A billboard in Schnectady, NY is at the center of a controversy – Why? Because it features a photo of two black gay families with the headline “I Am Gay. And This is Where I Stay. We have always been a part of this community.”
This is one, in a series of billboards, that was created by In Our Own Voices, an LGBT advocacy group in Albany. The billboards are part of an effort to find a more effective way to reduce the HIV infection rate, which has disproportionately hit gay and bisexual black men. Although there is no mention of HIV, the hope is that acceptance of gay men in the community will lead to healthier choices.
Meanwhile, critics are charging that it is “inappropriate sexual expression” even though no mention of sex is anywhere to be found on the ads. You can read more of the hate mongering at the link below.. we’d rather not waste the space here. We would, however, LOVE to see the other billboards!
What we did learn today: In Our Own Voices is doing some important work out in the community, not only with HIV prevention. As early as December, the executive director of In Our Own Voices was also speaking out about the recent rise in hate crimes in the area among gays, blacks, Jews and Hispanics.
Find out more about the organization – In Our Own Voices
For over 11 years, In Our Own Voices Inc. has provided services and support to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People of Color (LGBT POC) community of the Capital Region of Upstate New York. In that time, the organization has grown from its small, grassroots beginnings to a full-fledged organization which focuses intensely upon the advancement and success of LGBT POC.
As originally seen on Joe.My.God. – Bigots Complain To City Council About “I Am Gay” Billboards
Daily Gazette – Critics urge removal of gay signs