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Recruiting: freelance copywriter (contract position)

The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH) is seeking a freelance copywriter for a 3-month contract, focused on developing content for a sexual health website.The successful applicant can expect 8-10 hours of work per week.

The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH) is an Ontario network made up of front-line workers, researchers, public health, policy makers and community members. Our work aims to respond to the sexual health needs of Ontario’s diverse communities of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM), and includes the development of resources and production of campaigns. For more on our work visit www.gmsh.ca

In some global jurisdictions, notably London (UK), it has been noted that the use of drugs to enhance sex (known in the European context as Chemsex, in North America as “party n play”) is undermining sexual health promotion efforts. Over the past 2 years a significant amount of gay and mainstream press have covered the perceived causes, key issues and outcomes associated with Chemsex.

A myriad of social and systemic factors drives substance use and associated risks among gay men. Thirty years of research has pointed to overlapping syndemics that have an additive effect on individual’s HIV risk and treatment outcomes. These syndemics include: anxiety, depression, childhood sexual abuse and the use of party drugs. ‘Party n Play’ is at the intersection of a needed sexual health, mental health/wellness and harm reduction response. Using drugs to enhance sex can be a means of coping with past traumas and minority stress, but also serves a range of social purposes including reduced isolation and social bonding. Sexual adventure, desire, pleasure and experimentation are important motivators that also need consideration.

Building on the success of our last campaign www.thesexyouwant.ca we are developing an engaging, progressive & modern health promotion campaign responding to the challenges posed by ‘Party n Play’ (sexualised substance use) for some members of our communities. The scope of this campaign is decidedly smaller than that of our previous campaign; however, candidates should anticipate covering a broad range of topics, and should expect to do their own research when necessary.

It is our expectation that the successful candidate for this role will exhibit the following qualities:

  • Ability to distill and present complex content in a straightforward way
  • Ability to pare down complex subject matter into easy-to-use infographics, flow charts, social media content, etc.
  • Experience writing for the web is critical; experience writing with SEO in mind is a benefit
  • Experience writing for advertising or brand-driven campaign work is a benefit
  • Ability to write both medical/educational material and character-driven narratives
  • Comfortable working with sexually explicit material
  • Comfortable working with material related to substance-use
  • Able to understand the importance of, and to adopt, a non-judgemental, harm-reduction stance on the subject matter
  • Familiarity with cis and trans GBMSM cultures, sensitivity to historical and contemporary issues of colonization, oppression, and representation
  • Familiarity with contemporary issues regarding substance use among GBMSM
  • Preference will be given to candidates with lived experience of the “PnP” culture, either first hand or via social work, outreach or other support contexts

You will report to the GMSH Director and work collaboratively with the campaign development team. This is a freelance contract position for 3 months with the possibility of an extension. You will be required to attend a full day in person meeting upon starting your role.

Please submit your resume, a letter expressing what makes you the best fit for this project and a couple writing samples. Plus, please outline a framework and the topics you would touch on for a gay men’s sex & substance use campaign.

Deadline to apply is: Friday February 23rd – interviews to take place the week of March 5th

Please submit to: Dane Griffiths, Acting Director, Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance dgriffiths@gmsh.ca

*Please include: “Party n Play content writer” in your subject line

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