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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.

Here we are, six months into the coronavirus pandemic, and people are tired. We're tired of social distancing, wearing masks, the economic uncertainty, the constant debates and denials, all of it.

But no one is more tired than the healthcare workers on the frontline. Those whom we celebrated and hailed as heroes months ago have largely been forgotten as news cycles shift and increased illness and death become "normal." But they're still there. They're still risking themselves to save others. And they've been at it for a long time.

Mary Katherine Backstrom shared her experience as the wife of an ER doctor in Florida, explaining the impact this pandemic is having on the people treating its victims and reminding us that healthcare workers are still showing up, despite all of the obstacles that make their jobs harder.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

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Kids say the darnedest things and, if you're a parent, you know that can make for some embarrassing situations. Every parent has had a moment when their child has said something unintentionally inappropriate to a stranger and they prayed they wouldn't take it the wrong way.

Cassie, the mother of 4-year-old Camryn, had one of the those moments when her child yelled, "Black lives matter" to a Black woman at a Colorado Home Depot.

But the awkward interaction quickly turned sweet when the Black woman, Sherri Gonzales, appreciated the comment and thanked the young girl.

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