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.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Library of Congress

When we think about the era of American slavery, many of us tend to think of it as the far distant past. While slavery doesn't exist as a formal institution today, there are people living who knew formerly enslaved black Americans first-hand. In the wide arc of history, the legal enslavement of people on U.S. soil is a recent occurrence—so recent, in fact, that we have voice recordings of interviews with people who lived it.

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The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

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