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Retired Army veteran Laila Ireland isn't about to let President Trump kick trans people out of the military without putting up a fight.

Ireland, a trans woman herself, took the stage at GLAAD's San Francisco Gala to give a speech rejecting the administration's plans to ban people like her from serving openly in the military. While she's retired, her husband, Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, is still on active duty.

Ireland's speech took aim at Trump's unfounded claim that letting trans people serve in the military is some sort of burdensome expense (the estimated total cost of providing health care for trans service members is between $2.4 and $8.4 million per year, or roughly one-fifth of what the military already spends on Viagra), and highlighted a number of the key roles that trans service members are currently filling. To remove these patriotic Americans from their posts and to deny trans people the same right as everyone else to serve their country is not only harmful for the trans community, but for the military and country as a whole.


GIFs from GLAAD/YouTube.

In her speech, Ireland called on military leaders to speak up and voice opposition to the ban before it's too late.

"It is my hope that our military leaders will quickly acknowledge that transgender troops should get the same freedoms and integrity we so courageously protect," said Ireland. It's a message that extends beyond just military service.

Perhaps she's right. Perhaps a strong show of support from military leaders and veterans for the role trans service members play in keeping our country safe could change the course of the plan to re-institute a ban on trans service, expected to be put in place by March 2018.

Sadly, though, the ban on military service is just one of several ongoing attacks against trans people in America.

The Trump administration has adjusted how it interprets civil rights legislation and nondiscrimination policies when it comes to employment, health care, housing, public accommodations, education, and so much more. Trump's Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, has shown himself to be brutally anti-trans — as have a number of other members of Trump's administration. Though it's easy to conclude that whatever progress for trans rights Trump undoes can simply be redone by the next administration, it's nowhere near that easy.

[rebelmouse-image 19529231 dam="1" original_size="750x327" caption="Laila hugs her husband, Logan, in this image from The New York Times' "Transgender, at War and in Love" documentary. Image from The New York Times/YouTube." expand=1]Laila hugs her husband, Logan, in this image from The New York Times' "Transgender, at War and in Love" documentary. Image from The New York Times/YouTube.

Allies are needed now more than ever before to help hold the line on the progress that's been made before it's too late.

There are an estimated 1.4 million transgender people living in the U.S., which in the larger sense, is still a pretty tiny sliver of the population, making the group easy to pick on. Sadly, since the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was now the law of the land, many of the organizations and politicians that had been fighting against the push for marriage have since turned their focus to trans people.

The good news is that a majority of the public doesn't agree with efforts to discriminate against trans people. It's great to have those allies, but it's even better if they're willing to speak out against anti-trans hate, push back on politicians who support discrimination, and use their voice to fight for equality whenever possible. It's a long battle, but if allies can help win over hearts and minds, there's a good chance we'll all come out on top.

Watch Laila Ireland's powerful speech below.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

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 Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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