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I'm transgender, and I've never had a passport. I've spent the week since the election kind of freaking out.

I don't travel much, so I've never had much use for that particular form of identification. In the week after the country elected Donald Trump, however, I've been frantically trying to figure out how to get one with my correct gender on it because, on Jan. 20, the passport process could get a lot harder for me and others like me.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.


Having accurate legal identification is hugely important, especially for trans folks, and passports are one of the strongest forms of ID you can get.

When a trans person doesn't have accurate ID, we're at risk of being outed at every turn, putting us at risk for discrimination. In some states, it's still legal to be fired or evicted from an apartment for being trans. And maybe — scarily — we might even be physically attacked or killed for being trans.

Since 2010, trans people have finally been able to update our gender on passports with a simple doctor's note acknowledging that we are trans. Before the 2010 rule change, getting a passport with accurate name and gender information was a difficult and expensive process. Trans people were required to prove they had undergone sexual reassignment surgery, even though it can cost tens of thousands of dollars (often out-of-pocket) and only about 1 in 4 trans people are estimated to have even undergone it.

While issues surrounding birth certificates and drivers' licenses are left up to the states, the updated passport rule from 2010 (which was put in place by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) provides a lifeline to trans people in search of an internationally-accepted form of ID with information that reflects who they are. It's a huge step forward.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people at the UN in Geneva in 2011. Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AFP/Getty Images.

1 in 3 trans people still lack any form of ID matching their correct gender, and with time running out, allies are stepping up in a big way.

Scrambling to update my documents before Trump's inauguration, I found answers to some of my passport questions in a surprising place: Twitter.

Do I need to get my name changed before I get my gender marker updated? What does the doctor's note have to say? How much does it cost to update my passport? What if I can't afford it?

With just over two months left in President Obama's term, the hashtag #TransLawHelp, started by Twitter user @dtwps, sprung up as a way for trans people who need help updating identifying documents to connect with lawyers, many of whom are offering their services pro bono.

Within a few days, the website translawhelp.org was launched as a directory of resources inspired by the hashtag.

It's hard to know if President-elect Donald Trump will keep the existing 2010 passport rule in place or not. What I do know is that many of us see this as a situation where it's better to be safe than sorry, as Vice President-elect Mike Pence made it clear in an October interview that the Trump administration will take action to roll back President Obama's pro-LGBTQ policies, guidances, and executive orders.

Knowing what we'll be up against makes what people are doing to help get #TransLawHelp up and running so powerful. It's so reassuring to know that where the government might (but hopefully won't) fail us, there are friends and allies ready to step in and do what they can to help.

The election has been rough for a lot of us, especially those of us with a lot at stake, and it can be easy to lose hope. That's why these moments, where people come together to help one another when they're scared and in need, are so important.

Whether it's the #TransLawHelp hashtag, seeing people speaking out against hate, taking part in peaceful protests, or simply connecting with others to let them know you have their backs, the world becomes a less scary place than it can sometimes feel.

A protest outside of Trump Tower takes place. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

For many of us, there's going to be a lot of uncertainty over the next several years. There's going to be a lot of fear. There's probably going to be a lot of pain and sadness. That's why now, maybe more than ever before, it's crucial that we stand together against hate and discrimination. Whether it's hate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or any other defining feature that makes us the wonderful and diverse country, we need to reject division.

My own personal panic, nearly a week removed from Election Day, has calmed into a focus and determination I didn't even know I had in me before the election.

That's all thanks to the outpouring of love and unity and understanding that I found in unexpected places from unexpected people.

I have the resources I need to update my passport — thanks in part to hashtags like #TransLawHelp. I sincerely hope the incoming administration doesn't attempt to roll back the progress that's been made in the name of LGBTQ rights, but if they do, I feel confident there are good people among us who will stand up for what's right.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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