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Wisconsin-based artist shares positive message for LGBTQ+ youth with billboards

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 7:29 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - The first “You Are Loved” billboard popped up in Madison in June. Now, there’s at least one billboard in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Minnesota and Montana.

“It’s this really simple idea, and it came as a response to me feeling really heartbroken about the anti-trans bills aimed at youth across the United States, and here in Wisconsin,” said Rae Senarighi, the billboard artist also know as “Transpainter.” “I want them to know that they are loved, and that there is a whole community who loves them and are fighting for them.”

Senarighi started the project with the help from Fair Wisconsin. People who are interested need to cover the costs for a billboard rental, but Senarighi donates his art. His website also has a donation page with Equality Federation to help pay for billboard rentals where it could make a greater impact.

However, the message can still spread the love in a smaller font size like bumper stickers, business signs or law signs like the one outside the Diverse and Resilient office in Appleton.

“We love them. They’re gorgeous. They’re a beautiful reminder that LGBTQ youth and all queer and trans folks really deserve to hear, and don’t hear often enough,” said Reiko Ramos, the Youth and Young Adult Advocate for D&R. They said any positivity toward the LGBTQ helps save lives.

“I think, especially in this current climate, we live in an area where the young people that I work with aren’t regularly accustomed to hearing those messages of affirmation, and that they’re seen and valid and loved,” said Ramos.

Senarighi said it would be great if the billboards reach several states across the country, to share a message that is meant for everyone.

“I think that it is really powerful. I think that it’s powerful for the folks that I intended it for, but I also think that it reaches beyond that,” said Senarighi.

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