The immigration and refugee rights of gay men and people living with HIV

Published 13, Jun, 2013
Author // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus

Immigration and refugee rights in Canada are under siege and this is impacting people living with HIV. Toronto lawyer and human rights activist El Farouk Khaki, in a video interview, explains why this is so and what we can do about it.

The immigration and refugee rights of gay men and people living with HIV

The implications of intersectionality on gay men was the topic of one of the plenary sessions at the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance  (GMSH) summit held in Toronto in May 2013. Intersectionality considers the simultaneous intersections between social difference and identity as well as the different forms of systemic oppression that reflect relationships of power. 

One of the panel members at this plenary session was El Farouk Khaki, a Toronto refugee and immigration lawyer and human rights activist with a clientele of predominantly gay men and people living with HIV. In my video interview with him (which you can see below) after his presentation, he talked about how immigration and refugee rights in Canada are under siege and how this is impacting people living with HIV. He also discusses how we need to work together through the intersection of different communities, groups and organizations so that our society can meet the needs of individual newcomers to Canada who are living with HIV. 

About the Author

John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus

John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus

John McCullagh is the publisher of PositiveLite.com. He's an HIV-positive gay man who’s been active in Toronto's LGBTQ community since immigrating to Canada from his native Britain in 1975. A social worker by profession, he's worked in government and the not-for-profit sector in both front-line and management positions. His experience includes research, policy analysis, strategic planning, program development, project management, and communications.  

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, John was a counsellor at the Toronto Counselling Centre for Lesbians and Gays (now known as David Kelley Services), an organization he co-founded and which was one of the first agencies in Toronto to offer professional counselling to those infected with and affected by HIV. 

Now retired, John volunteers with the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) and is a board member of CATIE, Canada’s national HIV and Hepatitis C knowledge broker.  

John regularly contributes articles to PositiveLite.com about his personal experiences of living with HIV and about issues relevant to Canada's HIV and LGBTQ communities.