Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


Article excerpt

Latina lesbian Ana Oliveira takes over at New York's Gay Men's Health Crisis

The organization may be called Gay Men's Health Crisis, but it's a lesbian who is now leading the 18-year-old nonprofit group into the 21st century. Ana Oliveira, who was appointed executive director on November 11, is the first woman ever to head up the renowned AIDS service organization. But because she previously worked for four years in GMHC's administration, she says the job is hardly foreign to her.

"These first three months have been a little bit of a honeymoon," adds Oliveira, who recently talked to The Advocate about her recent appointment. "But I feel like it's a honeymoon with somebody I've been to bed with already. We know each other intimately."

What do you think it says about the AIDS epidemic and GMHC that a Latina lesbian originally from Brazil is now executive director?

I think this reflects GMHC's ability to grow as the epidemic has changed, and it reaffirms the agency's fundamental commitments to the gay and lesbian community. I also think it reflects the level of maturity of GMHC. By virtue of who I am, the agency is showing that it welcomes change in its leadership.

What challenges do you face as a woman and as a lesbian in your new position?

One of the main challenges I face is ensuring that people don't think the person who is executive director reflects who we provide services for. But any executive director would face that. …

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