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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.

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

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"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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A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

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.

Keep Reading Show less