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14 MIN READ TIME

From The Editor

The past two issues of GCN have given me pause to think about the disparity of experience we have as LGBT+ people on this tiny island. Our youth issue last month, guest edited by the feisty and fabulous 18 year-old Emer Lorenzo, was an eye-opener in terms of young Irish LGBT+ people’s experiences. Part of that issue was the first Budding Burning Issues survey of LGBTs aged between 13 and 24, and its findings were in stark contrast to the image of acceptance and understanding that has abounded in Ireland since the marriage equality referendum.

Almost 600 respondents to the survey reported stigmatisation and lack of acceptance and inclusion, particularly in context of school, as the number one problem they face. The survey scratched the surface to show a country that is largely yet to catch up with a story that’s being sold, in which everything’s rosy in the LGBT+ garden now.

Our current issue underlines further chasms of experience. It’s our annual workplace diversity edition, in which we explore policies and activities in Irish-based companies and professional organisations that support and empower LGBT+ people. This year, among other things, we hear about corporates getting up to scratch on understanding and facilitating trans employees, we learn about a global communications network that’s supporting its employees in countries where LGBT+ people are at risk, and we hear about a group of workers from across the panoply of tech companies based in Ireland coming together to support, educate and network around LGBT+ issues.

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Who would you give a lifetime achievement award to, and why?
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, again. Why?
Do you love skiing? What about (figuratively) hot skiiers? Well,
Queer Carlow-native Gar Cox sings songs of love and death
With a gentle nod to the club that was beloved
Do you have a uterus? If not, do you have a torso? You do? Great!
Hidden histories and subverted homo culture are at the core
There’s a super-gay presence at the IndieCork festival this month,
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What’s keeping Stephen Boylan up at night month?
Feature: Music
Janet Jackson’s 1997 album, The Velvet Rope saw the megastar go in a diferent direction, one that not everyone loved because of a deinite pro-gay stance. Its second single, the stadium-sized queer anthem, ‘Together Again’, about friends who died from Aids-related illnesses, would go on to become one of her biggest hits
HIV+
This year’s Dublin Theatre Festival includes the debut of an unconventional Irish documentary-style play taken from hours of personal testimonies about living with HIV. Its writer, Shaun Dunne, talks to ACT UP Dublin’s Will St. Leger and Andrew Leavitt about inding an unexpected thirst to speak. Photo by Hazel Coonagh
In Conversation
As Pantibar gears up to celebrate ten gloriously gay years, its owner Rory O’Neill (aka Panti Bliss) and the man behind its image, Niall Sweeney talk to Brian Finnegan about three decades at the heart of Dublin’s queer scene and cultural evolution, from lthy fetish clubs to Alternative Misses and beyond
Report
In companies across Ireland there’s an unprecedented drive to make LGBT+ people feel included and supported, with all sorts of initiatives from social events to workshops, to creating policies that recognise and respect the speciic issues employees may have. For this, our fourth workplace diversity issue, we meet some of the people championing a brave new working world. Words by Ellie Sell
When people arrive in this country and declare their status as asylum seekers, they are put into a harrowing housing system called Direct Provision, in which they can be stuck for years, not knowing whether they will be deported or not. For LGBT+ asylum seekers Direct Provision o en transplants the oppression they were eeing from to Ireland, as Chris O’Donnell reports. Photo by Vukasin Nedeljkovic from the asylumarchive.com
Tech Support
Meet the core members of Intertech Ireland, a group that was formed to connect LGBT+ people within our enormous tech workforce, which also reaches out to educate and empower the wider queer community. Photos by Babs Daly
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As the Dáil grinds back into gear, there are pressing
Andrew Hetherington is the chief executive of Business to Arts, a charitable organisation that aims to bring sponsorship to the Irish arts scene through companies like Accenture and Bank of Ireland. Founder of fundit.ie and husband to the alter ego of one of Ireland’s favourite drag queens, Shirley Temple Bar, he says that companies have realised LGBT+ is part of their make-up. Photo by Babs Daly
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