Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-22
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center
CHICAGO—The Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair will be held Wed., Oct. 22, 2014, ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

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.

LOCAL: AFC partners to reduce STDs; Panel on state fiscal crisis 2014-10-22
Health: HRC scores healthcare; AFC reaches out to Mexican men 2014-10-22
Cuomo's AIDS task force; 'drag queen' comment; Jazz Jennings 2014-10-21
White House addressing intersection of HIV/AIDS, violence with women, girls 2014-10-21
HRC releases health care equality index 2014-10-16
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical named leader in LGBT health 2014-10-16
AFC ad urges Mexican men to get tested 2014-10-15
TALK TO THE DOC Trans people and hormone therapy 2014-10-14
Rev. Marti Scott: Battling homophobia, racism--and climate change 2014-10-14
HRC scores 113th Congress; Alaska marries; WH looks at AIDS, violence 2014-10-13
CDC releases numbers about HIV care, treatment 2014-10-08
Current of Tampa Bay offers free laundry day Oct. 16 2014-10-07
Lesbian couple sues area clinic after sperm mix-up 2014-10-06
AIDS Foundation of Chicago's 30th annual AIDS Run/Walk. 2014-10-01
CARS brings STI testing to young women, transwomen of color 2014-10-01
Operation Do Ask, Do Tell: Symposium on health for military GLBTs 2014-09-30
Gay/bi men see HIV as top health issue facing community 2014-09-27
CDC: Half gay/bi men diagnosed with HIV get treatment 2014-09-26
AIDS Foundation of Chicago names John Peller President/CEO 2014-09-25
THEATER REVIEW The Healthcare Plays 2014-09-24
TALK TO THE DOC Lesbian and pap smears 2014-09-23
Report: Bisexual people suffer violence, discrimination 2014-09-22
AIDS activist Staley on being a baby boomer, HIV treatments 2014-09-18
Coalition continues push for rescinded HIV/AIDS allocations 2014-09-17
Proud to Run opens applications for 2015 beneficiaries 2014-09-17
Veterans Health Administration opens doors to LGBT vets 2014-09-17
Maria Mejia writes about her HIV battle 2014-09-17
Nat'l HIV/AIDS, Aging Awareness Day; Richmond, Va.'s, pitch 2014-09-16
Men Having Babies hosts parenting expo 2014-09-16
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Trans health care 2014-09-16
Thousands run, walk to fight HIV/AIDS 2014-09-14
Agencies push state to release HIV/AIDS funds 2014-09-10
CDPH's Project CHAT surveys gay, bi men 2014-09-10
Women's Film; Martina proposes; Sky finals; AIDS Run, Walk 2014-09-09
Legislators call for consistent, nondiscriminatory tissue donation policy 2014-09-08
TPAN launches 2014's 'A Day with HIV' 2014-09-08
Agencies push state to release HIV/AIDS funds 2014-09-07
Chicago Surrogacy Seminar, Gay Parenting Expo Sept. 13 2014-09-04
SPORTS EVENTS AIDS Run; Race Judicata, tennis tournament 2014-09-03
LGBT aging: Special issue available on role of social work 2014-09-02





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 



 

Sophia Bush on 'Chicago P.D.' and being an LGBT ally
 
Aon, KPMG hold pro-LGBT event
 
Dining news: "Dinner Party" Oct. 27; Cicchetti closes
 
Cumberbatch on OUT cover; lesbian pundit canned
 
John Rechy: On gay sensibility, melding truth and fiction
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.