Spill the Tea Premieres in Vancouver

YouthCO and MAX Bring Innovative “Spill the Tea” Campaign to Vancouver

With a grant from ViiV Healthcare, YouthCO and MAX are launching their groundbreaking campaign to promote safer partying education for guys who are into guys in British Columbia for the first time.

October 28 (Vancouver, BC) – On Wednesday, October 30th, YouthCO and MAX, in partnership with ViiV Healthcare, will be hosting their latest edition of “Spill the Tea” at the Junction Public House in Vancouver. As an official ancillary event of the Community-Based Research Centre’s (CBRC) 2019 Summit, the drag intervention will be followed by a special Spill the Tea panel at the Summit the following day on October 31st.

Spill the Tea is a drag intervention combatting the stigma associated with drug use, sex, and HIV to promote health and wellness for gay, bisexual, Two-Spirit, queer and other guys who are into guys whether cis or trans (GBT2Q). This innovative community event and communications strategy focuses on reducing the stigma associated with sexualized substance use, also known as party and play or PnP.

The campaign first launched on July 12th, 2018. The campaign has seen great success around Ottawa and is now beginning to explore new markets, to empower other communities to develop their own versions. This is the fourth Spill the Tea event, with the first three all being held in Ottawa.

The purpose of the Spill the Tea campaign is to address party and play in the GBT2Q communities. For years there has been a stigma around this topic and has led to a failure on open discussion about party and play. Hosting Spill the Tea events in a fun, friendly, open setting offers a welcoming and educational experience to the GBT2Q communities and allies.

“Spill the Tea has seen great success in the Ottawa region, and we are excited that it is now coming to a new location.” said Roberto Ortiz, Executive Director of MAX. “Our hope is that this event sparks conversations about party and play, as well as raise the importance of HIV/STBBI testing and peer support for guys into guys.”

The Spill the Tea drag event will feature Nina Bo’nina Brown, who finished sixth on season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and will be hosted by local drag queen Alma Bitches. The event will run from 8:00 PM – 3 AM, at The Junction Public House, 1138 Davie Street.

“As a young queer guy in the city, I see the impacts of stigma and isolation in our community every day, so I’m really excited to see an event like this in Vancouver.” said Ivan Leonce, Mpowerment Program Manager at YouthCO. “Drag as an art form has been such a powerful force in challenging stigma and bringing our community together over the years, I know that it’s just the right launching point for conversations about sex and drug use.”

Following the drag event, members of MAX, ViiV Healthcare and the Ottawa community will present an integrated Spill the Tea panel, discussing the successes and challenges of delivering this community-based intervention and offering adaptable tips to deliver this intervention to other communities. The panel will take place on October 31st at 4:15 PM – 5:30 PM at the Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel as part of the Community-Based Research Centre’s 2019 Summit.

YouthCOYouthCO is a peer-led agency working to reduce the impact of stigma related to HIV and Hep C. We are an organization of young leaders who work to affect meaningful change through peer support, education and community engagement. YouthCO fosters inclusive communities where youth empower youth. Learn more about YouthCO at: http://www.youthco.org

MAX is a community-based organization that focuses on maximising the health and wellness of gay, bisexual, Two-Spirit, queer and other guys who are into guys, whether cis or trans (GBT2Q) by educating, addressing disparities in health outcomes, and delivering activities to support health and wellbeing. Formerly known as the Ottawa Gay Men’s Wellness Initiative, MAX is proud to be the first stand-alone GBT2Q men’s health organization in Ontario. For more information, please see our website at: https://maxottawa.ca/en/.

ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is the only company 100% dedicated to developing HIV treatments to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS and ultimately improve the health of those whose lives are touched by the virus. Learn more about ViiV Healthcare and how we are supporting the HIV/AIDS community at www.viivhealthcare.ca.

For more information about the Spill the Tea drag show:
Ivan Leonce, Mpowerment Program Manager, YouthCO
Email: ivan@youthco.org

For more information about the Spill the Tea drag panel:
Roberto Ortiz, Executive Director, MAX
Email: roberto@maxottawa.ca