TED continues to spread ideas and help us all be better critical thinkers. Watching, listening and talking about TED Talks is a popular pastime for many in the CN&CO community. We visit TED.com regularly to clear our heads, have a laugh, learn or get inspired. TED Talks open our minds, spark new ways of thinking and can lead to some very interesting conversations and business opportunities. Each week we pick a favourite and publish it on a Tuesday, because we like how “TED Talk Tuesday” sounds. It’s also a way that the CN&CO team play their part in spreading ideas and helping to make the world a better place.

This Tuesday’s talk was selected by Colin Ford.

On Saturday I went to gay pride in Sandton. It was, perhaps, the tenth time (or maybe more) I have attended pride – but the first time it was under a terrorist threat. Usually it was the Christians standing on the side of the road with placards advising us to “turn or burn” (not sure why we can’t do both!) who presented the biggest irritation. If you could even call it that.

I found this year’s pride to be a breath of fresh air. There were all sorts of people at the gathering – thin, fat, pretty, ugly, nerdy, flamboyant, conservative, happy, grumpy, etc. and everyone was having a fabulous old time. Security was super tight and we all felt safe – in all its forms.

That night we went to a dinner party where conversation turned to sexual and gender identity. There were some around the table who were of the opinion that you’re either “this” or “that”. Gay or straight. Male or female. Black or white. No wiggle room for nuance. No shades of grey. Others believed that these facets of life exist on a continuum, that one day you might identify as “this” and over a period of time you may come to identify as “that” …. or something in between.

I came across this TED Talk from 2012 in which iO Tillet Wright shares some insights into the shades of grey (or, in this instance, shades of gay). iO has photographed thousands of people who identify as “a little bit gay” or “a little bit straight” and shares the thinking and some of the stories behind the project: