Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 5, 2011.


A necessary American portrait project. Anyone that is anything other than 100% straight, across the nation - they face discrimination.

**Hey! We made our initial goal, which is phenomenal, and we are so excited. BUT, we need another $6,000 per each additional city (there are four), on the list. With your support, perhaps we can at least reach $16,000 so we'll be able to visit Atlanta as well. So don't stop pledging and promoting!! Thank you so much!!**

"The concept behind Self Evident Truths is simple: It is impossible to deny the humanity in a face. We are all human, we all have hearts and emotions and eyes that speak to these, whether we're gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, black, white, Latino, Asian.  You get the picture..." - iO Tillett Wright

WHAT it is:

NYC based artist iO Tillett Wright has launched a limitless photographic record of LGBTQ America today, through a series of single portraits, each one demonstrating the humanity that exists in every one of us through the simplicity of a face. Anyone living in the United States that feels they are anything other than 100% STRAIGHT can have their picture taken, as they too qualify for discrimination under numerous active laws in this country. The project is supported by the Human Rights Campaign. 

Please NOTE: This is NOT a Human Rights Campaign project. It was and is an independent arts project created by the artist and endorsed by HRC. HRC supports Self Evident Truths through cross promotion. 


The aim is to take the project national, shooting 4,000-5,000 faces across the United States. We'll hit 25 cities and rural areas in between, capturing a broad spectrum of age, race, gender and sexual identity.  We are now funding the second phase of the project, which will cover up to six major coastal cities. Our new website will soon provide a self-upload function, for the millions of participants we can't get to. If all goes well, as people upload images of themselves, it will create the AIDS quilt of our time. When do we stop? When the laws change. 

HOW we show it: 

The project is a mainly web driven and web situated, ever expanding document. The goal is to have it seen and contributed to by as many people as possible. We hope to position the ever changing Self Evident Truths faces in newspapers, on cable programs and major websites as well as link the S.E.T website to thousands of sites throughout the world. Eventually we'll launch several large exhibitions, give away thousands of faces, make a book, and a documentary about people's stories along the way.  Seeing leads to knowing, knowing leads to understanding, and understanding makes discrimination unthinkable. 

What we've DONE:

So far we have shot 300 faces in New York City. From that, we generated a video manifesto which was featured by The New York Times, and went viral through the support of countless blogs, notable act Tegan and Sara,, and several others. We received hundreds of emails from across the USA in support, and asking us to visit different cities, and many notable public figures have signed on to be photographed, including Tegan, JD Samson, artist Terence Koh, supermodel Kelly Kopen, actress Olivia Thirlby, and many others. We just need to get to the rest of them!


We are fundraising for S.E.T leg 2, which encompasses San Francisco, and Los Angeles, California, if we can surpass the minimum goal of $10,000, we will visit Atlanta, Miami, Boston, and Washington, DC for each additional $6,000 we are able to raise. We'd like to complete this before the end of 2011, shooting between 150-250 people in each city.

Funds will be used for the following:

  • Travel  
  • Accommodation  
  • Film 
  • Processing and Scanning 
  • Transport in those cities  
  • Camera related expenses  
  • Insurance 
  • Hard Drives to store the photos safely / image data storage 
  • Web hosting costs 
  • Documentation 
  • a few other basic miscellanies for the project execution (backdrops, tape, batteries, etc., food)

Kickstarter charges us 5% of our final donation, and Amazon charges us 3-5% to process the banking. This could total TEN PERCENT of our final amount. 

We need more than the goal listed! The goal stated here is $10,000 for leg 2, but the more we get the further we'll go.

**PLEASE NOTE: WE AIM TO SURPASS THE INITIAL FUNDING GOAL SUBSTANTIALLY; The minimum goal amount listed, ($10,000) only covers the trips to San Francisco, and Los Angeles.  If we reach $16,000 we will also be able to visit Atlanta, Georgia. If we reach $22,000 we will be able to visit SF, LA, ATL, AND Miami, Florida. If we reach $28,000 we can visit, SF, LA, ATL, Miami AND Washington, DC. In a best case scenario, if we reach $34,000, we will be able to visit and shoot in ALL of the six cities listed, including Boston, Massachusetts. 

This is the civil rights fight of our generation, and Self Evident Truths won't be laid to rest until the cause is. 

Some of the PORTRAITS:

This is the link to the Self Evident Truths manifesto video, as posted by The New York Times, and, among others:

These are some of the rewards the HRC is generously donating to you for backing our project!

The Marc Jacobs tee...

...and the Kenneth Cole tee.


  • We don't have funding for the bigger trips yet, so nothing is set in stone. The list right now encompasses three major road trips, but THE LIST IS VERY TENTATIVE. We plan to add more towns. The cities included in those trips are listed below. We hope you are able to get to one of these places if you live in that state, once we get on the road! If you feel like you live in a major hub, or an important area for us to cover that isnt mentioned, please email us at and let us know!

    Road trip 1:

    NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Richmond, Atlanta, New Orleans, Austin, Dallas, Oklahoma City.

    Road trip 2:

    Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Bismarck, Helena, Boise, Salt Lake City.

    Road Trip 3:

    Boulder, Denver, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle.

    Other places we would definitely like to visit include Nashville, more of Florida, the Carolinas, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas, Alaska, and Hawaii.

    Last updated:
  • The best way to help us is to promote the project, encourage your friends to have their picture taken, and to help us reach this kickstarter goal. Sign up for our mailing list at so we can stay in touch with you and let you know when we are coming to your city, or any other updates.

    Last updated:
  • is going to be our major hub. There you'll find:

    -The self upload function! So people who we can't get to personally can upload their own photo and be included in the project.

    -A map of the states, that tells you when and where we will be shooting, and also provides a template letter for the appropriate government official in each state which you can print out with your portrait, and mail in to your local office to encourage lawmakers to work toward equality.

    -Several blogs that update you on the project and general news related to the cause

    -A "magazine" that takes a closer look at rad things some of our subjects are doing

    -A gallery of ALL the self evident portraits

    -Several other secret, amazing surprises we can't tell you about yet. :)

    Last updated:
  • We are going to mount several large scale exhibitions, initially, which will showcase the portraits, and where we will give away hundreds of small prints of the faces. We will make a book of the portraits, and a documentary film or TV aspect covering the entire project, and the incredible stories of LGBTQ people living in the United States today.

    We hope to turn this vast document into an inspiration force that will help change the imbalanced laws of this country.

    Beyond that...anything is possible!

    Last updated:
pledged of $10,000 goal
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  • Pledge $20 or more
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    50 backers

    The HRC is donating an Art for Equality button featuring the artwork of Keith Haring to all backers pledging $20 - $49. You will also receive one of the Self Evident Truths posters.

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    14 backers

    The Human Rights Campaign is donating one of their exclusive Alex & Chloe Button Sets to backers donating $50-$99, (You can view it here: and you will also receive one of the Self Evident Truths posters.

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    10 backers

    The HRC is donating one of their exclusive Kenneth Cole Marriage Equality t-shirts, to backers pledging $100-$149! View the tee here:

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    6 backers

    In a whopping show of support, the HRC is donating one of their super limited, exclusive Marc Jacobs collaboration tees, to backers donating $150 and up. The shirt can be viewed here: The Human Rights Campaign is donating one of its latest fashion collaborations, with openly gay designer and longtime activist Marc Jacobs, intended to raise awareness about unfair taxes for same sex partners. The only fashion designer to land on Time magazine's 2010 list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Marc Jacobs is using his influence to make a bold statement about Marriage Equality. The politically forward t-shirt features the image of a lesbian couple (one with a tattoo of HRC’s equality logo) with their child and the powerful words, "I pay my taxes, I want my RIGHTS!" on the front, and “Marc Jacobs Proudly Supports HRC” on the back. Because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, legally married same-sex couples are excluded from over 1,100 federal rights and benefits of marriage – many of them related to taxes. For example, many employers provide domestic partner health benefits but those benefits are treated as income and taxed, whereas health benefits for an opposite-sex spouse are not. Constructed of 100% pima cotton and satin garment washed for a super soft hand.

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    2 backers

    Backers donating $151-$250 will receive ALL of the above listed rewards, as well as both Self Evident Truths posters!

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  • Pledge $400 or more
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    3 backers Limited (5 left of 8)

    Backers pledging $400 or more will receive an exclusive 8x10" fiber paper, fine art print of the Self Evident portrait of your choice, hand printed in the darkroom, and signed, by iO Tillett Wright. You will also receive both Self Evident Truths posters, and a mystery gift from the HRC.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Backers pledging $750 or more will receive an exclusive 11x14" fiber paper, fine art print of the Self Evident portrait of your choice, hand printed in the darkroom, and signed, by iO Tillett Wright. You will also receive both Self Evident Truths posters, and a mystery gift from the HRC.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    Backers pledging $1,000 or more will receive a personal portrait sitting with iO Tillett Wright, regardless of whether or not you fall on the LGBTQ spectrum, as well as a print of the image, as a show of our sincerest gratitude.* (*This reward can be extended to someone else, provided you don't live in either New York, or one of the cities on the upcoming tour list. The reward can also be postponed indefinitely until Self Evident Truths visits your city.)

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Funding period

- (34 days)