He is one of the men responsible for spearheading the fight againt Prop. 8, demanding that California allow gay couples to marry. Alongside photographer Adam Bouska, Jeff Parshley, is the co-founder of the incredible "NoH8" campaign and he is continuing the fight against ignorance, sharing the message that "Love is for all." She's So New York sits down with Parshley as he gives us his views on Gay Pride as well as sharing his own coming out story:
She's So New York: Despite the shortcomings of Prop. 8, how do you feel about the evolution of Gay Culture and its image in the mainstream media?
Jeff Parshley: I think A LOT has changed! Maybe not as much as we would all like but it is definitely evolving into something that is more accepted. The NOH8 Campaign had an OPEN SHOOT (which anyone/everyone is welcome to join in) in Hollywood at Hollywood United Methodist Church and we had over 500 people come out to support equality. Think back 40 or 50 years ago, do you think over 500 people would be waiting in line for hours to show their support for Equality by lending their face to a photo campaign?
SSNY: What can people do to help support the gay marriage bill being passed?
JP: VOTE every time you have the chance!!!!
SSNY: What do you think about the current administration's Gay Rights Agenda?
JP: I feel like they intend to create change and some have good intentions to hold to their word, however there is ALWAYS more that can be done.
SSNY: Do you have a short coming out story you want to share?
JP: When I was about 20 I felt like it was time to come out to my Mom. I had to do it over the phone because it was so hard for me to say face to face. As i began to tell her, I said I needed to talk to her about something important but that I didn't know how to say it. She immediately said "Is it that you are gay?" as surprised as I was that she said it before I did, it was such a relief. I finally came clean and didnt have to hide who i was anymore. She then goes on to tell me..."I knew since you were 8" I thought Jeez why didn't you tell me sooner. ;-)
SSNY: What does gay pride mean to you?
JP: To me Gay Pride means feeling comfortable with yourself and being free to express yourself. A lot of people either choose to, or have to, hide who they are as a person. Some are even ashamed of who they are. To have PRIDE in who you are is such a freeing feeling and i think it helps people live a happy life.
For More Information on the "NoH8" campaign as well as Proposition 8, please click here