Bathrooms just became less safe for trans students. Here's what to do now.

Transgender kids desperately need our help.

The path toward justice for transgender people in America is not a straight one.

Since the Trump administration seized the steering wheel in the White House, setbacks have halted — and even reversed — progress for transgender Americans when it comes to accessing safe bathrooms. There’s no sign these setbacks will stop in the months and years ahead.

Photo by Arno Burgi/AFP/Getty Images.


If you believe in transgender rights, don't feel helpless. The transgender community needs us now more than ever.

Here are 15 ways to show trans people you're in their corner:

1. Know the facts.

On one hand, research finds many transgender people are harassed or physically assaulted while being forced to use a restroom that doesn't correspond with their gender. On the other hand, the idea that ensuring trans people equal bathroom access will somehow legalize the right for a predator to wander into a women's bathroom is a classic case of fear-mongering born from a myth.

Use the facts to make your case when discussing trans rights with those who want to learn more.

2. Know what policies are in place in your own community's school district.

Trump's reversal on trans students' bathroom rights will likely leave schools making more decisions about restroom regulations. Find out what (if any) policies are in place at the schools near you and advocate for trans students who need you in your own backyard.

Image via iStock.

3. Become a Trevor ambassador for the Trevor Project, the nation's leading LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization.

As calls to their 24/7 hotline surged in the aftermath of the election, the Trevor Project was one of the critical groups providing aid to young people in desperate need.

Many young trans people will rely on them in the months ahead, and volunteers will be crucial. You can become a Trevor ambassador in a city near you and spare some time to help the group do its life-changing work.

4. If you know a transgender kid, reach out to their parents to see if it's OK for you to send your love.

A sweet card, a warm hug, or a trip to the ice cream parlor — just to say "You are loved" — can make all the difference. If you know a transgender adult, reach out to them and see how you, as an ally, can best help efforts toward equality in your own community.

Image via iStock.

5. Fund the resistance through Lambda Legal, a group using the law to help protect trans kids from Trump's policies.

"While the Trump-Pence administration wages its war on children, we at Lambda Legal will redouble our efforts to protect transgender and other vulnerable kids," the group said in a statement. "We are already in court fighting for transgender students, and we are prepared to sue any school district that discriminates in the wake of the Trump administration’s actions."

6. Write a reassuring message to trans students online using the #ProtectTransKids hashtag.

The hashtag, which began trending Feb. 22, is being used to send notes of love and solidarity to anyone who could use it.

7. And while you're on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, share this image to let everyone know where you stand.

1 in 3 transgender youth has tried to commit suicide. These kids need more protection, not less. #ProtectTransKids

A post shared by Liz Plank (@feministabulous) on

8. If it's the right fit for you, become a member of Fierce, or tell someone else about the opportunity.

A New York City-based group, Fierce runs youth-led campaigns and leadership development programs so more young, queer people of color feel empowered to influence the world around them today and in the years ahead.

9. Get involved with the Human Rights Campaign.

HRC is the nation's leading political advocacy group for LGBTQ rights, and equal bathroom access is one of its most important issues.

10. Find out if the schools in your community have a Gay-Straight Alliance.

Again, Trump's decision will give state and local school districts more room to discriminate when it comes to bathroom access. This makes it even more crucial that you know what's happening in the schools in your own neighborhood.

The Gay-Straight Alliance is one group that operates at the local level, helping build bridges between straight, cisgender students and their LGBTQ peers.

Find out if there's a GSA program in your own school district. If there's not, help start one.

11. Take part in a local or national event held by GLSEN, a group committed to making sure every grade school in America is safe for LGBTQ students.

Among many services, the nonprofit does extensive research on how and why schools are failing queer kids and provides resources to educators to help fix the problems.

"While the Trump administration may abandon transgender students, GLSEN won’t," the group's executive director, Dr. Eliza Byard, said in a statement.

12. Buy a shirt from Trans Lifeline and help save lives.

Similarly to the Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline runs a hotline for any transgender person in need. Trans Lifeline, however, is operated solely by trans staffers for trans people, which can make a difference to those seeking help.

If you purchase a shirt from their online store, proceeds go toward helping the group fulfill and expand its mission of saving and bettering lives.

13. Learn more about the causes of LGBTQ youth homelessness, and fight for change.

It's vital we fight for transgender rights when it comes to bathrooms, but we also can't forget about the thousands of trans youth across the country made homeless simply because of their gender identity. Groups like the Ali Forney Center, the Happy Hippie Foundation, My Friend's Place, and the True Colors Fund are fighting every day to help homeless LGBTQ youth access stable housing, employment, and an education.

14. Watch and share this powerful video featuring a trans girl and her loving family on Facebook.

The more people see it, the more hearts and minds will open.

15. Donate to the Hetrick-Martin Institute.

The nonprofit, which began as a grassroots effort in 1979, now provides social programs — like arts and culture, job readiness, and health and wellness initiatives — for LGBTQ people ages 13-24 in and around New York City. It does great work, but it needs your help.

Transgender people have always needed our love and support, but this is a particularly critical moment when each one of us can make a difference.

Whether it's donating what you can, sharing a note online, or simply giving a warm hug, you might be the person a student — maybe in your own community — needs this very moment. Show them you care.

This article was updated on March 6, 2017.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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