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  WINDY CITY TIMES

LETTERS Hidden issue of date rape among men; Rock solid Rocks rebranding
2015-06-10

This article shared 2609 times since Wed Jun 10, 2015
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Dear Editor:

The reason I wanted to send a message is I feel no one ever talks about the potential of date rape for men in our community. I was a man who was a victim of such actions three years ago. I have been full of shame and depression as I tried to handle the consequences of this violent crime. The funny thing is I know I'm not the only one this has happened to.

I was in Chicago over IML weekend working and saw all the signs of it happening still in our community. I had noticed during IML, Man's Country was offering free lockers. I made the conscious choice to go Monday night during the closing of IML weekend. I could not believe my eyes when I witnessed a group of men working the crowd and trying to give them "booty bumps." The reason I know this to be true is it almost happened to me, yet again. I was in a bit of a drunken state with the celebration of the weekend. I'm grateful I was able to get myself out of this situation, but I wonder how many men woke up to find their wallet, credit cards and leather items gone or, worse yet, find out they sero-converted [to HIV-positive] that weekend.

I just feel a warning should be given to our community with all the festivals that are fast approaching this summer. I call on Windy City Times and others to spread the word of this harsh reality happening in Chicago.

Thank you for your time,

Don

Rock-solid

Dear Editor:

The Rocks Coordinating Committee ( RCC ) is the organization that originally sponsored the LGBTQ-pride event that was originally legally organized as the Belmont Rocks, then rebranded as the Montrose Rocks and now is PRIDE at Montrose.

As the co-founder, former president and board member of the committee ( a 13-year volunteer experience ), I'd like to be among the first to publicly thank Anthony Galloway for successfully being able to rebrand again and continue the effort with an LGBTQ-pride event that continues the tradition of being more than a party!

When the event began years ago, it was the first African-American culturally competent LGBTQ-pride event of its kind—one that would educate and test many. Also, the event organizers took their mission seriously in addressing the health-care disparities that adversely affected LGBTQ populations from historically underserved communities that annually attended such events. We did this even though I and other co-founders paid the price: We and Black politically elected and appointed officials initially fought many within the African-American LGBTQ leadership and several party promoters who were filled with hubris. Yes, that's how it was decades ago!

Now, I would just like to thank Anthony for successfully reorganizing an African-American pride event that continues to be more than a party.

Sincerely

Michael O'Connor

CO-Founder, President Emeritus

Rocks Coordinating Committee


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