We will send a message:

We were wounded. Now we thrive.
We are your neighbors, your fathers, and your sons.

Bristlecone Project

The Vision:  A mosaic of photographs and words that portray the reality of men who were sexually abused as children…

The Focus:  The present, not the past.  Who each man is. What defines him. What is the focus of his life. Each man will be portrayed through a series of photographs, a brief written portrait, and his own voice.

The Purpose:  To portray this reality — who we are now, living meaningful and dignified lives — to the many men who feel isolated and stigmatized by what happened to them. And to portray this reality to whole communities through the Bristlecone web sit and public exhibitions.

How to Participate: 

Step 1.  Come to a decision about whether participating would be right for you. Take your time. Reflect on it. Talk it over. Please feel free to contact me with any and all questions. You can reach me at: david@davidlisak.com.

Step 2.  You and I decide, after reflection and discussion, that it’s a good match. At this point you will be asked to read and sign a “consent and release” form to allow your portrait and other information you provide to be used on the project web site and other public exhibitions. Important: Participants can, at any time, choose to withdraw consent and have their portrait and biographical narrative removed from the Bristlecone exhibition.

Step 3.  We meet in person, at a place you are comfortable, for a biographical interview of approximately one hour, followed by the portrait photography session. In addition to the individual portrait, if everyone is agreeable, photographs of significant others (family, partner, friends) or of you in other venues (work place, etc.) may be taken.

Step 4.  As numbers increase, the web-based Bristlecone exhibition will be accompanied by local exhibitions in public venues featuring men from those communities — “Bristlecone Los Angeles,” “Bristlecone Boston,” “Bristlecone New Mexico,” etc.

Again, please feel free to contact me with any and all questions at david@davidlisak.com.


A high-altitude pine of western North America that thrives despite high winds, cold temperatures and thin soils. Bristlecones can live thousands of years, and so can be used to correct radiocarbon dating. Also used as a metaphor to describe the unique strength and will of the 1in6 men who were sexually abused in childhood.

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    David Lisak is a nationally recognized forensic consultant, trainer and lecturer.
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