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May 26, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]


I had a really gay weekend. I did Spice Girls on Singstar on Friday night, started living with my boyfriend and partied up a storm at the Traffic Light Party on Saturday, and went to the AIDS Foundation Candlelight Memorial on Sunday. It was all pretty glam really. There were lots of highlights, but can I just state for the record that pretty much the best name ever for a Lesbian folk band has officially been taken? You may as well give up now, you won’t beat it. Wellington based “Strumpet” was the opening musical item for the AIDS Foundation Candlelight Memorial in the Illott Theatre last night and they really blew me away. Other meaningless quirks of the evening that I have to get out of my system before I say anything important were that the MC looked like Barack Obama (in some of the right ways and not all of the wrong), there was ‘finger’ food galore with helpful “Vegetarian” signs in appropriate places and I learned a fun new acronym.

MSM means ‘men who sex men’. This includes gay men, bisexual men, and tactless bastard Roy Cohn (Al Pacino) from Angels in America. It’s the depressing truth that, in New Zealand, about three-quarters of HIV patients are MSM, with a new case every five days. Pretty much everything contractible during sex is much, much more contractible during anal sex, which is no one’s fault, not even Roy Cohn’s. I blame evolution. How passé. It’s the same reason why MSM can’t give blood in New Zealand, and AIDS as such a homophobic stigma to it.

AIDS is one of the most fucked up ways to die and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. Well maybe Fred Phelps (the guy behind, but only because he sees AIDS as ‘God’s revenge’. Is it the same revenge that 11 million children in sub- Saharan Africa have been orphaned by the AIDS pandemic? Maybe his God. His God apparently also hates Sweden, Ireland and pretty much everything else. Yep, anal sex is pretty much the worst, but anything will do it. Hypodermic needles, blood transfusions, the toilets at the bottom of Hugh-MacKenzie, but most of all, denial *wistful look into the distance*.

The point is, if you’re going to have random sex with guys, use a condom. I mean go for it, but be smart about it. Have y’all ever had a sexual heath check at this university? Trust me, let them catch a whiff of gay and there are swabs, blood tests, flavoured condoms and gas masks dropping like it’s hot. It’s worth it though. The AIDS Foundation (at the Awhina Centre on Willis Street) will tell you the same thing. There’s huge queer representation in the AIDS Foundation, and they’re always looking for volunteers to help out with stuff like collecting on International AIDS Day. They’re also the group that brought us the Safe Sex Poster Boy campaign and countless others aimed at MSM for AIDS and STI awareness. Even VUWSA is jumping on the band wagon with the whole ‘I Heart My Penis’ t-shirt thing, with Joel Cosgrove wearing one to graduation last week. There are some ghastly stats for the number of men who get sexual health checks (not just MSM, but all men), and I would like to hope that it isn’t because they were insecure or had some macho-complex, but it probably is. I guess if you’re going to beat STIs and particularly AIDS there has to be more talk about it and rationalisation, recognising that MSM are the most affected group without being homophobic.


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