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Xtra gay & lesbian newspaper plays both sides of the fence
Outexpressions: December 7, 2008 --I was please to see this article
in Xtra current issue today. Abstract from Xtra article by Fag and dyke companionship,
John Caffery "I am a man who is attracted to men but that does not
equate to denying the equality of the opposite sex. Recently, while bartending
at Toronto's Woody's (the gay "Cheers"), I have asked men if they
are feminists, and many reply with a "no." I had customers complain
that there was a female bartender during the short period when there was one.
Men would comment that they could not cruise if women are present, which I couldn't
fathom (unless their boobs were so big that you couldn't possibly see past them)."
CATIE launches HIV campaign aimed at street people
Outexpressions: Toronto December 4, 2008 -- A new campaign is trying
to get HIV-positive people living on the street to begin treatment. The campaign
— created by the Toronto-based Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange
(CATIE) — will provide posters and postcards to AIDS service organizations (ASOs)
and HIV clinics across the country.
The material seeks to dispel some of the myths around HIV treatment. More than
58,000 Canadians are living with HIV infection (including AIDS) and it is estimated
that there are more than 2,300 new infections each year. Although HIV treatment
options have improved, many people have questions and concerns about side effects
and the difficulty of following complex medication regimes. Difficulty finding
objective information in plain, easy-to-understand language can be a barrier
to starting treatment, particularly for members of marginalized communities.
"People facing difficult treatment decisions need honest information about
the improving medication options available and about the real challenges and
risks that still remain. These new postcards and posters offer exactly that,
with the goal of empowering individuals from all communities to make the treatment
choices that will work best for them," says Laurie Edmiston, Executive
Director of CATIE.
"Tragically, members of our communities, particularly our inner cities,
continue to die from HIV/ AIDS without ever receiving treatment. New HIV treatment
options are simpler, better tolerated and all persons living with HIV/ AIDS
should be fully supported in finding one which works for them," says Dr.
Chris Fraser of the Cool Aid Community Health Centre in Victoria, B.C.
At the Get the Facts launch celebration, guest speaker Dr. Brian Cornelson
discussed the importance of engaging street-based populations in treatment,
the challenges, and how materials like those produced for the CATIE Get the
Facts Campaign can help people overcome barriers, make informed choices and
improve their health. Dr. Cornelson is an HIV primary care physician at the
Health Centre at 410 Sherbourne, Director of HIV Family Practice Clinics at
St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and Assistant Professor of Family and Community
Medicine with the University of Toronto.
Laurie Edmiston says the issue is not confined to street populations. Even
educated people can believe that they're okay unless they actually develop AIDS.
"I know middle-class, educated people who are delaying going on treatment,"
she says. "HIV is harming your body in ways you can't see or feel. It really
is just in the last few years that information on the toll that HIV takes on
your body on its own has emerged."
Edmiston says the campaign materials will be available to ASOs and HIV clinics
for free through CATIE's online order centre at Catie.ca. She says the campaign
will also be trying to reach other venues.
"We'll be looking at community health clinics, youth centres, aboriginal
drop-in centres," she says. "We'll be trying to catch people who aren't
necessarily acknowledging they're HIV-positive."
CATIE is a national non-profit organization that, through knowledge exchange,
works to reduce the transmission of HIV and to improve the quality of life of
people living with HIV. As Canada's national knowledge exchange broker for HIV
prevention, care, treatment, and support, CATIE offers a wide variety of free
information services for people living with HIV and for the organizations that
serve them. www.catie.ca
Gay men with low status likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, uToronto
Outexpressions Toronto News Brief :: November 27, 2008. Gay men who
are not considered sexually desirable are more likely to engage in risky sexual
behavior according to new research out of the University of Toronto, today.
They may also develop psychological problems as a consequence of feeling undesirable.
Adam Isaiah Green, Assistant Professor of Sociology at U of T, interviewed dozens
of gay men in Toronto to determine what qualities made some men more sexually
desirable than others, and what the consequences of being undesirable might
be on mental and physical health. .
I found that young, white, middle-class men are considered much more sexually
desirable than men who are racial minorities, over 40 and poor,” says Green.
“I also learned that for gay men, being considered sexually undesirable can
have serious health consequences ranging from psychological issues to risky
The study – among the first to examine the link between sex and mental health
– found that undesirable gay men face stigmatization, avoidance and outright
rejection, which can lead to depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse. It also
highlighted cases whereby undesirable gay men will forego safe-sex discussion
and, in some cases, condom use, in the context of sex with a more attractive
“We tend to devalue sexual life as something that is extracurricular and frivolous,
but this research shows a significant link between sexual desirability and health,”
says Green. “Men with low levels of ‘erotic capital’ are systematically marginalized,
which can take a real toll both physically and psychologically.”
Data consisting of in-depth interviews with 70 gay men coupled with three years
of fieldwork demonstrate a sexual status order that privileges caucasian, middle-class
men in their twenties and early thirties, and that disadvantages black and Asian
men, men over 40 years of age, and poor men. Men with low sexual status faced
significant stressors in the form of avoidance from others, stigmatization,
and rejection. These stressors, in turn, taxed personal resources, including
self-esteem, sense of social support, and sense of control, and they also negatively
affected emotional states in the form of depression and anxiety. Finally, some
low status men were unable to consistently negotiate condom use as a consequence
of a history of field stressors and diminished personal resources. The results
suggest that more work on sexual status structures and their connection to health
is needed, both within gay enclaves and across a broader spectrum of sexual
For more information on the study, published in the current edition of the
Journal of Health and Social Behavior: Health and Sexual Status in an Urban
Gay Enclave: An Application of the Stress Process Model (Volume 49, Number 4,
December 2008) Abstract
Adam Isaiah Green, Assistant Professor of Sociology: 416-978-8261 or AdamIsaiah.Green@utoronto.caor
April Kemick, Media Relations Officer: 416-978-5949 or email@example.com
Thousands march in gay pride parade in Buenos Aires
Outexpressions News Briefs, November 22, 2008. Buenos Aires, the capital
of Argentina, held its 17th annual Gay Pride Parade on Saturday, November 1.
The theme was "Voten Nuestras Leyes," or "Vote for Our Laws,"
a reference to proposals for marriage and other rights currently being considered
at national and regional levels in the South American nation.
The parade began at the Plaza de Mayo, in the shadows of Evita's famous balcony,
traveled through Avenida de Mayo, passing buildings important to Argentine gay
history such as Castelar Hotel where Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca
lived in the 1930s as well as the Teatro Avenida where his plays were performed.
The parade ended in front of the National Congress with rallies and performances
in a park that also holds the country's national AIDS Memorial.
According to César Cigliutti, the president of the Communidad Homosexual de
Argentina, one of the groups behind the parade, more than 50,000 people participated,
nearly twice the turnout of the year before. Different from other years, more
people marched before darkness fell; in the past, many locals dared only join
the parade after the sun had set. Posters of Madonna, who will be holding several
concerts in Buenos Aires in December, adorned many of the floats.
Argentines living in New York who were in the parade included Gabriel Videla,
the treasurer of Mateando, an organization for gay New Yorkers from Argentina
and Uruguay. It was his first time at the parade, and he walked with his aunt
and other relatives.
"I never thought it would be this way and that I am marching with my aunt,"
he said. "I felt like I am coming home."
Maria Belen Correa, a founder of Mateando, was also at the parade, performing
as Evita on stage. A transgendered activist, Belen had left Argentina and come
to the United States on asylum. She received special permission to perform at
the event and visit Argentina for four days. Her return, she said, was "very
emotional" and the crowd gave her mesmerizing performance a tearful and
The parade's date marks the founding of Nuevo Mundo, the first formal gay group
in South America. More on the parade is at www.cha.org.ar
AIDS Cure: Keep Wishing
Outexpressions News Briefs, November 22, 2008. DA flurry of press reports,
notably by veteran AIDS journalist Mark Schoofs of the Wall Street Journal,
heralded a possible cure for AIDS by transplanting stem cells from someone with
natural immunity to the virus. While the cure may have worked for an American
patient in Berlin who was also suffering from leukemia and had reason to risk
the operation, it was deemed almost totally impractical for even a small fraction
of people with HIV
"Frankly, I'd rather take the medicine," veteran AIDS research Robert
Gallo told the New York Times, given the risks of such transplants and the remote
chances of finding a matching donor who has the gene mutation that provides
resistance to HIV.
But researchers at UCLA are looking at artificially inducing the genetic mutation,
called Delta 32, to inject into humans. They are finding some success using
the treatment on monkeys, the newspaper said.
Obama Restates Support for LGBT Rights
Outexpressions News Briefs, November 22, 2008. It's not much more than
a posting of the LGBT issues that he ran on, but the Obama-Biden transition
team's website, www.Change.gov,
has a section called "Support for the LGBT Community" that outlines
the incoming administration's commitment to civil unions, expanding hate crimes
statutes, fighting workplace discrimination, repealing the Defense of Marriage
Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell, expanding access to adoption, and promoting HIV
The only issue that includes a time commitment is "AIDS Prevention,"
which states that Obama will, in his first year as president, "develop
and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy."
The ever changing face of Queer Queen St. West Toronto
Ladies’ night BY Sarah Liss October 29, 2008 - originally published
Ever since DJs and bartenders Sandy De Almeida and May Brand started their
Hump Day Bump night a few years back at the Gladstone, Wednesday’s
been a new Saturday for a certain sector of alternative T.O. queers. But as
the neighbourhood evolved, the demographic did as well; by the time Hump Day
Bump relocated to Wrongbar this past summer, the night had lost some of its
community-minded atmosphere (though De Almeida and Brand weren’t to blame).
The loss of Hump Day left the Gladstone with a big hole on Wednesday nights.
Gladstone owner and artist Christina Zeidler was wise enough not to go
head to head with a straight-up DJ night. Rather, she had a number of specific
goals in mind when she came up with Granny Boots, says Chelsey Lichtman,
a local performance artist and co-founder of the Fat Femme Mafia, who’s
now taken over Granny duties from Zeidler. In part, Zeidler was hoping to reach
out to a less blithely youthful crowd by planning a weekly event that runs earlier
in the evening.
“Another hope was to bring a radical queer politic back into the Gladstone,”
Lichtman says. “It was there at one point, but it’s been gone recently.”
Lichtman hopes to achieve that aim, in part, by reaching out to T.O. cultural
institutions that may have been overlooked or alienated by the surge of so-called
alterna-queer culture that’s permeated the West Queen West area. She
lists the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, the Asian Arts Freedom School and Shameless
magazine as examples, and suggests that an absence of more marginalized
voices (read: the dominance of privileged, white, able scenesters with normative
bodies and genders) has contributed to the sublimation of more engaged queer
“I think what’s been done at Granny Boots so far has been great,” she says,
“but I have a particular vision. I want to provide space at a desirable location
for people who might not have access to, or be able to afford, that space. And
they’ll be paid for it! The Gladstone has been really generous with this night.”
Lichtman’s own bent tends toward reclaiming a more rigorous old-school lesbian-feminist
ethos — a recent night of womyn’s music featured performances by singer-songwriters
Emma McKenna and Jen Markowitz (Dance Yourself To Death); the Nov. 5 version
is a tribute to Riot Grrrl, featuring local garage act Scandalnavia, Zeidler’s
Tina Unt Ina act and others.
Is Granny Boots a sign that the West Queer West community is entering a
more mature adult phase? Yes, no and maybe. It’s heartening to see a regular
weekly event that’s geared toward engaging with politics and promoting live
acts. The night is also a somewhat naïve throwback to grassroots lesbian community
organizing, for sure. And while Zeidler may have originally intended Granny
Boots to attract the older folks, the night seems to be attracting wide-eyed
twentysomethings who aren’t into club culture.
What’s interesting about Lichtman’s approach to this night is how invested
she seems to be in bridging the gaps between different generations of queers
— or at least, dykes. It’s something close to her heart.
“I have a lot of older dykes in my life as mentors and friends,” she
explains. “So much of my identity has to do with the way that I’m prompted and
checked by the people around me. It’s appealing to me to live in this lesbian
utopia. People just want to make connections — and myself, as a dyke, I’m desperate
to make connections with older dykes. That’s something I really thrive on.”
What does Facebook have against Canadian gay retailers?
Saturday October 11, 2008 Outexpressions; The Canadian gay and lesbian
reports that Facebook has removed two pages set up by the gay retailer Priape
which sells a variety of clothing, sex toys and porn online and in its stores
in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. Priape says site left heterosexual
pages alone -- Priape originally set up a Priape group on Facebook about eight
months ago to promote the retailer’s clothing and fashion lines. [Michael Ain,
Priape's director of marketing and sales] says the group had about 1,600 members
when Facebook cancelled the page.
“Around late July they terminated the site without explanation,” he says. “Once
they shut down the Priape group we started a fan page. Within a week and a half
“About a month into it, it was flushed without explanation.” Priape’s marketing
director, Michael Ain, says they were careful in following Facebook’s guideline
and to not include any porn or adult images on their page. An email written
by a certain Autumn from Facebook’s customer operations only had this to say:
“The content on the Page you created is prohibited… We do not currently
allow content referencing, facilitating or promoting adult toys, videos or other
adult products. Unfortunately we cannot reinstate this Page and ask that you
do not recreate this page in the future.”
All these leads Ain to think that Facebook treats pages targeted at heterosexual
“I’ve found sites for women in bondage, women in latex… Bondage, whips and
chains training is on here. It’s all women. I have to wonder if it’s an antigay
approach to the same stuff. I have to be curious as to what we’re doing in the
gay community as opposed to what other groups are doing.” Ain said
To be fair, Facebook has a zillions of pages and groups targeted at gay and
queer audiences so nobody can really accuse them of being homophobic. What we
think has happened here is that one of Facebook’s internal censors has made
a poor decision in removing the pages. One possibility is that offending images
or messages were put up by members of the Priape Facebook group (and not Priape
itself), and these came to the attention of the Facebook censor before they
did Priape and the group was then duly removed by the censor. Still, couldn’t
the censor have removed offending images instead? Deleting a group of 4,000
members does sound a bit harsh.
This would not be Facebook’s first gay gaffe. In mid 2007, it was reported
had blocked the word “Gay” in registering user names. We presume they did
this because there was one too many “Gay Horny Boy”, “Gay Asian Men” and the
like appearing on the site but what they didn’t realise was that hundreds of
thousands of people around the world are surnamed “Gay”. Ever heard of PGA Tour
champions Brian Gay?
Anyhow, it looks like the Priape has returned with yet another FaceBook
Group, which now has only 55 members (Source: gay.com)