You might recognize this lovely androgynous being from one of MTV’s more obscure shows, Suspect. iO Tillet Wright brings an undoubtedly new and refreshing perspective to the show and to MTV as a network. In my opinion, though, Suspect is probably the platform that least represents iO’s multi-faceted reality. He is an artist, an activist, a self-proclaimed nomad and a member of the LGBTQ community who shares his story and message in a variety of venues. Photography, writing and spoken word are just a few of these.
Although he was assigned female at birth and his body conforms to the widely accepted standard of a ‘woman’s body,’ iO never experienced the kind of gender dysphoria (emotional disassociation with one’s biological sex) that is common of people within the trans community. He traces this lack of dysphoria back to the fact that he grew up in an environment where gender norms weren’t enforced so strictly… it was only later in life that iO realized that his gender expression could be perceived as anything but natural. To hear iO explain his relationship with his gender more, check out his Style Like U interview.
iO’s most recent project was his memoir, Darling Days. However, he is more commonly known for heading up the Self-Evident Truths Project: an initiative to photograph 10,000 people around the United States who identify as anything other than straight and cisgender with the end goal of posting them on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This is a movement towards familiarizing queerness in order to break down discrimination based on iO’s belief that “familiarity is the gateway drug to empathy.”
To learn how to get involved with the Self-Evident Truths Project, visit the website. To see more of iO’s work, check out darlingdays.com or his social media platforms (@iolovesyou on Instagram & Twitter).