Feature Article

Feature Articles

Suicide prevention with gay and bisexual men: It takes a village. Fortunately, we have one.

By Travis Salway December 2018

Gay and bisexual men are four times more likely to attempt suicide as compared with heterosexual men.  Suicide is preventable, but in order to reach those at risk of suicide, we have to know where to find them.

In the general (mostly heterosexual) population, primary care providers—including family doctors—are key sites for identifying individuals who are at risk of suicide.  Gay and bisexual men, however, have distinct healthcare usage patterns  and many will avoid talking to providers about stigmatized or sensitive topics—including suicide—because of fear of negative reactions to their sexuality.

In this context, we used data from the 2014-15...

La prévention du suicide chez les hommes gais et bisexuels : Il faut tout un village. Heureusement, nous en avons un.

By Travis Salway December 2018

Les hommes gais et bisexuels sont quatre fois plus susceptibles de tenter de se suicider comparativement aux hommes hétérosexuels.1 Le suicide est évitable, mais si nous voulons rejoindre les hommes à risque, nous devons être en mesure de les trouver.

Dans la population générale (principalement hétérosexuelle), les fournisseurs de soins primaires – dont les médecins de famille – sont des intervenants clés susceptibles de pouvoir identifier les individus à risque de se suicider.2 Cependant, les hommes gais et bisexuels ont des tendances distinctes en matière d’accès aux soins de santé3 et ils sont nombreux à ne pas aborder des enjeux sensibles ou des...

G.R.O.W. + L.I.F.T.

By Travis Salway October 2018

The G.R.O.W. + L.I.F.T. checklist is a communication tool for academic researchers to reflexively account for how their research is effectively serving the communities and community-based organizations they (want to) work with. It is meant to be used in conversations between and among:

  • Researchers and community-based organizations
  • Research trainees and supervisors
  • Research teams, e.g., gathered for the purposes of grant-writing or research planning

The checklist is intended to guide (but not resolve) difficult and possibly time-consuming conversations about things like goals, values, expectations, financial resources, language, power, and anti-oppression.

Please click below to download the checklist itself, and the supplemental...

Crashing the Party: Challenging Ableism in Gay Men’s Health

By Jonathan Degenhardt October 2018

I am someone who has a disability that severely impacts my life. At first glance it’s not obvious. Walking down the street I can pass as a ‘normal’ person but once I open my mouth to speak I am uncovered because I suffer from a speech disorder, commonly known as stuttering.

Growing up I was teased mercilessly. Not only did I stutter but I was also gay, and chubby. But it was the stigma of stuttering that controlled every aspect of my life. I attempted suicide for the first time when I was 13 and when I woke up from...

A Little Out of Pl-Ace

By Lowell V Acorda October 2018

Talking about structural stigma can be a challenging thing, particularly as it affects different individuals in different ways. So, I would like to say that what I am about to share is representative of my observations and experiences only.

I am a visibly brown, queer, and first generation Filipino immigrant with a French name (Lowell means ‘little wolf’). I am a person of faith from the Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) community and I am somewhere on the asexual spectrum. Actually I am demisexual which means I am a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless I form a strong emotional...

Trouble-fête : Combattre le capacitisme dans la santé des hommes gais

By Jonathon Degenhardt October 2017

Je vis avec un handicap qui a un impact considérable sur ma vie. À première vue, il passe inaperçu. Je me fonds dans la foule lorsque je marche dans la rue, mais mon handicap devient immédiatement apparent dès que je commence à parler – je souffre d’un trouble de la parole, soit le bégaiement.

Je me suis fait harceler sans relâche tout au long de mon enfance. Non seulement je bégayais, mais j’étais également gai et gros. La stigmatisation liée au bégaiement affectait toutes les sphères de ma vie. J’ai fait une première tentative de suicide à 13 ans. Après...

Pas tout à fait à ma pl-ace

By Lowell V Acorda October 2017

Le fait de parler de stigmatisation structurelle peut être difficile, surtout car elle nous affecte tous différemment. Je tiens donc à préciser que ce que je vais partager ne représente que mes propres observations et expériences.

Je suis un immigrant philippin de première génération queer et visiblement brun avec un nom de famille français (Lowell veut dire « petit loup »). Je suis un croyant membre de l’Église de Jésus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours (la communauté mormone) et je me situe en quelque part sur le spectrum asexuel. À vrai dire, je suis demisexuel, ce qui veut dire que...

A Researcher's Own Story: Ambivalence

By Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco July 2017


Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco

I hated research. Well, I was ignorant of how omnipresent it is, how unavoidable, how insidious it can be and how it touches lives, negatively and positively. Ignorance breeds distrust. Research in all its wide aspects seemed manipulative and premeditated. It still does. Now, when I have amassed as much privilege as a wetback with a foreign accent can amass, I think one can use research to do good things. Not easy, but possible. Or this is the story I keep telling myself.

Community-based research (CBR) seems to me to be the lotus in the mud of...

Truth and Reconciliation: the CBRC and Indigenous Health

By Travis Salway & Todd Sakakibara March 2017

The stories and statistics shared through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) reveal a significant history of abuse, cultural genocide, and childhood mortality inflicted upon Indigenous people by white settlers. Between the 1870s and 1996, white Canadian settlers removed approximately 150,000 Indigenous children from their families and boarded them in ‘residential schools’ funded by the Canadian government and administered by Christian churches. TRC findings included stories of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Six thousand of the boarded children (1 in 25) died. The effects of the residential school system and other Canadian colonialist and racist policies endure today....

Latest Sex Now Research Findings

By Terry Trussler January 2017

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...

Dernières conclusions de la recherche effectuée dans le cadre de Sexe au présent

By Terry Trussler January 2017

Générations gaies : Pourquoi notre histoire compte

Le sondage Sexe au présent 2015 fut une occasion sans précédent pour les hommes gais et bisexuels de nous dire ce qui influençait leur santé au cours de toute une vie. Le huitième sondage périodique (dans sa 3e édition nationale) du CBRC est un compte-rendu des vies de plus de 8000 hommes canadiens de tous âges et de tous horizons.

La thématique des générations gaies se penche sur les influences historiques qui ont eu un impact sur les réalités actuelles des hommes gaies en matière de santé et de VIH. Le fait d’observer...

Sex work in Montreal: When stigma takes its toll

By Jonathan Bacon January 2017

When I was in high school, I made a deliberate effort to keep my wrists stiff so that nothing about my body language would “look gay.” In gym or between classes, limp wrists were something to be avoided at all costs if I didn’t want others to stare or laugh at me. Looking back, I find it absurd that I thought this was a solution, but most of all, that that it worked! It’s a bit silly, but keeping my wrists stiff as a teenager was one of the more benign physical forms that stigma took for me.

Those were...

Musings of a Former Homeless Youth

By Anonymous October 2016

“Isiah, how do I look?” I ask nervously.

“Come again?” he responds, visibly confused.

“You know,” I begin. “Can you tell—can you tell that I’m homeless?”

“Brad,” he says flatly, “you look like every other student on campus.”

Oh, thank God, I say to myself. Filled with relief at my apparent ability to blend in, and feeling somewhat silly for assuming that a mere glance on the part of indifferent students could possibly reveal my circumstances.

When I found myself at the doorstep of Covenant House a little over a year ago, escorted by Lisa, my gifted addictions counsellor, I...

Preventing Suicide Among Gay and Bisexual Men

By Travis Salway Hottes September 2016

Given that gay and bisexual men continue to face pervasive stigma, it is not surprising that we also have disproportionately high rates of suicide in our communities. Suicide continues to affect gay and bisexual men of all ages, in spite of important gains in legal protections for sexual minorities in some countries. Suicide thus remains a major cause of death for gay and bisexual men. In 2011, it is estimated that as many Canadian gay and bisexual men died from suicide as died from HIV (Hottes, Ferlatte and Gesink, 2015).

Suicide is preventable. People who are thinking about suicide are...

The Last Pink Unicorn

By Brook Biggin September 2016

You know it. That feeling you get. When you know you’re the big, pink, fuckin’ unicorn sat at the end of the table. A giant placard hanging from atop your shiny horn: [insert minority]. Maybe you don’t. If so, this drinks to you – literally, I just took a swig from last night’s bottle, just for you. But for many others that feeling is all too familiar. The minority within the minority. The different to the different. I too know that feeling. Although you might not recognize it at first glance, I am not like the others. No, this unicorn,...