Advocacy

Recent posts

Standing Up Against Hate: Chris Armstrong At The University of Michigan

The University of Michigan’s student counsel president Chris Armstrong has been a subject of national attention lately, due to the attacks on him by Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell for spreading his “radical homosexual agenda” on the University of Michigan’s campus.  You can see the interview with this “concerned Michigan alumnus” as linked by MSP here. I was really amazed by the students’ reaction to this on campus, and how it has morphed into a campaign promoting respect on campus. Continue Reading →

HIV/AIDS And Stigma: What You Can Do

When my introductory MSP post went live, I unsurprisingly shared it on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, wanting my friends to see the great work I was helping to produce.  And many of my online friends contacted me to let me know how much they liked that I was contributing to such a fun, sex-positive website.  However, one good friend and colleague was disappointed:  “Craig,” he said, “there’s one very important thing that is missing when you talk about your experience with sex, and I think the fact that you left it off shows how important it is to talk about.” As I scanned back through my introduction, I realized what I had done.  Despite having spent the entirety of 2009 providing services to people living with HIV, I had neglected to mention this in my intro.  I could give all sorts of reasons –  I didn’t feel like it was sex-positive enough,  I didn’t think it went with the feeling of the site, etc. But the bottom line is that this site exists to talk about sex, relationships, and pleasure for EVERYONE, and that includes people who are living with HIV. The fact that I missed an opportunity to talk about a group that is very important to me demonstrates how often stigma, fear, and misunderstanding can lead to discrimination and invisibility, whether it is from something as simple as a blog post or as complex as the institution of marriage.  This can happen either unintentionally, as I hope was my case, or simply because this group is feared and stigmatized, and is therefore left out of the conversation.  I think stigma regarding people living with HIV can be reduced in two ways:  knowledge about the disease and familiarizing yourself with those living with HIV in your community. Continue Reading →

Sex worker march in Washington DC

Today I went into DC to work at a Cosi, as I’ve become particularly fond of their Tomato Basil soup. YUM. I hopped off the stop at McPherson only to find the beginnings of a sex worker march in the park that I was walking through. Excited, I got off my cell phone, hung around, talked to the women and men (both sex workers and their friends and allies) and joined in the march to advocate for sexual rights of sex workers. The group of women and men in attendance were from all over: Washington DC, North Carolina, Australia, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities. Continue Reading →