With controversy surrounding Proposition 8 in California, the Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Incorporated is partnering with the No H8 Campaign to help raise awareness about the bill.

“Just as our group is evolving, it’s a good step in helping the LBGT community,” PSUC senior Diana Quinde said.

The No H8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parsley to help combat Proposition 8.

Although the campaign’s original intention was in protest of Proposition 8, it has grown to fight discrimination and bullying of all kinds.

“This is another way to support that community in that fight for equality,” said Rhema Lewis, PSUC health educator and outreach coordinator in the Center for Student Involvement. “We’re hoping that we can show our campus, our students and our community that this is what we stand for, and we do stand for equality regarding all issues that our students face.”

The event, which will take place in the Amnesty Room Oct. 3, will feature students having their photos taken with duct tape covering their mouth and the words NO H8 on their cheek.

Educational Committee Chair Abigail Farciert, who said she wasn’t aware of the campaign, hopes the students learn more about the LGBTQ community. She said she hopes bringing the campaign to Plattsburgh State will make a difference, even though it’s just putting words on people’s faces.

“I feel like there are a lot of issues that are thrown under the bus especially because of the culture that we live in,” Quinde said. “And I feel like this event is an easy way for us to stand out without completely putting yourself out there.”

Interest group President Camille Fernandez said when Quinde discussed the idea with the group, Fernandez was excited because she already knew about it.

But the idea behind it for Fernandez is more personal than just bringing awareness.

“Being a Hispanic woman, it’s not always the number one ideal being Hispanic, being gay, coming from a very religious background, family are not, especially Hispanic families, they’re not always so welcoming with that,” Fernandez said.

“I had my issues but now my family understands me, they still love me but it was still hard for them. Every parent has an idea, walking their daughter down the aisle, giving their daughter away to a husband.”

In 2013, the PEW Research Center surveyed 1,197 LGBT adults in the U.S. and found that only 56 percent of the LGBT community told their mother while 39 percent told their father of being homosexual.

Thirty-eight percent of the survey respondents within the 18 to 29 age group identified themselves as bisexual. However, the PEW Research Center said that although the percentages in the survey are consistent with those in other LGBT surveys, the numbers should be taken with caution because getting an estimate of how many people are in the LGBT community is challenging, especially since many people choose not label their sexuality.

With homosexuals struggling to come out, Feranandez said she hopes this event can help shed a light so others can understand the struggles the gay community experiences.

Quinde said she feels the students have lost a voice when it comes to LGBT community.

“The main point is to get their voices back and for them to see that there is another group on campus that is willing to support them and strive for the same cause.” Quinde said.

Along with that, they hope for the LGBT community to know they are safe.

“We want students that come from that background to know that it’s safe, no one is going to harm you, no one is going to hate you,” Fernandez said.

Email Alex Ayala at photo@cardinalpointsonline.com.

<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/alex-ayala/" rel="tag">Alex Ayala</a>