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Straight actors & athletes join photo campaign to fight homophobia (PHOTOS)

Eva Longoria joined a host of straight French celebrities for an art project designed to erase the stigma against same-sex couples and parents.

Photographer and artist Olivier Ciappa designed his series The Imaginary Couples to show straight celebs posing as homosexual couples in a bid to prove there is no difference between the two — and actress Eva Longoria enthusiastically joined in.

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“I… had the idea to stage these ‘imaginary couples’ who are all messages of peace and unity: the often unexpected personalities tandems, including differences in culture, origin, or discipline political opinion nourish perfectly the diversity we so need. Unifying public figures, whose aura, work or positions taken elicit admiration and respect among many French,” Ciappa explained on his website.

“Homophobia is the first symptom of a widespread ignorance of homosexuality, a distorted vision, sometimes fantasy. So I wanted the viewer to confront the sweetness, the simplicity of these images in order to change her look, sweep its representations and keep only the essentials: love, nothing but love.”

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Ciappa’s aim in using heterosexual models to portray homosexual couples is to prove that there is no difference between the two — that both are equally viable, equally important to society, equal period.

“Tens of personalities have joined me in this project: artists, actors, athletes, these figures of popular communion that the French have adopted on cinema screens in the concert halls, bookstores shelves, the atria of their MP3 player and other stages overheated by the collective enthusiasm,” Ciappa continued. “Their commitment as immediate visceral allowed me to illustrate, amplify, formalize my vision of love, this is most universal. Now it’s not me talking, it is them.”

Currently shown in cities around Europe and South America, Ciappa hopes to bring the exhibit to the U.S. soon.

Tell us: What do you think of Olivier Ciappa’s work The Imaginary Couples? Sound off in the comments below.

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