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WATCH: This Lesbian Couple From San Francisco Explores LGBT Life Around the World

WATCH: This Lesbian Couple From San Francisco Explores LGBT Life Around the World

WATCH: This Lesbian Couple From San Francisco Explores LGBT Life Around the World

“Equality is not a Western invention.”

As a same-sex couple from San Francisco, Jenni Chang and Lisa Dazols were able to live life the way they wanted; yet each wondered what life was like for LGBT people outside the bubble of the Bay Area. In search of stories of hope, Chang and Dazols set out on a world tour of 15 countries in Asia, Africa, and South America to meet courageous LGBT individuals the couple dubbed "Supergays."

According to Dazols, there was only one problem. "We had zero reporting and zero filmmaking experience," Dazols said in a 2015 TEDWomen talk. "We bought a camcorder, ordered a book on how to make a documentary—you can learn a lot these days—and set off on an around-the-world trip."

The couple chronicled their journey in the 2015 documentary Out & Around.

On their journey, they met a range of LGBT activists and pioneers. In Nepal, Chang and Dazols met transgender advocate, Bhumika Shrestha, who overcame being expelled from school and being incarcerated for her gender presentation to petition the Nepali Supreme Court to protect against LGBT discrimination in 2007.

In India, the couple met Prince Manvendra—the world’s first openly gay prince. In East Africa, a region known for intolerance towards LGBT people, Chang and Dazols interview Kenya’s first openly gay political candidate, David Kuria. In Argentina, a country where 92 percent of the population identifies as Catholic, the couple met María Rachid, a driving force behind marriage equality in the country.

During their trip through China, Chang learned Asia’s largest LGBT pride event happens just blocks away from where her grandparents live. "If only my parents knew," said Chang, who introduced the talk with an anecdote about a rocky moment after coming out to her parents.

"By the time we finished our not-so-straight journey around the world," Dazols summarizes, "we had traveled 50,000 miles and logged 120 hours of video footage. We traveled to 15 countries and interviewed 50 Supergays. Turns out, it wasn't hard to find them at all."

Chang emphasizes this point: "What we ultimately took away from our journey is, equality is not a Western invention."

Watch the full TED talk below.

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Cassie Sheets