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If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be? Be bolder? Care less (or more) about schoolwork? Don't sweat the small stuff?

We'd all have words of wisdom to pass down. But for LGBTQ people who've struggled with their identities as kids, those words may carry especially critical messages.

I posed the question to LGBTQ stars and allies who walked the red carpet at TrevorLive — a fundraising gala benefitting The Trevor Project — on June 11 in New York.

Here's what they had to say.


Figure skater Adam Rippon and skier Gus Kenworthy — two of the first openly gay male Olympians to compete for the U.S. — hosted TrevorLive. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy: "I would tell myself that — as hard as I'm going to try to be what everyone expects me to be or what I thought everyone expects me to be — in the end, it's not going to make me happy."  

"The only time I'm really going to be happy is when I understand that and accept myself for who I am, and share that self with the world. And hopefully would have encouraged myself to do it a lot earlier."

Skiier Gus Kenworthy is among the first openly gay male Olympians in U.S. history. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

"Orange Is the New Black" star Natasha Lyonne: "I would tell myself, 'Kid, if you can make it — you, you troublemaker — we all can make it. It gets better.'"

"I would say to that person that everyone is a little bit broken, and that's their underlying beauty. So that's OK."

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

Film producer Greg Berlanti: "A lot of the things I wanted to change about myself back then are the things I love most about myself now."

"And it doesn't seem possible when you're in that moment because you feel like they're preventing you from having the life that you want. But really they end up being the sort of gateway to the life that you want."

[rebelmouse-image 19347040 dam="1" original_size="819x1024" caption=""Love, Simon" director Greg Berlanti, who won the evening's Hero Award, prioritizes LGBTQ representation in his many film and TV projects. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project." expand=1]"Love, Simon" director Greg Berlanti, who won the evening's Hero Award, prioritizes LGBTQ representation in his many film and TV projects. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

Model and TV personality Carmen Carrera: "One word of advice I would probably give my younger self is to talk to my mom. Just talk to mom!"

"Tell her how you feel. And just know that everything is going to be OK — that you are a human being, that you belong here, that you have a place here, and you don't ever have to worry about people not loving you."

Carmen Carrera is a trailblazing transgender model and TV personality. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

Internet star and activist Raymond Braun: "I would say, 'I love you,' because my 10-year-old self was struggling a lot."

"At that point, I knew that I was gay, but I thought that I was going to live my entire life in the closet and never come out. I had so much internalized shame and hatred about my identity because I was being bullied every day."

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

"I would have told myself to call [The Trevor Project] because I would have known there were resources out there and people out there."

The night was full of both celebration and sobering reflections for the 20-year-old nonprofit, which fights suicide among LGBTQ youth.

The event raised over $2 million for The Trevor Project — the most ever garnered from TrevorLive. Every penny of that and more is still desperately needed to save young lives.

Teens who identity as queer — and especially those who identify as transgender — are disproportionately affected by suicide. And while society has taken significant strides forward in LGBTQ rights and visibility, that progress has been met with backlash, fresh challenges, and a vicious political climate that often leaves queer youth particularly vulnerable.

Producer and actress Lena Waithe, who took home the organization's Hero Award alongside Berlanti, reminded the room that there's still much that needs to be done.

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

"I'm really moved by the stories I'm hearing and the faces I'm seeing and all the love — but don't treat each other like this just in this room," she said. "We need to take it out into the world. ... It's our job to make sure all queer people are human. They weren't born to be perfect. They were born to be whole."

Learn more about LGBTQ youth suicide and support The Trevor Project here.

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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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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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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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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