4 talks on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia

Panti Bliss at TEDxDublin (photo: Kieran Frost)

Panti Bliss at TEDxDublin (photo: Kieran Frost)

In 2004, May 17th was established as a day to raise awareness about the violence and discrimination many gay people face; transphobia and biphobia were included in 2009 and 2015 respectively. In recognition of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia, we have curated a list of four TEDx talks that speak to the ways in which these phobias are woven into the daily lives of everyone who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community.

My Two Mums (The Myths of Gay Adoption) | Lynne Elvins | TEDxBristol
Lynne Elvins and her partner Emma were the first same-sex couple to be approved to adopt a child in in Bristol, United Kingdom. At TEDxBristol, Elvins tells the adoption story of her son, Steven, and explores “what is different and what is exactly the same about life with two mums,” including assumptions about gender roles, adoption and family values.

Transgender: You’re Part of the Story | Nicole Maines | TEDxSMCC

Nicole Maines has always seen herself as a girl, even when she was seen as a boy. Assigned male at birth, Maines never felt like the term fit her. In a charming and powerful talk at TEDxSMCC, she shares what it is like to grow up transgender — from advocating for acceptance, navigating assumptions and standing up for the right to use the bathroom at school.

All the little things | Panti | TEDxDublin
“I’m 45 and I’m fed up putting up,” says Panti, a “gender discombobulist” otherwise known as Rory O’Neill.
Panti says she has never casually held hands with a partner in public. It’s one of many “small things” that even when gay people do it, the fear of being ridiculed, beaten up – or worse – lessens even the most trivial loving gestures. Simply having a casual gesture noticed is enough to take away its pleasure.
“Our society is homophobic,” she says. “It is infused with homophobia. It is dripping with homophobia.”
Negotiating how to live one’s life within that culture, Panti says, is overwhelming and something she’s not willing to do anymore.
“I’m 45 years old and I’m not putting up anymore because I don’t have the energy anymore. Putting up is exhausting.”

Why I couldn’t let football keep me in the closet | Shane Wickes | TEDxUniversityofNevada
Shane Wickes loves football. He started playing when he was 12 and continued through high school and college, eventually landing a job as a line coach for a high school team. Throughout that time, he was also hiding the fact he was gay.
“To be frank the word faggot is used almost as much as football,” he says.
Eventually, Wickes began to come out to his immediate family and then slowly, to friends he felt would be able to deal with his truth. Living the dual life, however, began to catch up to Wickes who said the anxiety and depression became too much; he subsequently survived an overdose of drugs and alcohol.
He says sharing his truth is important not only to his own life but to the young people he coaches.
“As coaches we can preach to our players that it’s more important for them to be better people than it is great football players,” he says. “But if we’re not honest with them and practice what we preach, it will never work.”
“One day being gay in football will be normal but in order for that to happen, those of us who are gay need to stand up and own it… a healthy person cannot live life in the dark.”

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