Chironic Times

stories, essays & happenings with robert birch

May We Never Hunger

By Birch | March 17, 2021

The garden shows us that the world will still be here even when all the structures we’ve erected are threatened or fall apart…. It reminds us that we will not wash away in the tumult of the moment, that we too are strong and competent and that we can take care of ourselves, our communities…

Reflections on submissions

By Birch | March 15, 2021

This piece originally appeared in Annals of Gay Sexuality, co-written with Marcus Greatheart and Pan. We are editors and contributors, and held ourselves to the same ethos that we requested of others. We wrote about us, not them, preferring to take responsibility rather than lay blame. By participating in this inaugural journal we agreed to…

Building a case for our (sexual) stories

By Birch | March 15, 2021

This piece originally appeared in Annals of Gay Sexuality, co-written with Marcus Greatheart and Pan.” See sidebar for titles of posts. Such narratives invite empathy and imagination. As we learn to tell our gloriously messy stories our way, perhaps we’ll see enough versions of ourselves to experience greater relief from our present day stressors and…

Sex = Health

By Birch | March 15, 2021

This piece originally appeared in Annals of Gay Sexuality, co-written with Marcus Greatheart and Pan.” See sidebar for titles of posts. Sex generates many biological and social benefits, stress reduction not the least of these. Sex gets us out of our heads, into our bodies and helps us live for and in the moment. Sex…

Where in the risk are we?

By Birch | March 15, 2021

This piece originally appeared in Annals of Gay Sexuality, co-written with Marcus Greatheart and Pan.” See sidebar for titles of posts. There’s a paradoxical (n)e(u)rotic movement emerging amongst gay men. How we hurt ourselves may in turn be how we learn to heal ourselves. We assert that sexual choices need to be appreciated before being…

Our needed queer skills

By Birch | March 15, 2021

This piece originally appeared in Annals of Gay Sexuality, co-written with Marcus Greatheart and Pan.” See sidebar for titles of posts. Trauma irrevocably marks us. Not one of us as gay men, whatever our age, has made it through this epidemic unscathed. We’re all transgenerational trauma survivors of AIDS and homophobia. HIV will continue to…

Cultural health is an ally to personal health

By Birch | March 15, 2021

This piece originally appeared in Annals of Gay Sexuality, co-written with Marcus Greatheart and Pan.” See sidebar for titles of posts. We need each other now as much as ever. Thank you AIDS Inc. for the meds but clearly they’re not enough. Pharmaceuticals will never replace the need for chosen family. While the pills protect…

Between These Covers

By Birch | March 14, 2021

This piece originally appeared in Annals of Gay Sexuality, co-written with Marcus Greatheart and Pan.” See sidebar for titles of posts. The premise of this first volume of Annals of Gay Sexuality (AGS) is this: we’ve entered a new era of gay men’s health as it relates to HIV in terms of identity and practice.…

Birch’s Theory of Change

By Birch | March 14, 2021

Change and/or be changed. Humanity has cast itself and the biosphere into a life-defining initiatory cycle. Healing crises demand immediate, effective tools and strategies for adaptive change. How individuals and communities participate in this do-and-die paradox decides existential outcomes. How we relate to the past determines how we show up in the present.  If we…

Moving beyond tolerance to appreciating the value of LGBTQ’s contribution

By Birch | March 14, 2021

by Frants Attorp, originally appeared July 16, 2015, Island Tides The horrific shooting at a gay bar in Orlando last month which left 49 dead and more than 50 wounded has sent the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) community reeling. But it has also given rise to a new resolve to overcome hate and…