Opinion Pieces

One Day This Kid Will Get Larger - Updated March 21, 2011

published: March, 21, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces, Sex and Sexuality

Michael Burtch offers two visions of growing up in a hostile society

  No words from Michael today.  His message is in the two stark images which follow . . . .  Images by David Wojnarowicz and Conrad respectively, the work of ‘Velvet Rage’ author Alan Downs distilled.  

The long and winding road -Updated March 20, 2011

published: March, 20, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces

Fighting HIV over the long haul can feel like very hard work. Do you ever feel like giving up? Danny Miller says no way.

“Another bruise to try and hide, another alibi to write, another lonely highway in the black of night, there's hope in the darkness, you know your gonna make it. Another ditch in the road, keep moving, another stop sign, you keep moving on, cause the years go by so fast, wonder how I ever made it.” - Two Beds and a Coffee Machine by Savage Garden On March 9th, a very close friend of mine posted on Facebook “24 years POZ today... not sure if I should be happy - or sad”. Of course everyo

Why are we here AGAIN – Part 2 - Updated March 19, 2011

published: March, 19, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces

Rob Newman follows up on that case of non-disclosure he highlighted here two weeks ago and asks “what makes for a happy ending?”

I was talking with a colleague with regard to my last story that I wrote for PositiveLite.com (it’s here).  I wanted to know if good news at the end of that story would mean it was a happy ending. My query was simply: can a happy ending come after a person endures discrimination, stigmatization and humiliation. When a person is put through the ringer to that extent and then just let go, where is the justice, how does one feel and how does one heal? When my friend made that first step an

The Politics Of Dancing: Part 1 - Updated March 17, 2011

published: March, 17, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces

Michael Burtch asks “what does classicism, homophobia, sexism, racism and a bucket load of other social evils look like under the disco lights?”

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want your revolution”, attributed to Emma Goldman, is one of my favourite misquotes because, while dance might be the ultimate expression of freedom, and song the highest form of communication, she is warning us all, both can be politicized, and robbed of their joy. The medium of music and dance can be used to bolster social conservatism and capitalist values, instead of the anarchy, the “beautiful ideal”, and the “radiant thing”, that Goldman took po

GOD IS SO GOOD – A YouTube Disaster Movie - March 16, 2011

published: March, 16, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces

Danny Miller speaks out against that crank YouTube video thanking God for all but destroying Japan

Just when I thought I had seen it all - BAM! WACK! SMACK! Hello YouTube video entitled “God Is So Good!!!” posted by tamtampamela (see below). Now dear sweet Pamela from Tampa has got herself some good ole religion. Yep, this woman is a Bible-beating, hellfire and brimstone-breathing psychopath. And that is putting it nicely. Now don't get me wrong: I have no problem with people and their religious beliefs; to each their own. It's not my bag, but hey, it's a free country, right? I fu

Getting Engaged Part Two: four ways to say YES to GIPA (Greater Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS)

published: March, 16, 2011 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

In the second of a two part series on GIPA, Bob Leahy offers four suggestions to better engage people living with HIV/AIDS

Getting Engaged Part Two: four ways to say YES to GIPA (Greater Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS)

Last week I wrote about the Denver Principles, GIPA and the degree to which HIVers in Ontario are engaged with the HIV/AIDS community. To recap, statistically the majority of them are not. Of the 17,000 or so Ontarians who are HIV-positive and know it, only 5,000 or so are using the service of an AIDS Service Organization (ASO) which right now is the only measure that’s available to record HIVer engagement. Of course counting the number of HIVers entering the doors of an ASO says little abou

Getting Engaged? Part I

published: March, 11, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy isn’t contemplating marriage but rather talking about engaging the HIV community. Like marriage it can be a life-long struggle.

Getting Engaged? Part I

I feel a bit rejected. Once again I’m denied a scholarship to a major HIV conference. This time it’s the upcoming CAHR (Canadian Association for HIV Research) conference in Toronto. The organisers describe it as “the main venue for HIV researchers in this country to present the results of their work and engage in vibrant knowledge exchange activities with their peers as well as with investigators in other disciplines and with the HIV/AIDS community”. (My underline). I guess it’s

Once, When We Were Heroes

published: March, 11, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

There were people who displayed remarkable courage then. People who lived and died by their promises and shared the intimacy of death, and then the world moved forward . . . .

Once, When We Were Heroes

 . . . and grief subsided and lives moved on. But make no mistake, there are heroes among us right now. My brother Richard smiles a lot. He has an easy laugh. But there was a time, years ago, when he held a poisonous drink in his hands and begged his dying lover not to swallow it. A time when Richard held the concoction they had prepared together and wept. Emil couldn’t wait. He took the drink from Richard quickly, because the release it offered was something more rapturous than the app

Why are we here again?

published: March, 06, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces

London Ontario’s Rob Newman, a PHA Peer Advocate, shares a story of non-disclosure – or more correctly late disclosure – and what it can lead to.

                          How very fortunate I am to be able to work with great passion and determination in the very line of work that so profoundly impacts my own life and that of my family. An activist’s dream job; if ever there was a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Our very freedom is high up on that list. I work, live and play with an eclectic group of people each and every day; family, friends, staff, volunteers, clients all weave their way into the logistics of m

After dark: touring a sex club for positive gay men

published: March, 04, 2011 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Gay Men, Opinion Pieces, Sex and Sexuality , Mark S. King

The always provocative Mark S King turns up the heat and turns the spotlight on sex clubs, serosorting and sensuality.

After dark: touring a sex club for positive gay men

The idea that HIV positive people still want sex is as old as The Denver Principles, the 1983 manifesto drawn up by gay men with AIDS that demanded “as full and satisfying a sexual and emotional life as anyone else.” The document also stated that people with HIV/AIDS have an ethical responsibility to share their status with others. Fast forward to today, and HIV positive gay men are as open as ever about their status and their sexual preferences (setting aside, if we can for the moment, th

Half Way There

published: March, 02, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces

Don Short stays hopeful that spring is on the way and that colours will bloom again in kaleidoscope clarity

Mid winter is a season of inconsistencies. Sudden storms threaten our schedules, yet, no sooner do they blast through than they may be followed by bright, warm days. Temperatures drop and rise in patterns of its own choosing. We want spring to come but it doesn’t come soon enough. Exercising patience brings, ironically more patience, as we use the time to wait it out and do what we can. Some of us hide away reading, napping, or doing home projects while others dress in layers and get outside

Hail to the chief: Two visions of a U.S. Presidency

published: February, 28, 2011 Categories // Opinion Pieces

Ottawa hottie Michael Burtch gets political: no words – just two pictures to make you think


Charges initiated against Pope for crimes against humanity

published: February, 27, 2011 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy says given the church's record of sustained sexual abuse of minors and ban on condoms (except for male prostitutes?) it was just a matter of time.

Charges initiated against Pope for crimes against humanity

Was I asleep at the wheel? I’ve looked and I’ve looked but while this story has been percolating through the blogosphere, it doesn't seem to have ben picked up by any of the major news feeds. Now why IS that? Surely it’s news. Not that it hasn’t been hinted at from time to time. I even suggested it in one of my own posts last year. At the time I was providing alternative solutions to what I thought was the limp “It Gets Better “ campaign. This is what I said. "Recogn

Media Whore

published: February, 25, 2011 Categories // Media, Opinion Pieces

PositiveLite blogger Michael Burtch attracts fame, controversy and men, although not necessarily in that order

                         I’ve already written about the 116, 000 people who read my piece about Criminalization in the newspapers Xtra Vancouver and Toronto back in November. (Editors note: prior to being picked up by Xtra that piece previously appeared on PositiveLite here with a follow-up post here.) What I haven’t shared yet is all the negative reactions I received from service providers! One Executive Director from another AIDS Service Organization who shall remai

Is Twitter creating knowledge haves and have-nots ?

published: February, 24, 2011 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy looks at how Twitter has revolutionized information sharing and knowledge exchange, particularly in the HIV/AIDS arena. But is everybody in on it? And if not, why not?

Is Twitter creating knowledge haves and have-nots ?

I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that when it comes to keeping abreast of the latest news, pop culture, catastrophe or - yes – developments in the world of HIV, you can’t live without Twitter unless you are OK with yesterday’s news. Or more likely, last week’s news, or last month's. Have you noticed how lonnnngggg news takes to percolate to those who aren’t on-line a lot?   So when it comes to Twitter, I'm thinking it’s more than "be there or be square”. It’s

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