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YFT Talks Back Thanks to NOH8 Campaign

Written By: Judith October 19, 2009 No Comment

noh8capital-1-1-1By David Negrete

I think we can all agree that Proposition 8 has greatly affected the LGBTQ community, and it is because of strong and courageous people like photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley that we are beginning to let people know how we feel.

The NOH8 campaign is a photo project and silent protest that was started after the passing of Proposition 8. It began with everyday California residents, and expanded to celebrities and political figures, including Kathy Griffin, Dr. Drew, Ashlee Simpson, Andy Dick, and more. If you have seen any of these photos you know that they are not your ordinary photographs; each one speaks volumes. Each has a message that conveys a sense of oppression, a message that we are not being heard. A single piece of duct tape is placed over the model’s mouth, and the NOH8 logo is painted on the side of the face, creating a clear image that we are being kept silent.

The week before the Alan Ross Pride Parade, the NOH8 campaign made their way to Dallas. We later found out that Dallas is the third city that has had the opportunity to be a part of this campaign. 75 members of the community were chosen to take part in the photo shoot and from those 75, 12 were from Youth First Texas. Hai Duong, a Youth Board member at YFT, said “being a part of the campaign cements our efforts as volunteers…”

After the shoot, several youth, along with Judith Dumont, Director of Youth Services, went to brunch and discussed the importance of the campaign. The overall consensus was that it was great to be part of something that will hopefully make a difference for our lives and community. Youth Will Mason Brown said “it’s inspiring to know people are looking up to us.” Added David Degrete, “It will be due to our combined efforts, that we will see change.” The NOH8 campaign definitely brought a sense of excitement leading up to the Pride Parade. It was an opportunity that does not come by very often, and the youth seemed thrilled to be a part of it.

On October 10th, 6 youth, accompanied by Judith Dumont and Johnny Cooper, made a trip to Washington D.C. for the National Equality March. They took part in the march and also seized opportunities to learn about our community and history. The NOH8 campaign was also there, ensuring our voices were heard yet again. It is because of events like these that the youth are beginning to take leadership roles in the community. We are experiencing the battles head on. We are making our voices heard. We are the future leaders of tomorrow, and we are making sure to fight the silence.

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