The controversial “F*ck W/Out Fear” campaign on WeHo’s Santa Monica Boulevard is getting spruced up this week.

LA LGBT Center, PrEP, truvada
Defaced F*ck W/Out Fear sidewalk sign in front of Rage bar.

WEHOville readers have inquired about the disappearance of the campaign’s sidewalk chalk drawing on Santa Monica Boulevard near Palm Avenue. That drawing, designed to promote the use of Truvada as a measure to prevent HIV infection, upset the owners of the nearby Yogurt Stop and was allegedly defaced by a man who also spray painted over another.

But it’s gone only because the L.A. LGBT Center has decided to move the eye-catching sidewalk sign to the highly trafficked northeast corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards.

Jim Key, the Center’s chief marketing officer, said the Center originally had intended to place the image on the sidewalk in front of Micky’s, the bar just to the west of Yogurt Stop, but that its sidewalk railing prevented that. Key said the project’s artists also would repair two other vandalized images on Friday.

The City of West Hollywood authorized the creation of five sidewalk images along Santa Monica Boulevard in WeHo’s Boystown nightlife district as part of its campaign to reduce HIV infections, a major issue among gay men.

15 thoughts on “WeHo’s ‘F*ck W/Out Fear’ Sidewalk Campaign Gets Freshened Up”

  1. Not sure how effective this campaign is, I only see people walking all over it, but never stopping to even read it or notice it.I think this whole thing is much ado about nothing.

  2. “F*ucking” is widely understood as a base, crass, demeaning, flip pejorative expression. It is even on the border of contempt, ridicule, expression of anger. It fairly implies that we are basic sexual objects to use and probably discard. It’s understood that “f*cking” is not a word that conveys respect, caring, appreciation, affection. These latter words are the kinds of things which would actually make people naturally be mindful about themselves and care about the well-being of others – the probably purpose of the campaign.

    So, what does it say about a community and the character of its charter organizations and government leadership which proudly chooses to endorse and promote “f*ucking” in its slogans, on its sidewalks, and to the world – in all that this community considers one another objects to f*ck.

    Some would say forget the “resist” and other “respect us” efforts. Want respect, have some respect. Otherwise the community kind of deserves what it gets.

  3. This is the lowest common denominator of communication, self respect and caring. Is that the best way to get an important message across?

    It doesn’t get any lower than this folks.

  4. This campaign is perfect in that it has started the conversation on PreP quickly and loudly. More so than any other campaign so far. The center has accomplished its goals and the city was wise enough to assist.

  5. Prep users take the greatest risk with their sexual partners. I feel safer with the people not brainwashed by pharma and who use condoms

  6. Very proud of the Center and our City for this. HIV affects our community in so many ways, and education is key. We have a prescription that effectively prevents HIV infections. This is completely relevant to our gay community in WeHo. To those clutching their pearls in disgust, perhaps Westlake Village is more your cup of tea.

  7. @DavidT……please, that “go live in Westlake Village or Calabasas” line is tired, old, boring and a dumb device to try and prove your point.

    Try to come up with something smarter and less lazy next time……LOL

  8. The gay community needs to take sex back from fear and shame. AIDS decimated our community and we needed our fear to stay safe and survive. Sex became the enemy and we shamed those who weren’t as disciplined as we wanted them to be. PrEP has given us an opportunity to start exploring our sexuality in ways that we could not for 35 years. It is prescribed with great care about the risks and the benefits to ADULTS who then get to decide for themselves how they want to behave sexually.

    If you’re Pro-choice then you need to let gay men have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies, too.

  9. Jimmy, exactly. This is a smart, effective marketing campaign.

    LJWilliams, statistics have proven that PrEP is more effective at preventing HIV transmission (when adhered to) than condoms. So if you feel “safer” using a condom, then so be it. But you are ignoring proven statistics. Of course, I’m only referring to HIV here.

    Manny, I second the “go live in Westlake Village” argument. Every city and neighborhood has its own character and culture. That part of West Hollywood is frequented by young gay men, more than anyone else. So yeah, if people don’t like it, they can go elsewhere. This marketing campaign effectively preaches to its intended audience, and is targeted in that area for a specific reason.

    It is hard for me to be offended by the word “f**k” when our country elected a leader that uses the word “p***y” and these ads are in a part of the city where one can easily see go go dancers (and other overtly sexual images) from outside the sidewalk of many businesses.

    I don’t care if people are offended by it. If this campaign prevented even just one person from contracting HIV, it is worth it to me.

  10. @Randy…..being offended by this campaign is a legitimate opinion that many people share…..as is yours.

    Telling people that live here to move because they don’t agree with you only cheapens your argument. Just because someone doesn’t like what’s going on in their community, and is willing to share their opinion, they don’t deserve being told to move someplace else……I’m sure there’s a lot you don’t like…..I would never tell you to leave because I’m sure there’s also many things you do like.

    I don’t know about “DavidT” but I think you can do better than that.

    (Ugh! I’ll never get the time back that I spent writing this)

  11. “I’m on Prep” Prove it (and that you take it every single day ; not one dosage missed.)
    “I’m negative.” Prove it (where are your papers from this month. And you do know that test results vary by city, country, etc.)
    I’m neg, on Prep, let’s BB.” Yeah, not. This logic makes no sense. It means you’ve been brainwashed and peer pressured into thinking that is a normal statement to message someone you don’t know (referring mostly to app hookups which is where most of the Prep users are).

    Prep. No thanks. But if you use it why is there no follow up message with USE CONDOMS. There’s at least 10 other std’s you can catch when not using them. Talked with a prep user who stopped it as it made him physically sick every time he took it. Couldn’t pay me enough to take this. I don’t trust pharma. But if you do, you better still use condoms or pay the consequences no matter what your sexuality.

  12. Manny, I wasn’t implying you should “move to Westlake Village.” I was implying that maybe you (or whomever is offended) should consider hanging out in a different neighborhood (and really, any other part of West Hollywood) if you can’t handle a four-letter word on a strip of our city that is frequented by many young adults, where sexual imagery is already prominent. You are more than entitled to be offended by it.

    PrEP saves lives. It has cornered HIV (so far, not a single transmission this year in SF, a city that used to be ground zero for this crisis). I’ll take seeing a 4 letter word and the reputation that our city might get with it, if it proves to be an effective marketing campaign that gets young people on it, or aware of it as an option.

  13. MarLar19, I think you are missing the point of how PrEP works. It puts YOU in control. It doesn’t matter what the other person says, if they lie about taking their pill. People also lie about their status, when they were last tested, what the results were, etc.. PrEP puts you in control of your risk of getting HIV, whether you are a bottom, a top or a versatile. I’ve been on it for almost 4 years and have been very active in a PrEP information group all that time. Very, very few people have reported “getting sick while on it.” Most people have zero side effects. Nobody is twisting your arm and telling you to be on it. But specifically for preventing the transmission of HIV, PrEP is more effective than condoms, and this has been proven through many studies. I’m not talking about any other STD’s here. But I can also say that most PrEP users are more aware of their sexual health and get tested more often, as they are required to meet with a doctor every 3 months. That is what I have witnessed.

    And where is your evidence that “most of the PrEP users” are on apps? You are feeding into a stereotype. Even if its true, do you have any idea how many people on apps who aren’t on PrEP, and still aren’t using condoms? Based on my personal experience: A LOT.

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