To clarify, the images you see on this webpage now are the ones running in the subways. The images on this page earlier (and on our 9pm show) are part of the same campaign, but were designed to be shown only in gay-friendly bars and restaurants. They include images of men kissing and are the ads our viewers are responding to below. And as you can read, most of our viewers didn't mind anyway.
An advertising campaign designed to "thoughtfully increase the visibility of black and Latino gay men" can be seen in 1,000 subway cars and 150 stations starting this month. The ads, which you can see here, debut in the wake of four recent youth suicides caused by anti-gay bullying.
The "I Love My Boo" campaign looks to counter a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that found men of color are most likely to be unaware of their HIV status. What do you say?
Do you support this campaign? Are the ads appropriate for the subway? What's your reaction to the recent stories of anti-gay bullying, including the death of a Rutgers student?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
Foot fungus ads in the subway cars, every kind of nasty, violent movie advertised in large billboards in the stations, and anyone is going to object to a thoughtful campaign about sexuality intended to inform the public of a social ill, because it has to do with gay people? The hypocrisy is staggering.
This is one of the most difficult stories on NY1 for me to respond to.
Professionally, I work for a university and work in Student Affairs. We have been ahead of the curve with workshops and we do not "poo-poo" complaints of bullying of any kind. You might think that adults wouldn't behave this way, but, sadly they do. From a personal standpoint I can relate to the broken hearts of the parents of the young man that could not take the public humiliation by his roommate and the female student. They should have to be held accountable for provoking this young man and for pushing him over the edge. Even if according to the law no charges can be pressed the University needs to expel the two students to show that behavior of this kind will not be tolerated.
Having lost my own son to a similar death at the age of 23 there may have been other signs of crying for help long before the latest crushing straw that broke the the camel's back. I can only hope that the loss of this young man will make the remorseless people out there stop their cruel behavior and think about people as humans and not as anything less than being humans based simply on their gender. Life has value even if the person's preference does not agree with your own?
kathy from Throggs Neck da bronx
What people do behind closed doors is their business.... But as a mother I don't want to be on the train with my children in they end up seeing that add...why should it be shoved down our throats.. As for bulling these kids need to get thicker skin as a child we were all bullied and teased in school it's a part if growing up...
THE SUBWAY IS PUBLIC TRANSIT, WHICH MEANS AN EASY WAY OF GETTING A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE OUT IN THE OPEN. I THINK GAY AND STRAIGHT TEENAGERS SHOULD BE A FOCUS GROUP AS WELL. FAMOUS GAY CELEBRITIES LIKE THE CHEF CAT CORA AND ACTOR NEIL PATRIC HARRIS COULD ALSO LEND A HAND AS WELL. A FAMOUS PERSON COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET CAN PREVENT A TEEN GOING INTO A BOX "COFFIN" ... SUICIDE AMONGST GAY TEENS IS A REAL FACTOR ALSO. AFTER ALL IS SAID, WE ALL SHOULD HAVE OUR BOO, WHETHER STRAIGHT OR GAY.
JOE, BAY TERRACE
Ads that make people accepting of who they are and thereby saving lives is a good idea and should be implemented without question.
What happened at Rutgers was a tragic sequence of events. No one of any race, religion or sexuality should have to go through this, America has to come out of the closet! Men of color are very aware of the health and tend to be in the vanguard in the fight on aids! Here we go again "ethnic bashing"! Do you really think men of color are no aware?
The subway with its micromanaged public service announcements courtesy of the MTA in its self-importance, is into everything but transportation and thats the problem. Also its Latinate language and its " please be patient" are annoying and inappropriate. I guess if most of its employees are under-educated with the exception of the front office, speaking anglo-saxon roots would be too revealing; better to conceal by using latinate roots. Ladies and gentleman please keep your eye on your personal belongings and give your seat to a pregnant person. What form of torture will they subject customers to tomorrow? Any advertising campaign they run is simply to enhance their bootom line.
I have to admit, I cringe when I see two men kissing. I am very liberal person and believe that people have the right to the purist of happiness. But I am also a product of human conditioning. Taught since I was able to walk, that a man with men is somehow wrong, deviant, and against the laws of nature. These “I love my boo” posters may make a lot of people uncomfortable, but they are a step forward reversing all the bigotry that has been en-grained into our psyche.
Pablo, Lower East Side
Violations of privacy in public places!
First and foremost, there is too much violation of privacy in the use of computers. What has happened to the human race!:
1. The abuse of computers. I am heartsick about the way a roommate violated his roommates privacy. This should be forbidden
2. Ads. I do not want to have my public space invaded by displays of intimacy, affection by either heterosexuals or homosexuals. That is a violation of my privacy. It also abhorrent to see in the subway and elsewhere ads which show violence or scantily clad people
All of this coarsens our society, and more than that it desensitizes it - and it fosters the belief THAT ANYTHING GOES!
We must beware of what we do - the results in the long run are harmful. Much of our society has reached a point that individuals do not know how to treat one another with civility and sensitivity.
I must admit, at first seeing the ads it was a little shocking and a little out there, however people don't like it because it is something new that is a part of our modern world. Many people are not used to it, and many people do not like change. Homosexuality is new to a lot of people therefore they disagree because they are not open to new things, which is okay because this is drastic, but it is very existent and very common so it is something that we should accept and learn to deal with and tolerate it. The Ad Campagne is good because it's going to make people more accustomed to it and help Homosexuality seem more normal. All changes are always a big deal at first, but eventually the world becomes used to it and learns to accept it and deal with it as a regular part of life. In 10 years, these ads may not even bother many people if we continue to have them now and get used to them now.
Hazel from Harlem, 20 years old
First of all Thank You all at NY1 for bringing this to your show. Maybe all the people who feel uncomfortable and against these ads might be, unfortunately, more comfortable seeing two men of color fighting or killing each other. That's probably what they see more than when two men are loving each other.
These ads are ridiculous!! No advertisements with extremely sexual or violent undertones. We have kids on the train and we want to teach them appropriation. I don't think any PDA on the train is acceptable. Please these ads enhance stereotypes. My BOO gets a long strong BOOOOOOOOOOO.
Although the intrinsic message may be a good one, the way the ads have been put together could have been much more tasteful. Is the gay community trying to portray a better image for itself or trying to stoop down to the inappropriate sexual culture that engulfs our society?
I believe that there must be a greater respect for all people independent of age, gender, or sexual orientation but there is a way to convey this positive image in a better light.
As a 60 year gay man who has survived the plague, I think the campaign would be better served with recognizable heroes (sports/acting/education) "I am a hero...with a tagline "and I am gay." Tell a good story and make viewers understand that gays are heroes too. And we are the people you know.
As a lesbian and part of the gay community by default I support this campaign ---- b/c so little is done a public setting to raise awareness -
HOWEVER in general I do not enjoy seeing ANY campaigns that show two people who are about to kiss or promote any PDA - it's not necessary to broadcast.
For the sake of argument what about all of the weird sex ads that say ' don't let impotence ruin your sex life, with the couples in bed?? those are just as "in your face" and may make parents have to explain to their kids...
This is Manny Fresh from Brooklyn, NY. I do not understand, nor do I see a reason to want posters of young, black and hispanic males hugging and kissing on the train for all to see, especially children who don't have the same understanding of homosexuality as adults do. What is this thing about imposing homosexuality on little children and saying that its for the good for all to see????
Hi, The Call. I support this add campaign, however, I think the choice of the word "boo" is poor. Many older people have no idea what a "boo" is. I think they are alienating their target audience by using this term. I think GMHC should have said something like "we love each other" instead.
I have found gay people to be open-minded and accepting of people with differences. I love them.
Steven from Riverdale
How dare that previous caller speak against these ads because they showcase men of color in loving relationships. Many LGBT organization often reinforce racism in leaving out gay and lesbian people of color, and its so important, especially n NYC. Its really unfair and disheartening that these ads-and the cause behind it-cannot thrive in the same way the White LGBT community is celebrated.
The pictures are not appropriate at all! Holding hand pictures are ok, and so are the hug pictures. The kissing and necking pictures, absolutely not!!! They make me extremely uncomfortable and are having an adverse affect to how I feel about the situation. The whole (you don't have to look if you don't like it) does not work with 4 and 5 year olds and is forcing parents to have that conversation unprepared.
Jay, Ozone Park
I feel it is inappropriate and careless. There are other ways to bring the conversation of self love and self respect to the forefront without using intimate imagery that may be offensive.
GMHC is misguided.
As a gay man, this campaign doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is the blatant double standard people are creating. So it's ok for kids to sit in a subway car and be exposed to TV ads with scantily clad women, and violent images, yet it isn't ok to see gay men in committed relationships? It's an ad designed to create awareness, and improve health. There is NOTHING wrong with it. We should be promoting positive images to our youth, who look to us as an example of how to react.
This is NYC. We are one of the most open and accepting communities around. Get over it.
I'm, a 63 year old gay man. All my life I've seen public advertisements that equated the good life with a man and a woman kissing, holding hands, hugging. Why not give gay people a little respect, by allowing us the same visibility. What's the fake concern about shielding the children from such a sight?
As gay young men, I deeply feel that those ads are appropriate to be in the subway. We got to stop this homophobic and anti-gay bulling because all of us are human beings and our sexual orientation has to be respected once and for all. We got to teach the young generations and families that, being gay is not a problem and if you are heterosexual live it with respect, protecting yourself from diseases, but most importantly respecting others as well.
New Yorkers that say the ad is offensive need to reevaluate their issues. This is not an ad for homosexuality but an ad for tolerance. It IS a conversation you should have with your child, not something that should be seen as offensive. Where is the controversy over the overly sexual Remy Martin or Axe ads, how about suggestive movie posters or offensive language in ads for television? These ads are about LOVE, not sex. There is a big difference and people need to stop pretending otherwise.
If ads promoting a heterosexual lifestyle were placed there would be hell to pay. Promoting individualism, self expression and confidence is the way to go. Focusing on gay or not misses the point and begs for vandalism of these ads.
When you stop supporting shame, you will cure/curtail the AIDS epidemic! Committed relationships is the key to a healthy life.
A caption on the screen during the story about the GMHC ad campaign referenced "the gay lifestyle." This phrase is unenlightened because it connotes that there is one singular "gay lifestyle." We are rich, poor, slutty, chaste, smart, dumb, crazy, sane, stable, unstable and every other extreme and everywhere in between.. There is no one "gay lifestyle." Please, using this kind of language perpetuates misconceptions.
im against it cause its not natural. if its not in nature then it doesnt exist. lemmie know when you see two of the same sex animals engaging in sex.
It's one big slippery slope. Is it ok to be gay and promote it? Guy marriage, gay couples raising children, where does it start and where does it end. Unfortunately it ended in death for a young college student.
I have no problem with anybody who is gay lesbian bisexual. Every one wants to be love. I have best friend that are homosexuals and it doesn't bother me. People need to understand that who they are. I agree it need to be out there and people have to keep there feeling and face expression to them self if they don't like it. Am on there side.
There is always someone who will be uncomfortable with something that is put up in the subway or elsewhere. I personally have no problem with it, I don't think it will promote as much acceptance or awareness as the group putting them up would hope for. Hey, I would rather see those ads than a Mosque near ground zero!!!
I think it's a great ad that promotes tolerance and understanding for different communities. NYC is a diverse city and we should embrace that, instead of ignoring and pretending it doesn't exist. I applaud the MTA for promoting this ad!
From a straight New Yorker.
Anything that will raise awareness about a person's HIV status is a good thing! As for suicides, Mayor Bloomberg has not done enough ( has he done anything?) to stop ALL kinds bullying in NYC schools.
why shove this kind of thing down everyone's throats? No pun intended. This won't promote acceptance. If anything it will turn off the majority of people. While I appreciate the message of tolerance - it's a dumb move to throw this in people's faces. There's other ways of educating the masses. This is just plain silly.
What we fear in ourself, we show in hate to those who are accepting of it.
Staten Island NY
Dont believe its right to put pictures of gay men on the subways.i dont need my nephews thinking its ok to date men or ask questions about it,im a catholic and I dont believe in gay marriage.its wrong-
I fully support this campaign. It's essential to show people that, especially in this day and age, homophobia has no place in a civilized society. In the wake of so many recent suicides, it is essential that young people struggling with their identity know that they have a safe place to turn to combat hate and ignorance. Hate has no business on our streets or in our hearts.
Joey, Park Slope, Brooklyn
We usually see men of color on T.V. portrayed as violent or unloving. By not supporting these ads because you "don't want to see it" says you don't want to see me. We can't stay in a bubble-if we could perhaps I would never have to see the fact that laws and US culture are only geared to give unearned privileges to straight couples.
When you tell people you shouldn't have to see gay relationships-gay people-you make it o.k. for people to discriminate or even be violent- with the idea that they are doing something good for society. In my bubble violence by other people or state laws would not exist. But of course we do not live in a bubble.
Brooklyn Nurse Guy
The bullying of that young man shows the worst of what we have become. When will we let intolerance and bigotry lead the way it destroys all that we are and all that we stand for.
I approve this campaign. As far as conversation with children. All that needs to be said is" that is a nice couple" "don't they make a cute couple" Children do not need more than that. This is the way it is. It is the adults discomfort not the child. You will not be opening up a dialog about sex. It is not about sex it is about who you love.
As far as comments like " it is in my face" It is only in your face because you do not like it or understand it. I do no like to see all these sex ads, everywhere I go. As a women I should be offended but I am realistic to know sex sells. It is now the norm. We have seen it "a lot" Which is the point. If you see it "a lot" it will become as natural as anything else.
I think the people who are most verbal are uncomfortable because something is hitting home.