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The Wright Stuff

She's Electric is first and foremost a music blog, but when word spread about the Self Evident Truths project, it struck us as being hugely important. iO Tillett Wright is a rock star in her own right.

When esteemed artist and photographer iO Tillett Wright was approached to be a part of a show called Manifest Equality, she jumped at the opportunity to bring awareness to the many faces of the LGBT community. That show ended up being the catalyst for what could easily be the most important and powerful movement in the fight for equality of our generation.

“I did a portrait of this girl, she’s very androgynous,” Wright says fresh from a cross-town bike ride through Manhattan. Realizing quickly that this project could be bigger than just one photograph, she contacted a number of people in the Williamsburg area and shot a single portrait of each person that identified as falling somewhere within the LGBT spectrum. The goal? Showing the humanity of every single person through the simplicity of a face.

“I got 40 people or something and ran around to each person’s home and shot them in natural light,” Wright said.  She used the photos as a part of the showing, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“I wanted to do something for people who don’t know anyone gay, or if they think it doesn’t effect their lives. It’s like, dude, we look like you, and your mother, and the woman sitting next to you at the post office,” said Wright.

After the Manifest Equality show, it became clear that this project was filling a void in the gay community and putting a face to the fight. Partnering with the HRC, Wright is hitting cities across the country and hoping to take thousands of photographs of people in the LGBT community.  

Calling the project Self Evident Truths, Wright and company are pointing out the glaring disconnect between the promise of freedom and equality in the United States, and the blatant discrimination many people face on a daily basis.“So far we have brought this to New York and we did an exhibit at Coachella,” Wright said. “People were crying and it was really moving to see people being struck by this.”

“I’m shooting the entire thing on film. I’m a fine artist, not a photojournalist, but all of a sudden I’m turning into one because it’s really fucking important,” said Wright, “There’s very few people in my generation who are doing anything if it’s not about themselves or their careers. I just couldn’t believe that so little is going on.”

Continuing her work outside of Self Evident Truths,  Wright is prepared to be at the helm of this project for years to come. “There are so many nuances to the law, but my hope is that we see equality in our lifetime. I could be working on this until I’m 60, you never know,” laughs Wright.

When asked what inspires her, she replies quickly, “People’s energies, people when they’re not making MySpace face. Moments of honesty. And kindness. People who are kind to each other.”

As the showings of support start to pour in, Wright marvels at the ripple effect of this massive undertaking. “There are people you’d never expect showing and telling stories and if I could use their stories as food, I would never eat again. It feeds your soul in an incredible way.” (selfevidentproject.tumblr.com)