Multimedia Moment: “Fifty Shades of Gay” – iO Tillett Wright

“Who is responsible for equality?” (iO Tillett Wright)

iO Tillet Wright’s TED Talk: Fifty Shades of Gay


iO Tillett Wright                    (photo acquired via Google)

One of the most fundamental elements of our human condition is our deep-rooted desire and hope for connection. We also possess a natural inclination to classify and label aspects of our humanism – our personal characteristics – so that we can find others that we understand and, hopefully, understand us. We connect with the familiar. We find common ground with those with whom we identify.

The TED talk given by iO Tillett Wright is an eloquent discourse about the experience of living in the grey areas of gender and sexual orientation identities – those spaces where we are not quite male or female, not all gay or all straight. Wright was raised by parents and in a place that who she is was matter-of-fact; there was no need for her to claim her difference or employ labels to identify herself – she was who she was. Wright shares with her audience qualitative evidence that demonstrates a large number of people in communities do not identify as 100% gay or 100% straight. There is a long-standing concept of a sexuality continuum and there is greater evidence that gives credence to the fluidity of sexual orientation identity.

Wright poses a provocative question – if so many people identify as not 100% gay or straight, when discrimination is codified, accepted and active, where do you draw the line as to what is acceptable parameters for discrimination? This TED talk is emotional, provocative and sincere. Give yourself 18 minutes to sit down, set aside any of your preconceptions about sexual orientation and differences and listen. Wright’s words and the stories and pictures that she shares just may give you something new to think about.

You can find more on iO Tillet Wright at:


project: Self Evident Truths


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