July 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Gay-themed HIV billboards replaced in L.A.
X Homophobia, Gay News, Washington Blade

New billboards denouncing homophobia replaced another that drew controversy. (Photo courtesy inthemeantimemen.org)

LOS ANGELES — A series of 10 billboard ads in South Los Angeles urging black men who have sex with men to get tested for HIV has drawn controversy, the Los Angeles Times reported in a Sunday article.

The ads were designed by Jeffrey King, executive director of In the Meantime Men, an L.A. advocacy group. He told the Times stigma about black men having gay sex caused a backlash against the ads, which have been replaced by ads that have an “x” over the word “homophobia.”

The original ads — one of which showed two shirtless black men embracing on a beach with the tagline, “Our love is worth protecting … we get tested” — were criticized for several reasons including overall cultural squeamishness about black men who have sex with men, the models being too physically perfect for average men to relate to and homophobic teachings from black churches, the Times article noted.

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