Changing For Orlando, by Joe B.

Thursday, December 8th, 2016


I've been involved with the NOH8 Campaign previously during a photo shoot in Reno, NV. I've always been a contributing member to our community through charitable donations to NOH8, Human Rights Campaign, Trevor Project, and more. I have never been as actively involved with our community as I should have, but that changed with Orlando this year.

I didn't know any of the victims, but I felt the emotional impact of their tragic loss. Orlando shook me to my core and made me rethink who I am as an individual; something that hasn't been done since Matthew Shepard's passing in 1998 when I was just coming out. Every step I made towards accepting myself then was pushed out of the way in a hasty retreat back into the closet. With Orlando, I found myself needing to be around my LGBTQ family for support and to be a strong leader for someone in a position like I was with Matthew all those years ago.

I experienced my first ever Pride event in San Francisco this year and I cannot remember a time where I have felt a similar level of love. This uniting feeling of acceptance and love has carried over into every LGBTQ activity I've participated in this year; including the NOH8 shoot in Reno a few months ago.

Thank you Adam and Jeff, and the entire NOH8 team, for continuing to be a guiding light in our community by spreading such an important message. The pictures look fabulous!

- Joseph B.


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