Exclusive Interview: Christine Macdonald’s Ellen NOH8 Wish

Exclusive Interview: Christine Macdonald’s Ellen NOH8 Wish

It worked for Betty White and gay rights supporter Christine Macdonald is hoping that it will work for NOH8 Campaign co-founders Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley. Facebook: The social media wonder drug that instantly propels relative unknowns into the dust storm of superstardom and national news coverage. Couple that with Twitter and you’ve got yourself one kick-ass equality media potion.

While the NOH8 Campaign has already been featured on CNN and other high-end media outlets, the silent protest regarding California’s Proposition 8 has never been a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Macdonald is on a mission to change that and has enlisted the help of all of her friends.

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Macdonald about Ellen, Adam and Jeff, bullying, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Hey Christine! So great to chat with you! Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi Sarah! I was raised on O’ahu, so I’m what you’d call an island-transplant living in Southern California. I am an executive assistant and work on personal writing projects in my spare time. I am also an activist, cancer survivor and lover of all things chocolate.

Chocolate…Aren’t we all? Love it! So, what inspired you to get involved with Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley’s NOH8 Campaign? The night Proposition 8 passed, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Although [I was] very disappointed, I was moved to the point of tears when learning of the narrow margin in which we lost. I remember telling a friend “this is going to happen…just not this year.”

I first learned of the NOH8 Campaign through a YouTube clip a friend emailed me and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. I thought the idea of a silent protest through social media was nothing short of genius.

Why do you feel it is so important for the NOH8 Campaign to obtain national coverage? I want co-founders Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley’s message to reach everyone – including the one teenager in that small town who feels that he/she can never marry someone they love.

After the open shoot I attended in 2009, I watched the campaign evolve and was thrilled for Adam and Jeff. I didn’t know them personally, but they went out of their way to make me (and everyone else) feel welcome and I have grown to love them as social media brothers. I loved seeing celebrities join the campaign but wondered if a non-celebrity like me could do more. I started The Ellen NOH8 Wish as a result of that.

National coverage would mean more people would start a dialogue about marriage equality. Information leads to education, education brings less ignorance, which will lead to less fear. Injustice is fear-based.

How do you think The Ellen DeGeneres Show will aid in spreading the word about the NOH8 Campaign?Having Ellen and Portia join the NOH8 Campaign will not only bring a larger audience to Proposition 8, it has the potential to literally shift the views of millions [of people] who may not understand why marriage equality is so crucial to humanity.

Where are you on getting the “accepted” stamp by the Ellen team? As soon as I started The Ellen NOH8 Wish, I emailed a friend who is in contact with someone who works for Ellen. The Ellen Show is following my Twitter page, but to date, I have not heard from their producers.

What can readers do to help you spread the word about the petition to get on the show? Jeff ParshleyLet your voice be heard! Tweet, be a fan of The Ellen NOH8 Wish on Facebook and follow our tweets on Twitter. Also, email the producers through The Ellen Show website http://ellen.warnerbros.com/ and let them know how much you want to see this happen.

Have you been affected by anti-gay attacks personally? I have been verbally abused for hanging out with my friends who happened to be gay, and even got eggs thrown at me outside a gay-friendly restaurant. The people were driving by and threw the eggs at a bunch of us who were standing outside.  It was a sobering experience.

Have you ever been bullied? If not, is there anyone close to you who has been? I know a couple of men who were bullied as boys in school for being gay. I was picked on in high school because of a skin condition and it was brutal. I know what it’s like to skip school and not want to live anymore because you can’t take another day of feeling like something is horrifying about you. I was never physically bullied, but the verbal and mental abuse left indelible scars.

What advice would you give to bullied youth? When someone feels the need to pick you apart, they are really just trying to avoid looking at something they don’t like about themselves. Reach out to someone about how you are feeling. Know that you are never alone, even if it feels like you are. Watch the many videos on http://www.itgetsbetter.org/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/itgetsbetterproject and remember – it really does get better.

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