50 Shades of Gay

I love TED talks just as much as the next guy. Recently I’ve started putting them on in the background while I’m doing random every-day stuff–like cooking or putting on makeup or reluctantly doing crunches–so that I can learn without actually realizing that I’m learning. It’s a great trick. Above I’ve posted a TED talk I think everyone should see. It was given by the artist iO Tillett Wright earlier this year, and is amazingly titled “50 Shades of Gay.”

IO is someone who grew up between genders and sexualities. She talks about this in her TED presentation, and also goes on to discuss how most people consider themselves to exist somewhere in between the two extremes of sexuality–somewhere in the GREY AREA–which presents a real problem when it comes to discrimination. It’s no news that the United States discriminates against the LGBTQ community, from marriage equality to workplace discrimination and beyond. But if everyone is grey, then where does one draw the discriminating line?

If you remember, last fall I released an episode of the VICE Slutever Show called GREY AREA. It’s about essentially the same idea–“What if I’m not totally gay or straight? Does that mean I’m a freak? No, it just means I’m grey, which is cool because grey looks good on me actually,” etc. I re-posted the vid at the bottom of this blog post in case you didn’t see it the first time around. Or if you just want to re-watch it. Endless lolz!

P.S. In 2010, iO began a project called Self Evident Truths, where she photographs anyone who feels like they fall within the LGBTQ spectrum, from bisexual to transgender. The photos are intended to humanize the very varied faces and shades of gay in America today. You should check it out. Or really just watch the TED vid, because it’s all explained there.




10 Replies to “50 Shades of Gay”

  1. ..yeah! thanks a bundle for sharing. i could look at these faces for hours …there truly are 50 shades of gay.

  2. there is NO grey area with women. you gals have evolved (or maybe society as a whole). you can easily let a women go down on you or make out with a women and not only does society accept this but strangers, even your friends, will simply think “Oh, she’s just crazy like that!”

    it’s nothing to deeply question. you gals literally have the choice. make your decision. only you will know the truth and in 10 years you decide you like men again then no one will think anything negative of you (expect hardcore butch lesbians). and in the interim, keep fucking men…TONS of lesbians out there crave a little dick every now and then, secretly of course.

  3. i’ve always considered myself omni-sexual. we are all sexual, loving beings and we can and should take it from whoever is willing to give it to us (love or sex or whatever).
    thanks for sharing this, i hadn’t seen it.
    also, it’s interesting to watch the audience’s facial expressions!
    i guess i’m grey too, but really i like pink (the color of love).

  4. But everyone at xoJane’s virtual headquarters has been talking about “Girls,” a show I am mostly familiar with due to the behavior (generally not so good when it comes to taking people’s concerns seriously but apparently pretty awesomely naked ) of its creator, Lena Dunham. And in their discussion, something stood out to me — that grey area people, usually women, find themselves in when no may not even seem like an option but they don’t want to say yes, either.

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