If you've ever visited San Francisco's gay Castro district then you may have noticed the absence of people of color. The gayborhood that for decades has been a safe haven for LGBT people and a source of pride for many has also earned a reputation for being unfriendly if not downright hostile towards gay people of color.
Who could forget the charges of discrimination against SF Badlands, a Castro gay bar that became known for requiring black patrons to present multiple forms of identification before gaining entry.
Well now the Stop AIDS Project is working to create a more inclusive environment in the Castro that welcomes all people regardless of color with a new outreach program called Our Love.
What does all this have to do with stopping AIDS? Jason Riggs, the deputy director of Stop AIDS notes: "What we've found from years of study is that bisolation and depression are huge factors in HIV transmission. We're trying to make contact, and connect people more to their own communities to lessen that sense of isolation."
I've been to the Castro several times and the lack of diversity in a community that prides itself on such is appalling. The black men in this clip offer real insight on what it's like to be a gay man of color in the Bay Area. Let's hope that this is a step in the right direction to make the Castro available to everyone in the LGBT community.
h/t SF Bay Guardian