I stepped off the elevator on the 7th floor of the Citizens Hotel into what seemed like a family reunion. This family welcomed me with open arms, even if I wasn’t dressed in the reunion colors. Just like any family reunion, there were a whole lot of pictures being taken. Specifically, folks were having their picture taken with a NOH8 tattoo on their cheek and duct tape over their mouth. If you can do that, welcome to the family of NOH8.
Silence lets repression happen
Sacramento was fortunate enough to have the NOH8, no hate, campaign come and photograph folks proudly demonstrating to the world that they will not tolerate hate. The NOH8 campaign started as a response to passage of California’s Proposition 8 which banned same sex marriage in 2008. It has since grown to represent the fight against discrimination of any kind through out the world.
Speak for those who can’t
While there have been celebrities and famous people photographed for NOH8, the vast majority of folks are just your neighbors. The duct tape over the mouth symbolizes how an individual or group can be silenced by government laws. The NOH8 tattoo represents that the truth can never be silenced. We may not speak of the injustice, but we all know it is exist.
- Don’t hate me for who I am.
- Don’t hate me for what I believe in.
- Don’t hate me for who I love.
Hate is a virus in your soul
I have tried hard to rid the word hate from my vocabulary. Yes, I do slip up and it spills out of my mouth. But when I take a look around me, there is not much to hate in my life. Hate will infect your heart and render you unable to love.
We’re a family
It is a humbling experience to be in a room of full strangers all brought together by a common cause. If any one wants to see America in action, go to a NOH8 photo shoot. Yet, the folks that are willing to dress in white, duct tape the mouth and bear the tattoo are only the tip of the iceberg for truth and justice. There are many who can not stand in the photographers flash for fear of reprisal. At this family reunion, we stand in their place and earnestly proclaim, let there be NOH8.