Culture TED Talks

11 TED Talks about equality of all kinds for Pride Month

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June is otherwise known as Pride Month, a time to celebrate both the struggles and victories on the road to equality. So it feels very fitting that today, June 26, on the final day of their term, the Supreme Court delivered a pair of rulings that bolster gay marriage. Today, explore this compilation of talks about issues at the heart of this civil rights battle. Get inspired by iO Tillett Wright’s reminder that there are many, many shades of gay, marvel at the science of political beliefs with David Pizzaro’s “The strange politics of disgust,” and witness the power of Shane Koyczan’s performance of “To This Day… for the bullied and the beautiful.” Let each provocative and fascinating talk remind you of the progress already made in the fight for the equality and the many changes  that still need to come.

LZ Granderson: The myth of the gay agenda LZ Granderson: The myth of the gay agenda
LZ Granderson: The myth of the gay agenda
In this TEDxGrandRapids talk, LZ Granderson exposes the real “gay agenda”: freedom, equality and respect.
iO Tillett Wright: Fifty shades of gay iO Tillett Wright: Fifty shades of gay
iO Tillett Wright: Fifty shades of gay
After an idyllic childhood in New York City, iO Tillet was surprised by the hate and closed-mindedness of the wider world. In her TEDxWomen talk, she shows how putting familiar face to the LGBT community can spark progressive conversation and, most important, empathy. Browse a gallery of photos from iO Tillet Wright »
Derek Sivers: How to start a movement Derek Sivers: How to start a movement
Derek Sivers: How to start a movement
In this short TED2010 talk, Derek Sivers uses a humorous YouTube video to show how the first follower can be more important than the leader.
Karen Armstrong: Let's revive the Golden Rule Karen Armstrong: Let's revive the Golden Rule
Karen Armstrong: Let’s revive the golden rule
In this TEDGlobal talk, Karen Armstrong discusses the universality of the Golden Rule and how “do unto others as you would have done unto you” could solve many of the world’s problems. Read our Q&A with Karen Armstrong »
David Pizarro: The strange politics of disgust David Pizarro: The strange politics of disgust
David Pizzaro: The strange politics of disgust
David Pizzaro discovered that those who are more easily disgusted are more politically conservative. His TEDxEast talk gives new meaning to the term “Dirty Liberal.”
Alice Dreger: Is anatomy destiny? Alice Dreger: Is anatomy destiny?
Alice Dreger: Is anatomy destiny?
Alice Dreger medically advocates for people with unique sexual biologies. In her TEDxNorthwesternU talk, she talks about ambiguity — and if we should let our anatomy determine our fate. Read our live Q&A with Alice Dreger >>
Elizabeth Pisani: Sex, drugs and HIV -- let's get rational Elizabeth Pisani: Sex, drugs and HIV -- let's get rational
Elizabeth Pisani: Sex, drugs and HIV — let’s get rational
Elizabeth Pisani’s blunt TED2010 talk address the contradictions that keep government from effectively fighting HIV, and suggests more rational approaches to curb the disease.
Jok Church: A circle of caring Jok Church: A circle of caring
Jok Church: A circle of caring
In this short, moving TED2007 talk, Jok Church speaks about a teacher who cared for him and how he was able to return the favor.
Shane Koyczan: To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful Shane Koyczan: To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful
Shane Koyczan: “To This Day” … for the bullied and beautiful
At TED2013, Shane Koyczan touched the hearts of the bullied. With his captivating and impassioned spoken word, Koyczan illustrates his trauma and triumph as a victim of bullying.
Andrew Solomon: Love, no matter what Andrew Solomon: Love, no matter what
Andrew Solomon: Love, no matter what
In this personal and stirring TEDMED talk, Andrew Solomon elaborates on the difference between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance, and why parents must have both.

Also inspiring us deeply today: Diane J. Savino’s moving testimony “The case for same–sex marriage” to the New York State Senate, moments before the Equal Marriage Act was passed. This bold speech touches on the importance of heterosexual advocates in the equality fight, and reminds us of why this battle is so important in the first place.

Note: This piece was originally written on June 20, as we awaited the Supreme Court’s decision. It was updated on June 26, 2013.