“The dream of marriage shouldn’t just be limited to heterosexual people, it should be about two people who love each other. Period. Don’t H8, it’s unbecoming.” – Lisa Ling
Love is Love.
When I visited Art Box again the other night, I saw a large photo of the creators together. Both wore “NOH8” on their cheeks and duct tape on their mouths. I recognized the FL anti-Proposition 8 campaign championed by photographer Adam Bouska. (Check out the instructions on his website for emailing photos – yes, including SL photos – directly to the FL NOH8 campaign; they’d like to reach 1,000,000 strong.)
What I didn’t realize until I did some research was that the NOH8 campaign went viral in SL a few months ago. If you scroll Adam Bouska’s weblog to June 22nd, you’ll find an entry on the SL movement as initiated by SL residents Francois Ghost and Trace Osterham. Francois and Trace have done an amazing job championing this movement inworld. I don’t know how I missed hearing about it at the time and not learning about the extent of it until today, but somehow I did. After more research, I’ve since learned that not only have they taken photos of SL residents for the NOH8 campaign, but they’ve also held a gallery opening of the images, installed a studio (complete with NOH8 tattoos, white backdrop, poses, and instructions) adjacent to the gallery where anyone can take pictures, and created a NOH8 flickr account that currently has more than 600 images. Although they initiated this inworld a couple of months ago, I’ve come to learn that others have been so moved by the importance of NOH8 that they too have stepped in to build upon the momentum. This brings me back to Art Box, where I learned of Tinker Hax, who is the creator of Amplify (urban and punk clothing) and who is another wonderful soul who has been giving freely of her time and talent to photograph people (like the Art Box creators and others) for NOH8.
I have to tell you…I didn’t know Tinker before I IM’d her out of the blue and asked her how I could participate. Tinker was beyond nice and beyond gracious, even though when I IM’d her I had interrupted her work on a project. After a very pleasant chat, Tinker graciously offered to put her project aside for a few minutes to work with me to take my photo. (Honestly, I tried not to hound, but I was so excited by the prospect of having this photo taken.) After Tinker set up the session, I didn’t have to do anything but stand there and be utterly fascinated watching a skilled photographer work in a studio. The photo that Tinker snapped is so wonderful. Thank you, Tinker, for your generosity of spirit and friendship and for the wonderful photo. She found the absolute perfect pose from an array of poses and was so incredibly patient with me when I kept looking away from her camera at an adjacent wall that held nearly 100 NOH8 images taken by Tinker…first of friends, and then of people like me who rang Tinker up out of the blue and asked for a photo. We chatted while Tinker gently guided my focus back to her camera. It was in that conversation that I learned of an event Tinker is holding (I believe on Thursday) in support of NOH8. I don’t have time/place info at this point, but when I get it, I’ll definitely share it through this weblog.
In the meantime, it’s great to know that there are a number of ways to participate in NOH8 and that the movement is still going strong. The more people who keep participating and bringing their skills, passion, and love to it, the better off all worlds will be. Because it’s never too early or too late to stop hate.