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Event examines crystal-meth use among Black gay and bi men
2022-04-21

This article shared 988 times since Thu Apr 21, 2022
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An event that analyzed crystal-meth use in the Black gay/bi community took place April 19 at the space Chez, 247 E. Ontario St.

After introductory remarks from individuals such as Illinois state Rep. Lamont Robinson (who mentioned the impending South Side LGBTQ center he helped secured funding for), things kicked off with a showing of the 48-minute "docu-article" Crystal CLEAR Chicago, which takes a close look at the rise of methamphetamine use among Black gay and bisexual men. People such as Dr. Keith Green, the lead researcher of the community research project Crystal CLEAR Chicago; community advocate Alexandra "Lexi" Arjona; ballroom icon Mario Pierce, Ed.D., of House of Balenciaga; and Mr. Chicago Leather 2019 DeKendrick "Ken" Dix talked about various aspects of the crisis.

Reasons for use, as the film details, include everything from comfort to loss of sexual inhibition to a need for adrenaline. One of the many eye-popping items that was revealed was that an estimated 40% of people involved in ballroom culture have tried meth. Other items that were discussed involved personal accounts, study methodology and solutions (including the crucial need for more resources—something a cast member said was similar to the AIDS crisis).

A panel discussion took place after the film. Participants included Green; licensed clinical social work Dale Roberson; Project VIDA Executive Director Jerome Montgomery (who is also in the film); and Chicago Department of Public Health LGBTQ liaison Antonio King. Karamo—the Emmy-nominated co-host of the show Queer Eye and who will have his own nationally syndicated talk show out this fall—moderated the panel.

The event, which Gilead Sciences sponsored, was a Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit pre-conference event. The summit took place April 20-21 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk.

For more about Crystal CLEAR Chicago, visit www.crystalclearchicago.com .

—Andrew Davis


This article shared 988 times since Thu Apr 21, 2022
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