CHRIS BARTLETT is a Gay activist, feminist, educator, and researcher who lives in Philadelphia, PA, and currently is the Executive Director of The William Way Community Center. Chris was born on this date.
In 2003, Bartlett joined forces with the late Gay activist Eric Rofes to create the Gay Men’s Health Leadership Academy, a national center for excellence for leadership development of Gay and bisexual men and their allies based at the White Crane Institute. The Academy hosts biannual retreats on the East Coast in Greenwich, New York and the West Coast in Guerneville, California, and also works with organizations and governments to strengthen their cadres of Gay leadership. After Rofes death, the program was co-facilitated by Kevin Trimell Jones of Philadelphia, PA; Fred Lopez of San Francisco, CA; Scott Pegues of Denver, CO; and Kaijson Noilmar of Seattle, WA.
In 2005, Chris directed the LGBT Community Assessment, an assessment of the broad health related needs of LGBT populations in the Philadelphia region. The City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Foundation subsequently funded an LGBT Youth Assessment, which he also directed.
In 2008, Bartlett received a grant from the Arcus Foundation to create the LGBT Leadership Initiative, a convening of thinkers in the United States about the strategic leadership needs of LGBT communities in the United States. His leadership interests include intergenerational communication and connection, as well as mentorship of younger leaders. In the November, 2008 Instinct Magazine he was named one of the “Leading Men of 2008.”
He has created an on-line Wiki to document the deaths of gay men from HIV/AIDS between 1981 and the present. The site acts as an on-line AIDS quilt, on which community members and families can document the lives of their friends and loved ones.
Bartlett is also a long-time leader in the Gay Men’s Health Movement, both nationally and internationally. He has participated in each of the Gay Men’s Health Summits and LGBTI Health Summits as an organizer and presenter, as well as presenting at the Warning Gay Men’s Health Summit in Paris, France in 2005.
His work has shown a continuing interest in participatory democracy, starting with his early participation in ACT-UP Philadelphia. His current work focuses on the role of social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Ning, and other tools in developing on-line communities that can participate in effective social change.
Out of his engagement in social media work, he hosted the TEDx conferences in Philadelphia on November 18, 2010 and November 8, 2011. He is a member of the Philadelphia circle of Radical Faeries. During his tenure at the William Way Community Center, he has focused on community building through arts and culture, technological innovation, and intergenerational approaches. He has been a leader in the effort to build housing that is friendly for LGBT seniors. In 2013 under Bartlett’s leadership the community center has received grants to fund the nation’s first LGBT Jazz Festival (2014) and a city-wide exploration of LGBT history in Philadelphia (2015)
His writings include “Levity and Gravity”, in Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s Why are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification and the Desire to Conform; and “Choosing Faerie” in White Crane Books’ The Fire in Moonlight: Stories from the Radical Faeries 1975-2010 edited by Mark Thompson and myself.