How Caitlyn (Formerly Bruce) Jenner Just Changed Culture Forever
Earlier this year, equality activist Ash Beckham spoke to Big Think about Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner and why having a high-profile transgender person share their story is an important milestone for the LGBTQ movement.
(Note: This interview was conducted prior to Bruce Jenner's transition into Caitlyn Jenner, which explains the use of "Bruce" and the masculine pronouns.)
Ash Beckham: Bruce Jenner* is such a unique circumstance and situation and his coming out is a high point in the transgender movement currently. Because to have somebody that high-profile be willing to share in that way and transgender is almost the last of the LGBTQ spectrum that people don’t understand.
You know, if you’re a Yankees fan and you have your Yankees jersey, the thought of having to wear — it being socially acceptable that the only thing that you could wear was a Red Sox jersey. It would just make your skin crawl.
And then to think about feeling like that every single day. Or if you are secure in your gender identity imagine if you had the opposite genitalia and what that would feel like. I mean to me there are these — when it becomes personal and we go to these feelings of what does your body do when you imagine these things, then I think we can begin to relate on another level. So I think for Bruce to make that decision and do that and do it so publicly and take the questions and, like we said, be kind of the 101 version of that, it gives us all a point of reference. You love him or you have an opinion about him or you don’t. But it doesn’t change because he’s transgender.
Equality activist Ash Beckham spoke to Big Think about Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner and why having a high-profile transgender person share their story is an important milestone for the LGBTQ movement. "Transgender is almost the last of the LGBTQ spectrum that people don’t understand," says Beckham. Having Jenner in the spotlight allows the public a visible point of reference. (Note: This interview was conducted prior to Bruce Jenner's transition into Caitlyn Jenner, which explains the use of "Bruce" and the masculine pronouns.)
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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