Read Britney Spears' beautifully candid open letter to her LGBTQ fans.

"This is my letter of love to all my LGBTQ fans," begins Britney Spears in an emotional message in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month.

Her words — written in large, bubbly penmanship (the exact kind you might imagine coming from Spears) — says a lot about why she means so much to her gay fans. And, most notably, how the feelings have always been mutual.

Photo by Michelangelo Di Battista/Sony/RCA via Getty Images.


In the heartfelt letter — published by Billboard as part of a larger Pride series — Spears explained how her LGBTQ fans have helped her and her sons become better people.

"Continuously throughout my career," Spears wrote, "you’ve always been so vocal about what a positive impact I’ve had on you — that I’ve instilled joy, hope, and love in you at times when there was none. That my music is an inspiration. That my story gives you hope. But I have a secret to share w/ you."

"You see, it’s actually you that lifts me up," Spears confessed.

"The unwavering loyalty. The lack of judgment. The unapologetic truth. Acceptance! Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to [be] better people. I love you."

Photo by Dennis Van Tine/Star Max.

Spears has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ community for years.

The singer often uses her platform to spread awareness about human rights issues, fighting for marriage equality, taking a stand against LGBTQ youth bullying, and rallying for equal bathroom access for transgender people in recent years.

The Pulse LGBTQ nightclub massacre — the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history — hit close to home for Spears.

Photo by Rob GrabowskiInvision/AP.

"I have not been able to find words to express how I feel about what happened in Orlando," she wrote on Instagram last June, shortly before helping create a musical single, "Hands," to benefit the victims and their families. "We need to accept and love people for who they are."

Spears' actions empowering the LGBTQ community may speak louder than her words. But they also make each line of her Pride love letter that much more powerful.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

Keep Reading Show less
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