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August 13, 2009

The LGBTI Health Summit is HERE!
FILED UNDER: "Gay Men's Health & Culture"
TAGS: ChicagoLGBTI Health Summitpositional identitypublic healthThe Bottom Monologues
By Trevor

Finally! After months of anticipation, the LGBTI Health Summit is finally upon us. Tomorrow I'll be making the long drive from Charlotte, North Carolina to Chicago for a weekend of workshops and fun! I would LOVE to see you there! I'm particularly nervous / excited about debuting a monologue I've been working on for "The Bottom Monologues." We aren't premiering the show -- but instead having an interactive workshop where we'll show off two pieces in progress, get feedback, and test some ideas. As a special treat, after the jump you can find a sneak peak of the monologue I've been working on!!!

In the meantime, here's the 411 on the various workshops I'm collaborating on:

Saturday, 2:45 PM - 4:15 PM: "The Fine Arts of Queer Men's Health"

Co-Presenters: Erik Libey, Ted Kerr

This highly interactive workshop will explore the role that the creative arts can play in promoting queer men's health by highlighting two such projects. First, the artist-in-residence program at HIV Edmonton uses an innovative visual arts program that is sex-positive and harm reduction based. Second, "The Bottom Monologues" is a work-in-progress theatrical play that will use the art of storytelling to explore bottomhood in gay/bi/trans/queer men. Join us for this session which will provide a deeper look into both projects and will be rich in dialogue about how we can use queer men's creativity to build community and promote health in an affirming and holistic way.

Sunday, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM: "Gay Men's Sexual Health: Adventures into New Cutting-edge Research"

Co-Presenter: Jason Mitchell

Many methodological approaches have been used to better understand sexual health among gay men. However, very few studies and therefore, prevention- type programs have investigated the sociological or interpersonal factors of gay men and how this may relate to their sexual health and well-being. This workshop will unveil findings from two new cutting-edge studies ("Meanings Behind Being a Bottom" and "The Boyfriend Study") and how these findings may be used in future programming for gay men, including gay couples.

Monday, 1:00 - 2:30 PM: "P-Values, Regressions, and Correlations, Oh My!: How to Read, Interpret, and Critique Scientific Research on LGBT Populations"

Co-Presenter: Jason Mitchell

Our newspapers are filled with new reports on scientific studies that claim to have discovered something new about LGBT health. Gay men and MRSA. Lesbians and breast cancer. LGBT teenagers and suicide. But rarely do newspapers critically interrogate the research. In this "how to" workshop, two Gay Men's Health scholars will present first an overview of typical research methods, as well as a glossary of the often confusing terms used to report new findings. Participants will then split up into small groups to analyze and critique some recent LGBT health journal articles.

Monday, 4:30 - 6:00 PM: "Destroying Public Health for the Good of LGBT Health: Critique. Alternatives. Discussion."

Co-Presenter: Bill Jesdale

We desperately need a radical restructuring of Public Health. In this workshop, we will briefly present a critique of Public Health and methods for resistance, leaving the bulk of the time to facilitate a discussion on the pain inflicted on LGBT people by Public Health and how we might envision its reshaping. Various viewpoints are welcome, but we will begin with one key assumption: Public Health as we know it needs to go. Now.

Hope you can make it! Oh, and jump on over for the preview of my bottom monologue!

Here she is! Hope you like!:

Brrrrrrrrring. Jack's computer chirps loudly from the kitchen table, causing an immediate reaction in both of our crotches that can only be compared to Pavlov's famous experiments with dogs. It's the sound of promise and possible sex - the sound that gay men who frequent this particular hookup website long to hear. It's the gay equivalent of AOL's famously robotic "You've Got Mail!" greeting - but charged with the power of sexual possibility.

"Is that your computer or mine?" I lazily inquire, since we've been laying around cruising for tricks together all afternoon. It's one of our favorite past-times, waiting expectantly for strangers to light up our screens, comparing notes on his gigantic cock or sloppy kissing style. Jack gets up to discover that is indeed his screen that is neon-flashing "New Mail" - not mine. "It's like crickets on here today," I lament. "I never get laid in this fucking town." This was only partially true, at best, since the night before I had been happily sandwiched between two men after a 45 minute bus-ride to the outer depths of San Francisco's Richmond District. This gem of an encounter had been the result of what Jack would later term a "lateral pass" - the couple had buzzed him that night in search of an eager bottom, but he was too tired and had to work in the morning. They were in luck, however, as Jack happened to know a very eager bottom with time to spare and no job to demand an early wake-up call. In mere minutes, I was out the door and on the bus, all to happy to take Jack's place.

Despite our teamwork that night, it was partially true that my success in finding sex in San Francisco - a city world-renown for its unabashed sexual subcultures - was, well, comparatively limited. In general, I don't have much trouble getting laid in most places I've been. While I'm not the skinniest gay on the block, I'm relatively young, not particularly picky when it comes to men, and a bottom unafraid of vocalizing my desire for what many guys are skittish about asking for: My desire to get fucked. I can actually be a bit overbearing about it at times - my friends laugh when I read them my obscenely forward text message exchanges with potential trade. "So are you gonna fuck me or do I need to buy you a drink first?" What can I say? I'm a bottom who knows what he wants.

Needless to say, I'm not much in the way of a sub bottom. I don't lie there quietly. I don't always do what my top tells me to do. And I certainly don't stick around for subpar sex with subpar tricks. If I'm not into it, I show myself out. Not that there's anything wrong with being a bottom who enjoys being told what to do - it's just not my style. I was trained as a gay and as a bottom in the South, where queens are loudmouthed and quick-witted. It never occurred to me that being vocal and demanding about the kind of sex that turned me on was potentially incongruous with my identity as a bottom. It also never occurred to me that being effeminate, blonde, and clean-shaven would prove to disadvantage me in the gay sexual marketplace. This was just the kind of gay that I grew up knowing and becoming.

But all of this changed when I moved to San Francisco, the alleged "gay Mecca" - where all your gay dreams could come true. I knew something was different when, during my first week in my still-unfurnished apartment, a beefcake of a man online complained that I was being a picky bitch after I refused to invite him over due to my lack of a bed or any other upholstered furniture that might be suitable for sex. It would take me many years to realize it, but San Francisco's online sex culture was beating the pride and assertiveness right out of my bottomhood. The guys in San Francisco didn't want a bottom who enjoyed and found pleasure in getting fucked - they wanted a living, breathing sex toy to fuck at their disposal.

That's of course just the beginning! But I do hope you enjoy it! Come to the workshop to hear the rest!

PERMALINK | Posted at 11:55 PM | Post a Comment (0)


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