The Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus (CBGMC) hosted its 6th Annual Lovefest Celebration on Sunday, August 29th at Jackson Park. The free event was designed to bring together the African-American LGBT community, more specifically gay and bisexual men, to bring awareness to health and wellness management.
Hosted by Ms. Ruff n' Stuff, one of the highlights of the festival was the health village where event patrons could get rapid testing for HIV/AIDS and other STIs, have access to highly skilled medical professionals and receive vital information to help manage their health. Also, the festival featured food vendors, special performances by some of Chicago's well-known entertainers, youth performances, a card tournament and a mini-ball.
"It's important that we provide an affirming environment where men can have fun and access health services," stated Ariq Cabbler, CBGMC Co-Chair. "Now more than ever, it's essential that we continue to create opportunities for Black gay men to celebrate who they are and prioritize their well-being."
In 2004, LoveFest was started as a result of a study that came about from the CDC that stated that 46% of Black men who have sex with men were HIV-positive. That same year, CBGMC was created by individuals and organizations committed to improving the lives and well-being of Black gay and bi-sexual men. Their mission is to mobilize and empower Black gay men and their allied to identify solutions to prevent new HIV infections by addressing the well-being of Black men who have sex with men.