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She was once known as 'the world's greatest athlete.' After last night, she's so much more.

"It's not just about me, it's about all of us accepting one another. We are all different. That's not a bad thing, that's a good thing. And while it may not be easy to get past the things you always don't understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together."

She was once known as 'the world's greatest athlete.' After last night, she's so much more.

It's only been a few months since Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender.

During her April 24, 2015, interview with Diane Sawyer, Jenner confirmed what tabloids have (often insensitively and offensively) speculated about for years: that she's a woman.

Since then, she's landed on the cover of Vanity Fair, has a reality show premiering this July, and was honored during the 2015 ESPYs with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.


Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

But it's been a long time since Jenner has been in the spotlight for her athletics.

The ESPYs are, after all, a sports awards show. While a whole new generation knows Jenner only for her family's reality show, to others she is something else: a symbol of American masculinity and heroism.

In 1976, Jenner took home the gold medal in the men's decathlon at the Summer Olympics in Montreal. As presenter Abby Wambach and a pre-awards ESPY video illustrated, she came along at a time when America needed a role model.

But in doing that, she inadvertently found herself constrained to the expectations that the world held for "Bruce Jenner," making it that much harder for her to break free.

Caitlyn Jenner received the gold medal for her victory in the 1976 men's decathlon. Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

During a powerful 10-minute acceptance speech at the ESPYs, Jenner stood in that sports spotlight once again.

But this time, it looked a lot different.

Jenner's speech included the standard thanks to family and friends, along with some self-deprecating jokes. But the most striking part of her speech was unrelated to her personal story and instead focused on issues that affect low-income trans people and trans women of color.

"Just last month, the body of 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson, a transgender young woman of color, was found in a field in Mississippi stabbed to death. I also want to tell you about Sam Taub, a 15-year-old transgender young man from Bloomfield, Michigan. In early April, Sam took his own life. Now, Sam's story haunts me in particular because his death came just a few days before ABC aired my interview with Diane Sawyer. Every time something like this happens, people wonder, 'Could it have been different, if spotlighting this issue with more attention could have changed the way things happen?' We'll never know.

If there is one thing I do know about my life, it is the power of the spotlight. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, but with attention comes responsibility. As a group, as athletes, how you conduct your lives, what you say, what you do, is absorbed and observed by millions of people, especially young people. I know I'm clear with my responsibility going forward, to tell my story the right way — for me, to keep learning, to do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how trans issues are viewed, how trans people are treated. And then more broadly to promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are. Accepting people's differences."

Jenner seems to understand the immense power she has to drive the conversation about trans people forward, which is important. As she says: "With attention comes responsibility."

And she seems determined to use the massive attention she commands to refocus our attention on the less glamorous topics of trans culture, like violence against trans women of color, homelessness, healthcare, and employment discrimination.

"My plea to you tonight is to join me in making this one of your issues as well. How do we start? We start with education."

Earlier this year, I wrote an editorial for Slate reflecting on the media's seeming disinterest in reporting stories about trans women of color who face unspeakable violence at alarming rates. If Jenner stays true to her goal, she has the power to turn that tide.

"My plea to you tonight is to join me in making this one of your issues as well," she said. "How do we start? We start with education. I was fortunate enough to meet Arthur Ashe a few times, and I know how important education was to him. Learn as much as you can about another person to understand them better."

Jenner's speech was a call for people to try to understand one another and to treat each other with respect.

If you had the misfortune of following the #ESPYs hashtag on Twitter during the broadcast, you probably saw this problem playing out in front of you. Many people don't see trans people as human beings worthy of even the most basic understanding.

Tweets like this made Jenner's message even clearer:

and this...

What these people may or may not realize is that when you call someone a "freak" for being transgender, that comment applies to all transgender people. To Caitlyn Jenner, to Laverne Cox, to Jazz Jennings, to Chaz Bono, and even to me.

And that's why Jenner's message is so very important.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

You can watch Jenner's speech below (and there's a transcript underneath that).

"If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is, I can take it," she says at one point during the speech. "But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn't have to take it."

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via Seresto

A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

The EPA has known the collars are harming humans and their pets but failed to tell the public about the dangers.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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Over my own 20+ years of motherhood, I've written a lot about breastfeeding. My mom was a lactation consultant, I breastfed all three of my children through toddlerhood, and I've engaged in many lengthy debates about breastfeeding in public.

But in all that time, I've never seen a video that encapsulates the reality of the early days of breastfeeding like the Frida Mom ad that aired on NBC during the Golden Globes. And I've never seen a more perfect depiction of the full, raw reality of it than the uncensored version that bares too much full breast to be aired on network television.

The 30-second for-TV version is great and can be seen in this clip from ET Canada. The commentary that accompanies it is refreshing as well. We do need to normalize breastfeeding. We do need to see breasts in a context other than a sexualized one that caters to the male gaze. We do need to let new moms know they are not the only ones feeling the way they feel.


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