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Monkey pox: LGBTQ+ community concerned about stigma


About fifty cases of monkeypox in Quebec and eight in Ontario have been confirmed by the health authorities of the two provinces. A large majority of the cases were in gay adult men, according to government agencies.

Transmission of the disease can occur through close contact with a sick person or indirectly through contaminated clothing. However, health authorities point out that the spread of the disease is not due to a group or sexual orientation.

Anxiety is taking over the LGBTQIA+ community

Monkey pox, view as a homosexual diseasementally affects the community.

Vincent Francoeur is a Registered Psychotherapist from Ontario. He lives in Toronto. He sees the anxiety built up during the COVID-19 pandemic slowly resurfacing due to outbreaks of monkeypox. There are people I work with who are scared right nowhe said.

Some have lived through the HIV crisis. They let us die for years. They lived through COVID and now they say [la variole]it’s the fault of gay men […] People who had fears, who finally came out of their homes when COVID ended […] now they risk becoming isolated. »

A quote from Vincent Francoeur, Toronto

Michel Lussier, director general of the organization Action Positive, explains the correlation made between monkeypox and sexual orientation by a lack of knowledge of the transmission of the disease. It is much more the ignorance of the population in the face of an unknown risk that creates the need for a scapegoathe said. Usually these are the communities less appreciated by the majority [qui écopent]he believes.

Moreover, for Mr. Francoeur, we must see the situation on the bright side. There are more cases of smallpox in gay men because sexual health is taken more seriously, which means more screening. We gay men have been practicing harm reduction for men’s sexual health and dating for years..

Monkey pox heightens stigma debate

Torontonian Vincent Francoeur explains that members of sexual and gender diversity are daily victims of discrimination. He claims to have been insulted and spit on on homophobic grounds.

For him, the fight against discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is not over. He says many LGBTQ+ people fear the stigma created by reports circulating in the media about cases of smallpox among gay and bisexual men. If the outbreaks hadn’t been among gay men, media coverage would have been very different. […] We would talk about familieshe believes.

For his part, Michel Lussier, executive director of the Action Positive organization, affirms that the issue of stigmatization is linked to other elements such as accommodation, isolation, etc. There are no residences for seniors living with HIV or who are gayhe said. We have three-year waiting lists for people living with HIV, and that’s unacceptablehe adds.

In the LGBTQ community, people are aging and healthy. They feel like they have to go back to the closet. People who live in rural places have this fear. »

A quote from Michel Lussier, CEO of Positive Action

For his part, Jean-Rock Boutin, founding member of the Franco Queer organization, pleads in favor of raising awareness around HIV. There are people who don’t want to know about you if you have HIV. For more than thirty years, research has been advanced. But there is a pocket of resistancehe believes.

The Franco-Ontarian adds that stigma is increasingly taking the form of micro-aggressions. It’s getting more and more subtle. Sometimes it’s left unsaid. People have learned to give the impression that they are open, but deep down they are not.he explains.

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