Presenting the 5th Annual Men’scapes Conference: What’s in Your Tool Belt?
Men’scapes is a one day gathering for gay, bi, trans, two-spirit, and queer men (GBMSM) across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to come together and share. This is a free event with light meals included. If there is anything that you need to participate in this conference please let us know and we will do our best! Limited travel bursaries available. To register visit EVENTBRITE or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find our more about our workshops and presenters below.
Life on an Island: Let’s Map Out Our Health, Social Service and Community Needs
We all come from different parts of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Life is different. It can be hard to get the services and supports we need as guys into guys. It can and should be better! We have different healthcare experiences, access to community and social services, and ways that we connect together as guys. This participatory session will get folks to actively contribute to mapping out our lives, experiences, and needs. Using Various community mapping activities, this low barrier activity will provide attendees with an opportunity to indicate where we are from, where we go for health, community and social services, our major barriers to healthcare and HIV/STI testing, our experiences of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and our priorities for community action. These activities are part of a larger community-based research collaborative aimed to improve the health and wellness of guys into guys across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. This collaborative includes leaderships from the University of Victoria, AIDS Vancouver Island, Vancouver Island Persons with AIDS Society, and general community members. Collectively, these activities will kickstart a summer session of running these activities at Pride Festivals across Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island.
Presented by Dr. Nathan Lachowsky and Caitlin Hickman:
Dr. Nathan Lachowsky works as an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. Championing interdisciplinary and community-based approaches, he has conducted HIV and sexual health research with gay, bisexual and queer cis and trans men, including indigenous men across Canada and New Zealand.
Cait is completing the Master of Public Health program in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of British Columbia, and is writing a thesis on the health of sexual orientation minority populations and minority stress. Cait also has a background in kinesiology, specializing in traumatic injury and chronic pain.
Men Who Host Private Sex Parties and their Creative Application of Organic Harm Reduction Practices.
The Positive Deviance project is an offshoot of the Momentum/Engage Gay Men’s Health Study in Vancouver BC from the past 5 years. I’d like to share the stories our team gathered from gay men who host private sex parties in the Vancouver area, and their creative use of what we call organic harm reduction practices for disease prevention and personal safety in this sexual-social setting. The term ‘Positive Deviance’ is from another project that examined children from low income areas that remained healthy despite the significant lack of access to nutritional food. We have loosely adapted the term to explore how the informal harm reduction practices of men who frequent private sex parties enable them to remain healthy and safe while attending private sex parties. We define private sex parties as those hosted by individuals in homes or hotel rooms and non-commercial venues in the Vancouver area (i.e. not bathhouses). I’d like to share with the Men’scapes group, stories of the creativity in party theme, participant selection, and harm reduction ‘rules’ and their adherence at private sex parties.
Presented by Terry Howard, GlassHouse Consultants:
Terry Howard MScPPH is the Principal at GlassHouse Consultants, and former Director of HIV Community Based Research for Positive Living BC in Vancouver, Canada. His research position is housed in the community, where Terry has worked with people living with HIV/AIDS for the past 25+ years providing support, advocacy and community based research capacity building. Current research projects include developing support standards for HIV Peer Workers; an Indigenous Wellness approach to research; health outcomes for long-term survivors taking HIV medications; and intimate partner violence among gay men. Terry facilitates the meaningful engagement of people living with HIV/AIDS in all aspects of the research process, and brokers relationships/resources between academic and community partners to develop research projects.
Rediscovering Your Inner Child: Who were you before everything changed?
This workshop is about unpacking the trauma, and rediscovering who we were at our very core before our traumas set in. We all want to be able to look at our pasts and remember the good times without being reminded of all the negatives. Join Marshal as he examines his own life, traumas and events that wore him down over time, and his journey in rediscovering himself and realizing that he deserves to be seen and heard!
Presented by Marshal Kilduff
Marshall is a queer, fat, trans man who was born and raised in Vancouver Island as a white settler on the unceded land of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples. Marshall facilitates a bi-monthly gender variant drop in group in Victoria, offered through AVI and Transcare BC. When he isn't working or recuperating through cat-snuggle therapy, he enjoys nerding out over queer and trans health, advocacy, and anti-oppression.
PrEP: Experiential Knowledge
The following is our presentation abstract on experiential knowledge of PrEP, presented by Andrew Barrett and Sam Bhattacharjee for the fifth annual Men’scapes Conference in Nanaimo’s Parksville Community & Conference Centre. The presentation covers seven topics concerning access to and personal experience with PrEP (including personal journeys). Whereas Andrew’s experience starts before PrEP is freely available, Sam’s experience begins just after. Andrew is an early adopter of PrEP, starting October 2017, while Sam is a newcomer to PrEP since February 2018. Andrew is 58 years old and Sam is 24, making this presentation cross-generational. The presentation will cover seven topics:
- PrEP History: covers how it was accessed before it was free.
- PrEP Challenges: what can we do about and with PrEP in the community, given that it’s freely available now to those at risk? This will imbibe common and unique perspectives.
- PrEP Experience: addressing accessibility, confidentiality, stigma, harm-reduction, and community.
- PrEP Now: is a step-by-step guide to access.
- PrEP Journey: encapsulates personal reasons why PrEP seemed right for us.
- PrEP Doesn’t: protect against other sexually transmitted infections and diseases. This topic will cover caveats concerning PrEP usage as part of safer sex toolkit.
- In Retrospect: what we wish we knew before (we had access to and started taking PrEP). We will address our need to stay current on all sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
Our joint approach takes into account our vastly different yet similar experiences, and speaks to cross-generational approach to the HIV crisis and prevention. We invite all suggestions and input regarding our presentation, including the need to address other relevant topics. In deference to other presenters, we will exclusively focus on experiential knowledge with and advocacy for PrEP and are open to any questions time permitting. We acknowledge and thank you for your time in considering our submission. It would be an honour to have the privilege to present on this subject and advocate for those at risk.
Presented by Andrew Barrett and Sam Bhattacharjee
Andrew hails from Nova Scotia, moving to BC after touring the country and beyond with military bands for more than 30 years. Looking for an opportunity to invest in the community, he started volunteering at AVI Victoria starting in 2017. He has participated in many training and volunteer events focusing on “Harm Reduction” for folks using injection drugs and “Safer Sex” Ed. “I’ve been given some great opportunities through AVI: The first Mens’ Wellness program ran for about 6 weeks covering everything from PrEP Ed to assertiveness with your boundaries between the sheets. Then there was the 2017 Gay Men’s Health Summit weekend in Vancouver, a PrEP Ed training weekend, AVI reception volunteering, and manning numerous Safer Sex/Harm Reduction displays at clubs. I’ve even been thoroughly trained in administering Naloxone, and have used it to help revive someone.” In 2017, Andrew became an “early adopter” of PrEP in that he purchased it off-shore before it was fully funded in BC. His co-presentation with Sam will cover experiential knowledge with the drug, barriers, stigma, and many other aspects of its part in a “Safer Sex Toolkit”
Sam is a refugee settler in the ancestral territories of the Coast Salish Peoples; studying English and Professional Communications at UVIC. He does PrEP outreach and peer-education with the Community Based Research Centre for Gay Men's Health. Sam employs his freedom in giving back to the Victoria and Vancouver queer communities. This aside he loves art, garden, bike, and drinking porters.
The Role of Ceremony in Health
This session aims to showcase the role of First Nations and Indigenous ceremony in strengthening our health and as part of the healing process.
As a background, CBRC partnered with the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council (MVAEC) for last year’s Health Summit, to host a traditional Rites of Passage Ceremony to open the Summit—The ceremony was a way to create a safer space and bring healing to Indigenous participants, and to the Summit community as a whole. Elder Florence James and Bill White explained that the Rites of Passage Ceremony is a way to remove negative energy, clear the aura, and prepare participants for the future.
This proposed session will be guided by members of MVAEC and CBRC who will use video footage of the Rites of Passage Ceremony from the opening of CBRC’s 2017 Summit to invite participants to consider how traditional ceremony can impact our healing. Feedback from the Summit’s session will also be presented, and members of MVAEC will speak on their experiences of hosting the ceremony, and discuss more on this traditional practice.
Presented by Jody Jollimore, William (Bill) White and Rocky James:
Jody is CBRC's Executive Director, joining CBRC in 2017 as Policy Director where he was responsible for revitalizing prevention for BC’s gay and bisexual men, following the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer’s Report, HIV, Stigma & Society. Jody established the BC Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health Network and energetically worked to promote dedicated prevention policies and practices across all five of BC’s Regional Health Authorities. Jody is well-known across the province for his infective enthusiasm and intrepid leadership for gay men’s health.
Jody has already had significant CBRC experience with assisting the planning of the Gay Men’s Health Summit, leveraging data from Sex Now Survey for policy advocacy and strategically advising the Resist Stigma social media campaign. Many will know Jody from his work at Health Initiative for Men (HIM) where he helped to establish some of their signature programs. Jody implemented and led CBRC’s Totally Outright youth leadership program while at HIM, initiating what has since become a nation-wide phenomenon in cities across Canada.
Bill has worked with traditionally trained elders since the 70’s where he set up a cultural research project called Q’Puthet Unwinus. The project was meant to counteract major social breakdown by incorporating classic precontact Coast Salish values called Sinyews. That process has been the focus of his entire professional career: applied during his time with the Cowichan HIV/AIDS research project and monthly meeting for those affected and recently workshops for AIDS Vancouver Island, the Gay Mens’ Health Summit, Malahat Life Skills Youth Project, Tsowtunlelum Indian Residential School Project, UBC /First Nations Health Authority, Vancouver Island – Dialogue and recently with Dr. Philip Cook a youth workshop (Dec. 2017) for the International Institute for Child Rights and Development. Discussions are under way to strengthen Sinyews for another youth workshop in the fall of 2018. Resource Elders/Sulsalewh Willie Pierre and Rose George. He has a Bachelors degree (1991) History and Anthropology from Uvic.
For ten years from 1993 – 2006 he was the Aboriginal Liaison Officer at Uvic. During this period the First Peoples’ House was designed as well as an innovative student support program called Lenonet. He travelled twice, with Dr. Philip Cook to assist the South African Government work with traditional leaders and values and to meet with healers. Three academic articles were published based on these travels and work with traditional leaders with another one pending.
In the summer of 2017 Bill White advice has been providing assistance St. Micheals' University School, Victoria, B.C. to incorporate First Nations culture and history. Finally, in all of his work with Sulsalewh/elders he has learned that illness follows if sadness, sorrow and hurt are kept far too long. He has been travelling with the traditional healer Mr. Willie Pierre/Katzie for about a year (observing).
Rocky is Coast Salish from the Penelakut Tribes. There are four reserve sites for the Penelakut Tribes. Their traditional language is Hul’qumi’num on Vancouver Island and Hul’qamalem on the mainland. His traditional Coast Salish name is Thiyustun. He inherited this name from his mother Thi’yaus, and possesses the right to transfer the name in male or female forms in the future. His other two names are Qwtiis and Siimultun.
Rocky received his Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies from Vancouver Island University and has a Master of Arts in Human and Social Development, with a focus on Studies in Policy and Practice, from the University of Victoria. He is currently on leave from his Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of British Columbia, where he is focusing on his studies on the well-being of Indigenous gay, bisexual, and trans men.
For the past two and a half years he's been working as the Community Engagement & Policy Analyst for the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council (MVAEC). MVAEC has been operating since 2009 and currently has 25 member agencies representing a majority of the agencies serving the greater Vancouver area with an estimated urban Indigenous population of 70,000. MVAEC utilizes six roundtables to address a multitude of needs and issues facing the urban Indigenous population, and has partnerships with a wide number of organizations.
Still Here Project
Still Here is an ongoing art and research project aimed at breaking the silence and stimulating conversation about the issue of suicide. We work with LGBTQ2S+ people affected by suicide to take photographs that encourage them to share their experiences and stories. Their work is showcased in exhibits, presentations, community forums and online exhibitions, which provide spaces and inspiration for people to share their own stories and to discuss prevention.
Still Here is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Movember Foundation, the Provincial Health Services Agency, Vancouver Coastal health, and individual donors. Still Here is a project of the Men’s Health Research program at the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia.
Presented by Dr. Olivier Ferlatte:
Dr. Olivier Ferlatte is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the British Columbia Centre on Substance use. His research focuses on the relationship between social inequities, marginalization, and mental health among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit individuals (LGBTQ2S). Dr Ferlatte is the director of Still here, a research and photography project aimed at breaking the silence and stimulating conversations about suicide and suicide prevention among LGBTQ2S individuals.