The Ultimate Gay Male

The 'mind, body and soul' of young gay men discussed at HTJ conference

By Jason A. Michael

DETROIT - About 50 people came out July 23 for a town hall meeting called The Ultimate Gay Male: Mind, Body and Soul. The event was sponsored by Young Brothers United, Mpowerment Detroit and the Michigan AIDS Coalition, and took place in Mpowerment Detroit's Greek Town loft headquarters.

Discussed were a variety of subjects such as coming out and the best time and way to do so.

"Whenever you do decide to tell your story, make sure you have somewhere to go," said local media personality and Detroit City Council candidate Charles Pugh. "When you do it, make sure that you have the right support system in place."

Panelist Shawn Odom said that only you can know when the time is right to come out. "I think the best time to tell your parents is when you're ready, and when you're secure in who you are," he said.

"If you're proud of yourself, then other people around you can sense that," said Ferndale Mayor and Michigan AIDS Coalition Chief Operating Officer Craig Covey. "So the first step is you need to get right with yourself."

Finding a spiritual home accepting of your sexual orientation was also a topic of discussion.

"I visited the church first and spoke to the pastor after the service about what he thought about gay people," said Pugh. "Pastor Adams at Hartford (Memorial Baptist Church) gave the best answer of the six churches I visited, so that's the church we joined."

Jonathan Davis, executive director of Mpowerment Detroit, said that knowledge was power when it came to standing up for himself in his church community.

"If you know the word, then you can go toe-to-toe with anyone who tries to throw the word at you," he said.

The need for a vibrant gay community in the city of Detroit - a specific gay friendly area of town - was also discussed at length.

"At the Woodward (Bar) we enter through the back door, and the Tangent (Gallery) is located on a street with no streetlights and broken glass on the ground," said panelist Kevin Johnson. "We need a space for ourselves in Detroit that is better than that."

Royale Theus, program director for the Michigan AIDS Coalition, said there was much work to be done before the building of such a community could be accomplished.

"I don't think we can have a place in Detroit where we can be comfortable until we become comfortable with each other," Theus said.

The sentiment was echoed by Marcus Wilson of Tibotec Therapeutics.

"We still have to learn to get along - white gay men, black gay men, Asian and Latino," he said. "To me, that's the problem and we need to get that figured out."

More News

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+