Since the beginning of Fight the New Drug in 2009, we have been grateful to have the best supporters in the world. In 2017, we started a tradition to recognize how amazing our supporters are with an annual “Fighter of the Year” award. As we’ve continued this tradition into 2019, we received dozens of nominations, shining a light on the incredible efforts of Fighters around the world in making this movement famous in their communities, and beyond.
This year’s winner has one of the coolest and most impactful backstories that we’ve encountered to date of someone getting involved with our organization.
She’s a changemaker and conversation-starter in her local community, and her dedication to this movement for love has more than earned her the title of 2019 Fighter of the Year.
Meet Annie, a U.S. Fighter from the state of Ohio. She’s a junior at a university south of Cleveland, and her boldness for the cause is just one of the many reasons she’s a unique, stand-out supporter of FTND.
“Give them something to look at”
When we sat down with Annie to hear her story, Annie explained her background and why repping meaningful causes like Fight the New Drug is so important to her.
“Diastrophic Dysplasia is what I was diagnosed with when I was born,” she explained. It’s a form of Dwarfism, a disorder that affects cartilage and bone development resulting in shorter stature, arms, and legs.
“It is a diagnosis that mainly affects the bones. And so the more you grow, the more crooked you become. And so you have to have surgeries in order to be able to walk. So it’s kind of a relief when you stop growing, because that means your bones can’t get any more crooked,” Annie said.
From the time she was 12, Annie’s mentality has been, “People are already going to look at me, so why don’t I give them something to look at?” This has inspired her to wear bold tee shirts that represent causes she wants to raise awareness about.
“I have this opportunity that people are going to look at me, and I can wear these tee shirts that have these messages that I’m super passionate about. And I think that’s really cool. In this weird cheesy way, I have a way of promoting something that they’re going to have to look at whether they want to or not.”
Fight the New Drug as one of her causes
Among her collection of social justice tee shirts, Annie has a number of Fighter tees, including a classic red “Porn Kills Love” tee, an original Street Team tee, and one of our “People ≠ Products” tees. Annie says that’s her “thing”—if people are going to look at her, she wants to give them something to look at, and something to think about.
But Annie is also bold in other ways that spark conversations in her community and inspire us.
She’s rallied the friends around her to care about important causes, too, and even made it a point to include as many people as possible in big conversations about issues that face our world—including how porn harms individuals, relationships, and society.
In a post on her Facebook last year, she’s pictured with a friend holding fact sheets they personally made, detailing a few harmful effects of porn listed out on Fight the New Drug’s website.
In deciding to share the fliers all over campus, in the post she said, “We’ve decided our motto is ‘make campus uncomfortable 2019.’ We want to challenge the lack of real conversation surrounding porn. There are too many men and women who struggle with pornography addictions to pretend that it doesn’t exist or isn’t worthy of being talked about…shame OFF you—you are loved and your love still works.”
Being awarded FOTY 2019
When Annie learned she was chosen as our 2019 Fighter of the Year, this is what she said:
Since I was a senior in high school, I’ve been passionate about Fight the New Drug and their fight for real love through their passion to speak out about porn…To find out today thatI’ve been given the title of their 2019 Fighter of the Year is honestly leaving me speechless and I could not be more excited or honored!
As an organization, we couldn’t be more excited and honored that we have Fighters like Annie who step up and speak out about the real negative effects of porn and sexual exploitation.
We know her community is forever changed because of her boldness in spreading this fight for real love, and we are grateful for her shame-free voice. We’re so happy to award Annie with this award, and we can’t wait to see how she continues to raise awareness on behalf of this global movement.