Ontario’s first GBT2Q men’s health organization is connecting guys into guys this Capital Pride

MAX Ottawa kicks-off their programming with a panel about GBT2Q guys of colour on Tuesday August 15th .


Ottawa, August 10th, 2017 – MAX Ottawa, Ontario’s first stand-alone GBT2Q organization, is “getting guys into guys connected” this Pride season with a number of current and engaging community activities. The kick-off will take place next Tuesday, August 15th, 5:30pm, at 25One Community with “Out of the shadows”, a pre-Pride panel and discussion event about the realities and experiences of GBT2Q guys of colour. MAX is pleased to present this event in partnership with the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) and Councillor Catherine McKenney.

Given discussions across Pride festivals in Canada around the realities of queer people of colour, MAX hopes to advance knowledge and understandings on this critical issue with this evidence-based event. “We’re excited about our first Pride season as MAX”, commented Roberto Ortiz, Executive Director. “In addition to our kick-off discussion about the lived experiences of GBT2Q guys of colour in Ottawa, MAX staff and volunteers have prepared a range of activities that reflect the diversity of our communities”. MAX’s full list of Pride activities can be found at the end of this article.

Gay, bisexual, two-spirit, queer, and other guys into guys (GBT2Q), whether cis or trans, show higher rates of distress compared to heterosexual men. Recent research has identified depression, anxiety, social isolation, body image issues, violence, and substance use as only some of the social and mental health issues that our GBT2Q communities are facing. These issues are amplified for guys into guys who are at the intersection of two or more inequities (i.e., trans, Indigenous, immigrants and newcomers, guys of colour).

MAX Pride programming is part of the broader “Get Connected. Meet MAX” campaign, developed by MediaStyle and MAX, which launched online last month to begin addressing these health inequities. This campaign encourages guys into guys from the Ottawa region to get in touch with MAX to:

  • Get connected to competent mental health services; and/or
  • Get connected to other guys through community activities and resources.

“Through this campaign and throughout our Pride activities, we want to raise awareness about the fact that guys into guys can feel disconnected sometimes, but we [guys into guys] all deserve complete wellness. The Get Connected campaign invites the guys from our communities to take the first step by meeting MAX. As Ottawa’s health and community hub for guys into guys, we’ll do our best to connect guys to health services or to the community”, affirmed Roberto Ortiz.


MAX Pride season activities:

August 15th:    “Out of the shadows: the realities and experiences of GBT2Q guys of colour in Ottawa”

August 20th:    “2017 LGBTQ+ Family Pride Picnic”

August 20-27th: “The Awwmazing Race” (scavenger hunt contest)

August 21st:     “Making Kimchi with Culture Queen”

August 23rd:    “Speed Friending/ Dating”

August 27th:    “Pride parade and Community Fair”


About MAX Ottawa:

MAX (formerly the Ottawa Gay Men’s Wellness Initiative) is a community-based organization seeking to address the unmet health needs of gay, bi, two-spirit, queer and other guys who are into guys, whether cis or trans (GBT2Q), in the Ottawa area. We focus particularly on building resiliency, and creating a network of services able to support and promote GBT2Q men’s health and wellness. We are proud to be the first stand-alone GBT2Q men’s health organization in Ontario!