More

She loves freely, but her parents think being gay is against nature. So does India's Supreme Court.

In 2013, India reinstated an old colonial law that affected her life even though she's 8,000 miles away.

She loves freely, but her parents think being gay is against nature. So does India's Supreme Court.

"My people are magic, know how to fold into their skin and hold themselves up, know how to fit somewhere they are not welcome, learn how little their humanity is worth and still love so fiercely."
— Arati Warrier

What "people" do you think she's talking about?

In 2013, India reinstated an old colonial law that criminalizes gay sex acts — effectively making it illegal to be gay. Yep. That's the law right now!

But it wasn't always that way. The Indian Supreme Court had reversed that old colonial law in 2009 and, for about four years, being gay was just like most any activity between two consenting adults: legally accepted as a fundamental and constitutional human right.


But now, for Arati and "her people," their very way of life is illegal.

The implications for these kinds of sweeping laws are real and personal.

She talks more about her experience of being gay in Indian culture through her beautiful spoken-word poem. It really started to give me chills about a minute in:

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.