Interview: Quantitative, Qualitative or Versatile

This is where we drag leaders in gay men's health into our Proust spotlight. Get to know your colleagues as they share their work, their passion and a little of their busy lives.

Interview with Gary Dowsett

Gary W. Dowsett, PHD, FASSA, Professor and Deputy Director, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

1. What is your place of birth?
In Brisbane, capital city of the State of Queensland, in Australia

2. How did you get involved in gay men's health?
I became involved in gay men’s sexual health issues right from the start as a new faglet in early gay liberation. It was just after I caught ‘crabs’.

3. Quantitative, qualitative or versatile?
Never mind the quality, feel the width.

4. What social determinant of health impacts gay men the most, do you think?
Socioeconomic inequality

5. What's something that everyone interested in gay men's health should read?
My book: Practicing Desire: Homosexual Sex in the Era of AIDS

6. Do you have a favourite gay bar moment?
Dancing to Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘Relax’, in Heaven in London, with a young, cute, National Union of Mineworkers activist during the miners’ strike in Thatcher’s Britain.

7. If you could poll 10,000 gay men, what two questions would you ask them?
Have you dated me? Will you date me?

8. What is the secret to a perfect relationship?
Getting a relationship in the first place.

9. How would you describe your current work?
An ageing, gay sociologist seeking answers to an unending list of questions about sex and sexuality.

10. What's the last piece of writing you did on gay health?
A piece on HIV, barebacking and gay men’s sexual ethics, co-authored with colleagues from New York

11. What gay man do you most admire?
Justice Michael Kirby, retired Australian High Court Judge and a remarkable, openly gay, HIV and human rights advocate.

12. Where would you like to see gay men's health in five years?
As a key agenda item in all health policies offered by politicians when going to election in my country and many others.


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