The New York Times said, “[Killermann’s] perfectly O.K. with being known as the toilet sign guy.” And it’s true. I am.

They said that because of the all-gender restroom sign I designed, that has been spread all over the world, and is now in use in thousands of communities. Truthfully, that project was an outlier, more than represetative of what I do. I’m not a “designer.”

In all honesty, I’m not really any one thing.

I wear a lot of hats, including author, facilitator, coder, performer, educator, public thinker, illustrator, and, yes, designer.

But none of those things were what I studied in school. Or really represent what I do, or who I am.

They’re just skills I’ve taught myself to serve my overarching goal that connects all my work: I want to live in a world where everyone is healthy, understood, educated, and safe.

That’s what I call “global justice.”

And while I often focus specifically on a dimension of it in a project (for example, themes like gender, or sexuality), it’s infused into everything I do. I create for global justice.

It’s who I am.

Now, because we’re being honest, can I just say that “About” pages are pretty blegh. For a more fun idea, check out the “Now” page on this site to get a sense of what I’m currently all about.

You can read the Sam Killermann Biography page if you want a lot of detail about the work I’ve done (or to include in an event description if you’re bringing me to talk to your people).

And if you’re curious about this site itself – how to navigate it, how I made it, etc. – check out this post where I give some background on the project.

Beyond all that, I’m not really sure what you want to know about me, so keep scrolling down and I’ll do my best to use this page to answer the most common questions I get asked from audiences at shows, readers, and emailers.

Sam Killermann giving a talk at TEDxYOUTH San Diego in 2015

Sam Killermann giving a talk at TEDxYOUTH San Diego in 2015
Sam Killermann at TEDxYouth @ San Diego

The Short Explanation

Here’s how I describe myself on Twitter (at the time of writing this page):

Activist / Social justice comedian. Author. Storyteller. Sexuality & Gender Educator. “He’s perfectly O.K. with being known as the toilet sign guy.” -@NYTimes

That last thing is my favorite brag. If you want to read more professional bio stuff and work brags, click over to my bio.

It’s generally hard to describe myself beyond that, because I do so many different things:

  • I’m an author of blogs, books, and chapters to books;
  • I doodle, illustrate, photograph, and design;
  • I’m a stand up comedian, speaker, and storyteller;
  • I code/develop all my own websites, full-stack;
  • I’m a facilitator and gender/sexuality educator;
  • I advise non-profits and social good organizers;
  • and I’m a lifelong activist for justice, peace, and a more beautiful world.
Sam Killermann standing on a globe holding a ukulele
Poster for Sam Killermann's comedy show "Just the World"

Me, in Bullets

Was that not short enough? Who doesn’t like being distilled down into a few easy to misinterpret and misconstrue bullet points? Oh, me. But this might be helpful to help you get a better sense of where I’m coming from, identity-lenses-wise. Consider this my YouSoup Recipe, in no particular order:

  • Sam
  • White
  • Man
  • Non-disabled
  • No religion (atheist)
  • Romantically and sexually attracted to women
  • Spiritually attracted to hummus
  • Plant eater
  • (E/I)NF(J/P)
  • Lower-class working poor upbringing (still am, but now often perceived as middle/middle-upper class)
  • Third child, two older sisters, one littler brother, divorced parents
  • Educated: high school, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees
  • Liberal/progressive-leaning, politically-unaffiliated
  • Parent (of two dogs – and a total, unapologetic, obsessed #dogmom)

How I Pay Rent

The question I get asked the most: “You give away everything you make for free… how… do you afford… life?”

It is true that I spend most of my time creating free things for the internet, and that I’ve uncopyrighted all of my work.

In light of that, for several years, I primarily earned a living from…

Something that’s new as of 2019 is starting to adopt the “patronage” way of doing things. Which means I’m traveling less, accepting fewer gigs to speak & perform, and funding my work directly by asking people to Be My Boss(es).

The two main places folks can patronize (?) me are:

Sam Killermann Headshot from 2016 - photograph by Sam Killermann
Sam Killermann Black and White Headshot from 2016 - photograph by Sam Killermann
Sam Killermann Headshots

Social Media Profiles & Presence

I don’t really use social media. I find it to be a consistent mind-suck, with the occasional feeling of Hellmouth. That said, here are the accounts I keep somewhat active:

Profiles: plenty. Presence: pitiful.

Sam Killermann doodle self portrait collage
Sam Killermann Doodle Heads Self-Portrait

More Personal Deets?

People ask about these things a lot, so here they are:

  • Born in Chicago on July 21, 1987 (but I only lived there until I was 2)
  • Lived in more homes than I can count, from the Midwest to the Wild West
  • Live in Austin, TX. The best city in the US
  • Went to college at Purdue University, and grad school at Bowling Green State University
  • Yes, my “real” (i.e., familial, on my birth certificate from day one) surname is “Killermann”

That’s all, folks.

Oh, other than one more thing: did you know the 🤗 emoji was supposed to be a hug? I didn’t. I thought it was just an overly excited person waving with both hands at once (AKA me in a nutshell).