Showing posts with label Gay Men. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Men. Show all posts

December 12, 2019

The Beards to Look Manly and The Dressing Up as Drag Queens Seems to Many Self Denigrating

This year, the 10-Year Challenge appeared as a social media fad on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For the challenge (also called 2009 vs. 2019 Challenge), people post two side-by-side photos of themselves to show how much they’ve changed: one photo is current and the other from 10 years ago
The opportunity to self-reflect on a decade’s worth of changes can be a wonderful opportunity to assess one’s development. This may be especially true for queer and trans people who may have significant changes to share as they become more open about their identity
But for others, the posts may feel less celebratory. They may even feel self-denigrating. 
Many gay men describe their 2009 picture as “gross,” “unattractive” or “grotesque” in ways that link these qualities to femininity. These attitudes are consistent with societal messages that men should not express femininity. 
As we scroll through these posts, especially by gay men, we believe many sentiments expressed reveal a deep femmephobia within LGBTQ+ communities. They also echo widespread issues of body dysmorphia (the obsessive feeling that a part of your body is flawed) and include fat-shaming or inadvertently praise disordered eating
The posts raise alarms for us because we believe they are part of a growing culture of gay men glorifying femmephobia and elements of toxic masculinity.

Dating apps: hotbeds of body image struggles

Within our research, we seek to understand and illuminate femmephobic attitudes. For many gay men, Facebook and Instagram and gay-specific dating apps are hotbeds of body image struggles and online gender-based discrimination
Research suggests that this phenomenon is linked to gay men’s tendency to openly discriminate against other gay men who express a gender outside of traditional masculinity. Gay men’s skinny and thin bodies are viewed with disgust by other men seeking more “masculine” presenting partners
On dating apps like Grindr, there is the ubiquitous hateful saying: “No fats, no fems, no Asians”. This saying is reflective of the systemic denigration and discrimination against feminine gay men — both fat and thin male bodies — as well as Asian men. 
Asian men have historically been stereotyped as passive, submissive and failing expectations for masculinity, with gay Asian men experiencing high amounts of femmephobia and gender-based stereotyping within gay men’s communities.
Scruff, a gay hook-up app is a prime example of the privilege masculinity receives in gay men’s communities. Scruff is marketed and catered to a “scruffy” demographic. Scruffy or rugged men who have hair on their bodies and large amounts of facial hair can congregate online, commonly leaving those considered more feminine ostracized from such spaces
Likewise, Grindr, the most popular gay hookup app, is well-known for its focus on fit bodies, muscular physiques, and gym selfies
In this pursuit, researchers have shown gay men to have high levels of body dysmorphia, which can result in a preoccupation with gym culture, or taking silicon implements and testosterone enhancers to grow muscle mass.
Gay men interact with one another online in heavily masculinized ways, with a focus on short sentences, quick phrases and highly sexualized text. They tend to avoid emotional expressions and committed relationships


Some researchers suggest that gay men commonly express femininity during adolescence, yet this is diminished to conform to masculine ideologies as adults. An especially influential example of this in the gay subculture is “twinks,” a common term to describe young, effeminate, typically white and slender gay men. 
Gay Pride parade in Albany, New York. Naked Boy News host J.Son Dinant (centre) was at the time generally considered a twink. Tim SchapkerCC BY
Although twinks are highly valorized by certain segments of the gay community for their youthfulness, they are also often negatively stereotyped. They deal with perceptions of frivolity, passivity and superficiality. and are fetishized or objectified as play-things that simultaneously affirms the masculinity of other men
Young twinks are encouraged to either masculinize their gender expression or become submissive for the consumption of more masculine gay men.
Within twink, communities are high rates of sexual assault experiences and high suicide rates

Toxic masculinity

An especially influential study by clinical psychologist Kittiwut Jod Taywaditep found many gay men endorse femmephobic sentiments and engage in a process of “defeminization” between adolescence and adulthood
For many gay men, growing out of their femininity is seen as a sign of adulthood — an evolution of the body and self as they shed their former feminine and boyish self and enter adulthood as a stable and masculine man who has internalized dominant notions of masculinity
With femininity’s associations with youthfulness and incompletion, masculinity is secured as a cultural symbol of adulthood. This adulthood is then associated with a masculine and athletic body. This evolution narrative crafts a spectrum of gender expression that places femininity on the left and masculinity on the right. 
It creates an ideology that views feminine men as inferior or “not fully developed.”
Comments on these posts on social media about body size and youthful appearance bolster the narrative of femininity as inferior and infantile
The narrative of the 10-Year Challenge seems to be that all is OK once a femme defeminizes and grows into a respectable masculine man. These attitudes towards the “femmes of 2009” need to stop to avoid solidifying toxic masculinity in LGBTQ+ communities.
The Conversation(Their site is not secure)

July 19, 2019

France Will Ease Restrictions on Gay Men To Donate Blood

The French government has banned gay and bisexual men from donating blood within a year of sexual activity since 2016. On Wednesday it said it would lower this “deferral” period – long been criticized as discriminatory – to four months. 

Homosexual men will be able to give blood four months after sexual intercourse instead of 12 months, France’s health ministry announced, in a policy shift that owes more to medical progress than to changing attitudes towards homosexuality.

Under current rules, men who have sex with men are barred from donating blood for a year following their last sexual encounter in order to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The health ministry, which will implement the changes on February 1, 2020, said the decision to relax the abstinence period was based on the latest scientific evidence and medical advances.  

It said the change marked a “first step” in plans to bring donor conditions for gay men in line with those for heterosexuals by 2022, pending a “transparent” evaluation of the potential risks involved.

The announcement comes a month after gay rights groups filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging discrimination by France, pointing out that the 12-month abstinence rule “effectively excludes 93.8% of gay men from donating blood”.


The issue is particularly sensitive in France, where hundreds of people died in the 1980s after HIV-tainted blood was distributed by the national blood transfusion center.

France instituted a total ban on gay men giving blood in 1983 as part of efforts to halt the spread of AIDS, mirroring steps taken in a majority of Western countries.

After years of campaigning by LGBT rights activists, the ban was finally lifted in 2016 – but replaced with a 12-month “deferral” period, during which would-be donors had to abstain from sexual activity.

>> After 30-year ban, gay men in France allowed to donate blood

Many other countries that have lifted bans on gay men giving blood have also introduced 12-month waiting periods, including the United States, Australia, Japan, and Sweden. Italy, Spain, and Russia are among only a handful of European countries that don't have a deferral policy.

In justifying the restrictions, health authorities noted that men who have unprotected sex with men are at a significantly higher risk of infection and that the virus’s long dormancy period made it hard to detect.

In 2016, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that governments were allowed to ban – or restrict – homosexual blood donors if they could prove it was the best way to limit the risk of HIV infection.

Evolving evidence

However, scientific innovation has steadily chipped away at the rationale for restrictions on gay donors, while critics have questioned the wisdom of excluding healthy donors when blood shortages are common.

Back in 2010, when gay men were still barred from giving blood in the United States, the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conceded that the ban was "suboptimal" in that it allowed "some potentially high-risk donations while preventing some potentially low-risk donations".

Announcing its decision to partially lift the ban five years later, the agency said: “the 12-month deferral window is supported by the best available scientific evidence, at this point in time, relevant to the US population".

Since then, the evidence has moved on again.

In July 2017, the UK government announced it would lower the deferral period to three months, based on the recommendations of the country’s Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues, and Organs (SaBTO), which concluded that new testing systems were sufficiently quick and accurate.

Later that year, a team of Australian researchers concluded in a report published by scientific journal Transfusion that a 12-month deferral “exceeds what is required to maintain blood safety”.

“[W]ith current testing technologies the window period during which infection may be present but not detected is now less than 1 week,” the authors wrote. “While there is a moral imperative to maintain blood safety, there is also a moral imperative to ensure that differential treatment of population groups with regard to donation eligibility is scientifically justified.”

In place of the year-long abstinence period, the authors recommended reducing the timeframe to three months, noting that such a move “will not increase health risks to recipients and may have the social benefit of increasing inclusiveness”.

‘Not a human right’

Scientific progress has also informed France’s decision to ease blood donation rules.

Studies carried out by Santé Publique France (SPF), the French public health authority, have shown that the decision to lift the ban on gay donors in 2016 did not increase the risk of HIV infection. They also revealed that the vast majority of donors complied with the rules.

However, the health ministry resisted calls to give homosexuals and heterosexuals equal treatment when it comes to blood donations.

“Being able to donate blood is not a right, it’s a civic gesture that is subject to safety rules,” France’s health ministry told AFP news agency on Wednesday, noting that heterosexual men who have had more than one partner over the last four months are also barred from giving blood.

Late last year, lawmakers in the French National Assembly also rejected a bill that would have placed equal conditions on heterosexual and homosexual men. One of the bill’s sponsors, centrist lawmaker Jean-Luc Lagleize, had called for “the criteria of exclusion [from blood donations] to be high-risk behavior – and not a person’s sexual orientation”.

Even with a shorter “deferral” period, restrictions on gay blood donors continue to reflect discriminatory attitudes toward gay and bisexual men, writes Jennifer Power, a research fellow at La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and Society.

“A gay man who has been having safe sex, including within a monogamous relationship, is not necessarily at higher risk of acquiring HIV than a woman who has had multiple sexual partners and possibly unsafe sex,” says Power.

“Yet a heterosexual woman is not banned from blood donation because she has had sex. Instead, heterosexual women are trusted to make their own assessment and accurate disclosure of their likely HIV risk. Gay and bisexual men are not.”

August 27, 2018

Denmark Will Permit Gay and Bisexual Men to Donate Blood in 2019

However, if the man is single they must have been celibate for four months prior to donating.

Denmark has announced that is lifting the ban on gay men donating blood. Men who are single still face some obstacles however, as they must have been celibate for four months before doing so. However, men who are in relationships will be allowed to donate regardless of when they last had sex.
Speaking to the CPH Online, Danish Health Minister Ellen Trane Nørby said: “The authority [patient safety] has found a model we feel is safe and we will therefore incorporate it into Denmark.
“All safety mechanisms in our blood donation system are built on trust and we have some very advanced tests that screen the blood.”
CPH Online reported that it was strange that the ban hadn’t been lifted beforehand, as there has been political support for the idea for many years. A date for the ban to be lifted has not yet been announced, but it is expected to take place at some point in 2019.
Bans on gay and bisexual men donating blood are slowly being removed. Earlier this year, Israel announced that it would allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood.
However, the process would still be more difficult than it would be for a straight man. Patients will have their blood checked for infectious diseases, and will have to wait four months while their plasma is separated and frozen.
Donors will then have to donate a second time, and if the results for HIV – and other diseases – comes back as negative, then their blood will be authorised for use.
And last year, the UK government announced that it was removing the 12-month ban on celibacy and replacing it with a three-month ban.
“We’re pleased the Government recognises there is still more to be done to ensure all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are accepted without exception,” said Stonewall’s CEO Ruth Hunt.
“Change to the blood donation rules are welcome. However, while this is an important move, it’s vital that this is a stepping stone to a system that doesn’t automatically exclude most gay and bi men.
“We would like to see individualised risk assessment, and are encouraged that the Government and NHS Blood and Transplant Service are committed to exploring how to do this.”

August 15, 2018

There Are Out Gay Men In All Aspects of Australian Society Except Sports

By Corbin Middlemas

Australian rules football has always been a big part of my life, but from an early age, I knew I had a conflict with the game.
Corbin Middlemas at the AFL grand final at the MCG in 2017.My earliest childhood memories revolve around footy, from playing in the backyard or going to Subiaco Oval with my family.

I'm privileged enough to broadcast the AFL for ABC Grandstand each week, something I've done since I was a teenager. I work closely with current and former players, as well as other stakeholders in the game.

I'm a big guy with a deep voice that wears a lot of sports tees. I like rap music and having a beer with my mates.
In the most part, I'm your typical sports junkie in their mid-20s.
Except I'm gay
'I never wanted my sexuality to be the first thing people knew'

I have a close group of friends, dating back through high school, work or even our fantasy football league. We share a lot of common interests, except this.
I always dreamed of being a sports broadcaster. As long as I can remember I wanted
 to call play-by-play.

As a high school student, I volunteered my weekends at my local community radio 
station and by 19, I was working full-time with the ABC in my home city.
Interviewing Essendon's Zac Merrett last year … Corbin says he always dreamed of being a sports broadcaster. 

I never wanted my sexuality to be the first thing people knew about me. Having moved cities twice in as many years, the same applied wherever I went.
It's a confusing weight to carry around. It affected my mood and relationships significantly.
I'd regularly go through moments wanting to tell friends, but not wanting to take an awkward detour in conversation.

It took me 24 years to tell my best friend, and less than a year to tell a dozen more people after that, including my family.

By that point, I think most of them suspected as much and were just waiting for me to tell them.
I'm incredibly fortunate to have such a support network.
It's because of that I feel a sense of obligation to tell my story.
'Being gay doesn't make you any less masculine' 

I have a platform to tell young men who don't fit into the norm that's perfectly normal.
Being gay doesn't make you any less masculine.

The discourse around our game matters and it has been unwelcoming to gay people for generations.
Homophobic slurs are commonplace at many sporting clubs around the country. It's a hangover from a bygone era. These slurs are no longer tolerated at workplaces or heard in most social settings.
The suicide rate for gay youths is astronomically high. LGBTI young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide than the broader population.
Dampening the hysteria

Today we see openly gay men in every aspect of Australian life, except on the sporting field.
In 2014, American journalist Jason Whitlock penned a column about the NFL's first openly gay draftee, Michael Sam.

Michael Sam, the first publicly gay player drafted into the NFL, signs autographs.
Michael Sam (right) is "riding a wave, not creating one", American journalist Jason Whitlock said in 2014. 

He wrote: "The sports world no longer promotes change; it reflects it.
"Sam is riding a wave, not creating one."
The premise of Whitlock's article was not to soften the importance of Sam's announcement, but to "dampen the hysteria".

Most people have gay friends, colleagues or family members. Just last year, the country settled its debate on marriage equality.
There has never been a better time for gay people in Australia than today.
But the sports world is playing catch-up to the real world. The trail has already been blazed in other areas of Australian life.

The idea of a gay footballer isn't that big a deal to many people detached from the sports world.
A retired AFL footballer told me last year he suspects those in the locker room don't have an issue with openly gay players, but it's the circus outside that stops players from coming out.
What does that say about us, as the sports media, and as footy fans more broadly?
Corbin Middlemas is a broadcaster for ABC Grandstand.

June 29, 2018

After 3yr Probe Australia Find 27 Men Were Killed Because They were Gay


Police in Sydney have admitted that an “ugly”  wave of gay-hate violence led to the murder or suspected murder of 27 men between 1976 and 2000, including some who were thrown off cliffs or slain in parks that were well-known gay beats. 
A three-year investigation into 88 suspicious deaths exposed a dark episode in Sydney’s history, in which the police and judiciary were accused of failing to properly report or investigate the bashing and killing of gay men, whose deaths were sometimes recorded as suicides. 
The horrific violence towards homosexuals peaked during the “moral panic” around the HIV epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s, when up to 20 assaults were occurring daily. Admitting they can “learn from the past”, police in New South Wales investigated 88 deaths and concluded that eight of the men were murdered by homophobic killers and 19 were suspected of links to gay hatred.
The motives for a further 25 killings remain unknown. 
Of the remaining deaths, 34 cases had no evidence of gay-hate bias  and two were removed from the investigation, one due to a lack of records and one because it occurred outside the state of the New South Wales.
Police said they will consider issuing a formal apology to the victims and their families. Some of the killers responsible are believed to be alive and at large. 
“We accept that there were mistakes made,” said Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell. 
“We accept that we can learn from the past and we can do better. We believe that the community expectation of police today and always is to conduct thorough investigations when it comes to the death of somebody.”
He added: “It’s an ugly part of our history.”
Many of the assaults and deaths occurred at well-known gay beats such as popular beaches and parks, mainly targeting gay men and transgender women. Some of the murder victims were chased or thrown off coastal cliffs. 
Alan Rosendale was attacked in Sydney in 1989
Alan Rosendale was attacked in Sydney in 1989
Recalling being pursued  down a busy Sydney street after being spotted at an inner-city gay beat in 1989, Alan Rosendale said he heard someone shout “there’s one, let’s get him” before a group of men began chasing him. He tripped and was caught by the men: his next memory was waking in hospital.
“I had a broken nose, broken teeth, they bashed me around the head a lot,’ he told Gay Star News.
Mr Rosendale said police made numerous errors in their report, including incorrectly recording his name and birthdate and claiming he was attacked by “skinheads”.
“I was punched and kicked to the ground in an area frequented by homosexuals was all the [police] report said,” he said.
“We all knew they were murders, but they were being reported as suicide. I just thought it would never happen to me."  

March 12, 2018

#Love Wins Concert Cancelled in Toronto Due to The Mourning For All The Gay Men Killed

Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch 
TORONTO — A critic of an event billed as “part vigil, part celebration” in the wake of the arrest of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur said she’s relieved that the event is being postponed.
Sara Malabar said it was a “good step” for organizers to reconsider the event, which was presented as an uplifting alternative to a number of somber vigils held by Toronto’s LGBTQ community, though some said it was too soon for a celebration.
The free concert called #LoveWins was set to take place on March 29 with a lineup that included Carole Pope and members of the Barenaked Ladies.
The poster advertising the event did not mention McArthur by name, but referenced “the series of killings that have rocked Toronto’s LGBTQ community.” The 66-year-old landscaper is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths and disappearances of six men with links to the city’s gay community.

 Accused serial Bruce McArthur

On Saturday, a statement on Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam’s website announced that the event would be postponed so organizers could address concerns raised by community members, who called the event tone-deaf.

 “Our intention was to bring the city together in love and healing after hearing from many people who wanted to come together in unity and strength,” read the statement.
“Unfortunately, the event created an unintentional division at a historic time in the LGBTQ2S community.”
Malabar, who started a “Stop #LoveWins Concert” page on Facebook, said the announcement was appreciated by members of the community who thought it was inappropriate to have a celebration while police are still finding more alleged victims of McArthur.
“I’m taking it as good news that they’re reconsidering the approach,” said Malabar, who previously produced the opening and closing ceremonies of WorldPride, an event that promotes LGBTQ issues.
She also offered to help in creating a more appropriate event.
“The fact that the organizers are willing to postpone the event and speak with the community and create the event they originally intended to create is a good step.”
Malabar said the event should still focus primarily on healing, adding that city staff should use the opportunity to offer much needed mental health support for Toronto’s LGBTQ community.
She said she hopes that the majority of the performers at the event will be LGBTQ themselves.
The statement on Wong-Tam’s website said organizers welcome any dialogue and apologized to people involved in planning the event who might be disappointed.
“For the many who expressed support and enthusiasm for the concert, and gave freely of their time and talent to its organizing, we sincerely apologize for this disappointment,” read the statement.
Malabar said she’ll be meeting with Wong-Tam and event organizers soon to discuss changes to the event.

January 21, 2018

Arrest of Murder Suspects of Gay Men at Gay Village Bring The Police Role into Question

 GayVillage, Toronto

 By Friday morning, McArthur's Facebook page had been removed.The man charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the disappearances of two men from Toronto’s gay village made his first appearance in a Toronto courtroom Friday morning. Bruce McArthur, a 66-year-old landscaper, will remain in custody until his next court appearance on February 14. 

There is a publication ban on evidence presented in court.

The Toronto Police announced on Thursday that McArthur had been arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen who went missing last summer from Toronto’s gay village at Church and Wellesley streets.

The Toronto Police said an investigation into other possible victims is ongoing. It has fuelled longstanding fears in Toronto’s gay community that a serial killer was targeting men in the village.

A number of Kinsman’s friends and those he worked with as a volunteer at the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation were present at the hearing.

“Everyone is traumatized,” John Allan, an acquaintance of Kinsman’s, said at the courthouse.

“I hope that [McArthur] talks and tells what he did,” said Alphonso King, who also knew Kinsman.

Kinsman’s sister, Patricia, told reporters she plans to be at every one of McArthur’s hearings. She told CBC News that she had never heard of McArthur prior to his arrest.

While the police have so far refused to release a photo and confirm the identity of McArthur, images from his Facebook page were widely circulated by media outlets Thursday evening.

Bruce McArthur also appears on, a gay dating website. The description on that site matches the details on McArthur released by police, including his age and that McArthur owned a landscaping business. 

Some Facebook photos show him as a mall, Santa Claus. In others, he’s shown with family, friends, and at a Toronto Pride celebration among York Regional Police officers.

McArthur is shown in a number of photos with an Iranian man from 2014 to 2017. It's unclear what their relationship was, however they appeared to have traveled together, and he was also featured in family photos. After news of McArthur's arrest, a number of Facebook users questioned the current whereabouts of the man — who had listed Morneau Shepell as his employer on his own Facebook page. That detail had been removed from his Facebook page by Friday morning.

A spokesperson for Morneau Shepell confirmed to VICE News on Friday that the man had given the company permission to the confirmation that he worked there. The man did not immediately respond to messages from VICE News on Facebook or by email.

By Friday morning, McArthur's Facebook page had been taken down.

Police are investigating five properties in Ontario they say are “associated with” McArthur, including four in Toronto and one in Madoc, a town between Toronto and Ottawa. Local news reported late Thursday night that Ontario Provincial Police officers were searching a property in Madoc, however, the Toronto Police said they would not confirm this, and that “investigators have nothing new to add today and will not be commenting or confirming any details that have been reported in the media.” 

Esen and Kinsman are just two of a series of disappearances that have taken place in Toronto’s Gay Village since 2010.

In October, Toronto police formed a task force called project called Project Prism to investigate cases of people who have gone missing from the community, including Esen and Kinsmen. Project Prism followed an 18-month-long probe called Project Houston, which investigated the disappearances of three other gay men from 2010 to 2012 but failed to find out what happened to them.



Andrew Kinsman, left, and Selim Esen, right, have both gone missing in recent months, prompting community concern and the allocation of dedicated police resources. (Toronto Police Service)

The arrest and first-degree murder charges of a suspect in the case of two men who disappeared from downtown Toronto have provided some sense of relief in the city's Gay Village but raised questions and criticisms about how police handled the investigation.

"I sort of feel like the police department has egg on their face because we told them a while ago that we felt that it was a serial killer and we also felt as though there was a connection between the people who were missing," Alphonso King, a community resident, and friend of victim Andrew Kinsman, told CBC News.
"I think it's important that they understand that when a community speaks up and says 'We think that something is going on here' — listen." 
Police established Project Prism to investigate the disappearances of Kinsman and Selim Esen. Kinsman, 49, went missing from Toronto's Cabbagetown neighborhood in June, while Esen, 44, was last seen in the Yonge and Bloor area last April. Both areas are close to the predominantly gay neighborhood of Church and Wellesley.
Project Prism was also created to share information with Project Houston, another task force looking into the 2012 disappearances of three other men in the Church and Wellesley area. 

'Never saw any police'

But King suggested the community felt abandoned by police, that they were more concerned about photo ops than actually "looking after our community and making sure that we're safe."
"I didn't notice any more presence in the village after we expressed concerns. You would have thought that there would have been more people on patrol and more people walking about. But I never saw any police," he said.
On Thursday, Toronto police announced they had a suspect in custody,  Bruce McArthur, 66, of Toronto, who they allege was responsible for the deaths of Kinsman and Esen.  
However, police also indicated that McArthur was tied to other victims who have yet to be identified.

Jesse Calleya said he believes the police were taking the investigation seriously, but that they weren't keeping the community updated on its progress. (Mark Gollom/CBC News)
It seemed like an about-face for the police, who last December held a news conference in which they attempted to assuage any fears that a serial killer may be loose in the community.
On Thursday, when asked about the previous comments denying the presence of a serial killer, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said: "In policing, what we do is we follow the evidence, and what I said at the time ... was accurate at that time." 
Those comments though provided little comfort to community activists like Nicki Ward, who said they had pushed police to acknowledge the missing person status of those who had disappeared. 
"We are validated in our concerns but there's no joy to be had in that," said Ward, director of the Church-Wellesley Neighbourhood Association. "Why weren't we listened to earlier? Perhaps some lives could have been saved if that was the case."
The disappearances had rattled many members of the Gay Village, who were told by community leaders to be cautious when going out. Posters about the missing men have been plastered all over the neighborhood, while community members launched social media sites to keep a focus on the issue.

'A lot of tension'

"There was a lot of tension, a lot of people looking over their shoulder," said Jesse Calleya, a barber at The Men's Room. "Everybody would walk home together or take an Uber together just because you never knew. A lot of people were just buddying up.
"And now they have somebody in custody. I feel there's been a lot of weight lifted off the shoulders of people in the community."

Community resident Raj Kalang praised police for their efforts in the case/ (Mark Gollom/CBC News)
Calleya said he believes police were taking the investigation seriously, but that they weren't keeping the community updated on its progress.
"The people in the community felt like they were being abandoned and felt like nothing was happening."
However, community resident Raj Kalang had nothing but praise for the police.
"It's not easy to track down all these things. I think they did the best."

'A great job'

Michael Sunley, who also lives in the neighborhood, said police "have done a great job.

Sunley's partner, Paul Hyde, left and Mike Sunley, right, said they were confident in the police's abilities to arrest a suspect. (Mark Gollom/CBC)
"I acknowledge and recognize when police are doing their job, they can't tell you everything," he said. "Because if you compromise the investigation, that's a bigger problem than sharing everything with the public."
Sunley's partner, Paul Hyde, agreed.
"Ultimately we always felt confident someone would get caught."

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