The campaign began as a reaction to the passage of the Proposition 8 legislation banning same-sex marriage in California, USA, and features people dressed in plain white with their mouths taped shut and “NOH8” written on their faces.
The marketing campaign has achieved particular success in attracting the participation of familiar faces like Perez Hilton, Weird Al Yankovic, Jane Lynch, the Kardashians (Kim pictured), and Lindsay Lohan.
Campaign founder and celebrity photographer Adam Bouska spoke to the Star Observer about bringing NOH8 to Australia, hoping the timing of his visit would help the local marriage equality movement.
“We chose this timing to come to Australia because we always try to make the most of each trip,” Bouska said.
He believed visiting during the LGBTI festival season of Australia’s two largest cities would help them engage with as many people as possible.
“It also coincides with the country’s marriage battle and if we can help to bring this awareness to the people of Australia, more people can make their voices heard and create change within their community,” he said.
Bouska added that he wanted as many people as possible to be involved in the campaign, citing Matthew Mitcham, Megan Gale and Jennifer Hawkins as particular targets, but reserved special praise for the princess of pop.
“Given her huge influence and passion in our community, I’d love to see Kylie Minogue pose for the campaign,” he said.
“She would be simply beautiful to photograph and there would be more Kylie fever than there already is around Australia.”
Despite the campaign’s successes, Bouska said he knew there were some people who can’t change their minds on discrimination.
“What is most intimidating is that some people will never change. No matter how much light you shine on an issue, sometimes there are people who are true believers in the opposite of what we are trying to promote,” he said.
However, explained that raising awareness about NOH8 has helped make it worthwhile.
“Meeting people from all walks of life and hearing all the different stories around the world about why the NOH8 campaign means so much to people is truly humbling,” he said.
“Knowing that we can help someone who is struggling emotionally is a feeling that you cant really compare to anything.”
NOH8 in Australia
WHEN: Sydney – Fair Day on Sunday, February 9; Melbourne – Saturday, February 15
WHERE: Sydney – Victoria Park, Camperdown; Melbourne – The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport
TIME: Sydney – noon-5pm; Melbourne – 1pm-5pm
* To participate in the NOH8 photo shoot, arrive “camera ready” and wearing white. Solo photos are $45 and group or couple photos are $30 per person.