Faces of Gay Men in America: A Charleston Pride Festival event

Charleston Pride 2012 is right around the corner.

We will be celebrating the theme of "Lighting The Path To Progress" during the four day festival from July 12 to July 15 (Thursday-Saturday). The Charleston Pride Festival was founded to reach out to all Charleston communities to promote equal rights of our citizens and serve as a catalyst for change in our LGBT communities. 

enlightenMEN is an organization that embodies this message. Organized by Ken Immer and Jeff Lange because they had found nothing of it's sort here in Charleston, with little support and community for gay and bi men outside of the bar scene.

We feel that there is a strong desire out there for men to be able to meet each other in a much more functional atmosphere where true friendships can be forged through connections that go deep, and allow the men involved to become vulnerable to each other in a way that spurs personal growth, intimacy, and a deeper sense of self.

Longterm goals include helping to develop a female/lesbian counterpart to enlightenMEN , and sponsoring a mentoring program to reach out to gay and lesbian young adults who need guidance and inspiration in reaching their goals and highest potential. While we are growing our organization, we are focusing mostly on developing a social network based on friendship and brotherhood that has a civic component to help develop unity and team building by doing projects that make a difference in our community.

For the Charleston Pride Festival, we are hosting an event that also embodies the message of "Pride" called Faces of Gay Men In America: a photographic exhibition of the book Gay In America by Scott Pasfield. In this photographic survey of gay men in America, stereotypes are laid to rest and an intimate, honest picture of contemporary gay life is revealed through stunning personal portraits and narratives. Pasfield's striking and perspective portraits reflect the same beautiful diversity found in any sampling of our population.

enlightenMEN is hosting this exhibition at the South of Broadway Theater on Thursday, July 12. Doors open at 7 p.m. for a reception catered by Whole Foods Market with wines offered by Barefood Wines.

The book presentation begins at 7:30, followed by a panel discussion at 8:15 that will include several men from the book including local Holistic Chef and Executive Director of enlightenMEN Ken Immer. This panel discussion will involve the stories of the men on stage, as well as audience members to create a discussion that is unique and evocotive and will hopefully transform some hearts and minds to make a difference in the Charleston community surrounding the rights and treatment of our LGBTQ community. Afterwards, books will be for sale, and the men will be avialable to sign copies of the books. Event ends at 10.

Pre sale of the books is recommended, as we will have a limited number available at the event. A 10%+ discount is avialable if you purchase your book through enlightenmen.org through July 4th, so get your book today!