Now 25 years later, the Gay Community Center of Richmond plans to bring new life to that project by republishing the message on a billboard overlooking the center’s location off I-95.
The billboard in 1987.
“That year a small group of activists came together to spread a message of understanding and compassion,” president Jay Squires said in a statement on the GCCR site. ”Raising money through small donations they paid for a campaign to educate Richmonders about a simple fact of life – that gay people were their neighbors, their colleagues and their family.”
At the time, Kinman put a personal phone number on the billboard as a resource. With the 2011 incarnation, the GCCR’s website GayRichmond.com will be visible in bold colors. The new advertisement will fill one slot in a series of placements on the recently modernized digital billboard that sits on the GCCR’s property.
“Today we often need to forcefully demand our rights and to make it plain that we will not settle for less than equality,” Squires said. ”Still, there is a place for a gentle message, one that appeals to the basic fairness shared by people of good will. Come out, be open, be yourself and together we’ll change hearts and minds.”