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Oregon's Kate Brown is the nation's first (and only) openly LGBTQ person to be elected governor.

After being involuntarily outed by the local newspaper in a story about LGBTQ legislators in the early 1990s, Brown came out as bisexual to her family (who told her it would be easier if she were a lesbian); her gay and straight friends (who called her "half-queer" and "indecisive" respectfully); and her colleagues in the state legislature (one of whom took the news as an opportunity to hit on her).

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.


The responses Brown received after coming out are disappointing but sadly unsurprising considering that bisexuality is often a source of jokes, confusion, needless ridicule, and — worst — complete erasure.

Bisexuality deserves a place in the conversation when it comes to the greater needs, challenges, and resources of the LGBTQ community. Bisexual+ Awareness Week — the plus includes people who identify as queer, pansexual, fluid, or without labels at all — aims to do just that with articles, events, hashtags (#biweek), and conversations that celebrate and center bisexual+ people.

Brown joined Texas Rep. Mary Gonzalez and Wisconsin Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa for a conversation on Twitter about legislating while bisexual+.

Hosted by GLAAD and the Victory Institute, the hourlong event featured questions on topics ranging from role models to policy. It's clear these three leaders work hard for their state and districts while pushing back against bisexual erasure and discrimination.

Here are seven of their many thoughtful responses and advice for bisexual people (or frankly anyone in an underrepresented group) thinking about running for office:

1. When it comes to building community, it starts with representation.

Recent studies show that people who identify as bisexual may make up as much as half the LGBTQ community, but less than 30% are out to those closest to them. To dismantle stereotypes and to help others feel safe enough to live openly, increased visibility of those who are out is vital.

2. Having the support of the LGBTQ community and allies remains important, particularly with President Donald Trump's threatening policy decisions.

Bisexual people can be black, white, disabled, cis, trans, or nonbinary too. Recognizing and honoring that intersectionality is vital.

3. More bisexual people should consider running for public office.

"No more 'bi-erasure.' We are here. We are proud," Zamarripa tweeted with an additional message:

"It is important for bi people to run for office, so we can advocate for policies that will help bisexual people survive and thrive. We also need to run for office so we are visible. No more bi-erasure. We are here. We exist. We are proud. And, in doing so, we lift up other bisexual folks, especially youth, so they know they can not only survive but thrive."

If the rights and liberties of the LGBTQ community are at risk, then LGBTQ people and our allies must be in the conversation to speak up and preserve them.

4. While making the decision to be a leader — political or otherwise — can be scary, there are plenty of organizations and political leaders available to help get you started.

Consider reaching out to the Victory Institute, Emily's List, or She Should Run for resources in your community.

5. Need a little encouragement? Gonzalez recommended some books to get folks started.

Gonzalez looks to queer women of color for inspiration. Here are five more to keep your nightstand crowded.

6. Gonzalez also had a few words of inspiration.

7. But get out there and leave your mark. Because the world needs your voice now more than ever.

You never know who's admiring your work or looking up to you. In a series of tweets after the chat, Brown wrote (emphasis added):

"After I got sworn in as the nation's first openly LGBTQ governor, I got a letter from a young bisexual person. They felt like my coming out gave them a reason to live, like they weren't alone. That stuck with me. If I can be a role model for one young person, and make a difference in their life, it's all worth it."

Brown, then an Oregon senator, hugs former state Rep. George Eighmey after Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed two bills protecting gay rights into law. Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images.

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.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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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.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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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.
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