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"Party-n-Play" Culture: The Impacts of Stigma and Resilience on the Lives of Marginalized Gay and Bisexual Men

"Party-n-Play" Culture: The Impacts of Stigma and Resilience on the Lives of Marginalized Gay and Bisexual Men
1 Devonshire Place, Munk School of Global Affairs, Room 208N
Time: Jan 27th, 10:00 am End: Jan 27th, 12:00 pm
Interest Categories: 2000-
Talk by Rusty Souleymanov and Fritz Luther Pino

The Munk School of Global Affairs and the Comparative Program on Health and Society present

"Party-n-Play" Culture: The Impacts of Stigma and Resilience on the Lives of Marginalized Gay and Bisexual Men

Rusty Souleymanov (BSC, MSW) is a PhD student and a course instructor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, and is part of a collaborative program in Public Health Policy at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Since moving to Canada, Rusty has been actively involved in work with community-based HIV/AIDS organizations in Toronto, where he has worked in the fields of harm reduction, HIV prevention, gay men's sexual health promotion, as well as on employment initiatives for people living with HIV. His publications tackle various issues, including: HIV prevention with gay and bisexual men, transnationalism and sexuality, epistemology, harm reduction and drug policy. By bridging the disciplines of social sciences, cultural studies, social work, and public health, his work explores how the processes of marginalization heighten individuals' vulnerability to health inequities and blood-borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis C.

Fritz Luther Pino is a PhD Candidate in Social Justice Education at OISE, U of T. He is also a registered social worker and a program coordinator and consultant at the Silayan Filipino Community Centre, and at the Filipino-Canadian Seniors' Club. He received the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship Award for his dissertation on Filipino Gay Seniors in Toronto. Fritz currently teaches Mental Health and Diversity and Social Justice courses at the School of Community Services at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Rusty's doctoral work (supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) examines social bonds, social care and community resilience as manifested in gay and bisexual men's (GBM) experiences with "Party-n-Play" culture. "Party-N-Play" (PNP) refers to the use of drugs to enhance sexual experiences. Unfortunately, most research on PNP positions GBM as vectors of HIV and reifies stigmatizing when researching this culture. The stigma that GBM who engage in PNP face stems from multiple sources - sexual stigma, negative attitudes towards non-heterosexual behaviours, the fact that illegal drug use is criminalized, as well as stigma related to the transmission of blood borne (HIV, Hepatitis) and other infections. While evidence that argues for greater recognition of strengths and resilience among GBM is widespread in historical accounts of gay culture, scholars never examined how PNP may be a space for resilience for GBM. This study will examine and compare the ways that discourses on PNP have been epistemologically positioned in research literature and the media. Secondly, through interviews with PNP-involved GBM, this study will explore GBM's rationales for participating in PNP and the social relations that structure these encounters. The novel insights from this work will raise awareness of the problematic discursive effects of stigma, and will contribute to an informed and well-rounded response to HIV/AIDS in gay communities.

This event is free and open to all. Registration is required. Please register at: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/event/18489/register/

For further information please contact Olga Kesarchuk at Monk School of Global Affairs (416) 946-8497


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