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GMHC Relaunches "I Love My Boo" Ad Campaign

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Monday December 22, 2014

From December 15 through January 15, 2015, Gay Men's Health Crisis has relaunched the "I Love My Boo" campaign in 260 subway stations in New York City. The campaign promotes acceptance and understanding for young gay black and Latino men who are seldom represented favorably in the media.

"The timing of this ad campaign coincides with the long overdue dialogue in New York City and across America on race," said GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie. "While one campaign can't solve the race issues in our city or country, I believe this campaign directly challenges homophobia and racism by demonstrating the fundamental belief that all lives -- regardless of the color of your skin or whether you are gay or straight -- matter, period. "

The "I Love My Boo" campaign speaks to, and celebrates, gay men of color by highlighting their strength and resilience, rather than only sexualizing gay relationships, with chiseled bodies and glossy imagery. GMHC launched this campaign to feature intimacy and focus on what is possible for gay men of color as they express trust, respect and commitment for one another.

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released new data in the 2013 HIV Surveillance Annual Report, which indicated that disparities continue to persist among Black and Hispanic populations and men who have sex with men (MSM).

Despite representing only half of the city's population, more than three-quarters of new HIV diagnoses in 2013 were among Blacks and Hispanics. MSM continue to represent a disproportionate of new HIV diagnoses (56.8 percent of the total new HIV diagnoses).

The locations of a few of the campaign posters are at the following subway stations (full list is available in the news release on GMHC's website]:

• 42nd Street/Times Square [1,9 trains]
• 34th Street/7th Avenue [1,9 trains]
• Christopher Street/7th Avenue [1 train]
• Jay Street/Borough Hall [A,C,F trains]
• Fordham Road [D train]
• Jamaica/Van Wyck [E train]

GMHC remains committed to developing and advocating for innovative and expanded prevention approaches which:

• Address homophobia and anti-gay bias as public health threats that contribute to gay men's heightened vulnerability to HIV infection;
• Promote family acceptance which strengthens the resiliency within gay youth to better negotiate safer sex practices;
• Support gay-affirming interventions and activities in schools such as gay-straight alliances and anti-bullying curricula; and
• Ensure that age-appropriate sex education programs are implemented and evaluated in schools.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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