Trump was asked about North Carolina's anti-LGBT law and had a surprising response.

Donald Trump has a pretty long track record of saying awful, bigoted things about large groups of people.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.


First, it was Mexican immigrants, who he labeled "drug dealers" and "rapists."

Latino activists protest Donald Trump. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Then, it was Muslims, who he declared should be banned from entering the United States.

Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images.

So when "The Today Show" asked him about North Carolina's "bathroom law" that forces trans people to use the restroom that corresponds to the sex listed on their birth certificate, I braced myself for the worst.

The anticipated aftermath of Trump's answer. Photo by Steve Bunk/USDA.

Then he said this:

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

"North Carolina did something that was very strong, and they're paying a big price, and there's a lot of problems. And I heard — one of the best answers I heard — was from a commentator yesterday, saying, 'Leave it the way it is. Right now. There have been very few problems. Leave it the way it is.' North Carolina, what they're going through, with all the business that's leaving and all of the strife — and it's on both sides — you leave it the way it is. There have been very few complaints, the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble."

Matt Lauer proceeded to ask him if he would be OK with Caitlyn Jenner using "any bathroom she chooses" at Trump Tower.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

"That is correct," Trump said.

It certainly seems like — and I can't believe I'm about to say this — Trump is ... right?

Protestors outside a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

North Carolina's law is indeed pretty irremediably bad to say the least. A devastating Daily Beast report found that calls to a local suicide hotline for trans teenagers doubled after the law's passage. Businesses across the U.S. have pretty much universally condemned it, and some have even pulled jobs out of the state.

Just this week, the U.K. issued a travel warning, cautioning its LGBT citizens about visiting North Carolina and Mississippi, which passed a similar law on April 5.

But let's ... not be too hasty about giving Trump too much credit here.

His odd focus on why the law is bad for business, rather than — you know — people, is a pretty cop-out-y (though certainly on-brand) reason to oppose it.

He also went on to say that he saw no need to create new gender-neutral bathrooms.

And of course, one moment of relative humanity doesn't come close to negating all of the other terrible, destructive things he's said over the course of his campaign (take your pick).

However, his comments should put those who defend the law on notice.

Because if even this guy...

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

...a guy who has spent the last nine-or-so months spewing nonsense on policy while unleashing a steady stream of bigotry against pretty much everyone under the sun is opposed to it — and not even for a particularly good reason, but a reason nonetheless — then it really is an indefensibly terrible, no good, horrible, very bad law.

And it's time for North Carolina's HB2 to go.

UPDATE — 4/22/16: A few hours after his appearance on "Today," Trump told Sean Hannity that, while maintaining that he doesn't agree with the law, he believes that North Carolina had the right to pass it.

Courtesy of Amita Swadhin
True

In 2016, Amita Swadhin, a child of two immigrant parents from India, founded Mirror Memoirs to help combat rape culture. The national storytelling and organizing project is dedicated to sharing the stories of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous people, and people of color who survived child sexual abuse.

"Whether or not you are a survivor, 100% of us are raised in rape culture. It's the water that we're swimming in. But just as fish don't know they are in water, because it's just the world around them that they've always been in, people (and especially those who aren't survivors) may need some help actually seeing it," they add.

"Mirror Memoirs attempts to be the dye that helps everyone understand the reality of rape culture."

Amita built the idea for Mirror Memoirs from a theater project called "Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors" that featured their story and those of four other survivors in New York City, as well as a documentary film and educational toolkit based on the project.

"Secret Survivors had a cast that was gender, race, and age-diverse in many ways, but we had neglected to include transgender women," Amita explains. "Our goal was to help all people who want to co-create a world without child sexual abuse understand that the systems historically meant to help survivors find 'healing' and 'justice' — namely the child welfare system, policing, and prisons — are actually systems that facilitate the rape of children in oppressed communities," Amita continues. "We all have to explore tools of healing and accountability outside of these systems if we truly want to end all forms of sexual violence and rape culture."

Amita also wants Mirror Memoirs to be a place of healing for survivors that have historically been ignored or underserved by anti-violence organizations due to transphobia, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Amita Swadhin

"Hearing survivors' stories is absolutely healing for other survivors, since child sexual abuse is a global pandemic that few people know how to talk about, let alone treat and prevent."

"Since sexual violence is an isolating event, girded by shame and stigma, understanding that you're not alone and connecting with other survivors is alchemy, transmuting isolation into intimacy and connection."

This is something that Amita knows and understands well as a survivor herself.

"My childhood included a lot of violence from my father, including rape and other forms of domestic violence," says Amita. "Mandated reporting was imposed on me when I was 13 and it was largely unhelpful since the prosecutors threatened to incarcerate my mother for 'being complicit' in the violence I experienced, even though she was also abused by my father for years."

What helped them during this time was having the support of others.

"I'm grateful to have had a loving younger sister and a few really close friends, some of whom were also surviving child sexual abuse, though we didn't know how to talk about it at the time," Amita says.

"I'm also a queer, non-binary femme person living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and those identities have shaped a lot of my life experiences," they continue. "I'm really lucky to have an incredible partner and network of friends and family who love me."

"These realizations put me on the path of my life's work to end this violence quite early in life," they said.

Amita wants Mirror Memoirs to help build awareness of just how pervasive rape culture is. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 18," Amita explains, "and the rates are even higher for vulnerable populations, such as gender non-conforming, disabled, deaf, unhoused, and institutionalized children." By sharing their stories, they're hoping to create change.

"Listening to stories is also a powerful way to build empathy, due to the mirror neurons in people's brains. This is, in part, why the project is called Mirror Memoirs."

So far, Mirror Memoirs has created an audio archive of BIPOC LGBTQI+ child sexual abuse survivors sharing their stories of survival and resilience that includes stories from 60 survivors across 50 states. This year, they plan to record another 15 stories, specifically of transgender and nonbinary people who survived child sexual abuse in a sport-related setting, with their partner organization, Athlete Ally.

"This endeavor is in response to the more than 100 bills that have been proposed across at least 36 states in 2021 seeking to limit the rights of transgender and non-binary children to play sports and to receive gender-affirming medical care with the support of their parents and doctors," Amita says.

In 2017, Mirror Memoirs held its first gathering, which was attended by 31 people. Today, the organization is a fiscally sponsored, national nonprofit with two staff members, a board of 10 people, a leadership council of seven people, and 500 members nationally.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, they created a mutual aid fund for the LGBTQIA+ community of color and were able to raise a quarter-million dollars. They received 2,509 applications for assistance, and in the end, they decided to split the money evenly between each applicant.

While they're still using storytelling as the building block of their work, they're also engaging in policy and advocacy work, leadership development, and hosting monthly member meetings online.

For their work, Amita is one of Tory's Burch's Empowered Women. Their donation will go to Mirror Memoirs to help fund production costs for their new theater project, "Transmutation: A Ceremony," featuring four Black transgender, intersex, and non-binary women and femmes who live in California.

"I'm grateful to every single child sexual survivor who has ever disclosed their truth to me," Amita says. "I know another world is possible, and I know survivors will build it, together with all the people who love us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

Keep Reading Show less
True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."