AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1524–1539

“It’s Like Our Own Little World”: Resilience as a Factor in Participating in the Ballroom Community Subculture

Authors

    • Community, Health Outcomes, and Intervention Research Program, Saban Research InstituteChildren’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Miles McNeeley
    • Community, Health Outcomes, and Intervention Research Program, Saban Research InstituteChildren’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Ian W. Holloway
    • School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern California
  • George Weiss
    • Community, Health Outcomes, and Intervention Research Program, Saban Research InstituteChildren’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Michele D. Kipke
    • Community, Health Outcomes, and Intervention Research Program, Saban Research InstituteChildren’s Hospital Los Angeles
    • Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern California
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10461-012-0205-2

Cite this article as:
Kubicek, K., McNeeley, M., Holloway, I.W. et al. AIDS Behav (2013) 17: 1524. doi:10.1007/s10461-012-0205-2

Abstract

We are well into the third decade of the HIV epidemic. While strides have been made in HIV prevention, rates for African American men who have sex with men (AAMSM) and young AAMSM continue to increase—perhaps indicating that traditional deficit-approaches of HIV prevention are not effective for all populations. Following a recent call to investigate the resiliency of young gay men, this study identifies sources of resilience and strength within the House and Ball communities, a subculture comprised primarily of AAMSM. The mixed-methods design included survey data (N = 263) collected at community events, interviews with Ball attendees and focus group data with House members. Survey data indicate a relationship between participating in the House and Ball communities and seeking support, acceptance and entertainment. Qualitative data validate these findings and provide detail on motivations for AAMSM to participate and the perceived benefits of participation. Findings are discussed in relation to building strengths-based interventions, using concepts of resiliency including shamelessness, social creativity, social support and volunteerism.

Keywords

House and BallResilienceAfrican American YMSMSubculture

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012