Writers - Paul Matthews, Nick Laird, Allie Cherry, James Whyte, Alan Surgeon, Linda Thompson, Ann Mariott, Paul Robertson. Edit and Design - Brian Houston
LINDA THOMPSON TELLS US ABOUT INVOLVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES AT HEALTHY GAY SCOTLAND.
What’s your name and where’d ya come from?
Linda Thompson, and I’ve just recently arrived from Belfast to start as Development Officer with Healthy Gay Scotland.
Healthy Gay Scotland?
Yes, it’s a national HIV prevention programme established in 1998. It’s run a number of successful campaigns, including the stigma one which appeared in magazines and venues across the country.
How’s the job been so far?
My first few weeks have been a whirlwind of meetings and getting out and about to various projects to see some of the work going on. It’s been fantastic to see all the kinds of things that are happening; from volunteers working in internet chat rooms, to youth drop-ins and peer support. I’m really looking forward to working closely with the staff I’ve met to develop new resources and campaigns.
How can people get involved? What can you say to Joe Punter out there?
I am really keen to hear from everyone on what you think are the issues that people want more information on. Is it safer sex? Is it how to suck safely? Is it which condoms to use? Maybe you’re sitting out there with a great idea - let me hear it. Maybe you’re noticing different things happening out there on the scene, or amongst your own group?
Also, over the next few months Healthy Gay Scotland will be holding events. A chance to get way from it all for a weekend. You'll be able to spend time in a safe and supportive environment looking at some of the issues and experiences of sex and relationships. Hopefully you'll be able to share your experiences and hear how other people have coped with the ups and downs, highs and lows of relationships. There’ll be a few weekends away, so if you’re interested in one of the places - please let me know. I'd especially love to hear from people who may not have been on anything like this before.
There’s real community involvement then?
Definitely. A lot of people have been involved in research in the past; completing questionnaires or surveys, maybe online or at pride events. The time spent doing this is really appreciated. Healthy Gay Scotland is also part of the ongoing ‘Vital Statistics’ survey which can be completed online at the Gay Men's Health website.
Seems like it’s all go!?
Oh yes, I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the ideas different groups and projects have been talking about. I’ll be sure to keep Core updated as it happens.
Vital Statistics Survey
is a partnership project representing the LGBT community in Scotland. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the partners. However, if they're witty, intelligent and insightful - they probably are. If you flicked through this mag, saw a photie and made an assumption about someone's sexuality - then you're about ten years behind what we're trying to do here. Click the mag off and walk away. Accurate at going online time, but hey, we didn't get this sarky without making mistakes.