+
LQBTQIA+

A Florida student turned state's controversial new law into a viral lesson on the Stonewall riots

Is there anything these kids can't do?

A Florida student turned state's controversial new law into a viral lesson on the Stonewall riots

Stonewall Inn, West Village.

One thing that screams amazing is Gen Z kids and the empowerment they exude. Whether it’s organizing protests or demanding to be taken seriously as their true selves, they can be truly awe-inspiring. Teens in the '90s perfected the eye roll and developed a “Clueless” croak, but teens and young adults of today seem to be activists from birth. Bucking the system that attempts to put them in a box or quiet their voices, today’s youth are in a league of their own, and it’s something to take in.

Will Larkins is one of those precocious Gen Zers that is breaking the mold on what society deems appropriate for teens to do. He's a junior at Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida, and has been making his presence known through his LGBTQ+ activism. He is the president and co-founder of his school’s Queer Student Union. On March 7, he led a walkout of more than 500 students in protest of Florida's proposed "Don't Say Gay" bill. Larkins, who uses they/him pronouns, posted a video to his Twitter account showing him teaching a history lesson on the Stonewall riots, which occurred in 1969. His history class was covering history spanning the 1960s and '70s, and he asked permission to include this bit of LGBTQ+ history that many people don’t learn about in school.


After his history teacher gave him the go-ahead, Larkins got to work. The teen created a PowerPoint presentation that centered around educating his fellow students about the history of LGBTQ+ and the fight for civil rights. When he arrived to class that day, he donned a red tea-length fitted dress, a fur cropped jacket and a beautiful double strand of pearls. The students in class appear to be engaged in his presentation on the historic events.

The Stonewall riots were a series of uprisings in New York City following a raid on a local gay bar that resulted in a lesbian being knocked unconscious as she was being put into a police car. The onlookers were horrified and began to throw things at the officer who had injured the woman as he was putting her into the police car. When Larkins asked his teacher if the class would be covering Stonewall during their lesson, his teacher had not heard of the event, which prompted the presentation.

After Larkins posted a short clip of him presenting on the riots, some commenters were confused at why he decided to wear a dress, but the answer was simple. Because he wanted to. Larkins often dresses in clothes that would be deemed feminine by societal standards, but he doesn’t let that stop him. The presentation went viral, and has been viewed more than 457, 000 times.

While Larkins may still be in high school, his activism and courage to stand up for what he believes in will take him far. He's already looking toward the future by helping eligible Gen Zers register to vote in time for the primaries. This kid is going places, and he’ll look fabulous doing it.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


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

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less