This year, the B.C. Gay Men's Health Summit will zero in on examining what the relationship is between stigma and how it negatively affects health.
Gay and bisexual men face a number of possible stigmas, including sexuality and HIV. That's in addition to other stigmas, including those related to gender (such as not conforming to gender expectations), race, class, disability, mental illness, and more.
This year's summit is hoping to better understand stigma and its relationship to queer men's health.
How do men manage to persevere even while experiencing discrimination? What are some possible actions and interventions that can be taken?
Here's what the Community Based Research Centre for Gay Men's Health, which presents the summit, has to say about the relationship between stigma, gay men's health, and power structures:
The worst thing about stigma is its effectiveness—a potent social power that keeps people out, down, in-line or just—away. Dominant people achieve social status and desired ends by invoking stigmas that subordinate others to their purposes. Institutional systems enforce and reproduce stigma through discrete allocations of privilege and resources to the preferred. Stigma determines the inferiority of unwanted ethnicities, sexual orientations and disease statuses—invoked through labeling, stereotyping, discrimination, exclusion and segregation. And, like other social determinants of health, the excess stress that stigma produces ultimately correlates with a long list of negative health outcomes.
The summit will be held on November 5 and 6 at SFU Harbour Centre.
This year's keynote speaker is Columbia University's Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler, who will talk about his research on structural stigma and the health of sexual minorities.
CBRC has issued a call for submissions for presentations, workshops, and panels. All submissions related to gay men's health are welcome but a relation to this year's theme, Undoing Stigma, is encouraged. The deadline is September 11.
For full details, visit the CBRC website.