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1979-2019: 40 Years Of The National LGBT Federation

The National LGBT Federation (or the National Gay Federation as we were called on our formation) was formally launched on St Patrick’s Weekend 1979 and has played a prominent role in the Irish LGBT movement in the intervening 40 years.

We are the publishers of this magazine – the longest running free LGBT publication in the world – and advocate for LGBT equality in Ireland and abroad through policy initiatives, the organising of talks and symposiums, conducting research, and working closely with key political allies and civil society actors.

It is often said that the past is a foreign country and that certainly holds true when it comes to LGBT rights. The Ireland of 1979 was a harsh and unwelcoming place for LGBT people or indeed anyone who dared to challenge the suffocating social conservatism of the era, where Church and State operated as one to resist the secular and liberalising influences that were beginning to be felt in much of the rest of Europe. Abortion, divorce and contraception were all strictly illegal, in keeping with Roman Catholic dogma. And of course, gay people were deemed to be criminals through a homophobic law inherited from the British but which the independent Irish State was happy to maintain.

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About GCN

This month at GCN we celebrate the elder members of our fabulous LGBT+ family with an exceptional series of articles and opinion pieces. As our centrepiece, you'll find a glorious photographic celebration of individual style shot by the exceptional Babs Daly. There's a loving look at Bridie's Bar in The George, alongside an investigation of rural LGBT+ life. Greenbow fill us in on what it's like to be deaf in the LGBT+ community and we profile a member of Identity - the group for LGBT+ asylum seekers. There's also a hard-hitting piece on the rise in homophobic violence in Honduras. In light of news that Teach Solais could face closure, we speak to those whose lives it has changed for the better. Let’s rally the community and get behind the West's only LGBT+ resource centre