What I’ve learned from having balls. | Emily Quinn | TEDxProvidence

Emily Quinn has balls, literally. At age 10 she found out she was intersex (that her biology isn’t strictly male or female) and she was told not to tell anyone about it. In this brave, vulnerable talk Emily shares what it’s like to carry the burden of shame while navigating a world where nobody understood her body. Her experience teaches us that bodies are a lot more diverse and complicated than we make them out to be, and leaves us with one question: what’s so bad about being different? Emily Quinn is an artist, author, and intersex activist. She received her BFA in Animation in 2012 and worked at Cartoon Network on the Emmy Award winning show, Adventure Time.

While there she partnered with interACT and MTV to develop the first intersex main character in television history. She came out publicly as intersex in a PSA alongside the character’s debut, which launched her into the national spotlight as an intersex person. She has since been featured in an array of media, including Teen Vogue, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Vice, Huffington Post, PopSugar, and many more. Emily worked as the Youth Coordinator for interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth before branching off on her own as a freelance activist and artist.

She has experience speaking to a myriad of diverse audiences including the American Academy of Pediatrics, San Diego Comic-Con, Harvard University, GLAAD, South by Southwest, the Council of Europe, and, in 2018 she gave a TED talk. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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