This coloring book for LGBTQ people is flying off the shelves and for good reason.

Donald Trump's presidency has rattled young LGBTQ people. In the immediate aftermath of the election, calls to queer youth suicide prevention hotlines spiked. "[Young] people are very anxious about what happened," said Steve Mendelsohn of The Trevor Project. "People are likely scared that their rights are going to be taken away."

The months that followed provided no solace. Trump stacked his administration with anti-LGBTQ leaders and has implemented myriad policy changes that harm queer people. Some evidence even suggests Trump's hostility toward LGBTQ people is emboldening homophobic and transphobic attitudes across the U.S. — and the world.

Ron Holt, an openly gay psychiatrist, was worried about how this administration could be affecting young LGBTQ people.

So he felt inspired to fight back against the bigotry — with coloring books.


In 2017, Holt and his husband developed coloring books for LGBTQ teens and adults.

On each page, colorers see abstract, calming mandala designs complemented with affirming messages and quotes from inspiring leaders.

"When [my husband] Bill and I came out, there weren't any affirmative books available," Holt explains in an email. "We therefore created the affirmative coloring book that we wished we had when we were young and struggling with self acceptance and self love."

A few pages of Holt's Pride coloring book with the designs colored in. Photos courtesy of Ron Holt.

"I am worthy and I fully accept myself," one message reads in the book.

"You are unique," another relays. "Allow yourself to fully embrace all of who you are and become aware of all the ways that you love."

"Even though it may not be safe to be out to others, it is important to be out to yourself," a message states. "When you remain hidden from yourself, you are in effect saying, 'I am not worthy of being acknowledged.'"

Holt's coloring book concept ended up impressing all the right people at "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

If you're going to impress somebody, she's hard to beat, right?

Holt was selected to be in the crowd at the comedian's 60th birthday show taping in January, when audience members were chosen because of their generosity through the show's Million Acts of Kindness campaign.

As Holt learned while in attendance, all guests were given prize money: "[DeGeneres] suggested we 'pay it forward,'" he said. "Her spirit of generosity motivates much of what I do."

With his prize money, Holt decided to take his coloring books up a notch.

Photo courtesy of Ron Holt.

He launched a GoFundMe page in March to help get his Pride coloring books into more hands.

As the fundraiser points out, Holt is supplying the books to advocacy organizations that could benefit — like gay-straight alliance groups in schools, Pride Month event organizers, and various LGBTQ nonprofits.

And lots of groups were interested.

Although the books read "adult" on their covers, they've been created for teenagers and up, Holt explained. Photo courtesy of Ron Holt.

As of May 10, over 4,360 books had been ordered and mailed to 136 organizations, according to Holt. He's working hard to ensure the fundraiser keeps up with the incredible demand.

"All money raised will go directly to providing coloring books to those who need them most," Holt wrote on GoFundMe, noting that neither he nor his husband is profiting off donations. "Our goal is to make sure each dollar goes directly to help these young people."

The books' purpose is simple: to help young LGBTQ people remember that being queer is a beautiful thing.

"This campaign's goal is to make sure these youth know they are not alone, they are loved, and it is OK to be who they are," Holt explains.

Photo courtesy of Ron Holt.

"LGBTQ young people need our help now — more than ever," he concluded on GoFundMe. "Together, we WILL make a difference in their lives."

To learn more about Holt's coloring book campaign, visit GoFundMe.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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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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