A trans mom tells her heart-wrenching life story to her daughter in this animated video.

When Alexis Martinez first came out to her mom as transgender in the 1960s, her mom called the cops.

After the police showed up, things went from very bad to much worse. Instead of offering any form of support or guidance, the officers shrugged off the incident, ridiculing her family while they were at it.

“They just laughed and told her, ‘you got a fag for a son, and there's nothing we can do about it,'" Martinez recalled to StoryCorps five decades later.


In this powerful, animated video of Martinez's story, she tells the turbulent — but ultimately hopeful — journey of her life to her daughter, who's grateful that her mom can live freely in her own skin:

Although Martinez's story of parental rejection is decades-old, it's still one that many young trans people know all too well.

Transgender people are far more likely to experience homelessness, abuse drugs, attempt suicide, and live with mental health issues, like depression.

These problems, of course, aren't inherent — they stem from widespread societal transphobia, which bleeds into many facets of everyday life. And it's a formidable form of bigotry that, many times, starts right at home.

Life was tough for Martinez. She put on a facade after initially coming out, trying to hide her identity with a heavy dose of machoism. She joined a gang on the South Side of Chicago where she grew up, hoping others would see her apparent toughness and not her true self — or the outfits she chose to wear underneath her rough exterior.

"I would be wearing combat boots and blue jeans and a leather jacket," she said. "But underneath, I would have stockings and a bra."

"I remember it as a very dark period. I really didn’t believe that anybody could love somebody like me," she explains in the video.

Fortunately, Martinez — now a happy grandma with a healthy relationship to her family — is in a much better place.

She's free to live openly and honestly — a point her daughter, Lesley Martinez Etherly, hopes her mom truly understands.

“You don’t have to apologize, you don’t have to tiptoe," Etherly tells Martinez in the video. "We’re not gonna cut you off. And that is something that I’ve always wanted you to just know: that you’re loved."

More
True
#WhoWeAre
Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

Keep Reading Show less
popular