City Of Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker and Diverse & Resilient executive director Gary Hollander recently announced the expansion of a groundbreaking print and radio campaign designed to foster acceptance of LGBT people from their families and peers.
The goal of Acceptance Journeys is to reduce health disparities for LGBT people in Milwaukee, which are caused in part by the damaging effects of discrimination. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Infection and other research groups have found discrimination has contributed to the sharp rise in HIV transmission among gay and bisexual men in Milwaukee. Between 20 and 40 percent of African-American gay and bisexual men in Milwaukee are infected with HIV.
In addition to higher rates of HIV, the LGBT community has higher rates of tobacco use, earlier use of alcohol, greater community and partner violence and a greater incidence of suicide.
Acceptance Journeys’ messages are posted on billboards, buses and other public venues, including Milwaukee General Mitchell airport and the Milwaukee Intermodal Station. The project features pictures and stories by family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors who tell how they came to accept the LGBT people in their lives.
Acceptance Journeys includes 47 stories at this time, with an additional 15 in production. The effort is funded in part through an award from the M·A·C AIDS Fund and from the Centers for Disease Control and Infection, as well as the Charles E. Kubly Foundation.
For additional information, visit journey2accept.org.