+

Greg Louganis won Olympic gold medals for diving in 1984 and 1988. But he still wasn't quite enough to land a coveted Wheaties box.

And by "enough," I mean straight.

"[Wheaties'] response was that I didn’t fit their wholesome demographics or whatever," Louganis once explained of the cereal snub. "Basically, being gay, or being rumored that I was gay, [prevented me from being on the box]."


Photo by Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images.

If your blood is boiling at that, you're not alone.

When it comes to America's acceptance of LGBTQ athletes, clearly, a lot has changed since Louganis was given the cold shoulder two decades ago. But we don't need a cereal box to tell us that — just look at this year's Team USA roster.

America boasts seven out and proud LGBTQ Olympians competing in this year's games — and all of them are women.

These badass queer athletes are helping show young LGBTQ people around the world that, yes, they can play sports too — and be amazing at it.

1. Brittney Griner, basketball

When the 6'8" center isn't snagging rebounds, Griner's working on her mobile app, BG:BU, which helps young people fight bullying.

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images.

2. Megan Rapinoe, soccer

Rapinoe helped the U.S. women's soccer team win gold against Japan at the 2012 games. Also, she can't travel without gum and a reliable neck pillow, in case you're wondering what she probably brought with her carry-on luggage to Brazil.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

3. Ashley Nee, canoe/kayak

Nee — who's been on the world championship stage for the past three years — basically lives in the water. But she can have fun on land too. Her hobbies include street art and long boarding.

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

4. Kelly Griffin, rugby

Today, Griffin is a warrior on the field, but that wasn't always the case. She didn't start playing rugby until her freshman year of college.

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images.  

5. Seimone Augustus, basketball

Augustus, who helped lead her team to gold in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, started her own foundation to raise awareness around health and wellness.

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images.

6. Jillion Potter,  rugby

Potter is a Coloradan (who's kinda obsessed with flossing) who helped her team win bronze in the world championships in 2013.

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images.

7. Angel McCoughtry, basketball

McCoughtry has already set individual U.S. records at the Olympics for best field goal percentage and most field goals made. But she also wins brownie points for having a song available on iTunes called “Illusion."

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images.

This isn't just a big year for queer U.S. Olympians either. Globally, there are more out LGBTQ Olympians than ever before.

There's a record-breaking 43 (and counting) out LGBTQ Olympians in total participating in this year's games, according to historian Tony Scupham-Bilton and Outsports.

And that's a huge flippin' deal (that diving pun's for you, Tom Daley).

Olympic diver Tom Daley (U.K.) made a splash after coming out in 2013. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images.

So is 2016 just ... gayer than years past?

I wish! Queer athletes have always competed in the Olympics, of course, but ever-evolving societal views have made more athletes comfortable competing as their authentic selves. What's even cooler about 2016 is that game-changing new policies are opening the door for more transgender Olympians to compete too.

While we certainly shouldn't ignore the fact that, in many regions of the world, progress on LGBTQ rights and visibility has been much slower — and in some places, legislation is even going backwardthere's no denying that the global trend is bending toward equality.

Nicola Adams is an out and proud boxer from the U.K. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC.

Hudson Taylor, founder of Athlete Ally — a leading organization combating homophobia in sports — told Upworthy, "The progress is palpable."

"In the last year, we have seen more athletes come out, more allies speak out, and more teams and leagues take a stand than at any other time in history," he noted.

All of this progress surely puts a smile on Louganis' face. After all, he's been demanding change since his Olympics three decades ago.

“We’ve come so far, as far as marriage equality and so many things that I’ve really kind of fought hard for,” Louganis said. “I never thought I’d see the day that I would be able to get married.”

Oh, and that whole Wheaties fiasco? A popular online petition demanding Louganis get his cereal box got the right people's attention at General Mills earlier this year, and justice was finally served. He got his Wheaties box.

“It means more now than it probably would’ve then because they would’ve been celebrating the athlete [back then],” he recently told "Oprah: Where are they Now." “I’m a gay man living with HIV. I feel like I’m being embraced as a whole person and not just a part of me.”

Photo courtesy of General Mills, used with permission.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

Keep ReadingShow less