Over the past week, New Yorkers who take the subway may have encountered some pretty unique "service information" posters. While the Metropolitan Transportation Authority usually puts up posters to inform subway riders about any service changes or holiday schedules on trains, these unofficial MTA posters were made to celebrate Pride Month.
The posters, made in the style of the typical service information notifications, welcome passengers aboard the "Pride Train." They also declare that the month of June is Pride Month, and that there will be "no bigotry, hatred, and prejudice at this station." Pride Month will not affect your trip, the posters say, but anyone who is looking for an alternative can "take the express train straight to hell."
Thomas Shim, who made the posters along with collaborators Ezequiel Consoli and Jack Welles, told Gothamist that they were inspired to make the posters after President Donald Trump broke an 8-year tradition when he failed to acknowledge Pride Month.
"It hit us hard the day of pride month, and President Trump not acknowledging it," Shim told Gothamist. "Pride month is not something that just happened last year. It's been happening every year, and it's just not right [to ignore it]."
Shim also said that he and his collaborators formed the group Pride Train in order to combat hate crimes and assaults on the subway.
"We want people to feel that when they see these posters, they understand that this is a safe space," he told Gothamist. "The MTA is the darkest space in the city, and kids and adults need to understand that they can be as open as they are above ground, and they should feel safe. Not just LGBTQ people and women, but also people of color."
The posters have already gotten plenty of love on social media, where New Yorkers are posting photos of the first batch of 200 posters that they've encountered. Pride Train has also been pasting rainbow stickers onto the subway trains themselves.
While the MTA doesn't usually condone unsanctioned postings, Shim told Gothamist that he hasn't received any pushback from them thus far.
"We work in advertising, so we have an understanding of how it is to go through clients," he said. "We're thankful of MTA for not giving us any trouble so far and we're more than happy to work directly with MTA for future project."
If you're hoping to encounter a Pride Train of your own, follow @PrideTrain on Instagram to keep up to date on where the posters and stickers are being put up.
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