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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 343 > Fran’s Story

Fran’s Story

Fran Bennett spent many years as a Roman Catholic Trappist monk before ultimately leaving monastic life at the age of 46. She publicly came out as transgender in 2016, shortly after discovering that she was also intersex. “Not everything is as clear cut as we imagine it to be,” she tells Aisling Cronin.

Fran Bennett has a sharp mind, a keen sense of humour, and a deep understanding of the frailties and foibles of human life. During her Dublin seminar earlier this year – which was entitled ‘Full Circle Awakening’ – she discussed the challenges faced by those who are interested in spirituality when they attempt to access the mysterious, transcendent aspect of themselves, while also dealing with the reality of their day-to-day lives as complex, multifaceted human beings. For Fran, that journey of reconciling the two holds a deep personal significance.

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It’s our bumper Pride issue and we’ve got so much in store for you, we hardly know where to start! First up on our cover are the gorgeous Glória, Dublin’s lesbian and gay choir and star donators to our GCN30 exhibition Fundit campaign, who talk to us about being one great big alternative family. It’s appropriate, since the Dublin Pride theme this year is ‘We Are Family’ and in keeping we talk to groups of friends who consider each other kin, while Justin McAleese talks about our need for solidarity as the Pope’s visit to the World Meeting on Families excludes LGBT families. We remember the tragic murder of Declan Flynn, which sparked the first gay rights march in Ireland, and reflect on the situation facing LGBTs in Latin America, where brutal murders take place every day. We get educated on Intersex issues and talk to Minister Katherine Zappone about the governments LGBTI+ Youth Strategy, the first of it’s kind in the world. Plus Rupert Everett talks to us about his love for Oscar Wilde and growing older as a totally out actor. And that’s just the beginning of what’s on offer. Get reading now!