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Lots of people go by 'he.' Lots of people go by 'she.' And, some people ... don't.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, a very good reason to stop using the phrase "ladies and gentlemen."

Lots of people go by 'he.' Lots of people go by 'she.' And, some people ... don't.

Here's a fact about gender that you may not know: Being "male" or "female" isn't the only way a person can be gendered.

(Confused? Don't worry.)


If you're hearing this for the first time, here's some context.

You probably didn't blink when I called you either a “lady" or a “gentleman" at the top of this post because most of us refer to ourselves as either “male" or “female."

But the titles "Mr." and "Ms." don't cover everyone. Some people don't identify as either gender. The word for them is non-binary, as in neither "male" nor "female."

Wondering what you say when referring to people who are non-binary?

It's simple: Instead of using "he/him/his" or "she/her/hers," you use "they/them/their" or other gender neutral words.

At this point, I have to mention...

Welcometoterranova has a confession to make.

The staff here had a hard time understanding this concept.

At first, we didn't know what to do. But, thanks to a few queer folk who work at Welcometoterranova, we've learned more about queer identity and gender.

To those taken aback by it, it's new to many of us too. There's more to understanding gender in-depth.

Two things about us play an important part in our identity.


One part, our sexual orientation, is a big part of who we are. Whether gay, straight, bisexual, or asexual, our orientation indicates the gender we desire — or don't, if you're asexual.


The other big part who we are is our gender identity.

  • Most of us are cisgender: born as the gender we identify as.
  • And transgender people are assigned the incorrect gender at birth.
  • Non-binary or gender neutral people don't identify as either gender.
  • And some — like genderqueer people, for example — identify as a combination of both.

As with orientation, gender has a broad range. It's not a couple of boxes on a form. Gender is much more like a spectrum.


It seems complex, but it's actually pretty simple.

But, Welcometoterranova folks still had a hard time getting it right. Me included.

We employ a few queer and other LGBTQ folks here at Welcometoterranova. One employee happens to identify as gender non-conforming. This was the first time others and I had met someone like them.

Since this was new to us, a lot of us failed at respecting this person and their identity by misgendering them. We failed miserably, and often. We had some pretty superficial reasons for it too:

"Calling one person 'they' is grammatically confusing."


"It's hard to remember to say the right words."


Seriously — grammar, everyone!

Bottom line:

True.

Using neutral pronouns like "they," "them," and "their" with our colleague took a little getting used to, but we're getting there.

(Justin Vivian Bond is a singer who is trans and gender non-conforming.)

Everyone's orientation and identity are facts. They aren't decisions. If someone's telling you what they prefer to be identified as, make an effort to use the right words. Like Justin said above, life isn't easier for those who don't identify the way the majority does. Let's try not to make it harder for them.

Watch the full video below for some more insight into how we learned from our company-wide mistake:

True

As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Joshua's Heart Foundation to support its efforts to continue fighting hunger and food poverty.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

The entire west coast of the United States is either on fire or covered in some measure of smoke and ash at the moment. We've seen photos of the midday sky the wrong color, from eery orange to apocalypse red. Entire towns have burned down, air quality indexes are hovering in the hazardous zone for millions, and our skilled, brave firefighters are overwhelmed.

Right now, the west needs all the help it can get.

Enter the volunteer firefighters of Guanajuato, Mexico who have arrived in Southern Oregon to help try to get the raging blazes under control. Known as the Heroic Fire Department of Guanajuato, the firefighters come from a city in central Mexico that has a 50-year "sister city" relationship with the Oregon city of Ashland. According to Portland Monthly, the five firefighters dispatched to Oregon have trained in the area before, which means they can jump right in.


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Crest

Some of the moments that make us smile the most have come from everyday superstars, like The McClure twins!

Everyone could use a little morning motivation, so Crest – the #1 Toothpaste Brand in America – is teaming up with some popular digital all-stars to share their smile-worthy, positivity-filled (virtual) pep talks for this year's back-to-school season!

As part of this campaign, Crest is donating toothpaste to Feeding America to unleash even more smiles for families who need it the most.

Let's encourage confident smiles this back-to-school season. Check out the McClure Twins back-to-school pep talk above!

via Reddit

Common sense rules of the road suggest drivers maintain a three-second following distance between themselves and the car ahead of them on a highway. You can calculate this distance by using a fixed object on the road to see if there is enough distance between your car and the motorist in front of you.

As all drivers know, not every one leaves a safe distance between themselves and the car in front of them and this puts both in danger. The tailgater in an especially precarious position because they can't see what's happening ahead of them.

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via Reddit

After the attacks on 9/11, the U.S government has had little problem spending over $6.4 trillion on the War on Terror. For some perspective, the U.S. government's total expenditures last year was $4.4 trillion.

Direct combat has killed over 800,000 people, including 350,000 civilians, and displaced over 37 million people.

The U.S, government has unflinchingly wasted all of this blood and treasure but has dragged its feet repeatedly to pay the healthcare bills for first-responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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