Our BE HEARD section features statements and stories from various NOH8 participants about why they felt it was important to get involved with the NOH8 Campaign and what their own participation meant to them. The wide variety of submissions reflect the diverse range of supporters that have joined the NOH8 Campaign since its inception, each of them sharing their own personal experiences and revealing the story behind their own NOH8 Portraits.

If you’d like to submit your own contribution to the BE HEARD Project, please e-mail your story with a link to your photo(s) to info@noh8campaign.com.

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Netherlands' Book of Dreams for Putin

In November 2013, the Dutch King Willem Alexander and his wife Queen Màxima visited President Putin . When Willem Alexander became King on April 30th, the people of the Netherlands gave him a Book of Dreams for the Netherlands. With the visit of the royal couple in mind, COC and the Gay Krant came up with the idea to present President Putin with a book containing
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Yes YOU CAN with NOH8

For years I was told " YOU CAN'T . YOU CAN'T BE GAY. YOU CAN'T LOVE GOD. YOU CAN'T BE GAY AND AN ORDAINED MINISTER." I am here to tell you, YOU CAN , to each of those and more. God created each of us to be who we are and nobody should let you believe different. There will always be those who have hateful things to say about you and your life. There will always be those who try
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Starting the Final Chapter

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to be apart of the last NOH 8 photo shoot in Tulsa, Oklahoma . I know it’s a little late in my life, but I am starting the last phase of my life…. I am very lucky as I do have a partner of 14 years (as of July 22, 2014) to share everything with. I was born in the “buckle” of the Bible belt where and when you didn’t speak of
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Siblings of Pride

I am so happy and proud that my younger brother David Morgan and I had the opportunity to meet and have our pictures taken by Adam for the NOH 8 Campaign . I’m the one pointing to my face (right side). Having had to face problems of homophobia and being told we were/are going to hell within our own immediate family is sometimes hard to carry through life. We’ve been
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Standing Up in SLC

Our family's reason for coming out to be heard through the NOH 8 photo shoot in Salt Lake City is very simple. It is important for all of us to stand up for love and for family , friends and strangers who deserve to be recognized as equal. We believe that a community cannot thrive without equality .
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Seeing NOH8 Make a Difference, by Vicki

Today, a 17-year-old girl saw my NOH 8 photo on my cell phone. She quietly asked me if I'd participated in the campaign and if I'd been to the headquarters in Burbank . When I said that I had, she asked me if she could tell me a secret . Then she told me: she had been in a committed relationship with a girl for two years. From there, she told me how challenging things have
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Stepping Up in Texas, by Tammy & Lana

My partner of 25 years and I participated in the NO H8 Campaign to make a visible statement that shows our support for our belief that hate is never okay and love knows no gender . To have the opportunity to participate in our home state was too good to pass up! The great state of Texas needs to step up, protect LGBT jobs and respect its many LGBT citizens by supporting
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Choosing Love, by Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson

The Bible is clear. From the Hebrew prophets, kings, and priests – to Jesus and Paul – love , not hate, will save the world . Few Christians would say they hate anyone. However, when Christians are silent about persecution of sexual minorities and women in places like Russia and Uganda, hate thrives . When U.S. Christians claim “religious liberty” gives
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Why? by Michaela

I remember when I first asked, "Why is it so wrong for a man to love a man?" to one of my Sunday school teachers. I remember so clearly the disgusted look that twisted across her face and how scared I was of that look. Why'd she look so hateful that I'd merely asked? I've grown up in a conservative Catholic family. I grew up under the lie that states that homosexuality
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Life Goes On, by Arthur Michael Renowitzky

I am a Bay Area native and my calling in life is to dedicate my actions speaking out the realities of senseless youth violence to high schools, universities, juvenile halls and junior high schools across California.
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What Does Sin Look Like?

First of all I just want to say thank you so much to the NOH 8 Campaign! The work you do is so inspiring and needed! I struggled for a long time with my sexuality because I grew up in a conservative, Christian environment, where I was told and believed that my sexuality would cause me to go to Hell . I did not understand because I tried desperately to get rid of my attractions
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Proud Parent. I Support! by Alicia

As a teen mom at sixteen years old, I knew what is what like to be judged and looked at differently. Did I care? NO. I knew what had to be done: I finished high school, went to college, got the career... This story isn't about me, though.
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Singer/Songwriter Mary Lambert on NOH8

"I think one of the strongest defenses against homophobia is visibility , and NOH 8 does an incredible job of that; their visibility is undeniable. I don't know anyone that uses the internet that hasn't seen a NOH 8 photo. It sparks a question with each new viewer- and that kind of intrigue brings people to the understanding that millions of humans are silenced
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No Room for Hatred in My Faith, by Revd. Andy

  My journey as a gay Christian , and an ordained Anglican Priest , has been an interesting and - at times - a painful one. It's been a journey of discovering who I am, and who I was created to be. As a gay Christian, it saddens me that I sit in the middle of two communities that are often at war with each other. However, I've gradually learned that I needn't be apologetic
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Suzanne Brockmann (NY Times bestselling Romance Novelist) for NOH8

Over twenty years ago, back in 1992, I wrote my first contemporary romance novel. In it, I included a secondary character—Kurt, the town sheriff—who was openly gay. He was funny, he was smart, he was handsome and brave—and he lived in a small town in Western Massachusetts with his partner, Michael. When I got a call from a publisher who wanted to buy my book,
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The Importance of Knowing Who We Are, by Kevin

I participated in the NOH 8 Campaign because I believe that it is a powerful tool in the struggle for greater acceptance & equality for all Americans, especially LGBT folks. Historically, queer folk have been underrepresented & hidden from society, forced to do so out of either danger or shame.  As we fight for greater acceptance & a recognition
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God Opened My Eyes

My name is Marshall, and I'm 23 years old. I was born and raised in a conservative Christian family, where I was told that homosexuals were a sin. And after being told at age 8 that my father was a gay man, I became afraid. Not of him, but for him. I loved my father, and I do to this day. I didn't want my father to "burn in hell," like many others said he would! All the while,
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Peace and Love to All

There is so much hate and bullying in the world that I really wanted to spread the message of peace and love instead. The NOH 8 Campaign promotes marriage, gender and human equality silently and peacefully and I really wanted to be a part of the movement and be able to make a difference, however small.  In a society where we're often brainwashed by advertisements,
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Bermuda Really Is Another World, by Carla

I was born in Bermuda , a place that because of its beauty some consider paradise. However, as of 2012, Bermuda still has no law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. I am now fortunate to be able to live in Canada, a country where the legal debate over discrimination against LGBT people and equal marriage was decided years ago. To me, NOH 8
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No On Prop 8, by Crystal

Verse 1: It’s such a Travesty that I can’t even be me, Taking away my civil liberties so I can’t even be me! Kind of hard to imagine what I could’ve done to you, To give you such a distorted view, perception of who? Me? We? The Rainbow Children not the Coalition, just a little different… Shhh…Listen, as I give you an opportunity to fact check and not simply
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Daniel Dicriscio Takes a Stand

  I posed for the NOH 8 Campaign because I wanted to take a stand and make a difference on this subject. I liked the idea of a " silent protest ;" usually one has to sign a petition with other causes, but this one you have to face up ! To me, power in numbers is strongest, and seeing the faces - not signatures - makes this more powerful and gives more of a community feel. 
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2012 Olympian Nick Symmonds Sounds Off

"It is an honor to be a part of the NOH 8 Campaign. This civil rights issue will be the defining legal movement of our generation. To deny someone the rights afforded to others based on their gender or sexual orientation defies logic and is completely un- American ." - Nick Symmonds ,  Professional track athlete and 2012 Olympian
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Actor Trevor Wright for NOH8

A few years back I starred in a little movie called SHELTER in which I played a young guy named Zach who realized he liked other guys. He also realized that it was more important to put others before self , and that with being true to your own self, you could find reciprocal love, even family, and have them both while fulfilling your goals and dreams. Your purpose . This
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Former WBC Member Speaks Out

My name is Lauren Drain, former member of the Westboro Baptist Church , and despite having denounced any and all beliefs and preachings of the WBC, I am still a Christian through and through. However, in my opinion, religion of any kind is a personal choice, full of personal values, definitions and views that should stay just that - personal . I don't think anyone
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The Quest for Equality is Universal

  My partner of 23 years and I participated in the NOH 8 photo campaign to visibly show our support for our unbending belief that it is hate that is immoral -- not love . While I can trace my roots back four generations in Minnesota , Nena's country of origin is Venezuela : a testament that the quest for equality is universal. Thanks, NOH 8 , for a beautiful reminder!
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My Stake in the Fight, by Tracy

When I mentioned at work that I was excited to have had this photo taken, a young man that I worked with asked me what my stake in the fight was, and why I cared . He said he knew that I was "straight, but not narrow," but still- why make a statement that didn't apply to me? I was glad that he'd had the courage to ask such a direct question. My response was that it's important
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Stand Up Against Hate, by Cubby

I, Cubby Christopher P. Twist , posed for my NOH 8 picture so that I could join the thousands that have already taken the time to voice their thoughts thru pictures. I love the POWERFUL message a simple piece of tape and the NOH 8 tattoo can communicate. It says a lot with no voice at all. I made sure to have my picture added to stand up to bullies, and all hate the GLBT Community
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Wiping Out Bullying, by TJ

I was bullied as a school student. I don't hold bad feelings, as I feel in the long run it made me strong. What I am most concerned about now is what I see happening in our world. I work in public education and I see so much effort being put towards bullying in our elementary and middle schools. This is great, however, just a band-aid for the bullying that happens in the
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Using NOH8Campaign.com to Show Support, by Nichole

My name is Nichole and I posed with my daughter Armonee . I have always been a supporter of the gay community and I have a lot of friends and a few family memebers who are gay. About one year ago, my daughter came out to me that she was gay and she was very nervous to tell me. I asked her why and she said because she didn't know how I would react. I was more hurt than anything
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A World of NOH8, by Jeff

My name is Jeff and I grew up in the middle of the Bible-Belt . I was told my entire life that me and my kind were going to hell. I felt as though there was no love in the world for me. That could not have be further from the truth. I met my partner and discovered what true love was. Then, 4 years later our beautiful son came into our lives and changed every aspect of it. So I want
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For Future Generations, by Amanda

Growing up I didn't know there was such a thing as bisexual . I don't think I even realized what my attractions to girls was until much later. I had crushes like any other kid on neighborhood boys. There were mostly boys in the neighborhood and the other girls were like sisters and still are so I wasn't interested in them. One of my first celebrity crushes though was
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For My Sister

I suffered from bullying as a child and bare both physical and emotional scars to this day. I also became a bully myself for a short time in junior high before I had a painful wake-up call. I've seen both sides of the coin. It is a vicious cycle that needs to stop and to do that we need to stop the hate that causes it. But I did not pose for myself. I posed for my sister. We are
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Be Heard, by Jenny

Being raised in a relatively strict Filipino, Catholic family amongst the first generation, there was much expected of me. Especially being one of the elder grandchildren and cousins, I was supposed to set an example for my “ adings ” (younger relative) because I was their “ manang ” (older relative). I did not take this responsibility lightly and I
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For All Love, by Matt

I have always been one of those people that never wanted to get married. Honestly, I never even thought I wanted anything more long-term than six months. A perpetual singleton, I couldn't understand why people were even bothering to try and legalize marriage. Who needed it? That was my story … … until I met Phil . I have never wanted anything more than to make
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Why I Drove More Than 2 Hours With Quintuplets, by Deborah

I am a mother of 5 . I drove my kids so I can have a dialog with them about why it is so important to be ALL inclusive. I have loved ones that have various sexual orientations and this is one way I can contribute to help give them a more loving accepting world. I pray that my love for them radiates how much I love them. Also, since my kids are biracial and some are autistic,
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From Privilege to Pride, by Candi & Kristin

It was shocking how quickly our lives fell apart after coming out later in life. There was a stark contrast between being married to men and having heterosexual privilege and being identified as lesbians. We worked together professionally for many years and were well-respected in our community until we became a couple. The message of hate and homophobia was
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There is NOH8 in Jesus, by Aaron C.

I knew I was gay from an early age (like 4 years old), but I didn't really understand it because of all the negativity I had been raised to feel about it especially from my church. When I was in the 8th grade, I told myself I could not let myself be tempted by the devil to have attractions towards men and that I would never act on the desires I had towards other males. Then
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It Only Matters That You Love

"It matters not who you love , where you love , why you love , when you love or how you love . It matters only that you love ." ~John Lennon
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This Is My Story, by Rachel

My name is Rachel Myli. Growing up in a small town in Iowa, I was grateful and still am, to have the love and support of my family and my friends. As I got older, I realized who will stay for you, who will love you no matter what, and how much they're willing to sacrifice. My story starts not in Cresco were I grew up, but in Seoul, South Korea . I was only a couple of weeks old
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Why Our Family Posed, by Kelly

I was raised in a middle class hardworking family in small town Iowa. I grew up attending a conservative church. My husband's and my exposure to gay culture was nil up until three years ago when our youngest son told us he was gay . We were shocked beyond belief. Everything we had been taught about relationships through family, church, and society indicated to us
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Don't Back Down, by Megan

My name is Megan Besler , and this is my story. Ever since I was very young, I have wanted to be a singer. It's always been a life-long dream of mine. But growing up wasn't easy for me. I had a rough past dealing with family issues, personal issues, etc. I grew up being made fun of because I was too skinny, wasn't pretty enough, wasn't anywhere near talented enough to be
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A Straight Girl's Big Gay Manifesto, by Andrea

It is my aim to see an end to discrimination and bullying, both overt and subversive, based on sexual orientation in my lifetime . I’m pretty sure I’ve made this clear to anyone who will listen, but what I don’t think I have made clear is why I care so much. I started collecting gays before I even knew that I knew gay people. I have pictures from a junior high dance
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Loving Who You Are, by Emily

It only takes one voice to start a movement. Knowing that I became part of this amazing organization to show that NOH 8 is possible, I feel honored. Growing up in a town where being "different" wasn't discussed, it was difficult to be myself. I knew in my heart I wasn't living how I saw happiness and was looking for a way out. I joined the military in a time where it would
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Coming Out Gay-Friendly, by Erica

My support for the LGBT community as an ally started in 2003 . I first learned about homosexuality when I was 17. For a little while, I thought it sounded weird and wrong. A few months later, I started to feel cool about it because I learned that people can't help who they fall in love with. I have a relative who is bisexual, and several friends who are gay - some from high
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Just Gotta Spread That Love, by Reena

When I first heard that the photoshoot was in town, it was 30 minutes before the shoot was about to end. I took my hungover, made up face from the night before over to the W because I just had to do it. I cared less how I looked or felt at that moment, but rather the statement I would make . Whenever I saw a NOH 8 photo I got these amazing vibes and I just felt LOVE . Love shouldn't
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To Love Freely, by Suzie

I posed for NOH8 because too many have suffered the emotional consequences of intolerance. We all deserve to be loved and to love freely. The more people who are made aware of the intolerance, the more chance we have as a community to move forward freely in love and life. NOH8 is making this possible.
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Why We Posed With Our Daughter

Here's why we posed with our baby daughter : 1) We want her to know that we will always love her for exactly who she is. If she ever has questions about her identity, we want her to feel free to discuss it with us without hesitation or fear. 2) We want to raise her to celebrate human diversity in all its forms and love everyone as an equal. 3) We want to raise her in a world
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From an Illinois Farm Town, by Brian

My name is Brian Anderson. I grew up in a small Illinois farm town. I grew up in that town as someone known to be gay, and from that I was well known as someone to "hate." So for me, this NOH 8 picture I did was my way to stand up to that hate. The day of the photo shoot, I was a small part of such a big thing that's history in-the-making. My picture was taken with my whole heart
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Marriage Equality is Trans Equality, by Jessie

I share the typical reasons of participating with everyone else, but I also have personal reasons. Often left out of the discussion of marriage equality is the marriage rights of trans people. It seems that the hate against us is so strong that certain people seek to deny us the right to marry anyone ! If I seek to marry a man, the bigots will tell me that I'm not really
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Hate is Learned, by Beth T.

Hate is a learned emotion. It has to be taught and emulated in order to exist. It is up to all of us as parents and role models to teach and emulate love and respect by standing up for what is right and just. I will continue to fight with my LGBT friends for as long as it takes because I truly believe that if we continue to fight, we will have full equality sooner rather than
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STOP, by Sofie

My name is Sofie and I posed for NOH 8 not for the purpose of doing it, but to show everyone that HATE is not acceptable . Throughout junior high, I was bullied by strangers and even friends. I would always think, was there something wrong with me? Why are people who I called my friend doing such a thing? There were times where I thought the solution was suicide, but I
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For Our Nieces and Nephews, by Christina & Michelle

We have made a personal decision to not have our own children in this lifetime and have realized that while we may not ever be parents ourselves and be able to guide a child's journey as parents, our stronger and more important role is to help guide the journeys of our own nieces and nephews and the young children around us in our lives. We have realized that the responsibility
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Gay and Christian, by Maurecia

My name is Maurecia and I grew up in a loving and accepting family. I have many family members that are gay so homosexuality never really affected me much. I was taught to love people for who they are as an entire person. I began to wonder about my sexuality when I was 17 but never verbalized it to anyone because I just wasn't sure. When I was 19 I received a full athletic
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Proud, by Ryan W.

The story of me going to the Anaheim event is one that I would like to share. Working for a world known company like Starbucks we are encouraged to give back to our local community, and we are open about supporting marriage equality. When I found out that there was a NOH8 event in SoCal I had to jump on the chance to rally up all of the other managers, and our partners to
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Saving Lives, by Spencer M.

I grew up outside of Sacramento , in a town called Granite Bay . Like most, I always knew I was attracted to the same sex from a really young age. I didn't know what it all meant, but I knew that I was different. I grew up in a strongly religious family , where I went to church three times a week. When I was about 12 years old, I went on vacation with my family to San Francisco.
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No One Should Be Silenced, by Sandi

My name is Sandi and I posed for the NOH 8 Campaign because I know what it is like to feel as if the world around you silences you . Back in High School I knew that I was attracted to women, but because of my family's beliefs and the community in which I grew up, I held that truth until I couldn't take it anymore. I didn't come out until I was 35 years old and had already been
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Loved Either Way, by Sabrina

As a parent, I'm aware that my daughter could be gay or straight , and I want her to know deep down in her soul that she is loved either way. Even though she's just shy of 20-months, we're already talking about NOH 8 , intolerance, and human rights. If she's gay, I want her to know from the get-go that we love and celebrate her. Straight or gay, I want her to speak out against
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All for Love, by Laura

Back in 200 8 , I found myself confronted with the thought of marriage. No, not mine. The marriage of others…who may marry, legally, and who could not. Of course I am talking about California’s Proposition 8 which effectively banned same sex marriages in our state. So much bitterness and hate bubbled up from the campaign for Prop 8 and against it. Arguments
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Free to Be, by Lisette

I posed for NOH 8 because of my beliefs in equality. We each have a unique purpose , and we each possess the strength and ability to feel happy and to be free of the emotional chains that can hold us in captivity. Regardless of sexual orientation, ethnic or economic background, marital status, survivors of rape, sexual/emotional/physical abuse, cancer survivors,
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For Younger Generations, by Krystal C.

When I heard that NOH 8 was going to be in New Hampshire , I was thrilled. I own a clothing line called Tasteless Candy Clothing Co. in which I also make Equality a HUGE part of my business. Being a lesbian, I believe that it is important to raise awareness among the younger generation , and let them know that being who they are is the most beautiful person they can be.
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Why I Posed, by Jessica

I posed because love is love . :) Always should be. -Jessica
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Not Hiding Anymore, by Melissa

Lately I have been feeling that my world has been isolated from the rest of the world. No one understands and I can't talk to the ones I love the most about it. Have you ever have one of those days that you wake up & wonder what happened to your life ? It feels like just yesterday, I was a teenager and I couldn't wait for my life to start. Now I wake up, I'm 34 years old;
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For The Future, by Paula

As a new mother I don't even want to imagine what my son may have to deal with in the future if our world is not changed. It is not difficult to be tolerant and loving towards others regardless of the path that life puts them on. We are all human beings and should be treated equally in all aspects of life. That is how I was raised, and it is how I will raise my son . I have friends
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In Support and Love, by Justin

My name is Justin Gavry. I am a hard working single father of two amazing children. I've had to endure silent judgement as well as not-so-silent from anyone from potential employers to potential landlords - for doing nothing but the right thing, working hard, supporting myself, my kids, and their mothers and trying to maintain a place my kids feel at home. When
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No More Closets, by Qesar V.

Most people wouldn't put " gay " and " Muslim " in the same sentence. Some would say that a gay Muslim is sort of an oxymoron. After coming out to my extremely conservative family, my whole life changed . I had family members disown me and question whether I was "sick" or not. I have the most amazing support network around me. I've come to realize that those who decide
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Being Equal is for Everyone, by Markie

I posed for the NOH 8 shoot because of my friends, and my own life. I grew up being picked on because of my weight, and how I acted. I hated it. Then as a teen, kids at school thought I was a lesbian and it was a whole new platform of harassment. I am straight and always have been. When I look at my friends now, and see them in same-sex relationships, I worry that one day they
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One Person Can Make A Difference, by Maggie

I have made it my personal mission to be an out and proud ally for love and marriage equality. Posing for NOH 8 is one way I could visibly do this. My heart aches as I witness intolerance every day. I grow weary with frustration as like-minded supporters stay quiet and expect others to do the work that will ensure legal protection of rights for GLBTQ individuals. I
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Why I Posed, by Elle F.

My religiously conservative family told me I was just "going through a phase" or "acting in lust" during my relationship with another woman. I knew that exactly what I felt for her was real, and not by choice. You see, love isn't selective, it just happens when and how it should happen. Whether the experience is long term or short, being in love is a life-changing
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At Least One Person, by Mary

I work in a high school in a very conservative small town. Occassionally I see kids struggling with their identities. I want them to know that there is at least one person at school to whom it is safe to come out, or just talk to, if need be.
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Spreading Tolerance & Equality, by Tracy

I posed for NOH 8 because I think it is important to spread the message of tolerance and equality . I have many friends in the LGBT community, some of whom are engaged but haven't been allowed to marry yet. I married my husband last year and we feel that everyone should be allowed to marry their soulmate . Tracy Dorgan
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Celebrating Our 25th Wedding Anniversary

It was an opportunity of a lifetime to join the NOH 8 Campaign when it all came down to a local photo shoot that we could hit. To Baltimore and Club Hippo, NOH 8 and volunteers: thank you! Finally, we got our chance to make a statement regarding equality for every one of us as well as victims of bullying. We put our camera-shy faces into it with pride , and gratitude to
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One Reason, by Daniel

My reason for posing was simple.  I had just come out in November 2011 and was looking for something that I could do to show support for the community that I had hidden from and ignored my entire life.  I had some experiences when I was younger that made it difficult to come to terms with who I was, but once I was able to finally do that, I wanted to go all the way.  I wanted
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Silent No More! by Gary & Dan Ross

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" silenced our voices and made our relationship invisible for nearly 12 years. We posed for the NOH 8 Campaign because we understand the painful struggle to overcome hateful legislation like Prop 8. Countless people and organizations fought tirelessly for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and we want to give back to our community
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For Alex, by Rayanna

  I posed for NOH 8 because of my best friend Alex . When he asked me to go with him to the photo shoot I was thrilled, because no matter who he loves I support him fully. He means a lot to me; he showed me how to be courageous and to not care what others say or think about him just for who he loves or who he is. I accept him for who he is because I know that there are people close
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CA Rep. Adam Schiff Poses

" All members of our community deserve to be treated equally , and to be respected whether they are in the classroom, at work, or protecting our country. That’s why I am so proud to participate in the NOH 8 campaign and encourage my constituents and other Members of Congress to join me. With every new participant we spread the word just that much further, that everyone
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For Love, by Jessica M.

I posed for the NOH 8 Campaign for love . I believe that everyone should be able to love and marry whoever they want. Nobody should be told that they cannot marry because of their sexual orientation. Everyone has the right to marry, the right to the pursuit of happiness. I am straight , and I have one friend who is bisexual - but I don't need to know anyone personally
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Reenlisting After DADT, by Jeremy Johnson

Jeremy Johnson was discharged under DADT in May 2007.  On September 22, 2011, two days after the repeal, he became the first DADT dischargee in the country to return to uniform by enlisting in the US Navy Reserve . Jeremy was discharged because he spoke up and told his story to his commanding offer.  He no longer felt comfortable sitting in silence when the battle
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NOH8 Changed My Life, by Kyle

My name is Kyle, and I posed because NOH 8 changed my life . "The smaller the town, the bigger the deal." That's true about many things, but most importantly your sexuality. I'm from a small town where it's hard to be yourself because people don't accept it. When I first saw the outpouring of support coming from the NOH 8 shoots, it made me feel like somewhere in this
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Volunteering With NOH8, by Kailynn

My name is Kailynn , and on April 4th, 2012 , I had the privilege of volunteering with the NOH 8 Campaign. The experience I had volunteering with NOH 8 was indescribable. I jokingly said that it was a wonderful volunteer opportunity because I got to check out queer women all day, but in all seriousness the day was simply amazing. So many people from all different walks
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Why I Posed, by Ryan Potter

" It starts as teasing . It's harmless, just a joke. "Why are you getting so upset? We're just kidding." I know what it feels like to be bullied. And I will not tolerate the thought of anyone, for any reason, being bullied.   It starts with young people, and it can end with young people. As we learn to embrace our diversity, we become stronger, more tolerant. The differences
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Be Proud of Who You Are, by Neha

I chose to volunteer and pose for NOH 8 because I want to show people how, even though it is difficult, I am  PROUD of who I am. People should not be ashamed to live their life, in whatever manner they choose to live their life, and be themselves.  Coming from an immigrant family that is opposed to anything but heteronormative , I know how hard it is
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I Am Strong, by Emily H.

"I am strong ! I am powerful ! I am proud of my queerness !" These are the thoughts that raced through my head as photographer Adam Bouska snapped away. Here I was, finally being photographed for the NOH 8 Campaign . To pose was a declaration of strength, love and living out loud. It was about reaching a goal that at times I thought I'd never reach. Living in the closet,
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Love Shouldn't Be A 'Right', by Mimi

As children, we aren't programmed to discriminate - to judge or to hate anyone. Innocence overrules the society-built prejudices that are embedded in our young, impressionable and easily formed minds. I was once that innocent child.with a baby brother that was my best friend. As we grew older, I always had an inclination that he was gay. Selfishly, I needed
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Love Has No Prejudice, by Kristi

I posed for my daughter. So many parents don't even support their gay children. I try to help parents all the time show support. My daughter was so proud of her Mom to do this. I'll march, educate, campaign and do whatever it takes for her.  It's hard enough to be gay in this society let alone the government trying to control it. My daughter has been with her partner
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Love is Love, by Kristina

I grew up in a small town where there was no room for individuality . Everyone was from a farming family, everyone attended church on Sundays, and everyone had the same belief about the homosexual community: "It's just not right." After developing into a young adult, I began to realize that I was "just not right."   For years, I fought with myself about these feelings
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A Valuable Lesson, by Tamarah

As a mother and grandmother , I think it is of the utmost importance to set the example and teach NOH 8 ! -Tamarah
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How Could I Not, by Bob Padgett

My name is Bob Padgett.  As soon as I heard of the NOH 8 Campaign I knew I would participate.  How could I not? I often resort to "bumper sticker" philosophies when making a point and two are particularly applicable concerning my feelings about LGBT rights.  The first is, "I'm straight but not narrow." The second is, "No one is free when others are oppressed."
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I Love Those Who Hate Me, by Teresa and Terry

Keeping silent is deadly. Yes, I'm a bigender transgender. People tell me I don't exist. I exist very well in this world, for I am writing this. Growing up in San Francisco allowed me to be who I really am. However, even if I lived in a liberal city, there were still people who didn't agree with my viewpoints. People don't understand the person I am: I have both the male
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My Story, by Amy H.

Even though I wear duct tape … I refuse to let my voice be silenced … I am Gay . It is as simple as that. I posed for the NOH 8 Campaign as a way to express myself without words. I guess I am tired of explaining. Tired of people trying to figure “ it ” out. Growing up in a very strict catholic house hold, “ it ” was not something talked about. “It” was not expectable.
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Saying NO to H8 & YES to LOVE

I've wanted to be a part of the NOH 8 Campaign since the first time I read about it. Not only have I overcome bullying in school growing up, but I've also been in an almost 10 year committed relationship with my boyfriend and we are not legally able to marry in our home state. Even though we are accepted by our families and local community, we still feel a sense of "bullying"
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For The Ones I Love, by Lorris

NOH 8 . No Hate . No judgment… just acceptance for who we are and the choices we make in our life. I posed for this picture for a lot of different reasons. The first being for my son , because I want him to have proof that as his mother I will love him no matter what he does or who he will love when he grows up. I did this for my sister Liese who is one of the smartest and strongest
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For the Love of 4

I did this because I want to be part of the solution not part of the problem . I am a mother to four beautiful children ( thus the meaning of my tattoo, for the love of 4 ) and when they are old enough to venture out in the dating world, I want them to be able to love whom ever they choose. Man, woman, alien or simply themselves. It's time we change and love everyone equally
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"Why I Came," by Natalie

  "It was important to me to show my son that we can stand up as members of the " straight " community and support those who are being denied what should be considered a basic right, and because I hope if we start standing together as "straight" and "gay" communities we can build one stronger community together. It was especially important here, in Salt Lake , to let
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"I'm Lucky," by Edwin

It’s been a dream of mine to be a part of the NOH 8 Campaign, and when the opportunity came I did not miss it! I’m lucky that I grew up in a family that taught me love is love , they support me 100 percent . The NOH 8 Campaign has done an incredible job of bringing awareness and visibility to the LGBT community. THANK YOU from my best friend Jennifer Daniello & I.
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Family Isn't Just Biology, by Roger A.

When the NOH 8 Campaign came to our area, my son and I thought it was time to show the rest of the world that ' family ' was defined by love , support , and mutual understanding - not just biology.  With many groups still restricting adoption by gay parents or couples, our voices needed to be heard to prove that a gay man can raise a young man who has his own sexual identity
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Breaking Out of My Cage, by Kate P.

I’ve thought a lot about why I needed to do this photo shoot. The campaign itself was a no brainer. It’s beautiful and it’s important. And I am a firm believer in the power of connecting visually with people and that by seeing what “you hate” or “don’t understand” “you”, whoever “you” are ,will come to understand better and fear less which
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Hands Across the Sea, by Dietmar & Karsten

I was following the NOH 8 Campaign for about two years on Twitter when I read their tweet that they would be in Provincetown, MA , on August 22, 2011 for a photo shoot. I got excited. That would be during our stay in P'town; my boyfriend and I planned to spend our annual vacation in America . So, when I packed my bag for the States I made sure to have two white t-shirts for
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Why James Doyle of 'A-List Dallas' Posed

I heard about the NOH 8 shoot the morning of the event. I was bound and determined to make it in for a picture. I was always bullied for being gay throughout elementary school, junior high and part of high school. I don't understand the hate that people are raised with and why they continue on that sort of behavior. Being gay does not define me as a person , it's simply
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Until We Are Victorious, by Taylor C

I posed for the NOH8 Campaign because I believe in equal rights for everyone. I am straight and it breaks my heart that people in my life that I love are treated as second class citizens because of whom they love. After the passage of Prop 8 I got involved with several grass root efforts to overturn the proposition. I will continue to stand up for equal rights and fight for the right to marry for all people until we are victorious.
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Invalid in Texas, by Hal W.

I posed for NOH 8 for equality for all people. Me and my husband had to go to another state just to get married. While our marriage is valid in another state, it is invalid in Texas . We should all be able to get married to the person we love, no matter what the gender or sexual orientation. We are not second class!!! -Hal W. Dallas Open Photo Shoot
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Music Knows No Bigotry, by Diane

My brother is gay and about gazillion of my friends are gay. I wanted to be a part of this shoot because of all the amazing people in my life who deserve to have the SAME rights, not different or special , as I have. And the same opportunity to fail at marriage, like I have.  I will never understand the bigotry heaped on love . I play in the Oak Lawn Band here in Dallas , which
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Why NOT Pose? by Kandis S.

We chose to pose, because we knew our photo would have so many meanings to so many different people.  We hope that when you view our photo you see the total meaning of what NOH 8 stands for.  Our personal view represents that we stand by Equality , being Out & Proud Lesbians, &  Interracial Dating/Friendships . The whole experience at the Dallas
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Why We Posed, by Cindi and Tanya

We posed because we feel it's very important to be fully out for future generations.
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Overcoming DADT, by AVER President Danny Ingram

In the spring of 1994 I became one of the first service members to be discharged from the military under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" following a statement I made in support of presidential candidate Bill Clinton's promise to lift the ban in 1992.  I remember being called into the office my commander in 1993.  There were three of us in the office, the commander, who
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Holding My Head Up High, by Chris S.

I'm so thrilled my best friend Deena and I got to pose for the NOH 8 Campaign!  It means so much to me as an openly gay man to spread the message of tolerance in my community.  It's important to me because no one person is better than any other individual, and as a gay man I only ask for the same rights and privileges given to anyone else.  I hold my head up high when I walk
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Redefining Rebbetzin, by Richard A. Walter-Jernigan

My husband and I posed for our NOH 8 photo at NC Pride in Durham, NC on September 24, 2011. As a rabbi and rebbetzin for the LGBTQIA community and others who feel displaced and run off by many Jewish congregations, we wanted to have a way to let our LGBTQIA youth and adults know that there is at least one rabbbi and rebbetzin they can turn to that will understand and will
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"Hope for Teens" Gets Involved

Hope for Teens posed for the NOH 8 Campaign during the Durham Pride event held in September . We are an anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying non-profit organization in North Carolina and could not pass up the chance to "practice what we preach" if you will.  Our primary demographic are LGBT Teens and young adults but we do address bullying issues for ALL teens;
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Moving Forward Together, by Adam & Joshua

"Since the NOH 8 Campaign had been something that we'd both followed for a while we decided that it was something that we wanted to do together. We wanted to show our support together and celebrate the fall of DADT ." - Adam (left) & Joshua (right) "I come from a very religious Catholic family and one of the ways that I was able to learn about the world was through
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My NOH8 Story, by Reginald Forest

I posed for the NOH 8 campaign because I wanted to add my face to the increasing number of voices responding to hatred in our communities. Growing up, I was often picked on and bullied. I remember my peers yelling, “You are a FAG!” even before I understood what that meant. This occurred from 1st grade through 10th grade. Even in my church, the other kids picked
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Why I Posed, by Steve Reeder

Growing up, all I wanted to do was play guitar in a rock and roll band. However, back in the hard rock heyday, it appeared the territory of only straight white males. I knew I could never pretend to be something I was not, and thus put off all dreams of the rock and roll stage for fear of rejection or even bodily harm. Since then, I've gained the life experience
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To Proudly Say 'I Do,' by Chase Stein

I posed for the NOH 8 Campaign because I hope to one day be able to proudly say " I do ," and I wholeheartedly believe that NOTHING is more important than equality for all people. Chase Stein GLSEN Media Ambassador
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Sounding Off, by AC

Below is something I wrote to my friends on Facebook about things which arose from questions asked about my NOH 8 photo, I hope you like it and support it!  Thanks again for all everyone on the NOH 8 Campaign Staff does everyday! Given the circumstances of today and the things that have been said or gone on in the past couple of months I guess it's time I've said a couple
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Being A Citizen of Change

I participated in the NOH 8 Campaign to say after 54 years that I will no longer tolerate being treated like a second class citizen. I want everyone to live in a world where they are free to love who ever they want and where hate is not tolerated. Change can only occur when ordinary citizens do extraordinary things. That means every one of us has a role to play, no matter
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A Thank You from GLSEN Student Ambassador Benjamin O'Keefe

Words can not describe my sincere thanks towards the NOH 8 Campaign. One , for volunteering to come out and shoot myself and my coworkers at the GLSEN Media Summit . It was an incredible experience, and I am so honored to be a part of this incredible campaign. It is so great that GLSEN and the NOH 8 Campaign were able to work together and hopefully there will be opportunity
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Britain's First "IT Boy" Emmanuel Ray Sounds Off

I am very honoured to be representing both the British and Asian GLBT communities and showing my support to this ground breaking campaign. NOH 8 not only raises the important issue that is Prop 8 but also mirrors our continuing struggle for equality. I stand for every gay Asian who has had to fight prejudice and homophobia and all GLBT people around the world as
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Flying Around for a Photo, by Kevin Norte

We received the e-mail about the beautiful NOH 8 photo on the day we read the transcript of Meet the Press on August 14, 2011 . I said (censored) and my husband named the photo, "Here's To You Michele Bachmann." Anyway, we are from West Hollywood and were to travel to London to celebrate our 33 years together - 3 of which were married . We had planned to get a NOH 8 photo
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Why I Posed, by Ann Harada

"I'm so excited to be photographed as part of the NOH 8 Campaign ! Who wouldn't want to be part of something that stands for liberty and justice for all ? " - Ann Harada Broadway Performer ( AVENUE Q ) Ann Harada with Broadway Colleagues Anne Fraser Thomas & Raymond J. Lee
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Passion from Broadway, by Steven Ferezy

My experience with the NOH 8 crew was so great! It never ceases to amaze me how our community really bands together and does truly amazing work.  Broadway has been so passionate about equal rights not only because it affects so many of our own , but because Broadway is all about being different . Broadway is the ultimate risk taker and the actors, composers, directors,
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A Small Piece of a Large Puzzle, by Dan Domenech

Each photo for the NOH 8 Campaign is a small piece of a very large puzzle . The thousands of photos taken have not only shown the big picture but created a platform for people young and old to show their support to further the fight for human equality. I'm proud to have my piece fit in with the rest of you all. I moved to New York to star in Rock of Ages - just in time to witness
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Making a Change, by Michele Mais

My name is Michele Mais . I was born in NYC but have been living in Los Angeles since 1987 . I returned to NYC almost 3 years ago to perform in the Broadway Production of ROCK OF AGES , a show that orginated in LA. In 200 8 I was working in Ireland - 2 of my best girlfriends got married to each other in San Francisco . I was sad I couldn't attend, but thrilled they could be
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"A Positive Influence," by Sheila

I wanted to do this to support all of my gay friends, but more importantly to be a positive role model for social justice for my high school students. I teach at a high school that is predmoninantly Hispanic .  Unfortunately, the culture can be very homophobic. As a well respected teacher , I knew that I could be a 'positive influence' . Best regards, Sheila SAN DIEGO
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A Spiritual Awakening, by Becky N.

To make a long story short, I'm a second generation " Fruit Fly ." I have grown up with the gay community my entire life and both of my parents are completely accepting of the gay community. They are not just accepting of the Gay community; they raised us accepting everyone and anyone. I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan , which isn't so accepting or understanding
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A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words, by Jacy Topps

I participated in the NOH 8 Campaign to say I will no longer tolerate being second class . I want future generations to grow up in a society where hate is not written into law ; a society where they are free to love who ever and how ever they wish. "A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things." — Barack Obama Jacy Topps VOLUNTEER W NEW
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Soul, Spirit, and Heart, by Patrick Lara

My partner and I have been together for 6 years. We posed to support each other. My partner has muscular dystrophy . His doctor said he would only live until he was 21 . I've taken such good care of him, and he has made it to 27 . In December, he will be 28 . He is the love of my life and I can't wait to marry him. It's been a tough road and people always ask why ; it's because I'm
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Why We Posed, by Christy Miers

I'm the Mother and the boy is my Son .  Both of us are gay and deaf . Thought you'd like to know that we inspire a lot of people.  My son was struggling to keep himself in the closet while he lived with his dad . I thought he needed his daddy as a role model while growing up. I was wrong. They are day and night. I finally had him move in with me last year. I gave him my support
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Why I Posed in Austin

We posed for the NOH 8 Campaign to support the greatest cause of all ..... equality . W AUSTIN OPEN SHOOT TEXAS
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Why I Posed Again, by Thomas Geraci

Last year, I was thrilled to be able to pose for Adam Bouska and the NOH 8 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
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Straight Support, by Anthony Tilghman

My name is Anthony Tilghman & I am a straight male who posed for the NOH 8 Campaign in NYC because I think everyone is entitled to their own options and have the right to choose the relationship/partner they want to choose; 'cause its not about race, color , or orientation. It's about who is right for you and who will support you no matter what. Thanks to NOH 8 for
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Still Standing, by Terrence F.

This is my second time attending the NOH 8 photo shoot. I drove up to NYC from DC to take the opportunity to make my voice heard again . I work in the HIV/AIDS health care field in Washington, DC. I chose to again use that platform for my NOH 8 picture. My NOH 8 is me standing up against hate and stigma for all the residents in the Nation's Capital and the world currently
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Live It. Learn It. Spread It. by Annette R.

NOH 8 is something I've grown up to know and live by before it even existed.  So when I heard and learned about the NOH 8 Campaign , I knew I had to be a part of it. Growing up in the  "hood" has never been easy but I learned that my family came first no matter what choices they made, and for us, that was just every day life.  After getting married, I made sure to educate
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Strengths and Weaknesses, by Taylor Horne

My name is Taylor Horne and I am pretty much known for my style of dress and my politically driven and theatrical photographic works. I was a volunteer for the NOH 8 shoot on May 13th in New York City . Let me start by saying how fortunate I was to be part of such an incredible experience and to be part of the last NOH 8 shoot in NYC before the new legislation in NY to allow
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United We Stand, by Blake Alexander Heal

When I first came across the NO H 8 Campaign , I knew from that very moment I had to participate. The meaning & power behind the whole purpose of this just screamed out freedom to me. I come from a family where I am the 3rd gay child ; I have an older brother that is gay and an older sister that is lesbian. I really wanted to play my part of the role in the campaign about
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In Partnership and With Love, by Benjamin Phillips-Leseñana

After 17 years of being together , with the last 3 years legally married , my husband Lonny and I long for the day where equality prevails over discrimination. Recently, an openly gay elected-official had said (and I paraphrase), "...I can officiate marriages, yet unable to get married to someone I love . I can organize blood drives , yet I am unable to donate ..."
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Why I Posed is Simple, by Nikki Blonsky

Why I posed is simple. I believe in a lot of things, but a few in particular: love , support and equality . Having gay freinds and family members, I wanted to remind them and the world that I love, support and will always fight for marriage and any cause for equality in the LGBT community. I may be a straight woman, but I have a heart and mind that loves everyone .   NIKKI
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Shed Your Gloves, by Lou Ann

I did wear red gloves for a specific reason. Gloves provide a barrier to whatever you touch - you can never truly feel what you touch.  Only when people shed their gloves , their prejudices , their hatred , can people really understand - or feel - how their actions impact others.  I covered one eye because when you only see with one eye, you lose your depth perception
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My Voice by Rob Hufford

When I first learned about the NOH 8 Campaign , I knew it was something I had to be a part of .  I noticed on the site that there would be a photo shoot held in Palm Springs, California . This posed a bit of a problem since I reside in Phoenix, AZ . 500 miles, 8 hours and 2 tanks of gas later , I was proud to say that I stood up for something that meant so much to me. I stood up for
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Nature vs. Nurture

Growing up, I heard gay slurs from my father and disgusted remarks from my mother. These comments stuck with me, not because I agreed with them, but because even as a young child I knew they were wrong.
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Professional Iranian Basketball Player Behdad Sami speaks out about why he posed for the NOH8 campaign.

“The reason I decided to get in contact with NOH8 and show my support is because I believe it’s already tough enough for the Gay community to receive support, let alone if you are of Middle Eastern decent. There are so many middle eastern males and females around the world that have been silenced by force not only fearing what their traditional families will
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I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It by Liz Hanson

I will start off by saying that I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints otherwise known as Mormon. Since the day I found out about the NOH8 Campaign I have wanted to participate and wondered if I would ever get the opportunity, partially because of location and partially because I wondered if I would ever get over the fear of my loved ones judging me and allowing myself to have a NOH8 pic taken and put out there.
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Family, Time, & Tradition by Chris Wogaman

My pose for the NOH8 campaign was filled with symbolism both personal and of wider-reach. This pose represents family, time, tradition, my personal and our communal struggle for equality and justice.
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Accepting Myself by Kareem Merchant

Before I came to terms with my sexuality, I was always afraid to be myself. It was as if I had done something wrong. Now that I have accepted it, I want everyone who may feel a little different to experience the same joy the I feel today. I want them to have a voice, I want them to be heard!
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Choose Equality by Melissa Bell

I am a straight female living in Los Angeles, CA. I am a supporter of the NOH8 Campaign because I believe strongly in having a CHOICE. I think that the primitive way of thinking where everyone does and lives the same way is not only outdated but unrealistic and limiting. Love does not know boundaries, color, sexual preference...love is selfless and applies to all things, regardless of where something or someone is at.
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Three Years Later by Kelly S.

I posed for NOH8 because at the age of fourteen I realized that I was a lesbian. Three years later I am co-president of my school's Gay Straight Alliance and I have come out to my parents and everyone at my school. I found the NOH8 campaign last year and thought it was a powerful movement and hoped I could take part.
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Teaching Respect and Equality by Joe B.

I have been a high school health teacher for 9 years in a school outside of Seattle. I advise the Gay-Straight Alliance Club, teach students about respect and equality, and also find time to Volunteer in my community.
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Love Not Hate by Amy Marmolejo

I chose to do a NOH8 photo for many reasons, obviously first being HUMAN RIGHTS. I will NEVER be okay with the thought of telling people who it is they are allowed to love or to marry.
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Why I Posed by Rev. Dr. Beth LaRocca-Pitts

The state doesn’t get to say who’s married and who is not. God says that.
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Don't H8 Your Body by La'Diosa

As an on-air personality, model, and beauty pageant Queen you would think I would have a high self-esteem. What people really don't know or see is that I am actually very shy and very self conscious about my body. I've always had a small figure from childhood through teenage years and still do now.
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For My Fallen Friend, by Brittany Yarak

I posed with a photo of my best friend, the late Benjamin Gilbert . His suicide last year is largely due to his sexuality and the hate that regrettably surrounds the LGBTQ community. I can't express enough the respect and passion I feel for this campaign. Ben was so full of laughter and life. Everyone always asks me why he killed himself. It was the hate . His everyday
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The Love of My Life, by Anthony Varrecchia

I NEEDED to be part of the NOH 8 Campaign as it is VERY personal for me. Staten Island is where I grew up. I was bullied, ridiculed, humiliated and pushed around throughout my school years. As I got older, it did get better. It wasn't until I was in my mid 30's that I finally accepted the proud gay man that I am. The whole world opened up..and so did I. My photo arrived! I
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A Painful Reminder by Valerie

This past weekend I was reminded why what everyone at NOH 8 is doing is so important. My brother's partner of almost thirty years died after a lengthy illness. When people ask me which of my family members passed away, I want to be able to say "my brother-in-law" , because that is what he was. Except in the state of Wisconsin, there is no "in law" about it. For almost
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Mexico. Religion. Love. By Rosa Frausto

I have two reasons why I posed for NOH8. First reason: For my cousin, Mayela, who lives in San Luis Potosi, SLP Mexico.  She came out a couple years ago and was the first in our family to do so.  I went to visit her for a family wedding down in Mexico and my aunt prohibited my cousin from inviting her girlfriend to be her guest at the event. This obviously hurt her and
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SKATE AGAINST H8 by Nicholas LaRoche

Interview & Article By Jamie M. Blanchard via Figure Skaters Online With duct tape over his mouth, former U.S. Junior Men’s Champion Nicholas LaRoche is speaking out. LaRoche, who currently coaches at the Toyota Sports Center outside of Los Angeles, is one of the more than 8,000 people who have become the face of NOH8, a public campaign for equality. LaRoche,
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Talk Hard Activism by Mr. WorldWide

My name is Ronnie (a.k.a. Mr. WorldWide) and I am a Radio Broadcast & Social Networking Engineer. I work with grass-roots, social change organizations, campaigns and support groups towards a better atmosphere & awareness. I used to work in FM & Satellite radio, but now I Podcast on the Internet. I have worked with organizations such as Free Press
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Finding My Path by Melanie Cabardo

The photo shoot at the W Hollywood in November happened to be the third I attended within less than a year. Each time, the experience was completely different, adding more precious memories to my life that these photo shoots have created all on their own. I have always been someone who has worn my heart on my sleeve, speaking out for my wants, needs, and beliefs.
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Why I Posed by Lara F.

I posed because I believe that everyone should have an equal right to love, whoever it may be. Let your heart love , let your self be free. Lara F. W Hollywood Open Shoot
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BEING A LEADER by Alana

I Posed because I Believe in Being a Leader! I was tired of all the HATE towards Muslims, and kids being bullied at school who can't get a good education because of it. I realize that you will not stop HATE entirely, but we can make people more aware of it. And if people would only educate themselves then they just might learn to understand other's religious beliefs
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HEAR ME NOW AMERICA by David Victor Pavon

I POSED FOR THE NOH 8 CAMPAIGN FOR MY GOD GIVEN BIRTH RIGHTS.  RIGHTS THAT HAVE BEEN STRIPPED OF ME BY MY COUNTRY.  I FIGHT TO REGAIN THE  RIGHT TO BE ME, TO BE HEARD, TO LOVE & FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY.  I FIGHT FOR MY FREEDOM AGAINST HATE, BIGOTRY, PREJUDICE & RACISM. NOT A SINGLE PERSON ON THIS PLANET SHOULD BE JUDGED FOR THEIR RACE, COLOR, CREED OR GENDER.
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Why I Posed by Mandy Skeels

I posed for this NOH 8 picture because hate is NOT an Aggie value and because everyone deserves to marry the person they love, regardless of sex, race, etc. All <3, No H 8 . Mandy Skeels Texas A&M Open Shoot
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I Want to Be Heard by Jaclyn P.

I posed with two of my closest friends because we believe in equality . The main reason I decided to pose was that I'm bisexual and my mother is very judgmental and old-fashioned. Unfortunately she raised me to believe that it was wrong to be attracted to girls so I pretty much tried to ignore the impulses until I got involved in my local gay community and felt that
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Why I Posed by Joe Magee

I believe that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable . Whether it be to serve our country or express their love in marriage, the GLBT community should be given the same rights Americans enjoy. Justice and equality no matter what race, religion, or sexual preference . -Joe Magee
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Starting Conversations by Wayne H.

I posed for my 17 nieces and nephews. I believe that bigotry, prejudice, oppression and hatred have no place in our society. I believe we must fight until there are equal rights, HUMAN rights, for all. I wanted them to see that it is something worth fighting for. My brother gave me the honor of giving his first son my name. As my nephew grew up, there was a time that he
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Why I Posed by Adam H.

I proudly posed for the NOH 8 Campaign because it is, unfortunately, necessary at this time.  I spent over 12 years of my life in the military serving this country. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is the "unalienable right" granted to each of us by virtue of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. We cannot -- and should not -- settle for less.   -Adam
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The Power of Words by Carrie Bergen

I posed in this photo with my older brother Chris. Growing up, Chris was always considered a little different.  His peers played football, he liked horse back riding and figure skating (we were a skating duo).  He preferred to help me pick out my outfits and help me with my hair and makeup instead of doing what the other guys were doing.  He would put on
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Coming Out Christian by George McGoldrick

I was 17 and about a month away from graduating from high school. I attended a Christian school with very strong values. At this point I knew I was gay and had come out to my closest friends at school.  The environment was very small and I had very little exposure to the gay community at the time.  Our classes began every day with prayer.  One morning I was trying
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Why I Posed by Nicole Bacon

Why did I do it? As a Str 8 woman I have gay friends who I love to death and want to see happy.  I am interested in government and follow what is happening in the world of politics.  I do believe in the constitution that it say all men are created equal, this means all of huMANity , men, women, transgendered and I believe the government has no right to tell you who you can
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Sounding Off by Joseph C. Rocha

WHY I POSED By Joseph Christopher Rocha "During the photo shoot, Adam - who I first met when I discharged from the military three years ago - said to me in conversation, “You know, I never meant to be an activist. I just felt I had to do something .” I could not have bonded with him more over any other sentence. I immediately thought of that Spring day, the 27 th May
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"Never Forget" by Lowell Kane

In my NOH 8 photo I am holding a pink triangle armband from Poland that gay men were forced to wear during the Holocaust . Today we reclaim this symbol from history and empower ourselves with pride ...but we must also never forget. This item, along with posters, photos, and buttons from GLBT history are on display in the GLBT Resource Center at Texas A&M University
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BE HEARD by Amanda Bruns

I took my photo with my sister, my best friend . My sister and I posed to show that we believe the GLBT community should be equal to the Straight community. I posed for her in the NOH 8 Campaign as well as others in the GLBT community. Everyone deserves equality in all forms, regardless of who they love. THANK YOU FOR COMING TO A&M ! Hope to see all of you again soon
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Why I Posed by Mikelina Belaineh

First off let me say how much I appreciate you guys coming down to Texas A&M and doing the photoshoot, it was truly an amazing event to get Texas A&M moving in the right ( and less hateful ) direction. The fact that we had no protesters says a lot. I posed and volunteered at the NOH 8 photoshoot because first off I am in love with my partner (in the picture with
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Why I Posed by Tom Rocco

I am an actor/singer in NYC and I have been with my partner, Matt, for 21 years .  In June of 2007 we drove to Niagara Falls, Canada , to get married.  The impetus for this was that our then-Governor, Elliot Spitzer, passed a law that if one was an employee of the state and had a same-sex marriage somewhere where it was recognized as legal , New York state would then
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Why I Posed With My Uterus

In the last 9 years I have given birth to seven children. Three are my own and four (two sets of twins) are babies I birthed for two different gay couples. My Uterus is an Ally . I consider my surrogacy for gay men my own uterine activism . I feel strongly and passionately about equality and figure if I don't have tons of money to donate to the cause, I at least have a Uterus
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Why I Posed by Patrick Anthony

Why did I pose? I posed because I was the bigot . I was the hater. I was the person who denied who I am and in doing so denied those around me. I have been a wedding officiant for three years. I have married over a hundred couples. When I first got started in weddings, I turned away every single request to preside over a Civil Union ceremony (the NJ equivalent of same-sex
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Why I Posed by Jason Ford

"I strongly feel that gay rights & equality is the biggest civil rights issue of our time. I took my photo because I wanted to lend my face & voice to an already strong & powerful movement. I want to be able to look back 50 years from now, when we are all equal, with my children and show them that daddy played a part in history." -Jason Ford
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Why I Posed by Mark Thoresen

"Just because I'm straight and have never married doesn't mean others should be denied that right. Who is anyone to tell another who they can love? " - Mark Thoresen
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CELEBR8 with NOH8 by Terrika Hooks

"When my partner and I saw on FaceBook that NOH 8 was campaigning here in DC we knew we had to be a part of that. We had just celebrated our one year anniversary and we knew we had to show all the love and support that the campaign has showed to our community. We wish to marry and become same sex parents here in DC pretty soon." -Terrika Hooks
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Posing for Future Generations by David Smith

"I posed for NOH 8 so that future generations don't have to go through the same things as I have.. I want future generations to be able to look back and say why in the hell were people so bigoted against two people loving each other???.. Why was it that two people in love could not get married when this is a free country and we all should have equal rights?? And I will be
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Why We Posed

I have been behind this cause basically since I first heard about it.  When my LA friend Sarah posed for a photo... and shortly after, more of my friends in LA were posing, I wanted a photo of my own .  I followed Prop 8 when it was on the ballet in California and kept hoping to see that after all these years, our country was starting to open up and wise up.  I was, like
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NOH8 Just Aloha by Jenn Laganse

The reason i posed was because i wanted to show the aloha spirit . When we're raised in Hawaii a lot of us local kids are taught to respect one another. Which is why when you come to the islands, you will see the diversity of our community and all of us share that aloha spirit with one another. A lot of people know that aloha is used as a "hello" and "goodbye." Aloha also
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Why I Posed by Christian Paige

My name is Christian Paige , and I posed because NOH 8 is a powerful movement for equality of all kinds, and I believe that my life as Gay, Black, HIV Positive man and the message of NOH 8 will help tear down the stigma behind being HIV Positive, will force people to want to get tested, and will help others to love life after being diagnosed!!
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Why I Posed by Kristi Blicharski

"I support the NOH8 Campaign for so many reasons, I could go on and on.  The most important reason is simply because it's right.  The time is now for equality for all.  It always has been." -Kristi Blicharski
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Why I Posed by Martin Sopha

I posed because I know what it's like grow up gay in small-town, Texas and I wanted to let gay-youths know that they're not alone. -Martin Sopha
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Why We Posed by Briana Lambert

I'd love to share a brief story. I was in Los Angeles from my home in the Washington DC area for a convention. Hollywood UMC is my friend's church, and a group of us wanted to support the church, their AIDS walk, and the community by posing. There were a few locals in my picture, but the rest of us are scattered from around the world--Australia, England, Northern California,
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Why I Posed by Alexie Agdeppa

"I support NOH8 for my family, for the dance community, for all those who choose to live their lives truthfully. " Alexie Agdeppa; Dancer/Top 11 finalist on So You Think You Can Dance Season 7  
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Why Mr. Phillippines USA 2010 Posed

My name is Kevin De Leon and I am this year's Mr. Philippines USA 2010 . I posed for the NoH 8 Campaign because i believe that everyone should have the right to freedom. Love is infinite, indefinable and in todays society, we are held up by laws and regulations. What kind of laws are we respecting when its depriving us of what we as human being need; LOVE! Everyone
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Why We Posed by The Clarks

We live in Utah, the headquarters of the LDS Church .  In a community strongly influenced by the church's stratagem for Prop 8 , we want to encourage people to think for themselves, think about equality for all.  We believe in love, not hate, and we have always been there to take a stand for all people, and being part of the NOH 8 photo shoot was something we felt very
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We Want to BE HEARD!

After many people have viewed the photo of Michael and I, as a gay rights activist I think it's time for the minority in our own community to speak up and be heard.
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"In the Heights" and NOH8 by Rick Caroto

Rick Caroto's Portrait & Group Shot with actress Isabel Santiago In October 2009 we began the 1st National Tour of "In the Heights".  We left behind our families and our friends to tell the story of "Heights", a musical about home, family and finding where you belong. About 6 months into the run of the tour I came across a NOH8 Photo on one of my friends Facebook
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"Do Ask... 'Cuz I Want to Tell" by Christopher Villanueva

My name is Christopher Villanueva and I'm a Marine posing for the NOH 8 Campaign .  One of the greatest right that this country allows us is the right to expression.  If you ask a hundred people what love is, every person would give you a different answer, and every person would say that was ok.  If we're ok with the dynamic expression of love as a whole, why do we
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Posing for My Family by Chase Hardin

Why did I pose for the NOH 8 Campaign ? For my family. Armed only with this photo, a picture that simply implored the world to reject hate, I came out to my extended family with the following e-mail. Hey guys! I'm sending out this picture to family in hopes that it might help everyone better understand me and what the photo stands for. For those of you who don't know,
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Why I Posed by Jonathan Davis

Working in education here in Arizona at Scottsdale Schools for the past 5 years has reminded me how cruel kids can be to those who are different than them. I posed for the NOH 8 Campaign for the GLBT children who still are made fun of, picked on, bullied, discriminated against, etc. in hope of decreasing discrimination in their lives ahead of them. Jonathan Davis
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Why We Posed

It was important for me to pose for the NOH 8 Campaign with my partner because I want the world to know that we are JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!!!  We are in a relationship, we have good days and bad, ups and downs just like any other couple, and we deserve to be treated EQUALLY and without predjudice and hate. Lora Jacobson Scottsdale, AZ Open Shoot
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Be Heard: Isiah Thomas & Joshua Zeke Thomas

We are Isiah and Joshua Thomas. We posed for the NOH 8 Campaign because we believe that all hate and discrimination is wrong. It is time for full equality and equal rights for everyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, or gender.
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Standing OUT and Standing UP, by Stephen Ledesma

I recently just embraced my sexuality and as of the year 2009 I had to endure many struggles that homosexuals go through such as trying to be  accepted by family and friends, prejudice, etc. Living in a very conservative and religious household , I had to find ways to be myself as well as support my own thoughts, beliefs, and values without jeopardizing
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Why We Posed for the NOH8 Campaign

We have a California Proposition 8 same-sex marriage. We were heart broken when Proposition 8 passed. All of our friends, family and coworkers were ecstatic about President Obama's victory. Everyone was talking about what progress this election meant for equality, but for us, one of our basic civil rights was taken away at the voting booths. We moved to New
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To Judge or Not to Judge

What makes me to participate NOH8 photo event? The answer is pretty simple. They were there for me and I want to show that I am there for them too. When I faced the hardship, many Christians I knew backed off while gay and lesbian people came in and support me.
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Why I Posed by J.T.

I was proud to talk about my photo and the NO H8 campaign because I didn’t need an invitation from a friend to do this. I walked up and down that block looking for the location on my own. This was my own accomplishment and I am so glad that I did.
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Why Our Family Posed

Hate isn't a way of life - love is the answer! We're here to make a difference and show that families come in every shape, size and color! Our family's story is one of hate, love and everything in between. My partner and I (commitment ceremony in December, 1995) had long been working on adoptions...
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Why I Posed by Shante "Boss Lady" Broadus

"Supporting the NOH8 campaign meant a lot to me personally. Everyone deserves to experience love, no matter their color, race, or gender. I have employee’s and friends that are in same sex marriages, I did this campaign with them in mind. I also wanted to set an example for my children, teaching them not to judge and support! ((No Hating STOP hating on love!))
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Why I Posed by Cathy DeBuono

My name is Cathy DeBuono, and I posed for the NOH8 Campaign because more than ever it has become apparent to me that we as a community need to push back, fight back, and speak up for ourselves.  We have been too complacent and too patient with the ignorance around us for far too long, waiting for folks to catch up.  It's time to refuse it, time to draw lines in the sand
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Why I Posed by Dalila Ali Rajah

My name is Dalila Ali Rajah and I posed for the NOH8 Campaign because art is one of the most powerful movers of hearts and minds . It is time for full equality and equal rights for everyone. I am committed to transforming the dialog between the African-American community and the LGBT community so that we can move forward with a new mutual understanding and respect.
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Why I Posed by Tatum DeRoeck

A short answer to the following question: “Why was it important for you to be a part of this campaign?”  I will do anything I can to help fight for equality.  I would wear a red cape, pink tutu and green socks everyday if it made a difference.  However I think duct tape is much more significant in conveying the silencing of our rights.
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Why I Posed by Nikki Caster

Because I sincerely believe we're all equal and deserve to be happy as much as the next person. The NOH8 campaign is a beautiful way to express that voice, without having to say a word.
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Why I Posed by Suzanne Westenhoefer

Because the work is just not done yet people!!!
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Why I Posed by Shawnee Harkins

To be a part of this campaign is very personal. Our faces need to be seen...not just our voices.
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Why I Posed by Courtney Jackson

The NOH8 Campaign is a movement that I couldn't wait to be apart of. Hate is only a frame of mind and if we can change that through beautiful photos of self expression, I'm all about it.
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Why I Posed by Sandra Valls

My name is Sandra Valls and I posed for the NOH8 Campaign because I believe that no one wins if some are losing.  It's important to be a part of this campaign because I believe all people should have the right to love and live their lives however they choose. I am huge advocate of human rights and through my comedy, light the lamp of hope in people's hearts to live their
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Why I Posed by Meghan McCain

I was so honored to be asked to pose for the  NOH8 Campaign. I am a proud member of the Republican Party and a proud supporter of marriage equality. I especially love the incorporation of the little elephant with his tusks duct-taped in the photograph. Marriage equality is not just a Democrat or Republican issue, it is a human one. Read More Here
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Equal Rights for All

I posed for the NOH8 Campaign because I believe in equal rights for everyone. I am straight and it breaks my heart that people in my life that I love are treated as second class citizens because of whom they love. After the passage of Prop 8 I got involved with several grass root efforts to overturn the proposition. I will continue to stand up for equal rights and fight
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I Can Make a Difference

  After yes on Prop 8 passed, my girlfriend and I were left in dismay. We had discussed getting married before the vote as a political message in case we didn’t win but we were sure we would win. We were devastated when we were denied our rights. What we opted for instead was to file for a domestic partnership since that is what we had to settle for. Meanwhile,
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Making a Statement

I chose to pose for the NOH8 Campaign because the ignorance in our country really frustrates me.  I 've always been a bit different: when  I was a elementary school student  I would go to school and play with Barbie dolls and the other kids would ridicule me; now about ten years later  I 'm a full time college student and Next-Generation New York City Club Kid, 
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Why I Posed by Abiola Abrams

NOH8 Campaign NYC. Why Straight People MUST Participate. People have asked me many times, Abiola, why did you participate in the No H8 Campaign? They've said, Abiola, you live in NYC not LA, your books, columns, Web TV series and blogs are about heterosexual love. You have a strong fan base that has followed your fun stories about your love of and dating mishaps
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Why I Posed by Nathan Manske

  Last year I started a website, www.ImFromDriftwood.com, which collects true stories by gay people from all over the world, in hopes of helping gay teens feel not so alone. I believe that belonging to a group, feeling accepted and knowing that you're not the only one out there is the first step to every gay persons path to happiness. The NOH8 Campaign, while
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Transgender Issues

This blog is about my recent experience in the Family Court system. The Honorable Joseph P. Brannigan has imposed many restrictions. Some of which egregiously violate 1st amendment rights of freedom of speech and expression. Judge Brannigan has prohibited me from discussing "transgender issues"
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Called To Serve

Called to Serve The military continues to operate under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which even the Pentagon says is unsubstantiated. As General McChrystal asks for more troops in Afghanistan, one gay Navy vet offers his service to his country in spite of the policy that would deny him. By Christopher T. Landavazo On May 13, 1996, I raised my right
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Why I Posed by Jay Marose

Why I Posed for the NOH8 Campaign by Jay Marose Posted: July 9, 2009 11:26 PM This is why I posed for the NOH8 Campaign , a silent photographic protest. As a publicist, it is second nature to opt out of photos. I have a wonderful collection of pictures of famous clients or amazing events with only my black clad arm or leg in frame. However, when I first saw the NOH8 Campaign
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Why I Posed by Jill Bennett

My name is Jill Bennett and I posed for the NOH8 Campaign because it's time for everyone in our community to take a stand against intolerance and hatred. B e i n g i n v o l v e d m e a n s b e i n g v i s i b l e - t o o u r s t r a i g h t a l l i e s , to our f a m i l y , our f r i e n d s , a n d especially to those who oppose equal rights.  The supporters of Prop 8 need to see our faces, feel our presence and to
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Why I Posed By Ohene Cornelius

I am a supporter of freedom. The right to be, say, and speak. The acceptance. I might not always understand, but for me this picture means I'm listening.  
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Scott Herman on Why He Says NOH8

Scott Herman on Why He Says NOH8 By Advocate.com Editors Fitness model and personal trainer Scott Herman first stepped into the public eye when he joined the cast of the 21st season of  The Real World, set in Brooklyn, N.Y. Now Herman has taken to the Web to talk about his support for marriage equality after posing for the NOH 8 Campaign, a move that he says, despite