Another reason to adore Raja Gemini, aka Sutan Amrull the winner of season 3 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. The drag performer/make-up artist came out publicly against the NOH8 campaign on Facebook this week declaring that he regretted posing for the group’s iconic but now rather dated and tired ad campaign that was originally a reaction to the passage of Proposition 8 in California’s 2008 election.
Posted on Raja’s wall:
I have a photo of myself with duct tape on my mouth with a “NOH8″ on my cheek. I hate it. This goes against everything we should be about. I was not raised to be silenced with tape or anything else.
Rise up!! We are not underdogs. We are leaders who should have all our voices heard. Thank you Vito Russo and all those who fought for us all to be free and have our rights.
Posted on Sutan’s wall:
I’ve had many photos i am a ashamed of, this is one I hate. Although I never payed the $40 other people had to pay…I wish I could pay for it to go away. I succumbed to a lemming mentality without thinking.
Rip the tape off your mouths and shout!! My heart is so full of thanx to the first queens who fought back. Duct tape is for tucking, not to silence our voices.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.-Martin Luther King
Get that duct tape off your mouths…
The NOH8 campaign, created by photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley was originally lauded for delivering a powerful message about the passage of Proposition 8…back in 2008. The group has continued to take photographs since then with many questioning the validity of that message and also questioning some of the financial dealings of the group. NOH8 solely exists and uses all funds collected to continue the NOH8 photographic campaign; the money is not actually used to fight for marriage equality in any state or nationally.
As I’ve said in other posts, I think NOH8 was a brilliant idea, though the photographs themselves aren’t particularly interesting, but that their messaging needs to change and it’s time to take OFF that duct tape. And, like many others, I think spending $40 on a cute photo for your Facebook page isn’t particularly helpful to achieving equality especially when all that $40 does is to promote the taking of more pretty photos.
Bravo, Raja/Sutan for ripping off that gawdamned masking tape!