A new magazine for the gay and transgender community of Northern Ireland launched last week.

The first issue of GAY NI features rugby star and anti-bullying campaigner Ben Cohen, whose Stand Up Foundation will benefit from the funds raised by ticket sales and an auction at the magazine’s launch last week.

Ben Cohen, who is the first edition’s cover star and is interviewed in the magazine about his work to tackle homophobic bullying, attended the publication’s launch last week.

GAY NI Magazine evolved from the gayni.net website which hosted listings and other information for the LGBT community in Northern Ireland for the last two years.

It will be available across Northern Ireland at independent newsagents priced at £2 and for postal delivery.

The magazine will contain celebrity interviews, homes, health, beauty, fashion, guide to the bars, clubs and gay friendly businesses as well as supporting major events such as Belfast Pride 2012.

Tony Day one of the publishers and joint editors said: “We have had amazing support from the obvious gay business’ like the Kremlin nightclub, and Union street Bar, but have been overwhelmed with the support from the regular business’ who have told us the magazine has been long overdue and its a great way to tell everyone that they are gay friendly.”

Richard Jones, the magazine’s second publisher and joint editor said it would be “a fun read and it will not be like the other gay magazines and won’t be driven by, let’s call it flesh, but will be grown up and fun and can easily sit on your coffee table and not offend your children or your granny or granddad.”

The magazine’s current office assistant is David Monahan, the streaker who surprised Hayden Panettiere the MTV Awards show in November 2011.