What We Do
GAY MEN’S TASK FORCE
The Gay Men’s Task Force (GMTF) is made up of gay men from across the state of Montana. We meet three times a year in person and several times a year via conference calls or at GMTF events.
The Task Force organizes retreats for men who are gay, bisexual, or have sex with men (MSM). In addition, specific retreats for HIV+ men, young gay men, and Native American gay, bisexual, transgender identified, and/or two spirited also occur each year. We make recommendations about gay men’s health issues to the Governor’s AIDS Council, and the Montana Community Planning Group (CPG). Task force members also conduct peer outreach, advocate for gay men’s health and work with local health agencies and community-based organizations to help fulfill our mission.
The GMTF meets to review health data, interventions, and community assessments in order to evaluate and recommend ways to improve health promotion strategies and expand healthy options. We identify solutions rather than focusing on problems and challenges surrounding HIV / STD prevention and general health. We work to transform the public conversation on gay men’s health from one narrowly focused on disease and victimization to an expanded focus including our rich community assets, and our collective resilience.
The Task Force conducts periodic surveys that collect information from the gay and bisexual community. Survey results help us to identify current trends in HIV/STDs, alcohol and drug use, safer sex and other health concerns. The information helps determine the best way to reach and inform gay and bisexual men in Montana about ways to reduce their risk to HIV/STDs as well as ways to maintain good physical, mental and spiritual health.
Improving the Lives of Young Gay/Bisexual Youth In Montana!
The Montana MPowerMT Project is an HIV/STI Prevention/Drug and Alcohol Awareness project aimed at gay/bisexual men 16-29. MpowerMT is dedicated to connecting, educating, and helping the young (16- 29) gay and bisexual men of Montana. Through peer interaction and stronger communities we believe we can better address legitimate health concerns that affect gay men today. By focusing on education from shared experiences, concerns and prior knowledge we believe that young gay and bisexual men can relate relevant preventative health care education to one another. We will create an open and re-affirming environment free for all young gay and bisexual men. We also do informal outreach and M-Groups to help promote safer lifestyles!
MpowerMT members make their presence known in Montana’s gay community in many ways: Distributing condoms, lube, information pamphlets, and other resources at places where gay men frequent. Events where you may find us include, but are not limited to, Montana PRIDE functions, Lambda events, QSA events, GSA meetings, and various dances held throughout the state.
M-Groups are casual, safe, and confidential events for gay and bisexual men 18-29 to talk and learn about staying healthy– all the while having fun!
How Can I Get Involved?
MpowerMT is always ready to welcome new members into our circle. Those interested in getting involved can fill out an application to become a Core or Volunteer member- both play an important role in achieving MpowerMT’s overall goal. Every year MpowerMT will host M-groups throughout the state. Our Gay/Bisexual Men’s retreats are also great ways to network with new men from around the state and arm yourself with valuable information– all the while having fun!
Montana Two Spirit Society
The mission of the Montana Two Spirit Society is to advocate and educate the Montana LGBTI community and general community about Two Spirit issues, histories and traditions. We promote health, wellness and spiritual well being by sharing our traditions with one another, healing past wounds, and learning new ways to combat disease. We also outreach and build alliances and coalitions with other community based organizations to increase visibility of the Two Spirit and Native LGBTI community and restore our traditions.
The Montana Two Spirit Society formed in 1996 through a joint effort by Pride Inc. (Montana’s LGBT advocacy organization) and the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force to conduct an annual Two Spirit gathering. Over the years, the gathering has grown from a handful of participants to nearly 100 attendees from not only Montana but surrounding states as well. Tribes from all over the west are represented at the Gathering.
Over the years, the Montana Two Spirit Society has brought more awareness about two spirit and Native LGBT issues by:
- Marching at LGBT Pride parades
- Hosting the International Two Spirit Gathering
- Conducting workshops and presentations at conferences, summits and retreats
- Attending similar Two Spirit gatherings around the country
- Networking with other Two Spirit societies and Native LGBT groups
Collaborating with LGBT organizations such as Western MT Gay & Lesbian Community Center, Pride Network and Pride Foundation
In 2013 we will continue to work towards becoming a strong, viable and independent organization by securing a federal 501(c)3 (non-profit) status and opening up an office. We also hope to:
- Strengthen our collaborative efforts by working with the Pride Foundation on their Racial Equity Initiative to increase capacity building among people of color organizations.
- Conduct board meetings and planning group meetings for the annual Montana Two Spirit Gathering.
- Members will attend the Regional Two Spirit Gatherings and attend the Two Spirit Leadership Summit to be held in Denver, CO.
- Promote the Montana Two Spirit Society by maintaining our website (www.mttwospirit.org).