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Remembering Pulse

Saturday night had given way to Sunday morning and the club was packed. It was Latin night, and the music was loud and the bodies were feeling it: a sense of belonging, the joy in one another. Then it began. By daybreak the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando would be reported as the deadliest act of violence against LGBT people in the whole, bloody history of the United States. Forty-nine dead. Over fifty wounded. Most of them Latinx. Queer people do not have often have the luxury of safety. The things I imagine other people take for granted, like walking down the street or taking the subway, can feel scary if someone around can read the queerness of your body. For this reason, we create makeshift spaces for ourselves when we can, where we can. In my own life, I have found safety and community on so many…

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Men’s Health Month: Chasing Brady

As a 35-year-old man, it’s taken me awhile to accept that my body is getting older. I have been an athlete for most of my life, participating in one or two sports each season year-round until college. When I was no longer in organized sports, I had no trouble jumping right back in. If you needed an extra for flag-football, I could jog over to the field, sprint the whole game, head home to clean up, and then go out at 10pm with friends. Now, I’m still active, but I run out of steam, recovery takes longer, my joints ache constantly, bruises never seem to heal, and if I do head out with friends I am home long before 10.  The good news is: the guys I play hockey and softball with are just as old (if not older) and facing the same challenges. If, like me, you have finally…

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Fast Facts: Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month - a time to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.  Consider these statistics: 450,000 men die of cardiovascular disease each year (CDC). More than 700,000 men are diagnosed with a type of cancer each year; 300,000 of those cases will result in death (Men’s Health Resource Center). 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. It’s the second leading cause of death in men (Cancer.org)  More than 60% of adult American men are overweight or obese (National Institutes of Health). As part of an educational campaign for men’s health, The Cleveland Clinic surveyed more than 500 American men ages 18-70 about their use of healthcare resources and found:  Only 3 out of 5 men get annual physicals Over 40% of men only go to the doctor when they think they have a…

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Addiction: A Story of Love and Loss

We met when I was 16 years old, and nearly 20 years and several serious relationships later, he remains the love of my life. His smile, his sense of humor, and his ever-giving selflessness are what I loved the most about him. Drugs took that all away. Early on, I wasn’t as concerned about his drug use because he worked full time in construction and went to community college at night. It was 2003, and I lived in the dorms at Temple University. We saw each other on weekends and occasionally during the week; but I had no idea how the disease of addiction was developing.  Looking back now, it makes sense considering his family’s cycle of addiction. His own father had overdosed a few years prior, and other members of his immediate family were in various stages of addiction. For his 22nd birthday, we took a trip to Ft.…

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