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Thom Vernon

Writer, actor, educator

thom vernon is a writer, actor, educator and queer exile.
Philip Castleton

If A Man Were A House

For Toronto-based landscape architect and filmmaker Joseph Clement, the man makes the house -- but the house reveals the man. Several years ago, Brigitte Shim, one of the two architects of Integral Ho...
04/20/2017 02:24 EDT
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Who Says Art Can't Make Change?

HIV has lost its steam. With access to medicine and treatment slowly increasing for many (but not all), a world without HIV is in our sights. Hallelujah. Maybe. The virus may be losing its steam but its stigma is destroying lives. Especially in Ontario. Our dirty little secret is that Ontario is responsible for 54% of all Canadian HIV non-disclosure criminal cases. In a world where ARVS (anti-retrovirals) have made a reality, stigma remains lethal. Two new pieces of art take on HIV stigma full frontal.
04/10/2017 05:56 EDT
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Are You For Or Are You Against?

Ask Mussolini. Ask Hitler. Ask Stalin. Ask Pol Pot. Their populations were driven to exhaustion and paralysis by a constant barrage of attacks of that held most dear. Left stunned and disbelieving by the dizzying spin of hatred, demonization and battles seemingly lost, we're supposed to give up. Or fight a little less. So the old saw says.
02/01/2017 07:14 EST
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How Literature Finally Lets Queers Speak

Coming up in a heteronormative world can be crushing to anyone who doesn't fit that mold. A lot of us who knew early that we were different also knew whether that difference was welcome -- or was to be removed. Queer writers have mined, and are mining, the insights that abandonment, isolation and violence have gifted us.
08/06/2015 05:25 EDT
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Being Told I Would Die From AIDS Taught Me How to Live

At 23, I tested positive two years before I even got my first professional acting job. Everything I've done professionally has happened since I tested positive. But when that doctor looked into my eyes, told me I was HIV positive and then said, "You're going to die." I had a decision to make. It wasn't if I was going to go, but how I was going to live. I knew that if I was going to survive, I had to take care of myself the best I could and that meant (and means) staying firmly and actively engaged in what thrills and interests me. Perhaps, I do not have the luxury of disinterest.
10/26/2013 03:26 EDT

Stay Interested. Eyes Open. (Part 1)

As I get ready to bring The Drifts Live: the novel onstage to NYC (United Solo Festival, Nov. 6., 7pm), I've been getting asked a lot how I've stayed in show business so long. When people ask that, th...
10/24/2013 11:22 EDT
CP

Women are the Bellwether of Global Rights

What happened to Norma Andrede -- who was shot five times for fighting for women's rights in Mexico -- represents how the relationship between local and global human rights. In the midst of the local assault on social services, it has helped me to see more clearly how Mayor Ford's locally proposed cuts reflect global trends.
01/09/2012 04:03 EST
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What Happened to Aid for AIDS?

As Toronto Mayor Ford's 10 per cent across the board cuts take aim at our public health, our actual budget shortfall is about the same revenue lost to his repeal of the personal vehicle registration tax. Nevertheless, the AIDS Committee of Toronto's entire gay men's outreach programming will be eliminated.
12/09/2011 10:20 EST
Flickr: mark.watmough

Death and AIDS Action at Toronto City Hall

If somehow you have gotten through the last 30 years without HIV/AIDS impacting your life, kudos to you. For the rest of us, it's been different. That's why Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford's proposed cuts to funding to HIV/AIDS prevention and services has provoked outrage.
09/28/2011 04:33 EDT

Resisting Ford's TO: Coming Together at Dufferin Grove

Walking into Dufferin Grove Park on Saturday (Sept. 10, 2011), a bright sunny afternoon, the last thing I expected to see was over a thousand Torontonians huddled over ideas, policy choices and altern...
09/15/2011 04:09 EDT
Flickr: Ryan Kemmers

Toronto's Water: A Reservoir of Ideas and Innovation

Cities like ours are surging with an enormous reservoir of creativity. We're soaking in it. If Toronto's mayor had the vision to seek innovation, our waterfront, parks and libraries might stand a chance. Toronto could take its place as a leader in sustainable revenue generation and urban planning.
08/17/2011 02:03 EDT
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Rob Ford's Jig

Rob Ford danced into office promising to "stop the gravy train" at city hall. Problem is, he and his strategy are still dancing but there is no gravy. Now that we have seen each other in that committee room, and from behind a microphone, we must connect, strategize and resist.
08/02/2011 12:35 EDT