My journey with AIDS…and more!: It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day – let’s review

It is a measure of self-compassion on this Bell Let’s Talk Day when I can slow down and remind myself of where I am and where I’ve come from. I have a long history of, and recovery from, substance abuse – chiefly, but not solely, alcohol – begun shortly after a period of sexual abuse ...

My journey with AIDS…and more!: The ever-present question: Now what?

I describe myself, rightly so I think, as a long-term survivor of AIDS and HIV.  I offer as evidence my being diagnosed with HIV in 1989 and my long, slow recovery from AIDS-related Cryptosporidiosis in the early 90s – the effects of which shadow me to this day. Over the years, due to a serious accident ...

My journey with AIDS…and more!: Thank you Rosemary Barton and MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Celina Caesar-Chavannes appeared tonight on CBC Power and Politics with host Rosemary Barton.  She was there to discuss her experiences with depression, before and since becoming MP for Whitby and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Parliamentary Secretary. Rosemary’s thorough, careful questions brought out responses I could relate to in my own experience – and even in present ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s forthcoming “drop your pants” trans* blood donation policy

In addition to reducing the required wait time between having sex and donating blood to one year for gay men, Canadian Blood Services is poised to release its first-ever guidance on how CBS personnel should respond to potential trans* donors: if it’s in you to give, then drop your pants.  While the policy has not yet been ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: I’m Thinking, “This is Going to Hurt!”: On ‘How Not to Deal with Grief’

From my friend Betty Ann on her Facebook page: “This article deeply moved me…as I suspect it will for any of you who have been impacted by the kind of grief associated with multiple loss, deaths due to overdose and or HIV/AIDS. Rather than just clicking on “like”, can you write a few sentences in ...

The Canadian Progressive: International Youth Day: Youth and Mental Illness

by: Public Service Alliance of Canada | Posted Thu. Aug 13, 2014 August 12 is International Youth Day, a day endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 in a resolution upon the recommendation by the World Conference of Minsters Responsible for Youth.  This year’s theme is “Youth and Mental Health.” The Public Service Alliance of Canada ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Another important day for self-acceptance

    If I have learned nothing else about my bipolar II today, it is that I am certainly not the only one in similar circumstances who has found photography to be a healing past-time. Facebook is teeming today with some of the creative works of the bipolar support community. Scrolling through various blogs and ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Another important day for self-acceptance

    If I have learned nothing else about my bipolar II today, it is that I am certainly not the only one in similar circumstances who has found photography to be a healing past-time. Facebook is teeming today with some of the creative works of the bipolar support community. Scrolling through various blogs and ...

A. Picazo: Ending The Stigma

This op-ed appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on January 28, 2014.   On Dec. 29, Christopher Peloso, the 40-year-old husband of former Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman, was reported missing. “Freedom from depression has been elusive for Christopher,” Smitherman tweeted on the eve of the 29th. “We fear for his safety.” A followup tweet issued just hours later linked ...

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Sound Advice for Autism Speaks

In yesterday’s commentary  Autism Speaks Joins Drake And J.Cole In Insulting 40% With Autism AND Intellectual Disability I criticized Autism Speaks for stigmatizing persons with Intellectual Disability, particularly the 40% of persons on the autism spectrum with ID, the 40% that Autism Speaks seldom acknowledges in its promotions and literature.   I received the comment, posted ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Review (and a personal retrospective) – Behind the Candelabra

With only the most scant help from Google I have been trying to remember more about my personal, professional meeting with Liberace (“Please, call me Lee.”) It was some time in the mid-1980s, while I was working at a St. Catharines, Ontario radio station, when the subject of last night’s premiere of Behind the Candelabra ...

knitnut.net: When words turn bad

The other day I was on a conference call and we were discussing which tags and keywords should be included in a collaborative online database. The terms “substance use” and “harm reduction” were both on the list. I suggested we add “addiction.” Some other people on the call said that we don’t use that term ...

A. Picazo: Yes – Let’s Talk

Though dismissed by some as a cynical marketing ploy, Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign not only succeeded in raising $4.8 million for mental health initiatives, but also provided a forum for canadians to share their stories, reach out for help, and address the stigma associated with mental illness. That conversation, seeing people I know and respect ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: There are at least a few, if not many, important people with whom I need to have my own conversation about…

…this! It’s certainly not too early to think about Mental Illness Awareness Week When I read the Ottawa Citizen article (linked above) I immediately thought, “Mom will have read that yesterday,” and what an opening it would give me to discuss my own mental health history with her. Not long after sobering up five+ years ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Oh look! It’s happened again!

I’m delighted to be at the top of the list, perhaps it’s random, of 16 Five Star Rated AIDS Information Sites & Blogs – and I’ve found a few fellow travelers in the process!

My journey with AIDS...and more!: For those who loved Kyle

I’ve been wrestling all day – less with what to write than how to write it – so I thought I’d begin with an absurd fruit-plate. Leading with humour is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. Regardless of what was going on inside, my outside presentation was most often light if ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Newspaper clipping from Mom: “A GAY JOCK TAKES OFF THE MASK”

It was on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen’s March 17 “Saturday Observer”  section. The paper sat on a table beside Mom’s comfy chair, where she keeps anything she wants to pass along to me.  She knows that, like Jamie Hubley, whose passing touched me so deeply, hockey stories wouldn’t normally need to be on ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: No sentence could undo the harms caused by Graham James

I join the outcry today over the sentencing of convicted serial pedophile Graham James to two years in prison for the sexual abuse of Theo Fleury and Todd Holt. Counter-intuitively (because I knew it would just get me stirred up) I watched the news coverage of the lawyers’ statements and victims’ reactions. Graham arrived at court ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Something that made me think “Huh?” on World AIDS Day

As I do every Thursday, I spent two hours late this afternoon with a group of gay men. We range in age from something like 35 to just over 60. I was curious, then disappointed, to see whether the subject of World AIDS Day would come up in the course of our discussions. It did ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: There is no hierarchy in grief: Of Norway and Amy Winehouse

Please read this from Scott Dagostino, whose writing makes me admire the way his mind works. Being someone who might preemptively describe myself as naive (which endears me to world-wise friends and the ne’er do-well-alike), I must say the title of Scott’s post took me in with more than its most obvious sarcasm and led ...

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism and the Stigma of Intellectual Disability: Some CDC Facts

CDC:  Intelligence quotient (IQ) of children aged 8 years with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for whom psychometric test data were available,* by site and sex (IQ) score-Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 sites, United States, 2006 Last week some “autism” blog sites on the internet launched more personal attacks against me for daring ...

This is a gift…

So, my loyal readers, I’m sure that you’ve all been keeping up to date on the activities. Well, the police went overboard (like I predicted) and brutalized SO many people. My girlfriend was part of the group that got boxed in on Queen and Spadina on Sunday… I was so scared! But she got out ...

Toronto!

So I just spent an AMAZING ten days in Toronto. We had a Drug User Groups summit and we officially created the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs (CAPUD). We wrote our mission statement etc. and got everything underway. The overarching goal of the group is to help co-ordinate the regional groups (ADDICQ in ...

Harm Reduction Superheroes!

So last Thursday I did a panel speech and presented a workshop at YSB’s forum. It was called Building Bridges and it focused on youth ‘in transition’ from youth to adulthood and how we can better support them. Oh yeah, on a side note, things with Kristy didn’t exactly work out. I know, what a ...

Biking around town! Sorry folks.

[edit: I just noticed that I passed 1000 hits! Thank you everyone for reading my blog! I feel so special!] Hey OFDSU devotees – I’m sorry that my posting has been so erratic lately. To be honest I haven’t really had any good topics to write about and I don’t want to bore you with ...