Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-07-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

AIDS: Dr. Garner helps people with AIDS from a mental-health standpoint
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2012-05-02

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Though he has not been personally impacted by HIV/AIDS in terms of close friends or family, Dr. Grady L. Garner, Jr., has certainly been impacted directly—through the lives of those who he has treated as their psychotherapist during his post-doctoral clinic year at the Ruth M. Rothstein Core Center.

"I could see firsthand how devastating managing HIV/AIDS can be, in that it can take quite a toll on the body but also the spirit and soul," Garner said. "In ancient Africa, psychology was defined as the study of the soul and spirit. The souls and spirits of those affected by HIV/AIDS are precious indeed. Their bodies and spirits are under attack by a rather aggressive virus. I learned so much from my clients. I learned about their strength, their resilience, about their sweet, sweet souls."

Garner, 47, who lives in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood, is an assistant professor, Clinical Psy.D. Program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. His husband of three years is Dr. Kevin A. Osten, director, The Adler School's LGBT Mental Health and Inclusion Center and a licensed clinical psychologist. ( Garner will join Osten at Adler as an assistant professor starting in August. ) "Kevin's role is to illuminate LGBTQ issues of the most underserved and underrepresented in our community through education, research, community engagement and training," Garner said.

The two were married on a sunny day in May three years ago. "He is indeed the love of my life. We had a holy wedding with close friends and family here in Chicago, then, about [ two ] months later, we secured a civil union."

They have been together for 10 years—after meeting at a coffee shop.

"It was quite serendipitous really," how we met, Garner said. "I had expected to take a long break from dating, as I enjoyed my tea while grading papers from courses I was teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago ( UIC ) . I've told this story many times, so I apologize in advance if sounds rehearsed. [ Still, ] it was one of the most important events in my life; and I'm happy to tell it again. The bell to the front door of Café Boost, currently the location of Hamburger Mary's in Andersonville rang, calling for attention. I looked up and laid eyes on the most beautiful soul of a man, with the most beautiful eyes and smile. The rest is history, as they say."

Both work in the field of psychology.

"We deeply respect and love each other," Garner said. "We also truly value communication, giving each other space to feel what we feel, when we feel it; then coming back together to talk about it. We take ownership for our shortcomings. The most important thing is that we have a lot of fun and laugh together. We also enjoy reading the Sunday morning newspaper together. We enjoy doing little projects around the house together, including caring for our gardens and lawn."

Professionally, though, Garner has seen plenty over the past 30 years in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

"I have truly been blessed to do what little I have done, relative to the many [ who ] have and continue to soldier on in this fight for equitable services, treatment, and care," Garner said. "I am quite saddened by the fact that some 30 years later, we have yet to come up with a cure. It is so troubling to see so many suffer. Most should know that African-Americans and, more specifically, African American women and men who have sex with men are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. This is truly disheartening.

"Although we have a long way to go, the HIV/AIDS world has come a long way since the early-1980s. The reality, however, is that the disease has been around since [ at least ] the late 1950s. … [ We ] have made many strides since 1981, including life-sustaining treatment, medication, and care. Locally, so many amazing people and institutions have engaged in the fight for HIV prevention and helping those with HIV/AIDS live longer, more vibrant lives. Among those institutions and the amazing people who staff them are the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health, the AIDS Foundation Chicago, the Ruth M. Rothstein Core Center, Rush University Medical Center, the Howard Brown Health Center, the Center on Halsted, TPAN, the South Side Help Center and The South Suburban HIV/AIDS Regional Clinics to name a few.

"I see their efforts yielding promising outcomes, including increased testing and linkages to treatment and care, the development of new medications like Atripla, clinical vaccination and treatment trials including PrEP ( pre-exposure prophylaxis ) and microbicide interventions, and increasingly placing emphasis on mental health interventions ( before, during, and after transmission ) ; as well as innovative community-level interventions among the incarcerated, and other populations hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, especially among African Americans."

So, where will HIV/AIDS be in 10 years?

"I'd like to say that I will see the threat and deleterious effect of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a barely visible image in my rearview mirror," Garner said. "Sadly, though, I'm not sure that I can say that with great confidence. I can say that I see all boats lifted by the rising tide of continued domestic and international collaborations to develop a vaccine, even better pharmacological and medical treatment, more targeted education, innovative behavior modifications, and changes in attitude and policy and the increased funding to support them. With these unified efforts, solutions are inevitable."

Garner is a member of AFC's Board of Directors.

"As a psychotherapist, my work centers on appreciating the whole person uniquely in the context of their biological, cultural, spiritual, and personal history," Garner said. "I am a firm believer that we are equipped with and develop strengths that help us effectively take on the challenges before us. In fact, I believe that many of our psychological reactions to life stressors are opportunities to learn more about and highlight those strengths that better prepare us for the next challenge. In addition, there are some of us with brain chemical configurations that may benefit from a combination of medication and psychotherapy. In cases like these, the goal is to reduce dependence on medication by adopting more effective management strategies."

Garner added: "I've dedicated a number of professional activities to understanding and treating LGBT mental health and well being through research, teaching, and psychotherapy. I've found that dealing with what social scientists refer to as micro-aggressions of power and privilege, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and especially transgender people are disproportionately burdened with psychological distress compared to our heterosexual contemporaries. Similarly, African-Americans, and particularly African-American LGBT people, have the additional burden of grappling with racism. Internal or intra-psychic development is a crucial element in forming a positive, healthy sense of self. Negative external messages that are, at times internalized, can horribly disrupt what would be an otherwise normative developmental process.

"The good news is that many, through personal strengths and support from loved ones, more effectively manage racism and heterosexism. We just need to be in a place where we are all less and less burdened by all forms of oppression."


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Rebranded Montrose event focuses on health 2015-06-28
New Jersey jury finds JONAH guilty of consumer fraud 2015-06-26
Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act subsidies 2015-06-25
Affinity, Access Living host town hall on disabilities 2015-06-24
Juniper Center moves into larger space for its counseling, therapy 2015-06-23
Study: Social support networks important to LGBT youth adjustment 2015-06-23
PrEP advocates respond to AHF ads 2015-06-21
CDPH expands meningococcal vaccination recommendations 2015-06-19
Congress may end Family Planning Program; 92,000 Illinoisans could be without care 2015-06-18
Meningitis outbreak grows; CDPH, CDC expand vaccine recommendation 2015-06-18
Notices: Hall of Fame nominating open; Howard Brown opens walk-in clinic 2015-06-17
Gay fathers club growing rapidly in Chicago 2015-06-16
Fifth meningococcal case reported in area 2015-06-12
Zachary Quinto Joins Foundation for a National AIDS Monument Board 2015-06-12
Free HIV testing June 14 2015-06-12
Relationships & Law: Protecting parental rights after adoption, surrogacy 2015-06-10
Study examines drinking among lesbians and bisexual women 2015-06-09
CHM exhibition chronicles movement of disability rights 2015-06-09
#TraumaCenterNow Week of Action concludes with rally 2015-06-06
Collaborative launches 'Step Up. Get Tested' 2015-06-05
Fourth meningococcal infection reported; city continues call for vaccinations 2015-06-05
Sexual minority young adults at higher risk of suicide; prejudice contributes 2015-06-04
Experts: Fight Hepatitis C epidemic with more testing, caps for co-pays 2015-06-04
Open Door to hold Grand Opening of Elgin Health Center 2015-06-04
Study to look at quality of life for older, rural HIV-positive adults 2015-06-04
Chicago House, Center on Halsted deny merger talks 2015-06-03
Harmony, AFC bring awareness to testing, treatment, holistic health needs 2015-06-03
Meningococcal disease outbreak in Chicago, MSM urged to get vaccinated 2015-06-03
The Urban Death Project and human composting 2015-06-02
Daylong summit to focus on long-term HIV/AIDS survivors 2015-05-31
Local: "Step Up. Get Tested'; CTA proposal; new Northalsted initiative 2015-05-26
Sweets & Snacks Expo takes healthful turn 2015-05-26
Activists: Reach out to senators on conversion therapy bill 2015-05-26
Marijuana possession bill passes Illinois Senate 2015-05-24
Illinois Senate bill would removes criminal penalties for marijuana possession 2015-05-21
Missouri HIV case gets national attention 2015-05-20
Gay HIV-positive singer lives life out loud 2015-05-20
Conversion therapy ban passes House 2015-05-19
Impact of state cuts dire; private philanthropy will not fill hole 2015-05-19
Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act introduced to block conversion therapy 2015-05-19
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.