What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

How I Learned the Difference Between Love and Acceptance

January 12, 2014, 9:00 AM

I grew up the gay child of straight parents.  Most gay children are born to straight parents. And I very much wanted my parents to accept and celebrate me for exactly who I was.  And my parents struggled with that a certain amount.  When I was very little I had been diagnosed with dyslexia and my mother worked with me very closely to help turn around my disadvantages in that department.  So while I’m still dyslexic I’ve learned to compensate for it very well.  And I think the family was not entirely at ease with the possibility that I was gay.  

I remember being in a shoe store with my mother and my brother and the salesman asked us what kind of balloons we’d like when we were leaving.  And my brother said he wanted a red balloon and I said I wanted a pink balloon.  And my mother said, “I think actually you’d like a blue balloon.”  And I said, “No, no.  I really want the pink balloon.”  And she reminded me that blue was my favorite color.  The fact that blue now is my favorite color but I’m still gay is evidence both of my mother’s influence and its limits.  So that was where we started off, as a family that was uncomfortable with who I was.  

As I got to adolescence and really understood that I was gay and as I got into my twenties and told people, I was very angry about what I perceived as a lack of love from my parents. What I found over time was that I was experiencing not a lack of love but a lack of acceptance.  And the research for my book in which I talked to many families of people who are different in some way taught me that love may be there most of the time but that acceptance always takes time.  And that it was valid to hope for the love that I wanted from my family but the acceptance required an adjustment.  And all things considered they adjusted relatively well and relatively quickly.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 



How I Learned the Differenc...

Newsletter: Share: