Sexual health advocates launch Irish virtual community to discuss effects of COVID-19 crisis on our sex lives

Irish LGBT+ activists have set up the forum to recognise the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our sex lives and what social distancing means for hooking up.

COVID-19 Sex

Sexual health activist Thomas Strong has proposed staging a series of virtual community fora in which members of the LGBT+, queer, and allied communities are able to reflect upon the COVID-19 crisis, specifically from the vantage point of something that matters to us: sex.

These will be one- or two-hour community meetings that take place in a Zoom Room operated by Thomas Strong. They will be open to the public and are hoped to be free-ranging but focussed.

The organisation of this effort has included the work of a number of activists in the LGBT+ sexual health community including Thomas Strong, Andrew Leavitt, Adam Shanley, Noah Halpin, Noel Donnellon, John Gilmore, Paulo Ribiero, Diego Gautama, and Elena Vaughan.

The forum will take place on the video conferencing service Zoom, here at 8pm this evening. Those wanting to join are asked to email [email protected] for the password before 7pm.

Speaking about his motivation for creating this forum, Thomas said:

“The impetus to spark community discussion came when, as usual, I found myself trawling the Grindr Grid, but this time during a pandemic and under conditions of social distancing and self-isolation. What was going on in the Grid? Hook-ups? And sex parties? I later learned of at least two group scenes that had occurred that evening. How was I to understand this? Was it a problem?

“If there is some hand-wringing occurring at the thought of gay male sex parties during this epidemic, at the same time there doesn’t seem to be a lot of reflection on what is going to happen to sex. Where is community discussion of the impact that this pandemic will have on our sexual relationships and lives?

“I think we can play a role in helping people to understand what is at stake here in terms of sex, ethics, the LGBT+ community, and more. Moreover, in instituting this forum, we can performatively insist on the importance and centrality of sex to life — especially for LGBT+ people, and especially after some hard-fought victories in relation to the HIV epidemic (which, btw, remains a problem in Ireland).”

Strong said the main aims of the fora are education and recognition:

“What does social distancing mean in terms of sex? There is some information circulating about this. We can disseminate this information, discuss it, critique it, and so on.

“Sex is important and valuable for us and the effects of COVID-19 on our sex lives is nontrivial. For some of us, it’s the most important thing.”

For more information, see Facebook. The forum will take place on the video conferencing service Zoom, here at 8pm this evening. Those wanting to join are asked to email [email protected] for the password before 7pm.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.
default