Articles tagged with: The Tattooed Activist

Taking It Off In Time To The Music!

published: October, 27, 2011 Categories // Community Events, Activism

Michael Burtch shares with you his favourite songs for stripping!

The first time I ever took my clothes off onstage was for charity at Halloqueen 2, in support of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa  and the Village Initiative Project.  The events organizer, Glenn Crawford, was having trouble wrangling male volunteers to perform amateur burlesque, and emboldened by the fact that I had been hitting the gym regularly at the time with a personal trainer, I said yes when asked. I remember trying to calm my nerves beforehand by drinking Smirnoff Ice, and juggl

World AIDS Day - Ottawa Style

published: January, 18, 2011 Categories // Community Events, Events

It poured rain, non-stop, on World AIDS Day...

It poured rain, non-stop, on World AIDS Day. Despite the weather, I participated in a flash mob organized by my work, handing out AIDS Ribbons and information about the Ontario Working Group On Criminal Law + HIV Exposure on Parliament Hill and got soaked in the process! Even worse, so did most of our ribbons and posters!

Light for Rights

published: January, 12, 2011 Categories // Community Events, Events, Opinion Pieces

I worry that those close to me who are engaged in high risk behavior won’t get support or testing. I’m worried that I’ll end up in jail…..”

To mark the beginning of World AIDS Awareness Week and the approach of World AIDS Day on December the 1st, The Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) hosted ‘Light For Rights’ at the Human Rights Monument in downtown Ottawa on November the 24th. Representatives from the Gatineau and Ottawa-area included the Bureau Régional D’action Sida, Bruce House, the AIDS Committee of Ottawa, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, and the African and Caribbean Health Network, as well as CAS, and the Canadian Asso

The 6th Annual Rainbow Youth Fair

published: January, 12, 2011 Categories // Youth, Events, Population Specific

The Youth present were amazing too, sex positive, and queer friendly, inquisitive and outgoing; they cleared me out of safer sex supplies....

On November 18th I hosted a kiosk promoting the AIDS Committee of Ottawa and our group for young gay positive men called Chatter during the 6th Annual Rainbow Youth Fair at the Confederation Learning Centre. This year’s theme was ‘Passion, Pride, and Prosperity’. Youth Service Bureau (YSB) organized over 200 students from surrounding schools to attend, with the help of some amazing teachers from the city of Ottawa, and hosted some amazing workshops created and given by Youth for Youth, a

One Hour And Counting: HIV criminalization & controversy

published: November, 18, 2010 Categories // Legal, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Sex and Sexuality

My Positivelite.com editor Brian Finch tipped me off that there was interest from 3rd parties in reproducing a previous blog post of mine entitled ‘Are We All Criminals’

My Positivelite.com editor Brian Finch tipped me off that there was interest from 3rd parties in reproducing a previous blog post of mine entitled ‘Are We All Criminals’ about my experiences with HIV-criminalization and disclosure. Shortly thereafter, I was contacted directly by Matt Mills, an editor of Xtra and a fierce supporter of ending HIV-Criminalization. Matt found the piece ‘courageous’ and valued its potential for creating an honest dialogue around the complexities of HIV-crim

Ottawa’s Magnet Party Is A Continued Success!

published: November, 17, 2010 Categories // Community Events, Events

“Our legacy is worth remembering, our future is worth celebrating!” boldly stated the Magnet Party’s promotional posters.

Tackling the misconception that being HIV+ means not having a future, the Magnet Party passed out fortune cookies, employed a palm reader, and hosted a table of petitions and campaign materials about making our future as positive gay men a brighter, less discriminator one.   Despite the rain, ACO’s second quarter annual party for pos guys and the guys who love them pulled out a respectable amount of people thanks to strong word of mouth and a real need on the part of HIV+ guys to conne

Up in the air: HIV & Poz Prevention Programs

published: November, 03, 2010 Categories // Activism

Last week I found myself in one of my favorite cities, the big smoke; Toronto, where I was attending 4 days of working groups.

Tuesday found me sitting on the Provincial Campaign Working Group, tasked with helping to develop an HIV prevention campaign, Wednesday I participated for the first time in a Poz Prevention Working Group, and on Thursday and Friday I joined men from all over the province for the Gay Men's Sexual Health Alliance’s Provincial Advisory Body Meeting who were doing strategic planning.I was there as a representative for the AIDS Service Organization I work for here in Ottawa, I’m a Community De

Ottawa AIDS Walk For Life Fundraiser

published: November, 03, 2010 Categories // AIDS Walk for Life, Fundraisers, Events

A late roll-out, the economic downturn, fundraising fatigue, and the recent controversy in Ottawa over criminalization that erupted this summer..

...may have all contributed to this year’s Ottawa AIDS Walk For Life failing to reach its fundraising goal of $100,000.00 by almost 50%! I suppose it could have been worse. Windsor, where high profile criminalization charges have also been levied, did only 21% of their goal! E-mails such as this were not uncommon for Walkers in Ottawa trying to solicit donations: “I wish I could sponsor you again this year” wrote one person, “However; I read that [the organization you support] is objec

Is it better?

published: October, 12, 2010 Categories // Sex and Sexuality

Offering only a bandage, the campaign fails to hold others accountable, silences youth, and doesn’t offer any adequate solutions. Look at what it’s telling our youth in crisis.

In the wake of the suicides of Tyler Clementi, Raymond Chase, Seth Walsh , Justin Aaberg, Asher Brown, and Billy Lucas, white, male, hiv-negative, privileged Dan Savage has given North American the viral hit ‘It Gets Better’ Campaign to address queer bullying in schools. Offering only a bandage, the campaign fails to hold others accountable, silences youth, and doesn’t offer any adequate solutions. Look at what it’s telling our youth in crisis. It will get better once we don't subject

Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime Rally, Ottawa

published: October, 06, 2010 Categories // Activism, Community Events, Events

For the second time in less than two years, I hit Parliament Hill to help rally attention around the fact that Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) is flawed

It fails to get medicines to people in developing countries that need them. Despite 80% of Canadians being in favor of Bill C-393 being adapted to streamline CAMR and make the process more effective, brand name pharmaceutical companies are using their considerable wealth to lead their own campaign of misinformation to derail the bill, and protect their own self interests, at the cost of human lives. Do you want to get involved and support Bill C-393 getting passed? Visit http://www.aidslaw.c

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