Gay Today: Health
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First LGBTI Health Summit
to Be Held August 21-25, 2002

Compiled by GayToday

Boulder, Colorado--Leaders in the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) health are making plans to converge on Boulder, Colorado this summer for what is expected to be their largest summit and strategy session in over a decade: The National LGBTI Health Summit 2002.

The summit, scheduled to take place August 21-25, is being organized by a collective of 10 individuals from throughout the nation, including key organizers from the 1999 and 2000 national Gay Men's Health Summits, leaders in the lesbian health movement, and key bisexual and transgender activists.

"After years of parallel organizing including two national Gay Men's Health Summits," declared Eric Rofes, long-time community organizer and convener of the Summit, "several conferences focused on lesbian health issues, over 15 local/regional health summits nationwide, and exciting recent strides in the fields of transgender and bisexual health, and the formation of the Intersex Society of North America, these movements will finally converge in one massive five-day summit...

"An event of the scope of LGBTI Health Summit 2002 has not occurred on the national level for many years, as AIDS has drawn most of the energy, attention, and resources from the community. HIV will remain central to our discussions, but our ambitions are to address the broad array of health challenges facing our communities."

Health activists, public health workers, medical professionals, HIV prevention leaders, and community-based service providers are expected to convene in response to a range of challenges currently facing LGBTI health advocates nationwide including:

  • a dramatic fall-off of funding for non-profit organizations and LGBTI health clinics in the aftermath of September 11th:

  • escalating controversies surrounding appropriate responses to transgender and intersex health concerns;

  • and public health authorities' accusations of community irresponsibility in the face of rising gay male rates of sexually transmitted infections.

    "We are coming together at a very critical time for LGBTI communities throughout the nation," said Rofes.

    "In Boulder, we intend to chart exciting new directions for the movement, strategize about new ways to assist our communities as they navigate the complex and fragile health care systems of our nation, and ignite new initiatives as we catapult our movement forward."

    Cheryl Pearson-Fields of the Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer in Washington, D.C. added:

    "We'll be doing a lot of important, strategic work at Boulder, but we will also be modeling ways to get the job done while taking care of ourselves. The program includes important meetings on issues ranging from cancer and domestic violence to HIV/AIDS and mental health.

    "But we also have almost two dozen workshops on holistic and alternative health, self-care, and complementary therapies. This isn't your ordinary conference-it's going to be a time of re-energizing ourselves, as individuals, communities, and movements."

    A program committee of 25 LGBTI leaders has recruited and evaluated over 250 proposals for meetings, debates, workshops, speeches, public conversations, and media events.

    The result is a program that promises to be as diverse as those in attendance. This diversity will be reflected not only in the topics covered but in the session formats as well, including workshops, plenaries, experiential programs, topic tracks, and social events. Initial information about the program is posted on the Summit website:

    The final program of the summit includes many highlights. Pat Dunn and Marty Rouse of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association have organized a major plenary session titled "What Is The Proper Role For the Federal Government in the LGBTI Health Movement" that will examine issues of agenda-setting, community power, and the Bush administration.

    Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
    Gay Men's Health Summit Planned

    The Call to Health Summit 2000

    Lesbian Health: A Landmark Report

    Related Sites:
    The National LGBTI Health Summit 2002

    GayToday does not endorse related sites.

    Cheryl Chase of the Intersex Society of America will be one of the key speakers on a panel focused on "Integrating Intersex Health into an LGBT Health Movement."

    A number of community leaders, including Rofes, Mark Beyer of the Boulder County AIDS Project, and Scott Pegues, a community organizer from Denver, will present a session entitled "Creating a Sustainable Community: A One-Day Training for Leaders of an Unapologetic, Sex-Positive Gay Men's Health Movement."

    Sylvia Rhue of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center will lead a workshop titled "Deep Fried Dogma and Mental Health," examining the impact of homophobia on the mental health of LGBTI communities.

    Alexa Franka from Washington D.C. will present "Ambiente Using the Internet to Strengthen HIV Prevention Efforts Among Young Latino GLBTQ and MSMs."

    Monica McLemore, of San Francisco will offer a workshop on "The State of Public Health Research: Including Bisexuals in Study Methodologies and Interpreting the Results."

    Seth Kirby and Kai McBride will present a model rural health program, titled, "Organizing Transsexual / Transgender / Intersex Healthcare in Rural Washington State."

    The summit is expected to draw activists and professionals from all over. Hundreds of registrations have already been received including registrants from throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, the Philipines, and Zimbabwe!

    Rofes commented:

    "Clearly this is already building into a historic event for queer health organizers. We want to be sure that people register now, and grab housing, so they won't be disappointed if we max out on slots. We're excited to be bringing together lesbians, gay men, transgender people, bisexuals, intersex folks for five days of critically important meetings. I think amazing things will come from these efforts."

    The host organization for the event is the Boulder County AIDS Project. Major funding has already been received from the Gill Foundation and Bristol Meyers Squibb.
    Registration and Community Housing:

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