So walking down the still muggy subway platform station as I made my way to work yesterday morning, I just had to stop and take the picture above: "I AM GAY, and this is where I stay."
Of course I got a little bit closer and was surprised to see that the subway poster was actually part of a campaign funded by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) called "The Campaign for Black Gay Men's Lives" and developed under contracy by Better World Advertising to "respond differently to HIV."
Now, this is old news, apparently, as I see that the campaing launch actually took place back in April. Perhaps it took a few months for the posters to make it to Queens subway stations? In any case, it's refreshing to see a campaign targetting African-American communities in New York City that proactively affirms the value of black gay men's lives in this city.
Three years ago, we did a series of similar ads in Spanish-language newspapers in New York City with not nearly as much money and without access to an advertising firm. In the ads, we featured Latino gays and lesbians from all walks of life talking about their identity, their nationality and their connection to Latino communities throughout New York City (the first such ads to run in the country, I believe).
Perhaps in the future we can also get the same level of support for a wider campaign.
All in all, the ad left me feeling optimistic, for the first time in ages, that HIV prevention among people of color communities in the city might be entering a new, more effective stage. And that would be great news for all.
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