playlist

Celebrating (and deconstructing) the gender spectrum

These talks celebrate and break down what it means to live outside society's traditional (and outdated) understanding of gender.

  1. 6:14
    Samy Nour Younes A short history of trans people's long fight for equality

    Transgender activist and TED Resident Samy Nour Younes shares the remarkable, centuries-old history of the trans community, filled with courageous stories, inspiring triumphs — and a fight for civil rights that's been raging for a long time. "Imagine how the conversation would shift if we acknowledge just how long trans people have been demanding equality," he says.

  2. 10:51
    France Villarta The gender-fluid history of the Philippines

    In much of the world, gender is viewed as binary: man or woman, each assigned characteristics and traits designated by biological sex. But that's not the case everywhere, says France Villarta. In a talk that's part cultural love letter, part history lesson, he details the legacy of gender fluidity and inclusivity in his native Philippines — and emphasizes the universal beauty of all people, regardless of society's labels.

  3. 15:19
    D-L Stewart Scenes from a Black trans life

    At the crossroads of life and livelihood, scholar D-L Stewart invites us into scenes from his own life as he resists and reflects on the dehumanizing narratives that shape the Black trans experience in the US. With each word of his captivating and poetic dissection, Stewart emphasizes the magnitude and urgency of the rallying cry "Black trans lives matter" — and calls on others to uphold that truth, too.

  4. 17:12
    Jo Michael Rezes A playful exploration of gender performance

    From the stage to everyday life, theater educator Jo Michael Rezes studies queer identity and the spectrum of gender performance — in its success and failure. Aided by a delightful introduction of campy charm, Rezes explores the freeing potential of playing with gender to better understand ourselves, each other and the spaces we inhabit.

  5. 13:44
    LB Hannahs What it's like to be a transgender dad

    LB Hannahs candidly shares the experience of parenting as a genderqueer individual — and what it can teach us about authenticity and advocacy. "Authenticity doesn't mean 'comfortable.' It means managing and negotiating the discomfort of everyday life," Hannahs says.

  6. 12:52
    Karissa Sanbonmatsu The biology of gender, from DNA to the brain

    How exactly does gender work? It's not just about our chromosomes, says biologist Karissa Sanbonmatsu. In a visionary talk, she shares new discoveries from epigenetics, the emerging study of how DNA activity can permanently change based on social factors like trauma or diet. Learn how life experiences shape the way genes are expressed — and what that means for our understanding of gender.

  7. 6:24
    Jackson Bird How to talk (and listen) to transgender people

    Gender should be the least remarkable thing about someone, but transgender people are still too often misunderstood. To help those who are scared to ask questions or nervous about saying the wrong thing, Jackson Bird shares a few ways to think about trans issues. And in this funny, frank talk, he clears up a few misconceptions about pronouns, transitioning, bathrooms and more.

  8. 9:59
    Geena Rocero Why I must come out

    When fashion model Geena Rocero first saw a photo of herself in a bikini, "I thought ... you have arrived!" As she reveals, that's because she was born with the gender assignment "boy." In this moving talk, Rocero tells the story of becoming who she always knew she was.

  9. 4:21
    Lee Mokobe A powerful poem about what it feels like to be transgender

    "I was the mystery of an anatomy, a question asked but not answered," says poet Lee Mokobe, a TED Fellow, in this gripping and poetic exploration of identity and transition. It's a thoughtful reflection on bodies, and the meanings poured into them.

  10. 21:04
    Martine Rothblatt My daughter, my wife, our robot, and the quest for immortality

    The founder of Sirius XM satellite radio, Martine Rothblatt now heads up a drug company that makes life-saving medicines for rare diseases (including one drug that saved her own daughter's life). Meanwhile she is working to preserve the consciousness of the woman she loves in a digital file ... and a companion robot. In an onstage conversation with TED's Chris Anderson, Rothblatt shares her powerful story of love, identity, creativity, and limitless possibility.

  11. 11:50
    Ivan Coyote Why we need gender-neutral bathrooms

    There are a few things that we all need: fresh air, water, food, shelter, love ... and a safe place to pee. For trans people who don't fit neatly into the gender binary, public restrooms are a major source of anxiety and the place where they are most likely to be questioned or harassed. In this poetically rhythmic talk, Ivan Coyote grapples with complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity and highlights the need for gender-neutral bathrooms in all public places.

  12. 17:07
    Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan A queer vision of love and marriage

    Love is a tool for revolutionary change and a path toward inclusivity and understanding for the LGBTQ+ community. Married activists Tiq and Kim Katrin Milan have imagined their marriage — as a transgender man and cis woman — a model of possibility for people of every kind. With infectious joy, Tiq and Kim question our misconceptions about who they might be and offer a vision of an inclusive, challenging love that grows day by day.