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The Philippines' LGBTQ community and its allies gathered near the capital city of Manila on June 30 to celebrate Pride.

There was no shortage of colorful love to go around.

Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images.


There were also more than a few religious groups in attendance, eager to make their own opinions heard.

Like most public Pride events, the march drew plenty of people who were decidedly not there to celebrate love and acceptance.

Like this disgruntled gentleman.

Photo by Ted Alijibe/AFP/Getty Images.

Or this dude on the far right of the photo (and probably the political spectrum).

Photo by Ted Alijibe/AFP/Getty Images.

Unfortunately, this type of behavior is not uncommon in the Philippines.

The southeast Asian country still has a serious lack of legal protections for queer people, and is grappling with one of the world's worst track records when it comes to anti-transgender violence.

Surprisingly, though, some religious groups were there for a completely different reason — they came to say sorry.

"I'm sorry," read a large banner carried by one Christian group that marched in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. "We're here to apologize for the ways that we as Christians have harmed the LGBT community."

Photo by Jamilah Salvador, used with permission.

The banner continued, noting the reasons why the group was apologizing:

... for not listening.
... for judging you.
... for hiding behind religion, when really I was just scared.
... I've looked at you as a sex act instead of a child of God.
... I have looked down on you instead of honoring your humanity.
... I've rejected and hurt your family in the name of 'family values.'




Photos from the event have gone viral, like the one below that shows two people holding their apologies high.

"I used to be a Bible-banging homophobe," one read. "Sorry!!"

"Jesus didn't turn people away," read the other, "neither do we."

Photo by Jamilah Salvador, used with permission.

The two viral pics were shared by Twitter user Jamilah Salvador, who attended the festivities near Manila.

Her photos were just two of the several different pics capturing the group of supportive Christians marching proudly — and apologetically.

"I literally cried when I saw this," Salvador wrote in her tweet sharing the images.

The people in the photos are from the Church of Freedom in Christ Ministries in Makati, BuzzFeed News learned.

The group has been marching in Pride celebrations for years as part of their "I'm Sorry" campaign.

"I used to believe that God condemns homosexuals," Val Paminiano, pastor of the church, explained to the outlet. "But when I studied the scriptures, especially the ones that we call 'clobber scriptures' that are being cherry-picked from the Bible to condemn LGBT people, I realized that there's a lot to discover, including the truth that God is not against anyone."

That message made a world of difference to Salvador, who had a strict, religious upbringing.

"I felt goosebumps all over my body reading their [banner and signs]," Salvador wrote to Upworthy in a message. "As a 'full-blooded' Catholic (born and raised), it is impossible to not encounter hate from the people who cannot understand the [LGBTQ community]."

The church's efforts have made an impact on LGBTQ people around the world.

It goes to show that, as we learn and grow, it's important to do more than just fix our problematic behavior — we have to make amends for our past beliefs and behaviors, too.

Wrote Salvador, "These people's effort of apologizing and showing that they accept and understand us really means a lot."

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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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.

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When I was younger I used to think I was dying or that I would get kidnapped by a random stranger, but I kept it to myself because I thought something was wrong with me. I thought that telling people would confirm this fear, so I kept it inside my entire life until I was an adult and learned it was part of ADHD and other disorders, such as OCD and PTSD. But it doesn't have to be part of a disorder at all—a vast amount of people just have intrusive thoughts, and a Twitter user, Laura Gastón, is trying to normalize them for others.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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