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."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less