When I stopped writing on the site last year for a bit, I took some time away from shooting and writing to really think about what it was that I wanted to say here, and consequently what my measures of success may be.
For me, there was something that needed to change significantly with outfit pictures. Before I say this, I know that fashion and lifestyle bloggers have made a major enterprise from styling insanely cute, very vogue images of how they put themselves together. There’s nothing wrong with that. For me, I really felt like I needed to do something more: I want some of the pictures to DO SOMETHING, which is why I’ve made the decision to include at least one item of charity in as many outfit photos as I can. I wish I could say there will be something that makes a social impact in every set of images, but due to time constraints and other issues, that might not be possible. But let’s say that every time Jeff of Giafrese and I plan out what we’re going to be shooting, know that spreading the good word for charitable organizations will always be top of mind.
Also know that I would/will never ask any charitable organization to send me anything for free if they want something featured. Just the thought of it makes me uncomfortable.
That said, let’s talk about this shirt and SELF EVIDENT TRUTHS.
What it is at its truest essence is a photographic document of 10,000 individual in the United States who identify as anything other than 100% straight. Born from the overturning of Prop 8 in California, it gives a face to the many, many individuals who appear along the spectrum of human sexuality. The faces you see every day, the people we love, the many humans with which we come into contact every single day is on a journey through this life, and the categories of “gay,” “straight,” “bisexual,” “transgender,” and “other” create boundaries, lines that separate us when in reality, we are all one humanity attempting to co-exist in the same space to one inevitable end: the right to be who we were born to be, and to live happy, joyous, and free within that skin.
Created by artist iO Tillett Wright, the project hopes to put a human factor to these categories, to blur and erase the lines by showing that the human existence and who we choose to love knows no size, shape, race, or social strata. Discrimination is easier when it’s an abstract concept, but it’s the hope of this project to put a human face to the matter, to make it harder to judge and hate by showing thousands of faces bravely cast to the light, unafraid to announce that they were born perfect, and that their journey should know no shame, no violence, and no discrimination.
Once the photos are collected, the goal is create an installation with all 10,000 portraits on the lawn in front of The Washington Monument. I believe the aim is this year before the next presidential election. There will also be a large photo book, organized by people’s self-assigned percentage, showing the face of the full spectrum of human sexuality. Also, this is from the site: “When 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” By purchasing a t-shirt, you sponsor a face.
I purchased this shirt because I believe so strongly in putting a human face upon this issue. I don’t believe you should be hated, hurt, or discriminated against because of who and how you love. I am a bisexual woman. I stand strong with everyone who has come to the realization that hiding isn’t the answer. This is my face. This is who I am. I love the humans I love. I believe you should have the right to do the same.
Wow, that was slightly scary and awesome and amazing to put in print. Awesome.
We are You. If you’d like to get involved with SELF EVIDENT TRUTHS, click this link and learn more about the project. As P!ink says, “All we are, we are.” We are all amazing, and we must learn to travel this planet together, lest we all be torn asunder.
All images in this post: Giafrese