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Out! and about: Gay Community News

GCN has helped me and the gay community for decades -- now it's our turn to assist, says Fearghus de Mórdha

When i was about 15, the classified ads in Hot Press used to be the only way that I knew there were other homos out there. I used to buy it and spend hours reading over the ads, imaging what these other homos might be like. When I was a bit older, I discovered Gay Community News (GCN) and a wealth of information was suddenly available to me every month.

GCN has been in operation for more than two decades and it has continued to be my bible; I even worked there for six months after I finished college. It has long served the homo community in Ireland, but, like so many businesses, it is under threat from the recession and, in turn, the huge slump in advertising revenue.

But if ever a community publication had fighting spirit, it is GCN. It has, thus, launched the GCN Forever campaign.

The campaign is asking the community it has served for so long -- not only as a magazine, but as a fundamental resource -- to help it survive.

As a not-for-profit organisation, it is asking people to not only make donations, but also organise fundraisers. I attended one of the fundraisers in the George recently. It was a sumo-wrestling event, with various members of the community, including GCN editorial staff, doing rounds of wrestling in huge sumo suits -- hard times, indeed.

Many of us homos tend to think of ourselves in the cities, but we forget about, for example, the HIV-positive farmer in rural Cork or the single lesbian mother in Donegal for whom this monthly publication is not only a read, but a lifeline. Donations can be made at www.gcn.ie/forever.