In 2007 GCN had a small article about the 5th Anniversary of GayCork.com – though in the print edition they said 10 years by accident!
5 Years of Gay Cork
“It has helped open up my own idea of my sexuality. At the beginning I was very closedminded and now I think I’ve dealt with a lot of the internalised homophobia I used to carry about with me by sharing in the experiences, and acknowledging the opinions, of others.”
So says (Little)Timmy, one of the hundreds of members of the forums on gaycork.com, and he’s just one of many people who have found the same kind of self-affirmation from the website, which is an amazing five years old this month.
“There was nothing much on the web for Irish gay people when I set gaycork.com up,” says JP, founder of the incredibly popular site, “and certainly nothing for gay people in Cork!”
“The site hosted the very first gay forums in Ireland and became a template for the way gay websites have developed here afterwards. Gaycork.com was a precurser for the style of a lot of them. Chris Fildes at queerid.com spoke to me extensively before launching that site, and it was originally based on the gaycork.com model.”
In the five years since gaycork.com launched, Jonathan has seen major change in his native city for gay and lesbian people, and he believes the site has been integral to that evolution. “It’s allowed more people to come out and communities to form,” he says. “It’s affected people’s lives; several people have met their partners through gaycork.com. There’s a social life built up around it, we have regular meet-ups. We go to the cinema, for a meal, to the bars.
“It’s the best gay resource for Cork. People who don’t live in the south log on and are amazed by the level of entertainment and things to do for gay people in Cork.
“Currently, you can find a bustling gay classifieds section on gaycork.com, which is probably the second busiest in Ireland, next to Gaire; the forums are very active – people discuss everything there, from politics to celebrity gossip, to the Alternative Miss Ireland. There are regular columns and features and a directory of what’s on in Cork and beyond.” Although Jonathan’s commitment to the site has made it flourish over the years, he’s eager to pay tribute to the work of other people.
“Everyone who works on the site does so voluntarily,” he says, “and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the work they’ve put in. The site wouldn’t be what it is without them.”
Visit www.gaycork.com for everything you need to know about the queer scene in the People’s Republic of Cork