Homophobe claimed Pride Month is disrespectful to the military. Then, a veteran shut him down.

We're about halfway through pride month, which means we're also about halfway through every one of the hot takes about why we shouldn't have pride month, why it's too long, and why we don't need it anymore. SPOILER ALERT: WE DO. If only for the fact that there are so many people demanding that the LGBT+ community justify their existence.

Equality didn't happen just because gay people can marry now. And while things are markedly better than they were when I came out in 2002, homophobia and heterosexism still exist and there are still public officials out there (hi Alabama!) demanding that homosexuals be killed.


This year has also seen the added bonus of white supremacists (and those perilously adjacent) creating a "straight pride" parade in order to troll the "privilege" of those who identify as LGBT+. Because nothing says "privilege isn't real," like members of majority groups banding together to take something back from marginalized communities!

Fortunately, people are out here fighting the ignorance with education and support. In Oklahoma, for instance, a straight guy transformed his truck to challenge stereotypes and show love for those who've faced bigotry; on the celebrity front, Taylor Swift released a Pride anthem that you've got to admit (even if you don't like it) will likely change the minds of some of her more socially conservative fans. (That's another thing about Pride: We're going to need it until coming out in support of LGBT+ people isn't seen at all controversial or a "power move" for celebrities.)

Here's one more for the annals of "people correcting those arguing in bad faith." In the tradition of smugly asking when International Men's day is (It's November 19th!) on International Women's Day, a meme's been going around asking why Pride lasts an entire month when veterans get only a day to celebrate what they've done for this country. And a blistering Facebook response from a member of the military, which made the front page of Reddit, has got a lot of people's attention.



Reddit

"The entire month of May is Military Appreciation Month and has been since 1999," wrote the Facebook user.

"I have never once had my life threatened due to being in the military however members of the LGBTQ+ communities are threatened and killed every single day over something they have no control over."

After pointing out that being gay is still illegal in many, many places around the world (even in the US, we're still fighting for federal protection from discrimination in all 50 states), the author closed with this: "This post is incredibly ignorant and if you'd and the others who've shared this post truely [sic] cared about military members then you'd know May was NMAM and not just us as an argument for your homophobia."

The writer's got more than a point. There's no reason to pit communities against each other. And when people do so just for the purpose of denigrating others — a quick google search would have made it clear that NMAM happens every May, so it would have been easy to raise awareness if that was the goal! — they're showing that they don't actually care about the causes they purport to be championing. They're just trying to tear others down.

And that's just another reminder of why we still need Pride.

popular

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture