My wife and our close friends and I conducted our own NOH8 photo shoot last weekend. We took a stand for equality by displaying our message in various platforms. It was so much fun, and definitely a unique experience.
For those of you unfamiliar, the NOH8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8. Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with “NOH8” painted on one cheek in protest. For our shoot, my photographer friend offered up her pad, along with her backdrop and lighting. We all wore white shirts, and practiced our poses.
The great thing about this campaign is that each person being photographed gets to bring his/her personality into the shot. You can use props, hand gestures, or even other people. My wife and I really wanted to capture our love for our son in the shoot. We wanted to represent our family- and other families like ours.
From the NOH8 site:
Five years since its inception, the NOH8 Campaign has grown to nearly 33,000 faces and continues to grow at an exponential rate. The campaign began with portraits of everyday Californians from all walks of life and soon rose to include politicians, military personnel, newlyweds, law enforcement, artists, celebrities, and many more.
While inspired by the passage of Prop 8, the scope of the NOH8 Campaign has grown to stand against discrimination and bullying of all kinds. The message of ‘No Hate’ can be interpreted and applied broadly, and speaks to each person in their own way.
The NOH8 Campaign has received overwhelming support from around the world, and has appeared in various local and national news programs and publications. The images are widely used on various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the message of equality.
What it meant to me:
This is a direct representation of the current legislation occurring in my home state- Michigan, regarding lifting the ban on same sex marriage, and allowing lesbians and gays to be married. I am very passionate about this case, as it affects my wife, my son, and I. Just keep fighting. Just keep fighting for our rights!
While our photo shoot was something a bunch of us decided to do on our own, the campaign does travel the world, hosting professional open photo shoots. This is something I would like to participate in one day. What is even more fantastic is that you can take your own NOH8 photos and upload them to the website.
This is what it is all about, people. Unity. Equality. Taking a stand. And why not do it creatively?
In today’s world, there are those who oppose my lifestyle, including celebrating Mother’s Day as a two mom family. And those who welcome us, and celebrate these miracles in life.
Surprise surprise. Not all people share our joy in having two mothers in which to celebrate Mother’s Day. The scene took place in Grandville, MI, where an anti-gay protester decided to stand on a busy highway corner with a sign reading, “Thank your mom today for not being gay”. The reactions of the crowd was priceless. A few cars honked in support, many cars stopped to give the woman their piece of mind, and there was even a slew of other corner dwellers, holding signs of their own. What occurred on top of all the lgbt support, was an angry woman, who demonstrated her opinion by throwing her slushie at the protester. Now, I don’t know if the slushie throwing was right, but I can certainly concur with the passion from the thrower. See the newsreel below.
In other news, my lovely wife and I got to celebrate our very first Mother’s Day! We didn’t have to deal with protesters or drama. We just enjoyed spending the day with our sweet little man. The three of us went out to breakfast and all the waitresses just swooned over his cuteness. When one waitress asked who the mother was, we replied, “both of us”, and she just said “I love that”, and smiled. I love being in a place where we can live as a normal family, and be comfortable being us. We then had the rest of the day to hang out together, to enjoy our amazing family. And you know, I absolutely wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!
So there you have it. People who cannot accept the love and normalcy of a family like mine. I absolutely can’t wrap my head around it. Why go out of the way to bring fellow human beings down? Let’s work on loving one another and accepting that we are all worthy of the same things that hetero folks are. All of us mothers are one in the same- human- and we have one thing in common- our children. So on that note, I wish ALL mothers a Happy Mother’s Day. I hope it was a joyful one for you.
74-year-old Navy veteran, Madelynn Taylor would like her wife to be buried with her in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, but officials will not allow it. Idaho doesn’t recognize her same sex marriage. She followed standard protocol, taking her discharge papers and marriage certificate to the Veterans Cemetery to apply to be buried there with her wife when she passes away, but was at a loss when they would not process her request.
“I thought they’d say okay because in any federal cemetery it is okay, in any national cemetery,” Taylor said. “I could take the same documents and get buried in Arlington if I needed to, with no problems. But here they said it’s a state veterans cemetery, not a national cemetery. So we have to go by the state laws.”
Click this link to view a video clip on Taylor:
Taylor and her late wife Jean Mixner married at a church retreat in Oregon in 1995, and formally in a California courthouse six years ago.
Taylor, who served six years in the Navy from 1958 to 1964, says that while she could be buried together in another veterans cemetery, she says as a longtime Idaho resident with brothers and sisters here, she doesn’t want to settle. She wants to be in Idaho’s Veterans Cemetery, with her wife by her side.
“I just feel that it’s the right place for me,” she says. “I want Jean with me.”
Source: LGBTQ Nation
Two completely different sides in the fight for equality. This video displays the scene that occurred this morning near my home. The trial continues tomorrow morning.