2019 was a historic year in terms of federal initiatives aimed at allowing LGBTQ health discrimination. Some of these policies have resulted in national court cases; others have quietly been put into place. All of them have a negative effect on the health of LGBTQ persons and further compound existing barriers to care. In order to counter this tide, the National LGBT Cancer Network has decided to let the pride love fly by commissioning a video billboard in Times Square saying “Hey queers, we love you! Stay healthy in 2020!”
“This spike in discrimination takes its toll on our communities’ health and we already struggle against too many barriers as it is,” says the Executive Director of the Cancer Network, Ms. Liz Margolies. She continues, “LGBTQ persons already use tobacco at rates 50% higher than others and are less likely to be satisfied with care if they get cancer.”
The 56 foot x 29 foot billboard opens with a video of a pride flag waving, “hey queers, we love you!” and “take care of your health in 2020!” roll out first, followed by “eat well, stay active, get screened, see friends, be tobacco-free” and the organizational logo.
“As courts are fighting over whether health providers have a right to refuse us care we need to be reminded we are loved and valued,” says Dr. Scout, the Deputy Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network. “I’m especially excited about expanding this campaign to wave the bi flag or trans flag or others above Times Square; that would be historic,” he continues. During the campaign, over 10 million people are expected to see this message as they pass through Times Square.
The National LGBT Cancer Network is raising money for the “Let The Pride Love Fly” campaign with hopes to supplement the campaign with more subpopulation specific ads in coming weeks. Donors at different levels can get their own names or those of loved ones featured in the PSAs or even decide the focus of a new PSA.
Visitors to Times Square can see the video live at 1500 Broadway Avenue at 43rd street, the ad runs about once every 15 minutes through the end of February. It can also be seen on YouTube at this link: Hey Queers, We Love You. People interested in the campaign can learn more at cancer-network.org.