NOH8 is a worldwide photo campaign promoting marriage, gender and human equality through the power of social media, which started in the US six years ago. Award-winning American fashion and celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley originally created the concept.
Over 35,000 NOH8 photos have been taken to date, putting a face to the fight for equality mainly in cities in the US and UK. Participants range from international celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Ricky Martin and Liza Minnelli to everyday individuals.
The international collection of photos features subjects with ‘NOH8’ painted on one cheek in protest and duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing a silencing of voices from government legislation like California’s Proposition 8 or similar mandates around the world.
Ramscar, whose Pink Dollar company is Hong Kong's foremost social network for LGBT issues has a Pink Dollar app with 20,000 registered users and support from companies like Kee club, Barclays Bank, Paul Gerrard Salon and over 100 gay-friendly businesses in Hong Kong, according to an interview with Time Out Hong Kong.
He told to Campaign Asia-Pacific that he started the conversation with the NOH8 founders to bring the strategy to Asia about a year ago. He believes in the effectiveness of the silence photos as powerful imagery to share on Facebook and Twitter.
In Asia, the campaign hits Bangkok today and tomorrow, Hong Kong this Friday and Saturday and last Sunday it ran in Taipei. W Hotels hosted the Taipei event and will be the locale for other cities as well. And in Manila on this coming Sunday NOH8 will take place at Bed Manila.
“It is good to bring the silence protest campaign to Hong Kong, as we have lots of issues, for example the bad treatment of an Indonesia maid that grabbed news recently. [The campaign] is about equal treatment and equality and fighting against hate, helping to break the silence and spreading love to people in all walks of life, whether you are straight, gay, black, white or yellow.”
Hong Kong’s local celebrity support comes from Carl Ng, Jason Godfrey, TV hosts from Star World Channel and others. So far, 400 people have registered to take part in Hong Kong’s photo session, 90 people in Bangkok and 200 in Manila. And 100 people attended the Taipei event.
Other Hong Kong brand sponsors include Play Club and Art Futures Group.
Ramscar said all the funds received from the NOH8 campaigns will be reinvested for upcoming campaigns in other countries, helping to spread the message.The campaign will also take place in Italy next month and he is hoping to bring the event back to Asia next Spring and run it in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan.