10:58 | 23rd April 2019

News: World

Mon 17 Jan, 2011
By Sam Bristowe

You have to start from a place of respect in order to address the stigma and homophobia of being a black gay man

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Anger over gay ad campaign in African-American community

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A gay campaign in the US state of New York has caused quite a stir amongst some of the residents in the town of Schenectady, which has a strong African-American presence.

Many are said to be offended by the LGBT campaign, which reads the bold statement “I AM GAY.”

Three ads have been created over 18 billboards erected around the city with one featuring three black men on a basketball court reading “I am gay, and this is where I play.” The other features a black minister holding a bible talking to a black parishioner at church with the caption, “I am gay, and this is where I pray.” The other sees a family sitting around a table with the slogan reading “I am gay, and this is where I stay.”

The campaign has caused angst between some members of the community with City Councilman Joseph Allen opposing the posters “This kind of billboard is putting the stamp of approval on a gay lifestyle,” but insists he is not homophobic.

Tandra R. LaGrone, executive director of Our Own Voices, the company behind the campaign said to the local paper the Times Union: “I thought it would be useful and pertinent to have the campaign in the Capital Region because of the numbers for HIV and AIDS among gay black males have risen significantly.

You have to start from a place of respect in order to address the stigma and homophobia of being a black gay man.”

The “I am GAY and this is where I pray” has particularly caused anger amongst some in the church and Pastor Richard Parsons of Consecration Temple of Church of God Christ reportedly said: “It's directly against God's word, and what God hates, I hate.”


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