New initiative launched for 'less-out' gay, trans, bi and queer men

Initiative for GBT2Q men

A new online resource has launched to improve the health and well-being of men who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit and queer. (GBT2Q)

The Health Initiative for MEN (HIM) is a Vancouver based non-profit that has launched a new intervention to assist men who are 'less-out' when it comes to their sexuality. The initiative provides information and resources for men to confidentially access sexual and mental health in their community.

The intervention is called OutsideIN which includes web resources and awareness aimed at building empathy for gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit and queer men. 

“We at HIM want to let guys, who are less out, know that they don’t have to be out in order for them to access the tools that are designed to help them to take control of their own sexual health,” says associate director for programs and interventions Aaron Purdie.

HIM hopes members of the GBT2Q will join the initiative to learn more while unpacking the complexities of coming out.

“We need to simultaneously recognize the unique stress related to being less out while understanding that coming out is not the singular solution," says program manager Simon Rayek. "Between 10 and 25 per cent of men who have sex with men in Canada say they have never ‘come out’ to anyone, including their doctors.

"These men experience a number of health inequities compared to their more “out” counterparts; they have lower sexual health literacy, lower testing rates for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, weaker social networks, higher rates of social isolation, and increased stress levels. We also know that these inequities are often unaddressed by health organizations whose reach may be more-or-less limited to GBT2Q who are out enough to openly inquire about and utilize health services aimed at sexual minority populations.”

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