She Was Keeping A Big Secret From Her Brother. After Her Father Died, Her Mom Finally Spilled It.

Sometimes, the support of your family can make all the difference.

When her father passed away, Kimberly Reed had a dilemma.

Going home for her father’s funeral meant seeing her brother, Mark, who she hadn’t spoken to for many years.

Mark didn’t know why it had been so long. And their mother kept making excuses.

The reason was that the last time Kimberly saw Mark, Kimberly was known as Paul. And Mark didn’t know she had transitioned.

Mark didn’t know he had a sister.

Needless to say, when Kimberly saw her brother for the first time…

But as many families do in difficult times, they fell back on tradition.

Mark was in shock. But after they talked and talked and talked, Mark embraced Kimberly, and a huge burden was lifted. Still, there was more to come.

Kimberly had to return to her hometown for the funeral.

Everyone she grew up with still knew her as Paul — including all her old buddies from the football team. And Kimberly wasn’t just on the football team in high school…

She didn’t know what to expect.

And it’s not fair for me to spoil it, so you should just listen her tell the story. The football team arrives about 11 minutes in, and it’s … glorious.

If you’re a young person who is trans and struggling, or if you’re questioning your gender identity, Kimberly is living, breathing proof that it can and does get better. People grow up, families change, and life can be really great.

If you know someone who is struggling, please share Kimberly’s story with them. And if you’re considering suicide or know someone who is, please call the Trevor Project Lifeline at 866-488-7386. And here’s an amazing, extensive list of other people and organizations that can help. You’re not alone.

Original story by Kimberly Reed, told at The Moth. Here’s a film she made about the experience of coming home and coming out as a woman to her family and friends. For more resources for LGBTQ youth who are struggling, please visit The Trevor Project.

She Was Keeping A Big Secret From Her Brother. After Her Father Died, Her Mom Finally Spilled It.

Sometimes, the support of your family can make all the difference.

When her father passed away, Kimberly Reed had a dilemma.

Going home for her father’s funeral meant seeing her brother, Mark, who she hadn’t spoken to for many years.

Mark didn’t know why it had been so long. And their mother kept making excuses.

The reason was that the last time Kimberly saw Mark, Kimberly was known as Paul. And Mark didn’t know she had transitioned.

Mark didn’t know he had a sister.

Needless to say, when Kimberly saw her brother for the first time…

But as many families do in difficult times, they fell back on tradition.

Mark was in shock. But after they talked and talked and talked, Mark embraced Kimberly, and a huge burden was lifted. Still, there was more to come.

Kimberly had to return to her hometown for the funeral.

Everyone she grew up with still knew her as Paul — including all her old buddies from the football team. And Kimberly wasn’t just on the football team in high school…

She didn’t know what to expect.

And it’s not fair for me to spoil it, so you should just listen her tell the story. The football team arrives about 11 minutes in, and it’s … glorious.

If you’re a young person who is trans and struggling, or if you’re questioning your gender identity, Kimberly is living, breathing proof that it can and does get better. People grow up, families change, and life can be really great.

If you know someone who is struggling, please share Kimberly’s story with them. And if you’re considering suicide or know someone who is, please call the Trevor Project Lifeline at 866-488-7386. And here’s an amazing, extensive list of other people and organizations that can help. You’re not alone.

Original story by Kimberly Reed, told at The Moth. Here’s a film she made about the experience of coming home and coming out as a woman to her family and friends. For more resources for LGBTQ youth who are struggling, please visit The Trevor Project.

She Was Keeping A Big Secret From Her Brother. After Her Father Died, Her Mom Finally Spilled It.

Sometimes, the support of your family can make all the difference.

When her father passed away, Kimberly Reed had a dilemma.

Going home for her father’s funeral meant seeing her brother, Mark, who she hadn’t spoken to for many years.

Mark didn’t know why it had been so long. And their mother kept making excuses.

The reason was that the last time Kimberly saw Mark, Kimberly was known as Paul. And Mark didn’t know she had transitioned.

Mark didn’t know he had a sister.

Needless to say, when Kimberly saw her brother for the first time…

But as many families do in difficult times, they fell back on tradition.

Mark was in shock. But after they talked and talked and talked, Mark embraced Kimberly, and a huge burden was lifted. Still, there was more to come.

Kimberly had to return to her hometown for the funeral.

Everyone she grew up with still knew her as Paul — including all her old buddies from the football team. And Kimberly wasn’t just on the football team in high school…

She didn’t know what to expect.

And it’s not fair for me to spoil it, so you should just listen her tell the story. The football team arrives about 11 minutes in, and it’s … glorious.

If you’re a young person who is trans and struggling, or if you’re questioning your gender identity, Kimberly is living, breathing proof that it can and does get better. People grow up, families change, and life can be really great.

If you know someone who is struggling, please share Kimberly’s story with them. And if you’re considering suicide or know someone who is, please call the Trevor Project Lifeline at 866-488-7386. And here’s an amazing, extensive list of other people and organizations that can help. You’re not alone.

Original story by Kimberly Reed, told at The Moth. Here’s a film she made about the experience of coming home and coming out as a woman to her family and friends. For more resources for LGBTQ youth who are struggling, please visit The Trevor Project.

In The ’60s, The U.S. Made A Decision That Completely Failed. We Still Haven’t Reversed It.

Howdy, folks! Let’s talk about Cuba.

Cuba is a small island nation a mere 90 miles off the coast of Florida. It’s home to 11 million people. It’s famous for…

And…

And…

Unfortunately, these days, it’s equally well known for…

In 1960, the United States Congress passed the first in a series of laws banning all trade with Cuba, in the hopes that Cubans would get so poor and desperate they would revolt against their Communist leaders.

It half-worked.

Over the ensuing five decades, Cubans did get really poor and desperate.

Their leaders however…

…are still in charge.

And there’s no sign of a revolution any time soon.

In December 2014, President Obama normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961. Not only because our Cuba policy for the last 54 years has failed to accomplish anything it was intended to accomplish, but because…

Lifting the embargo, restoring trade, and providing desperately needed relief to millions of impoverished Cubans still requires an act of Congress, however. Even though the Castros are still in power and there are many issues on which the U.S. and Cuba are still at odds, there are many, many good reasons we should do it.

Here are seven of the best.

Original by Vox. Vox is all over YouTube and social media. Cuba image via Wikimedia Commons. Cigars image by Dan Smith, rum image by Lopsterx, and downtown Havana image by Jialiang Gao, all via Wikimedia Commons. Salsa dancing image by Flickr users David and Paulina. The GIF of President Obama came from this video, courtesy of LatinCanadaTV. All images used and modified under Creative Commons licenses.

In The ’60s, The U.S. Made A Decision That Completely Failed. We Still Haven’t Reversed It.

Howdy, folks! Let’s talk about Cuba.

Cuba is a small island nation a mere 90 miles off the coast of Florida. It’s home to 11 million people. It’s famous for…

And…

And…

Unfortunately, these days, it’s equally well known for…

In 1960, the United States Congress passed the first in a series of laws banning all trade with Cuba, in the hopes that Cubans would get so poor and desperate they would revolt against their Communist leaders.

It half-worked.

Over the ensuing five decades, Cubans did get really poor and desperate.

Their leaders however…

…are still in charge.

And there’s no sign of a revolution any time soon.

In December 2014, President Obama normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961. Not only because our Cuba policy for the last 54 years has failed to accomplish anything it was intended to accomplish, but because…

Lifting the embargo, restoring trade, and providing desperately needed relief to millions of impoverished Cubans still requires an act of Congress, however. Even though the Castros are still in power and there are many issues on which the U.S. and Cuba are still at odds, there are many, many good reasons we should do it.

Here are seven of the best.

Original by Vox. Vox is all over YouTube and social media. Cuba image via Wikimedia Commons. Cigars image by Dan Smith, rum image by Lopsterx, and downtown Havana image by Jialiang Gao, all via Wikimedia Commons. Salsa dancing image by Flickr users David and Paulina. The GIF of President Obama came from this video, courtesy of LatinCanadaTV. All images used and modified under Creative Commons licenses.

In The ’60s, The U.S. Made A Decision That Completely Failed. We Still Haven’t Reversed It.

Howdy, folks! Let’s talk about Cuba.

Cuba is a small island nation a mere 90 miles off the coast of Florida. It’s home to 11 million people. It’s famous for…

And…

And…

Unfortunately, these days, it’s equally well known for…

In 1960, the United States Congress passed the first in a series of laws banning all trade with Cuba, in the hopes that Cubans would get so poor and desperate they would revolt against their Communist leaders.

It half-worked.

Over the ensuing five decades, Cubans did get really poor and desperate.

Their leaders however…

…are still in charge.

And there’s no sign of a revolution any time soon.

In December 2014, President Obama normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961. Not only because our Cuba policy for the last 54 years has failed to accomplish anything it was intended to accomplish, but because…

Lifting the embargo, restoring trade, and providing desperately needed relief to millions of impoverished Cubans still requires an act of Congress, however. Even though the Castros are still in power and there are many issues on which the U.S. and Cuba are still at odds, there are many, many good reasons we should do it.

Here are seven of the best.

Original by Vox. Vox is all over YouTube and social media. Cuba image via Wikimedia Commons. Cigars image by Dan Smith, rum image by Lopsterx, and downtown Havana image by Jialiang Gao, all via Wikimedia Commons. Salsa dancing image by Flickr users David and Paulina. The GIF of President Obama came from this video, courtesy of LatinCanadaTV. All images used and modified under Creative Commons licenses.

When He Mentioned Beyoncé, I Almost Rolled My Eyes, But Then I Saw Where He Was Going

2014 was a powerful year.

Every bit of this poem by Lemon Anderson is fantastic, but things get especially powerful around 2:43:

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Allow me to share three of my favorite excerpts from Lemon’s work:

1. Starting at 0:57:

“‘Cause, more schools means way less prisons, more education, better odds, healthier communities to live in, more love, more justice, and justice shouldn’t discriminate.”

2. Starting at 2:52:

“One boy guilty of poverty, his hands raised, ‘don’t shoot,’ and Ferguson burnt down. Now we know the name Mike Brown, left there with three square holes in the gutter, a mother’s son beatless. Our stomachs left sick.”

3. Starting at 3:08:

“Then came the Lucy man, Eric Garner, from the Wu Tang district choked by an officer, killed wearing his six children on his sleeve and now we, the millions are yelling his last words ‘I can’t breathe,’ and now we can’t breathe until we move forward behind the democracy re-preached. Can’t breathe until we stop putting guns in the hands of the children we teach. We cannot breathe until we become a nation proud of its immigration, restoring love back into our homes instead of fear of our mothers not being from here. We will not breathe, determined to succeed until we get freedom, health, and justice for the young people living in between the lines, for they are children, the future and they will lead us to the promised land and the fire next time.”

There are many wonderful things that 2014 brought us, but unless we also face the ugliness, we’ll be unable to overcome the injustices that hold our society back.

So, go ahead and pass off a 2014 “year in review” that might make others think, empathize, and hope for a brighter 2015.

Poem from Sons & Brothers written and performed by Lemon Andersen. Find Son & Brothers on Facebook and Twitter.

When He Mentioned Beyoncé, I Almost Rolled My Eyes, But Then I Saw Where He Was Going

2014 was a powerful year.

Every bit of this poem by Lemon Anderson is fantastic, but things get especially powerful around 2:43:

<span class=”redactor-invisible-space”></span>

Allow me to share three of my favorite excerpts from Lemon’s work:

1. Starting at 0:57:

“‘Cause, more schools means way less prisons, more education, better odds, healthier communities to live in, more love, more justice, and justice shouldn’t discriminate.”

2. Starting at 2:52:

“One boy guilty of poverty, his hands raised, ‘don’t shoot,’ and Ferguson burnt down. Now we know the name Mike Brown, left there with three square holes in the gutter, a mother’s son beatless. Our stomachs left sick.”

3. Starting at 3:08:

“Then came the Lucy man, Eric Garner, from the Wu Tang district choked by an officer, killed wearing his six children on his sleeve and now we, the millions are yelling his last words ‘I can’t breathe,’ and now we can’t breathe until we move forward behind the democracy re-preached. Can’t breathe until we stop putting guns in the hands of the children we teach. We cannot breathe until we become a nation proud of its immigration, restoring love back into our homes instead of fear of our mothers not being from here. We will not breathe, determined to succeed until we get freedom, health, and justice for the young people living in between the lines, for they are children, the future and they will lead us to the promised land and the fire next time.”

There are many wonderful things that 2014 brought us, but unless we also face the ugliness, we’ll be unable to overcome the injustices that hold our society back.

So, go ahead and pass off a 2014 “year in review” that might make others think, empathize, and hope for a brighter 2015.

Poem from Sons & Brothers written and performed by Lemon Andersen. Find Son & Brothers on Facebook and Twitter.

When He Mentioned Beyoncé, I Almost Rolled My Eyes, But Then I Saw Where He Was Going

2014 was a powerful year.

Every bit of this poem by Lemon Anderson is fantastic, but things get especially powerful around 2:43:

<span class=”redactor-invisible-space”></span>

Allow me to share three of my favorite excerpts from Lemon’s work:

1. Starting at 0:57:

“‘Cause, more schools means way less prisons, more education, better odds, healthier communities to live in, more love, more justice, and justice shouldn’t discriminate.”

2. Starting at 2:52:

“One boy guilty of poverty, his hands raised, ‘don’t shoot,’ and Ferguson burnt down. Now we know the name Mike Brown, left there with three square holes in the gutter, a mother’s son beatless. Our stomachs left sick.”

3. Starting at 3:08:

“Then came the Lucy man, Eric Garner, from the Wu Tang district choked by an officer, killed wearing his six children on his sleeve and now we, the millions are yelling his last words ‘I can’t breathe,’ and now we can’t breathe until we move forward behind the democracy re-preached. Can’t breathe until we stop putting guns in the hands of the children we teach. We cannot breathe until we become a nation proud of its immigration, restoring love back into our homes instead of fear of our mothers not being from here. We will not breathe, determined to succeed until we get freedom, health, and justice for the young people living in between the lines, for they are children, the future and they will lead us to the promised land and the fire next time.”

There are many wonderful things that 2014 brought us, but unless we also face the ugliness, we’ll be unable to overcome the injustices that hold our society back.

So, go ahead and pass off a 2014 “year in review” that might make others think, empathize, and hope for a brighter 2015.

Poem from Sons & Brothers written and performed by Lemon Andersen. Find Son & Brothers on Facebook and Twitter.

She Spent $1.57 For Something That Cost Him $60.62. And That, My Friends, Is Disgusting.

Get ready to hear more about this woman in the years to come.

I have someone you should meet: Zephyr Teachout.

Zephyr is an author, professor, and crusader against the corrupting influence of money in politics.

In the fall of 2014, Zephyr ran for governor of New York in the Democratic primary against Andrew Cuomo. And though she didn’t win,
Zephyr captured 30% of the vote with almost no money.

Here’s the best statistic, though: Her opponent, Andrew Cuomo, spent $60.62 for each one of his votes. Zephyr’s campaign, however, spent only $1.57.

Why was Teachout so popular? Probably because she was extremely vocal about corruption. And not only was she talking about it, she was experiencing the struggle firsthand.

Sing it, Zephyr. No matter how you feel about teachers’ unions, you have to respect someone who sticks to their principles, even if it costs them money.

Of course, her campaign is over, but she’s going to continue fighting the good fight. Catch her and fellow anti-corruption activist, Lawrence Lessig, discuss the problem of money in politics on
“Moyers & Company”:

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Video from “Moyers & Company.” You can follow everyone on Twitter: Zephyr Teachout, Lawrence Lessig, and Bill Moyers.