Using community-based research to support collective action in MSM Latino immigrants

Initiative summary

The proportion of new HIV diagnoses in Quebec is increasing among MSM from ethno-racial communities, with Latino MSM representing the largest proportion of new diagnoses. Emerging Canadian research also focuses on Latino MSM and LGBTQI immigrants, suggesting that community members are empowered after leaving restrictive sexual regimes (their countries of origin) but also struggle with less social and economic capital after migrating to Canada due to their HIV and immigration status. There remains very little research conducted in Quebec that focus on Latino MSM immigrants.

REZO, a Montreal-based community organization whose mission favours a holistic approach to health promotion by delivering services and programs for MSM, be they cis or trans, has a growing number of Spanish-speaking workers. As an organization, it was not equipped to engage in intervention that attends to the particular realities of MSM Latino immigrants. In order to ensure culturally relevant services, REZO and researchers worked together to assess the ways in which these services are both organized and delivered.

Initiative Objectives and Goals

• Better understand the realities of Latino MSM immigrants who have accessed REZO's health and social services, from their own perspectives.
• Shed light, in particular, on the ways in which sexuality and migration shape the sexual and global health of this community.
• Foster empowerment of Latino MSM immigrants and promote collective dialogue between Latino MSM and REZO personnel, board members and
volunteers about Latino MSM immigrant realities and perspectives.
•Develop key recommendations to REZO and key stakeholders (i.e. COCQ-SIDA, etc.) of how to adapt REZO programs, service delivery and organizational practices to better respond to the needs of Latino MSM immigrants.

The Role of this Initiative to End the HIV Epidemic

Adapting our community services culturally and linguistically to the Latin American population to support preventing new transmissions in a specific population.

Meaningful Engagement with People with Lived Experience

In fall 2018, nine participants actively took part in a series of five "Photovoice" workshops at RÉZO. The participants were invited to take pictures about themes chosen as a group, such as sexual health, emotions, cultural integration and community. Then, as a group, participants discussed these subjects through the photos taken, guided by questions such as: why did I choose this photo? How is this picture connected to my experience of immigration? 

This method majorly facilitated discussing difficult subjects and also encouraged creativity and contributed to people's feelings of autonomy. Throughout the course of the workshops, participants demonstrated a high level of engagement.

Key performance indicators

Primary target audience

MSM

Start Date
January 1, 2017
-
December 2019
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RESULTS

The exhibition "ÉTRANGEr" was presented during the Montréal Pride 2019 festival at the main entrance with a wide structure that featured a selection of photographs taken by project participants using the photovoice methodology.

Results

The exhibition "ÉTRANGEr" was presented during the Montréal Pride 2019 festival at the main entrance with a wide structure that featured a selection of photographs taken by project participants using the photovoice methodology.

Immigration involves the presence of a loss and grief process because of cultural and geographic change. In the case of the GTBQ Latino-American immigrant community, this study demonstrated a link between the expectations (personally and professionally) of someone who is immigrating and their continuous search for a space offering more rights when it comes to gender and sexuality.

Insights

Challenges

"But I also learn from the women after hearing their stories. I put them into practice. ‘Cause they teach me. I teach them. They learn from me." —Valérie, a BSC Collaborative member