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Seeking Sanctuary

It was 2013 when Carlos Velasquez arrived in Dublin from Venezuela, a country whose downward spiral now sees it on the brink of economic and social collapse. Here he speaks to Aoife Moriarty about being the target of both verbal and physical abuse. Photograph by Hazel Coonagh.

Venezuela is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, with a homicide rate of 58 per 100,000 inhabitants reported in 2015. It is also extremely corrupt, with the recent re-election of President Nicolás Maduro considered rigged and regular violent protests breaking out on its streets. But even aside from its current crisis, being gay made life virtually impossible for Carlos.

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About GCN

We’re closing our 30th anniversary celebrations with a bang, celebrating the year of the activist. With that in mind, we arranged for community leaders to speak to the next generation of trailblazers as both sides share their experiences. A Brazilian writer living in Ireland takes a look at his home country following the election of Bolsonaro, while Marty St Clair, one of the scientists behind the discovery of AZT, speaks about the beginnings of the battle against HIV and AIDS. Frank McDonald stops by to talk about his recently released memoirs. There’s an essential look at mental health in the queer community, and the people behind the awesome Dublin Lesbian Line tell us their plans for the future. You can also expect a roundup of a momentous year for LGBTQI+ folk and your community magazine. We couldn’t have done it without you, dear readers!