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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Augusten Burroughs: I’ve always known that I was attracted to guys, to people of the same sex, since I was a little kid and I was raised without any religion. As a matter of fact, I used to get Jesus and Santa confused when I was a child. So I was raised without religion and I didn’t go to school. I didn’t go to high school. I didn’t go to junior high school for any length of time. And then at a very early age I was plunged in to this extraordinary living situation when I was- when my mother gave me to her psychiatrist and his family to live. So my sexual orientation was nothing I ever questioned or struggled with or thought about; I’m right handed and it’s just a fact so being gay was exactly the same thing; it was just a fact.

And it’s always been like that for me in my career and all my life. It’s never been something I struggled with. I’ve been asked and I’ve actually been criticized by some people in the- who have misinterpreted.

When asked by the gay press, “Are you proud to be gay?”, I have often replied, “I’m not proud because I haven’t accomplished anything. If I had been the child of evangelical Christian parents, I’d be damn proud. If I had worked for my identity, I would be proud but I never--What did I do? I’m proud of the gay and lesbian people who came before me and made it possible for me to take it for granted but I myself haven’t really- haven’t struggled and overcome anything.” I’m not proud of being right handed. Now at the same time would I change and be straight if I could? Never. Never.

No interest and would never do it, never do it, so I’m really happy this way but it’s not like I accomplished something; I took a driver’s test and passed. I was just born knowing how to drive.

Recorded on: April 30, 2008.

 

Lack of a Gay Identity

Newsletter: Share: