They went to Pride with 'I'm sorry' signs, and people are feeling all the feels.

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."

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via CNN / Twitter

Eviction seemed imminent for Dasha Kelly, 32, and her three young daughters Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, on Monday. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and it looked like there was no way for them to avoid becoming homeless.

The former Las Vegas card dealer lost her job due to casino closures during the pandemic and needed $2,000 to cover her back rent. The mother of three couldn't bear the thought of being put out of her apartment with three children in the scorching Nevada desert.

"I had no idea what we were going to do," Kelly said, according to KOAT.

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