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73 year-old Eddie Parsons is a facilitator with the Gold group for older gay and bisexual men, which meets every Wednesday at Outhouse. Ater leaving school he joined a monastery; then he married and had two sons. He sufered from depression before coming out, but has found happiness in later life. Photo by Babs Daly.

I was born in Mayo in 1945. After I was born, my older brother got seriously ill with TB. I got it into my head very young that my mother didn’t want me. So I grew up very well behaved in order to get into her good books. I never quite did, but that was okay.

I went to boarding school, which I hated. I became very religious, thinking God and Jesus were the only ones that loved me. Then I decided that I would join a monastery, so I went into the Cistercian monastery in Roscrea. I was suffering from depression there, and I left after four years.

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“I believe that we are never more beautiful than we are now,” says photographer Paul Connell, who shot the cover of our second annual queer elders issue. Inside his photo-feature celebrates ageing in the LGBT+ community, mental health columnist Ray O’Neill talks about embracing older role models, and 73 year-old facilitator with the Gold group for gay and bisexual men tell us about life getting better and better. We meet the CEO and Chair of Ireland’s brand new national LGBT organisation, report on a contradiction at the heart of trans healthcare, get the lowdown on not one, but two queer theatre festivals about to enter stage right, and remember Kylie’s greatest gay anthem. And there’s so much more – just turn the page!