Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus to host 9th LoveFest

Tue. August 13, 2013 7:27 AM

Chicago, IL - Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus (CBGMC) will host the 9th Annual LoveFest Celebration on Sunday, Aug. 25 from 12 — 8 p.m. at Jackson Park (63rd & Cornell Drive).

A free event, LoveFest is an annual summer "edu-tainment" festival designed to increase awareness of health and wellness management among Black gay and bisexual men. Live entertainment, dancing, health screenings and physical fitness activities will be available for the more than 500 event attendees who participate each year. The entire community is welcome to enjoy the festivities.

This year's theme is "Love No Limits" — the perfect mantra as the LGBT community continues to fight for marriage equality in the state of Illinois. With the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 struck down, it is imperative to remain steadfast and urge Illinois lawmakers to vote in favor of marriage equality.

"We are in a great moment in time as the country rallies together in support of eliminating marriage inequality," stated Keith Green, CBGMC Chairman. "The voices of Black gay and bisexual men need to be heard as the passing of marriage equality in Illinois will have a positive impact on the overall health of this population, as individuals will have equal access to obtain health and other benefits that the institution of marriage affords couples," he continued.

The Healthy is Sexy (HIS) Health Village will return to simulate the ideal "health and wellness visit" for African American gay and bisexual men — offering free screenings for HIV/STIs, hepatitis C, diabetes, obesity and a number of other health issues facing men. Attendees will be able to enjoy a variety of physical activities in the park including yoga, physical challenge obstacle courses, kickboxing, and volleyball.

"It's important that we continue to provide positive affirming environments where Black gay and bisexual men can come together and have access to health services," said Craig Johnson, chair of the CBGMC executive planning commission. "This festival is an opportunity for the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus to communicate to Black gay and bisexual men the importance of taking control of their health and that with our [CBGMC] assistance we can change the overall health landscape for our community."

A new component to the long-standing event is "LoveFest Got Talent." This interactive portion of LoveFest will provide virtually unknown Chicago LGBT talents an opportunity to compete for a spot on the main-stage at LoveFest and the $500 grand prize.

In addition, CBGMC and Legendary Father Mario Balenciaga will present "Clairvoyant Visions Mini Ball" with categories and awards reflecting "Love No Limits."

The 9th Annual LoveFest is possible due to the generous support of the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and a variety of community partners.

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