GCN launches Prism - the dynamic new digital multimedia exhibition reflecting queer Irish life

Prism charts Irish LGBT+ life and history through the lens of GCN.

A collage of magazine covers

GCN is proud to launch Prism, a new LGBT+ digital exhibition charting our evolution as Ireland’s national LGBT+ press. It highlights our determination to inform, educate, connect and entertain the queer community.

GCN has reflected queer life in Ireland since 1988, documenting momentous changes for LGBT+ people, and capturing many milestones in the fight for equality. From the decriminalisation of homosexuality through to the Marriage Equality referendum and the Gender Recognition Act, Gay Community News has been at the forefront of informing, advocating for, and platforming our community. We are proud to be Ireland’s national LGBT+ press and the longest running free sheet in the world.

Prism is a dynamic and beautiful document highlighting some of our pivotal work. It provides a portal into a world that illustrates the momentous and dramatic changes in Irish society since 1988 and the seismic cultural shift experienced by a once-maligned and oppressed minority community.

Speaking of the journey to Prism, GCN’s Managing Editor, Lisa Connell, elaborated, “In 2018, GCN took over the Gallery of Photography for a first-of-its-kind exhibition to mark and celebrate an impressive milestone: 30 years in publication.

“That show was called Proof: 30 Years of Gay Community News and simultaneously told the story of Ireland’s queer press while reflecting LGBT+ lives and revolutionary change across three decades.

“Prism breathes new life into our extensive archive, digitises and expands the original exhibition to showcase and highlight the most recent progress our community has achieved. It is also a record of the many new multimedia initiatives GCN has launched to keep our community informed and connected and to honour and celebrate LGBT+ voices. All of this makes Prism a unique, exciting and ever changing testament of queer Ireland past, present and future.”

Screenshot from Prism LGBT+ digital exhibition

Much of the historical documentation in Prism was authored by GCN co-founder, Tonie Walsh, for Proof: 30 Years of GCN. Tonie’s pivotal role in the fight for equality and visibility cannot be understated and makes his narration of key moments so valuable, informative and trustworthy.

The photographs and images used throughout Prism have all been featured in GCN or have been graciously provided courtesy of the Irish Queer Archive. Photographers featured include Hazel Coonagh, Babs Daly, Brian Teeling and Steven Peice, to name but a few.

Screenshot from Prism LGBT+ digital exhibitionPrism was conceived by former GCN staff member, Aidan Quigley. During his time here, Aidan played a key role in the evolution of our digital channels, and was part of the team that rebranded the publication in 2017.

Since leaving GCN, Aidan’s career in digital marketing has taken off. Highlights include working with Fortune 500’s Cognizant, finishing a Masters in Creative Media Practice, and founding QUENCH, a gay digital-only magazine (NSFW link). Now, Aidan is branching out as a freelance graphic designer and web developer. He is actively seeking new brand identity and web design projects.

Screenshot from Prism LGBT+ digital exhibition

“I’ve always loved the intersection of technology and creativity,” Aidan said, “so when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, forcing physical Pride parades to be cancelled and the printing of the magazine to be put on temporary hiatus, I saw an opportunity to create something truly unique with GCN.”

“I hoped to put my knowledge of GCN’s inner workings and the rapport I have with the team to good use by developing something that could connect LGBT+ people across Ireland during these difficult times and represent Ireland’s biggest LGBT+ publication in the best way possible,” Aidan continued. “I think together we’ve done that and it’s with great pride that we are able to launch Prism today.”

You can visit the beautiful LGBT+ digital exhibition here.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

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.

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