Feature Article

Feature Articles

In the Palm of Your Hand: Sexual Health Literacy 2.0

By Maggie MacAulay January 2015

Participants attending the 10th Gay Men’s Health Summit spent two days discussing health literacy in areas such as sexual health, mental health, and cancer. Assessing and enhancing the health literacy of gay men, providers, and organizations was a common theme. Of chief concern was the impact of new technologies on gay men’s sexual health: How should we change the way we talk about HIV in light of the shifting landscape of prevention and care? What role does emerging digital technologies play? These were two questions I had in mind as I listened and observed.

Increased emphasis on biomedical technologies...

From Competence to Community: What’s Health Literacy Got to Do with It?

By Maggie MacAulay October 2014
Maggie MacAulay

This year’s CBRC Summit theme was about health literacy: “the ability to access, comprehend, evaluate and communicate information—as a way to promote, maintain and improve health— in a variety of settings, across the life-course”. According to PHAC, an estimated 55% of working age adults and 88% of adults over 65 have less than adequate health literacy.

Poor health literacy often translates to poor health outcomes and is usually correlated with a range of other social determinants such as stigma, poverty, and racism. So, does it make more sense to target literacy or the social factors?

Existing research about health literacy...

Suicide is a major cause of death for gay and bisexual men

By Travis Salway Hottes September 2014

The recent social media outpouring in response to Robin Williams’ suicide reminded me of a similar spate of media attention to suicide several years ago. In the fall of 2010, four gay teenagers from across the US killed themselves—all within a few weeks—after facing relentless harassment and bullying at their respective schools. (1) I remember feeling a visceral connection to their distress. One of them lived in a small town in Indiana, just across the state border from my hometown. His death affected me more profoundly than Williams’. I could imagine all too well what he experienced at school and...

Migration – A New Hope: Microaggressions, Minority Stress, and Life Course

By Keith Reynolds May 2014

A long time ago in a place far, far away...

I never saw myself staying in my hometown, Ladner, when I grew up. Like my childhood hero, Luke Skywalker, I was raised on a farm, needed a haircut, and desperately wanted out. While Luke went on to save the galaxy with the help of some sassy droids and his besties, I just needed to get...

A Gay Life Course--Fatherhood

By Keith Reynolds February 2014

I'm going to be a father.

Do I have your attention? I guess I should clarify, one day I'd like to be a father, maybe. Before my friends, family, and followers start squealing with delight there are a few things I'd like to clear up. Firstly, I don't need baby names because I will be choosing some from the approved list in the gay agenda. I was thinking Letitia, Dolphin or perhaps Charlie (pronounced Claire). Secondly, I don't think it will be happening anytime soon. So hold off on buying those baby booties, but maybe start putting some money away...

A Life Course and Gay Marriage

By Keith Reynolds November 2013

"So, is it different being married?"

When people ask, I usually say, "Yes, now I have decent appliances!" Or, “Sure! This extra debt is very rewarding.” Or better yet, “Absolutely, now we can claim our cat as a dependant.” It's easier to say something snide since I still don't really have a thoughtful or heartfelt answer to this — at least none that I'll admit to.

My husband and I are constantly peppered with that question from the Marrieds and Unmarrieds alike. I get it, my husband and I are freaking adorable, we deserve to be studied. Married people will...

My Journey through the Young Gay Men's Health Literature

By David Le September 2013

I'd like to take you on a journey through the recent research literature on young gay men’s health. There will be twists and turns, and knowledge waiting around every corner. 

"What do we know about safe school programs for LGBT youth?  What does hearing 'that's so gay' do to students?" Just some of the questions that come up on such an adventure.  With more nuanced understandings of what it means to be a young gay man in the 21st century, the most recent literature touches upon the relevance of technology and culture while still bringing in new information on the...

Gay Optimized Prevention

By Terry Trussler EdD May 2013

Canada’s annual spring conference of HIV research professionals, CAHR, was in Vancouver April 12-14. CBRC was there to present findings and to hear from others. CBRC also ran a day long complementary event entitled Beyond Behaviours that featured some of Canada’s leading gay men’s health researchers addressing a robust gathering of gay men’s health providers. Key interest: what is happening with HIV in gay men?

The HIV epidemic is either stable or increasing among gay men in all western countries, including Canada, despite the uptake of Treatment as Prevention (TasP). Changes in sexual culture brought on with the Internet, increased HIV prevalence due to the success of treatment, immigration from homo-oppressive countries, marginalized ethnicities, sexual prejudice and structural barriers all appear to be contributing to a witches brew of factors prolonging the HIV epidemic in gay men, here and virtually everywhere.

Opening the Digital Closet

By Michael Harris February 2013

Ask a teenager how they feel about the constant barrage of distractions that conspire to derail their homework—the Facebook messages, the text messages, the long rabbit hole of flashing video and insipid commentary that is YouTube—and they will answer very simply: “What are you talking about?” The Internet is not a “distraction,” it is simply, “the way things are.” It is the ocean in which one swims. And fish do not complain about being wet.

The mediation of a person’s life by an overwhelming technology like the Internet is only unsettling for someone who knows the world without...

Discrimination at Work

By Michael Harris November 2012

My writing career had two beginnings. First, I started work at the queer paper, where I had fun pumping out stories about queer life on U.B.C.’s campus. It was racy stuff by mainstream standards—complete with graphic depictions of gay sex—but nothing shocking for the readers of Xtra. The second beginning, though, came a year later when I began writing weekly reviews for a major daily paper. These two career tracks ran in tandem for a couple years without one world much bothering the other. Occasionally my editor at the big daily would read something I’d written in Xtra and give...

Reconsidering Social Determinants

By Community-Based Research Centre September 2012
David Brennan to attend Summit 8

This fall, the 8th annual BC Gay Men’s Health Summit will be held under the banner, “Reconsidering Social Determinants.” The stance is an edgy one—it calls up political hot potatoes and also directs our attention to research that has been increasingly sequestered to the margins in recent discourse about gay men’s health. Why organize an entire health summit around social determinants when medical management is the topic of the going conversation? Why focus on variables that are so difficult to pin down, on underlying factors that are so hard to examine, especially while PrEP has dominated discussions elsewhere?

Precisely because...