I Am Strong, by Emily H.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012


"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 NOH8 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, you learn to build up a wall of defense, all while discovering an inner strength that helps guide you past the fear and uncertainty and ultimately out of the closet.

I had recently become an activist; writing, blogging, being more vocal about fighting for gay rights and learning how to get involved. Having learned about the NOH8 Campaign, I knew that somehow I was going to take part. I was going to take a stand against inequality and also a personal act of pride - being proud, breaking away from the hardships of the closet.

The enviroment at the open shoot in New Brunswick was nothing but love, unity, and excitement. My nerves about being shot by Adam Bouska were quickly replaced by excitement and fun. A pose here, a pose there, raising my rainbow rose up like a warrior, it was a day I will never forget. Being a part of the NOH8 Campaign gave me a new strength, and a new courage to live out loud.

Emily Harkins


4 / 5 / 2012


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