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This month we’re having words about…

The Burning Issue

Ireland’s irst gay leader is making for some heated chatter at GCN Towers…

“I have plenty of frailties and flaws, and I don’t deserve to be a role model.” So said Leo Varadkar when we interviewed him back in 2015, just after he came out over the national airwaves. It was a key moment for the LGBT community, the first Irish minister ever to pin his queer colours to the mast, but has the elevation of the same gay man to the leadership of Fine Gael, and therefore of Ireland, been a similar kind of moment?

We think Una Mullally put it best in her Irish Times piece, when she said it was a “strange victory for many LGBT people”. Waterford Whispers weren’t too wide off the mark either, when they went with “Varadkar makes history by becoming the first ever Irish leader to be openly and unabashedly classist.”

The world press is saying, ‘Isn’t Ireland’s so liberal now, with the marriage referendum and a gay Prime Minister ‘n’ all,’ while the Irish media are crowing to the world, ‘Sure aren’t we great now, altogether,’ but here in the gay press we’re caught between a rock and a hard place – on one hand we’ve the fifth out queer Prime Minister in the world’s history, and on the other we’ve a man who has said things that make our hair stand on end (and some of us have big hair). We’ll see how Varadkar’s leadership plays out, but if our online readership is anything to go by, he’s not the most popular gay in queerville.

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About GCN

The brand new Dublin Pride issue of GCN features a stunning cover image by London-Irish writer and photographer, PP Hartnett, and an interview about interrogating the flip side of the gay community through his work. We also talk to maverick trans rapper, Mykki Blanco about his life post abandoning Trump’s America. Will Vladimir Putin go to war with Chechnya over the region's gay purge? We analyse the situation. Our editor goes to New York to attend a meeting of Gays Against Guns, one year on from the Pulse massacre in Orlando. We meet Irish HIV activists who are taking inspiration from the fierce examples set by ACT UP NYC at the peak of the AIDS crisis, and we talk to Joni Crone, the first ever lesbian to appear on The Late Late Show in 1980 for a legendary interview. And that’s just a flavour of what we’ve got in store for you this month!