Written by Terry Trussler
Gay Generations: Why our history matters
Sex Now 2015 was an unprecedented opportunity to learn more from gay and bisexual men about what has shaped their health over a lifetime. The CBRC’s eighth periodic survey (third national) reflects the life experiences of 8000 Canadian men of all ages and backgrounds.
The theme, Gay Generations, explores the historic influences that have impacted gay men’s current predicament related to health and HIV. Five gay generations emerge based on events occurring when participants in the survey were coming-of-age: Generation Gay Legal (born 1944-55); Generation Gay Pride (1956-70); Generation Safe Sex (1971-80); Generation ART (1981-90); and Generation Gay Marriage (1991-2000).
The findings, Gay Generations: Life Course and Gay Men's Health, describe generational differences of sexuality and identity; stigma and resilience; life aspirations and achievements; sexual health knowledge and health care participation. One notable finding the survey revealed was how youth experiences of anti-gay stigma, discrimination and violence have actually increased in an era of ostensibly more liberal social values.