Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Faculty Scholar Seminar

Gayby Boomers: The Health and Social Connectedness of the Gayest Generation

Jesus Ramirez-Valles
Jesus Ramirez-Valles Professor, Division of Community Health Sciences
School of Public Health
University of Illinois at Chicago

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 2:00pm

Lecture Abstract:
The older gay/bisexual male population is rapidly increasing, largely due to the ageing of the "Gayby Boomer" generation. This group of gay/bisexual men is different from their heterosexual "Baby Boomer" peers and the larger gay/bisexual male population; this was the first group of men to adopt and use the identity of gay or bisexual men to fight against societal stigma. This group was actively involved in the larger sexual liberation movement. Many in this group were able to openly live with their partners or significant others and create large communities. Then, in the 1980s they faced AIDS. In the midst of mounting number of deaths and infections, this generation mobilized, again, to fight the epidemic. Now older gay/bisexual men are the first ones to age with HIV.

The Gayby Boomer generation faces two new challenges as it enters older age: health and social connectedness. Our presentation focuses on these two aspects and their relationship. We will presen findings of our ongoing studies on the health and social connectedness of older gay/bisexual men, particularly in Chicago. We will discuss gaps and opportunities in health services and research.


Speaker Biography:

GCI Faculty Scholar and professor Jesus Ramirez-Valles is a scholar, filmmaker, and an advocate of Latino and GLBT health. He just completed a documentary, Tal Como Somos, Just As We Are, on the lives of Latino gay men, transgender persons, and people living with HIV/AIDS. He is working on a book manuscript titled "Compañeros: Activism, Race, and Sexuality in the Times of AIDS." Dr. Ramirez-Valles has received awards from the National Institute of Health and the Rockefeller Foundation. For more than fifteen years he has worked on health promotion in both the United States and Latin America. He was born in Mexico, obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, and is a professor of public health at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Great Cities Institute, Suite 400 CUPPA Hall
412 South Peoria, Chicago, IL 60607
RSVP Appreciated to (312) 996-8700 or christia@uic.edu