Naked butts, baseball bats, bearded, kissing men with masks: These are some of the main motives of street artist Homo Riot. The artist, living and working in Los Angeles, wants to provoke – for a good reason. It all began with a proposal for an amendment of the Californian constitution in 2008,
the so-called Proposition 8. This proposition aimed at revoking the legalization of same-sex marriages that had just been passed by the court. However, the constitutional amendment had to be decided upon by a referendum, which on the other hand could only be arranged for by a petition of at least 694,354 votes. The necessary votes were surpassed by far, so the referendum was scheduled for November 2008. On the day of the referendum, the Californians voted in favor of the constitutional amendment with a majority of 52.24 %. From that moment on, same-sex marriage was a thing of the past. Consequently, opponents of Proposition 8 tried to take legal actions against the constitutional amendment over months and even years until it was finally declared invalid.
Just like the rest of the LGBTQ-community, Homo Riot was horrified by this development and, together with his boyfriend, he joined the No on 8-campaign in order to fight for the legalization of same-sex marriage. When it turned out that most of the population supported Proposition 8, Homo Riot decided to take his rage to the street and spread his art everywhere he could. His works bluntly featured homosexuality in combination with aggressive motives. “It was initially a ‘fuck you’ to the general public for not supporting our rights,” Homo Riot describes on his website. After some time, however, it turned out that his works were not only a provocation but also created a feeling of support and solidarity amongst the LGBTQ-community. He was surprised by the positive message he accidentally conveyed. After the events surrounding the Proposition 8 campaign, Homo Riot continued his mission – to encourage the dialogue about equality, gay pride and homosexual love – and spread his art worldwide. Sometimes, his works are still being disfigured or destroyed by opponents. Homo Riot hopes for a bigger community of homosexual street artists in order to achieve a better balance in the street art motives and to improve the tolerance and support for the LGBTQ-community.