She might not know it, but a faceless public servant helped save my life | Mary-Rose MacColl


When long-buried secrets and past traumas started to overwhelm writer Mary-Rose MacColl, a letter from the tax office helped open a path to healing

The last thing my teacher asked of me, before I severed all ties, was that I respect her and her husband’s confidence as they’d respected mine.

My teacher and her husband had sexualised their pastoral relationship with me when I was at school. I was 15 when the relationship started, in my 20s before I was free of them.

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April 26, 2017 at 12:03PM

from Mary-Rose MacColl

LGBTIQ rights: ‘Being gay in Stem workplaces can be difficult’


Nearly half of LGBTIQ Australians hide their sexual identity at work, with many experiencing homophobic abuse. It’s time to do better

In 2015 a US survey found that LGBTIQ scientists felt more accepted in their workplaces than their peers in other professions did. The Queer in Stem survey, published in the Journal of Homosexuality, surveyed 1,400 LGBTIQ workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They found respondents in scientific fields that had a high proportion of women were more likely to be out to their colleagues than those who worked in male-intensive disciplines.

This is heartening news as it’s not necessarily that way in most Australian workplaces. Last year a report found that nearly half of LGBTIQ Australians hide their sexual identity at work. The research was conducted by Dive In festival on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The report also found six in 10 LGBTIQ people have experienced verbal homophobic abuse in the workplace, while two in 10 have experienced physical violence.

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April 26, 2017 at 05:58AM

from Lisa Harvey-Smith

This Guy Started Crying When He Saw His Girlfriend In Her Prom Dress

Sometimes, a facial expression really does say it all. 

On Saturday, Nolanah Garcia, a high school senior at Southside High School in San Antonio, Texas, brought Devin Collier, her boyfriend of three years, to tears when he saw her in her prom dress for the first time. On Sunday, she shared several sweet photos of the big reveal on Twitter, which have since been retweeted more than 31,000 times: 

And here was Devin’s reaction & me telling him to stop crying cause I was gonna cry and mess up my makeup ❤️

— nolanah (@_nolanah) April 23, 2017

“Here was Devin’s reaction & me telling him to stop crying cause I was gonna cry and mess up my makeup,” she wrote on Twitter

Nolanah looked stunning in a royal blue crop top and skirt set by Sherri Hill from Gautier Formal Dresses. Devin ― who graduated from the same high school two years ago ― was visibly overcome with emotion.

“I really didn’t expect Devin’s reaction,” she told HuffPost. “But he got teary-eyed and I saw tears coming out, which made me react by tearing up too.” 

“I just felt so loved actually, I wanted to cry seeing him cry over me,” she told Teen Vogue.

Devin and Nolanah weren’t the only ones getting misty-eyed. Twitter was also hit right in the feels by the heartwarming moment:

@_nolanah im dead bc this is cuteness overload

— Erica (@hyper_eda) April 24, 2017

Can you imagine having such a connection with someone they cry when they see you? That’s love

— gabbi (@gabbisharpp) April 24, 2017

this is the most beautiful & pure thing i’ve ever seen. she’s so beautiful & he’s so lucky. i hope one day i can have a love like this. wow

— queen meme (@markfishbowl) April 24, 2017

“He’s a great boyfriend,” Nolanah told HuffPost. “He’s always taking care of me and making sure I’m happy. He’s honestly the best I could ask for.” 

H/T Teen Vogue

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

April 26, 2017 at 03:39AM

from Kelsey Borresen

Beyoncé Introduced Me To Some Of the Most Magical Black Women I’ve Ever Met

My homegirl Vikkie doesn’t allow guests to wear shoes in her house. So when I showed up with three other visitors in our Unfriendly Black Aunties friend group Sunday to prepare brunch for one another, we stood in the kitchen and, in the tradition of our ancestors, prepared the meal barefoot ― infusing love in each step, each dash of seasoning and each creak of the oven door.

We gathered to celebrate the anniversary of “Lemonade,” a short film by Beyoncé released on April 23, 2016, that highlights the trials, tribulations and inevitable triumphs of black womanhood. The film has won numerous honors, including the prestigious Peabody Award.

But my girls and I couldn’t care less about the awards the film has won. “Lemonade” signifies something bigger to us: Its release coincides with the first anniversary of our friendship.

It was April 23, 2016. A week before, Jonquilyn, another member of our soon-to-be Auntie collective, had reached out to a group of black women who work in media about watching “Lemonade” together at her home. Four of us ― Vikkie, LaNita, Aggi and I ― showed up. We ate Popeyes fried chicken and drank wine while chatting about our careers, hobbies and, of course, Beyoncé.

The chatter of five loud, happy, carefree black women was reduced to silence when Beyoncé, head down, hair cornrowed and shoulders covered in fur, graced the television screen. We eagerly consumed the scenes of black people who looked liked our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, brothers and cousins loving on their children and dancing through their neighborhoods, montages of black women standing, solemnly and firmly, and scenes of black children playing without a care in the world all while trying to dissect the visuals and figure out who Beyoncé was mad at. The film spoke to our anger at white supremacy, unfaithful black men and the traumas black women are forced to bear.  

And watching this black-as-hell film in a room full of black women was equivalent to a religious experience.

We waved our hands in praise when a clip from a Malcolm X speech declaring that “the most disrespected person in America is the black woman” played along with cameos of real, dark-skinned, kinky-haired women.

We hollered when Beyoncé said, “Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks.” We wept tears of joy when Serena Williams strutted down the staircase in “Sorry” and began twerking as a way of reclaiming the sexuality stripped of her ― and many other black women ― by a society that sees us as unattractive.

And tears of empathy ran down our faces when Lesley McSpadden appeared in the film holding a photo of her son, 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by a white police officer in 2014 and whose death sparked a nationwide fight against police violence.

A group chat was started after the party so we could all keep in touch. Our Beyoncé-spawned connection blossomed into a deep, meaningful friendship and expanded to include two more black women journalists. And, for the past year, we’ve been there to pick one another up when it has been too hard to get up on our own.

We take hikes and dance together at parties. We coordinate brunches and dinners. We speak every day about our lives, politics and memes. Whenever one of us needs a shoulder to cry on, everyone runs to her aid. We’ve held each down through breakups, deaths in the family and career frustrations. We’ve been there to celebrate every birthday, every career goal hit and every personal achievement reached.

In our own way, we mirror the fall and subsequent rise Beyoncé put forth in “Lemonade.” Every scene in this film boils down to something my friends and I know well: how race intersects with our womanhood, our relationships with our families and our interactions with men. And, somehow, we always manage to persevere when life beats us down via our sheer determination and the community we’ve built among ourselves.   

This year, as we danced around Vikkie’s kitchen, barefoot and laughing, I realized that Beyoncé’s vision of black sisterhood and the message that black women persevere in numbers had become our reality.

And I’ll be forever thankful for that.

If you’re always angry about politics, sign up for bruh., a sporadic newsletter by Julia Craven.

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April 26, 2017 at 03:08AM

from Julia Craven

Booing Ivanka Trump May Feel Good But It’s Counterproductive

At a meeting of female business leaders in Berlin, Ivanka Trump was booed for referring to her father as “a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive.”

I understand that many people do not like the president and they are entitled to that opinion. I also fully grasp the fact that many women see the president as “anti-woman.” I don’t see it that way, but I respect those who do.

However, I’m not really sure what booing Ivanka Trump is supposed to accomplish.

I realize this incident occurred in Germany and pales in comparison to some of the other negative reactions she has faced – most notably verbal harassment by fellow passengers on JetBlue flight – but quite frankly, I don’t understand the thought process here.

For starters, Ivanka Trump loves her dad and is going to defend him. You can dislike that all you want to, but that is what children who love their parents do. I have three wonderful, beautiful daughters who disagree with me strongly on most political issues. However, I am quite certain that they would defend me from what they saw as incorrect assessments of my character. It is fine to hate her father and be upset at her for defending him, but it is exactly what any proud daughter would do.

More importantly, booing, hissing, and – in more extreme cases – harassing Ivanka Trump seems to be antithetical to achieving the goals of those who say they oppose the president’s supposedly “far right” agenda.

Take a look at the donation histories of both Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. Then take a look at some of the policies that Ivanka has publicly pushed, such as paid maternity leave and universal child care. Ivanka and Jared are lifelong liberals and Ivanka couldn’t even vote for her father in the primary because she never changed her registration. Truth is, if her father hadn’t been running, it seems likely Ivanka and Jared would have both voted for Hillary Clinton (they may very well have donated to her as well).

Stephen Miller over at Heat Street cleverly pointed out that he was far less concerned about Ivanka’s business ties and relation to the president than her actual policy beliefs. Many on the right feel the same way about her husband. They see Jared Kushner’s rumored rise and Steve Bannon’s supposed fall as a sign that the president is going to be pushed towards the left.

And if you look at the histories of both Jared and Ivanka, that fear from the right certainly seems to make sense. So to those on the left, may I humbly suggest that you are approaching this all wrong.

You should, in fact, be cheering and not booing Ivanka, even when she is defending her dad, who you hate so much. The simple fact is that she is largely pushing policies you support and the more power and influence she has over her father, the more likely you are going to see some policies that resemble what we would have seen from a Hillary Clinton presidency.

If your main objective is to show the world how much you hate Donald Trump, then I guess booing Ivanka makes sense. But if you actually care about liberal policies being enacted, then you should be cheering her every chance you get.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

April 26, 2017 at 03:08AM

from Dr. Munr Kazmir

These 103- And 98-Year-Old Sisters Prove Sibling Rivalries Never End

If you thought sibling rivalries mellowed out with time, you’ve never met Gramma and Ginga

In a YouTube clip that’s going viral on Facebook (watch it below,) Gramma, 103, attempts to give her granddaughter, Sheila Liljenquist, directions to D&P Hot Dogs in her hometown of Clarksburg, West Virginia.

The only problem? Gramma’s 98-year-old sister Ginga is seated directly behind her and she’s quite the backseat driver. 

“Your grandmother doesn’t know where in the hell she’s going,” Ginga offers from her corner.  

“No, with your damn big mouth. Dammit. Shut your mouth, will you?” Gramma responds. 

Luckily, the older and younger sisters ― whose full names are Arlene Cody Bashnett and Genevieve Musci ― eventually navigate Sheila to the hot dog spot.

The sisters ― who appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last year and have quite the following on YouTube ― are quick to bicker but rarely stay mad, according to Liljenquist.

“The gals argue about everything ― how fast or slowly one of them eats, how to get to the hot dog place or where to buy the best olives ― but they’re also quick to laugh about the whole thing,” she told HuffPost. “They’ve never stayed angry for more than a minute.” 

Their current heated competition? Walking. 

“They now argue about who could walk the best at age 98,” Liljenquist said. “Gramma thinks she was in better shape when she was at 98 than Ginga is now!” 

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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

April 26, 2017 at 02:39AM

from Brittany Wong

White House Insists Melania Trump Isn’t Miserable Married To Donald

From the Trumps’ strained interactions during the inauguration to their awkward body language in photographs, much has been speculated about their 12-year marriage ― everyone from etiquette experts to the Twitterverse has chimed in (just look at the hashtag #FreeMelania). Is this really what Melania signed up for?

Recent reports, including a piece in Vanity Fair titled “Inside the Trump Marriage: Melania’s Burden,” have suggested that the first lady is less than happy. But those close to her, including Melania’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, have squashed the notion. 

“Mrs. Trump is a loving wife and mother who has always put her family first and that will not change,” Grisham told HuffPost, calling the VF piece a “false story.” “She is an independent woman who believes in our country, and continues her plans to serve as First Lady with integrity and dedication.”

Vanity Fair’s story, which appears online and in the magazine’s May 2017 issue, focuses on how the former model ― who met her billionaire husband at a party during New York City’s Fashion Week back in 1998 ― is dealing with the public scrutiny that comes with her first lady title. It includes claims from mostly unnamed sources that their union may not necessarily be a romance for the ages.

Grisham plays a large role in the piece, denying all rumors of trouble in paradise. Some of the questions addressed include:

Does Melania actually plan to move to D.C. to be with her husband?

The White House has said that Melania will move to Washington at the end of the school year, but Vanity Fair notes that the Trumps have not announced which D.C.-area school Barron will be attending, and perhaps haven’t even applied. “There’s been no ‘Barron will be going to my school’” gossip, a parent at prep school St. Albans told the magazine.

According to Grisham, “they are still looking at a few schools.”

Was President Trump rude during Melania’s pregnancy? 

An unnamed source claims President Trump ― who already had four children at the time ― allegedly only agreed to have a baby with Melania on the condition that she’d get her body back.

“She promised him that everything would go back to the way it was,” an unnamed visitor to one of the Trump residences told the magazine. “There was no, ‘How do you feel?’ No opening of doors, making sure she didn’t fall. Just ‘You wanted to have a baby. ”

Grisham countered that the president was “very warm and supportive throughout her pregnancy.”

Does Melania not want to be First Lady? 

“She never wanted this, and never had any interest,” another unnamed source told Vanity Fair. But Grisham says, “Mrs. Trump has always been supportive of all her husband’s endeavors.”

Does Melania have an icy relationship with her stepdaughter Ivanka?

Vanity Fair cites two anonymous sources in fashion and media who claim that Melania and Ivanka don’t have the best relationship, but Grisham claims the two are “fine.” 

“Ivanka and Mrs. Trump have always shared a close relationship, and that continues today,” she said. 

In an e-mail to HuffPost, Grisham said that Vanity Fair’s story is “offensive.”

“Vanity Fair chose to publish not only a false story, but one that is degrading to women. When you consider it is a magazine that is tailored to women, it becomes even more offensive,” she said.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

April 26, 2017 at 02:09AM

from Cavan Sieczkowski