Who We are
Hello! We are the Naked Seven. Maybe you've heard about the ruckus we caused on November 27th in Republican Speaker John Boehner's office. Maybe you haven't. First let us introduce ourselves, then we will explain...
Jennifer Flynn, Managing Director of Health GAP.
Cassidy Gardner, Community Organizer with QUEEROCRACY.
Stephan Georgiou, member of ACT UP New York.
Megan Mulholland, Community Organizer with QUEEROCRACY.
Billy Livesy, member of ACT UP New York & QUEEROCRACY.
Michael Tikili, staff for Health GAP & member of QUEEROCRACY.
Leon Tyer, member of ACT UP Philadelphia.
Why We Got Naked
For those who don't know the story, here's what went down...
The seven of us entered Boehner's office in the Longworth Building in Washington DC on Tuesday afternoon-- at this point fully clothed. Our goal was to expose the "naked truth" about what looming sequestration cuts will mean for AIDS programs. So we stripped naked. The truth is that these cuts would strip people with HIV/AIDS with essential programs and services that many need to survive and 350,000 people with AIDS will be denied live-saving treatments. Not only are these cuts extremely short-sighted-- meaning they won't save us money in the long run, but they will in fact, ultimately cost us money-- they will also cost the lives of 62,000 people living with AIDS.
After occupying Speaker Boehner's office for nearly 30 minutes, we were given two warnings. "Put your clothes on and exit the office if you do not want to be arrested. This is your second warning." We complied. All of us. Unfortunately, about 10 minutes after following the order to dress ourselves and exit, three of the Naked Seven were arrested. Coincidentally (or not), only the three women were taken into police custody. They were held for the day and released with an impending court date. (Feel free to take a few moments to question why female nudity was deemed more indecent than the male nudity...)
Weeks later, the four male-bodied activists received summons to be appear in court. All seven are now being charged with lewd and indecent exposure, and will potentially go to trial.
What We're Asking For
Now that you've seen us all naked, it's your turn!
No, no, no... keep your clothes on. We just wanted to ask a few favors of you.
We have impending court cases to get through. All three of us live in the New York City area and will need to make regular trips to DC for court appeareances, legal counsel, etc.
Stripped of any jokes, we must remember that this demonstration was not primarily about nudity. It was intended to be a smart tactic that would bring a lot of media attention to an extremely important and timely issue. We were successful in that, and it's important that we are able to get through this case and continue doing this work.
Because we are all struggling non-profits / grassroots organizations, we are aiming to raise a total of $6,000 through this online campaign to contribute to these costs as well as court fines and lawyer fees.
Please consider donating $20 or more -- or anything! It all helps.
Something else you can do to help is share this campaign with your friends and networks. Sharing "the naked truth" will only help further our cause and bring more attention to the detrimental cuts facing people with HIV/AIDS-- even if it also brings more attention to the naked truth about what we look like under our clothes. We're willing to increase the number of people who have seen us naked if it means we are also increasing the number of people know how important these programs and services are for people living with AIDS.
Though we'd like to believe you've gotten the perkiest of perks from us already, we are willing to offer you something more...
Receive a t-shirt from one of the organizations that the Naked Seven are involved with (ACT UP, Health GAP or QUEEROCRACY). You'll be able to wear the same t-shirts we put on and take off in our daily lives!
Receive a t-shirt from one of the organizations that the Naked Seven are involved with (ACT UP, Health GAP or QUEEROCRACY) AND a personalized "Thank You" video from one or many of the Naked Seven.