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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Live from MenEngage Rio: Men, sexual health, and homophobia

Posted by Flavian Rhode

This afternoon I attended a workshop addressing homophobia and discrimination. It wasn’t at all what I expected. Instead, I found myself thinking in new ways about the implications of the rigid definitions and expectations of “male” and “female.”

I learned that in some places in South Asia, you’re considered gay only if you are the “receiver” in a sexual relationship with another man. If you are not the “receiver” (how would anyone ever find out?!) you’ll never be thought of as gay—even if you have no interest in ever having a sexual relationship with a woman!

In Namibia, where I live and work, some people look at a man who is gay and think that actually he wants to be a woman. It’s the easiest way for them to make sense of it, even though it really makes no sense at all.

This got me thinking about my work with young men and young women and how, on the one hand, we are always trying to do a better job of including people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, and transgendered. Yet on the other hand, our work is about helping people—all people—express themselves in healthy ways, to give them the strength to never engage in behaviors that would ever cause harm to another, and that they also the skills to protect themselves if needed. If you talk to all men about their sexual health, does it really matter what kind of sex they’re having?

1 comment:

Men Sexual health said...

this all information about men sexual health and women sexual health. Thanks For information and i like it.