Take The Survey On Global Men's Health And Rights
8/14/2012 2:15:00 PM
By Alex Garner
Update: The deadline for the survey has been extended to August 20th, 2012.
The more we know about our community, the better we can meet the needs of our community. That is precisely why surveys are so important and why it’s vital that as many gay men as possible participate in the MSM Global Forum’s survey on Global Men’s Health and Rights. We have the opportunity to tell others about our experiences so we can make our communities stronger.
The survey is designed to gather information on different factors that impact the quality of our lives as MSM, including community involvement, sexual happiness, experiences of stigma, and access to services. Ultimately, the information will be used by organizations in our communities to support knowledge generation, policy development, program implementation, and advocacy for the health and human rights of MSM.
So often we hear people make claims about the experiences of gay men but they don’t have the research to back it up. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence but we are often lacking in empirical evidence about the sexual health of gay men. Surveys of this kind seek to remedy that dearth of information.
We know what an impact it can have when we share with others about our lives. When LGBT people started to come out our culture changed because more and more people realized that someone they cared about was LGBT. When high profile people like, Rock Hudson and Magic Johnson, revealed their HIV status people were compelled to face the issue.
Where you live can have an enormous impact on your experience as a gay man. If you live in Los Angeles it will be vastly different than if you are living in Augusta or in Boise. Sometimes the geographic different doesn’t need to be that pronounced. A gay man in Westwood can have a significantly different experience than a gay man in South LA, even though they are technically in the same city.
Race and class are just two of many important elements that can impact gay men’s experience. The country one lives in is extremely significant. Some parts of the worlds are very supportive of the free expression of LGBT people but other countries harass, prosecute or even execute people believe to be gay.
“We don’t have homosexuals in our country.” That is a common assertion by leaders of countries that criminalize homosexuality. They don’t even acknowledge our existence. That is why a survey of this kind is so important. It’s a way for us to stand up and be counted. This survey will give us a better understanding of what it means to live as a gay man in a country as wealthy as the U.S. or in country as hostile as Uganda.
The MSM Global forum needs your help. The final day to complete the survey is August 17th. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and then share it will your friends on social media. It’s no longer possible for them to deny our existence. The more information we have about who we are as a, the more power we will have to cultivate healthier communities.
I invite you to follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/alexgarnerla and join me on Facebook.