Friday, August 15, 2008

Billboard campaign highlights gay families

I think this concept is cool. GLBT citizens of WI were not content to rest defeated by the 2006 state constitutional amendment defining marriage as 'between a man and a woman', so they created a billboard campaign to educate their straight neighbors that gay families exist, whether or not their parents are legally married.

Major kudos to the Joseph R. Pabst LGBT Infrastructure Fund for a grant, and Clear Channel for donating a large number of billboards!

Billboard campaign highlights gay families
By Jennifer Vanasco

(Milwaukee, Wis.) A Milwaukee group aims to show that gay and lesbian families are everywhere with an aggressive billboard and bus shelter ad campaign.

"The “Gay Neighbor” campaign will feature LGBT families drawn from the Milwaukee area and was unveiled this week at a news conference. It begins Monday.
The ads, from the Cream City Foundation, all bear the slogan "Family. It’s all about LOVE!" and direct people to a Web site that offers more information on the issues facing same-sex couples and their children.

In 2006, Wisconsin voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. Since then LGBT activist groups have been focusing on efforts to get bills granting recognition of domestic partnerships passed in the legislature.

Marketing expert Denise Crawley said the photos used in the campaign were selected following intensive focus groups.

“We tried single people, we tried couples by themselves. None of those sorts of images worked as well as presenting people in the sense of family,” Crawley told Milwaukee Public Radio.

The ads feature with young children and teens pictured with their gay and lesbian parents, and LGBT kids with their mothers and fathers.

“We also heard from people that they thought that gay people don’t have families, certainly thought they don’t have children. Don’t even think to ask about a significant other, about their mother, about their sister,” Crawley said.

Several of the families represented in the campaign were present at the news conference, but were identified only by their first names.

One of the couples, Kristie and Karen, said that it was difficult to decide whether to expose their children in the ads.

“The last thing a parent wants to do is to put their child in harms way and, while I don’t feel like we’re necessarily doing that, it’s a little nerve-wracking. And there were days I did feel sick to my stomach about it and we talked about that a lot. But, we felt like the cause was worthwhile and we need to do it,” Karen said. “My true feeling was, I came back to the code, you have to be a part of the change you want to see in the world and there was no other way to do it. And I think our families and our kids know, that it’s a worthwhile cause.”
Crawley said that in addition to educating the straight population, she hopes the ads encourage more gay people to come out.

“The fact that there are still hate crimes and there are still unfair laws, there are so many people who are still closeted,” she said.

“There are plenty of people who still have people come into their homes and have dinner parties and people don’t know that they’re gay. And we’re not going to be able to make inroads into more fair laws and opportunities if more people don’t realize how many gay neighbors they have.”

The foundation did not say how much it cost to produce the ads, but noted that it received funding from the Joseph R. Pabst LGBT Infrastructure Fund and that Clear Channel had donated a large number of billboards.

Crush du Jour: Antoine Vaillant


A Lewis said...

I'm in love with that billboard campaign....putting a name and face to these kinds of things always seems to make it more real.

Java said...

What a great idea. I hope it works, that lots of people get the message that homosexuals are in families, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am the spokesperson for the Gay Neighbor Billboard Campaign - thank you for posting this. It is kind of you to give us another positive hit.

My last name is spelled without an R - got it wrong.

Let me know if you need any follow up info by contacting me through the site

Anonymous said...

You filthy cock monkeys.