The world has lost a courageous hero in the fight against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation
Photo by Raphael Renter on Unsplash

Milo Winslow was a trans rights advocate in Lincoln, Nebraska. Winslow, who was 30, passed away on March 3. He made a name for himself recently on TikTok where he spoke candidly to his 19,000 followers about his transition and his advocacy work for trans rights. He was the only trans person to testify in support of Lincoln City Council’s Fairness Ordinance to expand protection for the LGBTQ+ community.

The intersection of mental health and advocacy is not talked about much outside of advocacy circles. And that's part of why it's so important for us to tell Milo's story, the legacy he leaves behind and what we can do to ensure other vulnerable people can live happy, safe and healthy lives.

The ordinance would update Title 11, which is a city code that concerns equal opportunity. There were multiple changes to the Fairness Ordinance, but the one that Winslow was specifically advocating for concerned inclusion and sexual orientation and gender expression. This would deem transgender and nonconforming people as protected members of the community against discrimination. The ordinance passed 5-0, but shortly after it was passed, a referendum petition gathered more than 18,000 signatures to contest the protections. The petition only needed 4,137 signatures to rescind the ordinance or put it to a vote.

This was not Winslow’s first time testifying in support of an ordinance designed to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination and harmful practices. In March 2021, he testified to support the ordinance that would ban conversion therapy on youth. Winslow was known for his conversation style advocacy, connecting with listeners on a deeper level and engaging with them with honesty and empathy. His friend Sarah Cohen Walker said he would “meet people where they were, finding ways to help them understand.”


Walker highlighted Winslow's heartfelt online content and his style of presenting “in a way that brings people along. To lead with the heart. I think leading with the heart is the hard work that a lot of people don’t have patience for.”

Another of his friends, Khalisha Casey, told the Lincoln Journal Star that Winslow experienced a lot of trauma in his life including not being accepted by his family when he came out as gay before he began transitioning. Once he began to transition, the support he found in the gay community waned, leaving him isolated once again until he was accepted by friends he met through his advocacy work.

It was a devastating blow to Winslow when more than 18,000 people signed the petition to contest Lincoln City Council's ordinance that he had fought hard to support. He took to TikTok in tears to express his disbelief and exasperation at the whole ordeal. He made a follow-up video explaining that it was too emotionally taxing and he would be taking a step back from advocacy work. He cited not feeling that he had the support system he needed to continue that work.

The next day, Milo Winslow succumbed to his depression. Tributes on TikTok continue to pour in, while his closest friends mourn his loss in private but continue to push his message out into the world. A GoFundMe has been set up in Winslow’s memory and the donations will go to a local organization that supports and advocates for trans/nonbinary/gender-expansive individuals and families.

If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community and struggling, you can reach out to The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386.

If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (273-8255) or text "HOME" to the Crisis Text Line: 741741.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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