More

Their name is Jacob, and here is their story. Yes, *theirs*.

At age 16, Jacob came out as a gay man. Now, things have changed.

Their name is Jacob, and here is their story. Yes, *theirs*.

Jacob once identified as a gay man.

Today, Jacob doesn't identify as gay — or as a man.

"What does that mean?"

Jacob doesn't go by "he."


"So does Jacob go by ... she?"

Nope. Jacob doesn't identify as a woman either.

"But you said Jacob didn't identify as 'he'?"

Yes, I did. Jacob doesn't go by either "he" or "she." Jacob uses the pronoun "they."

"I don't get it."

Then watch this video! Jacob will tell you a story of realization.

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

Rehash:

It began when Jacob attended a conference for LGBTQ activism in Chapel Hill. Jacob went to a workshop and met Dr. Terri Phoenix, Director of the LGBTQ Center at UNC Chapel Hill, and a human being who uses the gender pronoun "they" instead of "he" or "she."

In the workshop, Dr. Phoenix introduced attendees to the concept of using alternate gender pronouns, such as ze or hir. Then, Dr. Phoenix said two things that stuck with Jacob for years:

"Gender is this thing that I play with."

And:

"Some days I'm more masculine; some days I'm more feminine."

That lit a spark in Jacob's head.

One day, a friend was hanging out with Jacob at a mall. He asked Jacob, "Should we buy heels?"

The rest is history.


This particular story ends with Jacob and their friends practicing walking in high heels in a McDonald's parking lot.

But Jacob's identity as a genderqueer, gender non-conforming person lives on.

After strutting in black pumps like nobody's business, Jacob began to realize how much more comfortable they felt in their own skin identifying as genderqueer and bending gender.

Some of you might still have questions...

"But 'they' is too complicated to use to talk about one person! Why can't I just call Jacob 'he'?"

Let me ask you this: If you're a man, would you like it if everyone called you "she"? If you're a woman, would you like it if people called you "he"?

Exactly.

Jacob doesn't like being called by the gender pronoun that doesn't resonate with who they are.

Just because a person's gender identity doesn't make sense to us doesn't mean we shouldn't respect what they want to identify as. Jacob is a genderqueer person and wants to be called "they" because that's how they feel they are inside — and it's inside what matters, not what *we* think Jacob should be.

People are people. Jacob knows that. Share this, and maybe someone else who needs to hear it will get the message, too.

President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

Keep Reading Show less
via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

Keep Reading Show less