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Lay of the Land

Outside of big urban areas, the experiences of the LGBT+ community can vary greatly from a feeling of community to one of isolation. Sarah McKenna Barry spoke to those who call rural areas home.

When Ireland voted in marriage equality with a resounding ‘Yes’ in 2015, many saw the historical day as a turning point for the nation’s LGBT+ community. When the tally was read aloud in Dublin Castle, it felt like the heteronormativity of Mother Ireland had been cast out, and in its place stood a new nation that promised tolerance, and enshrined every person’s right to unashamedly feel pride in themselves.

Despite the feverish victory felt that day, exclusion and isolation remain a reality for a large proportion of the population. After all, over 700,000 people voted against same-sex marriage on that same day. The Catholic Church’s hold on modern Ireland may have loosened over time, but its damage has left a scar on some people’s minds and attitudes.

I talked to a number of members of the LGBT+ community and found that in many parts of rural Ireland, LGBT+ people are welcomed with open arms, and are treated with the same respect and compassion as their neighbours, while in other areas some LGBT+ people still encounter hostility on a daily basis.

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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