A HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE RESOURCE FOR MEN IN2 MEN ISSUE #5 - JUNE 2010 FREE!
So, How Are You Really Going? Did you know men have a life expectancy about five years shorter than women? Did you know that apart from lung cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer related cause of death in Tasmania? Men experience higher death rates from suicide, accident and injury, diabetes, and heart disease. Of course these are just the medical issues. There are many other social issues, including relationship breakdown that adversely affect men. Men are important. We often see ourselves as resilient, loyal to work and family, and forget to take the time and energy to really look after ourselves. So let’s take this opportunity to take a look at what’s happening around men’s health in Tasmania.
A National Men’s Health Policy
Men’s health is finally on the national agenda in Australia. During May this year, the National Male Health Policy was officially launched at a Men’s Shed in Victoria. In response to the policy the Commonwealth Government has allocated $16.7 million to men’s health, which will be allocated to Men’s Sheds, research into men’s health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male health, and health promotion targeting men. In the past, the response to men’s health concerns has often focussed on men as the cause of their bad health. Countless papers and articles have urged men to get off their backsides, see their doctor and take better care of themselves, but little attention was given to the reasons why men were not engaged in their health, or what organisations could be doing to encourage men into their services. Thankfully, this is starting to change and more and more male-specific programs are becoming available.
Where To Find Support
In Tasmania, several organisations offer outreach services to men. Rural Alive and Well have a couple of good blokes
working as counsellors who are able to visit people in their communities in the Southern Midlands, Central Highlands and also on the East Coast. You can contact Rural Alive and Well through their website www.rawtas.com.au or by phoning 03 6259 3014. Other organisations offer individual counselling for men, or men’s group programs in Hobart and Launceston including Relationships Australia’s Tassiemale Program (Tel 1300 364 277) and Anglicare’s Tools for Men Program (Tel 03 6213 3555). The Sexual Health Service run by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Family Planning Tasmania offer safe, confidential and respectful services for men, by appointment. You can contact the Sexual Health Service on 1800 675 859, or Family Planning Tasmania via their website at www. fpt.asn.au
men in our state. More information on men’s health services can be found through the weblinks section on the Tasmanian Men’s Health & Wellbeing Association (Tasmen) website at www.tasmen.org.au
There is no question that men can also do more to take better care of their health. A good place to start is to know what health checks you should be receiving and at what age. The M5 Project offers exactly that—a checklist of the key questions your doctor should be asking you and when. Their website www. m5project.com.au is also a great resource which covers important men’s health issues.
Of the 400+ men’s sheds currently operating in Australia, there are around 25 in Tasmania. Men’s sheds are the fastest growing men’s movement in Australia and offer great opportunities for men to enhance their health and wellbeing and extend their social networks. For more information or to find your nearest shed, visit the Australian Men’s Shed Association website at www.menssheds.org Continence can be a common and distressing problem for older men, but can often be effectively treated if assistance is sought early. The Continence Service in Hobart offers a men’s clinic at designated times, including some out of hours sessions. You can contact the Continence Service on Tel 1300 723 143. In Tasmania, many men’s health services and organisations meet regularly to network and share information, ideas and resources. The Men’s Services Network Tasmania meets quarterly and welcomes men from the community to attend meetings, get involved, and offer ideas and suggestions for improving services and programs for
Knowing your family health history is also important. Knowledge is a powerful thing, and being aware of your family history can help to identify health issues you may be susceptible to, as well as help you to develop good habits and avoid bad ones.
“Men’s health is a community, as well as an individual responsibility” Helping Your Mates
Men’s health is a community, as well as an individual responsibility. How are your mates going? Have you asked them recently how they really are? Suicide is one of the biggest causes of premature death for men in Australia, with depression listed as one of its leading causes. How do men cope with depression? One key way for men to alleviate depression is to talk to their mates. We say ‘how ya goin’ mate?’ all the time, and we often make assumptions that ‘he’ll be right’. But sometimes our mates just aren’t ‘alright’. Most men will benefit from someone checking in and extricating a proper answer from them. So next time you see your mate, ask him how he’s really going.
A great opportunity to get involved in men’s health issues is coming up later in the year. DHHS is sponsoring Tasmen and the Men’s Services Network Tasmania to host a Men’s Health Forum in 2010. While this event is in the early planning stages, announcements will be made very soon about the focus of the forum. For updates and further information, check the next edition of Man2Man, or visit the Tasmen website at www. tasmen.org.au Finally, the health and wellbeing of Australian men is getting some focussed, positive attention. Services are offering more men’s programs, and men themselves are getting better at taking control of their own health.
Beginning to do this can be as simple as asking yourself the question— what can I do today to take better care of my health?
._aVPYR Of 7\[NaUN[ /RQY\R :R[·` 5RNYaU =\YVPf N[Q =_\T_NZ <S¿PR_ 1R]N_aZR[a \S 5RNYaU N[Q 5bZN[ @R_cVPR` The Man2Man Program at TasCAHRD has been an active member of the Men’s Services Network Tasmania for many years as well as regularly participating in their annual Men’s Health Week activities state wide. The Man2Man Program also submitted recommendations to the recent consultation process leading up to the National Men’s Health Policy (Ed.)
Some Useful Men’s Health Websites ANDROLOGY AUSTRALIA www.andrologyaustralia.org M5 PROJECT www.m5project.com.au TASMEN www.tasmen.org MEN’S SERVICES TASMANIA
MAN2MAN ONLINE www.m2mtas.com
EDITORIAL Welcome back to Man2Man. We were thrilled with the feedback from the recent readership survey and wish to thank those readers that filled out the survey. We’ve been busy working on the Man2Man Online website (m2mtas.com) which is continuing to have impressive increases in visitors to the site each month. You can now also catch up with us on Facebook . Search for ‘Man2Man Tasmania’ or follow the link at m2mtas.com and become a fan. Men’s Health Week is celebrated annually in June, and last month the first Australian Men’s Health Policy was launched. This edition of Man2Man predominantly focuses on men’s health topics and we get a good run down on what’s happening in men’s health in Tasmania in our feature article by Jonathan Bedloe. Recently Tasmania saw the appointment of a Social Inclusion Commissioner and the Social Inclusion Unit has released their Social Inclusion Strategy. Man2Man gets a rundown of exactly what social inclusion means and of the importance to GLBTI Tasmanians of this strategy. Happy reading and stay safe until next time Brian Morris - Editor Man2Man 03 6234 1242 email@example.com GPO Box 595, Hobart Tas 7001 Views expressed in Man2Man are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of (TasCAHRD)
The MAN2MAN magazine is produced by Sauce Publishing on behalf of TasCAHRD. For production enquiries contact David Williams on 0400 940 699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Health In Difference Conference Report My name is Brayden. I attended the ‘Health in Difference’ conference in Sydney as a representative for Outright Youth as a part of the Rosny College team, and as a member of the Tasmanian Council for Sexual and Gender Diverse People Inc, alongside Julian Punch, Steven Edwards, and Don MacDonald. Outright Youth aims to get in all schools in Tasmania a contact person, a safe space, a peer mentor and an anti-homophobia manual called ‘Not Round Here’ for teachers. I have the scholarship provided by the National LGBTI Health Alliance, and the financial support from the Glenorchy Council to thank for getting me there. I represented Outright Youth and explained what we aim to do in the presentation ‘Discrimination Leads to Suicide in LGBTI Communities’ led by Julian Punch and Stephan Edwards. At the conference I went to the sessions relating to youth issues. Important points that were made included: • Making drug, alcohol and sex information for youth fun, easy and interactive through use of the internet and Facebook, given the fact teenagers spend the majority of their time on the internet and particularly Facebook • An organisation called ‘Stonewall’ has an anti-homophobia and promoting equality campaign used in education. They provide a school report, teachers report and a DVD called ‘Spell It Out’ which educates teachers and staff on homophobia and bullying. • It was also brought up that homophobia and how to deal with it should be included in teacher training. • Social marketing is a good way to get a point across to teenagers in schools. For example the Wayout Project gives out free wristbands and badges at events and schools to promote equality and to stop homophobia. It can also assist teens that are still trying to find out who they are, become aware of the organisations that are there to help. It is a good way to reach the ‘hidden’ target group, by mass distribution
of merchandise. If everybody is receiving free stuff, nobody will know who are straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual etc. • The Rural Victorian Youth Council is doing an amazing job. They have six rural groups around Victoria that deal with issues and get together as a council to organise camps, and events for LGBTI teens in Victoria. • A quote from a rural Victorian youth group which I felt was important was EPIC, standing for Equality, Participation, Inclusion, and Celebration.
I found that a lot of people at the conference were slightly against straight people, and probably due to past experiences, and many people also recognised that there is bullying and intimidation as well as political correctness in our community that needs to be ‘faced up to’. I think that if we want to make a change and if we want to resolve these issues relating to the GLBTI community we have to work together as a community. I now feel more confident and determined to work with the GLBTI youth of Tasmania and make a change, through Outright Youth.
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Hepatitis B (HBV) is a virus that lives in human blood, semen and other body fluids. Despite an effective vaccine being available, Hep B is the most common liver infection in the world. It is usually transmitted from mother to infant, at or around time of birth. In Australia you are more likely to be exposed through unprotected sex, sharing injecting equipment or getting a tattoo with unsterilised equipment. HBV was discovered in 1965 amongst Aboriginal people, so was called “the Australian Antigen”. Although most of the HBV in Australia was contracted overseas, Aboriginal people, men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs remain in the high-risk category. About half the adults who catch HBV experience acute symptoms. This means that at around 3 months after infection they show signs of a mild flu-like illness; nausea, vomiting, muscle and joint pain, abdominal pain and sometimes jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). Many people show no symptoms, but the virus can still damage the liver. They are less likely to know they have been exposed or are infectious. The virus multiplies in liver cells. Like HIV, it is the immune system response that creates the liver damage.
“Vaccination provides life-long immunity” person permanently immune. Hepatitis B is spread when infected body fluids enter another person through a break in the skin (e.g. cuts, needle sticks) or mucous membranes (e.g. eyes, nose, sores in the mouth), or through unprotected penetrative sex (anal, oral or vaginal). Hepatitis B is not found in urine or faeces. But it is found in blood, semen, saliva, vaginal fluids and menstrual blood. People with HBV should carefully clean any spilt blood etc. Even a spot too small to see can pose a risk. People who inject drugs are at a higher risk than other Australians of contracting HBV if they share
injecting equipment. Needle and Syringe Outlet staff provide the equipment/ advice necessary to minimise the risk. Men having unsafe sex together account for around 8% of HBV infections in Australia. The safe sex strategies used to protect against HIV are effective against HBV. It is more infectious than HIV, so as well as using condoms & lube for sex it is also recommended people don’t share toothbrushes and razors with infected people. There are reliable tests for HBV available from your GP or sexual health clinic. There is a vaccination (three injections over 6 months) that provides life-long immunity. Men who have sex with men are encouraged to get vaccinated, along with health care workers, aboriginal people, travellers, injecting drug users, and people with Hepatitis C amongst others. Any long-term sexual partners, or regular household contacts of people with acute or chronic Hepatitis B, should consider getting vaccinated.
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This process can also clear the body of the virus, making the
TRANSMISSION OF HEPATITIS B
FOR MORE INFORMATION
• Unprotected sex • Sharing injecting equipment • Tattooing with unsterilised equipment • Mother to child • Needle stick injury • Occupational exposure
• Hep in Tas Program Information Line 1300 437 222 www.hepintas.com
• Hepatitis Australia www.hepatitisaustralia.com • Sexual Health Service Freecall Number 1800 675 859
SOCIAL INCLUSION REFERENCES • SOCIAL INCLUSION UNIT www.dpac.tas.gov.au/ divisions/siu • SOCIAL INCLUSION STRATEGY www.dpac.tas.gov.au/ divisions/siu/strategy
GLBTI Tasmanians And Social Inclusion Exclusion is an experience all too familiar to many gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) people. Prejudice can exclude us at home, school and work. Exclusion can take the form of legal inequality, ostracism or street violence. Fear, depression, drug abuse and even suicide are exclusion’s common consequences. The idea that government has a role in fostering greater individual wellbeing and community participation by reducing social exclusion came to the fore in the late 1990s, particularly under Tony Blair in the UK. Pretty soon governments across the world began developing social inclusion strategies. Unfortunately, GLBTI people were rarely included in these strategies. One reason put forward was that social inclusion is about issues that run across the entire population like household income, access to health care, availability of public transport and social support, rather than the issues facing particular groups. This is nonsense. Prejudice, including sexual prejudice, is a problem that affects many people throughout the community, not just GLBTI people.
Another rationale for excluding GLBTI people from social inclusion initiatives was a lack of research into the causes and effects of our exclusion. If this was true in the 1990s, it certainly isn’t true anymore. The real reason for excluding GLBTI people was political. The proponents of social inclusion wanted to legitimize their field, and felt tackling anti-GLBTI prejudice would have the opposite effect in the eyes of a homophobic world. The one exception was Ireland where GLBTI exclusion was a major part of the national social inclusion strategy. GLBTI human rights have been at the centre of a broader debate about how open and tolerant Irish society will be. They retained that status in Ireland’s social inclusion policy. This brings us to Tasmania, where GLBTI human rights have played a very similar role. Jim Bacon was the first Tasmanian Premier to talk about social inclusion. For him GLBTI inclusion was pivotal to creating a more inclusive Tasmania. That is why tackling GLBTI discrimination figured prominently in Bacon’s Tasmania Together blueprint for the island’s future.
GLBTI exclusion has had a lower profile since then. A social inclusion strategy released last year by Tasmania’s Social Inclusion Commissioner, Professor David Adams, mentioned some of the ways GLBTI Tasmanians are excluded. This is an improvement on such strategies in other parts of Australia from which GLBTI people are completely absent. But Adams failed to put forward solutions to GLBTI exclusion, leaving policymakers with the impression that it’s all too hard. Now there is a chance that may change. The State Government’s Social Inclusion Unit conducted four forums and an online survey for GLBTI Tasmanians at the end of May. The aim was to find out how GLBTI Tasmanians are excluded and how the social inclusion strategy can foster greater GLBTI inclusion. The outcome of the consultation promises to influence not only the Social Inclusion Strategy but a wide range of areas for many years to come.
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TASMANIAN GLBTI SE STATEWIDE Antidiscrimination Commission Assists in pursuing claims of discrimination on grounds of sexuality, gender identity etc. Located at Level 1, 54 Victoria Street Hobart. PHONE: 03 6233 4841 OR 1300 305 062 EMAIL: antidiscrimination@justice. tas.gov.au WEB: www.antidiscrimination.tas. gov.au Bi-Tasmania Social and support group for bisexual Tasmanians CONTACT: 0401 054 003 Coming Out Proud Program (COPP) Provides strategies enabling GLBTI people to “come out with pride” and live in their community with dignity. CONTACT: Julian Punch julian@ logtas.org WEB: http://home.vicnet.net. au/~copptas Country Network Offers hospitality and friendship among rural GLBTI people to assist overcoming their social isolation. CONTACT: Dave Arnold on 03 6228 4166 w w w. c o u n t r y n e t w o r k . c o m . a u email@example.com Galstays Choices for the gay and lesbian traveler. Visit www.galstays.com.au GALTA Australia’s gay & lesbian tourism organisation. Visit www.galta.com.au Gay & Lesbian Travel Association Tasmania (GALTAT) Representing the gay and lesbian travel accommodation providers in Tasmania. Visit www.galtat.com Gay & Lesbian Switchboard Confidential peer-based telephone counselling, information and referral service specifically for the GLBTI communities of Victoria & Tasmania. PHONE: 1800 184 527 WEB: www.switchboard.org.au Gay Info Line 24hr recorded message funded by GLC Centre PHONE: 03 6234 8179
GayTAS Website The leading gay online newspaper & information source for the Tasmanian GLBTI community. Visit http:// gaytas.e-p.net.au
GAYunities New social networking site for the Tasmanian gay community. Visit www.gayunities.com Indeed Supporting Tasmania’s relationship registry. EMAIL: indeedrelationships@gmail. com WEB: www.relationshipstasmania. org.au/indeed.html League of Gentlefellows Regional social events for rainbow people in a safe and caring environment. PHONE: Julian Punch on 03 6239 6606 or John Perry on 03 6223 6003 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org WEB: www.logtas.org MAN2MAN Program Program run by TasCAHRD which aims to prevent the spread of HIV & STI’s among gay men and other men who have sex with men. This program incorporates the MAN2MAN magazine, MAN2MAN online outreach, volunteer program, venue outreach, as well as information & support. You will also find us in your favourite chatroom. PHONE: 03 6234 1242 or 1800 005 900 EMAIL: email@example.com WEB: m2mtas.com Outright Youth Group Group offering social events for young rainbow people in a safe and caring environment. Contact Scott Ryan or Connie Lavicka at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG) Currently do not have a Tasmanian representative but information is available at from the following; EMAIL: email@example.com WEB: www.pflagaustralia.org.au QueerTas Tasmania’s GLBTI Yahoo group. SUBSCRIBE AT queertas-subscribe@ yahoogroups.com.au Relationships Tasmania Info about the deed of relationships www.relationshipstasmania.org.au S.A.F.E Spirituality and Faith Exploration meet fortnightly for LGBTI people who wish to explore their spirituality. CONTACT: Joc - 03 6228 6715 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org WEB: www.care2.com/c2c/group/ safetas
Same Sex Travel A directory of same sex operated accommodation properties throughout Australia and New Zealand. WEB: www.samesextravel.com Sexual Health Service Offers counselling, support, referrals and STI & HIV testing. HOBART - 03 6233 3557 DEVONPORT - 03 6421 7759 BURNIE - 03 6434 6315 LAUNCESTON - 03 6336 2216 FREECALL NUMBER - 1800 675 859 EMAIL email@example.com TasCAHRD Tasmanian Council on AIDS, Hepatitis & Related Diseases including the MAN2MAN Program. PHONE: 03 6234 1242 FREECALL INFORMATION LINE 1800 005 900 (9am - 5pm) EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org WEB: www.tascahrd.org.au Tasmanian Council for Sexual and Gender Diverse People Inc Supporting GLBTI people to come out with pride and live in their communities as fully respected and participating members SOUTH: Brian Doran (Greater Hobart) email@example.com or Jo Goodman (Kingborough/Huon) on firstname.lastname@example.org NORTH: Donald Mc Donald (Greater Launceston/East Coast) on donmac@ logtas.org NORTHWEST: Wilfred Laycock (NW/ West Coast CLC) on wilfred@logtas. org Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group (TGLRG) Is a community-based organisation campaigning for LGBTI human rights in Tasmania. TGLRG also have a stall at the Salamanca Markets every Saturday. CONTACT 03 6224 3556 EMAIL email@example.com WEB: www.tglrg.org Tasmania Police LGBTI Liaison Officer’s HOBART – 03 6230 2111 LAUNCESTON – 03 6336 7000 NORTH WEST – 03 6434 5211 WEB: www.police.tas.gov.au/ community/community-policing/ lgbt_liaison_officers TasPride An organisation dedicated to celebrating and uniting the Tasmanian GLBTI community as well as bringing you the annual TasPride Festival. See GLC Centre for contact details. WEB: www.taspride.com
ERVICES AND GROUPS Working It Out Tasmania’s sexuality and gender support and education service which also provides counselling and support for LGBTI Tasmanians, their friends & family. Coordinate and implement anti-homophobia & diversity education & training programs in schools, workplaces, government & NGO’s SOUTH – Ph: 03 6231 1200; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NORTH – Ph: 03 6334 4013; Email: email@example.com NORTH-WEST – Ph: 03 6432 3643; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. au WEB – www.workingitout.org.au Yahoo Tasmanian GLBTI Groups (Queertas, gayhobart, tassiecasualfun, womenupnorth, bitasmania, Allsortsqueeryouth, qsoc_tasmania, gaytassieguys, triplegtas, Tasgayguys, GayTasmania, taswomen2women) http://groups.yahoo.com
Saturday night. Free entry to all GLC members on display of membership card. WEB: http://www.myspace.com/ lesgirlshobart EMAIL: email@example.com QSOC The Queer Uni Students Society in Hobart contactable via email at firstname.lastname@example.org QSOC South UTAS Queer Students on Campus. Contact on: email@example.com Rodney Croome – Gay Activist - Web Blog www.rodneycroome.id.au Soak@Kaos Café and lounge bar located at 237 Elizabeth Street, Hobart. WEB: www.kaoscafe.com.au
Tasmania University Union (TUU) Sexuality Officer CONTACT: UTAS TUU ON 03 6226 2495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Borderlines Hobart’s queer radio show every Monday at 10-12am on Edge Radio 99.3FM
The Male Factory @ The Duke Hotel, Hobart Meet every Sunday afternoon 2pm till late
Flamingos Dance Bar Tasmania’s weekly club committed to providing a tolerant, safe, informative and fun environment for people of alternative sexualities and their friends to be able to enjoy themselves and socialize in a nonthreatening environment. Located at 201 Liverpool Street, Hobart. Online at www.flamingosbar.com and www. myspace.com/flamingosbar
The Southern Trans Support & Discussion Group Social gathering for anyone in the trans family. PHONE: Sharon on 0419 361 128 EMAIL: email@example.com
Gay and Lesbian Community Centre Inc (GLC Centre) GLC Centre or TasPride is Tasmania’s GLBTI social and community development group. A memberbased organisation, GLC produces the TasPride Festival, hosts regular events, provides the Gay Information Line, and publishes a regular bulletin. Contact on firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.taspride.com Lalaland Hosts a monthly dance party. First Saturday of every month at Halo Night Club, Purdy’s Mart, Hobart www.clublala.net Les Girls (formerly Diva) Hobart GLBTI night club located at 101 Harrington Street, Hobart (formerly Mangoes Bar). With drag shows every weekend and strip shows. Open every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday &
Wellington Wanderers GLBTIQ activity group which runs a year-round program of events. CONTACT: 0447 225 682 or 03 6223 2690 POST: GPO Box 1872, Hobart Tas 7001 EMAIL: wellingtonwanderers@yahoo. com.au NORTHERN Allsorts Queer youth group meeting regularly in Launceston & Burnie through Working It Out North. PHONE: 03 6334 4013 EMAIL: email@example.com Fruity Bits Launceston based email newsgroup. PHONE: 03 6334 4013 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Northern Tasmanian Men’s Meetup Launceston based discreet social group of gay and bisexual men and their friends who meet regularly for meals, BBQ’s, drinks and other events. EMAIL: northern.meetup@hotmail.
com or email@example.com POST: Launceston Meetup, PO Box 7666, Launceston Tas. 7250 Tas Unity An ecumenical support and study group for LGBTI people, their friends, families and supporters. PHONE: Pat on 03 6344 2357 Transisters Community based social and support group for transgender women in Tasmania, meeting once a month in Launceston. WEB: http://groups. yahoo.com/group/transisters/ NORTH-WEST Allsorts Queer youth group meeting regularly in Launceston & Burnie through Working It Out North West PHONE: 03 6432 3643 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org. au North West GLBTI-Friendly Youth Group For under 25’s meets fortnightly in Burnie. PHONE: Sharon on 03 6432 3643 or 0419 361 128 EMAIL: email@example.com. au North West Same Sex Attracted Men’s Group Group for over 18’s meets monthly in Burnie. PHONE: Sharon on 03 6432 3643 or 0419 361 128 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org. au or Layne at ramonshoebridge@ live.com.au EAST COAST ECQLS East Coast Queer Life Support Is a support association in the NE to coordinate and provide services and social activities for GLBTI people. EMAIL: email@example.com OR CHECK OUT www.ecqls.org GAY-FRIENDLY CAFES • Soak@Kaos, DS Coffee House, Red Velvet Lounge, Fleurty’s Café, Restaurant Waterloo, Mummy’s, Citrus Moon Café, Lebrina, Kusina, The Alley Cat, Republic Bar, Criterion Café, Sirens, Lansdowne Café, Retro Café, Machine Laundry Café, Jackman and McCross, Magnolia Café, Groovy Penguin, Fresh on Charles, Deloraine Deli, Kabuki by the Sea, O’Keefes Hotel, Stonies Fifties Cafe
Diary of A Ma Man2Man wanted to get an insight into the life of a Tasmanian male sex worker and the role of safe sex. Following are some excerpts from the diary of a sex worker we interviewed.
I thought, “This is just wrong; this isn’t how it should be: I’m going to leave now, see you later”. So I left. It wasn’t a huge dramatic deal; I just thought it was the right thing for me to do at the time.
At the beginning I didn’t use another name but it reached the point where there were some clients that were, psychologically, really hard work. I think one of the hardest questions a client can ask you is, “So what are you into?” If you don’t have a persona and you don’t have a prepared statement it can be really quite confronting because you suddenly have to expose yourself to provide an answer. And if you start putting yourself personally into your work you can become quite vulnerable.
I couch-surfed a lot of the time. I was hanging out with all these young, gay street kids who were doing street-based sex work in St Kilda but, at first, I didn’t go into sex work myself.
There’s a client called ‘Fantasy Man’, who’s this morbidly obese man; we used to say with the boys, “You go with him once, you never go with him after that,” because he’s just such hard work.
I still wanted to stay in school but I didn’t want my school to know that I had left home, and I didn’t want my parents to know that I was still in school because I thought I should be punishing them; it was a complete pride thing.
This guy is an absolute sex-pig and unless you protect yourself you can find yourself feeling really negatively about sex in your own sexuality.
“I got involved in sex work when I left home because my Dad hit me. Actually, he hit me and I hit back – and I floored him. It was the first and last time I’d hit anyone.
So, for the last two years of my high school, I was homeless. I got into sexwork so I could pay my school fees without my school knowing that I’d run away from home. I raised the money through streetbased sex work, because there was no other job that was going to pay a sixteen year old enough to let them go to school and give them the time to do it. It became a sort of a game. Not only did I have to pay my fees but I had to do really well at school because, if I started failing anything, they would contact home and the jig would be up. I thought I’d be put into state care and that, from all accounts, would suck. I made sure I went to school every day. I led this incredible double life where everything was fine at school. I still hung out with my friends on the
weekends and after school and then I’d hang out with all the streeties as well.
He asks you: “What are you into? Are you enjoying this?” And the more you personally throw yourself in there because those are personal questions – the harder it is to do and the harder it is to go with the next client. My first “job” One night I was on the bench there next to the cask and this 22-year-old who pulled up in a Barina and was just like, “Hop on in!” I thought out loud, “OK!” There was noone else around and I abandoned my wine-minding duties. “Let’s do it.” And it was easy because this guy wasn’t unattractive. I spent a lot of time talking to him about why he was using sex-workers when I thought he didn’t need to and he just said it’s a lot easier and quicker. It was my first introduction to the client’s perspective and had nothing but respect for it. There was no looking back as he made it effortless for me. I didn’t have to negotiate condom use; I didn’t have to negotiate prices, these were
ale Sex Worker just standard expectations. He knew where to go, so I didn’t have to fudge my way through it. The golden rule of sex-work is that you get the money upfront and I didn’t have to negotiate that either, it was all just very straightforward. It taught me almost everything I needed to know to conduct a job straight away. I knew where to go; I knew how much to charge. It set the benchmark for how a job should run. So from then on there was no looking back. The condom was for oral sex. It astounds me that whenever I go for my check-up the nurses still ask, “Do you use condoms for oral?” because not a lot of men do and some sex workers don’t – (all the sex workers are going to kill me for saying that!). Because it was my first job, I probably wouldn’t have negotiated a condom for oral sex either, but because this guy had that expectation it was really easy for me to take it on.
associations to sex. Building a persona becomes necessary as so much of sex work is building a persona and performing as that character. On the surface, having a persona is for identity protection, think Clark Kent and Superman, but what you learn is that it’s good practice. You put on a persona because, as a sexworker, you frame sex differently than you do in your personal life. I adopt a persona that enables me to provide a service to clients that book Tyson as opposed to my personal self, who seeks mutual sexual gratification. The separation of personal self and occupational self is something everyone does at work, it’s part of being a professional. Sex-workers employ a range of other skills to protect their sexual health. My personal approach to my clients is one of universal infection control. Every client is HIV-positive in my mind.
And because he was reasonably attractive and acting in that kind of way it role modelled behaviour for me, to have that expectation for every client from then on. So, I was very lucky and that experience was really positive for me at the start.
This does a couple of things: one, you can protect yourself as best you can from every single client and, two, you rationally view those who may be infected without discrimination. I can have sex with them just like anybody else.
It taught me to speak really openly about sex. I was only sixteen at the time and it was developmentally positive for me. You compare that to my personal sex at the time, which was awkward and clumsy and you didn’t talk and there was no skill or negotiation involved.
There are things sex-workers do to protect themselves, such as learning to identify signs of STI’s, learning to communicate about STIs, and learning to negotiate services with clients based on that assessment.
It suddenly opened my eyes to the fact that sex is a big communication process. It’s not just something you fumble your way though. Sex work taught me how to make sex safe and secure and not damaging. I guess that’s why, despite years of being a homeless street sex worker, I’ve never contracted any infection and I don’t hold any negative
Sex-workers have enough knowledge to know what they can do safely and what they can’t; how do I protect myself and what should I do if transmission takes – for any STI. It’s practice wisdom that sex workers share with each other.
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USEFUL REFERENCE SOURCES RELATING TO SEX WORK • Scarlet Alliance www.scarletalliance.org.au • Scarlet Men www.scarletalliance.org.au /scarletmen
Prostate Cancer Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) and the second greatest cause of cancer deaths in men. The latest data shows that in 2010 almost 20,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Tragically more than 3,300 men will die as a direct cause of prostate cancer. In the early stages, there are few symptoms of prostate cancer. However, if detected early, prostate cancer is often treatable and curable. This is why men aged 50 and over, or 40 if there is a family history of prostate cancer should not wait for symptoms; they should talk to their doctor about prostate cancer – it’s a simple step that could save their life. Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the prostate that form a lump (tumour). In time, without treatment, it may spread to other organs, particularly the bones and lymph nodes, which can be life threatening. Generally at the early and potentially curable stage, prostate cancer does not have obvious SOME POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE CANCER • No symptoms • Need to urinate frequently • Waking up frequently to urinate at night • Sudden urges to urinate • Difficulty starting urine flow • Slow interrupted urine flow • Dribbling after urination • Pain urinating • Blood in the urine or semen
symptoms. This makes it different from other benign prostate disorders, which may result in urinary symptoms. As prostate cancer develops, symptoms can include the need to urinate frequently, particularly at night, sudden urges to urinate, difficulty in starting urine flow, a slow, interrupted flow and dribbling afterwards, pain during urination or blood in the urine or semen. NOTE: It is important to note that these symptoms are not always signs of prostate cancer. They can also be symptoms of other common and non-life threatening prostate disorders. Men who experience
these symptoms should see their doctor immediately, to determine the cause and best treatment. Two simple tests can be done by a doctor: •Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) where your doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland. This may detect hard lumps in the prostate before symptoms occur. •Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test which is not a cancer specific diagnostic test however it will alert doctors to abnormal growth in the prostate. A combination of both a DRE and PSA blood test is recommended. These tests should be considered as part of a general male health check annually from 50 years of age or 40 if there is a family history of prostate cancer. If either the DRE or PSA tests are abnormal, your doctor may do a second series of tests or refer you to a Urologist, who may recommend a biopsy which is a definitive way of diagnosing prostate cancer and will determine the stage (how far the cancer has spread) and grade (how rapidly it is likely to spread). This information is used to determine the risk the cancer poses to the man’s health and life expectancy. The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and the Cancer Council of Tasmania run several Prostate Support Groups in Tasmania – two based in Hobart and one on the Eastern Shore, in addition to groups in Launceston and in Ulverstone. You can contact the Cancer Council Tasmania Helpline on 13 11 20 for more details. A jointly funded and operated mobile awareness service (the Man Van) is available to visit your workplace, club or community event and details can be found at www.manvan.org.au.
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It's huge. 85 Federal laws that discriminated against same-sex couples in social security, taxation, family law, the workplace, health, ageing and more have been reformed. To celebrate, 85 artists have created 85 T-shirts inspired by the changes. Find out which ones fit you.
The Tasmanian University Union (TUU) has recently elected a new Sexuality Officer, me, Alex West. This role is dedicated to encouraging and fostering a wider GLBTI presence on campus; endeavoring to make the campus and its affiliates more GLBTI friendly and aware, as well as fostering relationships with the wider community and other organizations in Tasmania. The TUU believes play a large role and nurturing a community and excited to offer a programs.
that they can in encouraging GLBTI campus they are very number of new
The TUU will be fostering a student based group called Queery. This is an information forum on a large number of GLBTI issues. It will allow students to access information relating to coming out or general issues many queer students may face. It is a free forum for students to discuss and share. This event will also host guest speakers able to share and answer any queries students may have. The event will be very informal and open to any member of the public. Queery meets once a month on the Sandy Bay UTAS campus. In an effort to encourage GLBTI community on campus the TUU will be hosting a Pride Week in the later part of second semester. It will be a week dedicated to the celebration of GLBTI people and friends thereof. Events will include Sexpo a fun and free forum on sexual and mental health, as well as a Pride Party.
NEW UTAS GLBTI SOCIAL GROUP
The TUU acknowledges University may be the first time some students may have an opportunity to freely express their sexuality. Many students who are coming out may find it difficult to talk, or visit GLBTI aligned services. As such it is the TUUâ€™s hope that students will find our third service useful. Coffee Date is a group that will meet in a neutral location such as at a coffee shop or on TUU space. It aims to provide general support to those yet to identify. If you have any questions or expressions of interest regarding any of these programs then feel free to contact Alex for more information.
._aVPYR Of .YRe DR`a ABB @RebNYVaf <SÂżPR_ B[VcR_`Vaf \S AN`ZN[VN What a fantastic option this is especially for students from overseas, CALD backgrounds, or indeed youth who are not yet out with respect to their sexuality. This one-on-one mentoring and support should assist bridging the gap for this otherwise vulnerable group of students. Well done Alex and the TUU (Ed)
CONTACT DETAILS Alex West UTAS TUU Sexuality Officer firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com www.tuu.com.au
UPCOMING TASMANIAN GLBTI EVENTS TUESDAY 22nd JUNE
FRIDAY 9th JULY
FRIDAY 20th AUGUST
SOUTHERN TRANS SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP MEETING For more details contact Sharon on 0419 361 128 or north@workingitout. org.au
LAUNCESTON FRIENDLY GLBTI CATCH UP For more details contact Sharon on firstname.lastname@example.org
HOBART RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Jane on 0438 346 122 or accounts@workingitout. org.au
WEDNESDAY 23rd JUNE WELLINGTON WANDERERS PLANNING MEETING & DINNER Help plan for 2010 Winter/ Spring program. For more details contact Ross on 6273 3831 or email@example.com
FRIDAY 25th & SATURDAY 26th JUNE SANDY LAGORE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY AT LES GIRLS Come celebrate Sandy Lagore’s birthday. Entertainers include Cherry Ripe, Barbra Quicksand, Linda Lamonte, Ginger Pussy and more. Call Sandy on 0449 648 871 for tickets or info
TUESDAY 29th JUNE LAUNCESTON RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon on 0419 361 128 or north@workingitout. org.au
SUNDAY 4th JULY OPOSSUM BAY, SOUTH ARM WALK Hosted by Wellington Wanderers. For more details contact Robin on 6243 4670 or wellingtonwanderers@yahoo. com.au
TUESDAY 6th JULY DEVONPORT RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon 0419 361 128 or northwest@workingitout. org.au
FRIDAY 16th JULY HOBART RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Jane on 0438 firstname.lastname@example.org
SATURDAY 17th JULY FLAMINGOS 5th BIRTHDAY PARTY For more details contact Flamingo’s Dance Bar on 6294 6173 or www. flamingosbar.com CONNECT4LIFE CHRISTMAS IN JULY AT MOLE CREEK Open to GLBTI family and friends. For more details contact Sharon on 0419 361 128 or email@example.com
WEDNESDAY 21st JULY BURNIE RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon 0419 361 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY 25th JULY TRAMWAY HILL TRACK & SNUG FALLS Hosted by Wellington Wanderers. For more details contact Ross on 6273 3831 or Sue on 6229 7519 or email email@example.com
TUESDAY 27th JULY LAUNCESTON RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon on 0419 361 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TUESDAY 3rd AUGUST DEVONPORT RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon 0419 361 128 or email@example.com
FRIDAY 13th AUGUST
MONDAYS: “BORDERLINES” QUEER RADIO, 10am-12pm Hobart’s sexuality & gender issues radio show on Edge Radio 99.3 FM
LAUNCESTON FRIENDLY GLBTI CATCH UP For more details contact Sharon on 0419 361 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WEDNESDAY 18th AUGUST BURNIE RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon 0419 361 128 or email@example.com
TUESDAY 31st AUGUST LAUNCESTON RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon on 0419 361 128 or north@workingitout. org.au
TUESDAY 7th SEPTEMBER DEVONPORT RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon 0419 361 128 or northwest@workingitout. org.au
FRIDAY 10th SEPTEMBER LAUNCESTON FRIENDLY GLBTI CATCH UP For more details contact Sharon on 0419 361 128 or north@workingitout. org.au
WEDNESDAY 15th SEPTEMBER BURNIE RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon 0419 361 128 or northwest@workingitout. org.au
FRIDAY 17th SEPTEMBER HOBART RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Jane on 0438 346 122 or accounts@workingitout. org.au
TUESDAY 28th SEPTEMBER LAUNCESTON RAINBOW SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP For more details contact Sharon on 0419 361 128 or north@workingitout. org.au