Promote Health. Build Community. End HIV and AIDS.
*ACT Office Hours Update*
From June 1 - September 1, ACT's office will run on Summer Hours.

Monday: 10am-6pm
Tuesday: 10am-7pm
Wednesday: 10am-7pm
Thursday: 10am-7pm
Friday: 10am-2pm
Join ACT in the Pride Parade
We want you to march with us! ACT will be in the Toronto Pride Parade again this year and we're getting the party started now!
Fill out the form in our bio to stay in the loop about where/when we'll meet, t-shirts, the playlist and how to join our dance crew 👯
ACT and the Toronto Blue Jays
ACT was honoured to be chosen by TD Bank Group and the Toronto Blue Jays to provide the annual 2SLGBTQ+ training to 400 Blue Jays staff. The training, provided by Marc and Aaron, focused on issues facing communities affected by HIV and AIDS, including stigma. On Friday, June 9th, ACT will be participating in unveiling the pride flag during the Toronto Blue Jays game as part of their Pride Weekend festivities. 
Pictured above: ACT practicing for the flag ceremony in 2022.
Joy. Sorrow. Anger. Love. PRIDE.
On June 1, The Magenta Foundation and The ArQuives are launching their exhibit: Joy. Sorrow. Anger. Love. PRIDE. This exhibit features a gallery and publication celebrating the impact and history of Toronto Pride.

ACT has a page on our own history with Pride within the exhibit and the book! We're honoured to share our involvement with Pride over the past 40 years, and to reflect on the impact that Pride has had on our community.

Join us Thursday June 1 at 7pm at Collision Gallery for the exhibit's opening evening - it's free and everyone is welcome.
Your Mental Health Matters
Celebrating Pride month and prioritizing the Mental Health of our communities:
A note from our Mental Health Services team.
June is Pride Month, and the vibrant rainbow flags, colourful parades, and celebrations of diversity and inclusivity will again take center stage worldwide. Beyond the festivities, it is important to recognize the mental health of 2SLGBTQ+ folks and people living with HIV (PHA). Pride Month presents a unique opportunity to both acknowledge the triggers that can affect mental well-being and leverage the strengths that arise within these communities.

2SLGBTQ+ folks and PHA have endured a long history of discrimination, oppression, and marginalization. Thus, Pride Month can evoke painful memories and experiences for individuals who have faced rejection, bullying, or violence due to their sexual and romantic orientations, gender identities and expressions, and health status. Such triggers can significantly impact our mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, body image issues (e.g., "Pride Body"), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Pride season can also intensify feelings of inadequacy or exclusion for individuals who may not feel comfortable expressing their identities publicly. The pressure to conform to societal norms and community expectations (e.g., coming out) can be overwhelming, leading to heightened stress, self-doubt, loneliness, internalized homophobia and transphobia, and serophobia (the fear and discrimination of PHA).

On the other hand, Pride Month offers a platform for 2SLGBTQ+ folks and PHA to come together, find support, and foster a sense of belonging. Being part of a community with similar experiences and challenges can be a powerful remedy to the challenges often experienced by marginalized groups. The strength of unity and the opportunity to build connections with like-minded individuals can positively impact mental health. Pride Season also encourages us to embrace our authentic selves, promoting radical self-acceptance and fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion. The visibility of role models and nuanced representations of Queer and Trans people in our culture can inspire, empower, and elicit pride (no pun intended!) in one's identity – especially if you share their intersectional identities (as PHA, Black, Indigenous and other People of Colour [BIPOC], neurodivergence, etc.). These affirming experiences can improve mental health outcomes for individuals and their communities.

By acknowledging the triggers that can impact mental health and harnessing the strengths of our communities, we can ensure that this Pride Season can encourage radical change. Together, let's celebrate diversity, promote belonging, and foster an environment that embraces our whole selves for all individuals across intersectional identities.
Staff Highlight: Meet Kenny
Name: Kenny Dawkins (they/xe/he)
Title: Queer Community Health Systems Coordinator
Astrology Sign: Sagittarius

Q: What work do you do at ACT?
A: Most of my work centers around educating health care professionals and community-based organizations on how to reduce barriers to affirming health care. This can look like building tools like the Trans Health Card, or running interactive workshops for both service providers and those seeking care.
Q: What's your favourite part of working at ACT?
A: I like meeting people where they're at in their comprehension of the gender spectrum. That way, I can build the workshop around their questions about gender diversity - no workshops are the same! The other favourite part is being able to hold space for difficult conversations and vulnerability. Specifically when it comes to gender, people are afraid to make a mistake. And I build a space where it's okay to make mistakes because that's how you learn and move forward.

Fun fact about Kenny:
They're a karaoke STAR. You can catch them singing a Tom's Diner cover at your local karaoke bar!
Q: What do you wish people knew about your work?
A: That vulnerability is required to do my work. There is a humility that I embody during these conversations with health care providers. They seem so used to academic and finite statements that it feels like the humanity’s infinite cycle of changes and growth has been forgotten. I want to remind them of it.
Karaoke... or should we say kenny-oke?
Kenny provides free, in-person or online cultural competency workshops around gender-affirming care for community organizations and health care professionals/clinics. Reach out to them by email at [email protected] or by clicking the button below!
Upcoming Programs and Events
Thanks to the support of the community, ACT can offer a wide range of group supports for people living with and affected by HIV in Toronto. Below is a list of some group programs and events that we are hosting this month. Click below for more information:
Thursday June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Friday June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

PYO Run Club - June 6, 13, 20

PYO Drop-In - June 1

Women's Zone - June 8

PYO Craft Night - June 8

HYPE Youth Summit - June 15-18

PYO Drop-in - June 22

PYO Pride Run - June 24

Pride Parade - June 25

ACT Office Closure - June 26

National HIV Testing Day - June 27

Women's Zone - June 29
Stay Connected
Find the most up-to-date info on ACT programs and services as well as HIV, sexual and mental health info on the ACT website. You can also follow ACT on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

As a service user, volunteer, staff member, or donor, we would also love to hear from you. Is there something you'd like to see in the newsletter?
Drop us a line at [email protected] or again, find us on social media at any of the buttons below.