Interview with NOH8 Co-Founder Jeff Parshley
Editor’s note: No. Hate. Imagine a world where those two words could collide – and thus, render that world an even better version of its already impressive self. This PSA highlights the purpose of the NOH8 campaign. Our very own Leone Kraus highlights campaign co-founder Jeff Parshley for an update.
When was the NOH8 campaign founded?
In 2008, just after the passing of Proposition 8, Adam Bouska and I decided we wanted to speak out on our social networks.
How has the mission of the NOH8 campaign evolved since its inception?
The NOH8 Campaign was started in response to Prop 8, but has grown to encompass any form of discrimination. We have all been discriminated against for one reason or another and we need to use that common denominator to unite us as a community.
How has this affected the growth of the organization?
The growth of the campaign has been overwhelming. Everyone has a reason to speak out. They just might not know the best way to do that. With the NOH8 campaign, they have a tool to start a dialogue. We see so many different people speaking out for different reasons, and we love to show that in the photos.
How many people have added their face to the NOH8 campaign?
We are close to 16,000 photos and about 14 or 15,000 people.
With all these photos, any plans for an official photo book or a larger media project?
We have thought about that for awhile now. We are just trying to think of the best way to do it. I’m sure you will see something in the future. In the meantime, we are working on an iPhone app where people can take their own photo, apply the NOH8 and tape to the image and upload it to their social networking sites.
We can’t always get to every city as much as we would love to, so this is a way for people to get involved all over the world! This is a human issue.
In August, you launched a new PSA video to support Freedom to Marry’s “I Do” campaign featuring Larry King and even David Hasselhoff. What other organizations have you partnered with to assist in ending discrimination against the LGBT community?
We try to work with as many organizations as we can. We have always said from the start:
We must find a way to bring all the organizations together to accomplish this goal as a team.
You’ve recently taken the NOH8 campaign to places outside of the United States. What countries have you been to?
Our first international photo shoot was on the open water in the Bahamas aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line. The second one we did was in London during their Pride festivities in July. And most recently, we were in Montreal for the Diversity festival.
We are currently focusing on the U.S. and getting to as many states as we can here, but we are also planning to take the campaign to Australia sometime next year.
Any memorable experiences that you would like to share from all your international travels?
To be honest, all the experiences we have are memorable.
Getting to meet the people and hear the stories is the best part. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to pose for the campaign and we welcome all the support we can get!
Every face counts in this campaign and if it weren’t for the supporters, there would be no campaign.
How can corporations support and/or partner with the NOH8 campaign?
All they have to do is reach out to us. Like I said before, we think it’s important to work together towards the common goal of full equality for all!
You’re about to hit your three-year anniversary. Any big plans to celebrate?
We are in the process of planning the three-year anniversary party as we speak.
I can assure you: It will be a great night full of supportive people. Some people you might recognize and some new people too.
To keep current on the great work being done through the NOH8 campaign, follow Leone on Twitter.
- by AWSC
- posted at 2:01 pm
- November 9, 2011