+
upworthy
Identity

Mom shares why she let her 17-year-old get top surgery. His face says it all.

"Cody’s heart is so full…"

trans kids, gender affirming care, top surgery
@jannatransmomma/TikTok

Living in truth is beautiful.

Top surgery, otherwise known as chest feminization or chest masculinization, is a gender-affirming procedure that changes the looks of a trans person’s chest. For female-to-male top surgery, breast tissue is removed to give a more masculine appearance for transgender males and non-binary people who are assigned female at birth.

This procedure, along with all forms of gender-affirming care, is surrounded by stigma and misinformation, especially when it comes to minors. Many parents fear that a teen could make a severe, irreversible decision regarding their gender presentation, given that adolescence is a time when the whole subject of identity is in flux.

It’s partially fears like this that have resulted in gender-affirming care receiving a wave of backlash in America, even being labeled as a form of child abuse.

However, a mom by the name of Janna, who recently helped her 17-year-old son receive top surgery, sees it as a form of love.


“Why would I ever allow my 17-year-old to have top surgery? Why would I do that? That’s insane. That’s crazy. It’s child abuse,” says Janna in a clip posted to TikTok.

Her reasoning is really quite simple—and something that almost every parent can relate to in one way or another.

“You look at the really, really happy kid who walked out of the doctor’s office today, feeling really great about himself for the first time in I don’t even know how long.”

Janna then put the spotlight on her son Cody and asked what it felt like when he saw his chest for the first time.

Getting instantly teary, Cody replied, “Normal…It finally feels right for the first time.”

Janna's video is captioned “Cody’s heart is so full right now.”

Watch:

@jannatransmomma Cody’s heart is so full ❤️ #lgbt🌈 #topsurgery ♬ Uplifting - Positive Thinking: Music To Develop A Complete Meditation Mindset For Yoga, Deep Sleep


Janna, who regularly advocates for trans rights, has previously explained in another TikTok that Cody didn’t undergo any surgery until just before his 18th birthday, and that was only after “a lot of meetings” with doctors, therapists and both of his parents since coming out at the age of 15.

And prior to his procedure, Janna encouraged Cody to explore through a “social transition,” rather than a medical one. This basically means experimenting with other forms of gender presentation—changing their name, pronouns, wardrobe, etc.—that feel more fitting to their authentic identity before undergoing any surgeries.

Bottom line: “We are not just sending these kids to surgeons to have body parts removed. That doesn’t happen,” Janna stated.

@jannatransmomma #stitch with @thatwhannteacher2.0 ♬ original sound - 🏳️‍🌈JannaTransMomma🏳️‍🌈

When parents support their kids throughout their journey, “one of two things is going to happen,” she added. “They’re going to come out as trans when they’re old enough to really make that decision, or they’re going to say, ‘Yeah, I’m not really a boy.'"

“Either way,” she continued, “their relationship with you will not be tarnished because they know that my mom loved me no matter what my decisions were.”

Like every other turbulent and confusing chapter of teenage-hood, the waters are so much easier to navigate (for both the parent and the child) when there is compassion. Sometimes allowing kids to be who they really are is the best gift a parent can provide.

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


Health

Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?



Upworthy book

Humans have debated things large and small over the millennia, from the democracy to breastfeeding in public to how often people ought to wash their sheets.

But perhaps the most silly-yet-surprisingly-heated household debate is the one in which we argue over which way to hang the toilet paper roll.

The "over or under" question has plagued marriages and casual acquaintances alike for over 100 years, with both sides convinced they have the soundest reasoning for putting their toilet paper loose end out or loose end under. Some people feel so strongly about right vs. wrong TP hanging that they will even flip the roll over when they go to the bathroom in the homes of strangers.

Contrary to popular belief, it's not merely an inconsequential preference. There is actually a "correct" way to hang toilet paper, according to health experts as well as the man who invented the toilet paper roll in the first place.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A recently-deceased mom became a celebrity after her kids' published stunningly clever obituary

“I finally have the smoking hot body I have always wanted… having been cremated.”

The Hamilton Spectator

RIP Sybil Marie Hicks

It's said that everyone dies twice. The first is your physical death, the second is the last time anyone utters your name.

Sybil Marie Hicks, from Baysville, Ontario, died on February 2, at the age of 81, but it'll be a long time before her name is forgotten. Her children have turned her into a posthumous celebrity after writing a hilarious first-person obituary for her that was published in The Hamilton Spectator on February 5, 2019.

According to her daughter, it was fitting tribute.

Keep ReadingShow less

Brielle Asero lost her job after 2 months.

TikTokker Brielle Asero, 21, a recent college graduate, went viral on TikTok in October for her emotional reaction to the first day at a 9-to-5 job. The video, which received 3.4 million views, captured the public’s attention because it was like a cultural Rorschach test.

Some who saw the video thought that Asero came off as entitled and exemplified the younger generation’s lack of work ethic. In contrast, others sympathized with the young woman who is just beginning to understand how hard it is to find work-life balance in modern-day America.

“I’m so upset,” she says in the video. "I get on the train at 7:30 a.m., and I don't get home until 6:15 p.m. [at the] earliest. I don't have time to do anything!" Asero said in a video.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

I told a kid a riddle my dad told me when I was 7. His answer proves how far we've come.

This classic riddle takes on new meaning as our world changes for the better.




When I was 7, my dad told me a riddle.

"A man and his son are driving in their car when they are hit by a tractor-trailer.

Photo via iStock.

(We were driving at the time, so of course this was the riddle he decided to tell.)

The father dies instantly.

The son is badly injured. Paramedics rush him to the hospital.

Photo via iStock.

As he is being wheeled into the operating room, the surgeon takes one look the boy and says:

'I can't operate on him. He's my son.'

How is that possible?!"

Without missing a beat, I answered:

Keep ReadingShow less

Know the signs of a domestic abuser.

Most abusers don't start their relationships by hitting their partners. That's why early warning signs are vital to recognize.

I know two women who recently left abusive partners. Both men seemed sweet and likable—even gentle—each time I saw them. Both had some lovely qualities as people and even as partners. And both turned out to be controlling, increasingly abusive partners behind closed doors.


Keep ReadingShow less