He is a hardworking American man. He says they fired him because of his gender.

Tristan Broussard grew up in a little town named Hathaway, Louisiana.

It's a town with lots of crawfish fields, soothing Southern accents, and one caution light. In the video below, Tristan seems like a confident, likable, and a hardworking guy.


Eventually, he left his small town to pursue work opportunities.

He moved to a big city — Lake Charles, Louisiana — and found a job with Tower Loans. In an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, he recalls his first conversation with Miss Leah, his boss, during his initial interview:

"We sat in a little cubicle, and she was like, 'I really like you. I'll give you a call and let you know how it goes.' I said, 'All right.' She said, 'In the next few days.' Well, as soon as I left and got on the road, I was maybe five minutes down the road, and she called me and said, 'You know what? You got the job.'"

Tristan was hired and liked his job — until one rule slowed him down.

From Tristan's perspective, he had success with his job, was well liked in the office, and followed all the rules ... except one. Tristan says his bosses wanted him to "dress like a woman" at work. Yeah, you read that right. They wanted him to put on (I assume) a dress or skirt and come to work because when Tristan was born, the doctor assigned him female.

“Rather than being treated like any other male employee, my employer told me I would be fired unless I dressed and acted as if I were female. The treatment I went through was inexcusable. It was wrong to be fired for who I am."

How does dressing "like a woman" or dressing "like a man" help a loan company do their job better?

Dress codes are fair within a business, but gender-based dress codes are not. They continue a cycle of discrimination that the trans community knows all too well.

Tristan explains how far back his experience with discrimination goes in his interview. At 2:34, he recalls an incident when he went through the Catholic tradition of confirmation as a child. The parallels are heartbreaking:

"I'm trying to be who I am," Tristan says. "Nobody should have that taken away from them."

Tristan has sued Tower Loans for discrimination. If you're interested in learning more about this case, you can check out how it's going through the Southern Poverty Law Center.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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