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His school canceled his speech after learning that he's gay. What resulted was actually awesome.

It's really unfortunate that he wasn't able to give this speech to his classmates, but now his words will reach so many more.

His school canceled his speech after learning that he's gay. What resulted was actually awesome.

After four years of hard work, 18-year-old Evan Young was set to make the speech of a — until suddenly, he wasn't.

Young wrapped up his senior year at Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School in Longmont, Colorado, with a 4.5 grade point average and the title of class valedictorian. As is tradition at schools around the country, he was granted the chance to give a short speech at the graduation ceremony on May 16, 2015.

But that's until school principal B.J. Buchmann told Young that he would not be delivering a speech.


Young was planning on outing himself as gay during his speech. School administrators were not OK with that.

According to the school, Young's speech was canceled in part because it "included references to personal matters of a sexual nature" and it wasn't "appropriate for a speech at a graduation ceremony."

It's always kind of frustrating to see anything related to gay people automatically labeled as being "of a sexual nature" and therefore deemed inappropriate for school. Do you think if a valedictorian thanked his girlfriend or her boyfriend during a speech it'd be labeled as a "personal matter" of "sexual nature"? Probably not.

Coming out during graduation ceremonies happens pretty frequently, actually. Here's an example from the same month, also in Colorado:


While all this is really not cool, it's not even the worst part: In addition to canceling Young's speech, Buchmann called his parents and outed him to them without his consent.

Seeeeeriously not cool. GIF via Giphy.

But thanks to "The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore," Young got to give his speech and it was awesome.

It was funny, honest, and just overall the type of thing that will make you tear up — so long as your heart is not made of actual stone.

He runs through some of his "secrets," which touch on things like homework he didn't like and other small issues. The whole point was to build up to his big secret: He's gay.


Images via Comedy Central.

Now, it's just so sad that in today's world, someone's existence can be considered a "divisive issue."

Think about his statement: "I understand this might be offensive to some people, but it's who I am."

In what world should anyone or anything's existence be in and of itself offensive? Like, I'm not a fan of canned tuna, but I'm not like, "The mere existence of tuna offends me! Wipe it from the ocean so that I no longer have to share this earth with such a vile creature!" I simply go, "OK, yeah. I'm not going to order the tuna sandwich."

It's really that simple. Think of something in your life that you don't particularly care for in terms of music, food, or something like that. Now, here's the question: Do you devote time to stopping others from enjoying it? Or do you just go about your life? I'm guessing it's the latter.

Young ended his speech with a really simple request: Hug someone.

We all have to share this world and there's no point in trying to pretend that people don't exist. Young's speech wasn't of a "sexual" nature. It was just him being himself and the world could do a lot of good by following his advice.

Check out Evan Young's segment on "The Nightly Show" below:

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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via The Walt Disney Company / Flickr

One of the ways to tell if you're in a healthy relationship is whether you and your partner are free to talk about other people you find attractive. For many couples, bringing up such a sensitive topic can cause some major jealousy.

Of course, there's a healthy way to approach such a potentially dangerous topic.

Telling your partner you find someone else attractive shouldn't be about making them feel jealous. It's probably also best that if you're attracted to a coworker, friend, or their sibling, that you keep it to yourself.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"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.

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