Too young to remember the huge LGBTQ rally of 1993? Check out these 16 pics.

1. On April 25, 1993, a massive LGBTQ rights rally stormed the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

And it was a spectacular, colorful sight to be seen.

Photo by Mark Wilson/AP.


2. By some estimates, the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation is one of the largest political rallies in U.S. history.

Exact crowd sizes are difficult to nail down. But many believe the march attracted somewhere between 300,000 and 800,000 supporters from across the country and world.

Photo by Paul Richards/AFP/Getty Images.

3. These smiling, energized, angry, determined marchers were trailblazers that, in so many ways, helped lead us to where we are today when it comes to LGBTQ rights.

4. Because, back in 1993, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people lived under dramatically different circumstances.

Photo by Aryeh Rabinovich/AFP/Getty Images.

The 1990s might seem like they were yesterday. But in certain respects, they may have felt like the Dark Ages if you weren't straight and cisgender.

5. For one, the HIV/AIDS epidemic was still raging at crisis levels in the early 1990s.

The spread of HIV/AIDS still is, without a doubt, a major health concern in the U.S. today, particularly for certain sub-populations. But at the time these photos were taken — before many medical advances allowed for HIV-positive people to live longer, healthier lives — overall mortality rates were still rising at an alarming speed. They finally began dropping in 1995.

Marlin Hofer and David Briley, the two men in the foreground, were both affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. When this photo was taken, Hofer was HIV-positive and Briley was living with AIDS. Photo by Wilfredo Lee/AP.

6. One major focus of the march was securing more federal funding for HIV/AIDS research and patient care.

The marchers' voices helped lead to a more robust strategy in combating the virus in the years ahead.

Marchers unfold an AIDS memorial quilt with names of those we've lost written on its squares. Photo by Jennifer Law/AFP/Getty Images.

7. Another goal for many marchers in 1993 was ending the military's ban on LGBTQ people serving.

8. These were the days before "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," when an ever harsher ban was in place.

Before "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was passed in 1994 — technically allowing LGBTQ members to serve as long as they did so entirely in the closet — a more explicitly homophobic ban barred all LGBTQ people from serving regardless of their status as being out or not.

9. Let's not sugarcoat it; "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was still blatantly homophobic. But its passing did loosen certain restrictions.

These marchers helped push progress forward so that we could eventually be where we're at today. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was effectively repealed in 2011, and today, LGBTQ people can serve openly in our armed forces.

Photo by Mark Wilson/AP.

10. The marchers of 1993 also had other key demands in mind, like better inclusion of LGBTQ people and history in our education systems.

Shouldn't students learn about historical figures like Harvey Milk and Marsha P. Johnson just like they learn about Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King Jr.?

These marchers thought so.

It's been a long time coming, but we're starting to see signs of progress here too. In 2016, California became the first state to require LGBTQ history curriculums in its public schools — a move that may be sparking a new nationwide fight for better queer representation in classrooms, according to Vice.

11. Marchers wanted more rights for LGBTQ parents, too.

Marriage equality was a long way from being a mainstream topic in 1993, believe it or not. But these marchers were fighting for issues like same-sex adoptions and fairer custody laws long before they had widespread support in the U.S.

We now have national marriage equality and same-sex adoption from coast to coast, and studies show that kids raised by same-sex or same-gender parents grow up just as well adjusted as their peers raised by straight, cisgender parents.

12. The march also demanded an end to discrimination in all of its forms, regarding gender, race, religion, and more.

As the official march platform read:

"We demand an end to discrimination and violent oppression based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, identification, race, religion, identity, sex and gender expression, disability, age, class, AIDS/HIV infection.”

13.  In so many ways, those marchers in Washington helped pave the way for much of the progress we can now celebrate.

They certainly weren't the first pioneers of the modern LGBTQ rights movement — the Stonewall rioters can wear that badge proudly — but history will look at the 1993 march as a pivotal moment for LGBTQ equality in America.

14. And for that, those marchers deserve a big thank you.

15. But over two decades later, the job is from over.

With a new administration in place threatening to strip away LGBTQ rights, every LGBTQ person and ally should be ready to fight like hell.

In its infancy, the Trump administration has already loosened protections for transgender kids in schools across the country. If the Affordable Care Act is gutted by congressional Republicans, our progress on HIV/AIDS could be reversed.

Vice President Mike Pence — one the most anti-LGBTQ politicians in the U.S. and who is sitting atop arguably the most homophobic and transphobic party platform ever in existence — has supported conversion therapy for children, legalized the discrimination of queer business patrons, and allowed an HIV outbreak to fester during his time as the governor of Indiana.

Trump's White House cannot be allowed to take us backward. On June 11, 2017, people are joining a Pride march in Washington, ready to send a clear message to their representatives in office. Its impact has the potential to be just as loud — or louder — than in 1993.

16. Some things may have changed in the last 24 years, but our desire for nothing less than full equality remains the same.

"This whole experience has been very moving," marcher Barak Gale told The Washington Post about the march in 1993. "We don't want special rights; we just want the right to love like everyone else."

Photo by Marcy Nighswander/AP.

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Judy Vaughan has spent most of her life helping other women, first as the director of House of Ruth, a safe haven for homeless families in East Los Angeles, and later as the Project Coordinator for Women for Guatemala, a solidarity organization committed to raising awareness about human rights abuses.

But in 1996, she decided to take things a step further. A house became available in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles and she was offered the opportunity to use it to help other women and children. So, in partnership with a group of 13 people who she knew from her years of activism, she decided to make it a transitional residence program for homeless women and their children. They called the program Alexandria House.

"I had learned from House of Ruth that families who are homeless are often isolated from the surrounding community," Judy says. "So we decided that as part of our mission, we would also be a neighborhood center and offer a number of resources and programs, including an after-school program and ESL classes."

She also decided that, unlike many other shelters in Los Angeles, she would accept mothers with their teenage boys.

"There are very few in Los Angeles [that do] due to what are considered liability issues," Judy explains. "Given the fact that there are (conservatively) 56,000 homeless people and only about 11,000 shelter beds on any one night, agencies can be selective on who they take."

Their Board of Directors had already determined that they should take families that would have difficulties finding a place. Some of these challenges include families with more than two children, immigrant families without legal documents, moms who are pregnant with other small children, families with a member who has a disability [and] families with service dogs.

"Being separated from your son or sons, especially in the early teen years, just adds to the stress that moms who are unhoused are already experiencing," Judy says.

"We were determined to offer women with teenage boys another choice."

Courtesy of Judy Vaughan

Alexandria House also doesn't kick boys out when they turn 18. For example, Judy says they currently have a mom with two daughters (21 and 2) and a son who just turned 18. The family had struggled to find a shelter that would take them all together, and once they found Alexandria House, they worried the boy would be kicked out on his 18th birthday. But, says Judy, "we were not going to ask him to leave because of his age."

Homelessness is a big issue in Los Angeles. "[It] is considered the homeless capital of the United States," Judy says. "The numbers have not changed significantly since 1984 when I was working at the House of Ruth." The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem. According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), over 66,000 people in the greater Los Angeles area were experiencing homelessness in 2020, representing a rise of 12.7% compared with the year before.

Each woman who comes to Alexandria House has her own unique story, but some common reasons for ending up homeless include fleeing from a domestic violence or human trafficking situation, aging out of foster care and having no place to go, being priced out of an apartment, losing a job, or experiencing a family emergency with no 'cushion' to pay the rent.

"Homelessness is not a definition; it is a situation that a person finds themselves in, and in fact, it can happen to almost anyone. There are many practices and policies that make it almost impossible to break out of poverty and move out of homelessness."

And that's why Alexandria House exists: to help them move out of it. How long that takes depends on the woman, but according to Judy, families stay an average of 10 months. During that time, the women meet with support staff to identify needs and goals and put a plan of action in place.

A number of services are provided, including free childcare, programs and mentoring for school-age children, free mental health counseling, financial literacy classes and a savings program. They have also started Step Up Sisterhood LA, an entrepreneurial program to support women's dreams of starting their own businesses. "We serve as a support system for as long as a family would like," Judy says, even after they have moved on.

And so far, the program is a resounding success.

92 percent of the 200 families who stayed at Alexandria House have found financial stability and permanent housing — not becoming homeless again.

Since founding Alexandria House 25 years ago, Judy has never lost sight of her mission to join with others and create a vision of a more just society and community. That is why she is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year — and the donation she receives as a nominee will go to Alexandria House and will help grow the new Start-up Sisterhood LA program.

"Alexandria House is such an important part of my life," says Judy. "It has been amazing to watch the children grow up and the moms recreate their lives for themselves and for their families. I have witnessed resiliency, courage, and heroic acts of generosity."

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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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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