More

Here's what it'll look like if trans people aren't allowed to use the right bathroom.

No woman should be forced to use the men's restroom, and no man should be forced to use the women's.

Here's what it'll look like if trans people aren't allowed to use the right bathroom.

This is a man named Michael Hughes.

Why is he in a women's restroom?


Michael is protesting a series of bills across the U.S. and Canada that, if passed, would ban men like him from using men's restrooms and leave him no choice but to use the women's room.

Bizarrely, these laws have been proposed as a way to protect the privacy and safety of women.

(I know. It doesn't make sense, but hang with me.)

Michael is a transgender man, meaning that when he was born, the doctor looked at him and labeled him a girl.

As Michael can tell you, he's not a girl and he's not a woman.

Inspired by a woman from Canada, Michael has been snapping selfies in women's restrooms to show people just how out of place he looks.


If these types of bills become law, people like Michael and other trans men would be forced to use women's restrooms.

Is this the type of guy you want in your restrooms and locker rooms, ladies?


Several states have proposed laws legalizing discrimination against transgender people this year alone.

The main focus of these bills has been whether trans people should be allowed to use public restrooms, though they're often part of a larger effort to deny rights to trans people.

Texas' bill would have denied trans people entrance to public restrooms, showers, or changing rooms.

The penalty for using a restroom that doesn't match the gender "established by the individual's chromosomes" is up to a year in prison and a fine up to $4,000.

Even worse, the bill stated that an "operator, manager, superintendent, or other person with authority over a building" who willfully allows a trans person to use restrooms that match their actual gender will be charged with a felony and could serve a minimum of 180 days in prison and be fined up to $10,000.

The bill remains in committee awaiting action.

Florida's language would have established gender as one's "biological sex, either male or female, at birth."

The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Frank Artiles, brushed off backlash by arguing that going to the bathroom is a choice.

The punishment for a trans person who uses the correct bathroom in Florida would have been up to a year in prison and a fine up to $1,000. The bill died in committee, and did not become law.

Kentucky's bill would have denied trans students the ability to use the correct restroom.

The bill came in response to a Louisville school's decision to allow a trans student to use the restroom that matches their gender.

While the bill didn't specify punishment for using the "incorrect" restroom, it did put what some are calling a "bounty" on catching trans students in the "wrong" restroom. The bill did not become law.


The groups pushing to deny trans people the ability to use restrooms simply spread misinformation.

Opponents of trans-inclusive environments argue that allowing trans people to use restrooms that match their gender invites and allows men into women's restrooms to leer and assault women at will.

Their arguments aren't based in reality.

(Still with me? The laws are pretty ridiculous, but now you know why they're being proposed.)


It's just as ridiculous for a trans woman to have to use the men's restroom as it is for Michael to have to use the women's restroom.

Trans women are not men, and Michael is not a woman.


When it comes down to it, trans people just need to pee. That's all.

Watch Michael Hughes' appearance on MSNBC's "Out There" with Thomas Roberts below:

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

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.

Keep Reading Show less

The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less