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'I'm 45 years old and I have never once casually, comfortably, held hands with a partner in public.'

"I'm 45 years old and I have never once casually, comfortably, carelessly held hands with a partner in public."

'I'm 45 years old and I have never once casually, comfortably, held hands with a partner in public.'

Do you think much about the simple, seemingly small things you do in public?

Most of us probably don't give too much thought to holding hands. It's small, right? But for some people, everyday gestures are anything but small. As Panti explains, for many gay people, holding hands is a big deal.


Instead of simply walking down the street, doing your thing, being happy, you're looking around, seeing who's there, trying to decide if it's even worth holding hands. And if you think, "Yeah, we're doing this," then you have to wonder if someone will hurt you for it.

Those small gestures, though, are what make us human.

And when you can't do the small human things without a great deal of thought, it takes a toll.

On a large scale, Panti says that homophobia drives people to mistreat LGBTQ people.

What is homophobia, anyway?

"So, gay people are going to destroy the institution of marriage. Gay couples will be wandering through orphanages picking babies off shelves, trying to find one that matches their new IKEA sofa. Or that allowing gay people to get married will destroy society itself.

... Now, of course, the other real driver of homophobia — and you can all clutch your pearls here because I'm going to go here — is a disgust with gay sex. In particular with gay male sex... They feverishly imagine that we spent all day jumping around buggering each other ... and, in fact, what they actually do is reduce us down to this one sex act whether or not we do it at all. Because we are not regular people with the same hopes and aspirations and ambitions and feelings as everyone else. We are simply walking sex acts."

It's time we stop tolerating it.

People are people. We are all people. And we all deserve to be treated the same.

Watch Panti's full talk because it's truly inspiring.

Are you a fan of equality? You can share this incredible talk. Maybe someone who needs to see it will.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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This article originally appeared on 04.13.18


Teens have a knack for coming up with clever ways to rage against the system.

When I was in high school, the most notorious urban legend whispered about in hallways and at parties went like this: A teacher told his class that they were allowed to put "anything" on a notecard to assist them during a science test. Supposedly, one of his students arrived on test day with a grown adult at his side — a college chemistry major, who proceeded to stand on the notecard and give him answers. The teacher was apparently so impressed by the student's cunning that he gave him a high score, then canceled class for the rest of the week because he was in such a good mood.

Of course, I didn't know anyone who'd ever actually try such a thing. Why ruin a good story with reality — that pulling this kind of trick would probably earn you detention?

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