From the history of Drag Kings to seeing queerness as a superpower, here are 6 TEDxLondon talks to educate, uplift, inspire and help you.

Pride might look different around the world, but it shares a purpose – the fight for recognition of the basic human rights for all LGBTQIA+ people everywhere. 

Beneath the blitz of rainbows, there is a very urgent need to continue that fight. The UK has plummeted down LGBTQ+ advocacy group ILGA-Europe’s continental rankings for years, falling from first place in 2014 to 14th today.

Why? Lengthy NHS wait times for gender-affirming caregovernment offices pulling out of a Stonewall inclusivity programme, the appointment of anti-trans people to a national equalities watchdog and the rise in anti-trans rhetoric from politicians and the press.

Meanwhile, hate crimes against LGBTQ+ Brits have skyrocketed in recent years, tripling over the past 7 years.

From the history of Drag Kings to a musical ode to queerness as a superpower, here are 6 TEDxLondon talks to educate, uplift, inspire and help you to take action and celebrate Pride with purpose.

Why Are We Oppressed? | Reeta Loi

Reeta’s homeland went from being a place that revered the divine feminine to being one of the most dangerous places in the world for women. From inventing the Kama Sutra to being one of the most sexually repressed cultures in the world. From worshipping transness and homosexuality to criminalising it. Why? It’s probably not what you think.

Reeta’s talk is so good it’s got its own soundtrack.

Support for trans people isn’t radical – it’s urgent | Jamie Windust

Transphobic violence and abuse is on the rise and transgender and gender non-conforming people are dying.

The history of Pride started with Black trans women and yet they are the ones facing the terrifying reality of this homicidal climate the hardest.

Jamie’s talk is at once at intensely personal story and a comprehensive look at the culture of transphobia has taken hold of the UK

The Power of Radical Vulnerability | Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir and Fox Fisher

Trans people in Britain today have become a culture war ‘issue’.

Despite making up less than 1% of the country’s population, transgender people are the subjects of a toxic and increasingly polarised ‘debate’ which generates reliable controversy for the media.

This frenzy conceals a simple fact: that we are having the wrong conversation, a conversation in which trans people themselves are reduced to a talking point and denied a meaningful voice.

Ugla and Fox believe that it’s through ‘radical vulnerability’ that we can start shifting the abstract conversations about trans people as a topic to debate into “just seeing trans people as people.”

Using Drag to Deconstruct, Express and Reclaim My Gender Identity | Adam All

Despite having its history in the 17th century, Drag Kings are still not part of the LGBTQIA+ mainstream.

London Drag King, Adam All, leads us on an exhilarating and brave journey, offering a humorous but touching insight into the Drag King movement through sharing his own personal story.

Adam hopes to charm and alarm with equal appeal, inspiring us to ponder whether we too are brave enough to break beyond the confines of societal gender norms and find our own true personal identity.

Watch this one for charm, alarm, and geek-chic in equal measure.

A Drag Queen’s Advice on Shame | Tom/Crystal Rasmussen

Growing up during the early naughties in North West England, Tom/Crystal never saw themselves reflected in culture.

Instead, the only reflection they could find was in the mirror – and even that image became warped by an internalised ‘shame monster’ that followed them from Catholic comp to university. 

Shame is the black oil that tars a birds’ feathers and it can affect us all. Here, Tom/Crystal talks about how to leave it behind.

Rewriting My Story With Poetry and Love as a Queer Muslim | Sanah Ahsan

“Do you speak to yourself with love?”

Not always? We hear you.

As a queer, Pakistani, Muslim woman, Sanah Ahsan hasn’t always spoken to herself with love either.

In this poet-talk, Sanah rewrites her story and tells how she started to speak to herself with the kindness of a friend.

Find more TEDxLondon talks.

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