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59 MIN READ TIME

On The Front Lines

BOUHDID BELHEDI (Tunisia) LGBT HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER Association SHAMS (winner of GALAS International Award, 2017)

“ Forced anal testing is theoretically banned, but it is still a widespread practice throughout Tunisia.

“I was the first activist to appear on TV to talk about the LGBT situation in Tunisia. Following my appearances I received multiple threats from the government and also from extremists. I am no longer safe in my hometown, so thanks to a grant I was able to get rehoused.

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About GCN

Our cover star this month Michelle Visage talks about the impact of RuPaul’s Drag Race on its contestants and the world, how being the mother of a queer child has made her more political, and how she’ll be behaving on the panel of Ireland’s Got Talent. ACT UP Dublin get real with the government about PrEP, we ask why there is complete invisibility of Roma LGBT people in Ireland, and we meet a contingent of courageous defenders of LGBT+ human rights across the globe. Plus, new dance-pop kids on the block, Sofi Tukker tell us just can’t believe they’re on every radio in the States, and we explore the impact of tech on queer relationships. It’s a meaty mix for February!

Other Articles in this Issue


Editor’s Letter
As it goes into its 30th year, there’s a very good reason for GCN’s survival, against the odds
This month’s issue is packed with some pretty meaty content. Here are the people who wrote some of it
Focál Up
This month we’re having words about…
Interview
In the space of less than a year, dance-pop duo Soi Tukker have gone from unknowns to Grammy-nominated blockbuster hit makers, but before that they’d already built a devoted queer following. It’s a case of mutual admiration, they tell Cian Carroll
Michelle Visage has a reputation for tough talking on RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality talent show that has blossomed into a pop culture phenomenon like no other over the past decade. Will she be bringing the same style of judging to her new role on the panel of Ireland’s Got Talent? And what does Michelle think of the situation back home in America, where the Trump administration is rolling back on many of the things Drag Race stands for? She talks to Brian Finnegan
HIV+
While new HIV diagnoses continue to be at an all-time high for gay and bisexual men in Ireland, the government needs to make sure PrEP is fully accessible, says Andrew Leavitt of ACT UP Dublin. Image by Will St Leger
Report
At a low estimate, there are approximately 500 LGBT+ Roma people living in this country, yet not one has come forward to the organisations that support Travellers and Roma people. This invisibility is rooted in the overall challenges Roma people face in Ireland, as Chris O’Donnell reports
In countries where members of the LGBT+ community are systematically attacked, arrested, tortured and murdered, there are courageous activists who stand up to advance queer rights, sometimes at great personal cost. Here Stephen McCabe meets just six poweful individuals on the frontlines of the ight for a world of acceptance
Travel
A state-sponsored visit by Panti Bliss last year to speak in Southeast Asia about the marriage referendum has put the region on the map for queer Irish travellers. Andrew Byrne checks out two destinations with his gay hat on: Vietnam and Hong Kong
Feature
While physical sexual health is prioritised and highlighted in the LGBT+ community, emotional sexual health is o en le by the wayside. In a culture that’s increasingly de ned by technological advances, our relationships, or lack thereof, are taking a queer turn, say therapists Sarah Gilligan and Fi Connors
Community Chest
An urgent call has been made for men who have
February will see the debut of Northern Ireland’s first LGBT+
“Don’t x your life so that you’re le alone when you come to the middle of it,” is a sage piece of advice given by an older gay man to a young woman in a lm I watched over Christmas. It’s something we could all do well to listen to
This month, Chloe Krumholtz is a fugly fag hag and…