The Self Evident Truths project is a photographic document of 10,000 people in the USA that identify as ANYTHING OTHER than 100% straight

The Self Evident Truths project is a photographic document of 10,000 people in the USA that identify as ANYTHING OTHER than 100% straight – as in, if you are anywhere on the LGBTQ spectrum in ANY way, even 1% gay, we want to take your picture!

Created by artist iO Tillett Wright, the aim of the project is to humanize a vast community through the simplicity of their faces, showing that we come in all shapes, sizes, races, and social strata, thus making it harder for people to discriminate against us.

This project exists to spread awareness and understanding about a broader spectrum of human sexuality. We want to bring human stories from within the LGBTQ community to the world, so that we can begin to erase the boundaries between “Gay”, “Trans”, “Straight”, and “Other”.

For a deeper understanding of the philosophy behind the project, watch iO's TED talk, “Fifty Shades Of Gay”:


What's going to happen with all the photos?

We are going to create an installation with all 10,000 portraits on the lawn in front of The Washington Monument, likely in 2016 before the next presidential election.

There will be a large photo book, organized by people's self-assigned percentage, showing the face of the full spectrum of human sexuality.

Once iO has shot 10,000 portraits, the project will become open source, allowing participants to submit their own photos and stories online, thus creating an ever-expanding database.

Images will be disseminated using various methods, in an effort to influence policy makers to vote in favor of equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

How did the project come about?

For the best explanation, we invite you to watch iO's TED talk, but in a nutshell: In 2010, stunned by the Prop 8 debacle, iO started to ponder where the real disconnect was between gay Americans and those voting against them, and she decided it was an issue of fear. Unfamiliar with the realities of gay life, and bombarded with misinformation, conservative voters are misinformed about what it means to be gay, so she decided to introduce people to each-other. Hence, the portrait project was born.

Where is the money going?

See here.

What happened to the percentage question?

In the year after her TED talk, iO and the team came up against the uncomfortable realization that the percentage question was yet again, accidentally exclusionary. Answering it became problematic for people of more fluid gender identity.

What do you have now?

Instead of the percentage question, we now have three questions that we feel, when triangulated, and combined with the person's age at the time of photographing, gives a more accurate representation of a human's sexuality on THE DAY THEY ARE PHOTOGRAPHED. This is not meant to, in any way, define a person for life.

Each of the questions asks a person to place themselves somewhere between the following measurements, using units of 1-100. Those measurements are:

Masculine to Feminine
Attraction to Males or Females
Hyper Sexual to Non Sexual

How does the sponsorship work?

When you go to buy your shirt/shirts, you are prompted to enter the portrait numbers of the faces you'd like to sponsor. You get to sponsor ONE FACE PER SHIRT PURCHASED. You are offered your top five choices for sponsorship, for each shirt, and this is done by process of elimination. If your first choice is taken, we'll move to your second, etc. If all five of your choices are taken, we will automatically assign you a face, but don't worry, it'll be a goodie. ;)

Can I sponsor more than one face?

ABSOLUTELY! For every $20 that comes in, a face gets sponsored. And if you don't want that many shirts, they will be given to those who can't afford them!

What if I ordered a shirt before the launch of the video?

The sponsorship of faces only begins with the launch of the video (May 8th). If you ordered a shirt before then, you have a beautiful shirt! If you'd like to sponsor a face, order another! :)

Can I be photographed more than once?

Nope. The project is 10,000 portraits of 10,000 people. We know there are some doubles in there, but those slipped past us and will be removed and not counted. We know you look cute with that new do, but please don't fill out a release form and have another portrait taken as it just confuses things on the back end.

What's with the 'no glasses' rule?

We only ask that everyone remove their glasses because we shoot in natural daylight, and the reflection obscures your eyes. We are NOT trying to dictate or change your identity!! On a rare occasion, the situation will allow for glasses to be worn, but that is super rare, and depends entirely on the daylight iO is shooting in.

What happens after DC?

This website will become open to self-upload, so people iO couldn't get to can upload their own photos, and the project then becomes and endless, expanding document of beautiful faces internationally!

We will then tour the exhibition of the original faces, as well as our mini documentary series, and hopefully create some festival-like awareness/education days. :)




All donations go towards funding the photography of 10,000 portraits across the nation, as well as the installation in Washington DC. See where the money is going to get a more detailed breakdown.

Please make checks payable to:
Fractured Atlas

Please mail checks to:
Self Evident Project
8424 Santa Monica Blvd #A788
West Hollywood, CA 90069

If you would like to donate over $100 to the project, it will be processed through our fiscal sponsor, and become tax deductible to you. 

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