We’ve spent this week rounding up some of the highlights across sport, culture and community and we thought it’d be a nice idea to take a moment to recount some GCN 2021 highlights.
As Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ press, we are honoured to get to serve our community every day and it is thanks to our community that despite significant challenges this year, our 33rd year in publishing, we have managed to go from strength to strength.
On a personal note, it has been a pleasure and privilege to manage the business and collaborate with the wonderful team at GCN, the NXF board, our. GCN contributors and community partners to serve our fabulous LGBTQ+ community.
We started the year as we meant to go on with Lockdown LOLZ hosted by the fabulous Shane Daniel Byrne. The show confirmed its place as one of the funniest GCN 2021 highlights starring some of the most hilarious Irish and queer folk who kept our spirits up in the darkest days of COVID.
In February, we celebrated 33 years in publishing. On the 10th February 1988, Gay Community News hit the streets as an eight-page newspaper and would go on to become the paper of record for the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. We have been reflecting queer life from that day to this.
As part of our 33rd Birthday celebration we took a look back at some of our earliest classifieds for a new digital initiative we called #GCNConnections.
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GCN 100k in May
GCN and Life Style Sports teamed up to launch an exciting fitness and fundraising challenge – 100K in May! We asked people to join us in the challenge to walk or run 100K in May all for a great cause, or donate to others taking part.
And take part you did! With the generous support of Life Style Sports and our fab readers and participants in the challenge, we raised over €8k. We were so delighted, and just a little tired, by the end of the month!
GCN Magazine and Pride issue
Our GCN highlights of 2021 don’t get much more exciting than actually getting to publish our beloved print edition! We managed to get three print issues out across the Island this year and are immensely proud of each edition. Special mention to our gorge bumper Pride edition which was the biggest issue we’ve ever sent to print and was literally crammed full of delicious and timely LGBTQ+ information.
You can read them all online here.
GCN and Dublin Bus collaborate for Pride 2021
We were delighted to be chosen as Dublin Bus’ Pride charity partner for 2021. We collaborated with them to bring a dynamic and beautiful coming out campaign to the sides of buses across Pride season. We loved the process and are so grateful to Dublin Bus for the opportunity. Check out their gorge video here.
In June, we were also delighted to collaborate with our good Judy, Miss Brian Teeling, to create a very special capsule collection called PROTEST! to celebrate Pride 2021. The collection featured strong messages of solidarity like “Protect Trans Youth” and “Queers against Nazis”, we are so proud of it and so grateful to you all for supporting us by buying it!
Protest was such a success that we reissued a second collection with Brian Teeling in late November just in time for great queer festive gifting. Still on sale now (WINK WINK)! Shop here.
At the end of a super busy Pride 2021, we bid adieu to beloved GCNer Katie Donohoe who spent over four years working with us and was the Head of New Media production at the time of her departure. We loved our time with Katie and she helped shape and form many of the digital innovations we made in lockdown. We miss her still but her departure led to some recruitment and reshaping of the formation of our team.
We were very happy to welcome three new amazing team members after Katie’s departure. We spent the summer months recruiting, and appointed the wonderful Saoirse Schad as our new Online Content Creator, Han Tiernan as our PT Editorial Assistant and Alice Linehan as Project Lead on In and Out.
As with so many other community organisations, GCN spent 2021 working on new ways to sustain the work we do and we were very lucky to receive funding from a variety of different sources including The Community Foundation of Ireland for a 2022 video series, and from The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth for a very exciting archive digitisation project that we’ll let you know more about early in the New Year!
Speaking at the funding launch, Minister Roderic O’Gorman stated: “The funding announced today follows last year’s successful funding call and the continuation of this funding will further improve access to services for LGBTI+ people, regardless of their age or where in the country they live. I am delighted to provide funding of €1.5 million to support 42 organisations across Ireland.”
LIVING is an innovative, first-of-its-kind, photographic exhibition showcasing a powerful and inspiring collection of portraits by the wonderfully talented photographer Hazel Coonagh.
This unique expression highlights the leadership role People Living With HIV contribute to the HIV response, particularly in relation to confronting and challenging stigma.
Living was launched at the CHQ on December 1st. You can check out the launch video here.
We finish this round up of highlights by saying – thank you, dear readers, for all your support in 2021. We couldn’t have done it without you.
© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.