After Living Life As Out And Proud Gay Folks, Why Should Anybody Be Asked To Go Back In The Closet?
It's reaching a point where gay and lesbian folks who have been exactly who they are for decades are reaching retirement age ... and yet, there are some retirement homes where they are not welcome. To have to face that in your golden years is not something anybody needs. The Gay and Lesbian Association of Retiring Persons is aiming to change that.
The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.
According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.
The French Bulldog’s popularity has grown exponentially over the past decade. They were the #14 most popular breed in 2012, and since then, registrations have gone up 1,000%, bringing them to the top of the breed popularity rankings.
The AKC says that the American Hairless Terrier, Gordon Setter, Italian Greyhound and Anatolian Shepherd Dog also grew in popularity between 2021 and 2022.
The French Bulldog was famous among America’s upper class around the turn of the 20th century but then fell out of favor. Their resurgence is partly based on several celebrities who have gone public with their Frenchie love. Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Thee Stallion, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Reese Witherspoon and Lady Gaga all own French Bulldogs.
The breed earned a lot of attention as show dogs last year when a Frenchie named Winston took second place at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and first in the National Dog Show.
They’ve also become popular because of their unique look and personalities.
“They’re comical, friendly, loving little dogs,” French Bull Dog Club of America spokesperson Patty Sosa told the AP. She said they are city-friendly with modest grooming needs and “they offer a lot in a small package.”
They are also popular with people who live in apartments. According to the AKC, Frenchies don’t bark much and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise.
The French Bulldog stands out among other breeds because it looks like a miniature bulldog but has large, expressive bat-like ears that are its trademark feature. However, their popularity isn’t without controversy. “French bulldogs can be a polarizing topic,” veterinarian Dr. Carrie Stefaniak told the AP.
French Bulldogs have been bred to have abnormally large heads, which means that large litters usually need to be delivered by C-section, an expensive procedure that can be dangerous for the mother. They are also prone to multiple health problems, including skin, ear, and eye infections. Their flat face means they often suffer from respiratory problems and heat intolerance.
Frenchies are also more prone to spine deformations and nerve pain as they age.
Here are the AKC’s top ten most popular dog breeds for 2022.
France’s National Assembly has passed a new law that could seriously impact parents’ ability to share photos of their children online. If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, it would give courts the power to ban parents from posting pictures of their children online.
The bill is controversial because it takes away parents’ rights and puts them in the hands of the government. But supporters believe there are more than a few good reasons for the potential ban.
First, it keeps the child’s image out of the hands of unsavory characters. Member of Parliament Bruno Studer, who proposed the bill, told Le Monde, “'A 13-year-old child has an average of 1,300 images of themselves circulating on the internet. These are photos that can be misused for child pornography or that can lead to bullying in the school environment.”
According to Le Monde, 50% of all imagery of children shared on child pornography forums was first posted online by the child’s parents. The bill would also give both parents the right to the child’s image, so if one parent thinks the other is posting inappropriate images, they have the right to stop it.
"The first two articles aim to establish the protection of privacy as one of the responsibilities of parents as holders of parental authority, for which they must obviously involve the child,” Struder continued. "In the most extreme cases, it is provided that the family judge may, if necessary, make a forced partial delegation of parental authority for the specific case of an exercise of image rights."
Opponents of the bill believe that the legislation would strike a blow to parents’ rights. But doesn’t a child have a right to choose how their image is used, especially in a world where the photos could remain visible for the foreseeable future? As the old saying goes, online is forever and photos taken of someone as a child could follow them around well into adulthood.
Further, as the first generation of children who grew up in influencer families are becoming adults, we’re starting to realize the damage the lifestyle can have on young people. Aren’t these kids entitled to some protection from being exploited by their parents?
"We talk a lot about image rights, but not about children's dignity," Thomas Rohmer, Director and founder of l’Observatoire de la Parentalité et de l’Education Numérique, told Le Monde.
The bill has struck up a much-needed debate online and some parents are adamant that it’s their business what they do with photos of their children and no one else’s.
Don't think it's necessarily a bad move, but it should be left at the behest of the parent and not the State.
The debate is interesting because it involves three rightfully interested parties—parents, their children, and a state entrusted to protect children's rights. Whether or not the law is passed, the debate should serve as a way for people to confront this serious idea and to give parents a reason to think twice before posting photos of their children online.
Dillon Helbig's 81-page graphic novel captured the hearts of his local librarians.
Writing a book is no easy task, even for adult professional writers. Many would-be authors dream of a day when their work can be found on library shelves, unsure if it will ever come.
But for 8-year-old Dillon Helbig, that day has already arrived—in truly unconventional fashion—thanks to his own determination to make it happen.
Dillon wrote his 81-page graphic novel, "The Adventures of Dillon Helbig's Crismis" (written by "Dillon His Self") in a hardcover journal with colored pencils over the course of a few days. He even put a label on the back of the book that reads "Made in Idho" [sic] and put an illustrated spine label on it as well. Then, without telling anyone, he brought it to his local library in Boise, Idaho, and slipped it in among the books in the children's section.
The library Facebook page shared that it had officially added the book to the collection at the branch, writing, "Imagine our surprise yesterday when Dillon's mom called to tell us that her son had authored an entire book, shelved it at the Lake Hazel Branch, then announced to his family later that he had written a book and it could be checked out at the library."
The library also announced that Dillon's book had won the first-ever Whoodini Award for Best Young Novelist—an award created in his honor.
Dillon told local news station KTVB that the book features him, his mom, Santa, a bomb, a portal and a giant carnivorous turkey. Because of course.
"I've been wanting to put a book in the library since I was five," Dillon told the station. Nearly half his life, in other words.
Dillon said there were a lot of librarians he had to sneak past with his book to surreptitiously put it on the shelf, but he did it.
"I'll always be sneaky, like how I get chocolate," he explained. Classic.
The adults on every front handled this kid's creativity and determination the best possible way. His mom called the library to let them know the book was there so it wouldn't get lost or taken. And rather than just returning the book, the librarians actually put it into circulation.
"His parents were worried we would find his book and we would get rid of it," Lake Hazel Branch Library manager Alex Hartman told KTVB. "Which was an unfounded fear because if there's ever a place a book would be safe, it would be here."
The librarians loved Dillon's book.
“It deserves a spot on our library shelves,” said Hartman. “It’s a good story.”
At the time of this local news report, the book had a handful of people in line to check it out. But The New York Times reports that as of the end of January, the waiting list has grown to a whopping 56 people. If each person kept the book for the maximum four-week checkout period it would take four years to get to the people at the bottom of the list.
The experience has made Dillon decide to become an author, his mom said, and he even has some career goals laid out.
“I’m going to stop writing when I’m 40,” Dillon said. After that, he will switch to game creation. In the meantime, he has a sequel to his first novel in the works.
“My next book is going to be called ‘The Jacket-Eating Closet,’" he said, "based on actual events.”
Amazing. Kudos to Dillon for following his dream and making it happen, kudos to his mom for encouraging him and kudos to the librarians who saw an opportunity to support a child's creativity and ran with it.
Bruce Willis recently celebrated his 68th birthday.
Back in March 2022, legendary action actor Bruce Willis was diagnosed with aphasia and took an official step away from the spotlight. Then, in February 2023, the beloved "Die Hard" star progressed into frontotemporal dementia, an incurable brain disorder often mistaken for Alzheimer’s that mainly affects personality, behavior and language, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Despite the tragic news, Willis is supported by loved ones, as seen in a video posted by ex-wife Demi Moore. The clip, posted to Twitter on March 19, captures Willis' family surrounding him in celebration of his 68th birthday.
“Happy birthday, BW! So glad we could celebrate you today,” Moore wrote in the video’s caption. “Love you and love our family. Thank you to everyone for the love and warm wishes — we all feel them.”
Happy birthday, BW! So glad we could celebrate you today. Love you and love our family. Thank you to everyone for the love and warm wishes - we all feel them. pic.twitter.com/vcb50QP9hr
Moore’s tweet took over the internet with over 15 million views. Many left comments sharing how nice it was to simply see Willis so clearly happy with his loved ones, especially given his bleak diagnosis.
“This brought tears to my eyes. He looks great and the entire family looks happy and well. So beautiful to see. Happy Birthday, Bruce!!” one person wrote.
Another added, “Thanks to you for letting us be part of that moment, you know that we love and care about Bruce. Receive a loving hug to all the family and friends.”
One person noted how dementia affects an entire family, and a little compassion can go a long way.
“Dementia is a roller coaster which all the family rides. Ups, downs, spirals, and sudden turns. Relationships are stressed to breaking points. But pales to the depth of fear seen in the patient’s eyes when they can’t trust their mind anymore. Hugs and embraces helps their fear,” they wrote.
Willis’ daughter Scout also made a heartfelt Instagram post that’s simply too poignant not to share.
Alongside a childhood photo showing Scout as a sleepy kid resting on Willis’ shoulders, she praised her “Pisces King” of a father for his mastery of being “both action hero icon and gentle girl dad.”
“Today is not necessarily an easy day,” she continued. “Because it’s a day full of so deep love, and our grief really does show us the depth of our loving for someone. So I’m trying to be with both today.”
Scout’s post concluded with the hope that her message might provide some comfort for “anyone who has ever felt their capacity stretched by the enormity of love and the humanness of grief.”
Losing a loved one is never easy. Losing them to dementia, however, is a very specific type of pain. But as these shared moments show, continuing to cherish life can be a very healing salve for everyone involved.
A recently posted story on Reddit shows a mother confidently standing up for her family after being bullied by a teacher for her culture. Reddit user Flowergardens0 posted the story to the AITA forum, where people ask whether they are wrong in a specific situation.
Over 5,600 people commented on the story, and an overwhelming majority thought the mother was right. Here’s what went down:
“I (34F) have a (5M) son who attends preschool. A few hours after I picked him up from school today, I got a phone call from his teacher,” Flowergardens0 wrote. “She made absolutely no effort to sound kind when she, in an extremely rude and annoyed tone, told me to stop packing my son such ‘disgusting and inappropriate’ lunches."
"I felt absolutely appalled when she said this, as me and the teacher have, up until now, always maintained a very friendly relationship. She added that the lunches I’m packing my son are ‘very distracting for the other students and have an unpleasant odor.’ I told her that I understand her concerns, as the lunches I pack are definitely not the healthiest, but the lunches are according to my son’s preferences.”
The mother added that she usually sends her son to school with small celery sticks, blue cheese and goat cheese, kimchi, spam and spicy Sriracha-flavored Doritos.
“I ended the call by saying that I very much appreciated her worries, but that at the end of the day, I am not going to drastically change my son’s lunches all of a sudden, and that it’s not my fault if other students are ‘distracted’ by his meal,” the mother continued. “It is very important to me what my son enjoys, and I want him to like my lunches.”
The teacher replied with an email saying the mom's response was "unacceptable" and that his lunches were “just too inappropriate to be sent to school any longer.”
“I haven’t responded yet and don’t want to. I want to maintain a healthy relationship with my son’s teachers. I am confused as to what to do,” the mom ended her story.
It’s clear that the teacher is way out of line in this situation because the child is eating food that is entirely normal in Korean culture. It may have a strong odor to those who aren’t used to it, but that’s just an opportunity for the teacher to explain to the children how people from different parts of the world eat different types of food. It’s not that hard.
The only reason the teacher should have any choice over what the child eats is if it is egregiously unhealthy and may cause them harm.
The most popular commenter on the forum suggested that the mother bring the issue to the principal’s attention.
"Report her to the principal," Thatshygal717 wrote. "Her comments regarding your son’s food are 'disgusting' and 'have an unpleasant tone' aka cough cough racist tone. She’s too inappropriate to be teaching at the school any longer."
Another commenter, muffiewriters, assured the mother that she was doing nothing wrong. "Your son's food is perfectly normal," they wrote. "For a 5-year-old. Your family's food is normal. The teacher is TA for not recognizing that.”
The mother hasn’t shared what she did next, but she’s handled the situation perfectly so far. She told the teacher that it’s not her fault if other kids are distracted by her food and that she will not change her son’s diet to please other people.
The beauty of America is that we are a country of many different cultures mixed like a beautiful bowl of salad. It’s great that so many people supported the mother and reminded her that her family has every right in the world to eat the food they love, and if it bothers anyone, they can keep it to themselves.
P.S. That teacher has no idea what she’s talking about. Korean food is delicious.
A lot, actually. We know that names reflect certain aspects of one’s identity. We know that repeated mispronunciation of a person’s name potentially undermines that identity. We know that sometimes this is unintentional, and other times, more insidious intentions of “othering” are at play. Especially when it comes to those with non-English names.
With the help of an onstage translator, Clarkson bonded with the group about starting their careers from reality TV—Clarkson from “American Idol,” and TWICE from South Korean TV show “Sixteen”.
During the interview, Clarkson made sure to personally address all nine members in the group—Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung and Tzuyu—by their name.
Then, at one point, Clarkson checked with the translator to see if she was pronouncing Tzuyu’s name correctly.
Clarkson pronounced it the way many English-speaking fans did—”Tzoo-Yoo.” The translator explained that while that version is “good,” the Korean version is actually pronounced “Jjeu-Wee.” Almost resembling the word “chewy.”
The stark contrast between pronunciations at first threw the host a little. And after doing a lighthearted doubletake (“Wait, what?!”) Clarkson quickly decided to go straight to the source.
"How do you want me to say it?" she asked Tzuyu.
Tzuyu responded, "Jjeu-Wee."
In typical Kelly Clarkson fashion, she quipped, "How you say it is adorable! OK, so, Jjeu-Wee—I think I said it right, I'm trying," before moving on to talk more about their song.
It’s such a short exchange, but it made a huge impact. Those who watched online complemented Clarkson on her efforts to make her guests feel welcomed.
“I love that Kelly is trying so hard to pronounce her name and making them feel comfortable. And that was the closest she could get to correctly pronouncing Tzuyu in one day! I could barely pronounce it perfectly in a month so, congrats Kelly!” one person wrote.
Another added, “The way Kelly pronounced Tzuyu to cheewy and saying it's adorable you can feel she knows how to respect and entertain her guest even though there is a language barrier. We love you Kelly and Twice.”
Big thanks to Kelly for showing just how easy it is to offer this truly simple gesture. And within the span of 30 seconds, no less.