Home / 2014 / July

At a session on queer health at the World-Pride Human Rights Conference this summer, mostly a friendly affair of cross-border discovery and solidarity featuring speakers from Colombia, Kenya and Canada, there was one itchy moment. Joseph Erban, a smoking cessation counsellor in the oncology department of Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital, raised the ire of several people in the packed classroom when he suggested that smoking kills more LGBT people than HIV.

I’m a 35-year-old gay man and came out to my family and friends about six years ago. I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for about a year now and I’m hoping you can help me out here. I feel like we get along just fine and I love him quite dearly. A constant source of conflict, however, has to do with how we are with each other when we’re out in public. He consistently gets angry with me and tells me that I’m less affectionate with him than when we’re at home, and has accused me of being ashamed of him and my sexuality in general. It’s so bad that I avoid being out with him and that just makes him more upset. While I did wrestle with my sexuality for a long time, I feel I’ve moved past any lingering shame and simply prefer to be more private about my affections. Why does everyone need to know my personal business or who I love? Why can’t the love we share at home be enough… is there something I’m missing here?