On Tuesday evening, November 4, Commissioner Cindy Hutchinson will introduce a proclamation at the City of Fort Lauderdale Commission Meeting declaring the weekend of November 7 -9 "Gay Men's Health Weekend."
The proclamation comes on the eve of the Seventh Southeast Regional Gay Men's Health Summit which will begin at noon on Friday, November 7, and end on Sunday, November 9. It will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel on 17th Street Causeway in Fort Lauderdale. The goal of the Summit is to promote the well being of gay, bisexual, and transgender men living in the southeast United States through educational programs that enhance physical, spiritual, and mental health, in a nurturing environment conducive to learning and building community. Over 150 men from around the country will convene for a weekend of educational workshops, plenary sessions with nationally-known speakers, and opportunities to socialize and network.
At a time when gay men continue to experience overall health disparities, the Summit seeks to promote health and wellness rather than defining ourselves in terms of health crises and pathology. Thousands of men across the country have participated in such events and found them to be both empowering and enlightening.
This year's keynote speakers include Chris Bates (Acting Director of the U.S. Office of AIDS Policy, Department of Health and Human Services) and Cornelius Baker (National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition). Several meals are incorporated into the agenda, as are twenty-eight workshops, including a series provided by Sunserve's Gay Male Empowerment Project on relationships. Other seminars will be presented on a variety of other topics including spirituality, methamphetamine recovery, sexual healing, physical health, aging in the gay community, HIV among black gay men, a forum on what's hot for younger gay men, and several other workshops on topics related to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Throughout the weekend there will plenty of opportunity for socializing and networking.
The Summit has received significant support from both the Florida and Broward County Departments of Health, South Florida Pride, and pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott, Gilead, and Tibotec. Because of this support many scholarships have been available and registration fees continue to be significantly reduced. More details can be found at the Summit website (www.gaymenssummit.com).
The Summit is a great opportunity to learn about the health challenges
facing gay men in the new millennium, create collaboration, form new friendships, and create new strategies to enhance positive self-regard and overall health improvement.
We hope to see you there!