Her son isn't gay, queer, or transgender: He just likes to wear dresses.

Mom Crystal Kells says her son Cian asked to try on one of her dresses when he was only 4 years old.

All photos by Kells' Natural Photography, used with permission

Cian loved it so much, he soon started begging her for a dress of his own.


From there, it simply turned into something her now 5-year-old son liked to do: Wear dresses.

"I was a little worried about him getting teased," Kells said in a message, "but quickly realized that Cian was going to base how he should react from me. So, I made sure I was confident and indifferent about it."

When Kells, a photographer, started snapping photos of Cian in his favorite dresses, the internet fell in love.

And why wouldn't they? The pictures are breathtaking.

At first, she only shared the photos on her Facebook and Instagram pages, where the response was small but supportive.

This past week, though, she wrote a powerful column explaining her decision to let Cian wear what he wants and to show her beautiful son off to the world.

"This is my son Cian and he loves to wear dresses," she wrote. "We’ve never taught it to him 'This is for girls and this is for boys' and we never will."

As far as she knows, Cian isn't gay, queer, or transgender. He just sees beyond what society says is "OK" for boys to do and wear.

She also wrote that she and Cian's father will support Cian however his gender manifests itself down the road:

"The most important thing to us is the health and happiness of our son."

"I want my son to grow up knowing he has a voice," she wrote. "Grow up knowing he can do and be anything he wants to be in this world."

The boost in exposure brought with it some extra criticism, Kells says. But for every critic, she gets an email from a parent who's going through something similar with their own child.

The support has been pouring into her inbox since the photos went viral, with a heartwarmingly large amount of people seeing something more than just a boy in a dress:

They see a happy kid.

For now, that's enough. She can't predict how Cian will choose to express himself weeks from now, let alone years. She has no idea if he'll continue to wear dresses as he gets older.

She hopes they'll be able to raise him not to regret the choices that brought him genuine joy.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Welp, the two skateboarding events added to the Olympics this year have wrapped up for the women's teams, and the results are historic in more ways than one.

Japan's Kokona Hiraki, age 12, just won the silver medal in women's park skateboarding, making her Japan's youngest Olympic medalist ever. Great Britain's Sky Brown, who was 12 when she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and is now 13, won the bronze, making her Great Britain's youngest medalist ever. And those two medal wins mean that two-thirds of the six medalists in the two women's skateboarding events are age 13 or younger. (The gold and silver medalists in women's street skateboarding, Japan's Momiji Nishiya and Brazil's Rayssa Leal, are also 13.)

That's mind-blowing.

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