Out and Proud in Ireland’s LGBT+ Community

Two months ago, I moved to Dublin from the greater New York City area and have been thoroughly enjoying settling in to my residence at UCD. I walked out early one morning from my apartment to a full rainbow across the sky, which was an absolutely glorious way to start the day!

View from the entrance to my apartment in Glenomena, UCD Belfield.

I majored in Chemistry as an undergraduate and am beginning to work on my application to medical school for this upcoming admissions cycle. During my Mitchell year, I am taking time to explore my interest in Gender Studies through a specialized track in the School of English & Drama at UCD. I decided to spend my first semester reviewing some of the classics and have been up to my ears in Austen, Trollope, Dickens and (of course) Joyce since I’ve come to Dublin.

In addition to my coursework, I’ve had the pleasure of interning at GCN magazine, Ireland’s longest-running LGBT+ publication.

About GCN

Since 1988 GCN (Gay Community News) has provided a unique angle on culture, news, politics, entertainment, celebrity and lifestyle. GCN is integrally linked to the Irish gay and lesbian identity and has become the most recognised and established gay magazine in Ireland, leading the way with top-rate journalism, sterling production values and visually unique covers. While other LGBT+ magazines have come and gone from the Irish market, GCN stands firm as the best-known and best-loved publication for readers who value us for exactly what we are: an attractive, colourful, up-to-the-minute, gay glossy that is never afraid to pull punches and never fails to get right to the heart of what’s important to gay Ireland today.

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I’ve had the chance to try my hand at writing news stories about a variety of different topics, including the abortion referendum, direct provision, UN proceedings, Twitter policy changes and US election results.

GCN magazine staff (minus Stefano) at the GALAS in October, 2017.

Coming to GCN twice a week has really allowed me to immerse myself in the LGBT+ community in Dublin and learn more about the specific concerns and questions they are facing at this time.

The GALAS

I had the opportunity to attend GCN’s annual GALAS, Ireland’s LGBT+ Awards, last month at The Mansion House. The GALAS were set up by GCN and the National LGBT Federation to honor LGBT+ people and organizations for their contributions to Irish society. The awards are also to honor politicians, employers and others who are committed to advancing equality and social acceptance for LGBT+ people in Ireland. I had the opportunity to meet Katherine Zappone, lesbian senator and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, as well as hear an address from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the event.

Katherine Zappone, Winner of Political Figure of the Year

I continue to be amazed by the vibrancy and beauty present in Ireland’s LGBT+ community. I feel so fortunate to be here to experience and learn from the work of Irish LGBT+ people, and perhaps bring this passion back home to the United States with me to continue the seemingly never-ending fight for equal and fair treatment for LGBT+ people under American law. Thank you for this incredible opportunity!

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