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Last week, actor ​Haaz Sleiman didn't so much come out of the closet as much as he eagerly burst through its doors.

Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images.

On Aug. 22, the "Nurse Jackie" star put to bed a burning question the LGBTQ rumor mill had been churning for years: Yes, he's gay.


In Sleiman's unfiltered coming out video on Instagram, he emphatically stated he's a "gay, Muslim, Arab-American man" and prefers "bottoming" during sex.

😈 💪🏽🌈💪🏽🌈

A post shared by Haaz Sleiman (@haazsleiman) on

His candidness sent the internet buzzing. Many fans were supportive, he notes, but his preference for bottoming (or receiving) sparked a flurry of accusatory comments claiming he made the video solely to create dramatic headlines and boost his career. Many media outlets chose that detail about his sex life to focus on specifically.

"Some people are comparing me to Trump," the actor says with a laugh, noting the president's attention-seeking ways. "I don’t know how that happened."

Those critics are missing the point though.

The actor proudly shared his sexual preference for bottoming, he says, to fight back against a form of misogyny that shames queer men who enjoy that position and attaches harmful stereotypes to their identities.

As Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez wrote for The Advocate:

"Some of the stigma associated with bottom-shaming is indicative of gender roles. How many times have you heard a straight person ask, 'Which of you is the girl in the relationship?' The guy on the bottom is the one being penetrated, which they associate with femininity. In this society, which is more of a handicap — being a woman or being a man who exhibits a trait associated with being a woman?"

Sleiman was hoping his candidness about bottoming would help change that destructive narrative — not garner some free press for a few days.

"It makes me think," Sleiman says of the backlash from other gay men, "do they know that I’m on their side?"

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Sleiman is frustrated that much of the reaction to his video has missed the most important part of his message: Anti-LGBTQ violence is on the rise.

"The reason why I made this video and came out now in this manner is — it breaks my heart to know more and more gay people are being murdered," he says. "A part of me doesn’t want the world to forget that they’re gone."

Sleiman began his video citing a report that found 33 LGBTQ people — disproportionately transgender women of color — have been murdered as of August. Last year, excluding the mass shooting deaths at Orlando's Pulse nightclub in June, that figure stood at 26 deaths — for the entirety of 2016.

"When I read that report, I couldn’t stop thinking about it," Sleiman says. "I was obsessing about it."

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Like many LGBTQ people, homophobia, transphobia, and anti-queer violence hits close to home for Sleiman.

The actor was born and raised in Lebanon — a country with very few legal protections for LGBTQ people — before immigrating to Michigan when he was 21 years old. While some family members have been supportive of Sleiman's sexuality, many distant relatives in Lebanon have sent him vile messages after coming out, claiming he disgraced the family and asking him to change his last name.

"I don’t think I’m going to be able to go back to my village," Sleiman says. "I don’t feel safe to go there anymore."

Much of the pain he's carried from a burdened childhood will be reflected in a new, semi-autobiographical film Sleiman is writing.

"I could not survive [in Lebanon]; I would have died," he explains of the film's personal nature. The movie, featuring a gay character, will aim to expand minds and open hearts for LGBTQ and straight, cisgender people alike. "Even if nobody hurt me, I would have died. The best way I could put it: I felt so alone."  

That's why the actor is speaking out — and speaking out loudly — now.

"Don’t ever forget that you are so powerful and you can do anything," he notes to any closeted person who needs a shoulder to cry on. "No matter where you’re at, no matter what you’re dealing with, keep repeating that in your mind. And you will find a way."

To learn more about and fight back against anti-LGBTQ violence, visit the Transwomen of Color Collective.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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