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Les Kurkendaal takes Nanaimo Fringe audiences to Bakersfield, California, where his lover’s family lives in all-white isolation

picture 577What happens when a man brings his male lover home to his family in Bakersfield, California, for the holidays? Oh, but this isn’t really the crux of the problem: the family has recently and grudgingly accepted their son Mike’s sexual orientation. The real problem begins as Les steps across the threshold of the family’s pricey, gated suburban home. Mike “forgot” to tell his family that his lover is an African American. [source: Cincinnati CityBeat] [image: Les at Nanaimo Museum for Nanaimo Fringe 2014]

Christmas in Bakersfield is being performed at the 2014 Nanaimo Fringe Festival, at the Nanaimo Museum venue.

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What happens when religious beliefs clash with human rights in the teaching of law

picture 552British Columbia lawyers voted overwhelmingly on June 10, 2014 in favour of a motion directing the Benchers of the Law Society of BC to declare that Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law, with 77% voting in favour. West Coast LEAF, an organization striving to “create a society in which differences are respected and supported by the law, and by social and institutional policies and practices” has made submissions to both the BC Law Society and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada objecting to TWU’s accreditation as a law school. The group is “very pleased that such a clear majority of the lawyers who voted have agreed that a law school that discriminates against LGBTQ students and faculty has no place in our province.”

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AIDS Vancouver Island shares its stories to break stigma

November 26th, 2013 | Posted by ccsadmin in people first radio - (Comments Off)

HIV and AIDS have been with us for thirty years but stigma and its effects continue to create harm

picture 513VICTORIA, BC—While this year’s UNAIDS World AIDS Day theme, ‘Getting to Zero’, aims to achieve zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS deaths, it is the goal of getting to zero stigma that is often hardest to attain. Advancements in treatment and broader access to testing have made the first two ‘zero’ goals within reach on Vancouver Island. However, for a coalition of storytellers who are living with HIV in the capital region, stigma remains a harmful and dominant force. (more…)

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More than 500 people, including newly elected MLA Darryl Plecas and Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman, show support for an expanded “Walk Away From Homophobia” event

picture 479More than 500 people took part in the Fraser Valley’s first Pride parade on May 25, 2013 — a turnout that its Abbotsford organizers celebrated as larger than expected.  “We did not anticipate this big of a turnout!” co-organizer Cherese Reemaul told Xtra before taking the stage to address participants. “I’m a little bit overwhelmed.” (more…)

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LGBTQ youth face significant challenges

May 30th, 2013 | Posted by ccsadmin in people first radio - (Comments Off)

LGBTQ youth experience health inequities, mostly attributable to societal stigma and marginalization and its related risks of rejection and violence, as well as lower social supports

picture 480Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth have well-documented health inequities, mostly attributable to societal stigma and marginalization and its related risks of rejection and violence, as well as lower social support. These health inequities include higher rates of mental health problems, including suicidality, sexual health issues, including STIs and teen pregnancy involvement, problem substance use, injuries, and foregone health care. They are more likely to become homeless, and face discrimination in education, employment, and housing. (source: Elizabeth Saewyc, PhD , RN, FSAHM) (more…)

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New research finds implications for two groups affected by HIV and AIDS—women and gay men

picture 470New research presented at conferences in Victoria and Vancouver this month have highlighted several challenges related to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the province of British Columbia. The findings are particularly important to the well-being of two groups that have often been described as particularly vulnerable to HIV infection: gay and bisexual men; and women. (more…)

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