Season 2
Episode 24

The Accidental Activist

December 29, 2022

Anger first drove him to activism. Community worker, television host and HIV activist, Randy Davis along with show host, James Watson explore how activism and advocacy go hand-in-hand. And how to find the power in your voice to step up to make a difference, "...anyone can be a leader, anyone can be an activist, anyone can be an advocate."

All motivating perspective to consider as the government's 'Consultation on HIV Criminalization' unfolds, and comes to a head in January. In our TPE Blog, 'HIV Criminalization Reform in Canada: Speak Up, Be Heard, Trigger Change!', read about Canada's harmful HIV criminalization laws, and how you can participate and share your voice to help change them.

Our episode guest

Randy Davis

“The Accidental HIV Activist,” social media persona, Gay Men's Sexual Health Coordinator at the Gilbert Centre and TV Host of "Let's Be Perfectly Queer with Randy Davis."

As an activist and advocate for people living with HIV, Randy is a loud and proud supporter of the U=U message and movement. Unafraid and unapologetic, Randy shares his lived experiences and his authentic self with all who wish to help end the shame and ignorance around HIV/AIDS.

5 Questions for Randy...

Facebook or Instagram? Instagram

Hairy or Smooth? Hairy

RuPaul or Michelle Visage? Michelle Visage

Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert

Angry Letters or Protests? Protests

In this pozcast, host James Watson continues his exploration of leadership and HIV activism from past episodes in an effort to understand more about the activist journey. How do you go from walking along quietly in your life, to finding that power in your voice and stepping up to try to make a difference in your world? Where's that change moment? What's the trigger? To discuss all of this and more, James speaks with “The HIV Accidental Activist” himself, Randy Davis.

Over the course of this leadership dialogue, we have heard words like leader and ally, advocate and activist come to the surface. Each role is different, but each role is also uniquely pivotal in our collective efforts to raise awareness of the medical and research advances for HIV—like Treatment As Prevention and U=U—while continuing to champion equitable access to HIV testing, treatment and care.

To be an activist is to speak. To be an advocate is to listen. Society can’t move forward without both. — Eva Lewis

James and Randy discuss important champions of the U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) message like Terrence Higgins Trust and CATIE with their "Can't Pass It On" campaigns and the important work of the Prevention Access Campaign—while discussing Randy’s own humble journey into activism and the initiation of his own I CAN GIVE YOU campaign.

“Yeah, it's—I feel kind of strange when I talk about the campaign because as corny as it sounds, it literally truly did come to me in a dream one night,” Randy recalls in the episode.

Randy also discusses his approach to balancing his role in activism with his role as a Gay Men's Sexual Health Coordinator at the Gilbert Centre —an AIDS service organization in Barrie, Ontario. The show also explores his exciting involvement Slay Stigma Canadian Drag Tour with Trinity K Bonet and his role as TV Host of Let's Be Perfectly Queer with Randy Davis, and the show revisits some topics related to last month’s leadership episode with Tara Jewel and Marc Seguin from PLDI (Positive Leadership Development Institute).

If you haven't yet listened to last month's show, listen here.

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