+
More

This video makes a strong statement about diversity and acceptance without using words.

True
Absolut

An old man walks into a bar, where he sees a young couple kissing.

He approaches them with an intimidating look on his face. Our hearts drop as we're led to think that this might not end well.


That's when something unexpected happens. Instead of confronting the couple, he starts kissing one of them. A third character starts kissing him, and on it goes as a lineup of colorful characters carry the kiss-train through city streets, into a cop car, and finally to a hotel pool.

More than just a make-out session, the short film has a strong message to convey about love, equality, and acceptance.

"Equal Love" was created as a way to communicate a vision: a world free from judgment, where gender, sexuality, and age are no longer the lines that divide us, but the notes that turn us into a symphony.

What you don't see in the video is the personal story that led each cast member to the project.

"I was cast through a street-casting, so it sort of took me by surprise," says Cairo, the actor in the first scene who kisses the old man. Cairo, a transgender man, had taken a yearlong break from acting to begin his transition.

"My biggest fear was that I wouldn't be able to work as an actor," Cairo says. "And I kind of proved myself wrong."

Everyone involved in the film knew right away they were stepping into something powerful.

Pete Mynch, another actor who appears in the film, was immediately excited by its celebration of expression and individuality.

"Expressing freedom as well as expressing yourself as an individual ... it's a good message, isn't it?" Mynch says. "This story is asking people, maybe in some way, to look at their own belief system."

Absolut Vodka deliberately hired diverse actors to make a statement about acceptance — one they've been making for years.

They began advertising directly to their LGBTQ customers in 1981, a time when being gay was heavily stigmatized and supporting the LGBTQ community might earn you more protest than praise.

In 1986, Absolut collaborated with openly gay artists Andy Warhol and Keith Haring to create art that supported LGBTQ causes. In 2003, they partnered with Gilbert Baker, creator of the Pride flag, to create the world’s largest pride flag that extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

"Equal Love" is the continuation of that work and its evolution into a celebration of even more kinds of diversity.

"All the characters are different," says Sid Ouared, another actor in the film. "You have the police officer, you have the grumpy old man. … There's someone representing all of us."

At a time when the world feels divided and brands have tried and failed to capitalize on healing that divide, Absolut seems to know what they're doing a little more than most.

The film's timing is no accident either. It's being released right after Pride Month.

"I think this advert is much more open-minded," Cairo says. "I’d spoken to the producer and director, and they seemed really up to date and really positive. I felt like they’d done their research."

"It will get people talking," Ouared says. "It will get people's attention, and it will spread a positive message and raise awareness to diversity."

"Equal Love" may not heal the world's divides, but it's still doing something pretty important.

It's portraying a world where kissing is an expression of the soul as much as the heart — a world where love is, quite simply, love.

"I think it’s so good to be a part of something that says — behind everything — it just doesn’t really matter about your gender or your sexuality. We’re just all equal and human," Cairo says. "It just makes me proud."

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.

Keep ReadingShow less
Architectural Digest/Youtube

This house was made with love.

Celebrity home tours are usually a divisive topic. Some find them fun and inspirational. Others find them tacky or out of touch. But this home tour has seemingly brought unanimous joy to all.

“Stranger Things” actor David Harbour and British singer-songwriter Lily Allen, whose Vegas wedding in 2020 came with an Elvis impersonator, gave a tour of their delightfully quirky Brooklyn townhouse for Architectural Digest, and people were absolutely loving it.

For one thing, the house just looks cool. There’s nothing monotone or minimalist about it. No beige to be seen.

Keep ReadingShow less
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.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

Keep ReadingShow less

The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

Keep ReadingShow less