iO tillett wright
His work is "geared toward the celebration of difference."
IO TIllett Wright joins HuffPost’s Alex Berg to discuss his new memoir, "Darling Days," and his work promoting LGBTI visibility through the "Self Evident Truths" project.
It took me more than a decade to quietly ascribe that culturally fraught term--lesbian--to myself, even longer to admit it to others. But finally, at 40 years old, through years of perpetual self-disclosure, the label feels as native to me as my own my own limbs. The thought of discarding it like an outdated dress feels more untethering than it does liberating.
We've pulled together five of the most-watched TED talks from this year as voted by you, our loyal TEDWeekends audience. On the surface, they seem so different. But each speaker is an outsider spreading a common idea -- the best way to find courage in this world is to embrace your own, unique voice.
Labels are essential to conversation, as are boxes, but I stand by my point, which is that it's not that there are too many boxes in the world, it's that there are too few. Each one of us is in hundreds of boxes, like watercolors, splish-splashing elements of ourselves over into the others, and in my view, when colors bleed into each other, we get the most beautiful rainbows.
What seemed to me to be her most subversive and, to that audience, surprising message, was that there is far more bisexuality out there than what we'd consider purely "gay." Given that even the gay community finds that reality surprising, wondering where all the bisexual men and women are, it's one of what Wright calls her "self-evident truths," that we are far more complex than even we are willing to admit.
As we all know from the marriage debates, the opinions of others on our sexuality affect our daily lives. While the overwhelming consensus of the transgender community is that a person is whatever they identify as, others (including sometimes the government) base it on other things. The problem is it's done completely inconsistently.
I was 16 at the time my mother came out, and she seemed so much happier than when she was married to my cold, withholding, unfaithful father. So I was happy for her. She raised me to have an open mind about these things, and not judge people by the color of their skin, or who they loved, or what they worshiped. She raised me to judge them by their words and their actions.
What if most of us aren't "gay" or "straight," but somewhere in between? Artist and activist iO Tillett Wright makes a passionate case for accepting the complexity of individuality -- without making anybody feel like a second-class citizen. If her words don't persuade you, the images she shares just might.