Whitney Houston, Casey Gerald, Yale discussed on TED Talks Daily

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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This. Ted talk features authored Casey Gerald recorded live at Ted salon belonging, twenty eighteen. This talk contains mature language. My mother called this some. Stage in an invention. She'd come across a few snippets of my memoir, which one even out yet. And she was concerned. It wasn't the sex. It was the language that disturbed her for example. I have been so many things along my curious journey a poor boy, a nigga Yale man, a Harvard man, a faggot a Christian a crack baby alleged the spawn of Satan the second coming Casey. That's just page six. So you may understand my mother's worry. But she wanted only to make one small change. So she called and she began. Hey. You are a man not a faggot you not a pumpkin. Let me tell you the difference. You are prominent you are intelligent you dress. Well, you know, how to speak people like you. You don't walk around doing a hand like a punk? You're not a vagabond on the street. You are an upstanding person who just happens to be gay. Don't put yourself over there. When you or over here. She thought she'd done me, a favour. And in a way, she had her call clarified. What am trying to do with my life? And in my work as a writer, which is to send one simple message way. We're taught to live has got to change. I learned this the hard way I was born not on the wrong side of the tracks. But on the wrong side of a whole river, the trinity down in Oakland, Texas was raised there in part by my grandmother who worked as domestic. And by my sister who adopted me a few years after our mother who struggled with mental illness disappeared. There was that disappearance there began when I was thirteen and lasted for five years that shaped the person, I became the personnel laid ahead to unbecoming. Before she left. My mother had been my human hiding place. She was the only other person who seemed estranges me beautifully. Strange some mix of blanche do blah from a streetcar named desire and in one thousand nine hundred eighty s Whitney Houston. I'm not saying she was perfect. Just sure benefited from her imperfections. And maybe that's what magic is. After all useful mistake. So when she began to disappear for days at a time, I turned to some magic of my own struck me as from both the DACA conjure up. My mother just by walking perfectly from my elementary school at the top of a steep hill. All the way down to my grandmother's house placing one foot in one foot only in each sidewalk square. I couldn't that any part of any foot touch the line between the square I couldn't skip square. All the way to the last where at last blade of grass that separated our lawn from our driveway, and our bullshit, you not it worked just wants to. But if my perfect walk could not bring my mother back I found that this approach had other uses found that everyone else in charge around me love nothing more than perfection obedience submission, or at least. If I submit it. They wouldn't bother me too much. So. Took a bargain that I'd like to see in a prison stodgy prison in Berlin on a sign that read key who adapts can live tolerably. It was a bargain that helped ensure head a place to stay in food to eat. Bargain that warned me praise of teachers and can strangers a bargain the paid off big time it saying when one day at seventeen and a man from Yale showed up at my high school to recruit me for yells football team felt is out of the blue to me, then as it made you now the Yale man say it everybody saying that this was the best thing that could ever happen to me. Best thing that can happen to the whole community take this ticket. Boy, they told me. I was not. So sure. L Samed another world entire cold foreign hostile place on the first day of my recruiting. Visit I text my sister and excuse for not going these people are so weird. She replied you'll fit right in.

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