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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY (IWD) 2011


Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Hundreds of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
Organisations, governments and women's groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues.

THEME: So while many people may think there is one global theme each year, this is not always correct. It is completely up to each country and group as to what appropriate theme they select.
Below are some of the global United Nation themes used for International Women's Day to date:

Whats your International Women's Day 2011 Theme?

WHEN THE LONELY ‘I’ ECSTATICALY DISSOLVES INTO THE ‘WE’

While it is difficult to know how often this occurs, gay men do lie about their HIV status. Of course one’s HIV status is a difficult thing to share with others, but I feel like ‘coming out’ as gay, coming to terms and accepting one’s status as HIV positive is a process. However the stigma, anxiety, and shame that swirl around the issue of HIV do NOT prevent us from bare backing. Many of us adopt the ‘no harm, no foul’ motto, but aren’t we hurting ourselves by reinforcing and perpetuating loneliness, destructive shame and stigma?


We all as gay men know how risky barebacking is, and we all know it goes on all the time. You might think that by now, with more than three decades into this horrible epidemic, barebacking for barebacking sake would be a thing of the past. But it isn't and it is FAR from disappearing. Despite the courageous efforts @ HIV prevention, barebacking is on the rise. Now as I write this I feel that I MUST point out that I know that gay men aren't the only ones who bareback. Straight people bareback all the time and I know they just call it sex, but does that mean we should be irresponsible like them? It is bad enough that they think we are HIV prone; do we have to prove them right?

The other night I thought about the men I barebacked with in my past and I came to realize that I did that because I wanted something real and long term with those men. I wanted a ‘merger’. And in search of a merger, a condom is a physical, psychological and emotional barrier. While it is good to limit the chance of getting HIV, a condom stands in the way of that sense of union we all crave. However while a condom conveys a message of rejection and mistrust, how can we continuously tell our partners that we are willing to share ourselves completely with each other @ all cost? Maybe rather than seeing the desire itself as a problem, gay men should understand it is normal (it took me a while to see that). And then maybe, just maybe we can explore ways to fulfill this desire that don't involve risky sex. Just ‘getting off’ without a condom can’t hold us! How much longer are we going to allow the loss of sensation that a condom brings kill us? I get our sexual outlaw status, but if being our ‘own man’ is important in the way we have sex, does it make sense for us to violate the first commandment of safer sex education by refusing to use a condom?

Just like you, I get the stress of having to put an effort in trying to stay HIV-negative, but what choice do I/we have?  We cannot allow condom exhaustion to take us out! We MUST work harder to establish REAL connections with others if we are to TRULY escape the awful sense of isolation that we all experience as human beings. As amazing as isolation can be @ times, it DEFINITELY is a certain consequence of our separate existence as individuals. And this is predominantly severe for us gay men. We have this need to not live outside ourselves and while that is mostly unavoidable, I get how we can bareback. As much as we are seen as the ‘under belly’ of society, we gay men have a human need to feel truly connected to others.

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