sale from March this year, it will include a retina display with twice as many Pixels as the iPad 2, a Quad core processor allowing apps to load twice as quick as ever before and video streaming should be almost instant too!

Looking for a word processing application, Spreadsheet, Presentation apps without wanting to pay for expensive products? If you haven’t got one already, register for a free gmail.com email address, login to your inbox, at the top click ‘documents’, you’ll then have full access to Google Docs and it doesn’t require you to install anything on your computer, all files are stored online giving you total freedom of accessing your files from any computer, and you don’t need to worry about storing or loosing your USB disk as all your files are secure and safe on Google’s servers.

Apple’s 6th Generation iPhone (iPhone 5/6) & Samsung Galaxy S III This year will see 2 great new phones coming on the market from both Apple and Samsung. The 6th iPhone should have a nice design according to rumors, everything we wanted for the iPhone 5 which ended up to be iPhone 4s launched last October. Both Apple & Samsung are rumored to be introducing new faster Quadcore processors, at least 1GB Ram and plenty of storage for apps & music! The iPhone is also rumored to have a larger screen than ever before, although I don’t think we’ll be seeing these phones until summer 2012.

Microsoft Windows 8 – the next generation operating system. Microsoft are to release windows 8 later this year. This is the next big thing from Microsoft and I have already tested it myself on a prereleased copy. It’s quite good, however it’s still a work in progress and only good for touch screen computers from what I’ve seen so far. Google “Windows 8 beta download” to download a free copy of the pre-release of windows 8 to try it out. Microsoft will also be releasing MS Office 2012 for windows later this year too, so before buying any office products I’d recommend you wait until the new version is released.

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Favorite apps of the month! Like every month I write about my favorite iPhone apps! This month I am writing about a cool newby written by Liverpool company Apposing and has been shown on TV. It’s the new CSL app where you can find a sofa of your choice and point it at the corner of your room to see how the sofa would look in your home. I’ve tried it myself and it’s really cool, it almost had me buying a new corner suite! Sims Freeplay – you can now download a free The Sims game, start your own street of mini-Sims and make them form love interests with each other. I’ve even managed to get two guys in to a relationship, why have it any other way?

LOOKING TO START YOUR OWN WEBSITE? Visit www.cyberhostpro.com today and get your own .co.uk and personal email address!

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Our art and culture heritage is always expanding, and it’s more vibrant than ever right now with something for everyone going on. We speak to Liverpool’s hottest photographer Matt Ford about his upcoming plans and how he views his work as

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well as his inspiration. Also, Homotopia give us an update of their latest news. We introduce the Liverpool Pride column. This column will appear in every issue of Seen Magazine to give readers an update on what’s going on throughout the year in the lead up to the festival. Don’t miss our Say Cheese pages too where our gay scene party people are photographed....

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DEVELOPING NICELY Photographer, Matt Ford captures diverse images around this city, however, his camera lens is far from passive, recording, and is always thinking. Ford’s intelligent shots are bold and colourful, high impact, simply intimate. His work has become part of the cultural landscape of Liverpool. We caught up with him to discuss his current projects and the exciting new evolution in his career, since last year’s first ever THE ART SHOW (The Art Show A/W11).

“I AM A CAMERA WITH ITS SHUTTER OPEN, QUITE PASSIVE, RECORDING, NOT THINKING”, SO BEGINS CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD’S, ICONIC GOODBYE BERLIN, THE SHORT STORY WHICH LATER BECAME CULT FILM CLASSIC CABARET.

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ith an impressive portfolio that has successfully branded key cultural events from Sound City to Leap Festival, Homotopia to Liverpool Pride and the Design Festival, Matt has also worked with prominent Liverpool Luminaries like Kirsty Doyle and Phillip Armstrong and engineered promotional materials for successful local businesses.

Over twenty five magazine covers have showcased his artistic vision, since the beginning of his career, he has been featured in Harpers Bazaar, Elle, National Newspapers Grazia. “I come from an art background so I’ve always strived to establish something new every time I shoot. I can think creatively on my feet whether it is a corporate client or a creative fashion spread. I try to ensure my style of work has never gone stale or been repetitive. I still get excited on a shoot when I have an idea and that reflects in my models.” 30-year-old Ford’s enthusiasm has won him many fans and private commissions particularly for his more experimental work. “This is something I started to explore with last year’s THE ART SHOW, by pushing myself to come up with new ways to present my work. I have moved away from digital and created acrylic paint screen prints of my photography”.

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THE ART SHOW A/W11 in October 2011, coincided with the Liverpool Design festival. It showcased Ford’s new artistic development, The Love Collection, ten pieces inspired by the notion of love and sensuality. For example, “The Beauty Of The Body”, is simply about the love of the human form, as you look the image up and down, you forget whether you are looking at the masculine or the feminine, thus reminding you that the human body as a whole is beautiful whatever your sexuality. The exhibition was a sellout, all the images on display sold on the opening night.

Not one to rest, Ford then went on to trade his pieces in Screen Adylica pop up shop Bold Street over the Christmas period with The Desire Collection (the eyes). His work is now owned by everyone from Art Collectors to Hoteliers. He still finds waxes lyrical about his first solo Exhibition in 2010, Matt Ford – A Retrospective “Fashion outside the capital”. It highlighted Liverpool’s fashion industry and how easy or not easy it is to survive here. Some of the work from this is now on permanent display at the Museum of Liverpool.

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“I felt Fashion Outside the Capital was a land mark in my career, so I decided to take a step back from photographing other people’s products, go back to the drawing board (literally) and create artwork on my own terms. By collaborating with writers, fashion labels, performers and publishers my work has more impact, longevity and a deeper substance.”

Matt has also started to develop a catalogue of theatre posters, notably work on the new play BRUISE, written and directed by John Maguire. The play has the backing of LGBT Domestic Violence Charity, Broken Rainbow. The piece of theatre and Fords parallel artwork are designed specifically to raise awareness of the taboo subject of gay domestic violence.

This collaborative project is ground breaking in that it is a subject rarely covered. The bruises they will fade away, you hit so hard with the things you say. Matt Ford has an enthusiastic energy and his motivation to constantly push himself is both impressive and inspiring. We look forward to seeing his creative exposure continue to evolve and develop. Get the picture! The future collections of Matt Ford will soon be represented by art agent DOT-ART. Seen Magazine’s cover image (from The

Bruise Collection) is a preview from Ford’s forthcoming exhibition ‘The Art Show S/S12A New Liverpool.’ Planned for 3rd May at Camp & Furnace, it will coincide with the first Liverpool Art Month. For up to date information on the artists and acts showing at The Art Show S/S12 go to www.firecrackerfashion.blogspot.com

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Martini anyone?

The Martini Lounge raises a toast to the new year, returning with the popular burlesque show for three performances in 2012.


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Following its sell out success in 2011 The Martini Lounge Burlesque and Variety Show has announced three new dates for the New Year. Tickets are now on sale for performances on Friday 17 February, Friday 20 April and Friday 15 June. All shows will take place at Zeligs, Liverpool ONE.

It’s been a year in which we’ve gone from strength to strength with our past few shows all selling out well in advance.

Widely regarded as the must-see Burlesque and Variety showcase in the UK, The Martini Lounge treasures the satire and performance art that evolved since Burlesque’s 19th Century origin. Audiences are invited to enjoy an impressive performance of glitz and glamour from a forgotten age. Previous Martini Lounge performers include Miss Exotic World Winners and international burlesque stars such as Kitten de Ville (Los Angeles) Dirty Martini (New York) Beeby Rose (Amsterdam) and Roxy Diamond (Zurich), who have wooed audiences with their stunning routines alongside fabulous performances from the founder of the Martini Lounge, Liverpool’s own Millie Dollar and the one and only Fred Bear in his role as compére. The Martini Lounge’s 2012 will start with a bang, with the now infamous Valentines Special on Friday 17 February, featuring burlesque starlet Dinah Might, ‘comic goddess’ Mysti Vine and Tricity Vogue, who is both beautiful and a dab hand with a ukulele, all wrapped up in a show which is sure to get the audience in the mood for love. The glittering line ups for the April and June showcases with ‘Spring Fling’ and ‘Sizzlin’ Summer’ themes are yet to be confirmed. However, both are sure to contain stunning performances from some of the globe’s best Burlesque stars courtesy of Liverpool’s most exciting Burlesque and Variety show. Following each performance, Zeligs will stay open late for a Martini Lounge After Party for guests to soak up the atmosphere, mingle with the performers and enjoy delicious cocktails. Producers have also introduced the ‘Martini Lounge Club’ were guests can buy tickets for two or more performances for a special, discounted rate. Martini Lounge Founder Millie Dollar said: “2011 has been an amazing year for us. It’s been a year in which we’ve gone from strength to strength with our past few shows all selling out well in advance. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved and can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring.” THE MARTINI LOUNGE BURLESQUE AND VARIETY SHOW Friday 17 February 2012 / Doors open 7.30pm / £18 Friday 20 April 2012 / Doors open 7.30pm / £18 Friday 15 June 2012 / Doors open 7.30pm / £18 THE MARTINI LOUNGE CLUB Book two shows for just £32 Book three shows for just £48 Book at www.martinilounge.co.uk.

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Does campophobia exist? Liverpool’s Paul Culshaw investigates the request for a ‘straight acting’ partner on dating websites.

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n a sweltering Sunday afternoon in my slightly shabby city centre flat, I was having a mooch/cruise/ whatever on a leading gay dating website. As I was searching through the profiles; half-heartedly looking for my knight in shining Sleepless In Seattle, there was one recurring thing I noticed; the amount of profiles that read ‘not into camp’, ‘if camp, not interested’, ‘,must be straight-acting’ or even ‘if you have one of those gay hair-do’s, jog on’. I couldn’t help but ponder what this seeming animosity was, why it existed and HOW do we measure the presence of ‘camp’ within ourselves and others? The book ‘The Velvet Rage’ by Dr Alan Downs, which I strongly recommend every gay man to read (I think most people would get at least something out of it) would perhaps suggest people who write these things on their profile possess an inner shame. I’m not sure if the issue is that (don’t excuse the pun) straight forward. Granted, when I try and place myself in a female friends’ boyfriend’s shoes and try and understand his mindset for a moment; picture this; he comes home from a hard day at work to find his partner with her gay best friend, fiddling with her hair, playing with her nails and dancing to Nicole Scherzinger whilst gossiping about Kylie. An extreme stereotype absolutely but I can understand this is irritating/mildly amusing

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(whichever way you choose to look at it), although, obviously in no shape of form do I condone homophobia. Then there’s the age old clichéd contradiction; when a straight guy (often in my experience a taxi driver), says ‘I’ve got nothing against gay people, its just the dead girly camp ones’. What I’m trying to illustrate is that we project so much inter-minority prejudice and criticism to each other. In other words, gay men being homophobic, it’s unbelievable. And ‘campness’ still seems to be the potent pink poisonous pink steering wheel that steers the ship. I read these profiles that mention ‘must be straight-acting’ and thought ‘Why?? I’m not straight therefore, why would I want to ACT straight? Why would I want to act at all? What a derogatory statement that lacks pride & suggests a discomfort in your own respective skin. Okay, I get the point; the profile guy isn’t looking for someone who sounds like Joe Pasqualie when he’s swallowed a helium balloon; nor am I suggesting we should all break out the purple pom-poms and cartwheel around the gay scene in ra-ra skirts and vajazzles (imagine) and I accept that some people believe that they ‘have a type’. I would suggest then that we don’t act in any way? We’re gay- once I witnessed what you would probably lazily describe a skin-head muscle mary calling a slim blonde twink a ‘bad poof’ for his music tastes on a gay internet forum. (Jennifer Lopez causing

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trouble again). Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t we all share the same denominator as a community in that we all like males?? Therefore aren’t we all as gay as each other? Some would argue not but we still share that desire to go home & share our bed with a partner of the same gender. And HOW are we supposed to measure our campness/gayness? I have a straight male circle of friends who say that what they like about me is that ‘I’m just one of the lads & I’m not a screaming queen’- at the other end of the scale I have had comments ranging from ‘I think you’re a 5 out of 10 campness wise to 10 out of 10 to literally, ‘you are the gayest campest guy I’ve ever met’. How am I supposed to juxtapose myself? Where each individual decides to place me on their ‘gay-ometer’ or just get on with my life, being myself?

Here’s an example; I met a guy once, who will remain nameless. Lacoste, North Face, Fred Perry, you name it, he walked with so much swagger I thought Cher Lloyd was lodged up his backside and I’d heard his natural speaking voice a few months beforehand- he’d clearly decided to reinvent himself by wearing ‘scally drag’ if you will. He spoke so deeply and was trying so very hard to be ‘laddish’, I felt sorry for him. I thought ultimately all he was illustrating to people who knew him was that he was extremely unhappy with who he was and I observed him, forcefully trying to be something he so obviously wasn’t. I understand the ‘camp reinforces stereotype’ debate, but don’t stereotypes exist for a reason? No-one’s suggesting we all possess the same demeanor.

there is a

On the flipside, that’s his prerogative and each to their own. Love and let live. As a closing thought, we have moved so far in our fight against homophobia and equality in 2011, yet there is still so much more to achieveperhaps, we should start being a little kinder and tolerant to each other within our community and display a solidarity and maybe, just maybe realize that life is too short to spend it pretending to be someone else and enjoy & learn to love who we are and stop taking ourselves so seriously.

difference between

I’m the first to admit, I’m adaptable. I don’t behave the same in an office or job interview as I do when my hairdresser and I are having a right old laugh calling each other ‘girl or queen’- we all have different sides to our personality- but there is a difference between acting and keeping the act up as opposed to being who you are but moulding yourself and adapting yourself appropriately to a suitable surrounding. And if my friend chooses to mince around town with terracotta war pain from B&Q on as fake tan & ugg boots, then as long as he’s happy and secure enough in himself to do it, then let him? In fact, good for him for being uninhibited!

acting and keeping the act up as opposed to

being who you are but moulding yourself and adapting

yourself appropriately to a suitable surrounding

I respect that years ago etc. it was harder and less acceptable to act this way - and I offer a respectful nod to the older members of our community who have come before us and have had to fight hard in order for people to be able to behave in this way.

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There is nothing wrong with being camp. Ask Madonna or Graham Norton, the first two celebrities that spark an endless listthey’ve made a fortune out of it…. Who really has the last laugh? Right, that’s enough from me, I’m off to play my Britney Spears records… ;)

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MADE IN LIVERPOOL

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hidden history of LGBT Liverpool, Dawn Brayford, Ben Youdan, Jonathan Larkin, Hello Sailor: Merseyside Maritime Museum, Tranny Hotel, The Grand Vogue Ball These are just a few of the fabulous projects that have started life at Homotopia….. Homotopia seeks work in various artforms such as live performances from theatre-makers, musicians, singers, filmmakers, dance artists, performance artists, writers, artists and comedians and cabaret performers.

Homotopia bosses are inviting producers, community artists, promoters and professional artists to submit work for consideration for its autumn festival to be held at various venues across Liverpool between 1st – 30th November 2012. Since the festival launched in 2004, Homotopia have supported, co-produced & commissioned a wide range of Liverpool based companies, artists, events and performances. They’ve commissioned and presented Outsiders – Liverpool’s first Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Caz’N’Britney, Alan Cross, Lady Shaun, Lavender Club, Gerry Potter, An Audience With April Ashley and the list goes on. They’ve also backed and commissioned Beauty, Sandi Hughes, Shaun Duggan’s ‘Drama Queen’, Our Story Liverpool, which was the first ever research project into the

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The team is committed to supporting local artists as well as creating more platforms and opportunities for new and emerging artists and producers. Gary Everett, Artistic Director of Homotopia tells Seen Magazine: “The work submitted must be full length performances of at least one hour duration and be development stages. “We will consider shorter pieces of work for cabaret and performance art. We also seek work from visual artists for a variety of exhibitions throughout the year.” All work submitted for consideration must either feature:

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 L esbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGB&T) themes. Be of interest to an LGB&T audience. B  e created or presented by LGB&T artists.

To find out more contact the festival office by telephone 0151 702 7369 or email artistic@homotopia.net For more information check out www.homotopia.net

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QUEERING THE GALLERY

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SATURDAY, MARCH 17 2012

John Kirby is joined by artists Sadie Lee and Tim Redfern for an afternoon discussion exploring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender representation in the visual arts. Identity, sexuality and gender are strong themes in each artist’s work. The event, chaired by Julian T...reuherz, former Director of the Walker Art Gallery will examine to what extent these themes have shaped their artistic development and work. This event is free as part of Homotopia’s ‘Queering The Portrait’ Education Events. Booking essential as places are limited, book at the welcome desk or call 0151 478 4199.

“IDENTITY, SEXUALITY AND GENDER ARE STRONG THEMES IN EACH ARTIST’S WORK”

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NEWS PRIDE TRUSTEE JAMES DAVIES GIVES SEEN READERS THE LATEST NEWS AND GOINGS ON OF THE 2012 FESTIVAL. This January sees change for Liverpool Pride as we said a fond farewell to some of our founding Trustees and welcomed new faces to the organisation as we held our first Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM covers the period until March 2011 including our Rainbow Circus – the first official Liverpool Pride. We often repeat the statistic but our first year saw 21,000 people gather on the streets as well as raise an additional economic impact (money spent on the day by visitors) of half a million pounds – a figure which in 2011 we managed to double. We couldn’t have done this without the hard work, dedication, and firm hand of our sponsors and partners including Alison Stathers-Tracey at Liverpool City Council; Debbie Boyd, Lance O’Meara, Nicole Konigs-Balfry, Vicky Anderson and Barney at Orb Events; and Bill Elms and John Bridge at Bill Elms Associates and the former fireman who always comes to the rescue, Dave Robinson. It was farewell to Tommy McIlravey who acted as Chair of Liverpool Pride for two years, and tirelessly in his capacity as LGB&T Network chair from 2008 to resurrect Liverpool Pride.

We also say good bye to Jeni Tehan, who donated the development and design of the Liverpool Pride website, we’re delighted that Delicious Creative will continue to work with us in the future. As well as the re-election of Zoran Blackie, Joan Burnett, James Licence and James Davies, the board now has four new members. Maz Caddick and Vic Hanley who have both joined through our Rainbow Army of volunteers will bring their experience of fundraising, volunteering and work with St John Ambulance and Manchester’s LGF respectively. We’re delighted to see two of our most passionate volunteers join the team. After the highly publicised controversy in 2011 around the relocation of Liverpool Pride to save costs, we’re thrilled to be joined by Paul German and Paddy Jones who acted as programme manager and safety officer for Stanley Street Pride. Paul, Paddy and Cllr Radford (event manager for Stanley Street) came to us back in October expressing a wish to join the board and we’re delighted that their nominations were unanimously approved by the membership. We are still awaiting the independent inspection of our accounts for the period and these will be sent to the membership for approval. We did however make available our draft accounts for inspection. We can confirm that the cost of the festival for 2010 was £136,778.35 whilst we had managed to raise £133,605.23 leaving us with liabilities (or debts) of £3,383.22 at the financial year end.

“OUR FIRST YEAR SAW 21,000 PEOPLE GATHER ON THE STREETS AS WELL AS RAISE AN ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC IMPACT OF HALF A MILLION POUNDS”

‘OVER HALF OF OUR FUNDING IN YEAR ONE CAME DIRECTLY FROM LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL AND WE RECOGNISE THAT THIS REMAINS UNSUSTAINABLE IN THE LONG TERM’ Whilst the financial outlook for the Cultural Sector in Liverpool sector remains tough in the current economic climate, we hope that the generous support of our LGBT communities and scene will continue to help support the festival. Over half of our funding in year one came directly from Liverpool City Council and we recognise that this remains unsustainable in the long term. We have sought to diversify our funding streams and have launched Liverpool Pride 365 – a year round art, sport and creative programme funding by the Big Lottery Fund, Merseyside Police Authority, the European Regional Development Fund and Culture Liverpool. We are pleased to report that Emma Cook our fundraising consultant, has been successful with a number of projects which we will be delivering in the next few months. Liverpool Pride 365 supports our strategy to ensure that our campaign to educate and tackle discrimination takes place all year round providing opportunities for LGBT people who may suffer from ‘double discrimination’ or isolation from the community because of their age, disability or cultural background as we as partnering LGBT people up with non LGBT people. Our successful bid for our volunteer programme through the Big Lottery Fund Awards for All scheme will mean that we have been able to hire Emma Nuttall as our volunteer manager. You can get in touch with Emma on emma.nuttall@liverpoolpride.co.uk or visit liverpoolpride.co.uk/volunteer.

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Take One Joan Burnett’s passion for queer

Eye liner, glam rock & transvestite terrorists

film started when she saw her first fabulous gay kiss in My Beautiful Film review with Joan Burnett

Laundrette more moons ago than she cares to remember. After eight years at FACT, a stint for outsiders and a year as Trustee for Liverpool Pride, she believes the importance of LGBT people seeing themselves on screen is as essential as ever. She reviews the best in new and classic DVD’s available now.

February brings LGBT History Month – a time to reflect on how far we’ve come from the bad old days, but also, how far we might still have to go. These two films write history in kohl-black eye-liner across a glittered page; think Oscar, think Ziggy, think glam… both start in Ireland with changeling babies and then roar off through the ’60’s, ‘70’s and ‘80s like bats out of a beautiful queer hell.

Velvet Goldmine (1998)

Breakfast on Pluto (2005)

A journalist delves into his 70’s glam-rock youth to find the mysterious pop star Brian Slade, who disappeared at the peak of his career. The delicious, androgynous Jonathan Rhys Meyers makes Brian believable, revealing the steel beneath the velvet. In his world “everyone is bisexual” to the shock of straight-laced BBC reporters slavering over his every louche utterance. His life becomes a phantasmagorical parade of excess: his lovers Curt Wild and Mandy, his idol Jack Fairy, his manager Gerry Devine are all swept along almost unable to breathe for the pace. For all its beauty, it has an edge – as an older, wiser, 80’s survivor Curt says “we were trying to change the world, and just look at it now….” least expect it. How often has a song on the radio said more to you than a vintage newsreel ever could? A whole history lives in a single discarded sequin in rainy Liverpool gutter…

Cillian Murphy is seductive as the outrageous Patrick “Kitten” Braden born into an unsuspecting Irish border town, where the inhabitants just aren’t ready for her fullon approach to life. Although it’s a vision of survival in a cruel and unforgiving place torn apart by conflict, Kitten is no victim no matter what is thrown at her. She seeks to belong, following the footsteps of the mother long since fled to London and meeting a series of men with varying intentions towards her from loving to murderous. The “serious” keeps intruding upon her world, but each time, she comes back stronger, with her indomitable spirit and her indispensable Chanel perfume spray - beauty as weapon. “If I wasn’t a transvestite terrorist, would you marry me?” she purrs, moments before catastrophe.

Dir: Todd Haynes

Dir: Neil Jordan

Histories are written in our minds in songs, and films, and smells, and colours and fashions and the sensations of a soft skin against our own, or a hard slap when we least expect it. How often has a song on the radio said more to you than a vintage newsreel ever could? A whole history lives in a single discarded sequin in rainy Liverpool gutter…

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We’ve been out and about on Liverpool’s gay scene and party people have been out in force. Email us the photograhps from your nights out for inclusion in future editions of Seen Magazine rebecca@seenmag.co.uk

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Seen Magazine Issue 8  

Liverpools only LGBT publication covering news, style, entertainment & business.

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