The LGBT Group
Our group has been established since March 7, 2006.
Our specialty is talking to the LGBT community and Allies to encourage mutual acceptance of one another,
We are soon to be a statewide level organization with volunteers, professionals and activist
We particularly value the social events and various other projects in which we regularly participate.
Need more Volunteers
We would be pleased to hear from you!
Please let us know what your needs are and any questions you might have. We will be more than happy to help if we can.
The references as follows;
Paul G. Overstreet
I am a proud gay man of Irish and Cherokee Native American descent, and I was born and raised in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area.
I am a certified instructor of HIV/AIDS/STD education through Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and American Red Cross (ARC). I am also certified as a Leader and Activist under the National Association of People Living With Aids (NAPLWA). I frequently consult with peers in the HIV/AIDS community.
I became a victim of gay bashing by four men, three of whom I believed to be military men. I told the police before leaving with the ambulance, "They have my keys to the vehicle." The Gulfport police stated, "They are not a car-sitter." But while I was in the hospital, the abusers returned to the scene with my keys and stole my van. A few days later the police found my vehicle with someone else in it! The person identified me as a friend. To this day, I have never recovered my clothes, ID, wallet, or anything else that was left in my vehicle. One of the guys claimed that he knew me, so I could not press charges because the police thought I was using the vehicle for a drug deal. I told the police, "You got the it WRONG HOMO, because I was not any stereotype homo." I demanded that they perform a drug test at the scene and they didn't. It seemed to me that they think that all gays are alcoholics, drug users, and freaks.
I'm Coming Out:
I was only out to some of my friends, but not all. The day after the incident of the bashing I came out to my mom. I became ill and told my dad in July 1998. When the doctor released me, I was certified disabled. I continued to love my family (which is 6 generations of Pentecostals) because they didn't excommunicate me from the family. I finally told my best friend in Virginia about three years after the diagnosis of my condition.
I am a survivor! For years I been fighting this dreadful virus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV. I am not dying of HIV; I am living with it.
I have been an activist as much as I can. I have served many functions, including, but not limited to, volunteer facilitator for HIV groups and the gay communities on the gulf coast and in the Jackson, MS areas, advocates for the clients on the gulf coast who have to deal with the Department of Health STD/HIV office, instructor in Bro-to-Bro and Mobilization in the African-American gay community. I have taken activist leadership course, grant-writing courses, and educated and comforted clients who have tested HIV/AIDS positive. I've received training in Safer Sex practices as well as Video Opportunities for Interactive Condom Education and Safer Sex (V.O.I.C.E.S), and much more. I am also associated with AIDS Action In Mississi (AAIM), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Unity MS, in Jackson, MS. I have facilitated for three years with the Support, Orientation & Service (S.O.S) Team HIV and Affiliates Peer Support Group. I've also served in many other capacities, such as secretary and treasurer.
I am trying to make the most of life as well as I can. My life span is decreasing, perhaps more than the average non-HIV individual. Thankfully I do not suffer from very much pain, just complications. My love for people has grown deeper and deeper, and I believe that there will come a day in Mississippi that we will see a difference in all communities and the stigma of being part of the LGBTQI community will have been erased. We would change our image as the state that others thought impossible to change for the better. My love for the gay community is strong, and I believe that positive change is good and will bind us together as an a LGBTQI group.
I am trying to promote the gay community as much as I can. I don't "out" anyone because I know how difficult it is to live in Mississippi with the stigma from the non-gay or allied community, and simply because "outing" someone is inappropriate. People will come out in their own time and their own pace. But I DO want the community to feel comfortable, and that is why MS Rainbow Alliance is trying to make the right moves toward helping people become comfortable in their own skin and live according to their own nature!
We are not responsible
For Any of these Business Duties.
Gay Friendly Professionals
Dr. David Penton, PhD