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This kid's dad is just as bad as the bullies at school, until he makes me smile at the end.

Doesn't seem fair that some kids get laughed at for who they are inside.

Especially when it's because who they are inside doesn't seem to match who people assume they are on the outside.

P.S. This mom is understandably angry and upset, but I'm not a fan of the portrayal of her as aggressive and physically violent.


Gender norms are complex and antiquated things. We are starting more and more to understand that gender is a spectrum and that we can't assume we understand or know someone's gender identity based on the sex they appear to be.

People often argue that kids can't know what gender they are at ages as young as 3 or 5 ... but I would argue that kids know a heck of a lot more about themselves than we know about them. Who are we to judge each other based on what we assume we know? Nothing good can come of that.

In fact, the consequences of that judgment and rejection can be deadly. Teenager Leelah Alcorn was 17 when she apparently stepped in front of a truck and died. In her suicide note, she talked about her parents trying to "fix" her.

Here's one heartbreaking excerpt:

"The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren't treated the way I was, they're treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say "that's fucked up" and fix it.

It's possible that if Leelah had lived, she would have transitioned to living as a woman, which for her may have meant her life would totally change. Some say it is a selfish decision; others say it simply is not a decision. It's who they are and always have been. Joy Ladin, who is the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish school, speaks to this:

"It looks to people like a choice. And it's clearly a choice that was terrible for my family, it was terrible for my wife, it broke up my marriage, it broke up my children's home. ... It really wasn't good for anybody particularly, except for me. So, if I chose to do something that was bad for everybody but me, that's an act of radical — even sociopathic — selfishness ... but to me ... there was no one else I could be. It wasn't a selfish choice. It was a choice between living or dying."

She goes on to talk about how she seriously considered suicide for many years, but thought transitioning into living as a woman was a better option for her family. Joy was in her 40s when she transitioned.

The image of the father wearing a dress and accepting his child is so powerful, and the destructive nature of his rejection is also very real. I hope parents see this and realize that acceptance really can be a matter of life and death for their child.

Here are the lyrics to that beautiful song by HollySiz:

Let the light come through us

Let's believe in ourselves
Let's believe in something
Let the lights come through us
Let's believe in ourselves
Let's blow the dust on shelves



Let the shout-outs locked up in our mouth

Let us go
Let us grow
Let's believe we can change
Let's believe in ourselves


Let us go
Let us grow
Let's believe we can change
Let's blow the dust on shelves


Let the shout-outs locked up in our mouth

Let's believe in our minds

Let's believe we will let the shout-outs locked up in our mouth
Let the shout-outs locked up in our mouth

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Health

This company makes it easier than ever to enjoy guilt-free fairly traded coffee

Thanks to Lifeboost, good coffee can be good for everyone.

Unsplash

Lifeboost coffee

Americans love coffee. Like, we really, seriously, truly love it. According to one recent survey, 75 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee at least occasionally, while 53 percent—about 110 million people—drink it every single day. For some, coffee is an essential part of their morning ritual. For others, it’s something they enjoy when they hit the proverbial wall in the late afternoon. But either way, millions of people use coffee to boost energy, focus, and productivity.


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Pop Culture

13-year-old ventriloquist sings incredible, sassy version of 'You Don't Own Me' on 'AGT'

Ana-Maria Mărgean only started her hobby in 2020 and is already wowing audiences on "America's Got Talent."

America's Got Talent/Youtube

Ana-Maria Mărgean singing "You Don't Own Me" on "America's Got Talent"

It’s not every day a ventriloquist act is so jaw-dropping that it has to be seen to be believed. But when it does happen, it’s usually on “America’s Got Talent.”

Ana-Maria Mărgean was only 11 years old when she first took to the stage on “Romania’s Got Talent” to show off her ventriloquism skills, an act inspired by videos of fellow ventriloquist and “America’s Got Talent” Season 2 champion Terry Fator.

Using puppets built for her by her parents, the young performer tirelessly spent her quarantine time in 2020 learning how to bring them to life, which led to her receiving a Golden Buzzer and eventually winning the entire series in Romania.

Mărgean is now 13 and a competitor on this season of “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars,” hoping to be crowned the winner and perform her own show in Vegas, just like her hero Fator.

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Pop Culture

Linda Ronstadt's 1970's ballad is a chart-topping hit once again thanks to 'The Last of Us'

The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.

Linda Ronstadt (left), Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (right)

HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”

Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.

The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.

We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.

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Joy

34-year-old man is learning to read on TikTok in series of motivational videos

His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.

@oliverspeaks1/TikTok

Oliver James is the biggest star on BookTok.

With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.

For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.

"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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