LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID:
LGBTQ+ Outreach During Lockdown
Public Health Challenge
Promoting sexual and behavioral health is the core of what Project Safety Net does. During the COVID 19 pandemic our prevention teams continued to operate programs to keep Long Island’s most vulnerable groups safe. But the challenges of social isolation and community lockdowns made it impossible to connect with the public in traditional ways. As life quickly moved online, news feeds were oversaturated with pandemic messaging. Still, we needed a novel way to communicate information to the LGBTQ+ community whose potential behaviors could put them at risk.
While being apart was the only way to stay safe, Project Safety Net launched its online prevention campaign called Jack & Chill. Jack & Chill featured humorous illustrated characters who delivered sex-positive messages that also reinforced important pandemic health mandates. Using a harm reduction approach, we seeded our platforms with playful messages that blended masturbation, kink, and hygiene, encouraging our target to engage sexually while respecting physical distance. By being loud and proud, we tried to break down social barriers that further isolated individuals and made them more vulnerable. Jack & Chill gave people permission to STAY IN and GET OFF, however they liked. Jack & Chill’s wit sliced through current events and their sarcasm made you think twice before putting yourself at risk. They are not ashamed of sex, their bodies, or what turns them on. Through humor, art, and candor, Jack & Chill included everyone in their mission to promote safety.