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Since some states don't protect LGBTQ people, communities are rallying to offer their own.

You’re getting ready for a date. It’s time to pick the place. Where do you go?

You want to consider price — not too cheap, not too expensive — and ambiance; you want it to be conveniently located, with a good menu and perhaps some alcohol offerings. And if you’re gay in Indiana, you also need to pick somewhere you know you won’t get harassed or downright thrown out.

“Any service provider in Indiana can turn anyone down,” says Amy Shaw, who identifies as a lesbian and has lived in Indiana for the past 14 years. “People get assaulted for being queer. So it’s important to know where those safe places are, where you’ll get served, where people are going to treat you like anyone else.”


In 31 states, including Indiana, it is still legal to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community.That means that people can be turned down for service, thrown out of restaurants, passed over for jobs, or fired from their work simply because the owner of a business has anti-gay beliefs.

[rebelmouse-image 19397640 dam="1" original_size="6776x5082" caption="Photo via Benedikt Geyer/Unsplash." expand=1]Photo via Benedikt Geyer/Unsplash.

For comparison, Indiana does have nondiscrimination laws that protect people from being discriminated against on the basis of their race, religion, color, sex, disability (mental or physical), status as a veteran, national origin and ancestry. But while everyone else is free to navigate society without fear of danger, LGBTQ individuals still have to do the work of figuring out where they’ll be safe.

That’s why now, a small sticker is showing up in storefront windows across the state carrying a big message: “these businesses serve everyone.”

Created by the nonprofit Open for Service, the stickers let people know that even though it’s legal to discriminate, the business is LGBTQ-friendly and won’t turn anyone away on the basis of who they are.

“To us, it’s obvious,” says Sonja Garnett, whose family owns and operates ABC Roofing Company in Indianapolis. “You don’t want anybody to feel like they aren’t gonna be served for any particular reason.”

“I like wearing my badge. I like my thing that says I do support everyone in the community,” says Eric Wilson, who owns Irvington Insurance in Indianapolis, which also sports the sticker, or “badge” as he calls it. “I just said, you know, everyone’s welcome here at my place, even if you’re not welcome in every place.”

Eric Wilson's business. Photo courtesy of Wilson.

“The sticker signals to me that this place is gonna be cool,” says Amy. “They’re not gonna kick somebody out because of their sexual orientation or behave inappropriately. The florist will still sell me flowers, and they’re not gonna force a bunch of pamphlets on you or something like that.”

It’s incredibly important — to customers, companies, and communities at large — for everyone to be allowed to participate in society equally.

On one hand, it’s simply a matter of dignity. “You don’t want them, or anyone, to have to go through something like that, being humiliated because you’re different than someone else,” says Sonja.

But perhaps more importantly, it’s a matter of establishing concrete equality for all people, in all areas of life — not just in marriage, but in business and economy as well. For the same reason that protections exist for racial minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, etc., it’s time to extend those laws to cover LGBTQ Americans and ensure that everyone is operating on a level playing field.

“I’m offering a service, and it’s a public service that everybody needs access to,” says Eric. “Everybody should have equal access to all the things available to us.”

[rebelmouse-image 19397642 dam="1" original_size="700x700" caption="Photo via Oliver Cole/Unsplash." expand=1]Photo via Oliver Cole/Unsplash.

The sticker is a big step in the right direction, but those who use it still admit that they wish they didn’t have to.

People who are straight and not transgendered don’t need to look for signs or stickers to figure out whether they’ll be discriminated against in a store. And if they are discriminated against for their skin color or disability status, they can take legal action and pursue justice.

Sometimes, people wonder why Amy, and others from the LGBTQ community, don’t move to more accepting states with better protections, but Amy is perfectly happy where she is. “I have a lot of really supportive friends and family,” she says. Plus, she adds, the LGBTQ community in Indiana is strong, and she’s proud to be a part of it.

All that Amy wants is for Indiana to give her the same protections and legal options that others around the country count on to feel safe.

And business-owners like Eric and Sonja want that for her, too. But in the meantime, the Open for Business sticker is an effective stop-gap that can help make life easier for LGBTQ people from Indiana while they wait for state laws to catch up..

“I wear the sticker because it’s necessary for those other people,” says Eric. “I want everybody to be welcome. But you have to have the sticker on the door, because there are people who aren’t like me.”

“It shouldn’t be necessary,” says Sonja. “But sadly it is, because there are people out there who are discriminatory.”

The LGBT community and allies continue to fight for legal protection against discrimination. But in the meantime, the sticker — and the people who use it — have a big impact.

Sonja Garnett and her family. Photo courtesy of Garnett.

Human rights groups are working toward adding gender and sexual identity to existing nondiscrimination laws in the 31 states that remain in need of legal protection for LGBTQ groups. Smaller municipalities are adding nondiscrimination laws to the books in order to protect people in their own towns and counties.

“I want comprehensive hate crime legislation,” says Amy. “That way, people have recourse to protect themselves.”

But while she and the Indiana LGBTQ community await broader legislation protecting against discrimination, it’s people like Sonja and Eric that continue to make Indiana the place that Amy considers home.

“We stand behind people who are seen as ‘different,’” says Sonja. “We got the sticker to show that we support them. So they know that somebody stands behind them.”

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.

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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.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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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.
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