NOH8 Campaign founders celebrate five years of activism

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With over 790,000 likes on Facebook and nearly 600,000 Twitter followers, the NOH8 Campaign has become a tool for encouraging LGBT acceptance across the nation. As the campaign creeps closer toward its five-year anniversary on December 15, co-founders and partners Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley look back upon the early beginnings.

The award-winning Adam Bouska—a rising star in the world of fashion photography—was born in Decatur, Illinois. His photographic works have been featured in multiple publications across a variety of mediums, which include The Chelsea Lately Show, the New York Times, Life & Style Magazine, CNBC, Guinness Book of World Records 2010, The View, and the list goes on.

Bouska has also, over the years, produced noted works with fellow influencers such as Deepak Chopra, and fashion celebrities that include “America’s Next Top Model” former contestants Bre Scullark, Michelle Deighton, and sisters Amanda and Michelle Babin.

The NoH8 Campaign began with the simple idea of photographing everyday Californians in their normal lives to help protest the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008. It has now expanded to a gallery of over 33,000 faces, embracing a multitude of artists, celebrities, military personnel, and politicians, in addition to everyday people.

“For me when I got involved and Jeff got involved, we weren’t really looking to be activists, we weren’t really looking to start a campaign,” said Bouska during an interview with Emmy winner Charlotte Robinson.

Co-founder Parshley concurred, stating, “We weren’t activists, we weren’t looking to be activists, it just kind of happened…”

The iconic photos are easily identifiable, known for featuring models donning duct tape over their mouths to symbolize the voices silenced by Proposition 8, with “NOH8” painted boldly across one cheek.

The 5th Annual NOH8 Anniversary Celebration is due to take place on December 15 at Avalon in Los Angeles; it will be a free event sponsored by Wen Hair and Body Care by Chaz Dean.

429Magazine

About The Author

As an aspiring novelist in search of an agent for my debut, YA series, "#BeautifulUgly", I hope to be able to help the world recognize the author as an artist, as they would the painter. Currently attending Academy of Art as a photography major with hopes to improve, technically, as a visual creator.

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