+
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.
GOOD PEOPLE Book
upworthy
More

You don't have to march in Pride to make a difference for LGBTQ people. Here's how.

You don't have to be at a Pride march to make a difference.

In June 1969, a group of New Yorkers decided they'd had enough.

Patrons of the Stonewall Inn, an LGBTQ bar in Greenwich Village, stood up to police officers who'd reportedly been repeatedly harassing and targeting them for their sexual orientations and gender identities. The demonstrations that ensued sparked the beginning of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement.


The exterior of the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

The Stonewall Inn riots inspired President Clinton to declare June "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month" in 1998. In 2009, President Obama expanded on the recognition, deeming it "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month," as it remains today.

This June feels different though.

After years of having an ally in the White House, President Trump's administration — unchecked by a GOP Congress — is threatening to roll back rights for LGBTQ people. It's crucial we stand in solidarity.

If you can make it out to a Pride march in your area, excellent. But even if you can't (or just despise big crowds), you can still support the movement.

1. Help buy a bus ticket for a friend so they can go to the March for Equality in Washington, D.C.

LGBTQ Pride marches are happening in cities from coast to coast. But the most notable one this year will unfold in the nation's capital on June 11. The Equality March for Unity and Pride is mobilizing queer people and their allies in support of LGBTQ rights under a new administration that wants to take us backward.

You can do this anywhere, but if you happen to know someone in New York City who is interested in going but doesn't have the travel funds, you can buy them a bus ticket on Grindr's "Pride Ride" to D.C.

2. If you're visiting the East Coast this summer, treat yo'self to a scoop of big, gay ice cream.

There's nothing explicitly gay about the tasty treats at the Big Gay Ice Cream Shops in New York City and Philadelphia, of course. But the company, which started as a food truck in 2009 before expanding into storefronts, has been a proud supporter of the Ali Forney Center, a nonprofit that helps homeless LGBTQ youth.

When you scream for (big, gay) ice cream, you're also helping the business raise awareness and resources for young people in need. And that's a big, gay win-win.

3. Snatch up one of these glorious Pride shirts in support of LGBTQ youth in need.

Through an initiative created by Represent, 100% of profits from these shirts will benefit The Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth, as well as the NOH8 campaign, which utilizes social media platforms to promote equality.

4. Or, if you're a basketball fan, maybe these Pride shirts are more up your alley.

Photo courtesy of the NBA/WNBA.

The NBA and WNBA partnered with GLSEN, an organization helping to make our schools safer and more inclusive for LGBTQ students, to create Pride shirts for every pro team. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the nonprofit.

A critical component in ensuring classrooms are inclusive is recognizing the accomplishments of LGBTQ people throughout history.

5. Commit this month to reading just one Wikipedia entry a day on LGBTQ history and queer pioneers.

School curriculums often gloss over the history of, and challenges faced by, marginalized groups. The LGBTQ community is no different.

It makes sense that many of us haven't learned about people like Marsha P. Johnson, Dan Choi, Edith Windsor, and Harvey Milk — some of the trailblazers who helped us get to where we are today.

Lt. Dan Choi, who came out as gay in 2009 while serving in the armed forces, became a pioneer in ending the military's homophobic "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.  Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

Each day in June, take 10 minutes to read up on a famous LGBTQ figure or moment in history. Your teammates at the next trivia night will thank you for it.

6. Now that you're up on your queer history, email a local school or school district and ask that the students there are too.

Last year, California became the first state to mandate LGBTQ-inclusive curriculums in its history and social science requirements. As Vice reported, it may set off a chain reaction too, as other states look to include more diverse perspectives and historical figures in their classroom instructions.

Send an email — or attend a school board meeting or bring it up at the next PTA meeting — to get this issue on the radar in your city, if it's not already.

7. Drop in to a restaurant or store that supports its LGBTQ employees — and avoid the places that don't.

The Human Rights Campaign releases a Corporate Equality Index each year studying and ranking businesses based on how supportive their workplace policies are for LGBTQ people.

Many different factors — including if a company highlights LGBTQ protections in its anti-discrimination policies or if it offers transgender-inclusive health care benefits — are considered in the index.

Target — which adopted pro-LGBTQ policies and created specific Pride products for customers in recent years — was a top-rated company for its inclusive workplace in 2017.

Even if you're not marching in Pride, the way you spend your dollars makes a difference.

8. If you're not LGBTQ and new to this whole Pride thing, set aside 30 minutes to start learning about being a good ally.

Is your child — or your mom or dad — LGBTQ? What about a colleague or friend at school? Do you want to be there for transgender people in your community, but not sure where to start? GLAAD compiled helpful guides for allies to do their best supporting the LGBTQ people they know and love.

Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images.

Pro tip: Do this before breaking out any rainbow attire.

9. Drink some delicious wine while supporting queer artists and LGBTQ youth in need of stable housing.

In honor of Pride month, City Winery Chicago worked with four LGBTQ artists — Kelly Boner, James Schwab, Tennessee Loveless, and Sierra Berquist — to design the labels for its "Playing with Labels" campaign.

Photo courtesy of Dustin DuBois/City Winery Chicago.

With each bottle purchased, $10 goes toward Project Fierce Chicago, a nonprofit that provides supportive transitional housing to homeless LGBTQ youth in the Windy City. Can't make it to a Pride march in person? Drink up!

10. Paint your nails rainbow colors.

They'll serve as a great conversation starter with family or friends. You can mention Pride and what the month means to you.

Plus, they'll look great.

11. Choose one lesser known LGBTQ advocacy group and commit a monthly gift to support its work.

National organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD are helping to save and better the lives of LGBTQ people across the country. Supporting them makes a difference.

But there are many other groups working under the radar that deserve our attention too.

If you're interesting in making donations, consider contributing to organizations like Fierce, Trans Lifeline, ACT UP, and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, focused on more niche (but still crucial) issues facing the LGBTQ community, often with much smaller budgets.

12. There's a decent chance you have at least one Facebook friend who's in the closet. Write a supportive post noting that you're there for them, any time.

When you aren't open about your sexuality or gender identity, coming out can be a very scary thing for many LGBTQ people — especially if you have few (or no) accepting family members or friends.

Sharing a Facebook status letting any of your friends who are in the closet know that you're a person they can talk to really could change their life.

13. Set your calendars: Most midterm elections are Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, and the LGBTQ community needs you to show up.

Midterms never get the same media fanfare as presidential election years, even though, in many ways, they're of equal consequence. You'll have to do some digging on the candidates in your state vying for office in order to get a good understanding of who they are and what they'll fight for.

Mayor Peter Buttigieg is the first openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Photo by Derek Henkle/AFP/Getty Images.

There are many crucial issues that need our attention — climate change, fighting poverty, creating jobs, criminal justice reform — but LGBTQ rights is an issue on the ballot too. If you can't make it to a march, the least you can do is commit to learning about how your candidates plan to help (or harm) LGBTQ people in your area and keep their stances in mind on Nov. 6, 2018.

14. Make it a goal: For the next kid's birthday on your calendar, buy them a book or movie that's LGBTQ-inclusive.

The entertainment and toy selections available for kids need to get better at diversity, particularly when it comes to LGBTQ representation.

Reading fairy tales like "Promised Land" and watching short films like "In a Heartbeat" and "Rosaline" — all stories for kids that feature same-sex love interests — will help young queer people understand they have a place in this world, while teaching straight and cisgender kids that their LGBTQ peers are deserving of love and respect.

[rebelmouse-image 19528701 dam="1" original_size="750x534" caption="Photo courtesy of "Promised Land."" expand=1]Photo courtesy of "Promised Land."

15. Learn about a pressing LGBTQ rights issue in your own backyard and follow a local Facebook group to stay up to speed.

Think local: What challenges does the LGBTQ community face in your city or state?

Just last month, legislators in Texas approved a bill that would deny trans students the right to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender. Lawmakers in North Carolina recently tried to reverse marriage equality in the Tar Heel state. Across the country, LGBTQ rights issues are being sorted out and decided by local school boards.

It only takes a few minutes to find some local LGBTQ Facebook groups and follow them so you can stay plugged in to what's happening in your area and fight for what's right.

16. Share this powerful video about a transgender girl and her loving family.

Some of your friends on Facebook might be more hesitant (or outright against) watching it. But that's the whole point.

When we elevate stories that put ourselves in the shoes of someone with different life experiences, we tend to build bridges. It makes sense that when someone knows an LGBTQ person and hears their story, they're far more likely to support LGBTQ rights.

17. If you live in a state that's debating a bathroom bill, make sure to call your rep — preferably more than once.

So-called "bathroom bills" — which stop trans children and adults from using the restroom that corresponds to their gender — puts people who are already more at-risk of violence in even more uncomfortable and dangerous situations. These bills are born from fearmongering and myths about transgender people.

If you live in one of the 15 states where a bathroom bill is in the works, call your representatives in Washington and voice your concerns.

Rainbow flags and festive parades are important in unifying the LGBTQ community every June. But they're only one component of what it means to celebrate Pride.

This June, acknowledge all the positive change that's happened since those first rioters fought back outside the Stonewall Inn nearly 50 years ago. Then, commit to helping push that progress forward while fighting the forces trying to stall it, however you can.

We all play a part in ensuring equality.

Photo by Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.


via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

Fiji Water ran an ad campaign that was pretty disparaging about the city of Cleveland. Not a wise move. The city ordered a test of the snooty brand's water and found that Fiji Water contained levels of arsenic that weren't seen in the city's water supply.

How was that possible? Sarah Goodman of the New York Times explains:

" Bottled water manufacturers are not required to disclose as much information as municipal water utilities because of gaps in federal oversight authority. Bottom line: The Food and Drug Administration oversees bottled water, and U.S. EPA is in charge of tap water. FDA lacks the regulatory authority of EPA."

3. The amount of bottled water we buy every week in the U.S. alone could circle the globe five times!

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

That sounded like it just had to be impossible, so we looked into it. Here's what our fact-checkers found:

"According to the video, ' People in the U.S. buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week.' National Geographic says for 2011, bottled water sales hit 9.1 billion gallons (roughly 34 billion liters).

A 'typical' water bottle is a half-liter, so that's about 68 billion bottles per year. Divided by 52 weeks would be a little over 1 billion bottles of water sold per week in the U.S. Because that's based on a smaller 'typical' bottle size, it seems reasonable that a half billion bottles a week could be accurate.

The Earth is about 131.5 million feet around, so yep, half a billion bottles of varying sizes strung end-to-end could circle the Earth five times."

4. Paying for bottled water makes us chumps.

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

Beverage companies have turned bottled water into a multibillion-dollar industry through a concept known as manufactured demand. Bottled water advertisements used a combination of scare tactics (Tap water bad!) and seduction (From the purest mountain streams EVER!) to reel us in.

Well, we now know their claims about the superior quality of bottled water are mostly bogus. And research shows that anywhere from a quarter to 45% of all bottled water comes from the exact same place as your tap water (which, to reiterate, is so cheap it's almost free).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

5. Bottled water is FILTHY.

It takes oil — lots of it — to make plastic bottles. According to the video, the energy in the amount of oil it takes to make the plastic water bottles sold in the U.S. in one year could fuel a million cars. That's not even counting the oil it takes to ship bottled water around the world.

And once we've guzzled our bottled water, up to 80% of the empty bottles end up in landfills or noxious-gas-producing incinerators. The rest is either recycled or shipped to countries like India where poor people without environmental and labor protections have to deal with it.

On top of all that, the process of manufacturing plastic bottles is polluting public water supplies, which makes it easier for bottled water companies to sell us their expensive product.

6. There are 750 million people around the world who don't have access to clean water.

Photo by H2O for Life.

A child dies every minute from a waterborne disease. And for me, that's the core of what makes bottled water so evil.

The video wraps by comparing buying bottled water to smoking while pregnant. That may sound extreme, but after learning everything I just did about the bottled water industry, I can't disagree.

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

If you're properly disgusted, here are a few ways you can help destroy the bottled water industry:

  1. Don't buy bottled water. Get a reusable water bottle. The savings will add up.
  2. Rally your schools, workplaces, and communities to ban bottled water.
  3. Demand that your city, state, and federal governments invest in better water infrastructure.


This article originally appeared on 5.7.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Canva

"It takes only a few hours and it's also kinda, sorta fun."

Summer is here. The season of backyard barbecues, long evenings by the bonfire, and a nagging worry that every parent can relate to — the dangers that come with a swimming pool.

The chances a child will die from drowning are relatively low, according to the CDC. But still — it's great to be prepared to step in and help with CPR, should it ever be necessary.


Actor Ryan Reynolds definitely thinks so.

Reynolds recently went to a CPR training class focused on toddlers and infants.

Reynolds and his wife, fellow A-lister Blake Lively (who also attended the class), are parents to two young daughters: 2-year-old James and 9-month old Ines.

The actor posted a photo from his CPR class to Instagram on June 27, noting how being certified once helped him save a family member's life.

"Years ago, I took a CPR course thru the Red Cross," Reynolds wrote. "And holy shit, I ended up saving my nephew's life because I knew what to do! True story!"

"Yesterday I took a refresher course — focusing on infant and toddler CPR," the actor continued. "It takes only a few hours and it's also kinda, sorta fun."

Lively also encouraged her followers to get trained if they haven't already.

"Google 'infant CPR class near me' and you'll see lots of listings," she wrote.

The Livelys are right: Learning CPR is quick, easy, and certainly worth the trouble.

Nothing can give you the same in-depth instruction as a course taught by a professional (you can easily find an American Red Cross CPR training in your area). But there are still plenty of helpful guides online with free resources you can access to help you get started.

As Lively noted, just knowing you have the know-how to help in a critical moment will let you enjoy those backyard poolside barbecues this summer, feeling a little more carefree.

"For those of you who haven't done it, you will love it," she wrote on Instagram. "It's so helpful by giving you knowledge, tools, and some peace of mind."

Here's an overview on CPR instructions so you can better understand what a training course entails:

This article originally appeared on 06.27.17


You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying.



All you want to do was walk in, sit down, get out your notebook and (try to) pay attention. But now? Now you've got to talk to a stranger about moving their stuff and there goes your day, already bogged down with petty annoyances.

Sound familiar? It should.

We've all got so much to do these days that interacting with people we see every day — not our friends, but our classmates, fellow commuters, co-workers, the people in line for coffee with us every day — can feel like a burden.

So, when these people do something we perceive as annoying, like putting their stuff on our desks, we don't have the time or the energy to assume their intentions or think about the lives they're leading.

But if we stepped out of ourselves for a second, we might just realize that we're all much more connected than we think, that our preconceived notions of others are usually just that — preconceived. And, often, inaccurate.

That's why this Twitter story about a guy who learned an important life lesson from a classmate he was frustrated with is going viral.

It's the perfect example of that "don't judge a book by its cover" adage we should have all learned in preschool but sometimes forget. And it starts the exact same way as this post — with a college student groaning on the inside as he sees someone's stuff on his desk.





If not for this one day running late, McFall may have never realized what his classmate was trying to do. And he may have continued to think of him as annoying, maybe telling others about "the weird guy who was always trying to take up my space"... when all the guy was really trying to do was be kind.

We all misinterpret the actions of others sometimes. It's easy to do that!

But if there's one thing this story reminds us, it's that it's important to stop and remember that while you're living your life, other people are living theirs, so assuming best intentions can do us a great favor.

That's why we should step outside of our bubbles and engage with the world on a regular basis.

You could make a new friend. You might brighten someone's day.

But most importantly, getting out of your own head, checking your own biases, and giving others the benefit of the doubt will make you a more compassionate person.

You don't have to engage with everyone you meet, but the next time someone smiles and offers you a high-five?

Maybe just take them up on it.


This article was originally published on April 16, 2018.

Health

Bus seat shaped like a man's lap was installed to make a point about sexual harassment.

Obviously, it wasn't the most comfortable — or preferred — seat on the train for riders.

Photo pulled from YouTube video

Mexico City installs attention grabbing, anatomically correct seat.

Anyone using the Mexico City Metro recently may have spotted an ... odd seat on the train, a seat quite unlike the rest.

Instead of a back, the seat's plastic was molded into a person's protruding torso. And instead of a flat bottom for sitting, the seat took on the form of that person's thighs and penis.


Obviously, it wasn't the most comfortable — or preferred — seat on the train for riders.

Above the seat was a sign declaring the seat "for men only."

Another sign on the floor, legible once a person was sitting in the chair, reads (translated from Spanish): “It’s annoying to sit here, but doesn’t compare to the sexual violence women suffer on their daily trips."

Watch a video of confused, amused, and offended passengers experiencing the seat below:

The campaign, #NoEsDeHombres, was launched by U.N. Women and authorities in Mexico City to educate men on the seriousness of sexual assault on public transit.

Mexico's capital has a bad reputation when it comes to women's safety, the BBC reported. A global 2014 study found Mexico City was the worst in the world in terms of verbal and physical harassment experienced on public transit.

But harassment is a problem on virtually every major city transit system — including in the U.S. Last year, a survey of Washington, D.C., transit riders found 1 in 5 users had experienced sexual harassment during their commutes, with 28% of that figure reporting having been inappropriately touched or assaulted. As you could have guessed, women were nearly three times as likely as men to experience harassment, the survey found.

Maybe a seat like this for men should be on every city train from here on out.


This article originally appeared on 03.31.17


@JBBarrignton/Twitter

She reacted with compassionate rebellion

As their name suggests, anti-homeless spikes are intended to keep homeless people away.

They'll usually crop up in areas where a homeless person might find some quiet away from the hustle and bustle, or a spot that's relatively well-sheltered from the elements.



In January 2017, spikes like these appeared outside the Pall Mall Court in Manchester, England. And many people were not happy about it.

“This is not the answer to rough sleeping," Pat Karney, Manchester council spokesman, told the Manchester Evening News of the spikes. "It’s demeaning in that way."

One of those unhappy people was a local woman named Jennie Platt. The Manchester mom — who called the spikes "a Scroogey thing to do" — wasn't about to let the heartless act fly.

As Mashable reported, Platt and her kids decided to give the spikes a more comfortable upgrade.

Platt — with help from her 10- and 11-year-old sons, along with a few of their rugby teammates — covered the spikes with cushions and pillows.

Well done Jennie platt and sedgley park boys
Posted by Colette Stevens on Sunday, January 29, 2017

"The building owners are treating human beings like pigeons," Platt told the BBC, noting she woke up "with a right bee in [her] bonnet" after learning the news and decided she needed to do something.

Link to Twitter where what Platt and her sons did can be seen below:

Platt also left sandwiches and chocolate bars for anyone who could use a snack, encouraging folks to "take a seat and have a bite to eat."

Posted by Colette Stevens on Sunday, January 29, 2017

“It’s a spot where people can keep warm and sheltered," explained Platt. "People don’t need to be that mean."

The spikes are right outside Pall Mall Medical, a healthcare facility that rents out a space in the court, which said it had nothing to do with their installment. GVA, the company that manages the building, declined to comment to the Manchester Evening News.

Update Feb. 7, 2017: The spikes have been removed by the building's owner after public outcry, the Manchester Evening News reported.

Unfortunately, the anti-homeless renovation in Manchester is indicative of a larger issue that doesn't stop at spikes.

Governments and businesses alike have sneakily built up anti-homeless infrastructure in urban spaces all around the world.

If you've been to Tokyo, you may have noticed "dangerously slippery" benches designed specifically to be uncomfortable, warding off anyone who wants to rest more than a few moments.

In places like Salt Lake City and Lincoln, Nebraska, you might come across benches with vertical slats between the seats, made to deter anyone from lying down.

A man saws at an armrest in Toulouse, France, in 2006 in protest of the mistreatment of homeless people.

THIS IMAGE IF YOU'D LIKE TO ADD TO THE STORY CAN BE FOUND ON THE GETTY IMAGES!!!!!!!!!!

This type of urban planning pushes the problem of chronic homelessness aside without helping to provide a solution.

Shooing away homeless people by building slippery benches, installing excessive armrests, and adding spikes to sidewalks doesn't mean homeless people disappear. It means the most vulnerable among us — many who struggle with mental illness or are living on the street because they can't stay at a shelter — are left unwelcome in larger and larger spaces within our communities. This type of heartless infrastructure only exacerbates the problem.

Instead of hoping homeless people disappear, we should focus our attention on ideas that help them in the long run.

Beyond supporting your local homeless shelter by volunteering and donating, you can rally your representatives to join the fight. For example, Housing First — a strategy that provides people with a home quickly and unconditionally, then gives them the resources they need to stand on their own (like help with addiction or career services) — is a model that's been proven to work in several cities and states. Make sure the leaders in your area know you care about this issue and want funding for local initiatives, like Housing First, that make a big difference.

Platt realizes her efforts may be short-lived. But as more people notice her deed, she hopes it will change hearts and minds.

"I know [the cushions] won't last and I know they'll get wet," she said. "But the people who manage that building need to know how to treat people."

This article originally appeared on 02.06.17