In 1986, Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) was conceptualized in New York City, a result of the vision of founder, The Reverend Charles Angel (photo on left) who embarked on a mission to empower the Black Gay men. In the many New York neighborhoods, Gay Black men continued to exist below the radar: Black men were dying in silence from HIV/AIDS because prevention funds did not reach them; Black gay youth were becoming homeless and resorting to violence and prostitution as a result of feelings of isolation, alienation and harassment; Black Gay men were suffering from depression and insecurity because they feared coming out and most importantly black gay men felt unsupported by the community at large. Reverend Angel recognized that the need was a hybrid need that was being left unaddressed. Historically, these men had been forced to prioritize their battles as if each was mutually exclusive. They were simply not just black or not just men or not just gay – they were all three of these things. GMAD stepped in to fill a void and connect the dots. Choosing not the path of least resistance but one of challenge and uncertainty, Reverend Angel and his colleagues took on the role – and the weight – of community activists in order to create parity for the black gay community.
Today, GMAD continues to serve Reverend Angel’s vision by providing confidential HIV screening, health and wellness groups, individual counseling, community events, and promoting advocacy to the GBTQMSM (Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, Men who have Sex with Men) community. For more information on GMAD, please contact us at 718.222.6300.