this add is fabulous.
i was walking down Broadway in Washington Heights yesterday and saw this
and saw this one in Elmhurst
for too long, fear has been the mode for hiv prevention, its clearly not enough. is this the new face of hiv prevention organizing?
after Health Organizations in this country have guaranteed to deliver queer communities of color offensive campaigns developed to promote safer sex, this campaign by Gay Men's Health Crisis is a breath of fresh air.
phillys Have you been Hit? and SF's "Don't Be a Bitch, Wear a Condom" (great analysis of SF's campaign by Gay Shame Sf) made me wonder if we would ever have a campaign targeted to young queer/msm (men who have sex with men) of color, that addresses safe sex without being racist, classist, sexist, or perpetuating some fucked up racialized conceptions of gender.
Evidently, that day has come.
Living Out Loud with Darian features the complete campaign.
this campaign, as Darian says, shows "Beautiful images of brothers loving and respecting each others bodies and souls. Now that's not something you see everyday."
I also love this ad because, it combats the idea that being gay is a "condition" that only affects white men, particularly middle and upper class white men. too often we see portrayals of "typical" gay men as white and and often professional. many people today, when thinking about MSM of color, are limited to images ofthe "the down low" and otherwise heterosexual men sneaking away from their wives/girlfriends to have sex with other men.
not only does this ad show queer men of color, its shows two men engaged, affectionate, in a relationship. this ad acknowledges same sex couples, even promotes them. rather than pandering to the serial sexing gay male caricature.
the contention behind this development is a larger problem in organizing that we see across all issues. Too often we have people organizing and working in organizations who aren't from or familiar with the communities they are "fighting" for. In order to have real change, space must be created in these larger organizations for leaders to step up and address the problems particular to the communities they are purportedly serving, rather than having a few researchers and academics or consultants behind the scenes telling us what our communities will respond to.
creating these spaces - not only in the media- for those outside the realm of what is deemed as typical, highlights progress. this exposure and presence might be seen as a minimal achievement to some, but i find it to be very powerful.