For the first time ever, a transgender woman addressed the DNC.

Sarah McBride's tireless work earned her a spot on a national stage to share an important message.

Just four short years ago, American University's then-student government president Sarah McBride came out as transgender in an editorial for the school's newspaper.

"With every birthday candle extinguished, with every penny thrown, my wish was always the same," she wrote. "I am now blessed with the opportunity to live my dream and fulfill a truth I have known since childhood. My gratitude is great to my family, friends and this university for accepting me as the person who they now know me to be, and for letting me show them the possibilities of a life well lived."

From that day forward, she committed herself to making the world a better, fairer place for LGBTQ people.


LGBT rights activist Sarah McBride and co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, at the Democratic National Convention on July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

McBride was set on pursuing a career pushing to create a more just society through public policy — if she still could. She was scared.

"When I came out, I think like most folks, I was really scared," she told me earlier this week by phone. "I was worried that my professional career would be over and that my hopes and my dreams wouldn't be able to coexist with who I am."

Before coming out, she had worked for Delaware Governor Jack Markell and former state Attorney General Beau Biden. Still, she worried that being trans would stand in the way of a successful career. All she could do was work hard and hope for the best.

Senator Al Franken and Sarah McBride attend the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala on March 14, 2015. Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Human Rights Campaign.

After college — and after coming out — McBride got a job at the Center for American Progress and became the first openly trans woman to intern at the White House. She's currently the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest LGBTQ rights organization.

Pretty impressive resume, right? And she's just getting started.

On Thursday, July 28, 2016, Sarah again made history, becoming the first transgender person to speak at a major political party's nominating convention.

Working together with the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's team, the Congressional LGBT caucus set aside a speaking spot for someone to advocate on behalf of trans rights. A powerful, media-savvy public speaker, McBride was a clear choice.


GIFs from PBS Newshour/YouTube.

During her speech, Sarah spoke about her own background and also the impact her husband Andy had on her activism.

"For me, this struggle for equality became all the more urgent when I learned that my future husband, Andrew, was battling cancer," she told the crowd. "I met Andy, who was a transgender man, fighting for equality, and we fell in love. And even in the face of his terminal illness, this 28-year-old, he never wavered in his commitment to our cause and his belief that this country can change. We married in 2014, and just four days after our wedding, he passed away."


"Knowing Andy left me profoundly changed," she continued. "More than anything, his passing taught me that every day matters when it comes to building a world where every person can live their life to the fullest."

McBride's message couldn't come at a better time. With trans rights coming to the forefront of politics this election cycle, voices like hers are more important than ever.

While LGBTQ rights have taken leaps forward over the past few years, gaining rights for transgender people has been a slower process.

Certain states, like North Carolina, have instituted outright anti-trans laws that have harmed and dehumanized trans people. Others have joined in lawsuits against the federal government's trans-inclusive interpretation of Title IX. All the while, the rate of violence against trans people — especially trans women of color — remains much too high, while this community is simultaneously at an economic disadvantage.

In other words, it's rough out there, and this election is going to be really important, especially for the trans community.

While the Republican party has committed to what's been called the most anti-LGBTQ platform in the party's history, the Democratic party has pledged to stand firm on rights for this group. Many issues — such as that North Carolina law — are likely to be determined in the federal and Supreme courts. Others — such as employment, housing, and public accommodations protections — exist in the form of legislation that will need to make it through Congress.

As a country, we've reached a crossroads. Do we want to be a nation that simply accepts discrimination as a reality? Or do we want to stand for the rights of all citizens, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or country of origin?

On July 28, 2016, Sarah McBride made history. Hopefully soon it will no longer be considered notable for a trans person to address crowds at conventions like this.

Being 1 out of 133 speakers at the DNC means that trans people were represented at the convention (0.75%) at roughly the same rate they exist in the world (an estimated 0.6% of the population).

By focusing on inclusion and representation, we can be assured that all Americans, no matter how small their group, have a voice in our society.

Watch Sarah McBride's powerful DNC speech below.


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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

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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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