Man Shot By Police Appears To Be Holding Gun In New Video Released By LAPD

LAPD / Via

A security camera video released by the Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday shows Carnell Snell Jr., 18 — who was shot dead in south Los Angeles on Saturday — running while holding a gun. Snell’s death led to a series of protests in LA over the weekend.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that the footage “clearly shows” Snell with a semiautomatic handgun. He said the video captured the moment shortly after Snell leapt from a vehicle police had been pursuing Saturday, and shortly before he was shot.

LAPD initially told SAR the video was not supposed to have been released and that it was possible an officer “messed up,” that it was “bad timing.” After its first release the video was taken down, then shortly put back up moments later.

Police believed the car may have been stolen because it was fitted with paper license plates, Beck said, and the pursuing officers witnessed Snell hide from them in the rear of the vehicle before he exited when it slowed down.

Officers saw Snell “holding his waistband as if he were supporting something,” Beck said, and pursued him for 200 to 300 yards on foot because they believed he was carrying a handgun.

Snell Facebook

When Snell stopped in a driveway, Beck said he turned around holding a firearm in his left hand.

Officers fired six times, striking Snell twice in the torso and knee, the chief said. The teenager died on scene.

“We are doing our absolute best to take guns out of the hands of those who would use them against others and sometimes that leads to circumstances where Los Angeles police officers are put into peril and have to defend themselves,” Beck said.

The police officers were not wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting as their division had not yet been equipped with them, Beck said.

The weapon police say they recovered from the scene. Los Angeles Police Department

However, he added that surveillance video from a local business “clearly showed” Snell holding a gun.

The weapon was fully loaded when found by detectives “no more than five feet away” from Snell’s body, Beck said.

When initially asked if authorities would release the surveillance footage, the police chief said he preferred to release a “totality of evidence” rather than taking a piecemeal approach.

“I am a chief that has always been honest with the public,” he said. “If I see a shooting that I think is bad then I say so.”

Snell had recently served jail time after being convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Nick Ut / AP

The teenager’s death prompted protests on Saturday night, resulting in four arrests, the Times reported.

Black Lives Matter protesters prompted Los Angeles police on Monday to quickly wrap up a press conference aimed at releasing details on the shooting of a black man by officers.

Demonstrators chanting “black lives matter” also arrived in the lobby of the LAPD headquarters during Monday’s press conference, demanding Beck be fired.

Cole Sullivan / Via Twitter: @cole_sull

The noise became loud enough to prompt Beck to quickly wrap up the press conference.

A police spokesman told SAR three people were arrested for failing to disperse.

At his press conference, Beck also appealed to the public for help in identifying a Hispanic man shot dead by officers on Sunday.

The man was carrying a replica handgun when he turned towards officers, who shot him, Beck said.

A makeshift memorial to Snell pictured Sunday. Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

The chief said officers have struggled to reduce violence in the area, with almost 450 people shot in the neighborhoods this year.

He said the tension between authorities and the community over officer-involved shootings was “compounded” by similar events across the country.

“Certainly we’ve all seen police-involved shootings that defy justification and other abuses of power. I’ve seen them where I’m at a loss to explain why,” he said. “Certainly that affects what happens on the streets of Los Angeles.”


American Girl: How Young Is Too Young To Be Trans?

In October 2015, Nicole buckled in to her mom’s Prius, along with her older brother, mom, dad, and a bag full of her favorite dolls, for a three-hour drive to see a doctor about her new life.

Over the past 18 months, the 9-year-old had grown out her black curly hair from a crew cut to a flouncy bob just below her ears. She had traded in pants and overalls for pink and purple dresses covered in rhinestones. And she had changed her name, ditching the common boys name that now made her cringe to hear.

It had been a challenging time for Nicole’s parents, Kim and Andrew, whose conservative Christian circle of friends in Texas rejected the entire family after seeing the changes in this kid. Nicole was happier than she’d ever been, but the trip ahead still made her anxious. So, trying to calm her nerves, Kim switched on her daughter’s favorite book on tape, Hank the Cowdog, and stopped to get her kolaches, the Czech pastries that Central Texas is known for. Then she gave her an early birthday present: Next year, when she turned 10, they would get her a prized American Girl doll, just as they had for her older sister a decade earlier.

Puberty was just around the corner, and nobody knew exactly what it would bring for this sweet, lanky, and rapidly growing child who loved to sing. Which is why they were driving to Dallas, to a new clinic called Genecis, one of at least 16 centers in the US where psychologists, endocrinologists, and social workers help young kids who don’t fit in the tidy boxes of “boy” and “girl.”

Puberty was just around the corner, and nobody knew exactly what it would bring.

No clinics like Genecis existed in 2007, when 6-year-old Jazz Jennings became the youngest trans person to ever be interviewed on TV. Back then, Barbara Walters asked her what she would call herself. (“A girl,” she responded.) Back then, psychiatry’s official diagnosis for children like Jazz was “gender identity disorder.” Back then, though transgender teens and adults could see doctors for hormone treatments, the predominant way of treating small kids who were unhappy in the gender they were assigned at birth was to steer them toward accepting it.

Now, Jazz is just one of many trans kids visible in popular culture. This week, 8-year-old trans actor Jackson Millarker played a trans character on Modern Family, reportedly a first for network television. Before that was the TLC documentary Transgender Kids Camp, and the How to Be a Girl podcast. These kids’ official diagnostic label has also changed, from “gender identity disorder” to the less stigmatizing — though still controversial — “gender dysphoria.”

Despite this broader understanding and acceptance, transgender teens — estimated to make up roughly 1.5% of all teenagers — are two to three times more likely than their peers to attempt suicide or experience serious depression.

The doctors who work at new “gender-affirming” clinics like Genecis say the best way to prevent these dire outcomes is to let young kids live out their gender identities however they wish — whether that’s as a boy, as a girl, or somewhere in between. They say that because gender identity is largely hardwired in the brain, kids as young as 3 can begin to articulate it, and that these kids end up happier, less anxious, and better adjusted socially the earlier we allow them to express the gender they feel themselves to be. For the small subset of kids who show a strong and consistent belief that they are a different gender, that means letting them “socially transition” to life as a full-time boy or girl.

But some doctors — as well as an unexpected mix of liberal academics, scientists, andreligious conservatives — argue that we have no way of knowing with certainty which prepubescent kids who behave outside of gender norms will come to identify as trans, and which ones will not. Some worry that this approach could steer kids who are just going through a phase into a transgender “track” long before the kids know whether those feelings will really stick. Others say it reinforces outdated stereotypes — giving worried parents the false assurance that their girly boy is actually just a girl who was born in the wrong body. Conservative critics peg the increase in trans kids today to a dangerous newfad in parenting.

The most extreme members of each group have likened the other’s approach — whetherpushing kids to identify as transgender or pushing them to repress their true gender identities — to “child abuse.” Unfortunately, there isn’t much hard data to help settle the debate: No study has looked at what happens later in life to kids who are allowed to socially transition before puberty.

Which leaves families like Nicole’s at a crossroads. While scientists carry out studies that will take many more years, a growing number of parents have to make decisions about their kids right now. Do they let their kids transition without knowing, for sure, that they’ll grow up to feel the same?

Nicole with her sister and her mom. Ilana Panich-Linsman for News

Nicole was born in 2006 in Austin. (“Nicole,” used in this story to protect her privacy, is her middle name.) Her biological mother had been a drug user, and her father was unknown. Child Protective Services took custody of the baby straight from the hospital.

Six months later, in a conservative suburb 20 miles away, Kim and Andrew were looking to adopt. They had used fertility drugs to conceive their oldest daughter, 12-year-old Olivia, and had later adopted a 6-year-old boy, WB. Kim had quit her job as a nurse to homeschool them and now wanted “just one more.”

Nicole had been placed with an adoptive Mexican family, but they sent her back after finding out that, although she was half Mexican, she was also half black. So the adoption agency asked Kim and Andrew if they could foster Nicole for the weekend before she was placed elsewhere.

“I said, ‘Yes, I’ll take the baby, but not for the weekend. If you want me to keep the baby, I want to keep the baby,’” Kim told me over root beers and Little Caesars pizza when I visited their home in July. “We knew who we were supposed to have.”

From the moment Nicole could move around on her own, she preferred girly things. “I hate to gender stuff, but we’d offer her trucks, superheroes,” Kim said. “She always wanted Barbies, pink things, sparkles.”

It’s OK, they thought — their new son didn’t need to like trucks any more than their daughter, who was bookish and always lost in her fantasy novels, needed to like makeup and high heels. Kim, who proudly does all the family’s sewing, cooking, and cleaning, disavows some gender norms herself: She lives in her cutoffs and Birkenstocks, and occasionally pulls out the combat boots left over from her military days.

Pediatricians told Kim and Andrew that Nicole’s interest in girl toys was just a phase and nothing to worry about. But some of their church friends and parents in their Christian homeschooling group were less sanguine, suggesting that the toddler should be steered toward more “appropriate” activities. They tried. “We were like, ‘Well, we know God gave you those parts for a reason. He’s got big things in store for you,’” Kim recalled.

For Nicole’s third, fourth, and fifth birthdays, her parents bought any boyish toys they could find — trains, cars, a Batman costume. But the cars were used to play house, with car moms and car dads, and Batman’s cape turned into a long-haired wig.

Ilana Panich-Linsman for News

Although Kim and Andrew didn’t know it at the time, a similar debate was playing out among prestigious medical experts. In 2008, two of them spoke on NPR’s All Things Considered, in a 23-minute exchange that’s often cited by gender experts today. The segment focused on two young kids, raised as boys, who had for some time expressed strong preferences for stereotypically feminine toys and clothing, and had recently started acting out at home and school. From there, their paths diverged.

One mom took her child, 5-year-old Bradley, to see Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist who had founded one of the first gender identity clinics catering to adolescents, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Zucker was an early adopter of the so-called Dutch model, which recommends giving teenagers with gender dysphoria drugs to block puberty. These medications are reversible, so they essentially buy time: The adolescent can decide to stop taking them and go through puberty as the gender they were assigned at birth; or, after a couple of years, they can choose to continue their medical transition by starting estrogen or testosterone.

Although he was one of the most prolific scientists studying gender, Zucker had recently come under fire for his approach to younger kids, which steered them away from a new gender identity and instead attempted to make them feel comfortable in the genders they were assigned at birth. Some of his critics likened his methods to “conversion therapy,” theinfamously discredited attempts to undo homosexuality.

Bradley’s mom told NPR that Zucker recommended he play more with boys rather than the mostly girl friends he had at the time. Zucker said they should try to swap his rainbow unicorns and Polly Pockets for more boyish toys, and discourage him from drawing princesses and fairies, or from playing girl characters during make-believe.

Two thousand miles away, in San Francisco, 5-year-old Jonah saw gender specialist Diane Ehrensaft, then a psychologist in Oakland who was touting a new and drastically different approach. Ehrensaft insisted that the label of “gender identity disorder” — or any therapy to treat it — was inappropriate for Jonah. Instead, she said, Jonah was acting out because of years of frustration over not being able to present as a girl. Ehrensaft recommended a full social transition, and Jonah started kindergarten as a girl named Jona.

In separate interviews with NPR reporter Alix Spiegel, Zucker and Ehrensaft openly denounced the other’s approach. Ehrensaft saw gender identity as strongly innate and believed that kids as young as 2 or 3 could begin to express it. “I think that our gender identity is not defined by what’s between our legs but by what’s between our ears — that it’s somewhere in the brain,” she said. “It’s pretty much hardwired.”

Zucker argued that this view was “astonishingly naive and simplistic” — a new form of gender essentialism disguised as progressivism. He instead saw a child’s gender identity as malleable, shaped largely by the family environment.

The crux of the argument came down to what happens to these kids when they grow up. In the interview, Zucker cited one of his studies of 25 girls diagnosed with gender identity disorder, which found that only 3, or about 12%, kept the diagnosis into adulthood, whereas the rest “desisted.” What’s more, Zucker found that 6 of the 25 grew up to be bisexual or homosexual. Several other studies of “behaviorally feminine” boys had gotten similar results. If these kids had followed Ehrensaft’s methods, Zucker said, they could have been wrongly sent down a track of hormone therapies and surgeries.

The crux of the argument came down to what happens to these kids when they grow up.

At the time of the interview, most doctors in the US agreed with Zucker. But in the eight years since, a huge shift has happened, says Ehrensaft, who now runs a gender-affirming clinic at the University of California, San Francisco. “You ask me now, and I say ours is absolutely the ascendant and increasingly predominant model for treating gender-nonconforming children, accepted throughout the world.”

(Zucker declined multiple requests for interviews from News, instead sending five of his published papers on gender dysphoria in kids.)

Ehrensaft rejects the high desistance rates reported by Zucker and other researchers, cited repeatedly in arguments against social transitioning in kids. The biggest flaw in these studies, she says, was how they decided which kids to recruit. The children chosen showed a wide spectrum of gender-nonconforming behaviors that may have made parents uncomfortable at the time, but aren’t reliable markers of kids with lasting gender dysphoria. Those kids, Ehrensaft says, have the “insistent, consistent, and persistent” belief that they are another gender. What’s more, some of the studies assumed that teens who didn’t come back for follow-ups had desisted.

Since 2011, Ehrensaft’s clinic has seen about 100 children under 12. The kids are encouraged to choose from a huge array of gender labels, such as “gender hybrid,” “gender fluid,” “gender smoothie,” “gender Tesla,” and “gender Tootsie Roll pop.” Yet another category, “transgender” children, identify with the gender opposite what is marked on their birth certificates. Ehrensaft acknowledges that creating more labels might seem counterintuitive, but argues that they’re useful in making all kids — transgender or anything else — feel comfortable with the diversity of unique gender experiences out there. “Our clinical observation to date is that this is a very well-working model,” Ehrensaft said.

But she’s the first to admit that the approach hasn’t been tested in the long term. No study has yet looked at whether young kids who socially transition continue to thrive as transgender adults.

For the two kids in the radio segment, Zucker’s and Ehrensaft’s predictions seemed to play out as they each expected. Today, Bradley is a teenage boy who identifies as gay. (According to a recent interview with his mother, she said she appreciated Zucker’s “protective” approach.)

Jona, too, is doing well, according to Ehrensaft. “The most I can tell you about Jona without violating confidentiality is that she is doing beautifully eight years later.”

Ilana Panich-Linsman for News

In 2013, a new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders changed the diagnosis of “gender identity disorder” to “gender dysphoria.”

Nicole was then 6, and still pressing her parents for dresses and Barbies. She would also insist on playing with the girls, and only the girls, in her Christian homeschooling group. Nicole would frequently tell her parents, “I’m a girl!” and was “ecstatic,” Kim said, anytime a stranger mistook her for one. “The littlest indication that she was a girl, she would just grab onto.”

Privately, Kim and Andrew wondered whether their child would grow up to be gay. So although they had started allowing Nicole to wear dress-up clothes at home more consistently, they’d also tell her that she was a boy, and that it was okay to be a boy who liked sometimes doing girly things.

It wasn’t working. Nicole would cry a lot more easily, get frustrated or angry over seemingly small things, and pick fights with her brother, WB. For Nicole, what was hardest was being told she couldn’t do something she felt like she couldn’t help but do.

“I usually felt like, I want to do this, but I can’t do this,” Nicole told me. She described how her dad didn’t let her play a girl character in her favorite video game, Toontown. “It made me feel very sad.”

Kim and Andrew suspected that Nicole’s issues with her brother were at the root of the problem, and took them both to a local child therapist, Kelly Nowotny. On her suggestion, they started to let Nicole wear a skirt or a dress — usually hand-me-downs from her 17-year-old sister, Olivia —when she went shopping with her mom. Nowotny also gave Kim a name for what Nicole might be going through: gender dysphoria. Before that, Kim said, her only reference point was confusing media coverage of Chaz Bono’s transition.

Around the same time, Olivia came to her mom with questions about sexuality. Her best friend had confessed that he was gay, and she didn’t know why her entire community pegged this as a sin. She was especially worried because she was also beginning to question whether she was straight.

That pushed Kim to action. “I was like, ‘OK, God, I have got to get off the fence.’”

Kim, who had been trained as a registered nurse and taught high school science for the homeschooling group, started reading everything she could about transgender people and kids with gender dysphoria — news stories, religious tracts, and scientific research papers, some of which were written by Zucker and critical of social transitioning.

There was no single moment when Nicole “became” their daughter.

Kim’s Bible is a sign of the inner battles she fought during that time, the margins littered with colored drawings depicting her personal interpretations. The pages containing the so-called Clobber Passages, the sections most commonly used to condemn LGBT people, are filled to the brim.

At first, she didn’t feel comfortable talking about what was going on with the other moms she knew, most of whom were in her Christian homeschooling group. So she joined private Facebook groups, such as Parents of Transgender Children, andSerendipitydodah, for Christian moms of LGBT kids. She’d often stay up late into the night talking and commiserating with these moms, her only outlet to a world beyond her conservative circles.

There was no single moment when Nicole “became” their daughter — it was a months-long process. But Andrew does remember the Saturday he realized that his resistance to what was going on might be harming her. Saturdays were his time to give Kim a break from watching all of the kids. He’d usually take Nicole to the Home Depot, which had sheds and playgrounds out front that kids played on.

“I wouldn’t let her play girl stuff. I wouldn’t take her to get her nails done or anything,” Andrew recalled, sitting at the dinner table. But that Saturday, she threw a fit, begging him not to make her go.

“I wasn’t necessarily forcing her to be a boy, but I wouldn’t let her be a girl,” Andrew said. And her reactions, he thought, were stunting her development: At the worst point, he said, “there was no bonding going on, no gender identity going on at all.”

As soon as they made the decision, when Nicole was 7, to let her present as a girl all the time, she was happier, more outgoing, and less anxious. He’d always thought of Nicole’s gender as a choice that he and Kim could influence, or something that would become clear when she hit puberty. But now, he realized, they couldn’t wait. “It’s a little like saying, ‘Let’s see about those arms when you get to be 12 or 13.’”

Ilana Panich-Linsman for News

The first thing she would need was a new name. Her mom vetoed her top choices, borrowed from her favorite pop stars: Ariana (after Ariana Grande) and Selena (after Selena Gomez). They settled on a name that kept her first initial, pays tribute to her African ancestry, and could be used for a girl or boy. “Not that she’ll ever choose to go back, but it’s there for her,” Kim said. (“Nicole” was chosen as her middle name in tribute to Nicki Minaj.)

The change in Nicole’s personality, according to close family, was striking. Once shy and reticent in her theater class, she was now one of the most outgoing kids. Whereas she used to practice singing her favorite pop songs on the mic stand in her room, now she sang all the time in public. “She had all this fabulousness that couldn’t come out,” said Kim Carper, the drama teacher of her homeschool group at the time, “and it was being contained in this tiny little box.”

Carper, whose daughter had been Nicole’s best friend since they were 5, struggled initially with how her own kids would perceive the change. “When Kim first told me, I did have an instinctive fear, like, how do we tell the kids this without the kids wanting to change their sex or gender?” she said. “But my kids didn’t lose anything. They grew closer to the friend that they already had.”

But other family members, as well as many in their church community, thought Nicole’s new persona was a mistake. Many blamed Kim. “Oh, you can’t believe how Kimberly was hurt,” her mother, Gail, recalled. “The friends she thought were her friends turned their backs on her, and the church they had been attending for years more or less closed their door on them.”

After Kim told their Christian homeschooling group — a coalition of about 50 families who came together for some group classes and activities — about Nicole’s transition, the board called several parent meetings, excluding Kim and Andrew. Some families threatened to leave if Nicole was allowed to stay. So the family left on their own.

The head of another academy asked Kim “what kind of genitalia” Nicole had.

The rejection was just the first of many. The head of another academy asked Kim “what kind of genitalia” Nicole had. The pastor at their Baptist church said he couldn’t support “their choice” for Nicole. The head of another church suggested that, because she was adopted, Nicole might be suffering from “generational sin.” Kim blocked dozens of acquaintances on Facebook. Once at the center of a thriving community, the family was suddenly isolated.

In April of 2013, Kim went to a meetup of one of her Facebook support groups. Thirty mothers — who call themselves “Mama Bears” — drove to Dallas from as far as Oklahoma and Arkansas to pray and talk about navigating school systems and losing friends and family. Through the group, Kim discovered a local church that was LGBT-friendly.

Today Kim keeps her research papers in a hot-pink binder she calls a “safe folder,” along with letters from all of Nicole’s health care providers vouching for her gender dysphoria. Many moms from the Facebook groups cling to these documents. One told me: “They’re your final words, your desperate plea in case you’re stopped, your freedom papers.”

Kim takes hers whenever they go on trips, just in case. “When people say, ‘Well, the Bible says,’ I can pull this out and say, ‘Well, let’s look at what my Bible says,’” Kim said.

The baby-blue walls of their home are covered in crosses, Bible verses, and pictures of the three kids. The photos of Nicole show her as a tiny baby, or after her transition. She doesn’t like seeing pictures of what came in between.

Nicole and her parents at home in Texas. Ilana Panich-Linsman for News

By the beginning of 2015, 8-year-old Nicole had been living fully as a girl for about a year and was growing taller by the minute. With puberty on the not-too-distant horizon, Kim realized she was going to need some help from not only psychologists, but doctors who could advise them on what came next.

Genecis had just opened at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas two months earlier. Its admission process was long and arduous — an initial informational call, then a longer phone interview, an online interview, and a two-hour in-person interview in Dallas. The clinic required a “boatload of paperwork,” Kim recalls, including a letter from an outside therapist who had seen Nicole for at least six months. Because it’s the only clinic of its kind in the Southwest, families drove from as far as Oklahoma and Mexico.

After six months Kim finally got an appointment, and the family made the long drive up to Dallas. They first met with clinic founder Ximena Lopez, a pediatrician who specializes in hormones. Lopez told me she initially wanted the clinic to treat kids 8 and up, to avoid the controversy surrounding younger kids. But she lowered the age to 5, she explained, because “we saw a lot of families with younger kids that had nowhere to go.”

From Lopez, Nicole and her family finally got some assurance about the future. The doctor told them that if Nicole still felt like she was a girl around age 11, then she could take a drug called Lupron, which suppresses the ovaries or the testicles, essentially blocking puberty. That would save Nicole from the sweeping physical changes — developing an Adam’s apple, deepening her voice, growing facial hair — that might worsen her dysphoria, buying her several more years to decide whether to go through the more intensive estrogen therapy that would make her physically female. And years after that, she could decide whether to have surgery elsewhere to remove her male genitalia.

Lopez typically waits until kids are 16 to give them hormones — following the clinical standard set by the Dutch. But Kim, who staunchly believes that Nicole was born in the “wrong” body, wants to start the drugs earlier.

“I’m hoping 12, to tell you the truth,” Kim told me. “Girls who go through puberty at 13 or 14, they’re already feeling outcast. Thirteen would really be the latest I would want to go.”

Just as Lopez was supporting Nicole in her new gender identity, Zucker’s Toronto clinic was in jeopardy for taking the opposite approach. For years, clinicians and trans activists had skewered Zucker’s methods, writing op-eds, talking to hospital heads, and even getting the province of Ontario to pass a law banning “conversion therapies” meant to change someone’s gender identity. By February 2015, Zucker’s employer, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, called for an external review of his practices.

Nine months later, the hospital released a damning report. Zucker allegedly used controversial one-way mirrors (like those used in police interrogations) to interview and observe patients, intensely questioned young patients about their sexual orientation, and took pictures of patients without telling them why or how they would be used. According to the report, some patients reported feeling “poked and prodded.” Others described how the clinic had a “cisgender goal” which was “not right/shaming.” Zucker defended his approach with children by reiterating that “according to the current literature, [gender dysphoria] will diminish in 80% of cases.”

The investigators concluded that Zucker’s clinic was “not seen as a ‘safe space’ for gender questioning & transgender populations.” In December, the clinic was shut down. “We want to apologize for the fact that not all of the practices in our childhood gender identity clinic are in step with the latest thinking,” Kwame McKenzie, a medical director at the Centre, said in a statement at the time.

Some scientists and scholars have condemned the clinic’s shuttering, arguing that the decision was politically motivated and unscientific. Complicating matters, the report has since been taken down from the hospital’s website because it included an incorrect allegation against Zucker. He is now suing the Centre over the report.

A petition signed by more than 500 people argued that the hospital closed the clinic because of “activists for a fashionable cause” and “for some real or imagined local political gain.” It portrays Zucker as a hero for refusing to conform to a wave of political correctness in pediatric care when the future outcomes for these children are unknown.

“It was a lynching, pushed by activists.”

“It was political. It was a lynching, pushed by activists,” Eric Vilain, a professor of human genetics and pediatrics at UCLA’s School of Medicine, who co-authored the petition, told me shortly after the clinic shut down. Vilain studies the genetics of sex development and is a strong critic of the gender affirming approach, which he believes is gaining traction too quickly. “There is far from any certainty that being gender affirming is in the best interest of the child,” he said. “You’re actually pushing the child in the direction of irreversible body transformations.”

Some sex researchers agree, arguing that the rise of the gender affirming approach is motivated by trans adults overcompensating for injustices they were forced to live through growing up. “Adult trans people look back and remember their situation and assume it’s true for every kid that looked like they did when they were little,” Alice Dreger, who wrote about the clinic shutdown, told me last year. She defended Zucker’s camp as “being pretty progressive, because they’re daring to slow kids down a little bit.”

But if you ask the doctors who are actually treating children at gender-affirming clinics, they say this is a dangerous oversimplification. It’s true that some kids who are confused about their gender identity will grow out of that phase (or will choose to identify outside of the gender binary entirely). But for those who are insistent in a trans identity over a long period of time, these doctors say, preventing them from socially transitioning could be psychologically damaging. They point to studies showing that LGBT teens whose families don’t support them are twice as likely to think about or attempt suicide. A second petition, signed by more than 1,300 people, supported the decision to close Zucker’s clinic.

Still other doctors fall somewhere in the middle, and are apprehensive about too strongly embracing the gender affirming approach. “I am concerned about some of the newer clinics,” said Walter Bockting, co-director of the Program for the Study of LGBT Health at Columbia University Medical Center. “We just don’t have the evidence to be confident about an approach like that, so I’m very concerned.”

That research is on its way. The first study of socially transitioned children in the US, called the TransYouth Project, was published last year by researchers at the University of Washington. The study takes as a starting point that kids across the country aretransitioning, and it asks what happens to them afterwards.

“People talk a lot about their worries about social transition, but we don’t know which of those worries are going to be borne out,” said Kristina Olson, director of the project.

To date, Olson’s team has recruited over 300 kids and their families in 39 states. Of these, 250 have socially transitioned. Her first paper looked at how their mental health compared with their cisgender peers. Although previous studies had shown high rates of anxiety and depression among children diagnosed with gender identity disorder, Olson’s study found that socially transitioned kids have normal levels of depression and only slightly higher anxiety than their cisgender peers.

In the long term, the TransYouth Project will look at these kids over a period of 20 years. “We want to ask: Are parents figuring out which kids are trans, or not?” she said. But while everyone agrees that we need more research, some doctors worry about focusing too much on the future.

“We sometimes have to meet kids where they are,” Johanna Olson-Kennedy, medical director for the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, told me. Although the vast majority of Olson-Kennedy’s patients are over the age of 15, she has seen about 100 under the age of 9. “If we spend so much time wondering what they’re going to end up looking like, we miss what they’re going through now.”

Ximena Lopez, the founder of Genecis. Ilana Panich-Linsman for News

One sweltering afternoon in July, Nicole and her family drove to Dallas once again, so she could meet with her clinical psychologist at Genecis. This yearly check-in was part of the clinic’s own study on the psychological well-being of their growing client base.

Nicole DJ’d from the backseat — navigating expertly through the country hits of Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, rapping to Desiigner’s “Panda,” and crooning dramatically to Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman.” When she got bored, she pulled out her pink Nintendo DS to play her favorite game, Super Princess Peach.

At Genecis, the receptionist pulled up Nicole’s medical records and accidentally called her by her old name and gave her a wristband with the old name, too. Nicole, usually bubbly and loud, quietly played Pokémon Go until they called her in.

The program’s clinical psychologist, Laura Kuper, met first with Kim in a nondescript medical office. She ran through a long laundry list: How was Nicole doing with friends? Did she still have an aversion to being identified as transgender, rather than just as a girl? How much was she focusing on her body, or asking questions about puberty? Was she beginning to express any interest in sexuality?

Kim said that her daughter’s biggest problem was anxiety, even though it had lessened considerably after her social transition. She still had some difficulty seeing people she knew “from before,” insisted on always staying in her mom’s sight, and wouldn’t go in the bathroom by herself. Kim updated Kuper on the status of her legal battle with the Texas judicial system, which wouldn’t allow Nicole to have an official gender and name change because she hadn’t yet started any hormone treatments.

When Kuper met with Nicole, they began by talking about the cherished American Girl books her sister had been reading out loud to her. They talked about the many friends she had in her neighborhood, and about the bullies who had recently upset her by calling a kid with Down syndrome an “it.”

She wanted long hair, “definitely no beard,” breasts, and a feminine body shape.

“When you think about yourself when you’re older, maybe Mom’s or Dad’s age, is there a way that you want to look?” Kuper asked.

“I didn’t really think about that before, wow,” Nicole said. They then ran through the physical traits that she imagined: She wanted long hair, “definitely no beard,” breasts, and a feminine body shape.

“So it’s sounding like the things you’re wanting are more of a girl body, so that would be kind of what the puberty blockers would help with, to stop the male changes,” Kuper said.

The psychologist explained how the Lupron would give her a chance to decide, later on in her teenage years, whether she was sure that she wanted those female changes to happen, then asked: “Anything about your body that makes you feel uncomfortable or you’re upset about right now?”

“Not that I can think of right away,” Nicole slowly answered. She paused, and then continued more quietly. “Maybe my private part.”

Kuper nodded. “So that’s something that makes you feel pretty upset or just a little bit upset?”

“A lot upset,” Nicole said.

At the end of the session, Kuper gave Nicole a pack of 24 colored pencils and asked her to draw herself. She carefully pulled each one out, laying them neatly in a line. She picked out a black pencil first, then played with the pink before putting it down. She looked at the pencils again, picked up the pink, and drew: some curly hair, a shirt, a long triangle-shaped skirt, and finally, a smiley face.

Ilana Panich-Linsman for News

In September, Nicole got her 10th birthday present: a trip to New York City’s doll megastore, American Girl Place. Her parents, siblings, and grandmother had driven four days in one car to get there, and were planning to also visit family all over the East Coast, most of whom would be meeting the new Nicole for the first time. She could barely stand still for the two whole minutes it took to snap her photo in front of the store before bolting inside.

Hundreds of little girls ran around the three-story, pink-carpeted emporium, surrounded by a dizzying array of dolls and doll-related pampering: a doll hair salon, an ear piercing booth, a spa where dolls can get a soft scrub or a face mask, a mani-pedi station, and even a doll hospital.

“Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, the pink coat is so adorable!” Nicole squealed to her mom, her curls bouncing as she jumped up and down and pointed to a large display of one of the store’s most popular dolls, Samantha. “It’s my favorite,” she added more calmly, smiling and folding her hands in front of her pink and white flowered dress.

Kim and Andrew bought Nicole her Samantha doll, along with the smart pink peacoat, matching bag, hat, and carrying case. The family made their way to a bench, where Nicole impatiently pulled the doll out of its packaging, smoothed her shiny brown hair away from her pale face, and clutched her to her chest.

Ten days later, back in Texas, Kim tried one last time to get Nicole’s name and gender changed on her birth certificate. Kim, Andrew, Olivia, WB, and Kim’s parents met with a judge, who first asked the family some questions, and then Nicole: How long had she identified as a girl? How long had she been going to Genecis? Why did she want the change to happen now?

Nicole told the judge about how she wanted to be on the girls dance and sports teams, without anyone questioning whether she belonged.

The judge signed the court order right in front of them. Nicole would get a new birth certificate, marked as “amended,” officially stating she is a girl.


NSFW: 11 Important Firsts That Happen In Every Long Term Relationship

1. Your “Unplanned Sex In The Middle Of The Day” virginity.

Your "Unplanned Sex In The Middle Of The Day" virginity.

Flo Perry /

2. Your “We Tried A New Sex Position And It Sucked” virginity.

Your "We Tried A New Sex Position And It Sucked" virginity.

Flo Perry /

3. Your “Sex In Your Childhood Bedroom” virginity.

Your "Sex In Your Childhood Bedroom" virginity.

Flo Perry /

4. Your “Stayed Over But Didn’t Have Sex” virginity.

Your "Stayed Over But Didn't Have Sex" virginity.

Flo Perry /

5. Your “Chose Getting Food Over Having Sex” virginity.

Your "Chose Getting Food Over Having Sex" virginity.

Flo Perry /

6. Your “Conversation While One Of You Is Peeing” virginity.

Your "Conversation While One Of You Is Peeing" virginity.

Flo Perry /

7. Your “Ditching Date Night For Pizza And TV” virginity.

Your "Ditching Date Night For Pizza And TV" virginity.

Flo Perry /

8. Your “Please Be My Amateur Doctor” virginity.

Your "Please Be My Amateur Doctor" virginity.

Flo Perry /

9. Your “Looking After Them When They’re Puking” virginity.

Your "Looking After Them When They're Puking" virginity.

Flo Perry /

10. Your “This Is My Ugliest, Oldest Underwear” virginity.

Your "This Is My Ugliest, Oldest Underwear" virginity.

Flo Perry /

11. Your “First Fart” virginity.

Your "First Fart" virginity.

Flo Perry /

The most important one of all.


A Mumbai Woman Shared This Inspiring Story Of What Happens After You Wake Up From A Coma Paralysed

Last week, Mumbai resident Virali Modi posted a Facebook status about an illness that left her in a coma ten years ago. In the status, she explained how she woke up even though she wasn’t expected to, and how she overcame adversity after being paralysed from the waist down.

Modi’s health problems started 10 years ago when she took a trip to India ten years ago during the monsoon. When she went back home to the U.S., where she was living at the time. she started to get migraines that persisted for a long time.

Modi’s health problems started 10 years ago when she took a trip to India ten years ago during the monsoon. When she went back home to the U.S., where she was living at the time. she started to get migraines that persisted for a long time.

Virali Modi

The doctors at the time tested her for meningoencephalitis, meningitis, malaria, and many other conditions. Eventually, she was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, a neurological condition that affects the spine.

“The illness was getting worse, and they needed to do a spinal tap. That led me into the ICU. Another spinal tap was done the next day, even though my mom was against it. My family had come to the hospital at that point and convinced her. After giving the okay to the docs, they did the spinal tap and I went into a coma,” Modi told SAR.

“I was in a coma for 23 days, and I was declared dead three times.”

“I was in a coma for 23 days, and I was declared dead three times.”

Virali Modi

“The doctors wanted to take me off of life support on September 21, 2006, but my mom literally grabbed his feet and begged for my life and to keep me alive until my birthday,” she added.

Modi said that her family came to her hospital bed and celebrated what they thought was her last birthday. “There was food, cake, and decorations. At 3:05 p.m., the same time that I was born, everyone started singing happy birthday and as soon my dad took my hand and cut the cake, I opened my eyes,” she told SAR.

Modi was still in a coma, but after opening her eyes, the doctors had hope. On the October 5, she woke up.

Modi was still in a coma, but after opening her eyes, the doctors had hope. On the October 5, she woke up.

Virali Modi

She was awake, but was still in serious condition. Modi was paralysed from the neck down.

She was awake, but was still in serious condition. Modi was paralysed from the neck down.

Virali Modi

Modi said that she didn’t know how to continue living. “I was like a dead body, who was breathing. I couldn’t sit without support from both sides, I didn’t know when I was hungry, or even when I had to go to the bathroom.”

Modi said that she didn’t know how to continue living. “I was like a dead body, who was breathing. I couldn’t sit without support from both sides, I didn’t know when I was hungry, or even when I had to go to the bathroom.”

Virali Modi

“My parents worked on me though. My mom would get five different bowls and fill them with my favourite foods; she’d put them in front of me, in all directions, but out of my reach. She made me get them myself, without touching the bowls. I would fall forward, and with my weak arms, try to get a cookie out of the bowl” Modi said. “My mom wouldn’t cry though. She was always my motivation

“After battling depression, two attempted suicides, and many broken relationships – I overcame my hurdles and hardships,” Modi said.

“After battling depression, two attempted suicides, and many broken relationships – I overcame my hurdles and hardships,” Modi said.

Virali Modi

This is her today. She has regained approximately 70% of her mobility.

This is her today. She has regained approximately 70% of her mobility.

Virali Modi

“I started writing about my life’s experiences on Quora and earned 58,000 followers that are getting inspired and motivated by my writing, while I create a future for myself,” she said.

“I picked a goal, my goal was to walk. That wasn’t achievable yet, I had a long way to go. I picked a smaller goal; I wanted to be able to sit without support and without falling over,” Modi wrote on Quora.

She currently lives in Mumbai with her mother. She is a writer, an actress, a motivational speaker, and a disability rights activist.

She currently lives in Mumbai with her mother. She is a writer, an actress, a motivational speaker, and a disability rights activist.

Virali Modi

In 2014, she even won second place in The Miss Wheelchair India pageant.

In 2014, she even won second place in The Miss Wheelchair India pageant.

Virali Modi

“I kept believing because my parents kept believing. I had no other support. They were there for me and they kept encouraging me. It’s because of their continuous encouragement and my effort that I kept pushing,” Modi said.

“I kept believing because my parents kept believing. I had no other support. They were there for me and they kept encouraging me. It’s because of their continuous encouragement and my effort that I kept pushing,” Modi said.

Virali Modi

Now, she’s eyeing Bollywood.

Now, she's eyeing Bollywood.

Virali Modi

“Trying to break into a community that isn’t diverse, because I want people to know that despite their situations, their dreams can come true,” she added.

“Trying to break into a community that isn’t diverse, because I want people to know that despite their situations, their dreams can come true,” she added.

Virali Modi

Here’s a full transcript of Virali Modi’s Facebook post.

This date, exactly 10 years ago, I was lying on my presumed deathbed. I was in a coma, living on a ventilator. My mom and dad decided to have a birthday party, which my aunt, uncle, two brothers, and sister-in-law so graciously planned. They brought food, cake, and decorated my hospital room so beautifully. My parents invited all of my family because the doctor had given my parents an ultimatum – If I didn’t show any signs of improvement on my birthday, then on the 30th of September, they’d pull the plug from my ventilator – eventually causing my death.
My family started singing Happy Birthday at exactly 3:05pm, when I was born. As soon as I cut my cake, I opened my eyes. Everyone started screaming and the doctors rushed in. After a full check up, they hugged my parents saying that my improvement was a miracle! THEY SAID I’D SURVIVE! I went back into my coma after approximately half an hour and finally came out of it on October 5th (which is when I celebrate a second birthday).

I didn’t realise the severity of my health until I went to physical therapy. There I realised that I couldn’t even hold up my head. I was paralysed from the neck down. After many excruciating hours of physical therapy, both by my parents and by professional therapists, I regained the use of my arms. I always was a fighter and I promised myself that I wouldn’t give up.

Except that I did at one point while battling depression. After two attempted suicides and continuous wishes to be normal and independent, I decided to live up to my name, quite literally. Virali means strength, warrior, beauty, uniqueness, and love. I desperately needed to live up to my name. I couldn’t give up, I just couldn’t. I started focusing on myself, I started working hard, and I started loving myself.
After battling depression, attempting two suicides, and after many broken relationships – I overcame my hurdles and hardships (even though I have many more to overcome as of yet). I’ve regained approximately 70% of my mobility and started following my dreams.

Within the last 10 years, I gained more self-confidence and won second place in The Miss Wheelchair India pageant in 2014. I started writing about my life’s experiences on Quora and earned 58,000 followers that are getting inspired and motivated by my writing, while I create a future for myself. I’ve become a motivational speaker and have been graced by standing ovations. I started pursing modeling and acting, although I’m still waiting for my big break. Last but not least, I’ve started to bring awareness about disability through my writing, because there isn’t much awareness in India, unfortunately.

What I want to say is that nothing can stop you from pursuing your dreams. It’s easy to focus on the negative, but you shouldn’t. Look past the negative and focus on the positive, you WILL prevail.

So, it’s been 10 years and I’m now 25 years old. Here’s to a more beautiful life and an extraordinary future! CHEERS!


Here’s What Happened When We Asked A Bunch Of Women To Dump Out Their Bags

Celebrities tend to carry the coolest, most expensive beauty products in their bags.

For us common folk, we carry a lot of weird shit.

We surprised our coworkers and had them dump out their bags and purses for the world to see. It’s a revealing look into the personality of the bag holder, and it also lays bare the changes we need to make in our lives. And maybe some cool products too? We’ll see.

Jenny Chang / Taylor Miller

I’m a messy person who swears it’s an ORGANIZED mess, MOM. But I do feel like it’s important to point out all the things I have half of: a charger without the cord, a sunglasses case without the sunglasses, my pencil case without the pencils inside, one single sock. All the Aleve and Advil is there because I get migraines and apparently forget I already am carrying a bottle around. Shoutout to the mouthwash and mini lip balm my dentist gave me at my last visit.

I’m personally shocked I don’t have more trash in here. But am not shocked that I only remembered one sock for my exercise class after work. I actually bought that pair of socks at a spin studio because I forgot socks before. Basically, this bag shows my attempts at organization are wildly imperfect but hey, I’m out here trying my best.

I highly recommend this Glossier lip balm because it’s great. Also I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my mother for collecting and giving me all her Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons. Truly embodies a mother’s sacrifice.

Jenny Chang / Taylor Miller

The first thing I see is the flag. I grabbed it thinking that it was a Colombian flag, but later discovered that it probably is Romania’s. This was shocking as I had apparently not been able to recognize my own country’s flag. So I kept it… as a reminder of my stupidity.

The prayer card under the sun glasses was found on the Metro North during the time I was applying. I grabbed it, read it, and put it inside the same school bag above. I moved on to check my phone and at that exact minute, I got an email with a job offer from Sears. That’s not all. Less than an hour earlier I was on the phone chatting with my father, who is Catholic. He was telling me about a dream he had with the saint in the card in which I was involved. I’m not religious, but when that card comes up out of nowhere, very special and cool things happen.

Those two bottles are caramel spread on the left, and condensed milk on the right. I found them on a “free” table at work. Latin Americans eat those things individually with almost everything: fruits, cookies, cakes, flans. So when I heard they were there because people did not want them and some were even disgusted by it, I ran to “save them” and give them a better home.

Jenny Chang / Taylor Miller

First: I would like to explain the lighter. If my mom is reading this, I want her to know the lighter is for a candle I have at my desk. I do not smoke cigarettes, mom!!!!!!

Surprisingly, it doesn’t come across in the picture, but I am NOT an organized person. I have ADD, which is why the pill organizer is there. It’s for my ADD and depression medication. I think the lighting in this picture makes my set-up look a lot cleaner than it actually is. I included the trash in this photoshoot but I didn’t include the crumbs. That big green bad boy is my 40 oz water bottle that, when filled and in my purse, is responsible for 100% of my back pain. But I gotta stay hydrated, baby.

The most confusing thing about this photo is the rocks (underneath the hair ties). I have no idea why they were in my purse. It’s been eating away at me for days. I can’t stop thinking about why they were in my purse. I live in the city and I can’t remember the last time I was near some rocks. I bought some iPhone chargers on Amazon and I keep forgetting to remove them from my purse, so they’ve been sitting there in that bag for weeks.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang

I like to carry that orange shoe horn around with me all of the time because I wear a lot of sneakers and boots that I need help sliding into. If I don’t have a shoe horn to help me then the back of my shoes would be RUINED and what’s the point of having nice things. Shoe horns also save my fingers from the pain of trying to stuff my feet into high top sneaks.

I’m an organized person so I always know the exact contents of my bag. Except for the one rogue restaurant business card that I immediately threw away after this shoot. If I have any trash in my bag, I usually throw it out by the end of the day.

That deodorant looking thing is actually a stick face sunscreen. I ALWAYS have SPF on my face because skin cancer is real and also because I’d rather not buy new foundation.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang

This looks like a bag that belongs to a dork. I wish I had some drugs or human teethin there to make it more exciting. Maybe a knife.

I think of myself as an organized messy person. I can be both. I never leave the house without an umbrella. It’s one of the most aggressively uncool things that I do. My bag is full of trash. Receipts. You’re lucky you caught me on a day without food wrappers—or worse, actual loose food in my purse.

There were used Kleenexes in my bag. I don’t want to talk about it.

I highly recommend this lipstick. (the pink tube) It’s Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in Cherry Blossom. I have organic hand sanitizer (the purple bottle). I hope that makes me look at least a little cool. If not cool, I’ll settle for fancy.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang

Oh wow, I have a ton of crap. The penis is not a dildo or anything — it was a prop for a livestream about dicks later that day. The extension cord and drawer dividers were to be returned to Target. The Constitution and flag pin were for America. I’ve got a dog bowl just in case I see a thirsty puppy, and extra shoes in case I need to run from a mean puppy. A sweater if I get cold, because air conditioning is always at men-in-suits levels. And as always, I carry an extra bag in my bag just in case one bag is not enough.

It looks better than I thought it would — it’s been at least a month since I cleaned it out (hence the piles of trash). I’m clearly a messy garbage person. Laying all these items out makes it very clear to me that I don’t need half of this stuff.

I always have to-go deodorant, tissues, and antibacterial on me. Those are necessities. Most of my make up bag needs to go in the trash, but I will never part with my dry shampoo. I’ve had Jonathan Green Rootine Dry Shampoo
for 8 months and it’s still going strong. The powders cost more than the sprays, but they last far longer and are actually portable.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang

My purse contents are actually not as bad as I thought. I use everything I have in it, especially the little portable fan. I am a very organized person! I honestly feel really off if my space is messy, so I always make a conscious effort to keep things as clean as possible.

I think the most important thing I need to clarify is the pocket knife. It was a gift from my boyfriend to keep me protected from creepy and/or scary men in the streets. Thankfully I haven’t used it yet, but I do feel safer knowing I have something that can potentially help me protect myself. I also just think knives are cool.

There are so many things I love inside my bag! Every item has a purpose or a personal story. I absolutely can’t live without my portable fan! I got it off Amazon and I used it every single hot summer day these past couple of months. TRUST ME, it is well worth the little money you spend on it. Also, I am a total Ice Breakers Ice Cubes evangelist. It is the best gum I’ve tried in my life and the flavor lasts a long time. I usually buy the peppermint one, but they only had the spearmint flavor when I went to the store.

The only other great thing inside my bag is my foundation, Clinique’s Even Better Makeup! It is super light, like a BB Cream, and it provides great coverage. If you don’t like wearing heavy makeup, this foundation is a great option. I also can’t leave my house without deodorant and a little bit of perfume. Summers in New York are tough, especially for a sweaty person like me. So in order to make my presence bearable to other people, I need to have something to kill my stank. No one likes a smelly person.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang

I think I’m generally organized but I think an ~organized person~ would probably disagree. But a messy garbage person would be like, nah, you’re organized.

Inside my purse I keep allergy pills, lip balm, business cards, and my hairdresser’s card. Right now it’s looking a littttle bit worse than I’d like, but I’m still proud of myself. Like a year ago my purse was always a disaster. I’ve improved so much.

For recommendations, my Benefit lip balm is really good in a pinch if I need to look slightly more put together. And I love my wallet. And my phone case was like $8. Oh my gosh, and that Kiehl’s hand salve is a godsend.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang

TBH this feels like a very accurate representation of my brainscape: Nintendo 3DS, half-knitted pair of socks, underwear (IT’S CLEAN). I wouldn’t say I’m messy, but I do have a strong, anxious desire to be prepared for anything, whether that’s a boring lull on a stalled subway or a night spent in an apartment that is not necessarily my own.For that reason, I lug around a giant backpack everywhere I go even though I could probably fit all the stuff I actually need in like, a normal-sized purse.

I’m obsessed with that Tom Ford eyeliner, which I wrote about and all the commenters got SO MAD OVER because it’s wicked expensive. Which, totally fair! But I know me, and I know that I would have spent $56 just testing out eyeliners in the past year, and because this one is so great and long-lasting, I didn’t have to. And the journal is by Adam J. Kurtz, who used to work at Ralph Lauren and is a rad designer, and it’s perfect for little moments when you’re feeling stuck (creatively or otherwise) — it’s full of little prompts and pep talks, and is just generally very comforting.

I don’t really know how the googly eyes or my old Girl Scout patch ended up in there. I haven’t taken them out yet, though. I feel like whacked-out Mary Poppinssometimes.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang

I’d self-describe as a person who lives an organized yet chaotic lifestyle.

Looking at my purse, you’re probably thinking “Jesus, how many lips do you have if you need 13 products in your tiny-ass bag?” But I know every single tube’s shade and color payoff and wear-time. Because I’m never in the same place for more than 6 hours, I wind up changing my lip color sometimes as many as four times a day because I want to wear them ALL and I don’t have days in the week for just one a day.

Also, I swear that I actually live in Manhattan even though I have a very touristy ticket to Madame Tussaud’s in my purse. It was from a trip to the museum with my boyfriend and it’s a nice way to keep a memory that doesn’t take up a lot of space. Sorry for being sentimental.

I carry a pretty tiny bag on a regular basis so there’s not too much room for surprises. The only really ridiculous element is the amount of lip products. The very bright pink lip gloss tube is NARS Easy Lover lip gloss (sounds very hooker-ish, but it’s actually just like a nice sheer pink glow). I also love the Crush color of the Generation G lip color from Glossier..

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang

The weirdest thing in my bag is probably the crystal I got at Otherwild in LA that is supposed to banish bad vibes. I constantly forget it’s in my purse but I’ve had a lot of good vibes lately so maybe it’s working? Or maybe it’s just pretty. The rest of it is kind of boring, that random paper on the end is a doctor’s appointment receipt and there is a little ticket thing from when I went to The Met. Also I’ve been carrying around those broken headphones for weeks meaning to get them replaced. Then, while emptying my purse for this, I found out that I had working headphones in there, so this was an ideal situation.

I’m an organized person at home, messy garbage person everywhere else. My purse is heavy on its own so I try to keep it pretty empty. My wallet, on the other hand, is a total disaster. It’s filled with random receipts and clearly the money isn’t even in it.

I got my Paddington Bear in 2008 from the Paddington station in London, so good luck finding that again. I definitely recommend Glossier’s coconut balm dotcom, theLarry David pin from Pintrill, crystals from Otherwild. Tiggy Ticehurst is an artist who hangs outside of the Whitney who makes stuff I really like.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Changf

It’s certainly less gross than it usually is, because a couple days before I’d cleaned out all of the receipts that had piled up in there, not knowing that this shoot was happening. I’m pretty organized! But only in the sense of keeping just the few things I need with me at any given time.

The pile of clean and dirty tissues is a constant for me, wherever I am. Boyfriends have always complained that it’s gross, but my nose always drips so I always have something to catch it!

I basically couldn’t live my life in any sort of order without the help of the big planner ($28), which keeps me from being late to anything or forgetting things for work. And like I mentioned above, the Pick Up Drops ($6.29) help me get through a tough day. For some reason now that I’m 26 I can’t work as hard for as long as I could at 24. Whenever I drink, usually two drinks surface my exhaustion enough that I genuinely contemplate laying my head down on the bar to doze. Boring, I know.

The lip balm is Whole Foods brand and you can’t get it online, but it’s literally the only lip balm that doesn’t just make my lips more chapped later in the day, and it’s basically the perfect blend of coconut oil, beeswax, EVOO, shea butter, cocoa butter, and hemp seed oil. Rachel Miller recommended the Pigma Micron pens ($24.99) to make my planner look pretty inside and I love how smoothly they write. Also, I’m engrossed in fantasy writer Naomi Novik’s books right now — I just finished Uprootedand now I’ve paused my binge-watch of the X-Files to read the Temeraire series (the first book, His Majesty’s Dragon, $7.99).

And friends always compliment me on my Rifle Paper Co. iPhone case ($36).


31 Two-Person Halloween Costumes That Are Borderline Genius

We asked the SAR community for their best two-person Halloween costumes. Here are the genius results.

1. Imperator Furiosa and Mad Max

Imperator Furiosa and Mad Max

2. Taco Bell

Taco Bell

3. A Ghostbuster and Slimer

A Ghostbuster and Slimer

4. Florence and ~the Machine~

Florence and ~the Machine~

5. Robin Sparkles and Ted Mosby

Robin Sparkles and Ted Mosby

6. Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Dan

Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Dan

7. CatDog


8. Indiana Jones and a boulder

Indiana Jones and a boulder

9. Lady Loki and Thor

Lady Loki and Thor

10. Liz Taylor and Hypodermic Sally from American Horror Story: Hotel

Liz Taylor and Hypodermic Sally from American Horror Story: Hotel

11. Zombie Wayne and Garth

Zombie Wayne and Garth

12. Bob and Linda Belcher from Bob’s Burgers

Bob and Linda Belcher from Bob's Burgers

13. Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa

Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa

14. Spy Vs. Spy

Spy Vs. Spy

15. Scully and Mulder from The X-Files

Scully and Mulder from The X-Files

16. Juno and Bleeker from Juno

Juno and Bleeker from Juno

17. Bob Ross and painting

Bob Ross and painting

18. Washer and dryer

Washer and dryer

19. Lightning and electrocution

Lightning and electrocution

20. Mario Kart

Mario Kart

21. Cosmo and Wanda from The Fairly OddParents

Cosmo and Wanda from The Fairly OddParents

22. Chris Pratt and Blue from Jurassic World

Chris Pratt and Blue from Jurassic World

23. The Grady Twins from The Shining

The Grady Twins from The Shining

24. Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

25. Belle and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast

Belle and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast

26. The Magic School Bus and Ms. Frizzle

The Magic School Bus and Ms. Frizzle

27. Taxidermy Bambi and Thumper

Taxidermy Bambi and Thumper

28. Dee and Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Dee and Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

29. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century

Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century

30. Chuck and Wilson from Cast Away

Chuck and Wilson from Cast Away

31. And of course, Toy Story aliens

And of course, Toy Story aliens


13 Tricks To Appear Smart In Meetings

The ridiculously clever writer and comedian, Sarah Cooper, has blessed us with excerpts from her new satirical book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. Below are 13 amazing tips to come off as smart at work…even when you’re daydreaming about napping with your cat.

1. Show how valued you are.

Show how valued you are.

Sarah Cooper / Via

2. Soften requests by carrying some of the burden (but not really).

Soften requests by carrying some of the burden (but not really).

Sarah Cooper / Via

3. Guesstimate population statistics.

Guesstimate population statistics.

Sarah Cooper / Via

4. Be more like Kanye.

Be more like Kanye.

Sarah Cooper / Via

5. Learn the language.

Learn the language.

Sarah Cooper / Via

6. Practice being more exclusive.

Practice being more exclusive.

Sarah Cooper / Via

7. Pick the company you keep your project with carefully.

Pick the company you keep your project with carefully.

Sarah Cooper / Via

8. Question everything.

Question everything.

Sarah Cooper / Via

9. When at a business lunch, be original.

When at a business lunch, be original.

Sarah Cooper / Via

10. Make these faces during meetings in any context.

Make these faces during meetings in any context.

Sarah Cooper / Via

11. Know what to scribble on the whiteboard.

Know what to scribble on the whiteboard.

Sarah Cooper / Via

12. Be “clever.”

Be "clever."

Sarah Cooper / Via

13. And command your audience’s attention.

And command your audience's attention.

Sarah Cooper / Via

100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings is out in stores everywhere today — to learn more, click here.

100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings is out in stores everywhere today — to learn more, click here.

Andrew Mcmeel Publisher

17 Pictures That Perfectly Sum Up Growing Up With Siblings

1. Having a sibling is all about communication:

Having a sibling is all about communication:

2. About letting your sibling know you care:

About letting your sibling know you care:

3. About remembering the important things:

About remembering the important things:

4. And about having a trusting relationship:

And about having a trusting relationship:

5. It’s about kindness:

It's about kindness:

6. About love and companionship:

About love and companionship:

7. About mutual trust:

About mutual trust:

8. And about reminding them that you care:

And about reminding them that you care:

9. It’s about sweet, loving words:

It's about sweet, loving words:

10. About sharing:

About sharing:

11. And about togetherness:

And about togetherness:

12. It’s about going to bed knowing you have a friend for life:

It's about going to bed knowing you have a friend for life:

13. And about making sure they know how much you trust them and won’t kill them at all:

And about making sure they know how much you trust them and won't kill them at all:

14. Having a sibling is about compassion:

Having a sibling is about compassion:

15. About trust:

About trust:

16. And it’s about staying away from windows:

And it's about staying away from windows:

17. That’s what having a sibling is all about.

That's what having a sibling is all about.


19 High-Protein Dinners Under 550 Calories You’ll Actually Want To Eat

Eating protein-heavy meals for dinner is great because they keep you super full — so full that you won’t feel hungry again by the time you’re getting ready for bed.

NBC / Via

That’s because it takes a lot longer for protein to digest than carbs, which means you can eat less food and still feel satisfied for the same amount of time (if not longer), Brian St. Pierre, director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition, tells SAR.

Protein is also ~kind of~ necessary for certain things. It helps our muscles recover from a workout; helps us build muscle, which is great if you’re trying to lose weight; and it won’t spike your blood sugar levels the way a carb-heavy meal would.

Always here to help, we rounded up a bunch of dinners with more than 20 grams of protein that still come out to 550 calories or fewer per serving — mostly because they contain whole, minimally-processed ingredients.

Unless otherwise noted, nutritional information is for one serving as defined by the recipe. And our calorie calculations come from here.

Cool, let’s dig in!

1. Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats

Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats

Amanda Finks / Via

Zucchini stuffed with chicken parmesan, guys.

Calories: 500 (includes three zucchini boats)
Protein: 57.3g

Get the recipe here.

2. Zoodles With Chicken and Spicy Almond Butter Sauce

Zoodles With Chicken and Spicy Almond Butter Sauce

Lindsay (The Lean Green Bean) / Via

You’ll want to douse everything in this spicy almond butter sauce. Trust.

Calories: 370
Protein: 39.3g

Get the recipe here.

3. Skinny Mini Meat Loaves With Sweet Potato Coins

Skinny Mini Meat Loaves With Sweet Potato Coins

Kim (Kim’s Cravings) / Via

Make one medium sweet potato worth of coins per person to get the nutritional information below.

Calories: 516 (for five mini meatloaves)
Protein: 46.7g

Get the recipe here.

4. Garlic Teriyaki Shrimp

Garlic Teriyaki Shrimp

Kendra (Kendra’s Treats) / Via

Probably better for you than take-out, and it only talks 30 minutes to whip it up.

Calories: 272
Protein: 43.95g

With a cup of brown rice: Add 216 calories and 5 g of protein.

Get the recipe here.

5. Asian Shredded Chicken Salad

Asian Shredded Chicken Salad

Kendra (Kendra’s Treats) / Via

This tangy, chicken-loaded salad will hit the spot. Yum.

Calories: 512
Protein: 40.2g

Get the recipe here.

6. Sesame Kale Glow Bowl

Sesame Kale Glow Bowl

Christine (The Glowing Fridge) / Via

Make this vegan recipe in only 20 minutes and easily pack any leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.

Calories: 428
Protein: 20.9g

Get the recipe here.

7. Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

Erin (Well Plated) / Via

Use this recipe to whip up four chipotle burgers. Then throw them on some wheat buns and treat yo’ self.

Calories: 337
Protein: 33.7g

With a whole wheat bun: Add 130 calories and 7 g of protein.

Get the recipe here.

8. Salmon Quinoa Bowl

Salmon Quinoa Bowl

Megan Wells / Via

Use 3 oz. of salmon, 2 oz. Greek yogurt, and 2 oz. of feta cheese to get the nutritional info below.

Calories: 524
Protein: 39.7g

Get the recipe here.

9. Marinara and Kale Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Marinara and Kale Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Sarah (Making Thyme for Health) / Via

Halve a spaghetti squash, toss in the kale, cheese, and marinara, and you’ve got a stringy, gooey, comfort food dinner.

Calories: 513
Protein: 23.8g

Get the recipe here.

10. Pizza Frittata

Pizza Frittata

Nupur (The Veggie Indian) / Via

Pizza is good. So is breakfast. And with this dish, you can have it all.

Calories: 450
Protein: 29.2g

Get the recipe here.

11. Baked Salmon With Lentils and Lemon Herb Sauce

Baked Salmon With Lentils and Lemon Herb Sauce

Lindsay (Pinch of Yum) / Via

Only takes five ingredients and one pan. Heck, yes.

Calories: 516
Protein: 24.6g

Get the recipe here.

12. Parmesan Crusted Cod

Parmesan Crusted Cod

Kim (Kim’s Cravings) / Via

Switch up your dinner routine with this baked cheesy cod recipe.

Calories: 230
Protein: 21.4g

With a cup of brown rice: Add 216 calories and 5 g of protein.

Get the recipe here.

13. Quinoa & Swiss Chard Patties With Avocado Tahini Dip

Quinoa & Swiss Chard Patties With Avocado Tahini Dip

Alexandra (Occasionally Eggs) / Via

Eat four of these quinoa vegetarian patties to get the nutritional info below.

Calories: 500
Protein: 20g

Get the recipe here.

14. Ranch Pork Chops With Grilled Jalapeño Corn Salsa

Ranch Pork Chops With Grilled Jalapeño Corn Salsa

Megan (With Salt and Wit) / Via

Add a little kick to your dinner with this spicy dish.

Calories: 284
Protein: 24g

With a cup of brown rice: Add 216 calories and 5 g of protein.

Get the recipe here.

15. Dustin’s Stir Fry

Dustin's Stir Fry

Diane and Dustin (Homan at Home) / Via

Serve up four delicious servings of this stir-fry in just 20 minutes.

Calories: 158
Protein: 21.7g

With a cup of brown rice: Add 216 calories and 5 g of protein.

Get the recipe here.

16. Sizzling New York Steak With Chimichurri Sauce

Sizzling New York Steak With Chimichurri Sauce

Helen Tzouganatos / Via

Throw this on a bed of leafy greens (3 cups spinach, romaine, etc.) and you’re good to go.

Calories: 450 (includes 3 cups of greens and Chimmichurri sauce)
Protein: 74.8g

Get the recipe here.

17. Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Nikki (Love and Food Foreva) / Via

Quickly toss together the filling, stuff the peppers, sprinkle some cheese, throw in the oven, and voilà — dinner is served.

Calories: 496
Protein: 45.9g

Get the recipe here.

18. Cheesy Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Arugula and Poached Eggs

Cheesy Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Arugula and Poached Eggs

Jessica Merchant / Via

Vegetarians meals can be high in protein, too.

Calories: 528
Protein: 25.8g

Get the recipe here.

19. One-Pan Pesto Chicken and Veggies

One-Pan Pesto Chicken and Veggies

Julia (Julia’s Album) / Via

Mo’ pans mo’ problems. So this savory dish only uses one.

Calories: 450
Protein: 35.9g

Get the recipe here.


35 Insanely Clever Movie Halloween Costumes

We asked the SAR community to show us their best Halloween costumes of all time. Here are the ones every movie lover will want:

1. This badass Furiosa costume:

This badass Furiosa costume:


2. The most fetch Regina George you’ve ever seen:

The most fetch Regina George you've ever seen:


3. Jack, Rose, and the dresser that TOTALLY COULD HAVE FIT BOTH OF THEM:

Jack, Rose, and the dresser that TOTALLY COULD HAVE FIT BOTH OF THEM:


4. Kevin from Up:

Kevin from Up:


5. These Sanderson Sisters who will DEFINITELY put a spell on you:

These Sanderson Sisters who will DEFINITELY put a spell on you:


6. This insanely real flying monkey:

This insanely real flying monkey:


7. The gang from The Big Lebowski:

The gang from The Big Lebowski:


8. These Zenon outfits that are totally out of this world:

These Zenon outfits that are totally out of this world:


9. These Johnny Depps who are almost as creepy as the real thing:

These Johnny Depps who are almost as creepy as the real thing:


10. The world’s greatest How to Train Your Dragoncosplay:

The world's greatest How to Train Your Dragon cosplay:


11. Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Columbia from The Rocky Horror Picture Show:

Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Columbia from The Rocky Horror Picture Show:


12. This A+ The Nightmare Before Christmas group costume:

This A+ The Nightmare Before Christmas group costume:


13. This homemade Olaf from Frozen:

This homemade Olaf from Frozen:

Carly Solow

—Carly Solow

14. The receptionist from Beetlejuice:

The receptionist from Beetlejuice:


15. Cruella and her Dalmatians:

Cruella and her Dalmatians:


16. This perfect Bridesmaids outfit:

This perfect Bridesmaids outfit:


17. The cutest DC villains you’ve ever seen:

The cutest DC villains you've ever seen:


18. Darla from Finding Nemo:

Darla from Finding Nemo:


19. Joy and Sadness from Inside Out:

Joy and Sadness from Inside Out:


20. Ariel getting eaten by a shark:

Ariel getting eaten by a shark:


21. This super relaxed Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove:

This super relaxed Kuzco from The Emperor's New Groove:


22. Powerline from A Goofy Movie:

Powerline from A Goofy Movie:


23. Here’s Jack and Wendy:

Here's Jack and Wendy:


24. And the Grady Twins from The Shining:

And the Grady Twins from The Shining:


25. Mugatu from Zoolander:

Mugatu from Zoolander:


26. Marty McFly, complete with the DeLorean:

Marty McFly, complete with the DeLorean:


27. This incredible Buzz Lightyear, made strictly with duct tape:

This incredible Buzz Lightyear, made strictly with duct tape:


28. This total American psycho:

This total American psycho:


29. This iconic Pulp Fiction costume:

This iconic Pulp Fiction costume:


30. Elderly Han and Leia, in anticipation of the newStar Wars movies:

Elderly Han and Leia, in anticipation of the new Star Wars movies:


31. Peter Pan and his shadow, aka this genius two-person costume:

Peter Pan and his shadow, aka this genius two-person costume:


32. Your ‘ohana, Lilo and Sitch:

Your 'ohana, Lilo and Sitch:


33. Romy and Michele:

Romy and Michele:


34. This super scary Scream flashback:

This super scary Scream flashback:

35. And this iconic Ghost re-creation:

And this iconic Ghost re-creation: