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Turn on your TV, and it's clear: Transgender issues are having a moment in our pop-culture conscious.

Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for GLAAD.


"Orange Is the New Black." "Becoming Us." "I Am Cait." "I Am Jazz."

Several TV series are telling stories of transgender people and characters in thoughtful ways that didn't seem feasible even a few years ago. And these series aren't just reaching niche audiences — they're being recognized at award shows and receiving critical accolades.

During the 2015 Emmys on Sept. 20, Amazon's series "Transparent" took home (not one, not two, but) three statues.

Jill Soloway won Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, Jeffrey Tambor was named Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, and Bradley Whitford won for Guest Actor in a Comedy, all for their work on "Transparent." The critically acclaimed, buzzed-about series by Amazon follows Tambor's character, "Maura," who comes out as trans to her grown-up children.

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Amazon Studios.

Although the show has received valid criticism for casting Tambor, who is cisgender, in the lead role instead of giving the opportunity to a trans actor, many advocates have credited the show for setting "a new precedent for transgender storytelling."

The show's Emmy wins highlight progress all on their own, but it was Soloway pointing to a sobering reality facing her own transgender parent that truly put the state of transgender rights into perspective.

Because while transgender narratives and story creators are being hailed as winners on stage, transgender people are still being treated like second-class citizens elsewhere, including in Hollywood, where many trans roles are going, as previously mentioned, to cisgender actors.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

“Something interesting about my moppa — she could, tomorrow, go and try to find an apartment, and in 32 states it would be legal for the landlord to say, 'We don't rent to trans people.' We don't have a trans tipping point yet; we have a trans civil rights problem." — Jill Soloway

Soloway's "tipping point" remark could be in reference to Laverne Cox's historic Time magazine cover from last year, which deemed the movement as such. But, judging from the state of trans rights, that tipping point hasn't tipped quite yet.

For all the progress we've seen on trans visibility in Hollywood, it's still legal to discriminate against transgender people in most U.S. states when it comes to things like housing and employment.

And research suggests special protections are certainly needed. A 2011 Williams Institute review of comprehensive LGBT studies found more than three-fourths of transgender people reported being harassed or mistreated at work due to their gender identity.

Photo by Samuel Kubani/AFP/Getty Images.

It's wonderful that Hollywood is being more inclusive of trans people and their stories. But the real world needs to follow suit.

That's why, in her speech, Soloway also made sure to note viewers could support progress by visiting the National Center for Transgender Equality, and help pass the Equality Act — a "clear and comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination law" that would promote equal treatment under the law for all sexual orientations and gender identities at the federal level.

Emmy awards are great, but laws that protect people for being who they are in their communities are even better.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

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Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

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Pets

Idaho pet squirrel amazingly thwarts a would-be burglar in resurfaced viral video

The suspect was identified by the scratches the squirrel left.

Idaho pet squirrel thwarts a would-be burglar.

Ahhh, yes! The attack squirrel. Every home should have one, or at least, that's what an Idaho man whose home was protected by his rescue-squirrel-turned-pet might think. Adam Pearl found Joey, his pet squirrel, in his yard, abandoned as a baby and unable to fend for himself. Pearl took him in and bottle-fed him until he was big enough to eat on his own.

The unique pairing continued for 10 months until a man looking to burglarize Pearl's home got the surprise of a lifetime. He was attacked by the squirrel! The fluffy-tailed critter thwarted the man's plan to rummage through Pearl's belongings.

One can only imagine the confusion and terror of being attacked by something that would've gently eaten out of Snow White's hands. The burglar was apparently after the homeowner's guns and likely wasn't expecting a squirrel to go, well, nuts on him. It gets even better though.

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This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


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via Pexels

Three different types of blood donations.

The AIDS epidemic that began in the early '80s cast a stigma on all men who have sex with men, regardless of their HIV status. The idea that gay and bisexual men were somehow dangerous to the general public because of a health crisis in their community added to the stigmatization that already came with being LGBTQ.

In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all men who have sex with men from donating blood. This rule stood until 2015 when the FDA lifted the lifetime ban for gay and bisexual males and limited it to men who had homosexual sex within the past year.

In 2020, the FDA eased restrictions on men who have sex with men again, due to a blood shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The abstinence period was shortened from a year to three months.

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