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You Might Call Jacob A Man With Lipstick. Well, Jacob Is Not A Man. And I Respect That.

Whether or not you can fully understand what it means to be genderqueer, what matters is that for many people, this is who they are.This may be a very quick primer on what the word means, but it's also very important. I hope it will at least make you think about how we split people into "man" and "woman."

You Might Call Jacob A Man With Lipstick. Well, Jacob Is Not A Man. And I Respect That.

From a young age, we grow up learning that the world is divided into men and women. But it's not that simple.

When we think the world is full of people who identify as either a man or a woman, this means that we believe in the gender binary.

The truth is gender is not a binary for everyone. Some people identify as both man and woman. Some people identify as neither man nor woman. Jacob is one such example.


Jacob doesn't identify as man or woman. Jacob identifies as genderqueer.

Jacob's gender pronouns are they/their/them — which means that we should refer to them in this way, because that is their preference, rather than refer to them as "he" or "she." The pronoun "they" is just one of the many gender-neutral pronouns that exist.

Being genderqueer can mean different things for different people.

There is no one-size-fits-all experience. For Jacob, it can be as much about what you wear as how you feel inside. In a Huffington Post article, Jacob wrote:

    "As an undergraduate at Duke, I spent four years learning to love and appreciate myself as a gender non-conforming person. Going into college, I thought that my desire to dress androgynously and adopt a feminine gender expression was shameful; and for the first few months of college, I hid it from others and from myself. But after years of work unearthing internalized oppression and masculine shame, I finally learned to keep my head high as I stomped by the frat boys in my five-inch heels."

It's important to note that how you dress doesn't determine your gender identity. However, dressing up a certain way *can* be a way to express your gender identity.

Besides genderqueer, there are many different terms to describe gender identity.

Like transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, bigender, agender — just to name a few. Sometimes they are used interchangeably. Sometimes they are not. Gender is very complex, and so are the terms to describe it, which is why it's important to do our research before we assume what a person's gender identity means or before we make fun of the words they use to describe it.

Jacob hits the nail on the head by saying the following:

    "At the end of the day, if you want to understand the words, go on Wikipedia and read them. ... Go read the Internet, go read some trans blogs. Is someone genderqueer? Are they trans? You don't need to know by looking at someone because the bottom line is you should respect them and love them regardless, OK?"

Watch the video below to find out more about what it means to be genderqueer.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.