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Culture Club

Earlier this year you’ d be forgiven for feeling a bit overwhelmed by RuPaul’s Drag Race. It seemed like the reality TV hit had reached saturation point. Even in this column, I discussed my mixed feelings about the show’ s eleventh season. But Drag Race UK has been a pleasant surprise and a breath of fresh air.

Initial fears that UK queens would have to adapt themselves into an American format have proved unfounded as Drag Race UK has managed to mine a particular kind of campy British sensibility that stands apart from the catchphrases and viewpoint of the US format. However, the fact that the original production company are involved and have brought RuPaul and Michelle Visage over for proceedings has given a legitimacy sometimes missing when shows get remade. With the involvement of key people from the US version, this feels like an important part of the canon (though many fans praise Drag Race Thailand for its own take on the format).

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Welcome to our December issue where we discuss all things health and wellbeing, taking a look at issues which affect the community physically, mentally and sexually. There’s a stunning photo series celebrating the male form away from toxic masc-for-masc culture from photographer Steven Peice who also captured the cover image. A young trans man shares the journey abroad he had to take to avail of top surgery, while members of Intersex Ireland speak about the prejudice they overcame. We dispel shame and bizarre myths about the menopause while the disturbing subject of bi erasure gets a much-needed feature. There’s a discussion about the place of corporations in the LGBT+ community and author and former president of the NGF, Eamon Somers, recounts his career. In a GCN first, we proudly premier our very first piece of original fiction with a short story from an exciting new writer. With the topic of health and wellbeing in mind and recent events at Loughlinstown, it’s time to get out in the streets to support our trans family. No more waiting lists! Enjoy the issue.