+

The Supreme Court did something pretty extraordinary on Oct. 28, 2016.

It announced that next year, the justices will hear a likely game-changing case for transgender rights in the United States.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.


Usually the justices are hesitant to hear cases on hot-button topics with large ramifications, as Reuters noted — especially now that the court is short its tie-breaking ninth justice.

But not this time.

In 2017, the court will decide whether senior Gavin Grimm will be able to use the bathroom that matches his gender identity at his high school in rural Virginia.

Grimm was assigned female at birth. But in 2014, when he was beginning high school as a freshman, he came out as transgender to his family. He began undergoing hormone treatments and changed his name.

Since Grimm is a guy, he naturally wanted to use the boys' restroom. It caused an uproar.

Grimm's principal allowed him to use the bathroom that matched his identity. The school district, however, wasn't thrilled. It mandated that students in Gloucester County use restrooms that correspond to the sex they were assigned at birth, NBS News reported.

As for trans students like Grimm? They would need to use single-occupant bathroom facilities.

"I continue to suffer daily because of the school board’s decision to make my bathroom use a matter of public debate," Grimm wrote in The Washington Post.

Grimm, arguing the new rule left him feeling isolated and stigmatized, sued. The Fourth U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Virginia agreed with him, too — the school district's mandate violated Title IX, a measure that prohibits discrimination by sex in any school receiving federal funding, the court argued.  

Photo by Lior Mizrahi /Getty Images.

It was a landmark decision, raising the bar for protections of transgender students.

The Supreme Court justices put the lower court's ruling on hold in August to decide whether to take up the case themselves — which leaves us where we are today.

The court's decision in 2017 could have a lasting impact on these discriminatory "bathroom bills" that have crept up across the country, most notably in North Carolina.

With approval from Gov. Pat McCrory, the Tar Heel State passed HB2 earlier this year — a measure that strips away many LGBTQ protections and forces all North Carolinians to use the bathroom that matches the sex they were assigned at birth in government buildings.

Gov. Pat McCrory. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

It's been called the most anti-LGBTQ state law in America; it's reallynot all that popular with Americans; and — aside from being morally reprehensible — it's terrible for business, too.

Just this week, the state lost out on a $250 million business development when a real estate firm decided to go elsewhere — and take its job openings, too — according to Business Insider. HB2 played a major role in the firm's decision.

Grimm's case is causing a wave of hope among transgender activists and allies who want to make sure all American students can feel safe at school — and not stigmatized — regardless of how they identify.

"Now that I am visible, I want to use my position to help the country see transgender people like me as real people just living our lives," wrote Grimm. "We are not perverse. We are not broken. We are not sick. We are not freaks."

"I hope the justices of the Supreme Court can see me and the rest of the transgender community for who we are — just people," Grimm wrote. "And rule accordingly."

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Artist captures how strangers react to her body in public and it's fascinating

Haley Morris-Cafiero's photos might make you rethink how you look at people.

Credit: Haley Morris-Cafiero

Artist Haley Morris-Cafiero describes herself on her website as "part performer, part artist, part provocateur, part spectator." Her recent project, titled "Wait Watchers" has elements of all her self-descriptors.

In an email to us, Morris-Cafiero explained that she set up a camera in the street and stood in front of it, doing mundane activities like looking at a map or eating gelato. While she's standing there she sets off her camera, taking hundreds of photos.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Arizona couple ties the knot in the same place they met, the mayonnaise aisle

"We don't have that many more years to do something dumb and stupid."

Photo by Kelsey Todd on Unsplash

Couple ties the knot in the mayonnaise aisle

Everyone does something a little outside of the norm at least a few times in their life.

Of course this isn't based in science, it's just an observation that likely keeps life interesting. A couple took a step outside of the expected when they decided to get married in the "mayonnaise aisle" at their local grocery store, Fry's Food and Drug in Casa Grande, Arizona.

The two were both strolling down the aisle looking for mayonnaise when their paths crossed and it was love at first sight. Denis and Brenda Delgado decided to exchange phone numbers and the rest quickly fell into place.

Keep ReadingShow less

A metal detector hobbyist looking for treasure on the beach.

Joseph Cook, 37, is a popular metal detectorist on social media where he shares videos of the many treasures he finds on Florida beaches. But what’s even more engaging than his finds is the incredible excitement he brings to the hobby. It’s like watching Steve Irwin, but with a Florida accent.

Not only is his attitude infectious but he also makes a point of doing good when he finds lost items. He wears a necklace around his neck with multiple rings that he’s found to remind him of his mission to return lost treasures.

Recently, he told SWNS that he dug up "the biggest diamond I ever found” on the beach. "When I first found it I thought it would just be a nickel, but then I dug it up and it was just this big old diamond and platinum ring," he said.

Keep ReadingShow less

The strong, silent cliché.

One of the most pervasive male stereotypes in advertising is the strong, silent type. The most famous of these is the Marlboro Man, a dude alone on horseback with a pack of cigarettes and nothing around him but cattle and a wide-open prairie.

Tom Nakayama at the Center for Media Literacy says that this stereotype damages men because it presents a very limited form of masculinity. “In general, these concentrated views of manhood suggest the many ways in which advertising negatively affects men by narrowing the definition of what it means to be a man in American society,” Nakayama writes.

Keep ReadingShow less