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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 355 > POWER CUT


A trip to the barbershop is, for many people, a simple functional exchange that we take for granted. But, as Chris O’Donnell writes, for many trans and non-binary people and others across the queer spectrum, it can be an occasion of real distress and danger.

Outright discrimination on behalf of the barber is not uncommon (announcing out loud for instance that, ‘we don’t cut women’s hair’). It can lead to profound feelings of anxiety and insecurity, sometimes combined with the impression of physical threat. This kept cropping up in my interviews with those affected; “feeling unsafe”,”thinking, ‘what’s going to happen to me now’?”, “people staring”. These are powerful attestations, making clear how devastating a simple trip to the barbers can be. One interviewee, Anna, who is queer, stated simply, “I know when I’m not welcome”.

Casey Hevey
Photos by Babs Daly.
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About GCN

Welcome to our biggest and brightest issue of the year - our annual Pride Edition. We made a call out for members of our LGBT+ family to design our cover. All who entered are featured inside, and for the first time ever we have a bumper double cover by artists Gabriel Marques and Day Magee! Inside we round-up all the Prides taking place across Ireland alongside interviews with young people from rural areas who explain Pride’s importance. There’s a conversation between Will St Leger, the Dublin Pride Grand Marshall, and Bruce Coleman, an ACT UP activist who was in New York after Stonewall. There’s a remembrance of the Repeal movement and a feature about the prejudice faced by lesbian women and trans folk in barbershops. GCN also reaches out to the community; chatting to the myriad places where our magazine is delivered. And that’s only the tip of the Pride float. From all at GCN, we wish you a happy, safe and fabulous Pride season!