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NXF: 40 Years and Counting by Caroline Keane, NXF Chair

2019 has been a significant year for all of us at the National LGBT Federation (NXF), as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the organisation’s founding. Some of the key events that have shaped 40 years of NXF advocacy and campaigning have been documented in GCN throughout 2019 in a series of monthly articles marking our anniversary. In 2019 we continue to assist in the improvements of LGBT+ lives by preserving the past, documenting the present, and improving the future for our LGBT+ community.

Archiving our LGBT+ history has been a focus of the NXF for decades, growing the Irish Queer Archives (IQA) by preserving documents, press cuttings, photos and other material that makes it one of the largest LGBT+ archives worldwide. The ‘Road to Equality’ exhibition brings highlights of that history to life and it has continued to travel around the country this year, being displayed in universities, town halls and conference rooms to help raise awareness of Ireland’s LGBT+ story. Creating full access to the IQA is a mutual aim of the National Library of Ireland (NLI) – where the IQA is housed – and the NXF. We have been working on exciting new developments for cataloguing and accessing the IQA, and are looking forward to announcing these in the new year. It is wonderful that this will soon be happening, enabling future studies of LGBT+ lives, histories and activists.

We are so proud of the team at GCN who we support in the publication of a monthly magazine, a vibrant online presence, and many events that bring the community together to celebrate and commemorate. This year we were delighted to appoint Lisa Connell as new Managing Editor and send our best wishes to Brian Finnegan (previous Managing Editor) who is now the Director of Communications for ILGA-Europe. GCN grew in importance as the media outlet for the LGBT+ community, and we are particularly impressed by the impact of campaigns such as Call It Out - in partnership with TENI and UL - which addressed the harm caused by homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Ireland. Watch out for the upcoming collaboration with HIV Ireland to host a conversation between with Panti Bliss and Gareth Thomas to commemorate World AIDS Day..

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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.

Other Articles in this Issue

Editor’s Letter
Welcome, dear reader, to our December issue of GCN
2019 has been a significant year for all of us
Tom and I only got to date for about two years. But that short time opened my life up to new experiences and made me happier than I’ve ever been. He changed me forever and for the better
It’s hard for many still figuring out their identity to be instantly bombarded with questions which you’re not quite sure about the answers to yourself
I learned about so many aspects of LGBT+culture through reading. Books introduced me to my first sense of the world and the knowledge that people were different from me. I also met my first queer companions through the world of literature
In June of this year, representatives from four Irish cities
August 5, 1934 - November 4, 2019
Festive rackets at the ready! The Out2Tennis Christmas tournament is on the way.
Eamon Somers was born and grew up in inner-city Dublin. He was a campaigner and spokesperson with Ireland’ fledgling lesbian and gay rights movement (NGF - now NXF) in the early ‘80s, serving three terms as President of the Administrative Council, during the period of the Charles Self and Declan Flynn murders.
From November 4, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is available free of charge through the HSE to those who are at substantial risk of contracting HIV through sex
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
Foreign Service
Due to a lack of medical support for trans people in Ireland, Noah Halpin was forced to travel abroad for his top surgery. He details a journey abroad that many in the community are unaware trans people have to undergo, and describes the emotional and physical impact involved
Top Surgery (double mastectomy) can be a big deal for
Lifting the shame. A Queer Perspective
In January 2019, a small group of individuals came together to form a new organisation called Intersex Ireland - a group set up to support intersex people and their families, educate wider society, and advance the rights and equality of all intersex individuals across the country.
For couples deciding to start a family, it can at first seem daunting.
B Sting
Stereotypes about bisexuality are still common within both the queer and straight communities.
With his new series of images celebrating the male form in a more sensual, delicate way than the in-your-face hyper masculine norm, photographer Steven Peice shares his process.
Corporate Action
Dublin’s 2019 Pride celebrations were marked by the visible and vocal splits that emerged in our community due to differing opinions on the presence of multinational corporations in the parade and the increasing commercialisation of the festival.
LGBT+ Asylum Seeker, Refugee & Migrant Peer Support Group.
The festive season is upon us! And what better way
Fan(tastic) Fiction
Andi lugged the bin bags off the Drimnagh platform at 15.08.
Winter Pride
Beyond protest and celebration, Pride connects our community, it brings us together, and for 50 years it has kept us together.