32 hilarious, sad, perfect tweets that nail what small-town life is like for gay people.

1. As a gay person, growing up in a small town can have its downsides.

2. It's tough.

3. For starters, your gayness seems to be the one defining thing about you.

4. And it's even harder if there's something else that's "different" about you too.

Eternally relevant memo: LGBTQ people exist across all communities in every country on Earth (including small towns!).

5. You're constantly being asked "the question."

Not to mention its cousin: "You're still single?"


(*screams with rage into the abyss*)

6. If you're out and proud, you might be flaunting it like nobody's business...

7. ...until you remember that's not always safe, depending on where you are.

Image via tchaikovsgay/Tumblr.

"You know what’s great?" this Tumblr user captioned the photo above. "Putting some gay stickers on your car and promptly remembering Missouri hates gay people."

8. Spotting another gay couple out in the wild is always pretty exciting.

9. There's not a whole lot do to in town already — but there's even less to do than if you were straight.

10. A lot of the time, it can feel like the world is against you.

11. Being gay in a small town is almost like being famous. Almost.

12. Big family events can become needlessly complicated.

13. But you'll work hard to find pride in yourself wherever you are.

14. If you're out of the closet, your dating options can be ... limited at best.

15. And meeting other people on dating apps is exponentially more challenging.

16. Like, really challenging.

Image via mywickedway/Twitter.

*yells into megaphone* "Is anybody out there?"

17. Because the dating struggle is real when you're a small-town gay in need of some serious gas money.

18. Even finding like-minded friends can be hard.

Thanks, Mom.

19. You definitely know what it's like to crush on someone who doesn't return the feelings.

20. And you look for signs that you'll be accepted wherever you go.

Literally any sign will do.

21. Like, even this poster for a scary movie about clowns is a fierce artistic inspiration to a small town gay.

22. Sometimes it feels like those scary movie monsters are the only ones that get you, actually.

Which, yes, is very sad. Do better, Hollywood.

23. Your neighbors likely disagree with your political viewpoints.

24. If more of us felt supported in small towns, there would be no bounds to the good we could do politically.

25. Maybe the most difficult thing about being gay in a small town is the feeling that no one truly understands you.

26. But here's the thing: Sometimes your small town might surprise you in the best ways.

27. Even in small-town Middle America, there are places that will love and accept you.

28. Being able to connect with pop culture outside your town definitely helps a lot, though.

29. And thank goodness for the rebellious teachers who give you the courage to be who you are.

30. Not to mention those life-changing art and drama classes where you found safety and comfort.

31. Because for all their flaws (and there are many), small towns don't always deserve their reputations.

They can be pretty damn great.

32. Hopeful even.

Image via Tumblr user Mo-Mosa/Tumblr.

"You guys know what I just realized? Despite living in a Republican small town, I — a queer, Native-Afro-Latina — was voted Homecoming Queen in the fall and class president of my senior class. I was also one of the leads in my school's musical. Three years ago, I thought I'd never be accepted and that I'd never have friends. I was scared to speak up and scared of being seen. There is hope, y'all. Things get better."

— Tumblr user Mo-Mosa

🏳️‍🌈 Positive change can't come soon enough. 🏳️‍🌈

Fortunately, there are many organizations fighting the good fight with state and local chapters in your own backyard, should you want the support:

  • PFLAG is a nonprofit committed to strengthening the bonds between LGBTQ people, their families, and allies in their communities. Its work is crucial in smaller cities and towns across America.
  • The Trevor Project is an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention group helping kids who feel as though they have no one to turn to. They save lives in small towns.
  • GLSEN is a national organization aiming to make schools across the country as LGBTQ-friendly and inclusive as possible. Because our small-town schools (and all of our schools, really) need improving.
  • The Genders and Sexualities Alliance (formerly the Gay-Straight Alliance) brings LGBTQ students and their straight, cisgender peers together to build bridges and understanding.

This post was updated 12/14/2017.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.