My mother taught me the importance of love from a young age

Monday, April 1st, 2024


My mother taught me the importance of love from a young age. As a child, she encouraged me to stand up for what's right, even if it meant being outspoken sometimes -- though she probably didn't realize it would get me into trouble so often.

In 2009, I was deeply moved by the NOH8 Campaign. As an ally, I can never comprehend the issues and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. At 19, I connected the fight against Proposition 8 to my personal belief that love should never be denied. I remember my grandfather's theatrical story about driving onto the church lawn to confront the priest who had suggested that his Italian heritage made him unfit to marry my grandmother. It seems that standing up against discrimination runs in my family.

Now, at 33, I have committed to learning the broader implications of these issues, including political and religious oppression, healthcare disparities, and personal autonomy. These realizations have only strengthened my commitment to equality, education, and advocacy.

When I met Adam and Jeff, the faces behind the NOH8 Campaign, it was a profound experience that reminded me of the ongoing fight against bigotry. Although I am extremely frustrated with certain aspects of American society, I'm also reminded of the power we have as citizens to challenge injustice. These photos not only represent my ability to voice my opinions but also the privilege and responsibility of doing so.
Aandrea Hays



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