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Ted Talks

A few of the MANY gender-related Ted Talks...



7 Talks on the transgender experience
Seven Ted Talk videos featured.


Beyond the gender binary
by Yee Won Chong. Ted Talk 2012
“Yee Won Chong shares a story about the challenges of navigating the world while transgender, and provides suggestions on being a good ally. Yee Won Chong converts practical skills and experiences to train hundreds of grassroots activists on effective communication and fundraising for social, economic and environmental justice.”


The biology of gender, from DNA to the brain
By Karissa Sanbonmatsu. Ted Talk 2018.
“How exactly does gender work? It’s not just about our chromosomes, says biologist Karissa Sanbonmatsu. In a visionary talk, she shares new discoveries from epigenetics, the emerging study of how DNA activity can permanently change based on social factors like trauma or diet. Learn how life experiences shape the way genes are expressed — and what that means for our understanding of gender.”


​Fashion policing & the double standards of gender expression
By Taryn de Vere. Ted Talk Feb 2021.   (Ireland)

“Who is allowed to wear what in our society? Why are some people applauded and lauded for their outfit choices while others are at risk of harm if they wear the same clothes? When fashion activist Taryn de Vere goes out in public with her trans child she discovers there is one rule for her, and another for her young daughter. In this talk Taryn discusses her own fashion aesthetic, gender identities and expectations, parenting a trans child, navigating the hostility of strangers, and the transformative power of authentic self-expression.

Taryn de Vere is a Fashion Activist, Journalist, Designer, and Peer-reviewed Artist. Taryn is Director and co-founder of Quare Media, and also operates a fashion accessories business. Several of her pieces are in the collection of the National Museum of Ireland.”

Gender as a performance
By Ali Hannon. Ted Talk 2018. (UK)
“How do we perform gender? Ali explores this question though their lens as a queer comedy performer”. How do we perform gender and in what ways does this limit our potential? Through the lens of my experience as a queer comedy performer and teacher, I seek to show how we perform gender in everyday life and on stage, often to our own and societies’ detriment. I will explore the idea that by opening ourselves up to the possibility of fluid and non-binary gender expression we can become more open, generous performers and members of society.”

The gender tag: Authentic gender expression
By Ashley Wylde. TED Talk 2016.  (US)
“Most people don’t ever stop to think about their experience of gender, and this leads to a lack of understanding for others, and a limited worldview. In addition, if you never explore your identity as it pertains to gender, you might never be able to make informed choices about your body and your life, and sticking with the status quo when it comes to gender expression harms many people. Ashley Wylde is a queer and genderqueer writer, activist, and Colorado State University student. (Their) passion derives from exploring the complex ideas of gender, sex, and sexuality through creative expression. Ashley strives to make conversation about these difficult subjects as accessible and digestible as possible. (They) regularly engages topics of identity and subjectivity on their YouTube channel, encouraging viewers to consider, share, contribute to the conversation, and find solidarity. ” Click here for video with Ashley about the Gender Tag Project.

Growing up transgender
By Monique Schafter. Ted Talk 2016.  (AUS)
“Walkley Award winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Monique Schafter interviews Elizabeth Duck-Chong and Ruben Cuda about their experiences growing up transgender. Transgender is a term used to describe people who don’t identify with the sex or gender they were assigned at birth. Elizabeth and Ruben feature in the short documentary ‘In My Shoes‘ co-directed by Monique and Mat Govoni for the Gender Centre NSW.

Monique Schafter is a Walkley Award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker who reports for the ABC’s nightly current affairs program, 7.30.

Monique recently co-directed the short documentary ‘In My Shoes’ exploring the issues faced by young transgender Australians. She also writes columns for a range of LGBT publications.” Goes by she/they.

​Hey Doc, some boys are born girls
By Decker Moss. Ted Talk 2013.  (US)
“When we’re born, a doctor instantly deems us to be one of two things: Male or female. But gender isn’t just between our legs. It’s also between our ears. So, what happens when how we look on the outside clashes with how we feel on the inside? Do we settle? Do we change? And at the end of the day should gender really be as big a deal as society wants us think it is? In this talk Decker Moss explores these issues and more, as he struggled through not only one but two major gender-related transitions in his life.”


​How I help transgender teens become who they want to be
By Norman Spack, Endocrinologist Boston’s Children’s Hospital. Ted Talk 2014. (US)
“Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren’t comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need.”

How to talk (and listen) to transgender people
By Jackson Bird. Ted Talk 2012. (US)
“Gender should be the least remarkable thing about someone, but transgender people are still too often misunderstood. To help those who are scared to ask questions or nervous about saying the wrong thing, Jackson Bird shares a few ways to think about trans issues. And in this funny, frank talk, he clears up a few misconceptions about pronouns, transitioning, bathrooms and more. TED Resident Jackson Bird is using digital storytelling to demystify the transgender experience. After publicly coming out as transgender in 2015, Jackson Bird has been committed to amplifying the voices of transgender people and breaking down the stigma attached to their experiences. He shares the stories of fellow transgender people on his podcast, Transmission as on his ongoing YouTube series, Queerstory.”


​I blocked my grandmother on Facebook: NCAA swimmer comes out transgender
By Schuyler Bailar. TEDxJHU Ted Talk. (US)
“Schuyler Bailar is the first openly transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. By 15, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age group record. Now he swims for Harvard University. Schuyler’s difficult choice – to transition while potentially giving up the prospect of being an NCAA Champion – was historic and timely. His story has appeared everywhere from The Washington Post to 60 Minutes and The Ellen Show. Schuyler chronicles his experiences on Instagram – @pinkmantaray – so others may explore his example in their journey.”


​I’ve lived as a man & a woman – here’s what I learned
By Paula Stone Williams. Ted Talk 2017.  (US)
“If you’re a man, at one point or another you’ve probably thought to yourself, ‘I will never understand women!’ And if you’re a woman, ‘what’s wrong with men?!’ But your gender is all you’ve ever known, so how could you understand? As a transgender woman, Paula Stone Williams has lived on both sides, ‘and the differences are massive!’ In this funny and insightful talk, Paula shares her wisdom for all. Reverend Dr. Paula Stone Williams is the president of RLT Pathways, Inc., a non-profit providing counseling and coaching services.”


​The importance of being Alice
by Alice Miller. Ted Talk 2015.  (US)
“A former CIA operative and a naval academy teacher, Alice Miller shares her decision at the age of 50 to transition from male to female, and to live a life she calls “true to herself.” Her story starts when she was young and “trying to be a normal boy.” It ends with why she named her talk, “The Importance of Being Alice.” Alice Lyman Miller also taught for 15 years at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Before coming to Stanford in 1999, Miller was a China analyst in the CIA and taught at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.”


​Life as a transgendered norm breaker
By Charlie Bech-Jansen. Ted Talk 2017.  (Sweden)
“Charlie Bech-Jansen is a Swedish non-binary transgender person currently living in Stockholm and studying at SSE. Since they were young, Charlie has had a great interest in literature, and enjoys writing as a form of self-expression. They also like to wear and experiment with different Japanese street-style fashions as a way of exploring and questioning gender presenting. Charlie came out as transgender at age seventeen, and has since been an active member of the LGBT+ community, participating in everything from Pride parades to political protests. It is something that has heavily influenced their daily interactions with other, cis-gendered people, as non-binary identities are still quite unknown in today’s society. Charlie Bech-Jansen, born and raised in Stockholm. Came out as non-binary transgender at 17, has since been an active member of the Swedish LGBT+ society. Has previously studied literature, philosophy and astronomy, and is active in everything from Scout- to Japanese culture societies.”


Living as a non-binary in a binary world
By Graysen Hall. Ted Talk 2017.  (UK)
“A talk addressing the hardships and obstacles facing the day-to-day life of those who identify outside of the gender binary. Graysen Hall, a 23 year-old non-binary individual, sets out to promote awareness and educate their audience on some of the trials that the transgender community faces. Graysen Hall is a 23 year-old non-binary individual, who is in the process of completing a Masters degree at the UKC in the School of English. Their talk is based on their experiences of living as non-binary and the hardships that are part of that experience. Living under the transgender umbrella, they often feel that their identity is invalidated by others, often from within the transgender community. In today’s talk they aim to educate those who are not aware of non-binary genders and to promote awareness, acceptance and equality.”


​My daughter, my wife, our robot, and the quest for immortality
by Martine Rothblatt. Ted Talk 2015.  (US)
“The founder of Sirius XM satellite radio, Martine Rothblatt now heads up a drug company that makes life-saving medicines for rare diseases (including one drug that saved her own daughter’s life). Meanwhile she is working to preserve the consciousness of the woman she loves in a digital file … and a companion robot. In an onstage conversation with TED’s Chris Anderson, Rothblatt shares her powerful story of love, identity, creativity, and limitless possibility.”


​My transgender experience
by Fox Fisher. Ted Talk 2014.  (UK)
“Fox Fisher is a filmmaker who documents the vitality and diversity of the trans community. At TEDxBrighton, he reveals how he came to the decision to medically transition from female-bodied to male-bodied, and how that kickstarted a mission to help tell the unique stories of gender-variant people. It’s a narrative, he says, made up of so much more than surgery stories and hyped-up caricatures.”

Navigating the new family dynamic

By Beth Richardson. Ted Talk 2018 (TEDxKeene).   (US)

"Beth writes as a means to process the world around her. She is passionate about supporting parents of transgender children, as they process their emotions and adjust to a new family dynamic. Beth Richardson is completing a master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. Her concentration is in nonfiction, and she writes as a means to process the world around her, in the hopes that sharing her stories can help others further behind her in the journey. Beth is passionate about supporting parents of transgender children (of any age), as they process their emotions and adjust to a new family dynamic."

Neither he, nor she, but me

By Hannah Fons. Ted Talk 2018.  (US)

“Hannah Fons focuses on gender identity as fluid, not fixed, and existing on a spectrum. Just as there are a multitude of ways to express one’s identity as a cisgender (i.e. not transgender) man or woman, there is not one way to be trans, to navigate a trans identity, or to conceive of trans people.

   Hannah Fons '19 was born in the cornfields of rural Iowa, and moved to New York City in 2000 to seek her fortune. She presently serves as Senior Editor at a small trade publishing company and is also a professional strength and conditioning coach at Five Points Academy in New York City. Hannah is a graduate student in the MSW program at Adelphi University's Manhattan Center, focusing on the care and concerns of LGBTQ youth in general, and transgender/gender-divergent youth in particular. Along with direct practice, she is also deeply interested in the psychospiritual history of Queer people, and exploring how mythology, folklore, and legend may be mobilized to empower Queer communities. In addition to her current work, she holds an MA in Sexuality and Gender Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center in NYC, and undergraduate degrees from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Over the years, Hannah has also practiced multiple martial arts -- including muay thai, Brazilian jiujitsu, and capoeira -- and studied fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology.”


A non-binary transition
By Sage Skyler. Ted Talk 2019.  (US)
”Sage Skyler is a first year here at Connecticut College, where they are double majoring in English and East Asian Studies. They are out and proud, and spend a lot of their free time figuring out how to make interdisciplinary connections to queer studies. Sage Skyler is a first year here at Connecticut College, where they are double majoring in English and East Asian Studies. They are out and proud, and spend a lot of their free time figuring out how to make interdisciplinary connections to queer studies. They are hoping to eventually use their knowledge of creative writing and passion for representation to create works of Young Adult fiction that include the full spectrum of queer identities.”


​Parenting a gender non-conforming child
By Michele Yulo. TED Talk 2018.  (US)
“I believe there are preconceived notions of how raising a child will go in terms of gender. We prepare ourselves in completely different ways when we learn we are having a boy or a girl and this is reinforced and policed from the second a child is born and beyond. But what happens when your child does not adhere to the confines of gender boundaries defined by society? How does that change how we view our children, ourselves, and the world around us? I have a very personal stake in the dialogue because my daughter, by age three, rejected all things considered “girly.” My talk would address my personal journey as a parent and the need for openness when raising our children in terms of how to nurture their exploration of identity versus hindering it.”


​The urgent need for compassion

“People have been taught to fear the very things of potential that can set them free”

Interview with Alok Vaid-Menon on Man Enough podcast (on video). Jul 2021.  (US)

Alok is a gender non-conforming and transfeminine writer, advocate, performance artist. Also the author of “Beyond the gender binary.”


A powerful poem about what it feels like to be transgender
By Lee Mokobe. Ted Talk 2015.  (South Africa/US)
“I was the mystery of an anatomy, a question asked but not answered,” says poet Lee Mokobe, in this gripping and poetic exploration of identity and transition. It’s a thoughtful reflection on bodies, and the meanings poured into them."

Proud to call you my transgender son
By Skip Pardee. Ted Talk 2016.      (US)

(NOTE: Good talk, although I personally do not recommend referring to your trans child with their old/previous name or pronoun unless they have given permission)
“At an age when he was just preparing to sign up for Medicare, and was contemplating when to take Social Security, Skip Pardee and his wife Veronica were confronted with a situation that potentially could have ripped their close knit family apart. This talk is about what happened, how they handled it, and the lessons Skip and Veronica have learned from it. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Skip graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1968. For the next eight years he served as an Air Force pilot. He flew 370 combat missions in the Vietnam war. Skip is currently in his 33rd year as a chiropractor in Minden, Nevada. He is an author, community volunteer and proud husband and father.”


​Time to blossom: Accepting my transgender daughter
By Elizabeth August. Ted Talk 2016.
“Elizabeth August shares her story about the magnitude of a mother’s love. This young mom tells how she had to grieve the death of a son while simultaneously celebrating the birth of a daughter, when her five-year-old, who was born male, asked to present as a girl. Over the last few years, Elizabeth’s journey as a mother of a transgender child opened her eyes and heart to what acceptance really means, and how adults not only need to teach children to accept others, but accept themselves. Her experiences have fostered her passion to ensure civil rights for all people. Elizabeth believes that by accepting and sharing our true selves with each other, we can create a diverse and loving community.”


​Toilets, bowties, gender and me
By Audrey Mason-Hyde. Ted Talk 2018.    (AUS)
“Why is it so important for us to know someone else’s gender? We live in a gendered world, but for Audrey, gender is fluid at best an uncomfortable construct. Is there a way to be less reliant on gender in our interactions with people? And what does this mean when it comes to the clothes we wear, or even which toilet we choose to use? If you met Audrey Mason-Hyde, you might think Audrey was a boy, which isn’t quite correct, but calling Audrey a girl doesn’t feel quite right either. At 12 years old, Audrey is already an accomplished actor with film and TV credits, including 52 Tuesdays, a film that won the Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival and the Crystal Bear, judged by the youth jury at the Berlin International Film Festival. With a fierce intellect and a unique sense of style, Audrey has plenty to say about our gendered world.”


​Transgender: A mother’s story
By Susie Green. Ted Talk Truro 2017.    (UK)
“Susie Green shares the inspirational story of her transgender daughter, who told her when she was four that she should have been born a girl. Susie is the CEO of Mermaids, a charity that supports gender variant children, young people and their families. Susie became involved with Mermaids when she needed support for her daughter, Jackie. Susie has expanded the charity’s capacity and funding, as well as developing the services it offers. She campaigns for the provision of more services and respectful media representation of transgender people.”


​Transgender: You’re part of the story
By Nicole Maines. TED Talk 2016.    (US)
“Nicole Maines tells her story of growing up openly transgender and how she came to accept herself. She couldn’t have done it alone, however. While family support is essential, Nicole Maines insists it isn’t enough. Family and community must work together to provide the space for transgender youth to find their own voice and to feel valued as individuals. And it all begins with the power of listening.”

     Nicole Maines is a student, transgender youth activist and supporter of LGBT change. In 2014, she and her family won a lawsuit against her former school after being forced to use the staff bathroom instead of the girls’ bathroom. Maine’s Supreme Court ruled that Nicole’s rights had been violated, marking a historic and landmark victory for transgender rights in the U.S.

     Nicole continues to fight for LGBT change. She has been featured on Maine Public Radio, Good Morning America, ABC Nightline, Atlantic Magazine Live, and the Boston Globe. She was named one of Glamour magazine’s “50 Phenomenal Women of the Year Who Are Making a Difference” and is the subject of “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family,” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amy Ellis Nutt.”

​Transgender kids are just kids after all
By Amber Briggle. Ted Talk Jun 2016.    (US)
“A self-identified feminist mom tells her story of coming to recognize her son for who he is rather than who she assumed he was based on his sex assigned at birth.. Gender non-conformity is something often championed by feminists, but trans identity is something else entirely. ...MG’s revelation at the age of 2 that he was mislabeled at birth and identified not as a girl, but as a boy. Through trial by fire, Amber has quickly and earnestly become an advocate for transgender rights, helping her son navigate the world of boy/girl while simultaneously challenging society’s gender stereotypes.”

Unconditional love — journey with our transgender child
By Christy Hegarty. Ted Talk June 2014.    (US)
“Through her own parenting experience, Christy Hegarty has become an advocate for families with transgender children. During her talk at TEDxBloomington, Hegarty shares what she has learned as the mother of a transgender child. She explores the concept that we should be able to accept that our children may be different than we expect them to be and that we should not be afraid to allow them to express themselves. She challenges us to consider the idea that human evolution is more about being human than it is about being a gender and the important role acceptance plays in our evolving world.”


​Walking through the world non-binary
By Jesse Lueck. TED Talk May 2018.     (US)
“The gender continuum, why gender is a complex and layered social construct. Jesse Lueck was hired at Prudential Financial just as she finished college and started her career as an associate in Fixed Income and Performance Reporting. She worked her way up to the management level and has transitioned into project management. Ms. Lueck is very active with diversity and inclusion and was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors for one of the business resource groups called Pride at Prudential. Because of her expertise, Ms. Lueck now speaks at other companies on the topics of inclusion in the workplace and the gender continuum."

The way we think about biological sex is wrong

By Emily Quinn. TED Talk 2018.    (US)

NOTE:  Contains mature content

"Did you know that almost 150 million people worldwide are born intersex -- with biology that doesn't fit the standard definition of male or female? (That's as many as the population of Russia.) At age 10, Emily Quinn found out she was intersex, and in this wise, funny talk, she shares eye-opening lessons from a life spent navigating society's thoughtless expectations, doctors who demanded she get unnecessary surgery -- and advocating for herself and the incredible variety that humans come in."

​The weird history of the “sex chromosomes”
By Molly Webster. Ted Talk 2019.     (US)
“The common thinking on biological sex goes like this: females have two X chromosomes in their cells, while males have one X and one Y. In this myth-busting talk, science writer and podcaster Molly Webster shows why the so-called “sex chromosomes” are more complicated than this simple definition — and reveals why we should think about them differently.”


​What doctors should know about gender identity
By Kristie Overstreet. Ted Talk 2017.    (US)
Video is also assigned title of “Why are many doctors scared of transgender patients?”
“Kristie Overstreet is on a mission to ensure that the transgender community gets their health care needs met. In this informative, myth-busting talk, she provides a primer for understanding gender identity and invites us to shift how we view transgender health care — so that everyone gets the respect and dignity they deserve when they go to a doctor.”


​What it’s like to be a transgender dad
By LB Hannahs. Ted Talk 2018.     (US)
”LB Hannahs candidly shares the experience of parenting as a genderqueer individual — and what it can teach us about authenticity and advocacy. ‘Authenticity doesn’t mean “comfortable.” ’ It means managing and negotiating the discomfort of everyday life,’ Hannahs says.”


​​Why did I choose?
By Valentijn De Hingh. Ted Talk 2012.     (Holland)
“Valentijn De Hingh became famous through a documentary that followed her life as a transgender child. Valentijn works as a model, writer, dj, and performer and is a full time literature student. In this talk she shares her thoughts on the gender dichotomy and how that led to her gender reassignment surgery. “

Why I must come out
by Geena Rocero Ted Talk 2014.     (US)
“When fashion model Geena Rocero first saw a photo of herself in a bikini, “I thought … you have arrived!” As she reveals, that’s because she was born with the gender assignment ‘boy.’ In this moving talk, Rocero tells the story of becoming who she always knew she was.“


​Why we need gender neutral bathrooms
By Ivan Coyote. Ted Talk Vancouver 2015.        (Canada)
“There are a few things that we all need: fresh air, water, food, shelter, love … and a safe place to pee. For trans people who don’t fit neatly into the gender binary, public restrooms are a major source of anxiety and the place where they are most likely to be questioned or harassed. In this poetically rhythmic talk, Ivan Coyote grapples with complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity and highlights the need for gender-neutral bathrooms in all public places.”

Why you can pee next to me
By Rachel Lucas. Ted Talk Dec 2016.   (US)
“Rachel Lucas dives into the origins of separate public restrooms for men and women, and invites you to join her as she explores their contentious history. Public restrooms are some of the most dangerous places a transgender person can go. Learn how gender identity and expression play a role in the way we think about public restrooms and our safety inside them.”



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