+
More

LGBT people are calling on Beyonce to be a hero and save her hometown.

There's only one person who can stand up for truth, justice, and the American Bey.

A long time ago, in May 2014, a HERO came to Houston, Texas.

HERO was perhaps better known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, and it banned anti-LGBT discrimination in Houston.

Prior to that, Houston was the largest city in the U.S. without a non-discrimination ordinance inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Passing HERO was a big deal for LGBT individuals, who before the ordinance had to worry about whether or not they'd be denied housing, employment, or service at a local business just because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.


This was huge news. Yay, Houston!

But like all good stories, the one has some major conflict. Photo via Thinkstock.

But some homophobic Houstonians wanted to put an end to HERO, and like any villain, they hatched a plan.

Soon after the bill passed, those who opposed the bill began work on collecting roughly 20,000 signatures they'd need to put the law up for a public vote. They had 30 days to do so, but they came up hundreds of signatures short.


End of story, right? Wrong.

Last month, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the public should be able to vote on HERO anyway.

"The legislative power reserved to the people is not being honored," reads the court's ruling. "Any enforcement of the ordinance shall be suspended, and the City Council shall reconsider the ordinance. If the City Council does not repeal the ordinance by August 24, 2015, then by that date the City Council must order that the ordinance be put to popular vote during the November 2015 election."

With rights of the city's 2.2 million residents on the line, it was time to ask for the help of a hometown hero: Beyoncé.

LGBT activist Carlos Maza lit the Beyoncé-signal, calling on her to use her star power to save HERO.

HERO needs a heroine, and her name is Beyoncé.

OK, so no, this isn't actually a Beyoncé-signal, it's a picture from the Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show in 2013, but you get the point. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

In a Huffington Post blog, Maza pleads with the singer to once again wade into the political realm and voice her support for LGBT rights:

"Houston is in for a nasty, dishonest and divisive campaign to repeal HERO and legalize discrimination against LGBT Houstonians. These kinds of campaigns don't usually end well for LGBT people: they're dehumanizing, traumatic and usually result in LGBT people losing their basic civil rights.

But that could change if the world's proudest and most famous Houstonian decides to stand up for her LGBT fans and speak out in favor of keeping HERO. With a single post to her over forty million Instagram followers, Beyoncé could change the debate over Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance and mobilize support for protecting LGBT Houstonians from discrimination."

The #BeyBeAHERO movement was born.

"Beyoncé is the world's most famous Houstonian, and she's always been a true ally to her LGBT fans," Maza told me about why he chose to put a focus on Houston and drafting Beyoncé to the cause. "The LGBT community in Houston really needs her help now, and I think this is a really great opportunity for Bey to do a lot of good for her hometown."

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

While she hasn't (yet) responded to the #BeyBeAHERO calls, we do know that Beyoncé supports LGBT rights.

ln a 2014 interview with OUT Magazine, Beyoncé was asked about her lyrics and large LGBT fanbase:

"[W]hat I'm really referring to, and hoping for, is human rights and equality, not just that between a woman and a man. So I'm very happy if my words can ever inspire or empower someone who considers themselves an oppressed minority. ... We are all the same and we all want the same things: the right to be happy, to be just who we want to be and to love who we want to love."

And last month, she posted a short video to her Instagram and YouTube pages in support of the June Supreme Court ruling on marriage to the tune of her song "7/11."

GIFs via Beyonce.com.

Will Beyoncé help save the rights of LGBT Houstonians? Will the rights of 2.2 million people fall by the wayside? Tune into #BeyBeAHERO to find out!

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

Keep ReadingShow less