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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 360 > JOINED FORCES


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. With that in mind, sociologist and LGBT+ activist, Evgeny Shtorn, talked to John Malcolm Anderson, leader of Prism - the LGBT+ employee resource group in Verizon Media Dublin. Here John details his own growth as an activist and how he makes space for activism within a multinational corporation.

John was raised the youngest of seven children in a Jehovah Witness family in Ballina, County Mayo. “It is a sort of fundamentalist Christian sect, non-Trinitarian, quite sectarian,” John explains. From early childhood, he remembers attending meetings and doing bible study almost every day. He would go out on field service with his parents and siblings, knocking door-to-door, preaching their beliefs.

Until John was 16 he still believed in the Jehovah Witness doctrine. Then he began having doubts, in part related to his sexuality, but also to the doctrine itself.

When he was 17, John came out to his parents as gay. The reaction wasn’t one of acceptance. “It was generally very bad, my dad took it a lot softer while my mom just went mad. It’s obviously a big thing to not be straight and there’s no sex before marriage… Homosexuality was considered a big sin and presented almost like a disease”.

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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.