This Is What LGBT Life Is Like Around the World | Jenni Chang and Lisa Dazols | TED Talks

Jenni Chang: When I told
my parents I was gay, the first thing they said to me was, “We’re bringing you back to Taiwan.” (Laughter) In their minds, my sexual orientation
was America’s fault. The West had corrupted me
with divergent ideas, and if only my parents
had never left Taiwan, this would not have happened
to their only daughter. In truth, I wondered if they were right. Of course, there are gay people in Asia, just as there are gay people
in every part of the world. But is the idea of living an “out” life, in the “I’m gay, this is my spouse,
and we’re proud of our lives together” kind of way just a Western idea? If I had grown up in Taiwan,
or any place outside of the West, would I have found models
of happy, thriving LGBT people? Lisa Dazols: I had similar notions. As an HIV social worker in San Francisco, I had met many gay immigrants. They told me their stories
of persecution in their home countries, just for being gay, and the reasons
why they escaped to the US. I saw how this had beaten them down. After 10 years of doing this kind of work, I needed better stories for myself. I knew the world was far from perfect, but surely not every gay story was tragic. JC: So as a couple, we both had a need
to find stories of hope. So we set off on a mission
to travel the world and look for the people
we finally termed as the “Supergays.” (Laughter) These would be the LGBT individuals who were doing something
extraordinary in the world. They would be courageous, resilient, and most of all, proud of who they were. They would be the kind of person
that I aspire to be. Our plan was to share their stories
to the world through film. LD: There was just one problem. We had zero reporting
and zero filmmaking experience. (Laughter) We didn’t even know
where to find the Supergays, so we just had to trust that we’d
figure it all out along the way. So we picked 15 countries
in Asia, Africa and South America, countries outside the West
that varied in terms of LGBT rights. We bought a camcorder, ordered a book
on how to make a documentary — (Laughter) you can learn a lot these days — and set off on an around-the-world trip. JC: One of the first countries
that we traveled to was Nepal. Despite widespread poverty,
a decade-long civil war, and now recently,
a devastating earthquake, Nepal has made significant strides
in the fight for equality. One of the key figures
in the movement is Bhumika Shrestha. A beautiful, vibrant transgendered woman, Bhumika has had to overcome
being expelled from school and getting incarcerated
because of her gender presentation. But, in 2007, Bhumika
and Nepal’s LGBT rights organization successfully petitioned
the Nepali Supreme Court to protect against LGBT discrimination. Here’s Bhumika: (Video) BS: What I’m most proud of? I’m a transgendered person. I’m so proud of my life. On December 21, 2007, the supreme court gave the decision
for the Nepal government to give transgender identity cards and same-sex marriage. LD: I can appreciate
Bhumika’s confidence on a daily basis. Something as simple
as using a public restroom can be a huge challenge
when you don’t fit in to people’s strict gender expectations. Traveling throughout Asia, I tended to freak out women
in public restrooms. They weren’t used to seeing
someone like me. I had to come up with a strategy,
so that I could just pee in peace. (Laughter) So anytime I would enter a restroom, I would thrust out my chest
to show my womanly parts, and try to be as
non-threatening as possible. Putting out my hands and saying, “Hello”, just so that people
could hear my feminine voice. This all gets pretty exhausting,
but it’s just who I am. I can’t be anything else. JC: After Nepal, we traveled to India. On one hand, India is a Hindu society, without a tradition of homophobia. On the other hand, it is also a society
with a deeply patriarchal system, which rejects anything
that threatens the male-female order. When we spoke to activists, they told us that empowerment begins
with ensuring proper gender equality, where the women’s status
is established in society. And in that way, the status of LGBT people
can be affirmed as well. LD: There we met Prince Manvendra. He’s the world’s first openly gay prince. Prince Manvendra came out
on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” very internationally. His parents disowned him and accused him of bringing
great shame to the royal family. We sat down with Prince Manvendra and talked to him about why he decided
to come out so very publicly. Here he is: (Video) Prince Manvendra:
I felt there was a lot of need to break this stigma and discrimination
which is existing in our society. And that instigated me to come out openly
and talk about myself. Whether we are gay, we are lesbian,
we are transgender, bisexual or whatever sexual minority we come from, we have to all unite
and fight for our rights. Gay rights cannot be won
in the court rooms, but in the hearts and the minds
of the people. JC: While getting my hair cut, the woman cutting my hair asked me, “Do you have a husband?” Now, this was a dreaded question that I got asked a lot
by locals while traveling. When I explained to her
that I was with a woman instead of a man, she was incredulous, and she asked me a lot of questions
about my parents’ reactions and whether I was sad
that I’d never be able to have children. I told her that there are
no limitations to my life and that Lisa and I do plan
to have a family some day. Now, this woman was ready to write me off as yet another crazy Westerner. She couldn’t imagine
that such a phenomenon could happen in her own country. That is, until I showed her
the photos of the Supergays that we interviewed in India. She recognized Prince Manvendra
from television and soon I had an audience
of other hairdressers interested in meeting me. (Laughter) And in that ordinary afternoon, I had the chance to introduce
an entire beauty salon to the social changes
that were happening in their own country. LD: From India,
we traveled to East Africa, a region known for intolerance
towards LGBT people. In Kenya, 89 percent of people
who come out to their families are disowned. Homosexual acts are a crime
and can lead to incarceration. In Kenya, we met
the soft-spoken David Kuria. David had a huge mission
of wanting to work for the poor and improve his own government. So he decided to run for senate. He became Kenya’s first
openly gay political candidate. David wanted to run his campaign
without denying the reality of who he was. But we were worried for his safety because he started
to receive death threats. (Video) David Kuria:
At that point, I was really scared because they were
actually asking for me to be killed. And, yeah, there are some people out there who do it and they feel that they are doing
a religious obligation. JC: David wasn’t ashamed of who he was. Even in the face of threats, he stayed authentic. LD: At the opposite end
of the spectrum is Argentina. Argentina’s a country where 92 percent
of the population identifies as Catholic. Yet, Argentina has LGBT laws
that are even more progressive than here in the US. In 2010, Argentina became
the first country in Latin America and the 10th in the world
to adopt marriage equality. There, we met María Rachid. María was a driving force
behind that movement. María Rachid (Spanish):
I always say that, in reality, the effects of marriage equality are not only for those couples
that get married. They are for a lot of people that,
even though they may never get married, will be perceived differently
by their coworkers, their families and neighbors, from the national state’s
message of equality. I feel very proud of Argentina because Argentina today
is a model of equality. And hopefully soon, the whole world will have the same rights. JC: When we made the visit
to my ancestral lands, I wish I could have shown
my parents what we found there. Because here is who we met: (Video) One, two, three.
Welcome gays to Shanghai! (Laughter) A whole community of young,
beautiful Chinese LGBT people. Sure, they had their struggles. But they were fighting it out. In Shanghai, I had the chance
to speak to a local lesbian group and tell them our story
in my broken Mandarin Chinese. In Taipei, each time
we got onto the metro, we saw yet another
lesbian couple holding hands. And we learned that Asia’s
largest LGBT pride event happens just blocks away
from where my grandparents live. If only my parents knew. LD: By the time we finished our
not-so-straight journey around the world, (Laughter) we had traveled 50,000 miles and logged 120 hours of video footage. We traveled to 15 countries and interviewed 50 Supergays. Turns out, it wasn’t hard
to find them at all. JC: Yes, there are still
tragedies that happen on the bumpy road to equality. And let’s not forget that 75 countries
still criminalize homosexuality today. But there are also stories
of hope and courage in every corner of the world. What we ultimately took away
from our journey is, equality is not a Western invention. LD: One of the key factors
in this equality movement is momentum, momentum as more and more people
embrace their full selves and use whatever opportunities they have to change their part of the world, and momentum as more and more countries find models of equality in one another. When Nepal protected
against LGBT discrimination, India pushed harder. When Argentina embraced marriage equality, Uruguay and Brazil followed. When Ireland said yes to equality, (Applause) the world stopped to notice. When the US Supreme Court
makes a statement to the world that we can all be proud of. (Applause) JC: As we reviewed our footage, what we realized is that
we were watching a love story. It wasn’t a love story
that was expected of me, but it is one filled
with more freedom, adventure and love than I could have ever possibly imagined. One year after returning home
from our trip, marriage equality came to California. And in the end, we believe,
love will win out. (Video) By the power vested in me, by the state of California and by God Almighty, I now pronounce you spouses for life. You may kiss. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “This Is What LGBT Life Is Like Around the World | Jenni Chang and Lisa Dazols | TED Talks

  1. "we're bringing you back to taiwan"
    this video was released in 2015.
    as of current, taiwan is the first asian county to legalize gay marriage
    this honestly hit me hard!!

  2. Have to ask atcthe start of Pride month why am I encountering such intolerance fron the gay and lesbian community,the straight community and now my own community the trans community? I'm a 51yr old trans man and I'm also gay,why I'm I and others like me being turned on so muc.I have afriend is a trans woman and also lesbian and she is experiencing this new wave of non acctance too.last year at Manchster Pride Uk a gay couple spat in my face and told me a disgusting freak like me had no place at Pride or being part of the L.G.B.Q.T community.Why is there no place for trans people who are also gay?

  3. God made Adam and Eve more because of rebelliousness came homosexuals God speaks in the bible to love his neighbor as yourself πŸ‘¬πŸ‘­πŸŒπŸ’•β™₯️Be the homosexual Do not go to heaven worsened homophobia people with hatred in the heart too Do not go to heaven is in the bible

  4. Hey, you two … you're totally adorable and admirable! Fantastic work! My heartfelt congratulations! Greetings from Germany!

  5. 1:40 i cant believe there is a Muslim over there (not saying this in a bad way but just love the fact that she stayed and watched)

  6. Sick. coming out from a "dark place" How odd that for US straight people to accept this sickness we must adjust our minds and hearts? lol time is coming. Why be gay and she wants to dress like a man? These along with so many questions will always remain…"IN the TWILIGHT ZONE" God is going to give us ONE more chance and then comes the Father of their union. SATAN.

  7. Unfortunately here in the US there are still a lot of groups including the Republican Party who continue to try and antagonize the LGBT Community.

  8. I know it’s not exactly the same, but my blonde blue-eyed Christian daughter, broke rank and fell in love with an immigrant Muslim man. My proper response as a parent? Is β€œthank you for loving my child!”

  9. Homophobia makes no sense, gay people are everywhere we will encounter these people every day of our lives, there is no gay-free country or community. I am sure everybody has a gay relative.

  10. Im married and have 3 kids,53 year old and getting older.I raise my kids,educate them and advise them to carry out same obligation i did,to continue cary on life to there kids and fulfill there obligation and so on. When my son told me that he lives for himself and not for others,i sit him down and explain to him,i sad β€œNo u don’t live for your self only,as I’m getting old i need u more and more to be policeman or fireman,or engineer or doctor,construction man,farm man,army man,so i can continue to live that old age all protected and supported as i did when i was young for others before me.
    And that is obligation to carry on for each of us to the next generation”
    Been a gay u don carry that obligation as a human,then to get old and use family people struggle who work so hard to raise there kids and next generation can use them.
    Gay people need medical help to except there gender the way they are an fulfill obligation as a human been.
    Gods Nature is so perfect and we have to accepted as is.

  11. I told my sister I didn't know if I was bisexual or Lesbian
    wanna know what she said?
    " Swiggity Swotty She Don't Know Which Booty "

  12. πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€

    For my LGBTeam WHERE YOU AT

  13. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

    Bi the way, i Know you exist ^w^

  14. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

    For all the PANcakes ^w^

  15. I support anti lgbt but for bibles resigned but I still have some respect for lgbt . it's just not God's will
    Laviacus 20 :13 ' if a man Leigh with mankind as he lie with woman kind ,as he Leigh with a women ,both of them
    Have fainted an abomanashone : that shall shortly be put to death ; and there blood shall be upon them ' but I love them, God loves them I don't think why one whole support lgbt it's not worth it to destroy sallvashone over miner dreams . Yes I feel sorry for lgbt.πŸ‘πŸ’‘ notπŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘© orπŸ‘¨β€β€οΈβ€πŸ’‹β€πŸ‘¨ ok .

  16. i just came home one day when i was 7 and said β€œhey im gonna marry a girl” to my mom and she said β€œokay!”

  17. The God of the bibe loves gay people SO MUCH that he sent his Son Jesus the Christ to die for them; paying the penalty for their sins exactly the same as he did for you and me. Everyone is a sinner before God. We have all gone astray and need Jesus the redeemer. If we claim to love gay people so much why are we not risking out lives and our jobs and our reputations warning them of God's wroth and judgement just the same as we do the common public? Real Christianity fears God more than man and is prepared to be mocked, slandered, ridiculed, imprisoned, spat on, lied about in the media and hated by the left hand path walking, liberal, "progressive" God haters. If I was walking towards the edge of a cliff and you were watching me about to go over and didn't warn me by yelling and screaming at the top of your lungs then I would question your love for me.

  18. If you're Christian, Islam, or practice Judaism, you will know why this LGBT stuff is a huge problem. I do not support it but I am no one to judge. "Lev 20:13" google this.

  19. we are a creation of god weather you like or not. so just listen to his laws and commandments. Who am I to judge for he has said: thou shall not judge.

  20. My friends kinda made me come out. We were just walking home and they kept pressuring me about like "but do u like men or women or both" and saying "oh how could you not know" I felt like I had to say I like both because that's what they wanted to hear and at that time I didnt even know myself about who I did and didnt like and still dont really know.
    So the LGBT community can be pretty pressuring and judgemental themselves despite what people say

  21. So much respect for everyone who lives like this! I can't imagine how hard it is to be outwardly who you are with so much against you! I am straight but kudos to all of these people who live outwardly and are not ashamed of who they are! Everyone needs to be this confident and every country needs to give these people rights! Love is love! Period. It's two consenting adults seeking happiness. In the end, love is love, and wall might find it in different places but we all want to fulfill the basic human need to belong…

  22. As a butch girl, I totally feel the bathroom thing. Especially travelling. At home it's okay, because if you act confident enough that you're in the correct bathroom, people will generally leave you alone. But on trips to the States where they're having trans bathroom law issues, or having a layover in Dubai where men aren't allowed to touch women, but the cab driver shakes your hand anyway, and he asks about the sister whose name was on the booking. I refuse to go to the bathroom without a family member.

  23. I m from nepal and I m Bi I don't know what to do with my life because it is not common around here πŸ˜…

  24. Im a proper homophobe and transphobe who doesn't apologize for my opinion. Why is everyone accepting the spreading of AIDS and other STDs

  25. Get on with your life's who cares bored shirtless of these conversations boring go away get a life you self absorbed narcissists

  26. This is such a beautiful adventure. I teared up and felt the power behind this. Thank you so much for this! ❀

  27. Watch "LGBT TransGender Questions! Muhammed Hijab Vs Visitors | Speakers Corner | Hyde Park" on YouTube

  28. You just see me Chillin' at 2am in the morning reading the comments and thinking of how easy it was for me to come out as bi to my parents….im from Canada btwπŸπŸ‘

  29. I'm bisexual and 13 years old and trying not to say anything about me being bisexual and my brother shouts that I'm bisexual every dayπŸ˜“

  30. I dont hate gay ppl or anything against them. But i believe God makes no mistakes so hw it is forbidden by God and still ppl say they were born that way?

  31. I know what the other letters represent, but I'm unsure about the G? Is it guacamole? It's Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon and Tomato…LGBT right?

  32. What are you going to do in " THE SOLEMN DAY " the Holy bible talks about , when all of the sinners and unGodly hear God Almighty say , depart from me you workers of iniquity , into the lake of fire burning with brimstone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Definition for iniquity ; immoral wickedness, sinfulness, immorality , evil, sin . Jehovah has offered mankind His salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ and His cruel death on the cross . His resurrection proves we can live eternally and enjoy all God has prepared for us . If you won't repent , you will perish !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!——————-Ernest E. Johnson

  33. Jehovah said ; little children were in comparison to the Kingdom of Heaven . They are innocent of sin and pure , that is if homosexuals and gendered people don't corrupt them . How on God's earth can a person not look at themselves and distinguish whether they are a male or female ? If you have a mind at all , how can you not reason that two men or two women can not bear children together . You see !!!!!!!! Women B E A R children . They give birth to a child . Scientiffically , If everyone became homosexuals and lesbians , population on the earth would cease after probably 100 years or so .–Ernest E. Johnson

  34. Like always , you don't tell the whole story !!!!!!!!!!!!!! David Kuria never won a seat to the Senate in Kenya .

  35. LGBT and Gay and sodomy and Fagotry is FORBIDDEN by our Holy Creator Allah swt.

    People whom are deceived by the Shaytan are fools, and will pay the price in the end.

    If someone gay says they are this or that, ignore them, for they speak lies with a silver tongue

  36. we don't need people like you i wish the world comes to end so my people will never have to see this.
    not scared of usa

  37. Me: im pansexal
    My mom: Okay. Just be yourself!

    Me: im pansexual
    My dad: get out. Your not allowed in my house.


  38. I saw New Zealand (on the list) and got a little hope, i know NZ have legalized gay marriage. but i'm a lesbian in NZ and i feel really ashamed sometimes but hey ya never know what could happen.

  39. Some of us have a chance living in a benevolant context about our LGBT condition, and we know what it is and we can talk about it to change things! I think we have a role to play for LGBT rights and gender equalities even over than feminism

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