These men are committed to stopping discrimination and to creating a support ARCtm that educates, empowers and enhances the quality of life for our community. Will you be there to help?
the courage to lead by example
These young men are standing for humanity and have made a decision to reach out to others in our community who’s issues are ignored and who have no place to go for answers. They are committed to combating AIDS-related discrimination; to support, empower, and enhance the quality of life of YMSM; and to be a resource for their families and for those whom they support and love.
Have you had “THE TALK”? If your life depended on it, how often do you discuss: Love? Sex? HIV?
STD? Parties? Abuse? Rape? Money? LGBT? Lonliness? Love? YMSM?
We are family
These are not easy topics to discuss and they require sincere dialogue with your kids, grandparents, partners and relatives. Failing to address these issues can have irrepressible consequences for those we love and for ourselves.
Go beyond the surface
Imagine the scrutiny and challenge associated with these topics. Then, lay on top of that bullying, isolation, violence, community/church abandonment and parental rejection faced by those who are homeosexual, transgendered or bi-sexual. It is not an easy life. Yet, in spite of the obstacles and stigmas, a group of bold young men have survived and come together to help heal familes and make a positive change.
Founded in Houston, Texas, Boys to Men, Men to Mentors (B2M) focuses on development workshops, training, educational materials and outreach in various educational institutions and community venues.
B2M is a group of young peer counselors between the ages of 17-34 who share a committment to assist in the fight against bigotry, hate crimes and HIV/AIDS. B2M provides outreach to diverse groups and ethnic backgrounds and specifically to YMSM (Young Men who Sleep with Men).
if given a choice
“There are lots of stigmas. Yet, every young person should know how to protect him/herself from HIV and should be empowered to do so,” said Ivan Prater, who is taking the lead for the B2M group. “The hardest daily challenge is walking in a room as a black male: that is the first thing that people see. Once I overcome that challenge, then comes my faith, interests or sexuality.” He continues, “Some people will think we’re trying to recruit young guys to be gay, but NO! If I had the choice, I would tell them to be straight if that could save them from a lot of the hurt, heartache, thoughts of suicide and pain that I lived. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemies. All I want [young men] to do is to be the best [they] can be as [men]. Since telling someone to be straight is not going to help them, I’m here to help save [them] from going down a road that can destroy [their lives]… I don’t care whether [a person is] straight, gay or whatever, but [he must] be a man who can think for himself.”
Real Talk. Real Action
According to survey results recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young, gay and bisexual males are hit hardest by new HIV-infection rates and that’s not the worst news: Most of them do not even know it (nor do their fe/male partners).
Royal Wallace Jullian emphasizes, “If it happened to me, how many more young guys are going through the same thing? A lot of organizations mean well, but they don’t know the community.The cookie-cutter approach is not working, so it’s difficult to be effective. The main purpose is to let people know that we truly care, and they can go somewhere for help. This family here is an ARCtm, and we want to be a safe haven in their time of need.”
a Different approach
B2M is a hybrid intervention, and community mobilization think-tank which utilizes the P.O.L. model, as well as “community conversation” tools, and participatory research to create a comprehensive community mobilization platform.
B2M is a community standing together, reaching out to youth, doing their part to make sure that they become great, responsible young men. “They need to know that they don’t have to live the stereotypical, young promiscuous lifestyle” states Jacobi Hunter. “They need to know that there are other role models that love them, and are concerned about their humanity and that they don’t have to do anything in return for that love.”
Get the facts, get tested and get involved
Your voice matters. B2M hosts weekly meetings to better understand why HIV is taking such a heavy toll on our kids and highlights the importance of education and addressing risk behaviors in all young people.
There are lots of complexities around the epidemic and the “We Stand Together” campaign highlights the fact that HIV touches every corner of American society. People with the infection are part of the fabric of our families and valued members of our communities.
A little help can go a long way!
Everyone can support people living with HIV and encourage others to stay HIV negative.
Talk. Listen. Support.
You can make a difference!
Join the Movement.
1) Like Facebook: B2MHouston
2) Like Instagram: #B2MHouston
3) Like Twitter: @B2MHouston
4) Share or respond to the posts 5) Direct your friends to B2M
6) Visit beebusy.org/b2m.html
8) Get tested
9) Spread the word
11) Text “4B2M” to 99000 to
join the fight.
For more information, email
the B2M team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 713-774-8800.