As many of you know through every day life, not to mention various media scandals, and the #metoo campaign, “no means no.” To some, this movement could come off as new wave feminism that puts very confusing restrictions towards people. In reality, consent is everywhere. Whether it’s for sex, physical contact, or even to take a picture. This brings us to the big question…
What is consent?
Consent is an active agreement for something to happen (sexual or otherwise) or to do something between two or more people. It is an ongoing process that often needs a little added reassurance to guarantee comfortability towards everyone. But what does consent look like? Making sure you ask to do something whenever necessary to ensure people’s comfortability, safety, and needs. That doesn’t mean that you have to ask every 5 minutes! Consent can come through various ways throughout your normal day-to-day life through things like:
Physical interaction such as hugging, high fives, shoulder taps, handshakes, etc.
Bringing people over to private personal spaces
Sharing personal information and/or things
Forming new relationships
Privacy terms on social media
Why consent is important
Simple; it’s just being a decent human being. It’s important to be able to respect one another and especially to respect each other’s boundaries, whether the person is a stranger, a really close friend, or your partner. Besides, you don’t want to end up in a problematic situation simply because you didn’t want to ask! We are all a part of creating a community where people can feel safe and included without fear of harassment, shame, exclusion, and judgement.
How to ask for consent
Consent doesn’t have to be awkward or forward. It can be fun and sexy too! Here are a few examples of asking for consent in casual conversations:
“Do you like that?”
“Do you want me to____?”
“Is it okay if I____?”
Some ways you can ask for consent from your partner or someone you’ve already been talking to about sexy times :
(do NOT use these for strangers – they are kind of harassy!)
“Should I get a condom?”
“Let’s get these clothes off ;3”
Making suggestive humping movements and going “eehhh??” ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
It’s super important to be able to accept a “no” in response to any of these, and even thank the person for having good boundaries!
Dried cannabis flower has a pretty long shelf life, only starting to lose some potency after a year if stored properly. Unfortunately, pot can be stored perfectly but still go bad if someone fucked up down the line while producing it. Never fear, Trip! Is here to guide you through the magical world of moldy weed.
First time trying cannabis? We will be discussing what to expect on your first high!
Cannabis has recently been legalized in Canada. Even though cannabis may now be legal, it can still be tough for youth to find helpful information about it. The info on the Canadian government websites might be confusing. It also doesn’t give solid info on what to expect when you eat edibles or smoke cannabis for the first time. But never fear – we got you!
Do you like to drink? Do you drink to get drunk? Sometimes it’s easy to forget that alcohol is a drug, and drinking is a form of getting high. Most conversations about drug use encourage users to keep dosage in mind, and to think about the timeline of a specific drug. For example, if you take MDMA, you know you’ll be high for around 4-6 hours, and if you choose to do more during that time you will be high for a longer period of time.
With many of Toronto’s beloved venues shutting down, more and more youth are partying at home. And why not? A house party can be a safer space for folks to use drugs, be silly, hang out with friends and make it a night to remember. House parties also give you the power to make the rules about what goes and what doesn’t. Whether you’re partying or hosting, we can all have a blast by using some simple harm reduction tips:
Raving can be a great way to gain amazing friends, interesting people, hear some new tracks, and meet people from all over, but not all of us are lucky enough to just head down the street to a party and get home the same night. Some of us live outside of Toronto and have to travel quite a ways to get to a party.
We have done our fair share of these treks and have learned tricks to survive those long missions out and back home. Travelling from out of town can be scary and intense if you’re not use to it, but it can also be really fun! So here are some tips for SURVIVING A PARTY OUT OF TOWN. DUN DUN DAAAAA!
Getting there (and Back)
The first thing you need to think about is how you are gonna get there (and how your gonna get back). There are several different options, though not all of these will be available to everyone.
The first days of the new year are often not kind to us party people. After going hard for hours on end to celebrate, reflecting on your use while nursing your hangover makes a lot of sense! Hopefully you were able to sneak some harm reduction strategies into your holiday partying by drinking water, not sharing straws or other drug use supplies and finding safe rides homes in the wee hours of 2019. It might be tempting to make a long list of all your resolutions for the new year but not so fast! That same philosophy that nudged you to party safer can also help you set realistic goals for your substance use.
A drug user’s guide to harm reduction new years resolutions
Hormone replacement therapy (often known by its acronym, HRT) is a medical treatment where the levels of sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone) are changed by using sex hormones and/or hormone blockers. HRTHormone replacement therapy is used for a variety of medical applications, ranging from relief of menopause symptoms, relief of andropause symptoms (andropause is kind of like the male version of menopause- cis mens’ testosterone levels decline with age, which can cause symptoms similar to menopause in cis women), and treating hormone sensitive cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. However, this literature will focus on the use of hormone replacement therapy to treat gender dysphoria in transgender and non binary people.
Be sure to check the GLOSSARY at the end of the post if there are any words that are new to you!.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, AND THIS INFO IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A MEDICALLY SUPERVISED HRT REGIMEN.
This literature is based on information compiled from the lived experiences of trans people who are unable to access health care for hormonal transition, and decide to self-medicate HRT. Although the risks of HRT are very low when medically supervised, they are significantly higher when one is undergoing a DIY regimen. The information in this literature is only intended to provide a level of information that is slightly better than wild guessing for DIY HRT. The risks of DIY HRT cannot be eliminated or ruled out by following any of the info in this literature, and this is not intended to be information on how to administer DIY hormones safely. This is intended for the sake of getting information out there. Unfortunately, some online trans spaces ban discussion of things like recommended doses of hormones, which leaves people completely in the dark. Even though the risks of DIY HRT are alwaysstill present, it’s still better at the very least to know what dose ranges and what drugs are prescribed by doctors, rather than completely guessing what drugs and what doses to take. Continue reading →
There are many different models of harm reduction. The basic philosophy of harm reduction which recognizes drug use as a value neutral act and emphasizes the importance of any positive change, is steeped in white-settler ideology. Indigenous youth experience unique barriers, have unique cultural relationships to substances for ceremonies and experience the ongoing harms of colonization. If we truly want to reduce the harms that come with using drugs, we must start by looking at the traumatic violence that people who use drugs experience because of violent systems of oppression, like colonialism. The following harm reduction resources are examples of indigenizing harm reduction and making the philosophy relevant to indigenous youth who use drugs.
First Nations Health Authority: Has a resource on indigenous harm reduction that uses animals with spiritual significance in British Columbia to symbolize healing principles and harm reduction strategies.
Rather than using a four pillars model of harm reduction NYSHN uses a four fire model focusing on specific harm reduction for indigenous youth. http://www.nativeyouthsexualhealth.com/indigenizingharmreduction.html
The Learning Circle at University of British Columbia invited folks involved in indigenous harm reduction work to come speak about their work. Find this engaging conversation between indigenous peer workers where they:
Discuss nation-based cultural and traditional values that align with the principles of harm reduction
Explore definitions of intergenerational trauma and intergenerational strength and how this applies to harm reduction
Explore the Indigenous Principles of Healing and Harm Reduction model
Discuss the declaration of the public health emergency in response to opioid overdose, and the expanded Take Home Naloxone Program