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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 360 > MENOPAUSE


Lifting the shame. A Queer Perspective

When I hit menopause it was a shock to discover that it was something I wasn’t supposed to talk about. When I did, I was hit with walls of silence, and other people’s visible discomfort. I felt frustrated, because I wanted to talk and educate myself about something fundamental going on in my body. I wanted to move beyond simply sitting at home, googling a load of depressing symptoms. So, as an artist, I decided to create a theatre project around it. This got me out there interviewing members of the queer community about all things menopause.

There is a popular myth within the straight world - that the queer community somehow have an easier time with menopause. One lesbian I spoke to was told, “well, you have a same sex partner, so it will be easier anyway”, followed swiftly by, “but sure you haven’t given birth to children, so your menopause won’t be severe”. Her partner was in fact going through menopause at the same time, and because one size does not fit all in terms of each individual’s symptoms, it was, at times, a difficult experience for both women. “The straight community needs to understand,” she told me, “that our bodies behave the same way as theirs, whether we are queer or have given birth to children or not.”

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About GCN

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.