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Turkish author comes out as bisexual in powerful TED Talk about diversity

'One should never, ever, remain silent for fear of complexity'

Turkish author comes out as bisexual in powerful TED Talk about diversity
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Elif Shafak came out publicly as bisexual

A Turkish author has come out as bisexual in a powerful TED Talk.

Elif Shafak explained in her speech she previously ‘never had the courage to say in a public space that I was bisexual.’

The revolutionary power of diverse thought was the title of her talk. It was part of a TEDGlobal even in New York City in September.

Shafak used her speech to remind people of the ‘ beauty of cosmopolitanism and the beauty of diversity.’

She described herself as an ‘Istanbulite’, but then continued to explain she also feels attached to ‘the Balkans, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Levant.’

‘As writers, we always chase stories’

Over the years, Shafak has found herself becoming a ‘global soul, as a world citizen, a nomad and an itinerant storyteller.’

The multiple identities mean she has multiple stories to tell.

Then Shafak went on to recall how: ‘As writers, we always chase stories, of course, but I think we are also interested in silences, the things we cannot talk about, political taboos, cultural taboos.

‘We’re also interested in our own silences.’

Elif Shafak is a women’s rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech advocate.

She then continued: ‘But as I was thinking about this TED Talk, I realized one thing: I have never had the courage to say in a public space that I was bisexual myself, because I so feared the slander and the stigma and the ridicule and the hatred that was sure to follow.

‘But of course, one should never, ever, remain silent for fear of complexity.’

Watch Elif Shafak’s TED Talk below.


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