Friday, June 15, 2007
Sending a Message:New Boston Campaign Targets Homophobia in Black Communities!!!
After a major victory for marriage equality in Massachusetts, more good news come out: A new awareness campaign targeting homophobia in Boston's historic black community has been well-received, and will start a visibility.
We Are Part of You" is a series of three related ads, each using the phrase "I Am Gay", that was originally developed for black communities in New York City.The goal of the campaign, which will run on billboards and in MBTA stations in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, is to drive home the point in Boston’s black communities that "gay men have always been and will always be a part of those communities," says Douglas Brooks, the executive director of JRI Health.Brooks took the # 22 bus up Columbus Avenue to gauge the reaction to the above billboard in Egleston Square:
"I was on a bus full of black people, and wondering what the reactions would be…. I saw people looking at it. I saw people reading it. You can’t help it, it draws your attention because it’s so bold. And I think more than anything the fact that there were no comments made me feel good. I thought, ‘Okay, maybe people are just sort of taking it in,’ or at least they’re not making loud homophobic remarks on the bus. But I was very proud of it, too. I hope it makes a difference.”
Another ad is three black gay men showing they play basketball on the same courts as others. Yes, there are gay athletes, who are black! The ad breaks some stereotypes about gay men that people are know to have. This ad is refreshing, and show black gay men who are masculine.
The Last billboard, showing a black gay man with a pastor, was placed in Dorchester on Blue Hill Avenue.“I placed that one there in particular because it’s an area where there are several large black churches, and I thought the power of having that image of a gay black man and his minister standing there, reminding people that they’re part of their congregations as well, was an important [message],” said State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson (D-Boston). The location Just happens to be near the church of the Rev. Eugene Rivers, one of Boston's loudest ant-gay black pastors. So the billboards can't be miss, and will send a clear message of what is already known!