TED Conversations

Program Manager, SOW Asia Foundation


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Why are there none, or so few, TED talks addressing gender identity and sexuality issues?

Yes, the gay issue is mostly passe.

But it's still a real issue of equity. It isn't just about Africa's ban on gay marriage. It isn't even quite about the New York legalisation of marriage debate. It is about those things that people experience in bits and pieces every day whether it is a homophobic comment, an insensitive joke, or outright discomfort and fear walking down the street.

I can't really think of a topic or punch line myself with the issue, but I would like to have seen that TED be a platform for an open debate like this. The debate could even be whether the 'gay issue(s)' are passe. Perhaps the new issue is the gender identity issue.

If TED is trying to reach out to youth today, I think one of the very fundemental things it can start off with is gender and sexual equity. If it really wants to bring about change in the world, it should start right at home fostering and backing the organisations that have been supporting those who are left behind for no other reason than the fact they don't fit the gender stereotypes, or because they feel they are a man when they were biologically assigned as a woman.

I should add an extra question:
How do we address discomfort? I can openly admit that I am not that interested in dating a transgender or transexual individual. But on the other hand, I have great friends who happen to be transgender. How many people know trans people and when can their stories be put out in the open?


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    Feb 8 2012: I feel that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. there is no formal way to address this and there should not be. legally, i believe that it is every humans right to live and love anyone who they damn well please. As for racialism and racism, I think that everyone needs to acknowledge that they make assumptions sometimes.. I beilive that Dave Chappelle put it best in this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K1KHqi9bXc

    As for skin colour or race discrimination based on what ethnicity they fall into, that is bang out of order.

    As for addressing discomfort... why don't you find a transgender pride day somewhere and buy him/her a drink and say "I don't understand you, but I would like to" they get some booze, you get some knowledge and I'm sure in most cases you won't even have to buy them a drink if you ask nicely.

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