Gay Blacks Left Wondering: Why Did Obama Leave Us Out of the AIDS Effort?

Over the next five years, the White House will spend $45 million on an AIDS awareness campaign, trying to convince Americans the cost of infection is too great to continue risky behavior. But while the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (whose director Jeff Crowley is openly gay) has reached out to various communities, gay black men are feeling left out. Notes the Washington Blade:

But some representatives, including Alexander Robinson, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, expressed concern that none of the 14 mainline African-American organizations selected as partners in the campaign have sufficient understanding of black gay and bisexual men.

Studies on populations at risk for HIV have long shown that black and white gay and bisexual men fall into the population groups most at risk for contracting HIV.

[…] Robinson said he agreed with the decision by organizers of the campaign, called Act Against AIDS, to target African Americans in its first phase this year. But he said he sees little indication so far that black gay and bisexual men would be included in the initial effort.

He said the 14 African-American groups selected as partners in the campaign — including the NAACP, 100 Black Men of America, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation — have distinguished records in representing the black community as a whole, but have no record of involvement with black gays.

“I question whether or not they even understand what it would mean to do outreach to African-American gay men,” Robinson said.

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  • Chitown Kev

    As an out gay black man who is tested on a regular basis, I know where to find AIDS resources. Given the myth (and the grains of truth) behind the DL thing perhaps the Obama Administration felt that it was more important to target the black communities as a whole.

    Still Robinson is right, this does show insensitivity at best and homophobia at it’s worst on their part as far as issues of sexuality are concerned.

    And besides where was the NAACP, the Black Caucus, and other organizations back in the 1980’s. Even then, black gay men were being decimated by the disease and black organizations did NOTHING when they had the institutions to do so!

  • GayIsTheWay

    Haterosexuals are for themselves. This AIDS epidemic has proven that beyond any doubt. Once again we have a gay man (Jeff Crowley) implementing haterosexual only AIDS policies to accommodate anti-gay prejudices. Obama, W. Bush, Clinton and Bush put gay men in charge of AIDS policy as window dressing. From the start U.S. AIDS policy has been slanted heavily toward helping haterosexauls.

  • afrolito

    @Chitown Kev:


  • Anthony in Nashville

    Everyone agrees that black LGBTs (mainly gay men) are disproportionately affected by HIV, yet organizations aimed at this population don’t receive the kind of support needed to tackle the problem.

    I believe this is another example of not wanting to recognize us except for assigning blame for HIV in the black community.

  • DC Jack

    I agree with all of these salient points. The only question I have is what organization would you give the funds too? It is easy to point the blame and say what folks have not done, but WHO has been successful? What gay, black national organization has done GREAT prevention work that would merit CDC funds? Instead of complaining, why don’t some of these lgbt groups reach out to those with funding to make sure that gay men’s voices and needs are heard?

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