Grunt – Australia’s first sexual health campaign for trans men – launches in Brisbane tonight
The Brisbane launch of a sexual health website for trans men who have sex with cis men happens tonight in Woolloongabba.
Australia's first resource for trans men, Grunt is a collaboration between AFAO and PASHtm (Peer Advocacy Network for the Sexual Health of Trans Masculinities).
Grunt not only has useful advice for trans men enjoying their sexuality with cis men, but the campaign features some steamy photos as well.
Jez Pez and Teddy Cook, founding members of PASHtm and part of the team behind Grunt, are in Brisbane for the launch and tell QP they wanted the site to be raunchy.
“Yes! We explicitly wanted to be as sex positive as we could possibly be,” says Jez. “We wanted to centre the celebration of trans male sexuality at the core of the campaign.”
Teddy says he wants trans men to be able to make informed decisions about the kind of sex they want to have. “So more information on HIV and the risks involved in some of the sex they might be having. But also testing, treatment and care of HIV and other STIs.”
Jez says the existing material around HIV and sexual health was targeted towards cis men. “The other sexual health campaigns, the MSM campaigns... to put it really bluntly, they’ve failed to engage trans men in the development of those campaigns to reflect our bodies and the kind of sex we have. The language used has only focused on cisgender men having sex with each other.
“Because of that, they haven’t been reaching transgender men who are gay, bi or queer. We felt that we were compelled into a heavy, sexualised culture of queer men – which we love! But we come into that culture with little to no knowledge of HIV. We were concerned, because we do know of cases of trans guys seroconverting because they didn’t know the risks of HIV.”
When it comes to sexual encounters between trans men and cis men, Teddy says the story is very different to what it was even five years ago. “More and more cis men are more aware of the trans experience, but also trans men are feeling more confident and able to disclose,” he says.
Teddy says he discloses his trans experience on hook-up apps, but that it’s different in sex on premises venues. “I try to read the situation,” he says. “There are a lot of myths about the way trans guys have sex and I think there’s an assumption that all trans guys are bottoms. But we have a lot of different kinds of sex, really. So if I’m up for being fucked in my arse, I don’t necessarily need to disclose."
The Grunt site contains information about HIV and STIs, PrEP, about cruising, disclosure, treatment, and all aspects of being a sexually active trans guy who has sex with other guys.
Check the site out here, and get along to the Brisbane launch tonight: DJs Cedrick, B(racket) and Kimo Orlando will be on hand with a performance by Mr Punch McRagefist.
Grunt - the Brisbane launch, Can You Keep A Secret bar/lounge, 619-621 Stanley St, Woolloongabba, 6.30pm, Friday, September 30, 2016. Facebook here.