A circle from the Prism logo, GCN's LGBT+ digital exhibition.


A white Prism logo, GCN's LGBT+ digital exhibition.

The LGBT+ Digital Exhibition, Prism, charts the evolution of GCN, Ireland’s national LGBT+ press. It highlights our determination to inform, educate, connect and entertain the queer community. A prism refracts light and, in doing so, creates a rainbow, a global symbol of LGBT+ culture, making it a fitting title for this exhibition.

GCN has reflected queer life in Ireland since 1988. It has documented momentous changes for LGBT+ people in Irish society, 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 the LGBT+ 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 the pivotal work that GCN has undertaken across the last three decades. 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.

Pull quotes that are reminiscent of the Prism logo, GCN's LGBT+ digital exhibition.

Prism is a unique, exciting and ever changing testament of queer Ireland past, present and future.

“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,” said GCN’s Managing Editor, Lisa Connell.

“The 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.

A graphic of a prism with white light entering one side and the exhibition's signature shades of pink and teal light exiting the other side, having been refracted in the prism.
A photo of a crowd of people looking at walls covered in GCN magazine covers at the Proof exhibition, which shares some of the source material with GCN's Prism.

“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."

Much of the historical documentation in Prism was authored by GCN co-founder, Tonie Walsh, for our 2018 milestone celebration - Proof: 30 Years of GCN. Tonie’s pivotal role in the Irish LGBT+ community’s fight for equality and visibility cannot be understated and his strong bond with GCN makes his narration of the 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.

Prism was conceived by former GCN staff member, Aidan Quigley. During his time with GCN, Aidan played a key role in the evolution of its digital channels, and was part of the team that rebranded the publication in 2017.

Since leaving GCN in 2017, 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.

In the absence of a physical Pride resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the idea to develop Prism was born of a desire to reflect the decades of rich cultural and societal impact that GCN has borne witness to and to keep the LGBT+ community connected, informed and educated during this time of social distancing. Learn more about Prism’s development here.