Community organizations, activists, local politicians and others joined together in New York City this week to celebrate the debut of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) “I Love My Boo” campaign which will be posted in 1,000 subway cars and 150 subway stations during the month of October.
According to GMHC, “I Love My Boo” will be a multifaceted social marketing campaign that thoughtfully increases the visibility of Black and Latino gay men.
This campaign educates the community at-large, and promotes acceptance and understanding in a climate where gay men of color are seldom represented favorably in the media.
The “I Love My Boo” campaign speaks to, and celebrates, gay men of color by highlighting their strengths and resiliencies. Rather than only sexualizing gay relationships, with chiseled bodies and glossy imagery, the beauty of this campaign is that it features intimacy and focuses on what is possible for gay men of color as they express trust, respect and commitment for one another.
The campaign “reinforces GMHC’s ongoing commitment — since our earliest days — in addressing homophobia and reducing the spread of HIV among gay men,” said Dr. Marjorie Hill, GMHC’s Chief Executive Officer.
“The campaign directly challenges homophobia, and acknowledges the value of love, sex, desire, and relationships in the lives of gay men while encouraging dialogue,” she added.
Noting racial disparities and HIV/AIDS prevention is nothing new, the GMHC shared grim figures for black and Latino gays in the country who are infected with HIV.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report just last week that revealed that 1 in 5 gay and bisexual men are infected with HIV. Half of those men 44% are not even aware of it. What’s more saddening is that gays of color — Latino and black men, were the most likely to be oblivious of their HIV status.