“Familiarity: The Gateway Drug to Empathy”

31 Jan

I must confess, though I find some TEDx programs and talks enlightening, a lot of them I don’t identify with. I do have the app and will occasionally check it out to see what’s new. This video I got to see via a friend’s recommendation and is one of the more interesting ones. It involves actor/writer/photographer iO Tillett Wright who is on a mission to photograph 10,000 faces across different cities in the US in her project entitled Self-Evident Truths as a way to bring people to see the modern day face of “gay” and challenge them to deny the LGBTQ family rights that are common to all human beings. It reminds me of vlogger Davey Wavey’s video which I’ve included below (thanks PinkAgendist!)

One of the more thought-provoking questions was asking people to quantify their level of ‘gayness’ from one to a hundred percent and most people seemed stymied by the idea of assessing such a parameter. I myself shied away for the longest time from giving myself such a place on the spectrum, claiming I was undefined in a bid to hold on to shreds of “bi-curiousity” and later bisexuality (I couldn’t convince myself I was still bi-curious, not after all the action I’d had) that were quickly disappearing like dust particles under a good broom and dust pan. Now I’d say that that I’m around 90% gay.

So then, how gay are you?


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6 responses to ““Familiarity: The Gateway Drug to Empathy”

  1. D.C.

    January 31, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Reblogged this on Queer Landia and commented:

    More on Shades of Gay

  2. mm172001

    February 1, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Reblogged this on Mm172001's Blog and commented:
    I came across this blog via a re-blog from
    One of the first things I want to say was in regards to the statement “Familiarity: The gateway to empathy.” This is stated in the first video of the TedTalk. And it doesn’t just apply to sexuality, although I am not open to many about my sexuality I have told more people about my mental illness and it changes their view. Like the video says when we know some one like this, our views or the way we live changes. She mentions the southern baptist family that switches churches because of their lesbian daughter. I know just becoming familiar with something that people generally prejudge doesn’t guarantee that the person’s beliefs about that will change. But it happens, the more I tell people the different parts of who I am, the more I get reactions that I couldn’t be crazy, I’m not butch, I’m not a loud activist…. but also I get questions and get to dispel the myths that come with a lot of prejudice and stigma- regarding sexuality and mental illness. But it’s also important to remember not everyone is going to react ideally some accept things right away, some take some time, and others have no interest in changing.

  3. nomorefreerent

    February 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I loved that talk too! how gay am I? I never really thought about it. Maybe 80% gay…today?

    • D.C.

      February 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm


  4. angryricky

    February 4, 2013 at 6:46 am

    I am as gay as I want to be. That changes. When I see and hear Beyonce singing at Obama’s inauguration, I don’t feel very gay at all. When I see a love scene in a movie, I’m very gay indeed. And when I think about what I want my future to look like, I reach 100% gay.

    • D.C.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:05 am

      It’s funny you should say it changes cause I was thinking about the possibility of being more gay or less gay with time or different situations. For the most part, I believe that, like growing up, one only becomes more gay 🙂


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