+
Most Shared

This NBA team stood up to homophobia big time last night with a tribute to Pulse victims.

On June 12, 2016, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history took place at Pulse, a prominent LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

The tragedy rocked the entire country (and world). But it was especially devastating to the Orlando community.

Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images.


It was a day that won't soon be forgotten in central Florida.

More than four months later — and just two miles down the road from where the atrocity took place — the NBA's Orlando Magic dedicated its season opener on Oct. 26, 2016, to those who lost their lives this past summer.

"I couldn’t be more proud of this community,’’ said Magic CEO Alex Martins of Orlando's coming together in the months since. "I will be shocked if there’s a dry eye in the audience tonight."

Brandon Jennings, who played for the Orlando Magic last year. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images.

Performer Brandon Parsons sang “Forty-Nine Times,” a heart-wrenching song dedicated to the 49 victims of the shooting.

“Tonight, we honor their lives, the heroes who emerged that early morning, and a healing community that showed the world love always conquers hate,” the team's announcer told the filled stadium.

A rainbow-colored banner, printed with the number 49 and all the names of those who were killed, hung from the rafters.

Photo by John Raoux/AP Photo.

"It will be our way of making sure that we don’t forget those who lost their lives in this tragedy," Martins said of the colorful banner.

Players' warm-up shirts sported a rainbow heart and the #OrlandoUnited hashtag, paying special tribute to those affected.

Orlando Magic player Elfrid Payton. Photo by John Raoux/AP Photo.

Magic fans used the #OrlandoUnited hashtag on social media to share how the pre-game events went far beyond basketball.

Since June, the Orlando Magic have stood with other local athletic groups in solidarity with Pulse and the city's LGBTQ community.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the Magic — along with Orlando City Soccer Club and the Orlando Solar Bears ice hockey team — funneled millions of dollars into the OneOrlando Fund, which is aiding victims' families and survivors during their time of recovery.

Between the Magic organization and the DeVos family, which owns the team, $500,000 was given to the charitable fund.

Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images.

Last night's dedication was particularly moving because it showed a pro sports team proudly standing alongside the LGBTQ community.

That's big.

Homophobia and transphobia in sports are still very real, especially in the U.S. That's why groups like Athlete Ally are so critical — they combat the various forms of discrimination queer men and women face in locker rooms and on athletic courts everywhere.

Retired NBA player Jason Collins. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images.

It's an injustice many athletes, like retired NBA player Jason Collins, know all too well.

"I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore," Collins, who was the first NBA player to come out as gay in 2013, said of his decision to live openly. "I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, 'Me, too.'"

In Florida, #OrlandoUnited has proven to be so much more than a catchy hashtag.

It's reflective of a community that gets why we all hurt when one group hurts. When one family mourns, we all bear the pain.

And when we heal together, it shows why no amount of hate — or bigotry, or some warped idea of morality — can prevent love from conquering hate.

Photo by Manel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less