BY Ross von Metzke
January 20 2010 2:50 PM ET
Adam Bouska’s NO H8 photos have become the symbol of ending discrimination against gays and lesbians ... and as of this morning, former would-be first lady Cindy McCain has become one of the campaign’s spokesmodels. Photographer Adam Bouska talks about shooting Cindy and her daughter Meghan, their efforts to change what it means to be a Republican, and why Cindy is speaking out for gay rights now.
Advocate.com: Cindy McCain is a huge get for the NO H8 campaign. Were you surprised to learn she was interested in posing?
Adam Bouska: We were really shocked. We were in the studio working on shooting the cover for Meghan McCain’s new tell all book — memories from being on the road, from her public speaking. Her mom just came to the studio to show her support that day, and then she reached out to us and wanted to do it. So we were very surprised.
Spending some time in the studio with Cindy, did you get the impression she really understands why gay people are so upset about Prop. 8?
Definitely. We all kind of discussed the issues. She as well as her daughter seemed really involved and interested. We talked about a little bit of everything. We were in the studio from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. together, so it was clear she really understood. Looking at her past record, she’s always supported gay rights. And Meghan has been doing a lot of redefining what a Republican stands for. This is a big issue for her, and so I think it’s become important to her mom.
Did they give you any indication whether John McCain is moving in the direction of supporting marriage equality?
Um, I got that impression. I don’t know that I should speak much about it, but I definitely got that impression.
Are you a little bummed Cindy waited until after Prop. 8 passed in California to voice her objection? Do you think her support might have helped if she’d spoken out during the election?
I would like to think so, but then I think everyone could have done more. We just never considered it could ever happen. I don’t think I did enough either. It’s easy to look back and talk about what we all could have done, but it’s nice to see what she’s doing now. We’re so happy she did do it ... there are a lot of people haven’t or won’t do it for many reasons, so the fact that she did is important.
Who would have the most influence if they were to pose for the NO H8 Campaign?
Well, Barack Obama. If here is anyone who can make a difference, for obvious reasons, it’s the president. Now we just have to wait and see.