The powerful letter parents of a trans girl sent her school totally nails it.

"I’m a girl in my heart and my brain."

When Ellie was 3 years old, she began wearing dresses.

At first, her parents assumed they simply had a son who liked playing with different clothing — "and we were OK with that," noted Ellie's mom.

But that wasn't the whole story.


As time passed, it became more evident that Ellie didn't associate with the sex she was assigned at birth. She's a girl.

In the video below, Ellie's mom and dad read a touching letter addressed to their daughter's teachers and classmates' parents, explaining why they support their child, through and though.

“Ellie has told us she’s a girl in many ways," the letter says. "The most clear has been, ‘I’m a girl in my heart and my brain.’”

The letter is a true testament to the courage it takes to be yourself and the special power of unconditional love:

Ellie and her family's story is a reminder that so much more needs to be done to ensure equality for all LGBTQ Americans.

While the U.S. has moved forward on issues like marriage equality and same-sex adoption, progress has also been met with fervent opposition. Much of the backlash has focused on the transgender community, which still faces obstacles in housing and employment discrimination (and, sadly, even just using the bathroom).

Ellie's parents, however, are confident their brave 5-year-old will lead a happy and fulfilling life. And they're committed to supporting her each step of the way.

“I’m really scared for her," Ellie's dad admits, holding back tears. "But at the same time, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

More
True
Modern Love
Rice University

A plaque marking the death of a glacier comes with a haunting message to future generations.

The former Okjökull glacier in western Iceland is the first to lose its status as a glacier due to climate change. Known now as simply "Ok," the once sprawling ice sheet has melted to about seven percent of what it was a century ago and was declared no longer a glacier in 2014.

Scientists predict that in the next 200 years, if the climate crisis is not mitigated, the rest of Iceland's 400 glaciers will meet the same fate.

Next month, the land that Ok once covered will be marked with a memorial plaque. Researchers from Rice University in Houston, Texas, Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason, and geologist Oddur Sigurðsson—who first declared the glacier's lost status—will unveil the plaque in a public ceremony on August 18.

The plaque's text begins, "A letter to the future," then reads:

Keep Reading Show less
Planet
Photo by Raul Varzar on Unsplash

A quarter of domestic cats have had their claws removed. Even though it might make the owners lives a little easier, the procedure can be incredibly painful for the animals and has been described as "barbaric."

Most of Europe and Canada have banned cat declawing (onychectomy), as well as several U.S. cities, but New York just became the first state to do so. Now, any vet who declaws a cat in the there will face a fine of $1,000, unless the procedure is medically necessary.

"Declawing is a cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems for helpless animals, and today it stops," New York GovernorAndrew Cuomo saidin a statement, per USA Today.

Some people get their cat declawed to stop their furniture and flesh from being destroyed. However, declawing a cat isn't the best way to stop a cat from scratching. In fact, it's probably the worst. "If a person has an issue with a cat scratching, well, first of all, I'd advise them don't get a cat because that is the very nature of a cat. But, secondly, there are ways to change cats' behavior. Get scratching posts. There are vinyl sheathes that could be placed on the nails," Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal said. Rosenthal sponsored the bill and is a cat owner, herself. "[T]here's many ways to address that behavior." None of the ways you address the problem should include taking it's claws off.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities
Alie Ward

Your dinner plate shouldn't shame you for eating off of it. But that's exactly what a set being sold at Macy's did.

The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

The plates, made by Pourtions, have circles on them to indicate what a proper portion should look like, along with "helpful — and hilarious — visual cues" to keep people from "overindulging."

There are serval different styles, with one version labeling the largest portion as "mom jeans," the medium portion as "favorite jeans," and the smallest portion as "skinny jeans."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

In today's installment of the perils of being a woman, a 21-year-old woman shared her experience being "slut-shamed" by her nurse practitioner during a visit to urgent care for an STD check.

The woman recently had sex with someone she had only just met, and it was her first time hooking up with someone she had not "developed deep connections with."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being