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It Was Fourth Of July, So She Wore A Tight Red, White, And Blue Dress. Then Came The Comments.

If you've ever felt anger or fear in an encounter involving bullying, catcalling, or just plain ol' meanies ... Laverne Cox (“Orange Is the New Black") has some riveting advice for how to rise above.

It Was Fourth Of July, So She Wore A Tight Red, White, And Blue Dress. Then Came The Comments.

1. Recognize the absurdity of the bully's words.

Laverne Cox threw on a red, white, and blue dress one Fourth of July ... and soon encountered two guys on the street who started catcalling her...

"And the Latin guy says, 'Yo mama, can I holler at you?' And the black guy said, 'Yo dude, that's [an N-word].' And then, the Latin guy says, 'No man, that's a bitch.' And the black guy said, 'No, that's [an N-word].' And they began to argue."


"What lovely options!"

2. Take a moment to consider that bullying is a serious offense. And a dangerous one.

"Trans women of color are disproportionately victims of violence. Our homicide rate is the highest in the LGBT community. It went from 43% in 2011 to almost 54% of all LGBTQ homicides for trans women and mostly trans women of color."

"There is a link between the bullying that we inflict on an LGBTQ youth and the violence that so many trans women experience."

3. Acknowledge society's role.

What's going on here?

"There are a lot of intersecting identities and intersecting oppressions that make that happen..."

Yeah, that's a lot.

But what comes next is next-level.

3. Acknowledge the trauma that *likely* led the bully to this place.

YES. This was a leap for me personally, but once I made it across the "Sea of Incredulity and Doubting" and onto "Compassion and Curiosity Island" (#metaphors), there was no. going. back.

"And I believe that a lot of black folks feel that there's this historic emasculation that has been happening in white supremacy of black male bodies."

Wait for it...

4. Empathize.

*This is a great part.*

"I have love. I have so much love for my black brothers and sisters, who might call me out on the street because I get it. I understand. They're in pain."

"I think whenever someone needs to call out someone else for who they are and make fun of them, it's because they don't feel comfortable with who they are. And so, anyone ever has a problem with someone else, I ask you to look at yourselves first. What is it about you that you have a problem with? What is it about you that you have a problem with?"

5. Be revolutionary ... and promote LOVE.

"We hear the gay slurs, the anti-gay slurs, and it's really about these kids not conforming to the sex that they were assigned at birth. Their gender expression is not meeting the expectations of society."

So what do we do?

Yass.

For more wisdom and emotions and realness, press play and listen to Laverne.

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via Pixabay

As people get older, social isolation and loneliness become serious problems. Many find themselves living alone for the first time after the death of a spouse. It's also difficult for older people to maintain friendships when people they've known for years become ill or pass away.

Census Bureau figures say that almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women over the age of 75 live alone.

But loneliness doesn't just affect those who reside by themselves. People can feel lonely when there is a discrepancy between their desired and actual relationships. To put it simply, when it comes to having a healthy social life, quality is just as important as quantity.

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