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It's a homophobic message on a bathroom wall. But then it gets better. And then ... oh snap.

Homophobic jokes? Gross. Sadly, it's pretty standard bathroom graffiti fare. But I doubt anyone expected the dialogue that followed.

It's a homophobic message on a bathroom wall. But then it gets better. And then ... oh snap.

A Florida high school student shared a photo of this exchange on a campus bathroom wall.

If you've ever used a public bathroom, chances are you've seen your fair share of phone numbers, crude jokes, and graffiti scribbled on walls. But I doubt you've seen this sort of lengthy progressive discussion.

When a student at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in Florida shared this on Twitter, it went viral for good reason. Admittedly, the conversation's a little tough to follow (and hard to read), so I made you a handy key that breaks down it down. Check it out:



1. Student A: "[Redacted] chugs [redacted]"

Translation: Crude fellatio joke.

2. Student B: "And it's 2015 so that's OK! Check yourself."

3. Student C: "It was okay before 2015 too. Check yourself, before you rek yourself."

4. Student B: "Fair game, friend. However, to hold such bigoted, homophobic beliefs is even less excusable in today's world of vastly accessible media than it ever was in the past, when those views may have been the only ones a person was ever exposed to. I'm not condoning offenses of the past. I'm simply praising the progress we've made. In the end, being LGBTQ+ was OK then, it's OK now, and it will always be OK."

Now that's what I call a mic drop.



via Giphy

I love this exchange for a few different reasons. First, full disclosure: I graduated from Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 2002. So of course this makes me especially proud. I'll never forget my first day on campus seeing people with tattoos and brightly colored hair, and *gasp* two girls kissing. Seeing different types of people embracing themselves and being accepted by others was extremely eye-opening for 14-year-old me. That's because diversity of all kinds is a win for everyone because it not only promotes self-esteem but also encourages acceptance and tolerance.

But while the Palm Beach Post reporter remarked, "Only at Dreyfoos," it's not just at Dreyfoos. Not by a long shot. All over the country, young people are standing up for equality and championing the rights of LGBTQ+ folks. In 2013, Cassidy Lynn Campbell became America's first openly transgender homecoming queen, high schools around the country host Gay Straight Alliance clubs, and charities like the Trevor Project have partnered with schools to help create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth.

This exchange is important because when people promote harmful ideas about others, we need to use our voices to educate — even if it happens on a bathroom wall. While it took a minute to get there, the sentiment shared by both students is the same: "In the end, being LGBTQ+ was OK then, it's OK now, and it will always be OK."

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via Pixabay and Pexels

The stereotype about Millenials (1981 to 1995) is that they are addicted to their smartphones. And, well, it's kind of true, right? The generation that can hardly remember what the world was like without the Internet spends a lot of time staring at their phones.

On the other hand, the stereotype about Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) is that they are Luddites who are often stymied by technology and had a really hard time making Zoom calls when COVID-19 hit.

However, this stereotype is not so true. The truth is, they're a lot more alike than anyone thought. Is that such a bad thing?

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