San Francisco

Folsom St and Jessie West St.
Lawrence W.
Jocelyn Tsaih

From thousands of submissions, 8 American Portrait stories were brought to life by muralists translating the words of everyday people to communities across America. In San Francisco, we collaborated with artist Jocelyn Tsaih to create a mural inspired by the story of Lawrence W.

Artist Jocelyn Tsaih was inspired by a submission from Lawrence W. about being who you really are, creating this uplifting mural in San Francisco. It’s an expression of the joy that comes from finding your true identity.

In the image, the figure leaps in the air, so exuberant that, Jocelyn says, “flowers grow from the figure's body, symbolizing growth and new beginnings.”

See The Story That Inspired The Mural.

I took a risk when…
I took a risk when I came out as trans.

My parents were supportive from the very beginning, however, I worried about coming out to my peers. There was a messy incident involving transphobia a few months prior and it scared me. It never registered with me before that incident that people might not like who I am. I always thought transphobia was a problem in other places, certainly nowhere close. I pushed off coming off as long as I could until I could not anymore.

Thankfully, my classmates and teachers have accepted me for who I am, at least to my face. That’s enough for me. Life is so much better now that I’m being who I really am.

Look Behind the Scenes.

Meet the Mural Artist, Jocelyn Tsaih

Jocelyn is an illustrator, painter and muralist, born in Taiwan, raised in Shanghai and living in California. The recurring theme in her work is an amorphous figure who is intended to embody the spirit of all beings, used to reflect the thoughts, feelings and emotions we all share. Her work often explores identity and human nature, as can be seen in the American Portrait mural she created in San Francisco.

Stories shared on this site capture a glimpse into people’s lives across the country