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May 21, 2021

Sex and the Pandemic

Hosted by Ryerson University

Please join the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University for a monthly speaker series, Sex and the Pandemic, organized by Tanis Doe Postdoctoral fellow Ricky Varghese.

The speakers series will take place through zoom webinar on the third Friday of every month, 1:30 to 3:30 pm EST, from May to October, with panelists of academics and front line service providers who work at the intersection of queer men’s sexual health and HIV/AIDS. The series addresses how sex, sexuality, and intimacy may be conceived of by queer men and men who have sex with men within the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

With reference to the cultural history and memory of the AIDS crisis, and its varied effects on different communities and geographies, this series explores how these men and their allies are thinking critically regarding this specific history and its applicability to the COVID-19 pandemic. The series examines themes of queer men’s framings and assessments of risk, policing, race, history, memory, technologies of mediation/connection, and art and aesthetics.

The first panel on May 21st will feature Rinaldo Walcott and Ryan Conrad. Rinaldo will present “Open to Infection: Two Viruses and Black-Queer-Life”, where he will explore the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic for Black queer people alongside the coronavirus pandemic. Ryan will present, “Distinct and Dissimilar: HIV, COVID-19, and the Desire for Meaning,” where he will think through the stark differences between HIV and COVID-19 and why the search for meaning in some communities has led to suspect analogous claims to similarity and consonance. 

More information


ASL interpretation and live captioning will be provided. Contact Avital Cherniawsky at avital.cherniawksy@ryerson.ca for access inquiries.


Ryerson University

350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3

Phone number: 416-979-5000

Ryerson University is at the intersection of mind and action. What our students learn in the classroom is enhanced by real-world knowledge and experience. We champion diversity, entrepreneurship and innovation.