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Fifty shades of Gay - iO Tillet Wright

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

Tillet Wright is a photographer, author, T.V. Host and Anchor. She started with an idea to photographically introduce the vast number of people in the United States who associate themselves somewhere along the LBGTQ spectrum. The speaker doesn’t confine herself within any labelled sexuality but is loud and proud of everything that she is. She remembers the time when one day she decided to start living as a boy at the age of 6 until puberty hit and she decided to become a girl again. In 2008, when California’s Proposition 8 sparked a national debate over gay marriage, the conversation struck her like a punch. She quotes “I was shocked by the fact that America, a country with such a tarnished civil rights record, could be repeating its mistakes so blatantly”. “This powerful awareness rolled over me that I was a minority. In my own home country based on one facet of my character, I was legally and indisputably a second-class citizen … I was plagued by the question: how could anyone vote to strip the rights of the vast variety of the people that I knew? … Had these people consciously met a victim of their discrimination? Did they know who they were voting against?” That time she decided to start her photographic series “Self -Evident Truths”. The first 300 portraits led to a video that quickly went viral so much that Tillet Wright received several emails from across the country to shoot their portraits. She then photographed 2,000 people who are not 100 percent straight and asked many of them: Can you assign a percentage to how gay or straight you are? Most people, it turns out, consider themselves to exist in the grey areas of sexuality, not 100% gay or straight. Which presents a real problem when it comes to discrimination: Where do you draw the line? She also mentions the dilemma of not having enough boxes to define these people in the ‘grey’ area of sexuality and if we discriminate them just on the basis of one facet of their character then it’s too late because they already are around us, working with us, living in the same country as us and if that’s true then who are we to deny them of any rights that a normal person has.

Credits -

Aditi Kushwaha

Batch 2021 - 2023

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