On the VERGE of Change

Brian Davis, Project Director
Freedom From Tobacco
Scholarship Blogger
Summit 2012 reflections



The 2012 LGBTQ Health Summit finished with a bang with the Beyond Fabulous event sponsored by Rescue Social Change Group (SCG) and VERGE.  This was a fun evening at Hamburger Mary’s featuring Pandora Boxx from Rupaul’s Drag Race.

VERGE is a program of Rescue SCG which is designed to appeal to young LGBT club goers, far too many of whom smoke.  From our data in California, we know that nearly 45% of 18-24 year old queers smoke, and the numbers are similar across the country.  So, what VERGE does is important for our community.

The basic idea is to shift the mindset among our youth from “smoking is sexy and cool” to “smoke-free is hot.”  Judging from the models that were at the event last night, it’s hard to argue with that conclusion.

A full house of young LGBTs from the Kansas City area were there last night to see Pandora Boxx put on a show, and she didn’t disappoint.  In addition, Jeffrey Jordan, the President and Founder of Rescue SCG was there to interview her.  She let him know that she finds smoking to be disgusting, mentioning also that her mother told her not to put anything but poles in her mouth.  Clearly she had a fine upbringing.

There was also a game going on throughout the night.  Each person that entered got raffle tickets and a necklace with a symbol on it that you matched with other people in the room to get more tickets.  The raffle winners got “More Wigs, Less Cigs” t-shirts and the grand prize was free nights at a Las Vegas hotel.

They also showed creative videos from their website — www.rescuescg.com — with hot shirtless guys.

A good time was had by all, and a lot of our youth went away with a positive, and sexy, connection to being smoke-free.  Hard to beat that.

Published by fftsf

Project Director of Freedom From Tobacco in San Francisco.

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