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More than 300 attend LGBTI health summit
More than 300 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and intersex people and health providers and advocates attended LGBTI Health Summit 2002, held August 21-25 in Boulder, Colo. The summit addressed a wide range of issues affecting the health of sexual minorities through workshops, panel discussions, and plenary sessions on such topics as same-sex parenting, aging, depression, same-sex domestic violence, and safer sex. Reports from the XIV International AIDS Conference, held in July in Barcelona, and the Queer Disability Conference, held in June in San Francisco, were also presented.
New features at the 2002 conference were the focus on intersex issues and a full track of workshops on drug use, harm reduction, and substance abuse treatment. The underlying theme of the conference was to expand beyond addressing disease but also to discuss the wellness and strength of the LGBTI community. "Our communities are harmed tremendously by portraying them as diseased," said Eric Rofes, who helped convene the event. "Is it possible to truly empower when we consistently represent a community utilizing deficit-based constructs? Let's think of LGBTI people as resilient and creative and persevering more often than we think of our people as damaged."
The next LGBTI Health Summit will be held in 2004. For more information about the 2002 gathering, go online to www.healthsummit2002.org.