As one of the many people who has directly experienced silent and physical “hate” by a third party, I’ve always been an advocate against hate long before the subject became mainstream. To name a few, in the 80s I was a strong advocate against HIV/AIDS hate. In the 90s and early 2000s I was an advocate for rights in the workplace, domestic violence and women’s platforms in my local community as well as, State and Federal levels. I took a step back for a few years because my career consumed me, I relocated to a new city and honestly – I needed to focus on me. When I was ready to “join forces” again – I researched which 501(C)(3) organizations I wanted to support and volunteer my time. Hence the reasons I have chosen the NOH8 Campaign.
Recently I had extraordinary opportunities to take part in, and volunteer at, four NOH8 Campaign photo shoots as part of the campaign’s mid-west tour. Words cannot explain nor describe how these opportunities inspired me even more to be an active participant of this campaign.
The NOH8 Campaign was originally born as a result of Proposition8 in California. Since then, the Campaign has evolved from NOH8 to NOH8 Campaign and NOH8 Worldwide. NOH8 Campaign and NOH8 Worldwide is exactly that – NOH8 anywhere – of any kind, around the globe. A photographic silent protest, no bullying, no discrimination, equality for all whether that be sexuality, religious beliefs, body structure, race, ethnicity, current and post cancer patients (yes, you read correctly), physical disfiguration, physical disabilities… “the list” goes on and on and on.
There is very little preparation on the participant’s part to have their photo taken. All that is required is a plain white shirt, blouse or t-shirt. Your choice – the garment must be free of logos, trademarks or verbiage. NOH8 merchandise is available for purchase at the photo shoot if you wish to use that clothing or items as part of your photo. “Props” such as pets, microphones, scarves, etc are allowed in photo shoots as long as they are tasteful. For more information about attire and props, click on the link at the bottom of this article.
After “the hat” and I drove a couple of hours to the host location we arrived to our first “Open Photo Shoot” (open – meaning its open to anyone and everyone, not just celebrities.) I didn’t know what to expect, feeling nervous and excited at the same time! I was greeted by two volunteers. One of them escorted me to the location inside of the building. Once inside, I immediately felt the positive energy around the room. A large group of people coming together for one cause – one purpose! Music, people, NOH8 merchandise for purchase, folks just hanging out enjoying each other’s company and the 4 stations of the photo shoot process.
Everyone, no matter what age, who is part of the photo shoot, must complete and sign the model release form. The release form authorizes celebrity photographer and co-founder of the NOH8 Campaign, Adam Bouska, and an agreement between you and the campaign to use your photo without further permission, among other simple disclosures. You are assigned a model number and move to the next station to receive your temporary NOH8 tattoo placed on either side of your face – a 1 minute or less process. When your model number is called, you move to the third station where you pay the fee for the photo session. (Visit the fee structure by clicking on the link below.) You continue to the “tape” station where a piece of tape is placed across your mouth – signifying silence of voice. This is where you will meet co-founder and partner of Adam – Jeff Parshley. Next is the big photo shoot! With adrenalin running high because of the energy in the room and the excitement of the actual participation in the photo shoot, I am greeted by photographer Adam. Adam is extremely nice and kind – a gentle disposition. He quickly explains the simple pose process. Before you know it, Adam is taking pictures and directing you on how to pose. Click, flash, click, flash, turn head slightly up, head tilted, click, flash, a true “super model or celebrity” photo shoot. WOW – what an experience! After my photo shoot, I stood off to the side and relished in the moment in what I had just accomplished. A participant of this campaign against hate! A warm feeling, a feeling of accomplishment – against hate!
Participants receive notification via email within 6-8 weeks of their photo shoot notifying them their photo is available online for viewing. Photos are re-touched for clarity and Adam personally picks each photograph to best represent you, the campaign and Brand. Currently you receive one digital photo as part of the cost and you may purchase additional digital and/or physical copies of your photo for an additional fee(s).
If you are interested in joining me and thousands of supporters by attending a NOH8 campaign open photo shoot in your area (the site is updated as soon as new locations become public) or additional information and disclosures please visit the NOH8 Campaign website at: www.noh8campaign.com
Frequently Asked questions click here.
Follow the NOH8 Campaign on twitter @noh8campaign
Follow Nyk on twitter at @nykfortune
Thank you to TBB Reality for inviting me to share my NOH8 Campaign commitment and experience with you and your readers. A special thank you to Adam Bouska, Jeff Parshley, Christopher Hayden, Bryce Ferguson and the NOH8 crew for your tireless commitment against hate.
The NOH8 Campaign is a charitable organization registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation. Funds raised by the NOH8 Campaign are used to promote and raise awareness for Marriage Equality and anti-discrimination on a global level through an educational and interactive media campaign. View the NOH8 Campaign’s 2010 Form 990 here.
The NOH8 logo is a registered trademark of the NOH8 Campaign ( www.noh8campaign.com )