Humans beings start putting each other into boxes the second that they see each other. Is that person dangerous? Are they attractive? Are they a potential mate? Are they a potential networking opportunity? We do this little interrogation when we meet people to make a mental resume for them. “What’s your name? Where you from? How old are you? What do you do?” Then we get more personal with it: “Have you ever had any diseases? Have you ever been divorced? Does your breath smell bad while you’re answering my interrogation right now? What are you into? Who are you into? What gender do you like to sleep with?”We bond together based on anything that we can: music preference, race, gender, the block that we grew up on. We seek out environments that reinforce our personal choices. Sometimes, though — just the question “What do you do?” can feel like somebody’s opening a tiny little box and asking you to squeeze yourself inside of it, because, the categories, I’ve found, are too limiting; the boxes are too narrow. And this can get really dangerous…

— From Artist iO Tillett Wright’s TEDxWomen talk, “Fifty shades of gay” where she explained how she came to photograph 2,000 people who consider themselves somewhere on the LBGTQ spectrum, asking many of them: Can you assign a percentage to how gay or straight you are?

Humans beings start putting each other into boxes the second that they see each other. Is that person dangerous? Are they attractive? Are they a potential mate? Are they a potential networking opportunity? We do this little interrogation when we meet people to make a mental resume for them. “What’s your name? Where you from? How old are you? What do you do?” Then we get more personal with it: “Have you ever had any diseases? Have you ever been divorced? Does your breath smell bad while you’re answering my interrogation right now? What are you into? Who are you into? What gender do you like to sleep with?”

We bond together based on anything that we can: music preference, race, gender, the block that we grew up on. We seek out environments that reinforce our personal choices. Sometimes, though — just the question “What do you do?” can feel like somebody’s opening a tiny little box and asking you to squeeze yourself inside of it, because, the categories, I’ve found, are too limiting; the boxes are too narrow. And this can get really dangerous…

— From Artist iO Tillett Wright’s TEDxWomen talk, “Fifty shades of gay” where she explained how she came to photograph 2,000 people who consider themselves somewhere on the LBGTQ spectrum, asking many of them: Can you assign a percentage to how gay or straight you are?

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    If there is a lack of understanding in our world today, it comes down to the individual cognitions of individual people....
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