Haaz Sleiman is a gay Muslim and ‘total bottom’ — and he’s not shutting up.

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.

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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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