2 HOUSTON VOICE / APRIL 7. 1995
'Boy to Boy': education on dating and sex for Generation X
(HOUSTON) —Recently released
reports have indicated an alarming
leap in the rate of new HIV infections
among young gay and bisexual men,
and 20—something local activist
Michael Crawford believes he (and
most of his young adult friends) know
some of the reasons why.
Gay people in general, asserts
Crawford, have never had a chance to
learn the basics of dating and intimacy. Young gay adults usually have
spent confusing adolescence lost
in a heterosexist culture and often,
deep in the closet. Deprived of the
chance to go through the usual "fum-
blings" of teenage social interaction, this is a group whose introduction to relationships and intimacy is
in the context of sex, said Crawford, a
member of the Houston support
group "Twen tysome th ing ." And,
too often, the urgency of safer sex is
lost on a group with too great a desire for
companionship and loo little information, about both relationships
"A lot of my friends say they want a
boyfriend, but most of them don't have
one. There's a desire for intimacy
(among young gay men) but we've only
learned about sex," he said.
Too, those sexual encounters usually occur in circumstances that are
not necessarily conducive to
negotiating safer sex, Crawford
added. "Even I've had unsafe sexual
encounters, and I'm someone who
should know better," he said.
At ihe onset of the AIDS epidemic in
the early 1980's, it was the gay community that took the lead in prevention
and education. Gay men targeted
their own community with life-saving "safer sex" messages, at a time
when the rest of society believed the
epidemic confined to '"risk
groups"—homosexuals, IV drug
users, hemophiliacs and people from
certain developing countries. The
message worked, to a large measure:
as HIV seroconversions continued
to rise and spread in other communities, the rate of infections among gay
men. for several years, went down.
Today, again, the charts are changing. A report released in late March by
the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) warns that massive
numbers of gay and bisexual Americans and Canadians will become
newly infected with ihe HIV virus
unless dramaiic new steps are taken.
Twentysomething is a support and
social group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered young adults
ages 20-29. The group's members represent a generation in the Houston
gay and lesbian community, one that
has grown in a comparatively more
open and tolerant atmosphere, generally has come out at an earlier age,
and is fiercely involved with community issues though not necessarily
interested in politics. Their interests, issues and outlook are different, according to Crawford. They are
bored with the idea of a lifeslyle
revolving around sex...but like everyone else, they're also human.
"Actually, most gay young adults
have heard all the messages, and people know the basics, how to put on a condom. But the message thai has dominated (prevention programs) so far
hasn't dealt with the other issues. We
don't know anything about dating.
We don't learn how to say to someone,
I think you're nice, I'd like to get to
know you belter...but 1 don't necessarily want to go to bed with you right
now,",he said. "It's not that there's a
lack of information, but with so many
young queer guys nol practicing
safer sex, it seems the simple use a
condom' message isn't working.
The (prevention) message needs to
change. It needs to expand, to deal with
issues like coming out and self-
This in mind, the members of Twentysomething decided to develop a
workshop specifically designed
with the needs of their generation in
mind. Titled "Boy to Boy," the first
workshop is scheduled for this Tuesday, April 11, 7:00 p.m. at Bering
Methodist Church, 1440 Harold.
The workshop grew oul of a desire on
the part of ihe group to empower young
gay people to take control of their
lives. HIV prevenlion education
was an area that needed a special message for the group, said Crawford.
Instead of a strictly "teaching"
format, the program will utilize an
inieractive session to enable the
participants lo learn communication skills. The workshop will be
facilitated by Bart Loeser of AIDS
Foundation Houston's Wellness
Program. For more information.
II you would like an event listed in this
section, please feel free to call me at
529-8490 or fax the facts to me at 529-
04/07 * Fern 2 Fern appear ai J.R.'s at
7:00 p.m. io meet and sign autographs.
A benefit for the Lesbian Health Initiative and 800 Pacific Street
Employee Emergency Fund.
04/07 * "Getting The Love You
Want " — workshop by Patrick
Vachon. Call 529-1913. Voice Mail #4.
04/07 * Tim and Tracy perform at Ms.
04/07 * Lesbian and Gay Voices on
KPFT 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 526-
04/07 * Houston Mastery Weekend.
04/07 * Mishpachat Alizim —An
organization that provides a forum
for Gay and Lesbian Jews and their
families. For more info, call 748-
04/7 to 9 * NLA:H's Anniversary
weekend run. Call 527-9666
04/08 * Westheimer Street Festival! For more info, call 521-0133.
04/08 * Fern 2 Fern perform at Heaven
04/08 * Rainbow Ranglers gues
bartend at the Brazos River Bottom
04/09 * TGRA President's show a
the Brazos River Bottom. 7:00 p.m
04/09 * "Senza Misura" a recital
Hth to 20th century women compos
ers. Unitarian Fellowship of Hous
ton. 1504 Win Road, 7:30 p.m. $10..
S5-students. Call 521-1681 for more
04/09 * Torn Levi Party at the Mon-
Irose Mining Company.
04/11 * Houston Gay/Lesbian Pride
Week meeting. 2700 Albany. 7:00 to
9:00 p.m. 529-6979.
04/11 * Financial Planning Workshop—at 1475 W. Gray at 7:00 p.m.
Sponsored by AFH. Call Bart at 623
04/11 * Juice Plus Meeting at the
Greenspoint Marriott. 7:30 p.m.
Free. Call 578-3744 for more info.
04/11 * "Twentysomething" workshop entitled "Boy to Boy" 7:00 p.m.
and Bering Church. !440 Harold.
04/11 * Empowerment for Living at
MCCR. Call 861-9149.
04/12 * Houston Gay and Lesbian
political Caucus Board meeting.
2700 Albany 7:00 p.m. Call 521-1000.
04/12 * Women's Network at the Montrose Counseling Center. 701 Richmond 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Call 529-
04/12 * "Healing and Happiness
through Wellness "—A program by j
Bart Loser of AFH, at the Multi-Purpose Center. 1475 W. Gray, 7:00 p.m.
Call 623—6796 for more info.
04/12 * "Actualizing Health. Happiness, and Fulfillment" workshop sponsored by AFH. Call Bart @
623-6796 for more info.
04/13 * The Last Days of Charles/
Kathryn and Split: Portrait of a Drag
Queen. At Rice University. Call 527-
4882 for more info.
04/13 - Montrose Ice Picks skate at
the Galleria. 8:00 p.m. Call 639-
04/13 * National Leather Association : Houston — General meeting.
711 Hyde Park. 7:00 p.m. Call 527-
miii * "HIV/AIDS Treatment
Options," a program sponsored by
AFH. Call Bart @ 623-6796 for more
i n f o,
04/13 * Montrose Ice Picks skate at
the Galleria. Call 629-1432 for more
04/13 * Chat and Chew al Gentry.
04/13 * Maundy Thursday Services
at Houston Mission Church, 1505
Nevada. 7:30 p.m.
04/13 * Maundy Thursday Service
MCCR. 7:00 p.m.
04/14 * Good Friday Services: Community Gospel Church. Community
of the Reconciling Servant. Houston Mission Church and Kingdom
Community Church will present
their annual joint "Seven Last
Words" worship services at Houston Mission Church, 1505 Nevada at
7:30 p.m. Refreshements will be
served after the service.
04/14 * Good Friday Service at
MCCR @ 7-00 Pm
04/14 * Texas Leather and Lace and
Texas Riders Annua! "Bunny Run."
04/14 * "Paris is Burning"*—An
award winning, witty and revealing
documentary on "voguing" an(l
the drag balls of Harlem. At Greenway
3. Call 626-0402 for limited show
04/14 * Pottery Classes wi'h Jan
Knight begin. Call Clifton at 522-
8600 or 527-8490 to register.
04/15 * The Colt *5"s guest bartend at
the Brazos River Bottom.
04/15 * Jungle Lust III—A party
sponsored by -he Bayou Cty Boys
Club. Benefit for HCRN. Call 529-
9712 for more info,
04/15 * Houston Wrestling ctub
meets for practice and fun. 1475 W.
Gray 1:00 p.m. Call 453-7406.
04/15 * LoneStar Volleyball Classic VIII Video Highlights Party at
Gentry. 10:00 p.m.
04/15 * Lonestar Volleyball Classic VII Video highlights party at Gentry 7:00 p.m.
04/15 * "Bar Singin' Buddies Anonymous" benefit show for the Colt
45's. The New 611. 9:00 p.m.
04/16 * Easter Breakfast: Kingdom
Community Church 8:00 a.m. 4404
Blossom. Sunday School will follow
at 10:00 a.m. and Worship Service at
04/16 * Sunrise Service at MCCR
6:30 p.m. and Breakfast @ 8:00 p.m.
Call 861-9149 for location.
04/17 * Free Sign Language Classes at
the Brazos River Botlom. 7:00 p.m.
04/18 * Empowerment for Living at
MCCR- Call 861-9149.
04/19 * Lambda Skate Nighi at the
Dairy Ashford Skale Rink. Call 933 —
04/20 * Power Workshop: Restoring
Wellness at 1475 W. Gray Registration required. Call 522-6330.
04/21 * -come Blow Your Horn" —
Houston Premier performance of
Ihe Houston Pride Band. A benefit
for Annise Parker Campaign fund.
Texas Commerce Auditorium. 601
Travis. 7:00 p.m. $l5-singles, $25-
couples. Event co-sponsored by
Pride @ Rice Univers.ty. For more
info, call Russel@524-0218orE-ma..