We’re only one month into 2018 and it is already shaping up to be more like 20GAYTEEN. There has been a surge in queer cinema, Ellen Page and Ricky Martin have both married their partners, Costa Rica has said yes to marriage equality and countless LGBT+ Australians have already tied the knot. A bit closer to home, many talented Irish queers are making waves across the land. We’ve put our talent scouting caps on and have found the most up and coming stars that are set to live their best lives and completely own 20GAYTEEN.
Who: Stephen Quinn is a performer who co-created the alternative queer cabaret SPICEBAG with Sarah Deveruex. The night is a response to the prominence of the “mainstream” in the Irish LGBT+ community in recent years due in part to the “we’re all the same” marriage equality narrative.
Who: XNTHONY is a performance maker fusing popular and queer culture with his own unique outlook. He makes performance which unfolds on stage, at the club and online. The 2017 GALAS Entertainer of the Year, Xnthony has most recently collaborated with Smirnoff in their “We’re Open” initiative.
Who: Laylah Beattie is a Dublin-based writer and model with Fraser modelling agency. She posts videos discussing a range of different issues on her YouTube channel. She is currently undergoing a gender transition while modelling and writing about about mental health, harassment of LGBT+ citizens, body image, dating and life for a gender non-conforming citizen.
Who: The Snapchat sensation/agony aunt/entrepreneur is set to begin work as a presenter alongside Glenda Gilson this year. He will be hosting Ireland’s Got Mór Talent which is the after show for Ireland’s Got Talent.
Where: @MrJamesKavanagh | Snapchat: JamesKSnaps
Who: Aoife is a bad-ass who interned with us last year and is currently making waves on the comedy circuit. A finalist in the Irish stage of the 2018 Funny Women Competition and set to play the first ever all-female stage at this year’s Electric Picnic, Aoife has been doing stand-up for almost 2 years now. That’s approximately 5 years and 3 months in the life of the wild honey badger, so she’s practically a pro. When Aoife’s not busy smelling like shite from the bogs of Donegal she’s gigging around Dublin trying to trick everyone into thinking she’s a mature grown woman who’s confident in herself and her sexuality and not a 12-year-old boy whose voice hasn’t broken just yet.
Who: Early in 2018, Miano will be part of an RTÉ Pulse show for GXRLCODE which is “a group of gals making an inclusive space in a podcast, talking about things relevant to us”. Miano has intentions to improve the representation of women and people of colour on Irish airwaves, “I feel like there needs to be more done, we’re only scratching the surface.” With her record label DIAxDEM, she’s hoping for more releases in 2018, including the artists Bad Bones and Proud.
Who: Harry Colley is the co-presenter of podcast With Relish, produced by Ian Doyle and hosted by Headstuff. Allen and Colley bring insights gleaned from their day jobs as chefs in the Fumbally Cafe in Dublin 8.
Who: Robbie Lawlor, who is a guest on the latest episode of our podcast Q&A, has been an HIV campaigner speaking publically about how people with the virus can live a normal life. He most recently appeared in Love & Suppression, a short film that tells the story of how learning about the powerful prevention impact of HIV treatment has changed the lives of an Irish couple.
LGBTI Youth Strategy Youth Advisory Group
Who: To develop the strategy, a Youth Advisory Group was established to sit at committee level, lead the visual design process, shape consultations, and feed into the production of events. Assisted by BeLonG To youth services, the Youth Advisory Group has become an example of how policy impacting young people can place young people at its core in the development stages, so that their voices are heard throughout the process, and brought to the fore to communicate the content of strategy and policy to other young peers.
Where: LGBT Youth Strategy Facebook
Who: In 2018, Oonagh’s new work The Mouth of a Shark, will premiere at a new festival co-presented by Thisispopbaby and St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Alongside her theatre work, Oonagh is involved in community organising and campaigning and was awarded the inaugural Labour Party Jo Cox Award for a young Irish female campaigner.
Who: Una Mullally is an award-winning journalist with the Irish Times, author and broadcaster. She contributes opinion pieces to The Guardian, and has also written for Granta. She writes two weekly columns for the Irish Times covering areas including Irish and global politics, social justice issues, LGBT rights issues, feminism and technology, and also writes features and interviews. She co-founded the award-winning Irish Times Women’s Podcast, and presents and produces television programmes. Her first book In The Name Of Love was a critically acclaimed oral history of the movement for marriage equality in Ireland. She was named Journalist of the Year (2015) at the Irish GALAS LGBT Awards, was presented with the Praeses Elit Award (2016) from Trinity College Dublin, and the Foy-Zappone Award (2016) from University College Dublin. She co-founded the touring queer spoken word event Come Rhyme With Me and in 2016 was awarded a residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris where she worked on a long-form poetry project. She is currently the chair of the LGBTI Youth Strategy and is in the process of writing her second book which is a collection of stories, essays, poetry and photography around the movement for reproductive rights in Ireland. It is set for release in Spring 2018.
Who: Graham J. is fast gaining an international reputation as one of the finest singer/songwriters of his generation. New York beckons in 2018 with a show off-Broadway in The Laurie Beechman Theatre at The West Bank Café and exciting new material to be released.
Who: Established in January 2014, Bitch Falcon a straight-up Rock band based in Dublin, Ireland. Since their inception, they have been slowly crafting their sound and establishing a reputation as one of Dublin’s most ferocious live acts.
Who: “Deceptively infectious, with sharp hooks and sharp nails” – Steve Lamaq, BBC Radio 6 Music. Dublin based band Pillow Queens are making waves across the Irish music scene since their debut release in December 2016, selling out their debut gig at Bello Bar, headlining Dublin’s Workman’s Club, Whelan’s Upstairs, and playing to a cinema full of fans at the IFI.
The four piece are about to embark on their first UK tour this July, which includes a headline spot at London’s prestigious venue The Finsbury, and an appearance at Indietracks Festival in Derbyshire.
Who: Now in their twenties, they have a confidence in how they write and in what they say, be it personal experience or a comment on society. They have just released a new track called ‘Maybe It’s My Nature’ and comes ahead of their much anticipated self-titled debut album, due to drop February 23rd. There will be an album release party on the 23rd of Feb before they set off on a month-long European tour.
Colin Horgan – Fashion
Who: COLIN HORGAN is a graduate of the Limerick School of Art & Design and is currently on the MA Fashion Womenswear Programme at The Royal College of Art, London. His work evolves through his process of simultaneously working in 2D with a sketchbook and then advancing initial ideas into 3D form. He hit the headlines when Lady Gaga was photographed in June attending the Toronto International Film Festival wearing his filmy black trousers from his RCA graduate collection.
George Murray – Fashion
Who: George has just been named “One To Watch For 2018” by Image Magazine. The textiles graduate George Murray designs womenswear and describe his style as “haphazard but also pared back.” He also does some mind-boggling makeup experiments which he documents on Instagram.
Rae Moore – Architecture
Who: In 2013, she became the youngest-ever member of the RIAI’s professional register for architects. One of the testing grounds for her ideas was at 2017’s Body & Soul festival, where her Funicular Folly, a gorgeous brick dome, offered a place for tired festival-goers to kick back and chill.
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