The methodology of involving groups of young, homosexual men in action to end homophobia in Pernambuco

Published: August 1, 2008

A dversidade é legal (diversity is great): the methodology of involving groups of young, homosexual men in action to end homophobia in Pernambuco

Issues: Homophobia works in a similar way to xenophobia or racism.It is a phenomenon which makes arbitrary designations, naming a person as inferior, abnormal or as behaving contrary to what is considered natural.The marginalization of groups of young gay men based on homophobic ideas, isolates these young men and distances them from social support networks, families and churches.Thus, contributing to the increased vulnerability of these groups to situations of risk, including the risk of HIV/AIDS infection. The lack of a support network also contributes to the negative treatment of young gay men who are already HIV+.

Description: In Pernambuco, a state in the northeast of Brazil, acts of homophobia are a daily occurance and homophobic attitudes are commonplace.In Pernambuco, the number of gay men who have been murdered is the second highest in the Brazil.In this context, our current project has the objective to report and analyse the experience of the intervention of a local NGO with popular organisations run by and working with young gay men. The key strategies of this project are to contribute to the strengthening of the identity and autonomy of these groups through a process of training in gender, sexual rights and educational methodology.

Lessons learned: The preliminary results show that this methodology has encouraged the greater participation of the young men we worked with in actions to encourage respect for sexual diversity and action to prevent HIV/AIDS. We also saw active participation in local and state government people’s forums and other devices of deliberative and participatory democracy.

Next steps: Our experiences up until this moment have indicated that it is necessary to focus on young gay men’s vulnerability to HIV infection and the political strengthening of this group.Alongside advocacy calling for the end of homophobia and demanding the guarantee of public policy to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and provide treatment for those who are already HIV+.

-Abstract available at link below-

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