Website—Organizing and Policy Work: National Gay Men's Health Summit 2003

Community Organizing

National Gay Men’s Health Summit 2003

May 7-11, 2003 t Raleigh, North Carolina

Welcoming all people who support the health and well being of men who are gay, bisexual, queer, or have sex with men.

This gathering's events will encompass the needs of all queer men, including those who are FTM or transgender-identified.

Workshop Proposals due on January 15, 2003


Hundreds of local, national, and international leaders working to support the health and wellness of our communities will join forces at Gay Men's Health Summit 2003 in Raleigh, North Carolina from May 7-11, 2003. Many people are anticipating this event with great enthusiasm. They are eager to come together in Raleigh for several reasons:

  • Many are ready to tackle the ways in which federal, state, and local politics are creating barriers to the health and wellness of our communities and want to engage in collective activism and strong advocacy on behalf of gay, bisexual, and queer health.
  • Some people attended the two earlier gay men's health summits in 1999 and 2000 and found them to be rejuvenating retreats that expanded their commitment to our communities' health and left them restored and reinvigorated.
  • Others are eager for a chance to learn more about community building, sexual empowerment, and the health needs of gay, bisexual, and queer men in a comfortable and supportive setting.
  • Some want to be present because this Summit is a landmark convergence of activists, health providers, policy-makers, and community leaders working on a range of issues impacting the health and wellness of our communities.
  • Still others consider GMHS 2003 to be the launching pad for a new movement among gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender men committed to building caring, democratic, and activist communities.

All are welcome to join in this event and contribute to creating a powerful and comprehensive program that addresses the central features facing our communities at this time.


This year's program will prominently feature four key objectives:

Many people are anticipating this event with great enthusiasm. They are eager to come together in Raleigh for several reasons:

  • To strengthen the human resources piece of our movement's infrastructure by training the first cohort of 50 independent activists for leadership roles in local, regional, and national gay men's health movements
  • To launch a powerful health promotion effort specifically targeting gay, bisexual, and queer men of color throughout the United States
  • To improve the sexual health of men who have sex with men by launching activism demanding research into technologies that reduce health risks associated with sex between men
  • To rivet public attention to the health and wellness of middle-age and old gay men of all colors, classes, and ethnicities and support the creation of various local and national projects designed to meet the needs of these men.

Following on the heels of two initial gay men's health summits, held in Boulder, Colorado in 1999 and 2000-and after over 20 local summits were held in 2001 and 2002-Gay Men's Health Summit 2003 is expected to expand our activist grassroots movement aimed at:

  • Transforming the public conversation on gay male populations from one narrowly focused on disease and victimization to an expanded focus including our rich community assets, and our collective resistance and resilience.
  • Strengthening local efforts supporting the health and wellness of gay, bisexual, and transgender men through the creation of grassroots health projects addressing not only HIV, but a broad range of health challenges facing our communities, and the expansion of local and regional gay men's health summits in 2004.
  • Reviving our individual and collective spirits after the first two decades of HIV efforts, recreating the infrastructure of a nurturing and life-affirming community, and restoring a broad community agenda focused as much on celebration and community-building as on responding to disease and discrimination.

What to expect

This is no ordinary health conference. Instead, GMHS 2003 will attempt to cut through the professionalism and "attitude" of many gatherings focused on gay male health and create a warm, welcoming, and equitable climate at the summit. We come together in Raleigh and move beyond our occupational identities and affiliations and reach across all kinds of differences-racial, generational, geographic, and political-to restore an original vision of gay liberation. So consider joining us in Raleigh for an event that may be like nothing you've experienced before:

  • It is a five-day retreat that will offer all of us plenty of time to rest, rejuvenate, and become recommitted to creating strong and resilient queer communities throughout the nation
  • It is an agenda-setting meeting where leading doctors, activists, health workers, policymakers, holistic healers, community organizers, and mental health professionals come together to grapple collectively with a range of health challenges facing gay men.
  • It's a space where we gather to talk about our communities with an emphasis on our assets and our collective strengths; a place where we talk about desire and sexual cultures thoughtfully and critically but also celebrate our bodies and acknowledge the powerful link between sex and the spirit; it's as much about building community and reflecting on our identities as it is about HIV, cancer, depression or violence.

Join us in Raleigh, North Carolina in May 2003 if you are eager to find a community of open hearted people who are seriously committed to improving the health and wellness of local communities.

Join with us as we continue to build a multi-issue, multi-racial Gay Men’s Health Movement!

A Call to the National Gay Men’s Health Summit 2003 in Raleigh, North Carolina, from May 7-11, 2003

We are a group of people working to support the development of a strong, visible, politicized gay men's health movement in the United States and we invite you to join us from May 7-11, 2003 in Raleigh, North Carolina to continue to launch this ambitious effort.

Our motivations for calling on you to join in this effort are diverse. Some of us worked to create the initial national gay men’s health summits, in Boulder, in 1999 and 2000. Others of us took on leadership roles in organizing local and regional gay men’s health summits in 2001; still others participated in the recent LGBTI Health Summit 2002 in Boulder in July. We embrace and welcome to this work all who support the health and well being of men who are gay, bisexual, queer, or have sex with men. This gathering's events will encompass the needs of all queer men, including those who are FTM or transgender-identified.

Some of us have been working in AIDS or health issues for several decades and are interested in creating a stronger, more visible grassroots movement among gay men focused on strengthening our communities and tackling a range of health concerns. While HIV/AIDS remains a central focus for our energies, we maintain other central concerns such as substance use, cancer, heart disease, other sexually transmitted diseases, and mental health issues.

Others of us are drawn to this summit because we hope to re-energize gay men in our communities to be actively engaged in political activism, volunteerism, community life, and health promotion efforts. We want to spend a few days of intense focus on the health of our communities with colleagues from all over the nation who confront similar challenges and draw on similar community strengths.

We come from different locations, cultures, generations, and professions, but we share common concerns about improving gay men's health and wellness, strengthening our local communities and subcultures, and enlisting service providers, activists, health professionals, researchers, writers and cultural workers in our efforts.

The summit will include speakers, panels, workshops, and organizing meetings on a range of topics including, though not limited to:

  • health promotion for gay men of color
  • the hidden assets and strengths of our communities
  • upswings in syphilis among urban men who have sex with men
  • self-care, holistic and complimentary health, and creating sustainable community organizations
  • substance use and abuse
  • same-sex marriage, polyamory, monogamy, domestic partnerships, and communal living
  • issues facing poor, homeless, and indigent gay, bisexual, queer, and trans men
  • the implications which gender and masculinity have for gay men's health
  • health issues facing middle-age and old men
  • the politics and health issues emerging from circuit parties
  • making young gay men into health advocates
  • model community health projects
  • changes in gay cultures in response to the increasing centrality of cyberspace
  • sex debates in gay male communities and community health implications
  • the politics and health issues emerging from barebacking
  • a new generation of HIV prevention for gay men
  • rural gay men's health needs
  • countering racism, sexism, and classism in gay men’s communities
  • tensions between various gay generations
  • mental health issues facing gay men of all colors
  • activism focused on gay men's sexual health and access to technologies

This is a humble, grassroots organizing effort with ambitious aims. Our summit starts off with no big-money sponsors and no large organizations leading the effort. It is being organized by concerned men and women in various parts of the country who are handling logistics, program planning, publicity, and housing. We are already excited by the support and interest which has been generated. We welcome all people motivated to improve the well-being of our communities to participate and we invite programming ideas focused on any population or subculture identifying as gay, bisexual, queer, or trans men. Please consider submitting a workshop proposal today (see information below).

Plan now to be an active participant in the Raleigh summit. We aim to limit the summit to 300 registrants and expect to be at capacity by April. Please register after January 15th and avoid disappointment. And make your housing reservations very soon as we have been able to reserve only a limited number of rooms and can expand our group reservation once we have commitments from our core participants.

For information about REGISTRATION or HOUSING, download materials after January 15th from the web site at The conference site is the Sheraton Capital Center in Raleigh at 1-800-834-2105 or Reefer to “Gay Men’s Health Summit.” The Summit will be signed for the hearing-impaired and the site is wheelchair accessible.

For GENERAL INFORMATION and QUESTIONS about the Summit, contact Jim and Ian at (919) 829-3981 or email: The postal address is Gay Men’s Health Summit 2003, PO Box 25642, Raleigh, NC 27611.

For information about the PROGRAM at the Summit, visit the web site at The web site will tell you what information you must send in with your proposal. Workshop proposals are due by January 15. Contact Eric Rofes at or 415-255-6210 with program-related questions.

This statement was developed by the National Organizing Collective and signed by other supporters of the Summit who intend to be present in Raleigh and continue our work of building a multi-racial, multi-issue gay men’s health movement.

Jim Baxter, Raleigh, NC

Erik Libey, Rochester, NY

Airen Lydick, Seattle, WA

Hugh McGowan, New York, NY

Doneley Meris, New York, NY

Ian Palmquist, Raleigh, NC

T. Scott Pegues, Denver, CO

Linda Pippin, Rochester, WI

Eric Rofes, San Francisco, CA

Harlan Pruden, Centerport, NY

J. Carlos Velazquez, Washington, DC

Nathan Woodruff, Lincoln, NE

Gordon Youngman, Vancouver

Along with…

Jose Alegria-Ortega (Burlington, NC)

Don Arnold (Durham,NC)

Race Bannon (San Francisco, CA)

Jim Barbour (Raleigh, NC)

Chris Bartlett (Chester, PA)

Jim Bennett (Washington D. C.)

Chris Bernart (Raleigh, NC)

Tony Booe (Greensboro, NC)

Joseph Bradstreet (Lincoln, NE)

Bill Brent (Raleigh, NC)

Richard D. Burns (New York, NY)

Sean Cahill (New York, NY)

Chris Cannon (Greensboro, NC)

Mandy Carter (Durham, NC)

Micah Hoku Carvalho (Los Angeles, CA)

Justin Cascio (New York, NY)

Chris Cochrane (New York, NY)

Jesse Duncan (Greensboro, NC)

Pat Dunn (San Francisco, CA)

Bert Easter (Columbia, SC)

Richard Elovich (Brooklyn, NY)

Chima Collins Eze (Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria)

David Ferguson (Salt Lake City, UT)

Richard Gray (Greensboro, NC)

Glenn Grossman (Chapel Hill, NC)

Larry Hanbrook (San Francisco CA)

Michael Hollar (Asheville, N.C)

Amber Hollibaugh (New York, NY)

Crispin Hollings (San Francisco, CA)

Jack Register, II (Greensboro, NC)

Kevin Isom (Atlanta, GA)

Kevin Jennings (New York, NY)

David Jones (Lilongwe, Malawi)

L.S. Bo Dean Jr., (Wilmington, NC)

Edward Strickler, Jr (Charlottesville, VA)

David Kerley (Raleigh, NC)

Dan Kirsch (Charlotte, NC)

Mark Kleinschmidt (Chapel Hill, NC)

The Rev. Tim Koch (Charlotte, NC)

Leslie Kooyman (Charlotte, NC)

Eric Kristensen (Gloucester MA)

Jim Lagattuta (Greensboro, NC)

Gabe Lamazares (Chapel Hill, NC)

Stewart Landers (Boxford, MA)

Harold Levine (New York, NY)

Garry Lipscomb (Washington, DC)

Deacon Maccubbin (Washington D. C.)

Eddie Mace, (New Bern, NC)

Dr. Ed Madden (Columbia, SC)

Jon Markle (Raleigh, NC)

Will Jones MD (Asheville, NC)

Jesse G. Monteagudo (Plantation, FL)

Anthony Morgan (New York, NY)

Joseph L. Simard, Jr. MPH (Hartford, CT)

Jack Nichols (Cocoa Beach, FL)

Dave Nimmons (Brooklyn, NY)

Robert Nunn (Greensboro, NC)

Juan Ortiz (Raleigh, NC)

Rob Owens (Greensboro, NC)

Frank Pizzoli (Harrisburg PA)

Jeff Prince (Greensboro, NC)

Jay Quinn (Sunrise, FL)

Jose Ramirez (Durham NC)

Kirk Read (San Francisco, CA)

D. Register (Durham, NC)

Robert Reid-Pharr (New York, NY)

Hawk Riverstone (Albany, NY)

John Rozzo (México, DF México)

James T. Sears, (Charleston, SC)

Thomas Sherratt (Durham, NC)

Don Shewey (New York, NY)

Joe Simard (Hartford, CT)

George O. Simmons (San Francisco, CA)

David P. Stratton (Apex, NC)

Fred Swanson (Seattle, WA)

Pat Tetreault (Lincoln, NE)

Steven Tierney (San Francisco, CA)

Tony Valenzuela (Los Angeles, CA)

Salvador Vidal-Ortiz (New York, NY)

Wayne L. Wilson (Apex, NC)

A. Garland Wood (Raleigh, NC)

Mark Zumbach (Cary, NC)

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