Today is a very special day for GCN as we mark 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.
Our co-founder Tonie Walsh writes evocatively of those early years in a piece that was published in GCN’s 100th edition titled, That Fucking Rag which you can read here.
Team GCN has some brilliant journalism, digital events and campaigns in the works to mark this milestone across the coming months that we can’t wait to share with you all, but we couldn’t let today pass without taking a moment to acknowledge this landmark with you, our dear readers.
Speaking about this milestone, GCN’s Editor Peter Dunne commented:
“As we proudly celebrate 33 years as Ireland’s National LGBTQ+ press, we’re aware of how much the community has been affected by lockdown and the necessary current restrictions. GCN is doing what it can to keep the community connected, just like we have in all the decades previous. Launching before decriminalisation, we’ve been at the forefront of the battle for LGBTQ+ rights, platforming the diverse voices of our community as we made huge steps towards equal rights. There’s still a way to go, as forces seek to separate us and drive our community apart, so we’ll strive ahead until the destination is reached, and then long after. On behalf of the current team, I’d like to thank and recognise all the fantastic folk who powered GCN over these 33 monumental years, and we continue forward with pride, as your community news source.”
Happy Birthday @GCNmag 33 years being Ireland’s ‘queer paper of record’ and an enviable example of the best that community publishing can offer. Saluting all the current team as they navigate the difficulties of our times. (Pic: Emily Quinn/Niall Sweeney #LGBTHM21 #LGBTpublishing pic.twitter.com/tC6dkMUBzB
— Tonie Walsh (@tonie_walsh) February 10, 2021
Caroline Keane, Chair of the NXF shared:
“Congratulations to everyone – GCN staff, board members, volunteers, contributors – who has nurtured and grown GCN over the last 33 years. GCN has been a voice, a meeting place, and support for so many people and has directly contributed to every major change in our community in the last few decades. We are proud to support the fantastic GCN team as they navigate through difficult times with style and continue to be a vital resource for all of us”
GCN has prided itself on educating, informing and entertaining the LGBTQ+ community for years through our monthly print magazine, daily website and a wide range of community events and initiatives pre-COVID-19 (The GALAS, Proof: 30 years of GCN and the iconic club night, Mother to name but a few). When the pandemic hit and we were forced to pause our print edition for only the second time in the publication’s history, we quickly reimagined how we might best be of service to the Irish LGBTQ+ community.
In 2020 with the support of our community, we managed to run lockdown specific campaigns like #Stayathomo and #GaylyPicks. We developed an exciting new digital festival of LGBTQ+ creativity, In and Out. To celebrate Pride we collaborated with ex GCN staffer, Aidan Quigley to create Prism, a digital exhibition charting the evolution of GCN, Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ press.
For 2021, we’ll be continuing to work tirelessly provide a free and independent queer media resource for our community and one of our new campaigns is called “Love Your Local Queer Press”. There are lots of ways to do that. Give us a follow on Instagram. Share this article on your socials. Text “GCN” to 50300 to donate €4 right now or become a #GCNGuardian by pledging a minimum monthly donation to directly support the work we do.
It is a pleasure and privilege for me as Managing Editor to lead GCN and the fabulous team at this most remarkable time in our organisation’s history. We know very well that we stand on the shoulders of giants like co-founder Tonie Walsh and the many remarkable editors and NXF board members who shepherded GCN through these past three decades. On top of that, huge thanks go out to the hundreds of LGBTQ+ folks who’ve worked on, contributed to and been some part of GCN’s evolution to this point.
© 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.
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