Why I Posed Again, by Thomas GeraciWednesday, July 13th, 2011
Last year, I was thrilled to be able to pose for Adam Bouska and the NOH8 Campaign. I knew it would be a great way to show support for those who have little or no voice in our society. It started out as a protest of Proposition 8 in California, became a platform to speak up for every one’s right to marriage, and now has come to mean even more than that. I had taken my own photo at first because I so wanted to be some part of the cause.
When I knew the NOH8 Campaign would be in NYC, I jumped at the chance. I admit, I wasn’t sure if my picture would matter so much since there are other, more prominent, faces involved. Let me tell you, since then I have come to realize we ALL make a difference. Adam and his partner Jeff (Parshley) could not have been nicer, more accommodating, or shown more gratitude. They truly show appreciation to each and every person who comes to pose. Each individual or group is treated with such professional respect, attention to detail, and a truly amazing experience.
This year, when I found out Adam was holding another NYC photo shoot, there was no question that I would do another. A chance to be a part of this movement is not something I would ever let slip by. The “voice” we created through this protest has come to represent oppressed people everywhere and a light to those suffering from many different types of discrimination.
Believe it or not, slavery still exists even in the United States. People are subjected to being sold and held as sex slaves every day. This has become such an issue that Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore started the DNA Foundation to help bring light to the subject. They have been highly successful in generating more attention to the plight and getting laws passed that shockingly did not exist in many states in the US.
We hear of new stories of discrimination every day but most times we feel there isn’t much we can do about it. As individuals this very well may be true, but as a collective, I don’t think we could be more powerful. Just head over to http://www.noh8campaign.com/ to take a look at the many photos. Tell me that is not an impressive group of people. No matter what their background, race, religion, economic stature, or sexual orientation, each of them represent something so much larger than themselves.
To be just a small part of such a great group is empowering, humbling, and satisfying all at the same time. On a personal level, after I posed the first time, I became more confident about my own struggles and battles. We all have something we are faced with on a daily basis that sometimes feels like we will never overcome. Once you start to do little things to aide others, you find that your troubles begin to shrink a bit and you are much stronger when tackling them.
Adam and Jeff have represented love just by being who they are individually and as a couple. What they have done with this campaign is extend their love to a growing family who are left better off just from knowing them briefly at the shoots, on facebook, or on twitter. I can say that I am always inspired by their work, the stories they share, and the events they coordinate. Whenever I have had to opportunity to talk about them, I am always filled with pride and admiration.
I am happy to say that this year there were so many more people than last year and I think this time it was held for a shorter number of hours. It is great to see all the people who turn out in support of the cause. Everyone is always so friendly, like we should be always. I love to see the groups of friend who show up and the individual people who become fast friends just waiting in line. People bring their children, mothers, fathers, friends, grandparents, anyone who is willing to show them the support they deserve. It is something to see.
Everyone wants to get involved somehow. Maggie Griffith, Kathy Griffith’s mom, posed last year as did Jane Lynch from Glee. My picture is proudly displayed on this site as well as my other social media pages. I encourage you to visit the NOH8 Campaign page for information and updates. You can also purchase merchandise or just give a donation to the cause.
I want to thank Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley for all they do everyday and for always being so wonderful to me whenever I have seen them or spoken to them online. I am forever grateful for the strength you display and share. I also want to thank all the people who volunteered on May 13th. They could not have been more wonderful.
Update: Got my new photo (above). In this one I am ripping the tape off a bit. Hopefully as things progress I can do another with less tape and one day we can do photos with no need for tape over our mouths at all!
W NEW YORK - DOWNTOWN OPEN SHOOT