Just in time for Pride 2018 medsEXPERT, a queer centred and gay-owned pharmacy and the first of its kind, has begun an exciting and essential PSA campaign centred on gay men’s health. The campaign, entitled Know Yourself – Know Your Health is about erasing the shame surrounding sex and encouraging queer men to be proactive in seeking expert advice and asking honest questions about their sexual health. The campaign is about creating a conversation between gay men and their health and health providers; it’s about creating a sense of pride in being informed.
The PSA aims to get rid of any and all shame in living your life honestly – exactly as you are. Looking forward to the 2018 pride season, the owner and pharmacist of medsEXPERT, Micheal Fanous approached the creative director of Bulldog Productions, Matthew McLaughlin with the idea of creating an impactful story in order to address the issue of gay men’s health. Co-producer Vasilios Filippakis was brought onboard to help create interesting and provocative video content that is not only relevant to the lives of sexually active queer men, but interesting to them as well. Along with promoting informed safe sex, the PSA also promotes medsEXPERT, an amazing and safe space for queer men to seek knowledge and safety openly and without fear of judgement. The facility acts as so much more than pharmacy. By providing a service where queer men can see advice from other queer men, medsEXPERT eliminates the fear of judgement and provides a place for queer men to seek advice and information freely and openly.
The PSA begins with a young man who is clearly interested in beginning a sexual relationship. The video opens with a young man in bed, he turns off his alarm and first things first, opens his SCRUFF app. Throughout his day he additionally encounters more than one potential partner and while he shows keen interest he doesn’t ever make a move; he even turns down several opportunities from men he speaks to online. After day one, however, the video takes a turn. He meets with his pharmacist and fills a prescription; this advice and care allows him to feel safer and more comfortable being himself. Empowered with information and judgement free health consultation this young man is then able to freely express his sexuality and take control of his life and his sexual encounters. The video portrays a sexually active young man, which is incredibly important. In three distinct interview style clips the creators of the PSA discuss the reasoning behind the provocative imagery and the importance of creating a conversation. The video is using sex to sell safe sex. The proactive nature of the video is also important because it brings the PSA into a modern era – this isn’t an after school special. By seeing themselves in the characters on screen people are more likely to relate to the content they are consuming.
MedsEXPERT is creating an all too important conversation about safe sex and queer men’s health. No one should feel shame for their sex and this amazing PSA is helping to pave the way for an honest, open, and informed discussion about sex, sexuality, and health.
MedsExpert Pharmacy LGBTQ Health is located at 484 Church Street in Toronto. For more information visit: www.medsexpert.ca