Abbie O'Shea

Abbie is a content creator, who is passionate about disability and queer rights. She also enjoys reading, watching films, and art.

Throughout history, there have been many kinds of great people. Great thinkers, strategists, artists, all worthy of celebration, but my favourite kind of historical figure is the kind who was just plain cool. And you can’t get much cooler than La Maupin. Star of the Paris opera, duellist, lover, queer icon – this girl could do it all. La Maupin was born Julie d’Aubigny in 1673. Her father taught the royal pages (attendants to knights and noblemen), so Julie attended lessons with them. As a result, she had an excellent education, especially for a girl at the time, and…

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During Pride Month, many businesses and organisations take measures to support LGBT+ people. Logos are changed to feature rainbows; sponsored floats are displayed at pride parades and messages of solidarity are posted on social media. But does this surface-level support actually help the LGBT+ community? Not really. This is a relatively new concept called rainbow capitalism. So, What Is Rainbow Capitalism? Rainbow capitalism is when companies include LGBT-positive messages in marketing to increase profit, without doing anything meaningful to support LGBT+ people. As queer people have become more commonly accepted, they have gone from being considered an ostracised niche to…

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In the LGBT+ community, we love labels. There are many sexualities and gender identities, each with its own pretty pride flag. New identities are being introduced all the time – not invented out of thin air, but names being given to feelings that already existed. Identity is understandably important in the queer community. When many of us have had to hide our identities or feel confused and ashamed of them, why shouldn’t we want to explore our gender and sexuality in detail, and put names to these feelings? The myriad of ways to describe sexuality and gender provide comfort, security,…

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On the 2nd of February 1988, the peers in the House of Lords voted in favour of a new bill. They were politely celebrating this bill when ropes fell from the balcony of the public viewing area. Suddenly, chaos and amazement ensued as several women abseiled down onto the floor of the House. The bill that the Lords voted into law, and that the activists protested against, was Section 28. This law stifled LGBT support and education for over a decade, and arguably still has an effect to this day. Section 28 – also known as Clause 28 – was…

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YouTube has allowed creators of marginalised identities to tell their stories and find an audience. Blake West, who also goes by the username TransBlake, has started cultivating an audience on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram with her videos that document her experience as a trans woman. The first thing that you will notice about Blake in her videos is her look- she is always put together, with hair and makeup perfect, even in our Zoom interview. The setup in her videos may be simple, with her filming videos in her kitchen or bedroom, but Blake is always dressed for the occasion.…

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Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of the most well-known and beloved cult films. A film adaptation of the stage musical Rocky Horror Show, since its premiere in 1975, RHPS has been a mainstay of midnight film screenings, complete with its own traditions of dressing up like the characters and participating with the film. It is considered a classic of queer cinema for its themes of rejecting normality and embracing the transgressive, and its celebration of sexual and gender freedom. However, somewhat unsurprisingly for a 47(!)-year-old film, it has come under scrutiny for elements that are considered to be outdated…

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Our fair island is home to many talented actors, and a good few of them are LGBT+. It would be impossible to list all of them here, so apologies if your favourite doesn’t appear, or to rank them, as they are all fine actors. Nevertheless, here is a pick of some of our finest. There are some that you have definitely heard of, and maybe a couple that you didn’t know about! Pearl Mackie Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons Pearl Mackie has appeared in TV shows like the long-running soap Doctors and Friday Night Dinner, but she is best known…

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Telling the world that you’re queer – and coming out of the proverbial closet – is widely considered to be a universal rite of passage for those in the LGBT+ community. There are lots of different ways to come out. Some people came out to their loved ones with a serious heart-to-heart. Others prefer to lighten the mood with jokes or a cake – the best kind of gender reveal party is a transgender reveal party! Some people don’t like to make a big deal of it, and simply come out by mentioning it in casual conversation. But is it…

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For LGBT people, it is easy to feel alone. Maybe you don’t know many other queer people, or the ones that you do know are online friends. For many people in this situation, it feels like there is nobody else in the world like them. The beauty of Pride is the way that it shatters this worldview – thousands of people in one place for all to see, proudly proclaiming their identities. There is nothing more powerful than seeing with your own eyes that you’re not alone and there are so many others like you. Every year, many Pride events…

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Pronouns – we use them every day, without thinking about it. It’s easy to forget how important they are. Using the right pronouns is important because it shows respect. It is also very validating for trans and non-binary people when their gender is affirmed with the right pronouns. On the other hand, intentionally using the wrong pronouns for someone is insulting. If you’re wondering why some people want to be referred to as they, or why some people wear badges with their pronouns, you’ve come to the right place. The most common gender pronouns are: he/him/hisshe/her/herthey/them/their – yes, singular they/them…

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