Queer spaces as they existed in the Before Times (RIP hot girl summer 2019) have all but disappeared as we've been forced inside. It's been over six months since I sipped a cocktail at a lesbian bar or cozied up at a queer open mic. For the first time since I came out, I didn't walk in the Dyke March, I didn't cover myself in glitter for the NYC Pride Parade, and I haven't attended a single drag brunch this entire year. My safe spaces have shrunken down to the size of my apartment and my partner is the only queer person I've seen in months. So the timing of iO Tillett Wright's book, Self-Evident Truths: 10,000 Portraits Of Queer America, feels not only cosmic, but necessary. Featuring portraits of queer people from Alabama to Colorado, and including the likes of Megan Rapinoe, Sarah Paulson, and Lena Waithe, this photo project acts as a decade-long yearbook for queer people in this country — providing us with memories of where we've been, what we've accomplished, and the power that lies in our hands.
Ahead, we speak to people featured in Self-Evident Truths about their queer experience in the United States as well as the author, who breaks down the process of documenting a decade of queerness.
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.