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As the NXF (National LGBT Federation) celebrates its 40th birthday, its Chairperson, Caroline Keane, looks back on her own journey and forward to a landmark year for the Federation.

I grew up in Mayo, in the very west in a place called Louisburgh. remember when was 10 or 11 and two girls from the school asked to go to the toilet at the same time. Someone shouted ‘lesbians’ at them. was like ‘What? Are lesbians people who go to the toilet together?’ had never heard the word, didn’t know what it was. These things weren’t very visible in the ‘80s and ‘90s in West Mayo.

I had a growing awareness in my late teens, early 20’s. came to Dublin for college in UCD and began to realise who was. At that time in Dublin there wasn’t a huge amount happening, especially for women. moved to London for a career and our office was in the middle of Soho. That’s where discovered gay life. I joined the Diversity Choir and was in the GLEAM (Gay and Lesbian Employees At Microsoft) Network. That’s where got involved with community work. It was a way to get to know people and a way to understand what you could be. When came back to Dublin was more confident, was more sure of who was and immediately auditioned for Gloria (Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir).

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About GCN

In this travel-themed issue of GCN, we profile LGBT+ Irish people who have made new lives abroad and at the same time welcome the new members to our queer family who have travelled from around the globe to make Ireland their home. Inside you’ll find tips from travellers with ideas on where you could plan that next trip. With relationships with other countries forefront in our minds, we also take a look at Brexit, how it affects us currently and what it could mean for the future.