Last Tuesday, I took an impromptu vacation day and went to Los Angeles with Z.A. Maxfield. We went to a high school that was having a GLBT Fair. Yes, I heard a couple of whispers of “grannies” as I walked around so I know my gray hair didn’t go unnoticed. However, the kids weren’t exactly the reason I was there. I went to get my picture taken by celebrity fashion photographer Adam Bouska. Adam, who shares my birthday today, is the co-founder of the NoH8 Campaign. The photos he took were for NoH8.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the photos. Silver duct tape on the mouth. White shirts. The NoH8 tattoo on the cheek. Like this one of Adam himself.
The campaign began as a silent protest by Adam and his partner Jeff Parshley. The duct tape symbolizes voices being silenced by California’s Proposition 8 which amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The photos took off like a rocket with ordinary people being photographed as well as celebrities and people like Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach and Lt. Dan Choi who were activists calling for the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
As authors of gay romance, as well as people who believe in equality in all things for all people, ZAM and I had a deep seated need to do this, to have our photos taken by Adam for this campaign. And yes, both of us will be displaying these photos prominently on our websites.
This campaign resonated with me on personal and professional levels. On the personal side, my high school sweetheart is gay. I love the man dearly and the idea that I can marry Rott, but David can’t marry Vince – when they clearly even have a better relationship than Rott and I have – just pisses me the eff off. My parents raised me to ahbor injustice and my heart breaks for couples who would love to get married but can’t. Now, I’m one of those people who also feels that it’s a piece of paper and in my heart, I know who I belong with regardless of the legalities of this country. I know David is one of those people too. We feel things deeply in our hearts and that is where our commitment comes from. We could show that commitment to another without a marriage license. But the very fact that politics don’t allow David to have that license should he choose to go that route with his relationship makes me very angry.
On the professional side, as an author with a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell novella where my heroes have to go to Massachusetts to be married, supporting this campaign is a no brainer. In Afterburner, my heroes get married in Massachusetts, a state that allows same-sex marriage, and California accepts that marriage as legal despite not allowing gays to be married in the Golden State. In the sequel to Afterburner, which is a Christmas story I’ve just finished, my heroes are retired from the Air Force and happy that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone. I don’t say it in the story, but I know my guys and they aren’t happy that same-sex marriage in California is still not legal. Breath of Heaven, an Afterburner Christmas sequel, will be available at MLR Press on December 15.
So ZAM and I did this and we had a great time. Adam and I wished each other an early Happy Birthday and the happiness in the man just radiated out to everyone who was there. He’s a good soul doing a good thing for mankind. And ZAM and I feel really good to be part of it. The only thing that would have made our day better was if fellow author James Buchanan had been able to join us.
Now, it’s time for someone a lot more beautiful than me! It’s still Monday, although it’s Halloween, so it’s time for a Marcus!
Marcus does a lot of stuff for charities like Peta so he’s not a celeb who doesn’t give back to the world. It’s one of the things I like about him.
Now, before I go, if you’re thinking of reading and not leaving a comment, I’m going to give you a reason to comment today. One lucky commenter will win their choice of a book from my backlist. Can’t beat that now can you? Say Hello or Happy Birthday or Cool Marcus, whatever, and you could be reading one of my books by tomorrow night!
Happy Halloween to you all! Don’t eat too much candy! I’m off to have birthday cake with my coffee so have a good one!