I’m at a loss for words right now. It seems like a majority of people have an issue wearing face masks. In the past few weeks, I’ve watched numerous videos online of people getting upset at businesses trying to enforce the rules by being asked to wear face coverings. In most of these situations, the so-called “Karen’s.” To me, they’re being entitled, selfish, and think that everything revolves around them. They think that attending large gatherings is more important than keeping themselves and others safe. Reading and hearing the number of new coronavirus cases were disturbing. On Sunday, there were 10 million COVID-19 cases and half a million deaths worldwide. This virus is not just a small flu. It has already taken tens of thousands of lives. If you think that COVID-19 is a hoax or a conspiracy, you are sorely mistaken. Everyone needs to take this pandemic seriously, young and old. It’s important that everyone listen to state health officials and follow the CDC guidelines. It’s only going to get worse before it starts to get better.
June 26, 2015: the day that love won. Five years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was the law of the land, which they voted 5-4. At the time, I was working at a non-profit in Springdale, Arkansas as a administrative assistant when I heard the exciting news. The United States became the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. It was a win for LGBTQ+ people, allies, and activists everywhere. As of June 2020, there are 29 countries that marriage equality is recognized. The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001.
Do you love retro gaming? If the answer is yes, you’re in luck. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to interview Naoise O’Hare. Based out of Dublin, Ireland, his love of retro games goes deeper. His video game collection would make everyone’s jaws drop. With 24,000 followers on Instagram, Naoise’s posts are always exciting to see and I love the Atomic Purple Game Boy Color that he has. Enjoy my interview with him down below.
In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ people are protected from workplace discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, also known as Title VII. This comes days after the Trump administration rolled back protections from LGBTQ+ people, where health care providers can refuse to treat them because of their religious beliefs. This is a huge win for us, but our work is not done yet. In the midst of a pandemic, today’s historic ruling is a step forward.
On the fourth anniversary of the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting that occurred in Orlando, the Trump administration recently announced that they have rolled back non discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people that were under the Affordable Care Act. It’s a shame that they’re rolling back these protections during a health crisis. According to the new rules, gay and transgender people can be refused care because of the provider’s religious beliefs. Not only it’s discriminatory, but it goes against HIPPA laws. The new rule is expected to take effect in mid-August. However, advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), are planning to file a lawsuit to challenge the ruling.
In honor of Pride Month, I decided to write a letter to my younger self. I knew that I liked boys, dating back to the first grade. My now estranged parents never knew of this and I hid my sexuality until I was in my early 20s. They were conservative and from an African country called Liberia. If I had came out to them at seven years old, they would’ve disowned me anyway, harmed me, put me through conversion therapy, or all of the above. When I came out of the closet at 24, I still hid it from them until I finally told them in an open letter I’ve written here on Vocal about a month ago.