H. Alexander Robinson

Black LGBT History Day 15: Dr. Ron Simmons

Filed By H. Alexander Robinson | February 15, 2008 1:17 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Media
Tags: Black Gay History, black history, black LGBT, Ron Simmons

Since his college days when he wrote Faggotales, a weekly column about the black gay experience for his campus newspaper and where he served as the Editor-In-Chief RonSimmons2.jpgof the university's yearbook, Torch 1972, Ron Simmons has published numerous literary works that contemplate the nature of black gay life.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he has a B.A. in Afro-American Studies, a M.A. in African History, and a M.S. in Educational Communications from the State University of New York at Albany. He also received his Ph.D. in Mass Communications from Howard University and served on the faculty of the Howard University School of Communications for 12 years.

Simmons has been a filmmaker, professor and community activist in addition to writing. He has written, produced, and directed over a dozen video and film productions.

Most notably, he was a cast member, the still photographer and the Washington, D.C, field producer for Tongues Untied (1989), an award-winning black gay documentary film. His scholarly works include: "Some Thoughts on the Challenges Facing Black Gay Intellectuals" in the anthology Brother To Brother: New Writings By Black Gay Men, "Sexuality, Television and Death: A Black Gay Dialogue On Malcolm X" in the book Malcolm X: In Our Own Image., and "Baraka's Dilemma: To Be Or Not To Be" in Black Men on Race, Gender and Sexuality.

Since 1992, Simmons has been the president/CEO of Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc., a nonprofit community-based AIDS service organization dedicated to reducing HIV-infection in the African-American community. UHU began as a self-help group for HIV-infected black gay men who would meet in their living rooms.

Under Dr. Simmons leadership, UHU has become one of the largest black AIDS organizations in the nation serving men and women in Washington DC metropolitan area. Since 1992, Dr. Simmons has raised over $16 million for the programs of UHU. UHU has over 10 programs and services, 15 full-time staff and an annual budget of $1.5 million. In 2001, UHU was the first gay-identified AIDS agency in the country to purchase a building on for its headquarters and service facility.

Dr. Simmons is a member of the District's HIV Prevention Community Planning Group and the Board of Medicine.

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well how do i meet with ron simmon