PHOTOS: At The NOH8 Fifth Anniversary Party, Hotties Explain What It Means

IMG_2768Can you believe it’s the fifth anniversary of the NOH8 campaign?

Photographer Adam Bouska’s been sticking duct tape and paint on people for half a decade now, with no plans to let up anytime soon.

This week Bouska & friends celebrated the milestone with a party at Avalon in Hollywood, and we popped by to say hello and take some pix of our own.

The party started around 7 with a fancy red carpet featuring Ryan Cabrera, DJ Mandy Jiroux, Chaz Dean and Rachel Crow. Since we are old and have no idea what the kids are listening to these days, we had only the slightest awareness of who these people are, but they certainly seemed very nice.

Mostly, we attended because we wanted to learn what the NOH8 photos mean to different people. And we got some fascinating (and diverse) explanations. Read on for our favorites.


Ali, Kyle, Reggie and Iwona staked out a spot on the balcony. The photos represent “equality for all,” Reggie explained. “Hatred is such a big thing in this country and the world.”



Edwin and Marcello weren’t afraid to bare a little skin. To Edwin, the pictures mean “no recrimination.” Also, he added, “Latinos need to get over it.”

“Over what?” we asked.

“All of it,” he said. Okay!



Christina and John had a laid-back attitude to the photos. They mean “equality and peace,” John said.



“Equality,” explained Trevor, sitting with Marque. “To stop discrimination, speaking bad … to stop all negative.”



It was loud on the ground floor, and we had some difficulty hearing people. When we asked this young lady if we could take her photo, her friend hollered “Sue Wong” at us and proceeded to write “Sue Wong” in our notebook. Later investigation revealed that “Sue Wong” is the name of the woman who designed the dress. Nice work, Susie!

She also wrote “Priscilla” in our notebook, so we assume that’s her name. Or her friend’s name. Or maybe that’s who did her hair? They both scurried off before we could get to the bottom of the matter.

How about that pose, though? Get it, girl.



Marc, Joe and Brandon all have excellent accessories. Joe explained that the photos represent “freedom to love. And you can be proud of that.” He went on, “the duct tape symbolizes that so many people have had to keep silent. We are not going to forget all those people.”

We bumped into Jonathan Allen, a singer from America’s Got Talent. What a cutie! Here’s his moving debut segment from the show.



Demitrius, Joesph and Charles were hanging out with Jonathan Allen. “The duct tape means no more shame,” said Charles. “And if you can’t be silent, say nice things.”



Here’s Walter Prescott (Mr. Congeniality in the Mr. Gay pageant) and Myriah Gould (Miss Topanga Canyon in the Miss USA pageant). “It’s a very important cause,” said Myriah. “There’s too much judgement in general.”

“Love is love,” said Walter, adding, “we should just all love each other.”

Never were truer (or more pageant-winning) words spoken.



Here are Sage and Sebastian, doing what hot young things do: posing with perfect hair and skin. No, no, it’s fine, we’re not jealous.

“Everyone should be equal,” said gorgeous Sebastian, adding, “being who you are is important to me as a person.”

“It’s about speaking without words,” said the beautiful Saige, “and standing for something.”



As we headed off into the night (to a gingerbread-decorating contest where we won second place, thank you very much), we could see a long line of activists waiting to attach tape and paint to themselves before a white screen. Happy fifth anniversary, NOH8!

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  • balehead

    Just another sham charity for tax-free partying…shame on them..

  • Spike

    Ooohhhhh, I’m a celebrity, stick a sticker on me and duct tape my mouth and take my picture so everyone can see that I am such a huge supporter of animal rights, or gay marriage or whatever this cause is for.

  • jeff4justice

    @balehead: Amen. It seems as though it’s a self-perpetuating “nonprofit” existing just to essentially fund the career of a celeb photographer. While there was some merit to celebs turning LGBT rights into a trendy cause post-Prop-8, at this point it’s just celeb PR pandering.

    Paying $40 to join some trendy PR campaign… in the words of Macklamore, ” I call that getting tricked by a business.”

    There have been few and far between examinations of how they spend the money they raise but don’t expect the large LGBT blogs to ever ask about it – LGBT media loves it some media passes. Maybe NOH8 really, really does awesome things with their money aside from paying for a celeb photographer’s career? And if they do then good for them. If you want to look though pages of documents to find out how much they give to direct-action-help causes then you can have the joy of looking at pages of IRS papers on their noh8-taxes section of their website. Otherwise, how much they spend on overhead compared to spending on real direct help to people by passing on donations to other 501c3s is unclear.


    A. Money raised through our photo shoots supports and sustains the NOH8 Campaign. Although we receive some independent donations, the open photo shoots are our primary source of support. The funds cover the costs for camera, video, and audio production equipment; photo production, retouching, and reproduction; travel costs; promotional material, campaign literature; post-production hardware and software; expenses related to both PSA (Public Service Announcement) video and studio photo shoot production; office and studio operating expenses; and staff salaries. We are also allocating funds for the development of programs, expansion of operations, and the development of marketing opportunities. You can view the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Form 990’s here.


    A. The NOH8 Campaign is not a foundation and does not raise money for other organizations as its primary objective. However, NOH8 has made both material and financial donations to, and partnered with, other local and national organizations that share our vision including The Gay & Lesbian Task Force, The Trevor Project, GLSEN, Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, the You Are Loved Project, and Freedom to Marry in addition to AIDS Walk Programs all over the country (helping to raise funds for Gay Mens Health Crisis in New York and AIDS Project LA in Los Angeles).

  • Cam

    I like the ideas the people were spouting, but looking at the pictures, and I could be wrong, it just seemed like a string of vapid people who just wanted to go to another party where there might be photographers.

  • Stache1

    I think the final “nail in the coffin” was when people started using their No H8 pics in their Manhunt and Adam for Adam profiles or things unrelated to it.

  • Dixie Rect

    So, where are the ‘hotties’ ?

    Your voice is the most important thing when speaking out about hate, so not sure why you would duct tape your mouth. Another stupid marketing campaign.

  • exgaysurvivordan

    And here I was hoping now that we were rid of Prop 8 we’d be rid of NOH8 too.

    Drive through activism at best, an exercise in vanity at its worst.

  • Antonio V. Nichols

    Chloe got a nearly new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Hybrid just by working online with a computer… you could check here>>>

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