This is why we give…

Over the last year ASAAP has:

Directly supported 209 persons living with HIV/AIDS (PHA) and the number continues to grow. We provided 294 counselling sessions, educated over 1300 community members to raise awareness and address stigma, and provided space for the LGBTIQ community to gather through educational and social activities for better quality of life.

98% of proceeds go directly to programs and services. Please consider donating to support the work we do by clicking on the link below and or visit our website to find out how you can get involved!!

Donations above 20.00 will receive a tax receipt.
Charitable Number: 139274864RR001

Click the image below to donate:

Trans Day of Remembrance

Today is Trans Day of Remembrance, an opportunity to remember and reflect on the lives of Trans folks around the world in all of our communities. Transphobia intersects with racism, ageism, culture and many other factors and is an unfortunate reality for many in our communities. Please join us not only today, but everyday in working towards an inclusive and safe world where we can all be our true selves without fear and violence. ‪#‎TDoR‬

CALL OUT: Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart is conducting focus groups on sexual health with South Asian Youth (16-29 years of age)! Contact familyhealth@asaap.ca for more details!

Are you South Asian, between 16-29 years of age? Interested in sexual health? Please take a minute and fill out our survey here! 

 

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Rewriting the script: A love letter to our families (2001)

From the Youtube post:

“Rewriting the the Script: A Love Letter to Our Families is a video produced by Friday Nite Productions, a Toronto based collective of South Asians.

In the words of the collective, “This video is a gesture of love and appreciation for our families of origin. A gesture that attempts to create an opening within our communities in which our families may continue, the often silent, struggle against homophobia. This video is dedicated to shattering those silences that keep us apart and to inspiring strength and courage that bring us together.”

This documentary explores the loves, lives and sexualities of Queer South Asians and their families of origin. Parents, siblings and family members talk about the struggle to re-write and re-define their relationships.

Production Crew: Leela Acharya, Farzana Doctor, Anju Gogia, Deena Ladd, Arif Noorani, Amina Ally”

Download the discussion guide here!

TIPS: Anal Sex

Sex between men can be tricky, here are a few tips to make anal sex a little easier
c/o gayguys.com
Tips include
  1. Diet
  2. Kegal Excercises
  3. Douche With An Ear Syringe
  4. Find The Shape
  5. Lube
  6. Relaxing Techniques
  7. Direct the Penis
  8. Don’t Worry – You’re NOT Going To S**t On Him
  9. Rub Yourself
  10. You Control Your Body

Check out the full article here: 10 Secrets to Having Pain Free Anal Sex

 

7 ways to safer sex

I came across this post today that talks about 7 ways to have safer sex and what I really liked about it, is that not only did it talk about just condoms listed as a method, but also strategies and methods that kept in mind the health and well-being of an HIV positive person, as well as one who is negative.  Sometimes when we come across safer sex messaging, often it’s only framed for someone who is negative, which doesn’t involve the positive person, and then it just comes out looking like, “How to protect yourself from someone who is HIV+”.  It can have a vilifying feel to it for the person who is positive as it paints them as someone to “watch out for”.   Keep in mind that, if you’re negative and have anxiety around HIV, there are some positive people who have just as much anxiety around transmitting it, on top of worrying about such things as HIV stigma.   So lets take care of each other and learn about different methods which empower both positive and negative people, in making choices around safer sex practices.  Give it a read here!

HIV & Testing

Thirty years ago, the first commercial HIV blood test was approved (read more about it here).  Before that, HIV was an unknown. No one knew how it was spread or how to treat it.  Since then, there has been so much advancement in not only HIV treatment, but in testing as well.  Before it was a slower process which took 2 clinic visits over 2 weeks.  Sometimes you also had to wait 6 months to make sure you had an accurate test result.  Tests now can detect HIV in the blood just a few days after exposure.  This especially helpful, so you can find out early and get treated, and prevent transmitting it to someone else. There is also a test available called the rapid test, which can give you your result in just a few minutes.  If you want to know what happens when you go for an HIV test today, here is a video that was developed last year, which shows you what a rapid test is, and what can happen on a typical testing appointment    Check it out below!

Testing

Depression

I saw this video and thought it was a great way to illustrate what depression is.  I know for a lot of South Asians, talking about mental health issues such as depression, isn’t something that happens too often.  There is stigma around seeking help for mental health conditions because there is a fear around being perceived as “crazy”.  I wanted to bring this up, because for a lot of  South Asian guys who like guys, due to some of our circumstances, our mental health isn’t always addressed in the best way.  For example, if you are gay and feel you can’t tell anyone, or Bi and married, this type of isolation can be a big factor that could lead to things such as depression.  The depression then can affect all other aspects of our life, and then we aren’t helping ourselves or anyone.  I know for some, having mental health issues is like coming out of another closet, and its an added challenge for those who are dealing with their sexuality or gender identity.  If you feel you might be facing some of these kinds of challenges, give the video a watch, and/or give this article a read, which will give you a better understanding of what depression is and the importance of addressing mental health issues.  I also want to say that, there are millions of people who suffer from mental illness; some because of a chemical imbalance or hereditary factors, and/or others because of traumatic events.  Remember you are not alone in this, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Now Available in the US

Nine years after Canada legalized same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court of the US handed down a ruling on June 26, 2015 granting the right for same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states.  The LGBT media circuit has been overwhelmed with stories over the last decade focusing on individual states allowing gay marriage but it was never on a national scale. Queer critics of this decision see it as the possible end of popularized gay activism, as the gay marriage movement has received the most attention of any queer-related cause in recent history. For more details on the decision check out this NPR article.

Its important to note that the decision wasn’t unanimous, it was won in a 5-4 vote.  Here are some of the comments made by the folks against it.