Although gay men may face stigma on a regular basis, many have found ways to not only survive and cope but even sometimes thrive in social situations.
While last year's Gay Men's Health Summit took a look at the impact that stigma has on health, this year's conference will delve into the various factors that either help or hinder the ability to deal with stigma.
Presented by the Community-Based Research Centre for Gay Men's Health on Wednesday and Thursday (November 9 and 10) at SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings Street) in downtown Vancouver, the program features two full days of panel discussions, workshops, presentations, and networking events.
Like previous years, these sessions aren't preoccupied with simply identifying problems. Many of the sessions will look at successful techniques and strategies that have been developed, as well as ways that supportive social networks have been created to become effective resources.
Things will kick off with a Truth and Reconciliation session in which members of the CBRC will speak about making commitments to health-based recommendations for two-spirit people.
Indigenous issues and culture will also be part of several other sessions, such as an interactive workshop about traditional healing practices and a workshop on how organizations can adopt Truth and Reconciliation recommendations.
A panel discussion will examine how technology, such as the internet and social media, are helping to improve the health and resilience of gay and bisexual men.
Meanwhile, a roundtable discussion will discuss the implications of sex work law reform with a specific focus on what it means for Vancouver's male sex workers.
A workshop will highlight both the positive experiences as well as the challenges that trans men face within gay communities.
There will also be sessions on suicide prevention, racism and racial issues, syphilis, mental health stigma, and more.