Taking arts classes leads to better academic performance

A new study found a link between arts elective courses in music, dance, visual art and drama, and better grades in middle school. The study followed a large and diverse sample of preschool children up until they completed sixth, seventh and eighth grade.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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Doctors Need To Talk Through Treatment Options Better For Black Men With Prostate Cancer

African-American men have the highest risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer as well as dying from it compared to any other ethnic group in the U.S. This trend has remained unchanged for over four decades.

Although research has focused on identifying the biological differences that may lead to this difference, there’s growing evidence that distinct racial and ethnic disparities in prostate cancer treatment, and the quality of medical care in African-American men, contribute to this disparity.

African-American men are less likely to receive more aggressive treatments than their counterparts. And, if and when they do receive those treatments, they receive them later than their counterparts. For example, access to early effective survivorship treatments such as androgen deprivation therapies remains a challenge in African-American patients.

Our multidisciplinary research program in cancer population science at the University of Virginia has been examining reasons for poor prostate cancer outcomes, especially in African-American patients. Recent, as yet unpublished research from our group highlights several issues related to medication challenges in elderly prostate cancer survivors. We found there is a clear link between improved use of these treatments and reduced mortality. In addition, both access and use of these life-saving treatments remains low among African-American survivors.

A history of gaps

African-American prostate cancer patients face unique challenges in the treatment decision-making process. These include lower rates of understanding of treatment options, less time and interaction with medical care professionals and, often, poorer quality of medical care. Those challenges particularly affect both their access and compliance to medications, and, in turn, outcomes in these patients.

For example, a 69-year-old African American man whom we interviewed for our research, Mr. Tyler (name changed), along with his wife, Mrs. Tyler, sat in an exam room while his doctor told him he had stage 4 prostate cancer. Stage 4 cancer is cancer that has spread from its original site to distant organs and, in prostate cancer, even the bone.

Mr. Tyler was shocked. He had not noticed any health issues besides getting up in the middle of the night to urinate and some hip pain. He thought that was normal as men age. When he went to the clinic, he thought he had arthritis in his hip and would be prescribed pain medications for that. He could not imagine hearing that he had cancer.

He had not been to see a health care provider in about 12 years. He was always so busy at work and did not really feel comfortable going to a health care provider, having heard stories from family members and friends that other African-Americans are not treated well at the hospital.

The doctor gave Mr. Tyler a few options such as surgery, radiation and androgen deprivation therapy, considering his age, ethnicity, comorbidities and other related factors. But Mr. Tyler and his wife did not know what treatment options to seriously consider.

The health care provider gave a recommendation, but his wife was unsure. They were confused and anxious about making such a big and complex decision. The couple relied on information they received from speaking to friends, church members and relatives and ultimately made a decision, but it was not easy. And, it was not free from some regrets. Ultimately they chose to receive the radiation treatment and start the androgen deprivation treatment, which Mr. Tyler stopped because of discomfort. Mr. Tyler unfortunately died shortly after he discontinued treatment.

Treatment decision process improvements may be paramount

This scenario of confusion and anxiety is not so uncommon. Cancer is a terrifying diagnosis, and making decisions about treatment can be overwhelming.

Studies have suggested that patients with cancer feel more comfortable expressing their concerns with their health care provider when there is a trusting and supportive relationship developed along with adequate time for treatment discussion. This in turn leads to more comfortable treatment decisions, which often works to improve patient outcomes.

Prostate cancer treatment in particular often brings harsh side effects that severely affect a man’s quality of life. These side effects include erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, muscle loss, hair loss and urinary issues such as incontinence. These may be short term, but they can last for years.

The matter is complicated because many of these harsh side effects stem from androgen deprivation therapies, which can improve survival. Because of the complicated nature of assessing the risk of side effects with the potential benefit of survival, the use of androgen deprivation therapies should carefully be considered by the patient and his doctor.

Research has shown that these treatment-related decisions are very different in African-American prostate cancer patients compared to white patients and those residing in urban and rural communities. Therefore, there is a need to study treatment decision-making in both settings to formulate effective educational interventions.

Aids that can help

In one of our recent studies, we found that decision aids may help. Decision aids are electronic or paper tools involving a set of questions and information related to treatments. They are used to assist patients and caregivers in making informed decisions about the types of treatments and procedures, or both, that are more suitable for their particular case.

Decision aids are effective in a shared decision-making process, in which the doctor or nurse navigator sits down with a patient and walks through the process. There is active participation between the patient, caregiver and health care provider.

Decision aids can help patients apply specific health information while actively participating in health-related decision-making. Primarily, decision aids that have been applied to prostate cancer have been focused on knowledge or treatment options only, which patients often complete themselves. These types of decision aids are quite limited and do not allow patients the time and true engagement with health care providers to really understand their disease and the options that are available, and ultimately become satisfied with that decision.

Decision aids are most effective when they are tailored to the individual patient, rather than being generic. For example, researchers have developed an individualized decision support system BreastHealthDecisions.org, which represents a new approach to breast cancer prevention care.

In our study that developed an interactive decision aid for treatment decisions among advanced prostate cancer patients, we found that not only did the decision aid enhance patients’ and their caregivers’ understanding of the options that they had for treatment, but it also built more trust and engagementbetween the patient and the health care provider, which is valuable. The study also revealed that by using the decision aid, patients were more concerned with the quality of their life after treatment than extending the number of years of life.

Developing decision support systems for prostate cancer is paramount as we move towards an era of precision medicine treatments, such as proton therapies, which are used only after decision support system plans are in place for the prostate cancer survivor.

Often, the conversations between health care providers and the patient are focused around the quantity of life. The patients in our study said they felt empowered enough through the use of the decision aid to discuss quality of life, and how that was a critical aspect within their conversations.

There is much work to do to provide optimal health care to patients with cancer, including African-Americans with cancer. Tailored decision aids that focus on the priorities of the patient and their caregivers and that promote trusting relationships with health care providers is key to helping patients feel satisfied with their health care decisions and have less regret.

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A Black Man’s View: 5 Ways To Be A Better Male Ally In The Workplace

#MeToo, #TimesUp, and terminations of high-profile executives accused of sexual misconduct has spurned a conversation among some men asking, “How can we promote gender equity in the workplace?” Here are five ways we as men can make work environments safer and more inclusive for everyone. These tips can help a man be a better ally in the workplace.

5 Ways To Be A Better Male Ally In The Workplace

Don’t ask her out

At work we interact with many different people. We may have similar interests with some women — get along and become friends. As we socialize, feelings may grow and you could start viewing her romantically. Full stop. Most women do not come to work to get a date. This is not the bar. Don’t ask for her number. She is not there to be objectified. Keep it professional.

Do not talk over her

Many times in a meeting, a man will take over the conversation and interrupt a woman when she is speaking. Whether intentional or not, this is a malicious act which sends a message that her contributions are not important and hold little value. We need to stop doing this. Let her talk and finish her thought. You can wait.

Do not gaslight

A woman’s experience in the workplace will always be different than ours. From subtle microaggressions to blatant harassment, her existence in a business environment is full of challenges we cannot imagine. This is why it is important for men to believe our female coworkers when they say they have been victims of abuse. Believe her when she says someone has been harassing her. Do not downplay it and tell her it is something she imagined. In doing so, you create a distrustful work environment by not encouraging other women to come forward.

No foul language

One of the best things a man can do when he hears misogynistic and sexist remarks from other men is to push back. Gently, but firmly, tell them those type of comments are not OK. It creates a hostile work environment, which helps no one. We need to let our fellow male coworkers know this is not acceptable, nor is the workplace the setting for that kind of language.

Hire more women

In my time in IT, there has always been an overwhelmingly male environment. I would always wonder why aren’t their more women working in technology? The simple answer is because we are not hiring them. Evia, a virtual event solutions company conducted a poll and found that women hold only 20% of tech jobs. In order for us to make the work environment more balanced and different points of view found, we as men need to hire more women.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

The post A Black Man’s View: 5 Ways To Be A Better Male Ally In The Workplace appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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These Bluetooth earbuds sound so much better than they should for $15.99

Best-Selling Bluetooth Earbuds On Amazon

With more than 8,000 5-star customer reviews on Amazon, the Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones have been best-sellers for as long as we can remember. They offer outstanding sound quality, solid battery life of nearly 10 hours per charge, a great design, and IPX7 water-resistance. All that for around $ 25… how can you go wrong? Well, we suppose you can go wrong if you pay full price, and right now they’re on sale for $ 19.99. But wait! Use the special coupon code MP088AR3 at checkout and you’ll only pay $ 15.99. This deal is a new all-time low, and it won’t be around for very long.

Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones Waterproof IPX7, Wireless Earbuds Sport, Richer Bass HiFi Stere…: $ 15.99 (use code MP088AR3)

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  • IPX7 SWEATPROOF EARPHONES: Mpow IPX7 Water-resistant Nano-coating efficiently protects sport headphones from sweat and ensure more guaranteed life span, perfect for running, jogging, hiking, yoga, exercises, gym, fitness, travelling and etc. Everyday with Mpow is like a valentine’s day!
  • REDEFINE YOUR EARS IN RICHER RANGE: You may not get used to this earbuds with richer bass and mid at first if you used to use earbuds with flat or sharp sound. Thanks to the tuned driver, CSR chip and Bluetooth 4.1, you can get superb bass sound, as well as richer and crisp sound with Mpow earbuds at the furthest degree that in-ear & Bluetooth-compression items can achieve.
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  • 1.5-HOUR QUICK CHARGE FOR 7-9 HOURS PLAYING: Improved lithium polymer battery brings up to 7-9 hours pleasure musically and socially with a quick charge of only 1.5 hours. It will show the remaining battery power of the headphones on the iOS Phone screen. Note: 1. Mpow Flame has 12V over-voltage hardware cut off, 1A over-current restored fuse to achieve safe charging. 2. Please use charging cable provided, or certified brand charging cable. 3. We don’t recommend using fast charging.
  • WHY WE RECOMMEND MPOW FLAME TO YOU: Mpow has been dedicated to produce Bluetooth headphones for many years, and we have a professional team of experts in this area. Mpow Flame not only gives you attractive & stylish look, but also provide IPX7 waterproof protection and richer bass to meet your practical needs. Every Mpow product includes a 45 days money back & 18-month warranty.

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  1. These Bluetooth earbuds sound so much better than they should for $ 15.99

These Bluetooth earbuds sound so much better than they should for $ 15.99 originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 8 Mar 2019 at 07:56:06 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Better Things Is Back—And Pamela Adlon Is Doing Just Fine

Pamela Adlon’s alter ego Sam Fox, the heroine of her semi-autobiographical FX comedy Better Things, is a woman who speaks her mind. In the show’s season three premiere, which will air on Feb. 28, that candor is briefly directed at her eldest daughter Max (Mikey Madison), just after the college freshman abandons her mom in favor of some new acquaintances. “I want my big, life, This Is Us milestone moment goodbye hug!” Sam whines, her arms outstretched. And she gets it—a long, sweet embrace that melts into a sort of slow dance, then evaporates in a mist of kisses.

The scene comes close to encompassing the range of apparently contradictory elements from which Adlon constructs the show. Better Things doesn’t have a terribly innovative premise: Sam—a journeyman actor and divorced mother of three girls—struggles to maintain an often demeaning career while caring for her close but ungrateful family (including her own declining mom) and intermittently looking for romance. Yet the writing artfully mingles cynicism and sincerity, shaggy storylines, earthy humor and lofty ideas about family and fulfillment. Relationships evolve slowly; it took two full seasons for Max, a mess of teenage anxieties, to reciprocate Sam’s affection. Without straying far from the quotidian, Adlon creates moments of (sometimes simultaneous) transcendence and crisis. Episodes evoke the same range of emotions as, yes, This Is Us but always feel much closer to real life than to melodrama.

It’s a delicate balance, and one that seemed especially precarious after The New York Times published five women’s sexual misconduct allegations against Adlon’s co-creator and champion Louis C.K.—just days before Better Things aired its season two finale, in 2017. Adlon responded by quickly cutting ties with C.K. and the manager they shared, in a bold but worrisome schism. Though her show had always been more humanistic than his bleak Louie, both series had deceptively loose structures, with episodes divided into vignettes that culminated in cathartic, thought-provoking, often controversial set pieces that drew out the stories’ common themes. Since Adlon had also been integral to Louie, as a writer and an actor, it didn’t seem sexist to wonder whether their creative symbiosis was essential to both of their respective successes.

C.K.’s absence is indeed palpable in season three. Those climactic scenes that set social media on fire are his specialty: He has the sole writing credit, for instance, on a striking episode from the second season in which Sam stages her own funeral, forcing her family to finally express some appreciation for her sacrifices. When they collaborated on scripts, Adlon seemed to rein in C.K.’s excesses, emphasizing small, true character beats while avoiding provocation for its own sake. In season two, when they shared writing duties but she began directing every episode, Better Things surpassed Louie, evolving into a comedy with the revelatory quality of meditation.

The third season, for which Adlon hired her first writers’ room, starts out equally thoughtful but less focused. As Sam toils on an unsafe movie set and weathers the physical and emotional indignities of perimenopause, she must attend to her family’s various minor maladies: Sam’s mother Phyllis (Celia Imrie) sinks further into dementia. Max gets homesick. Middle child Frankie (Hannah Alligood) grows increasingly bitter about her parents’ divorce, and takes out that anger on Sam. Even cuddly preteen Duke (Olivia Edwards) bristles at her mom’s obsession with a school bully. Instead of escalating to an apex, the first three episodes meander. The story never accelerates.

Viewers might be tempted to write off the show after a few weeks of this, but for those who already love Better Things, that would be a mistake. Something changes midway through the eight episodes sent to critics: Themes that have recurred since the season premiere, from Sam’s mistreatment at work to Frankie’s cruelty, reach critical mass and become full storylines. A series of healthcare providers, each with a distinct personality, serve as evidence that fiercely independent Sam must finally ask for help. Touching on menstruation, constipation and a colonoscopy, the masterful episode “Toilet” is a symbolic flushing out. (While other TV creators have used candor about women’s bodies to shock, Adlon’s reads as simple honesty.)

It’s an experimental season, one whose subtle shifts seem more suited to film than TV—and might be easier to appreciate on a streaming service than in 12 episodes spread out over three months. But if you watch it at the right pace, two or three half-hour installments a day, it starts to recall the radically organic storytelling of Virginia Woolf and, more recently, Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel (Zama, The Headless Woman). In these artists’ work, as in the new Better Things, you barely notice narratives coalescing until they’re fully formed. That lends their plots an uncommon naturalism. And it certainly jibes with Adlon’s recent praise for the late indie film pioneer John Cassavetes’ documentary-like style. Like him, she’s making choices bold enough to alienate some viewers—ones that introduce a voice strong enough to stand on its own.


Entertainment – TIME

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The ‘Burberry Noose’ Is Just The Latest Controversy. Why Can’t Fashion Houses Do Better?

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

For many, the sight of a model wearing a noose at Burberry’s London Fashion Week show was disgusting, tasteless, and distressing. Unfortunately, it was not all that surprising.

Frustratingly, it felt like a fashion controversy du jour, a story that would dominate the day’s headlines until a new offensive look started trending on Twitter.

After all, before the noose it was Katy Perry’s blackface shoes. Before Katy Perry’s blackface shoes it was Gucci’s blackface turtleneck. Before Gucci’s blackface turtleneck it was Prada’s blackface keychain. Before Prada’s blackface keychain it was Dolce & Gabbana’s bizarre, anti-Chinese ad campaign.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast — Fashion

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A Bridezilla, Epic Fights and That Infamous Wine Toss: How The Real Housewives of New Jersey Bounced Back Better Than Ever

The Real Housewives of New Jersey, RHONJLet it be known that Andy Cohen reads his damn feed.
The man responsible for gifting the world with all things Real Housewives has a special sixth sense for knowing how fans are feeling…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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Americans are starting to feel better about buying homes — sort of

The share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home increased 4 percentage points to 15 percent in January compared with December, according to a monthly survey from Fannie Mae.
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About Face: One woman’s Quest To Make AI Less Biased | Better | NBC News

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‘Regionalized’ Approach to Cancer Surgery Leads to Better Outcomes

Lung-cancer surgery patients who received care at regional centers where specialty care is concentrated have shorter hospital stays and fewer complications, according to Kaiser Permanente research presented this week at the 55th annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

“Shifting lung cancer surgery to designated centers within our integrated health system reduced the number of days patients spent in the hospital, decreased intensive care use, and reduced post-operative complications,” said Jeffrey B. Velotta, MD, a thoracic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente Oakland medical center.

Kaiser Permanente regionalized thoracic surgery care in 2014 by shifting cases in Northern California from 16 hospitals to five designated specialty-care centers.

Researchers looked for effects of regionalization by comparing two groups of patients: 782 patients who underwent lung-cancer surgery between 2011 and 2013 (before regionalization) and 845 patients who had surgery between 2015 and 2017 (after regionalization).

The researchers found that regionalization resulted in increased use of minimally invasive, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery – from 57 percent to 86 percent.

In addition, the average operating time for these types of surgeries decreased by more than 50 minutes after regionalization, possibly due to the surgical team’s efficiency with repetition of these cases.

“In our study, we found that regionalization of lung surgery was indeed feasible within an integrated health system,” said Velotta. “In the post-regionalization era, lung surgeries are performed by more experienced, thoracic-specialized surgeons at higher volume centers.”

Main RSS Feed – Kaiser Permanente

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Some TV shows are better off binged. Others, not so much.

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In Binged, Mashable breaks down why we binge-watch, how we binge-watch, and what it does to us. Because binge-watching is the new normal.


Nothing against You, but as far as television shows go, it didn’t do great when it aired on Lifetime. The fun, pulpy show about a bookstore manager who becomes dangerously obsessed with a woman came and went in the summer of 2018 with barely a peep from Twitter or the TV cultural hive mind. It’s not surprising that Lifetime cancelled You, but in a savvy move from Netflix, the streaming giant picked up the show and renewed it for a second season.

When You showed up on Netflix, magic happened. It became an almost overnight hit, with a reported 40 million viewers of the first season. Outlets wrote extensively about its bonkers plot and characters, hashtags were born, and what had been an obscure network satire became must-see TV.  Read more…

More about Netflix, Game Of Thrones, Binge Watching, Westworld, and Binged


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It’s the same Virginia basketball team heading into Duke showdown — only better

The Cavaliers are surging in just about every category, not just their signature defense. Virginia Tech Coach Buzz Williams put it simply: “They’re doing more than they’ve done in the past.”
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In VR boys learn best when the teacher is a drone — girls lean better from virtual Marie

The teacher is just as important in a virtual learning environment as in a normal classroom, but a new study shows that boys and girls differ greatly in terms of how they learn best: Boys learn best when their virtual teacher comes in the form of a drone, while girls get more knowledge from VR-teaching when they are taught by a young, female researcher-type named Marie.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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The guilt-free guide to being a better person in 2019

We’re all trying our best to be ‘woke’, ethical and sustainable. But then again‚ sometimes it’s hard to know what the damn rules are. Here, Francesca Hornak breaks it down

Recycling

Essential, obviously. But if only waste disposal didn’t come with so many diktats. How clean must an empty pot of Yeo Valley be to guarantee recycling? What about an empty can of sustainably sourced tuna? Is a rinse fine, or does it need to go in the dishwasher, or is that a waste of energy? Which bin does cling film go in? What about cellophane? And Jiffy bags – part paper, part plastic? These are the kind of quandaries that have seen sane people get out of bed to give the hummus pot in the green box an extra wash, for luck.

Coffee Cups

Hooray for KeepCups! So simple, so stylish! Except that every morning one of two things will happen. You’ll either realise, as you rummage for the sodding cup at the front of a long, tetchy queue for coffee, that you have forgotten it and will have to sidle to your desk with a shameful disposable cup, conscious that yesterday you were talking loudly about ‘that documentary on plastics’. Or you’ll remember the KeepCup just as you’re about to leave home, and locate it sitting in your bag, coated in stale coffee from the day before. You’ll then make yourself late washing it, and detect a hint of Fairy Liquid in your flat white.

‘Why do I never have one of my 500 canvas totes when I’m actually in a shop?’

Facebook

Isn’t there something innately unclean about Facebook? Even before fake news and all its attendant moral dilemmas, the whole place always felt grubby, posting content for likes from people you neither like nor care about. But still we can’t help ourselves stalking the girl everyone fancied at school and then cursing Mark Zuckerberg for stealing another hour of our lives.

Bags for life

Is it wrong to miss, just slightly, the time when there was always a spare plastic bag kicking around at home? Something to line the bathroom bin with, or shove your muddy trainers in? It is wrong, and you know it. As a result, you now have a huge collection of bags for life under your sink, and an uneasy feeling that these might take even longer to biodegrade than the flimsy plastic bags of yesterday. See also: why do I never have one of my 500 canvas totes when I’m actually in a shop?

Periods

Once, you could unwrap a Tampax Compak without seeing a little grenade of toxic plastic, waiting to wash up on a beach. And in a few years’ time, we’ll probably all have mastered Mooncups and Dear Kate pants (does anyone else find this off-puttingly close to a nappy?). But until then, no woman should be begrudged the occasional Lil-Let.

Veganism

Touted as the no-brainer route to a more sustainable life (assuming you can find joy in life without cheese). That is, until you Google ‘air miles from almond milk’ or ‘is coconut oil worse for you than butter?’ and feel immediately exhausted. But let’s face it, who regularly has time to roast legs of lamb anyway? You’re probably unintentionally vegan half the time out of sheer culinary laziness. Job done.

The post The guilt-free guide to being a better person in 2019 appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Toward a Better Biblical Understand of Gender, Sex and Patriarchy

“The Church of England welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people,” declares new guidance for Anglican clergy, “equally with all people, within the body of Christ, and rejoices in the diversity of that body into which all Christians have been baptised by one Spirit.”

With its new guidance, the Church of England outlines services to recognize transitions by transgender people and even offers an “Affirmation of Baptism” service to celebrate trans identities. By doing so, the church also joins a slew of other mainline Protestant denominations in welcoming and supporting transgender people.

(Fotografias Emergentes / Creative Commons)

In 2003, the United Church of Christ adopted an affirmation of “the participation and ministry of transgender people” and called for supporting trans civil and human rights; the denomination, which has long observed the Transgender Day of Remembrance, has also developed a curriculum to teach about transgender people and issues.

In 2012, the Alliance of Baptists called on churches and community leaders to work to end discrimination and violence against transgender people, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has likewise issued statements supporting trans people and encouraging adoption of policies to end discrimination against trans people.

Just this year, the USA Presbyterian Church voted to affirm its commitment to the full dignity and humanity of transgender people and people of all gender identities—and while United Methodists have continued to struggle with sexual and gender identity issues, the denomination has appointed a transgender deacon and affirmed the ordination of a transgender pastor.

And although Anglicans themselves are divided—one lay member of the Church’s General Synod even railed against “the falsehoods and myths of transgender ideology”—Bishop of Blackburn Julian Henderson, who authored the document, is standing firm. “We are absolutely clear that everyone is made in the image of God and that all should find a welcome in their parish Church,” he said in a statement. “This new guidance provides an opportunity, rooted in scripture, to enable trans people who have ‘come to Christ as the way, the truth and the life’, to mark their transition in the presence of their Church family which is the body of Christ.”

Beyond mainline Protestant denominations, however, many Christian churches continue to condemn and ostracize transgender people. In 2017, a group of Catholic bishops and other leaders issued an open letter—titled “Created Male and Female”—arguing that all people have inherent dignity, but sexual difference is binary and ordained by God. The letter describes transgender identity as a “false idea” that is “deeply troubling” and calls for policies that reinforce binary gender identities as assigned based on biological characteristics at birth.

In a 2014 resolution, the Southern Baptist Convention stated that “God’s good design [is] that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception—a perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God’s design” and reiterated their opposition to “all cultural efforts to validate claims to transgender identity.” Franklin Graham called transgender people “weirdos that want to force themselves into girls’ locker rooms and to women’s bathrooms,” and defended his abrasiveness by claiming that “Jesus wasn’t real loving sometimes.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s student conduct policy likewise explicitly declares that “we regard sex at birth as the identification of the given biological sex of each member of our constituency,” and that “we must view the actions or intentions of those seeking fundamental changes of any kind from one’s sex at birth as a rejection of the biblical and theological understandings to which Southern Seminary is committed.”

Those “biblical and theological understandings” that underpin Christian transphobia are exactly the problem. Affirming mainline churches have embraced trans people within a theology of God’s inclusive love and created diversity—and challenged racism, sexism, homophobia and poverty as well with an intersectional social justice framework that centers on fundamental dignity, worth and equality of all people. The biblical and theological understandings of churches who oppose transgender people, however, are rooted in gender hierarchies.

In traditional Christian thinking, gender and sex are the same, rooted in biology and acknowledged as immutable from birth. According to this train of thought, God has ordained this sex/gender binary, and the gender hierarchies that attend it, with women excluded from ordained ministry and submissive to male headship in the home. This is connected to the deep discomfort about bodies many Christians feel; after all, in many traditions the body is equated with sin and worldliness—and mostly women. The body therefore needs to be controlled, and clear gender roles need to be kept in place to maintain order (read: patriarchy).

Transgender identities challenge the assertions that gender is fixed and contingent upon sex—and with them, the hierarchies of gender that depend on a fixed and inherent gender binary. This challenge upends men’s claim to leadership, power and dominance in the church and the family.

Nevermind that the Bible itself recognizes more than two genders—that eunuchs play important roles in biblical narratives, and that queer biblical scholars have pointed to them as examples of gender and sexual diversity in the text. “There are some eunuchs,” Jesus himself said in the book of Matthew, “which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

By creating guidelines to welcome transgender people in the Church of England, Anglicans have affirmed gender diversity and joined with other progressive Christians in expressing theologies and practices of inclusion rooted in subversive and often hidden histories of the church and hearkening to Jesus’ own words and ministry.

The truth is the biblical witness is much more complicated than many traditionalists admit. One creation narrative tells us that humans were created in the image of God—but if both male and female bodies are the nature of God, could we not then think of God as the one who encompasses all genders and crosses genders? Could we not imagine the transgender God?

As a whole, the Christian church still has much work to do to embody the love of the God it professes. For the progressive church, offering alternatives to traditional, conservative and exclusionary theologies and practices is essential, albeit not enough. Still, the Church of England’s Affirmation of Baptism service for folks who are transitioning is one small start.

Susan M. Shaw, Ph.D., is a Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University.

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The post Toward a Better Biblical Understand of Gender, Sex and Patriarchy appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

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Remy Ma Leaves Hospital After Emergency Surgery: ‘I Am Doing Much Better.’

2017 BET Awards - Red Carpet

Source: Bennett Raglin / Getty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One day after having to undergo an emergency procedure after giving birth to her daughter, it looks like Remy Ma is finally back home.

On Thursday (Dec. 20), the femcee posted a post-delivery pic of her and her husband Papoose looking healthy and happy.

“I’m FINALLY back home and doing much better. The baby has been PERFECTLY fine since being born Dec. 14th and I’m resting & recovering at home. (Pap is VERY happy, on cloud 9,999😊),” the new mother wrote on Instagram.

Not going into any detail about her surgery, she also thanked everyone for checking in on her family and sending them well-wishes.

“Thank you to all of our family, friends, and loved ones who reached out- Sorry for not responding to texts and/or calls – I physically was not able to and my husband @papoosepapoose was concerned & worried about me all while looking after our “Golden Child.”

Remy also showed love to her fans and the hospital staff that took such good care of her.

“Also, thank you to all the fans who sent their love and prayers🙏🏽 We would also like to thank the ENTIRE staff at the hospital (doctors, nurses, aides, even the housekeeping) as well as the AMAZING security team ; not only did you all make sure my family was well taken care of but everyone was very professional and extremely respectful & protective of our privacy; we truly appreciate it – 💋

with love, The Mackies #RemAndPap #BlackLove #RemyMa #MeetTheMackies #TheGoldenChild #RemyMafia (I luv y’all 😘).”

Instagram Photo

 

As we previously reported, days after giving birth to her and Papoose’s “Golden Child,” Remy Ma was rushed back to the hospital due to complications from her delivery.

According to TMZ, the rapper was admitted back into the hospital to endure emergency surgery after suffering excessive bleeding on Tuesday night. The site reported that her procedure was a success thanks to blood transfusions.

On December 14, after what Papoose described as a “tough labor,” Remy gave birth to a little girl. The couple has yet to release a picture of their daughter or share her name with the public.

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

 

We’re so glad that Remy and the baby are doing well! PRAISE!

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Report: Millennials Managing Money Better Than You May Assume

When it comes to handling money, millennials often get a bad rap on such matters as saving and long-term financial planning. But the latest Better Money Habits Millennial Report by financial services giant Bank of America opposes some of the notions.

In reality, the report swears millennials are just as good, or better than other generations when it comes to managing money. That means they are getting their finances in shape. Millennials—ages 23 to 37—are more likely to set savings goals with most of the generation meeting them. The bulk of millennials feel just as financially secure as other age groups, including Generation X and baby boomers.

Yet there are some obstacles, too. Roughly 1 in 4 millennials worry often about money. And intriguingly, 75% of them report their generation overspends compared to other generations. Plus, 73% of millennials say their age group spends too much on unnecessary indulgences.

Some findings from the report include:

  • Regardless of stereotypes on millennials’ money habits, they are doing better than what others and themselves believe. Sixty-three percent are saving versus 64% for Gen X and 75% for baby boomers. Some 57% of millennials have a savings goal versus 42% each for Gen Xers and baby boomers.
  • The younger group has made great progress stashing money. Forty-seven percent of millennials now have more than $ 15,000 saved, up from 33% in 2015. Sixteen percent of millennials have $ 100,000 or more in savings, up from 8% three years ago.
  • Falling short on savings and careers are top financial stressors for millennials. However, when it comes to putting money away, millennials cite saving for emergency funds (64%), retirement (49%) and buying a house (33%) as top priorities.
  • Millennials are not afraid to ask for more money. Some 80% of millennials who asked for a raise in the past two years got one. Millennials are bigger advocates on asking for raises than GenXers and baby boomers.

Other topics included in the report ranged from how millennials feel about career changes to finances being a  top source of tension in millennial households. For instance, almost 1 in 5 millennials don’t know how much their spouse/partner makes.

Bank of America paid for a survey of 1,500 respondents, ages 18-71 years old, to examine their views on personal financial matters. Millennials in the report were defined as ages 23-37, with younger millennials ages 23-27 and older millennials ages 28-37.

Andrew Plepler, Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America, commented on millennial financial habits in the report.

“Millennials deserve more credit—both from themselves and from others—for their mindfulness when it comes to money and their lives. They have room and, importantly, time to reduce the stress they report having around money.”

The post Report: Millennials Managing Money Better Than You May Assume appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Being Santa Claus makes this Orthodox man a ‘better Jew’

Why is this Atlanta-based Santa Claus different from all other Santas? He’s an Orthodox Jew. And Rick Rosenthal, 66, takes being a light unto the nations pretty seriously. For the past seven years, he’s been a full-time Kris Kringle, deploying his signature bushy white beard and cheery disposition to the delight of children looking for…
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Easter Island mayor concedes Moai statue might be better left in British Museum

The mayor of the Chile’s Easter Island territory conceded on Monday that the British Museum might be a better home for a massive native Polynesian statue taken by British seamen 150 years ago.


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Nigerian Girls Coding Their Way to a Better Future

Growing up, Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin didn’t feel like girls were encouraged to pursue careers in STEM. Now, with Girls Coding, she’s focusing on teaching girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in Nigeria how to program, giving them a voice through technology. By investing in people, she’s building the next generation of mathematicians, doctors, lawyers and thinkers.

This Great Big Story was made possible by IBM Africa.


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Steven Mnuchin considered for chief of staff but feels better suited for Treasury

Sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the privacy of the ongoing discussions, said that Mnuchin has indicated to his inner circle that he feels best served as the head of Treasury.
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The little $60 box that actually helps me sleep better is on sale for $39, today only

White Noise Machine For Sleeping

There are about a million different solutions out there for people who have trouble sleeping, but most of them aren’t really solutions at all. Even the ones that work for some people won’t work for everyone, which is why it’s so important to try different things. I recently gave the Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan Evo Sound Machine a shot, and I was surprised to find that it really does help me sleep better! It features 22 different sounds like the ocean, fans, and white noise, and they don’t loop so there’s no audio break to disrupt your sleep. It normally sells for $ 60, but it’s on sale on Amazon for one day only at its lowest price ever, just $ 39.

Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan Evo White Noise Sound Machine with 22 Unique Non-Looping…: $ 38.97

Here’s what you need to know from the product page:

  • Provides ten fan sounds, ten white, pink and brown noise variations, and two varieties of ocean sounds — calm, and surf.
  • Helps mask disruptive environmental noises so you can fall asleep with ease
  • Safe, solid-state design is powered by AC or USB and dynamically creates unique, non-repeating sounds with no moving parts
  • Precise volume control, an optional timer, and a 3.5mm connector for headphones or a portable speaker to match your environment and sleep style
  • Also ideal for creating a disturbance-free work area, or just reducing the distracting effects of outside noises for a more relaxing environment, day or night

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Bose makes a sound bar you can actually afford, and it’s down to its lowest price ever
  2. Amazon’s running one last surprise Fire TV sale with the lowest prices of 2018

Trending Right Now:

  1. Prediction: The next ‘Friends’-style scramble at Netflix will be over ‘The Office’
  2. A 17-year-old just designed an iPhone lock screen that might be better than Apple’s
  3. Instant Pots are somehow down to $ 45 today on Amazon

The little $ 60 box that actually helps me sleep better is on sale for $ 39, today only originally appeared on BGR.com on Sun, 9 Dec 2018 at 10:21:40 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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FHA vs. Conventional Loans: How to Tell Which Is Better for Your First Home

You’re planning to purchase your first home. What a glorious event!

Until it comes time to figure out how you’re going to pay for it.

Well, if you’re a first-time homebuyer looking into mortgages, you’ve probably heard of, or looked into, FHA loans. They’re the second most common type of mortgage (behind conventional), but they’re highly popular for home-buying newbies.

Here’s what to know if you’re shopping around.

What Is an FHA Loan?

An FHA loan is a type of home mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and offered by an FHA-approved financial institution.

This insurance gives banks, credit unions and other lenders more leniency to approve mortgages outside conventional loan requirements.

The major advantages of choosing an FHA loan are the easier credit standards and the lower down payment minimums. And if you’ve had any major credit problems like a foreclosure or bankruptcy, you don’t have to wait as long to obtain an FHA loan as you would for other loans.

While your credit score doesn’t need to be as strong for your loan to be approved, the lower your credit score, the higher your required down payment.

FHA Loan Costs

Credit Score Down Payment Required
500-579 10%
580 or higher 3.5%

Your credit score is also a huge factor in determining what you’ll pay in closing costs. Between 2% and 5% of the loan amount is most common, that’s $ 4,000-$ 10,000 on a $ 200,000 loan.

Another perk of the FHA loan is that if you’re not within the required debt-to-income (DTI) range, you can lower yours by blending DTI ratios with a related, non-occupant co-borrower — like your mom, as long as she doesn’t live with you.

Your DTI ratio is your minimum monthly debt payments divided by your monthly income. You can qualify for an FHA loan with a DTI ratio as high as 50%, but you’re more likely to be approved at 43% or less.

But there are some drawbacks, too.

Homes must meet strict structural standards, making most fixer-uppers hard to get approval for. If you’re set on one, look into an FHA 203K loan. The process for approval is lengthier than for a regular FHA loan, but the mortgage includes estimated home improvement costs in the loan amount.

FHA Loan Requirements

Your credit score and down payment aren’t the only requirements for an FHA loan. Like any other mortgage, there’s a long list of requirements, including:

  • Steady income and employment history, usually for the past two years.
  • The property must be the borrower’s primary residence.
  • The property must meet certain minimum standards for appraisal.
  • The appraisal must be done by an FHA-approved appraiser.
  • Your total monthly payment can’t exceed 31% of gross income.

An FHA loan also requires you to pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP). No matter how big your down payment is, an upfront MIP payment equal to 1.75% of the base loan amount is added at closing. There’s also an annual mortgage insurance premium — similar to PMI on a conventional loan — that varies depending on your down payment.

For example, most people choosing an FHA loan choose a 30-year fixed mortgage with 3.5% down payment. That’ll incur a 0.85% annual MIP for the entire mortgage term, so on a $ 200,000 loan, annual MIP will start at $ 136.71 and gradually go down over the term of the loan.

A higher down payment of 5%-10%, on loans of less than $ 625,000, will incur a lower annual MIP of 0.8% for the entire mortgage term.

FHA Loan vs. Conventional Loan

Conventional loans are by far the most popular type of mortgage, but does that mean they’re better?

That depends on your financial situation.

Say you’re putting down 5% or more on your house. While FHA loans tend to have slightly lower interest rates, conventional loans tend to be less expensive over the life of the loan — because of differences in mortgage insurance premiums.

However, if you don’t have 5% to put down, an FHA loan with 3.5% down will most likely be cheaper than a conventional loan with only 3% down.

  FHA Conventional
Minimum Credit Score 500 for 10% down

580 for 3.5% down

620
Minimum Down Payment 3.5% 3% minimum,

more commonly 5%

Debt-to-Income Ratio
Closing Costs 1%-6% 2%-5%
Private Mortgage Insurance Requires both a 1.75% upfront premium and 0.45%–1.05% annual premiums. Cannot be canceled if downpayment is     Either a one-time payment or monthly fees from 0.55%–2.25% depending on credit. Can be canceled once 20% in equity is reached.

Some people will say that FHA loans have lower closing costs compared to conventional loans, but it’s actually that real estate agents, mortgage brokers and sellers can pay for the closing costs on the buyer’s behalf, at up to 6% of the new loan amount — double whata conventional loan allows.

Ultimately, you’ll want to talk to a local credit union or trusted mortgage broker to find out which option is best for you and your financial situation.

And remember: No matter which loan you start with, you can always refinance when interest rates drop and make extra principal payments to shorten your loan term. That’s how you’ll save the most money in the long run.

So if home ownership is your dream, go on and get that mortgage.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Watch Exclusive ‘Creed II’ Clip: You Better

Watch Exclusive 'Creed II' Clip: You Better

In Creed II, newly-crowned champion Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) is challenged to face the son of the boxer who killed his father in the ring. The great Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) returns to help him train, but there is something else that he needs.

In our exclusive clip, Adonis sits down to have a heart-to-heart chat with Bianca (Tiffany Thompson), the love of his life. The boxer's relationship with the aspiring singer has only deepened in recent times, but she has expressed…

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Kehlani Launches Flora, the App for Better Living

R&B artist and now tech startup founder, Kehlani has been a very busy woman. Not only did she just announce her pregnancy, but today she is officially announcing the launch of her new app, Flora, an app that inspires young people to make positive changes in their lives.

Through a gamification model, the app provides users with challenges and every time a specific challenge is completed they are allowed to collect coins. Once you amass a certain amount of coins, you are allowed to exchange them for prizes. “It’s pretty awesome to me because not only does it let you get a cool prize,” said Kehlani as she explained the platform in a recent YouTube Live, “but you get to do a really fun challenge that actually actively changes something in your life, not just for yourself but, for the world, and for others.”

In addition to the app having a gamification component, it boasts an awesome community where players can support one another’s endeavors. “You can create your account and leave comments on other people’s challenges,” continued Kehlani. “Maybe I have a suggestion on how you can do the challenge better. Maybe I have a suggestion on how we can possibly compete and do our challenge at the same time. Prior to the announcement, the app amassed 22k in a pre-launch that took place over a 48-hour period.

kehlani

(Image: Flora)

Kehlani is joined by her co-founders, Reid Williams, COO, and Alaxic Smith, CTO and designer. They got the idea after the two started off with their own streaming service, where Kehlani conducted her first virtual release party. “We decided to come together and said hey, as a developer, a marketing strategist, communications guy and me, how could we do something that really benefits our generation,” stated Kehlani. That started the birth of Flora. 

Kehlani

Co-founders of Flora: Reid Williams, Kehlani Ashley Parrish, Alaxic Smith (Image: Flora)

To learn more about the app and to download it, click here.

The post Kehlani Launches Flora, the App for Better Living appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Smoke alarms using mother’s voice wake children better than high-pitch tone alarms

Researchers examined characteristics of four different smoke alarms to determine which ones worked best to wake children. The researchers found that a sleeping child was about three times more likely to be awakened by one of the three voice alarms than by the tone alarm.
Parenting News — ScienceDaily

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Kehlani Launches Flora, the App for Better Living

R&B artist and now tech startup founder, Kehlani has been a very busy woman. Not only did she just announce her pregnancy, but today she is officially announcing the launch of her new app, Flora, an app that inspires young people to make positive changes in their lives.

Through a gamification model, the app provides users with challenges and every time a specific challenge is completed they are allowed to collect coins. Once you amass a certain amount of coins, you are allowed to exchange them for prizes. “It’s pretty awesome to me because not only does it let you get a cool prize,” said Kehlani as she explained the platform in a recent YouTube Live, “but you get to do a really fun challenge that actually actively changes something in your life, not just for yourself but, for the world, and for others.”

In addition to the app having a gamification component, it boasts an awesome community where players can support one another’s endeavors. “You can create your account and leave comments on other people’s challenges,” continued Kehlani. “Maybe I have a suggestion on how you can do the challenge better. Maybe I have a suggestion on how we can possibly compete and do our challenge at the same time. Prior to the announcement, the app amassed 22k in a pre-launch that took place over a 48-hour period.

kehlani

(Image: Flora)

Kehlani is joined by her co-founders, Reid Williams, COO, and Alaxic Smith, CTO and designer. They got the idea after the two started off with their own streaming service, where Kehlani conducted her first virtual release party. “We decided to come together and said hey, as a developer, a marketing strategist, communications guy and me, how could we do something that really benefits our generation,” stated Kehlani. That started the birth of Flora. 

Kehlani

Co-founders of Flora: Reid Williams, Kehlani Ashley Parrish, Alaxic Smith (Image: Flora)

To learn more about the app and to download it, click here.

The post Kehlani Launches Flora, the App for Better Living appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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I Bathed in a Volcanic Mud Bath in Cartagena Colombia for Better Skin

The Volcan de Lodo El Totumo is located an hour outside of Cartagena, Colombia and is referred to by locals as the “volcano of youth,” thanks to the natural mud bath that is now located inside of it. Writer Zoe Weiner took a dip to see if she’d truly emerge with softer, glowier skin.
Allure

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Billionaire collector shares his secret to buying great art that turns into even better investment

Billionaire hedge fund manager J. Tomilson Hill has a keen eye for great art that's also made for some incredible investments. Hill shared some of his personal rules for buying art with CNBC. 
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Be better than Kanye: Use a password manager like this one that’s on sale.

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Let Kanye’s visit to the Oval Office be a cautionary cybersecurity tale: don’t set your phone’s passcode to 000000 (Really, Ye?) In fact, don’t set any of your passwords to a repeated assemblage of numbers or letters for that matter. Like ever.

Time and time again, security specialists have been nailing it into our heads the number one commandment of the digital age: change your passwords as frequently as seasons change, and make them sophisticated enough that they’re unhackable but straightforward enough that you can still commit them to memory. Frankly, that’s not always the simplest task, given that most websites require you to create codes that contain special characters, uppercase letters, or something bizarre like the exact value of Pi. Read more…

More about Password Management, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Tech, and Consumer Tech


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Tevin Campbell Doesn’t Care If You Call Him Gay Because He Can Sing: “Y’all Homophobes Gotta Do Better”

2015 Soul Train Music Awards - Arrivals

Source: Earl Gibson/BET / Getty

via MadameNoire:

Tevin Campbell may not have released a new studio album since 1999, but the 41-year-old is still considered a beloved musical figure. However, that hasn’t kept the trolls of today’s social media culture from persistently trying to paint Campbell a certain way.

There have been questions about drug use, rumors that he’s been a victim of molestation, and all sorts of comments about his sexuality. Whether or not he was gay became a big question following his arrest for soliciting oral sex from an undercover policeman in 1999. When it comes to his sexuality, the “I’m Ready” singer decided to let folks know this week, after being weary of ugly comments about it, that no matter what they say, it doesn’t matter. He can still sing circles around your faves.

“Y’all homophobes gotta do better,” he wrote on Twitter. “The thing you will never ever be able to say about me is ‘that boy can’t sing.’ That’s the day I will be sitting at home crying and that day will be never.”

Campbell has spoken about his sexuality in the past. During an interview with former publication Sister 2 Sister, he told Jamie Foster Brown that he’s “try-sexual,” which is a way of saying he’s “open-minded.”

“I’m not gay, but there’s a lot of different things that I do like, sexually,” he said. “Being in the business, you are introduced to a lot of different things. I’m not gay, but I’m a freak and I think a lot of people know what a freak is.”

He also told IMissTheOldSchool back in 2009 that his sexuality shouldn’t be of concern to others.

“That’s nobody’s business. If someone is interested in me and they wanna be my friend or whatever, then we can talk. It’s nobody’s business what I like to do behind closed doors, just because I am a celebrity,” he said. “I hate that. And I like the fact that people wanna know. Let ‘em wonder. I like to leave a little bit to the imagination. But if you happen to get to know me and we hit it off… I share a lot of personal things with friends, which is a normal thing to do.”

After Thursday’s tweet, the real question is…when are we getting some new music, Tevin?!

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