World AIDS Day 2019

We celebrated our annual World AIDS Day Event, “Let’s Blow Sexual Health Out of This World!”, on November 26, 2019. The event was a success, thanks to our collaborators, the University of Toronto’s Sexual Education Centre (SEC), Sexual Education by Theatre (SExT), and PEAK from Planned Parenthood Toronto. Students from June Larkin’s first year Women and Gender Studies attended the event, sharing their energy and enthusiasm to learn.

Our evening began with a few rounds of sexy bingo, as we networked and feasted on delicious food from the local restaurant Ghazale. This was followed by SEC’s STI-101, informing us on the diverse forms of safer sex supplies and the importance of testing. The youth-led, Scarborough-based theatre group, SExT then gave a performance that infused sexual education with popular music and relevant humour, engaging us all.

Representatives from PEAK led the closing workshop, in which we played games and had open and honest discussions, on topics ranging from anti-retroviral medication and transmission to reducing HIV/AIDS stigma and the complexities of consent. We ended the event with a classic World AIDS Day activity, sexy cupcake decorating!

Explaining the Meanings in this Year’s Poster:

World AIDS Day event poster 2019

Illustrator Sydney Bristoll and CEL student, Shannon Jankari were interested in depicting intergalactica for this year’s poster. As a social-justice orientated initiative, GAAP is constantly striving to dismantle the inequities in our present world in hopes of creating a more inclusive, transformative world in the future. At events like World AIDS Day, we foster the creation of such utopian spaces, where HIV prevention and AIDS awareness are not stigmatized, learning about sexual health is fun, and diverse youth are welcomed.

The poster depicts an ambiguously gendered, neon coloured alien floating on a cloud in outer space. They have a buzz cut, three eyes, ear and nipple piercings, a BDSM collar around their neck, and stretch marks on their bum. The alien represents non-normativity at its most radical and beautiful! While submerged in outer space, the alien engages in sexual health research, reading from a stack of books speaking to the diverse, intersectional identities and sexual preferences that are always welcomed by GAAP. Sex toys and contraception surround our alien, as they read from the light provided by Saturn and its cock ring. Let’s blow sexual health out of this world!

~ Written by Shannon Jankari, 2019-2020 Community Engaged Learning Student