Sometimes it’s easy to forget that everyone we meet has a story. Everyone in our lives has a past, and it’s in speaking about those experiences that we create a shared history. Kevin Truong knows the importance of tapping into stories and how fundamental it is to open them up to the world. The founder of The Gay Men Project, Truong has spent the last two years travelling the world, photographing gay men and cataloguing their experiences.
“I’ve put in all my time and energy in this project,” he says in a video detailing his work. “I believe in its value, its power and its purpose.”
The Gay Men Project is, at heart, a photo project — striving to be the largest collection of stories of gay men ever — with its participants sharing their unique stories with the world.
“I want to create a platform, challenge stereotypes and give these men the opportunity to share their experiences of what it’s like to be a gay man in Ho Chi [Minh City], Panama or São Paulo,” Truong says.
The project has been wildly successful so far. The website has garnered visitors from around the globe, often in countries — including Syria, Uganda and Nigeria — where oppression is rampant.
While Truong has completed the project largely on his own, he has taken to the crowd-funding website Kickstarter to complete his goal. All money raised will go toward operational costs to travel for six months to cities around the world. “I think we have something special here; if we can make it into the resource I know it can be, these stories can serve as an important document in our shared history.”