More

My 3-year-old asked me why some people are gay. This was my response.

When my daughter asked why our friends are gay, it reminded me how far we've come.

My 3-year-old asked me why some people are gay. This was my response.

My wife and I count two different gay couples — one female, one male — among our closest friends.

We see these friends often, and they are important people to our two young daughters.

A few weeks ago, we saw both couples in one day. In the morning, one couple came over to celebrate our daughter’s second birthday. We ate cake and drank coffee on the roof deck while the children played. Later that day, we went to the other couple’s house for dinner. There we ate more cake and drank beer while the children ran around the backyard with the two dogs.


On the drive home, our 3-year-old must have suddenly noticed the difference between gay and straight.

From the backseat, she asked me and my wife: "Why are some sweetie-pies men and men? Why are some men and women? And why are some sweetie-pies women and women?”

My wife and I smiled at each other. “It just depends on who you love,” I said.

Our daughter said OK and asked no more questions. Simple as that.

Gay rights have come a long way in the United States. Photo from iStock.

The ease of that brief conversation left me with a rare kind of satisfaction. My kids inhabit an America that is, by one measure, far more humane and decent than the one where I grew up.

I must have been about 12 when I learned that my mother knew a lesbian.

She refused to name this person when I asked who she was. Did I know her? Had I met her?

“You don’t know her well,” my mother said. “But you’ve met her a few times.”

I begged my mom to tell me who this person was. Instead, she made a pledge: When the lesbian died, my mom promised to say who she was. From then on, every so often I’d ask, “Is the lesbian dead yet?”

A few years later, Anne, mom’s elderly church friend, passed away.

It turns out that the mysterious lesbian was Anne’s daughter. Anne shared her secret with my mom, who promised to tell no one. And when Anne died, my mom decided to share the secret with me.

Then, it was like being gay was a stain so deep that only death could wipe away its shame. That was the lesson. I wondered and worried if this thing could happen to me, too.

Being gay seemed like an infection that could quietly enter the body and corrupt the soul. My dad said not to worry, then. I sure hoped that he was right.

It was around this time that I watched Pat Buchanan’s 1992 opening speech at the Republican National Convention with my family.

Buchanan railed against gay people, and I recall being a bit stunned by his anger, but not by the essential message of homosexual deviancy. Back then, that notion could just float weightlessly in the air.

Someday, I hope to talk with my daughters about all of this.

About how things used to be. About a world where a common cruelty simply existed among people who were otherwise quite decent.

That many parents now speak to their kids about sexual orientation without a veil of shame is a welcome reminder that some good changes are underway, however incomplete.

Yes, look at what is happening in North Carolina. Progress is rarely linear.

But I am quite certain that my daughters, like so many children of their generation, will never need to ask such a regrettable question: “Is the lesbian dead yet?”

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Keep Reading Show less
True

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.

Welcometoterranova 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 "Welcometoterranova-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.

Keep Reading Show less
via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

Keep Reading Show less
via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

Keep Reading Show less