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Watch a clip of the controversial 'Doc McStuffins' episode featuring same-sex parents.

'With this episode, they see a family that looks like our family.'

For the first time ever, Amanda Deibert's daughter saw something fantastic while watching Saturday morning cartoons:

A family that looked like her own.

Deibert, a Los Angeles-based writer, was just one of many parents reacting with excitement to a new episode of Disney's "Doc McStuffins" that featured an interracial family with two moms.

In the episode, the family lives through a scary earthquake and learns the importance of having a safety plan in case of emergencies. But it's the series' decision to feature a same-gender couple — voiced by actors Portia de Rossi and Wanda Sykes, who are both lesbians — that's actually groundbreaking.  


“The diversity of the show and having an African-American little girl be the star of the show — and also being a doctor — it sends a great message,” Sykes explained in a video by GLAAD about her involvement.

“I am a fan of Doc McStuffins," Sykes said. "My kids, they watch the show. With this episode, they see a family that looks like our family."

Wanda Sykes (left) and her wife, Alex Sykes, in 2015. Photo by Jason Carter Rinaldi/Getty Images.

The inclusive episode comes amid growing demands for better LGBTQ representation across the TV landscape.

During a Television Critics Association press tour, GLAAD broke down troubling trends among queer representation on TV; among the most concerning issues was the need to feature more LGBTQ characters who are women and people of color. The latest "Doc McStuffins" episode helps in changing that status quo.

Not everyone is excited about the episode.

In response to Sykes and de Rossi's characters, conservative advocacy group One Million Moms urged supporters to email and call Disney demanding the "Doc McStuffins" episode never be seen by the public.

"If producers air this episode as originally planned, then conservative families will have no choice but to no longer watch Disney Channel Network in their homes so they can avoid previews, commercials, and reruns," the group threatened.

But Disney aired the episode anyway. And many people stood by its side.

The hashtag #StandWithDoc cropped up on Twitter in response to the backlash.

People from across the internet sent encouraging messages to Disney and the thousands of families who will be positively affected by the episode.

The outpouring of support and Disney's decision to follow through with the episode reflects society's growing acceptance of LGBTQ people and parents. To countless little kids watching in family rooms across the country, it makes a difference.

"We’re two moms, and we have a boy and girl, two kids," Sykes said. "It’s going to be very exciting for them to see that — to see our family represented.”

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the episode in this video by GLAAD:

See how Disney and Wanda Sykes are teaching families two valuable lessons in one episode of Doc McStuffins.

Posted by GLAAD on Saturday, August 5, 2017

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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