Sydney-based photographer Gabriel Scanu, uses her drone to capture stunning aerial shots of seasides and long roads. The colours mixed in each shot are absolutely stunning. Check out more of her work on Instagram.
Me: MUSE 👌🔥💫 are in the studio 🎤🎹🎼 NEW song 🎧😭🎵 coming #soon 👄👏 ALIENS 👽🚀 your ass 🍑 belongs to me now 💁 Matt Bellamy 🐑😱🍌 Dom Howard 😎💃👑 Chris Wolstenholme 🐶😇⚽ RIFFS 🎸 the government 👀🔎📝WILL NOT CONTROL US 💪🗽 kill 🔪💣🔫 the drones ✈🚁 I caught 🎣 a PWOPER fish 🐟🐠🐡 1984 👀 they are watching you 😓 more drones 🙅 SIT THE FUCK DOWN 👓
In particular the outrage over chemical weapons is of course a cultural understanding about how deaths should happen (since chemical weapons often cause prolonged and intense suffering) but it is truly wild to see people not show the same outrage over conventional weapons use in warfare, and I think we should be critical of swallowing whole this idea of the red line of chemical weapons because it was always propaganda. It’s a largely arbitrary line to draw, this notion that chemical warfare is inherently worse.
When you look at pictures of sounds from conventional weapons it becomes clear that they do not prevent prolonged and intense suffering- untold numbers of people have died very slowly on battlefields from bleeding out, limbs have been thrown off by bullets and mines alike, bodies riddled with bullet holes, shrapnel causing lifelong issues if you even make it off the battlefield, all of these are instances of intense and sometimes prolonged suffering as well. Are children killed by US drone strikes, obliterated with US bombs, or murdered in crossfire between any number of actors, any less important? Are their deaths less moving? Are their deaths not moving? It’s nonsense, and it’s pathos used in the worst way to get us to ignore that warfare, violence, death, these are all nasty things no matter how they come about.
This isn’t a defense of chemical weapons either, but I think we need to rethink this idea that conventional warfare is somehow less cruel or violent or nasty.
Proponents of the measure say that it’s necessary and that it would be “extremely narrowly tailored.”
this is for very limited circumstances,” Republican state Sen. John
Kissel, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee that approved the bill
and sent it to the House, said, according to the Associated Press.
“We can certainly envision some incident on some campus or someplace
where someone is a rogue shooter or someone was kidnapped and you try to
blow out a tire.” Read more (4/27/17)
Monday’s picture: a travel to Pasargadae, Iran [gallery]
estimated reading time: 3 min.
Once capital of the Achaemenid Empire, the city of Pasargadae was constructed under the reign of Cyrus the Great (559–530 BC). Located in ancient Persia, near the city of Shiraz, it is today one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites…
How goes my fellow nut busters? I’m jumping right onto the request train by giving you some fluffy and a little smutty study partner Taeyong! While our resident being of perfection may have enough sex appeal to shut down a male stripper convention, I think Taeyong/s sweeter side needs a bit more loving too. So I hope y’all enjoy this one because it was really fun to write!!
p.s. Taeyong can bust my nut anytime. anywhere. he can have me over easy, scrambled, or sunny side up tbh
Staring out the window of your classroom like some angsty anime character was one of your favorite pastimes. You wished every waking hour you were in this hell hole of a school to be outside, riding your bike through the streets, picking flowers in the park, playing in the stream that ran through town, anything but this class.
It’s not like you were bad at writing and literature, in fact, you were exceptional, the brightest in your class. But you hated the teacher, hated what he made you write. You didn’t want to write about the characters in a Greek tragedy, you didn’t want to analyze Jane Austin, you wanted to write soaring stories about adventurers, magic, and romance. This class made you despise writing, and you loathed that, because writing was one of your secret passions.
You loved nothing more than sitting by that stream, feet soaking in the cold spring water as the plum blossoms overhead showered you with their petals. You would have your notebook in hand, writing story after story, poem after poem, they just sprang off your pen onto paper like you were born to write.
Many argue that you were a born writer, including your prick of a teacher.
“_______!,” you heard that deep voice snap you name for the fifth time that period.
You languidly turned your head away from the window, one eye brow quirked, “Yes, sir?”
He angrily furrowed his brow and squeezed the open book in his hands, obviously frustrated as he asked you, “What metrical pattern did Shakespeare use in many of his plays?”
You sighed, looking down where your fingers were playing with your pink mechanical pencil as you droned, “He used unrhymed iambic pentameter, called blank verse. He diverts from this several times in many of his plays and also uses other simple forms of poetry and prose.”
You felt the wide eyes of your classmates as they looked at you slack jawed, your chin titling toward the window to resume your usual position. Your teacher stopped you again, “And which of his plays are we reading? Or have you not been paying attention for the past forty-”
“Othello,” you interrupted, looking your teacher dead in the eye. “We’re reading Othello, believed to be written by Shakespeare in 1603.”
“Good,” your teacher replied, “Why don’t you stand up and continue reading for us then, Miss _______? Since you seem to know so much about it.”
You shot him a glare because he knew you didn’t have the book on you. You had read Othello countless times by yourself, so you didn’t ever bother bringing it to class. You were about to spit out at him like a viper when you felt a nudge on your arm from beside you.
“Here,” you turned to find the intense dark eyes of one of your classmates, Lee Taeyong, trained on you intently. He held out his copy to you, finger pointing out the line where the class had left off.
You raised your eyebrows at him, lips parting as you went to convey your thanks, but felt it catch in your throat. You grabbed the book from him instead, cheeks pink as you stood up and began to read. You couldn’t even comprehend the words that were coming out of your mouth, but you felt Taeyong’s soft gaze on you the whole time.
You were saved by the lunch bell, signaling that you were free from that wretched class and embarrassing situation. You carefully closed Taeyong’s copy of Othello and handed it back to him as you mumbled, “Thank you.”
“No problem,” he took his book, giving you a small smile. “You staying in here for lunch?”
You were busy packing up your things, turning to him, “What?” You didn’t expect him to keep talking to you, so you were surprised when he asked again.
“Are you eating in here?,” he repeated, smiling to himself when he saw you blush and turn away.
“No, I always eat outside,” you said, feeling guilty because you thought you were being too rude. “I eat at the picnic benches, if you want to join.”
“Would you mind?,” he asked, putting his things into his bag and standing up, looking hopeful.
“No,” you mumbled, already weaving through the desks and out the classroom sliding doors, trying your best to calm the heat in your cheeks.
Taeyong didn’t say much, thankfully, as the two of you walked side by side through the hall. You saw numerous people whisper to one another, and some girls give you nasty looks. It wasn’t a secret that Taeyong was literally the most wanted boy in the entire school, he was absolute perfection, practically a prince. You’d never really paid much attention to the gorgeous student, but you shared every single class with him, and knew that he was ranked second in the school academically.
Second behind you.
You held first place by some miracle, even when you did nothing at all. You were just good at testing, that’s about it. To be honest, you thought Taeyong deserved it far more than you, seeing as he worked a lot harder for his scores and grades. He never seemed mad about being second though, he was a little quiet and acted content all the time, so you could never tell what he was really thinking. You couldn’t help but be a little curious as to why he wanted to hang out with you, he never really showed much interest before. You never even had a real conversation with him, the most you got was when he would congratulate you once again for staying in first place.
You reached the busy picnic benches that sat underneath the blooming plum blossoms, a picturesque scene that made your fingers itch to pull out your notebook. You usually did a lot of your writing at lunch, but since Taeyong was there, you didn’t want him to see. It was lowkey embarrassing and your writing was pretty much a gateway to your heart and soul, something you didn’t share easily.
You sat down at an empty table, fixing your uniform skirt and crossing your legs as Taeyong sat across from you. The two of you pulled out your lunches and ate in a strange but not uncomfortable silence. You were curious though, sneaking glances at him occasionally while he ate, completely unaware that he caught you staring every single time much to his amusement.
You cleared your throat, swallowing a spoonful of yogurt, “Thanks again for what you did in class, Taeyong, I really appreciate it.”
“No problem, I know how hard he is on you,” he chuckled looking at you with cutely scrunched eyes, “But I think he does it with the best intentions in his heart. You’re really his favorite student, you know.”
You scoffed, rolling your eyes and eating another spoonful angrily, “That man wants nothing more than to see me fail, it’s like it’s his one mission in life.”
“I think it’s cool how you just know everything though,” the dark haired boy said, his eyes widening in admiration. “It just comes so easily to you, I don’t know how you do it.”
“Honestly,” you admitted, picking at the table, “I really enjoy literature and writing, but hate being taught it.”
Taeyong laughed, “Everyone can tell, you’re always writing in that little green notebook of yours at lunch,” he nodded to where said notebook poked out of your open bag.
Your eyes widened and your face turned pink, “I-I just do it for fun, it’s not like I’m studying or anything.”
“I know,” he smiled, resting his head in his hand as he looked at you. “I think it’s really cute though because you’re always acting so tough.”
If you weren’t fire engine red at that point, you would have been proud of yourself, but you could feel the heat in your face and neck. You couldn’t even manage a reply, melting under his unabashedly adoring gaze, his smile too sweet for words.
His mouth quirked to the side in a smirk, “Is your yogurt too spicy for you?”
You gaped at him, mouth morphing into a smile of disbelief as you leaned over the table and smacked his shoulder, “You…!”
The two of you laughed suddenly, something changing after that. You felt a lot calmer around him, happiness creeping into your bones as you finally found enjoyment at school for the first time. You two talked about whatever came to mind, and it felt so natural and real, you’d have never thought Taeyong was as down to earth and sweet as this. One moment you were talking like friends and then next you were flirting like your lives depended on it.
It was intoxicating and beautiful.
“I have a question,” he said, absentmindley playing with your fingers, tracing the dainty ring your mother had given you on your birthday.
“Hm,” you hummed, watching the way he concentrated on the lines of your palm and shivering at the feeling of his touch. It made you squeeze your thighs together under the table and you never wanted him to stop. Taeyong stretched out his legs and tangled them with yours, brushing his knee against your inner thigh. You let out a small gasp at the touch, but Taeyong didn’t seem to notice, preoccupied with his words.
“Would you mind being my study partner?,” he asked, looking up at you with hopeful eyes. “It’s just…you’re so good at everything and it may not look like it, but I’m kinda struggling to stay afloat-”
“Taeyong,” you stopped him with a smile, feeling brave enough to brush the hair from his eyes. “Of course I can. I need to get my act together too anyway. We can help each other.”
“Really?,” he breathed, looking relieved as his shoulders sagged. “God, I could kiss you right now, to be perfectly honest.” He looked breathless and he seemed to look at you differently for a second, eyes flashing something deeper.
You were shocked but tried to save the situation quickly, “Shut up,” you laughed, taking your hand from him and standing up as the bell signaling lunch range. “I need someone to get my ass into gear anyway.”
Taeyong hummed, wiggling his eyebrows jokingly and giving you a smirk, “I like the sound of that.”
You made a noise of disgust and walked with him back to class, “We can go to my place later if you like, I have snacks.”
“Snacks sound perfect,” he said, bravely taking your hand and making you gape at him again. He carefreely swung your joined hands, like it was the most natural thing to do.
“Taeyong,” you gulped, feeling the stares and glares as you walked back inside. “What are you doing?”
“Can I not platonically hold your hand?,” he asked innocently, eyes wide and soft, but the quick smirk on his mouth said otherwise.
You groaned and let him hold your hand with his sweater paws, leading you like that from class to class for the rest of the day until the final bell sounded the end of school. Your stomach churned with excitement. To be perfectly honest, you were both happy and confused with how Taeyong was acting. One moment he was acting like the best friend you’d never had and the next he was acting like your boyfriend. You wouldn’t mind either of those things, but both? That would be like a dream come true. You weren’t going to lie, as a writer you were a hopeless romantic, and you always imagined how everything would be when you fell in love. You couldn’t even count how many tales of romance you’d written, how many poems to your future boyfriend you’d scribbled in your journal. As of now, everything was living up to your expectations, though, not necessarily with the person who you thought it would be. It was a pleasant surprise though that you welcomed with open arms.
You’d always thought Taeyong was absolutely gorgeous, but you didn’t know what his personality was like. You only knew he was sweet and hardworking. You wouldn’t have believed he was a complete flirt if you hadn’t experienced it firsthand yourself. The strange thing was, Taeyong never dated anyone, never flirted with anyone before he began to with you.
It also didn’t hurt that you could practically taste the sexual frustration radiating off of him.
You looked over to where the dark haired boy was packing up his things, hypnotized by the way he neatly and methodically tidied everything up. You walked over to him and poked his rib cage, watching in amusement as he jumped and shot you a cute angry look.
He pouted, “Hey, don’t! I’m really ticklish.”
“Oops, many finger slipped,” you grinned, to which he smiled to himself as he finished packing.
“You ready to go?,” he asked, sliding on his backpack. “I rode my bike here, we can ride it to your place.” He was practically bouncing on his toes as he took your hand and led you out of the classroom.
“Okay,” you smiled, letting him pull you away and thinking about how cute he was for riding a bike to school. How much more perfect could he possibly get? You literally saw no flaws in him.
You walked out to the bike rack and Taeyong unchained his sturdy black bike. He swung his leg over it and patted the handlebars and winked, “Here, I’ll be really careful, don’t worry.”
You gulped, a little freaked out by the prospect of balancing your ass on a thin piece of metal. But you trusted Taeyong and he seemed capable of maintaining his balance. You grabbed his hand and he helped you sit as comfortably as you could on the cold metal that pressed against the back of your thighs. Much to your surprise, Taeyong helped you fix your skirt, lifting you gently to tuck it carefully underneath your legs without a word. You blushed and grabbed onto the rubber grips of the handles, jumping when Taeyong slid his hands over yours and pushed off.
He wobbled at first, unaccustomed to the added weight, but he quickly recovered and peddled strongly down the road, cruising past the houses. You pointed out to him which way to go and he smoothly made the turns, the spring wind whistling through your hair as the afternoon chill began to set in.
Thankfully, you arrived at your house, the sun still fighting in the sky as Taeyong pulled up along the curb. The steps to your house were a perfect place for you to dismount, only stumbling a little bit as you clumsily slid off the handlebars. The two of you giggled at your less than graceful landing and Taeyong simply let his bike flop down as you walked up to your door. Goosebumps raised up your legs as you shivered in place and fumbled for your keys in your school bag.
“You’d think winter would end already,” Taeyong casually commented, daring enough to run his hand up and down your exposed thigh, dangerously close to the hem of your skirt.
You shot him a look, but he just smiled boyishly. You finally found your key and shoved it in the lock as quickly as you could, wanting nothing more than the heat of your house to swallow you whole. It was like a wave of summer when you walked in, the dry heat feeling orgasmic on your bare legs as you took off your shoes.
Taeyong did the same, looking around your house curiously, “It’s really cute.”
“Thanks,” you said in amusement, “Come on, we can study in my room.”
“What about snacks?,” Taeyong asked, looking hopeful and hungry.
“I’ll bring some up, don’t worry,” you laughed, already trudging into the kitchen to grab some chips and grapes you had in the fridge. You heard Taeyong climbing the stairs and shouted, “It’s the second door on the right!”
You heard a grunt of affirmation and bounded up the stairs with your backpack and snacks in hand. You entered your room to already find Taeyong sprawled comfortably on your bed, pulling out notes and textbooks.
“Comfy?,” you asked, moving aside pillows and plopping down beside him.
He chuckled, scanning his notebooks, “Perfectly. What do you want to look over first? I was thinking writing and literature.”
You huffed, popping a grape in your mouth, “If we have to, I want to get through the worst first.”
“It’s not as bad as you think,” he said, nudging you with his shoulder as you sat up and leaned your head on it.
“I know,” you strained, pulling out your very minimal notes. “But it’s just something I don’t like being taught. I want to learn it on my own, through my own enjoyment.”
“Enjoyment, hm?,” the dark haired boy pondered, glancing at your notes before looking up at you exasperated. “_______, aren’t you worried you’ll fall behind?”
You’d never had the feeling you were ever drowning in work or behind the curve, always being right on track regardless of how hard you tried. You shrugged, looking at him with raised eyebrows, “Not really.”
“Well, I’m worried for you,” Taeyong said with a sigh. “You’re too smart and gifted to fall behind, and I don’t want to see that.”
“Taeyong? I’ve always wondered this but,” you murmured, tracing a finger on a vein up his forearm absentmindedly. “Don’t you want to be ranked first?”
Taeyong turned towards you, his dark eyes hard as he echoed you, “Not really.”
Confused you inquired, “But you’re always working so hard-”
“And it’s because of you,” the handsome boy interrupted, locking eyes with you. “You make me work harder than anyone else, you make me try, and no one else gives me that.” You didn’t notice it, but Taeyong had leaned closer, his breath fanning over your face. His voice was quiet, a soft murmur, “If I didn’t have you always one step in front of me, I don’t know what I would do.”
“Taeyong,” you whispered, his lips hovering just above yours, making your heart beat a mile a minute in your chest. He looked so soft, so exposed and vulnerable like he’d been craving to get that off his chest, to tell you.
“I don’t want to be ranked first,” he murmured, his lips brushing yours for a fraction of a second.
“I just want you.”
It was like a wave of feelings and sensations came crashing down on you, one minute you were a hairsbreath away from Taeyong, and next he was washing all over you. His body was pressing yours into the bed, your hands were tangled in his hair, and his lips were making what felt like love to yours. He kissed you passionately, like all the pent up feelings in his heart had just released into his body, hands and mouth driven by another force.
He cupped your face softly, but his lips and the rest of his body said otherwise. His chest rubbed against your clothed breasts and you couldn’t help but moan into his mouth. He took this opportunity to slide his tongue in, tasting the grapes you had eaten and groaning at the way your body moved against him. You spread your legs and welcomed the knee that slid your skirt up to your hips and pressed against your clothed heat. Taeyong’s kisses were so wet, the sounds coming from your mouth made you go delirious as the fire in your stomach was stoked.
Deprived of oxygen, he pulled away with a gasp, looking so fucking gorgeous with his messed up hair and swollen lips. You leaned up and pressed kisses to his sharp as a knife jawline, moaning when his hands began to unbutton his shirt. Your finger helped him along by untucking it from his belt, craving to see the creamy skin underneath.
You nearly cried when he slid it off his shoulders, fingers tracing down the warmth of his skin and running down his lean abs, “Taeyong…” You pressed kisses to his chest, tasting him with your tongue as you dragged your wet muscle along his defined collarbones.
He smirked at your reaction, his fingers now making quick work of your shirt, tossing it across the room as he exposed your chest, “Now we’re even.”
“Please, Tae, I need to feel something. Just touch me,” you whispered, breath coming in gasps as you sat up and placed his hands on your hips.
He slid them down and under your skirt, squeezing your ass over and over as he groaned, “Come over here.”
He pulled you close, laying one of your legs over his thigh as he tugged you until your clothed heat was pressed against the bulge in his pants. You gasped when he began to rub himself against you, head going blank of everything except for him and the way he was moving against you. He rolled his hips into you with a groan, hands on your ass as he helped you move in tandem with him until you found the rhythm yourself.
You tangled your fingers into his soft hair when he leaned down to litter the tops of your breasts with love bites, sucking dark purple bruises into your skin. You whimpered when he slowed down, your hips still eager against his as he kissed your neck, “Please…”
He hushed you, taking his time as he felt the wetness through your panties soak the crotch of his uniform slacks, “Take it easy, baby girl. Take a moment,” he dragged his bulge slowly up your clothed slit, “To just feel this, to feel me.”
You rolled your head back, drunk on the feeling off him teasing your clit with his clothed member, “Oh, fuck…”
Taeyong’s eyes were glazed over, small beads of sweat dripping down his jaw and neck. You leaned over and licked up the tantalizing drops, tasting the salt of his skin and humming as you pressed kiss after kiss to his neck. As much as you loved how Taeyong could have so much self control, you wanted release badly, for him to make you come all in your panties.
“Taeyong, please,” you whispered, panting as you looked at him pleadingly, biting your bottom lip in want.
Instantly his hips began to move faster, slowly working up to a newer, rougher speed that left your body on fire. His hands found their place back on your ass and he urged you to move along with him, his eyes burning with desire as you complied willingly. He rutted his hips into you, causing your breasts to bounce as he ground into you roughly. You cried out when he inched up only a little bit and found your clit, driving hard into the spot when he noticed your reaction. The roughness of his slacks felt like pure nirvana on your sensitive bundle of nerves and your voice broke as you called his name out.
Taeyong’s voice was deep and husky, urging you to release as he continued to dry hump you, “Come on baby girl, soak those panties for me. Show me how wet you can make them.”
He took hold of your hips and turned you onto your side, hooking one of your legs over his shoulder as he drove into you on his knees. The new angle at which he rubbed against you made you see stars, and you felt your release upon you. You gave one last strained moan, gasping as you threw your head back and came hard, flooding your underwear with your essence as Taeyong continued to thrust against you, chasing his own high. A few moments later, he came crashing down as well, hips stuttering as he came inside of his pants, his member straining over and over against the fabric, so much so that you could see it twitching. You watched with half lidded eyes as Taeyong groaned, his head lolling back and languidly rolling his hips against your heat. It was possibly the hottest thing you’d ever seen and you felt your core tighten one last time as you came again. You gasped and road out the mini release, reaching down and rubbing yourself through your panties as best you could to prolong the feeling. Taeyong groaned at the sight, leaning down to kiss you again, swapping saliva with you as your tongues danced in sync.
When the two of you had regained your breath, Taeyong flopped down beside you, scattering notes off the bed as he pulled you into his arms. You welcomed his embrace, burying yourself deep into chest as you inhaled his homey scent, like laundry detergent and something so Taeyong it hurt.
He cradled your head and murmured against your hair, “You’re so incredible, ______, you know that?”
You laughed breathily into his skin, kissing his collarbones as you whispered, “And do you know how amazing you are, Lee Taeyong?”
You looked up and was met with a soft smile that you leaned in and kissed gently, “I mean it,” you affirmed with another kiss to his cheek, “You don’t need me to motivate you because you’re already so good on your own.”
“Doesn’t mean I still don’t want you,” he mumbled, looking away with a blush on his cheeks. “I’m sorry if I came off like a douchebag, it’s just you’re so cool, ______, and I just wanted to impress you-”
You stopped him with a kiss, laughing against his mouth as you pulled away to see his confused gaze, “And here I was thinking I was the lame girl with the gorgeous popular boy chasing after her.”
“No,” he chuckled, rolling his eyes and dragging his lips against your neck. “You just get the nerdy guy who can’t talk to girls without coming off like a dork.”
You laughed and played with his hair, gazing at him adoringly, “You’re really a strange one, Lee Taeyong. I like that.”
“You can keep me around if you like,” the gorgeous boy smiled, “So long as you be my study partner…and my girlfriend.”
“I think I can agree to those terms,” you grinned pulling him down to kiss him way past sunset. Your notes and studying were completely forgotten as the sun sank below the horizon. The two of you had cleaned up as best as you could when you remembered your parents would be home from work. It was a comical scene, but one you would remember fondly as you and Taeyong worked to scrub the stain from the front of his pants. He even met your parents that night, introducing himself like he was born to be brought home to a family. Years later, you could still remember that whole day with amusement and love, knowing you were still happily with that sheepish boy who made you laugh until your cried.
...I just realized...Actually, neither transgender people nor "non-binaries" exist, nor will they exist. You can feel the opposite sex. You can operate to look like the opposite sex. You can change the shape of your genitals to those of the opposite sex. You can dress with socially designated clothing for the opposite sex. But your set of chromosomes remains the same. You are still female or male. Same, ''non-binary '' people...There are only two genres: Male or female+
+And you are, like it or not, one of them. Why do people insist on that? Why do people insist that you can change something that is inherently impossible to change? You can be homosexual perfectly, because either genre can attract you sexually or romantically, it doesn’t really have to do with whether you feel masculine or feminine, it just has to do with what atracts you. But you can’t avoid being one of the two genders, nor can you change it. You’re still one gender, like it or not.
I am going to break from my usual sarcastic routine for a moment and answer under the assumption that you are speaking in good faith from a place of ignorance, not as a malicious troll. Judging by your spelling errors, I’m also guessing you are young. Perhaps that is my mistake, but I will offer you some patience that you are unlikely to receive elsewhere.
First of all, the idea of “biological sex” is really only useful when referring to reproductive capacity. There’s a whole lot more to human sex and gender than that, which I will get into in a moment.
You may or may not be familiar with the concept of “intersex”. Humans, like virtually all other animals, experience a great deal of diversity when it comes to how sex chromosomes are constructed and expressed. You probably know of XX (”female”) and XY (”male”), but some people may be X, XXY, XYY, XXYY, XXX. These constructions are less common and may be associated with certain complications, but the point is: XX and XY are not the full story, nor some unbreakable rule. Even having “typical” chromosomes is no guarantee of physical development - some people with XY chromosomes develop typical “female” characteristics, including breasts and vaginas, because their bodies do not respond to androgens to a greater or lesser degree. These people may go their whole lives believing they have XX chromosomes. Others may have XX chromosomes, but will not develop wombs and will have typically “male” sexual traits. Still others may develop traits that are “in-between” and resist simplistic classification as “male” or “female” - ex., both functional ovaries and testicles. Some people are even intersex chimeras, possessing DNA that is both XY and XX after the in utero absorption of a fraternal twin’s genetic material. One cell might be “male”, another “female”. I’ve read estimates that as many as 1 out of 100 people have an intersex condition. Common? Well, enough so that rigid, “opposite” understandings of sex are just plumb wrong.
Importantly, intersex and transgender are not the same thing. Some intersex people do ID as trans, and many of the hormonal and surgical treatments they may seek are the same.
“Sex” describes several very different things: chromosomes, genitalia, secondary sexual characteristics, and the physical structure of brains. Sex chromosomes, as I explained, are not completely correlated with physical expression. Genitalia exist on a spectrum of size and functioning. Secondary sexual characteristics, such as hair, breast tissue, voice pitch, and skin type, are dependent on hormones. Brains are where it gets tricky - while there are sexual differences between brains, they’re extremely variable and it’s currently impossible to determine how much of that is genetic, hormonal, or affected by social conditioning.
A transgender person will not be able to change their chromosomes, but they are able to affect the other aspects of sex. Someone with XX chromosomes, who does not have an intersex condition, may take testosterone treatments that will deepen the voice, increase body and facial hair, create male-pattern hairlines, develop muscle, lengthen the clitoris, redistribute fat, halt ovulation and menstruation, and affect the womb and vagina. The hormones will also affect the structure of the brain, whether or not the individual had a “male”-typical brain before treatment. Someone with XY chromosomes who embarks on an estrogen/androgen-blocking treatment will experience fat redistribution, breast growth, possibly lactation, minor voice changes, changes in hair density and texture, halt production of sperm and ejaculate fluid, decrease erectile tissue, shrinking of testicles, ect. They may also develop more “female-typical” brains.
(Related note: external genitalia is developed in response to in utero sex hormones. Ovaries/testes and clitoris/penis develop from the same tissues.)
I want to take a brief moment to talk about a couple of non-human animals, because neat biology facts is kind of my thing, I guess. Honeybees effectively have three genders: drones, males used almost exclusively for sexual reproduction; workers, genetically female but infertile bees which do typical “bee stuff”; and queen bees, which are the mothers of the hive and spend their lives laying eggs. A queen bee and a worker bee are genetically identical - queen bees start off as regular worker larvae but are fed an exclusive diet of royal jelly to induce their sexual development. Very, very rarely, a worker bee will have ovaries just barely developed enough to allow for reproduction under extreme and unstable circumstances, laying only a small handful of unfertilized, genetically male eggs that occasionally live to become drones. It does not make sense to classify honeybees as either “female” or “male”, because genetics end up playing a smaller role than environmental factors.
Also…. chickens! Many cities allow backyard chicken coops, but specifically ban keeping roosters within city limits due to them being noisy nuisances. Most urban coops contain only hens… that is, until one spontaneously becomes a sterile rooster. A hen may slowly transform by growing spurs, a large comb, crowing obnoxiously, and becoming protective of the other hens, and even trying to mate with them. Despite having the DNA of a hen, it becomes a rooster in every way that counts to city officials, your neighbors, and other chickens. (There are many other species that can change sex and become fertile/virile, but I wanted to talk about chickens ‘cause no one else does.)
ANYWAY. At the very least, I think we’ve established that the biology of “sex” is complicated, and perhaps you now understand why “gender” is a separate-but-related concept. If “sex” refers to a mess of DNA and physical traits, then “gender” describes social and mental phenomena. Because we straight-up just invented society and norms, “masculinity” and “femininity” are highly subjective terms and their relationship to biology is… the subject of thousands of years of debate. Really. But we’re social animals, so social constructs are “real” in a certain sense. We are constantly training each other to behave in certain ways from the moment of birth - enforcing some things, discouraging others, molding and influencing each other with cultural expectations. What that means to us depends on the unique cocktail of biological and social experiences of each individual. We are not currently able to give a definitive scientific answer to “why” people are transgender - not that there’s one universal Transgender Experience, anyway. We do know that it’s nothing new, and that we are currently living in an era where science and technology can provide realization to all kinds of needs and desires with relative ease and safety. People’s business is their business. Ultimately, we are little more than neural jellyfish, floating briefly in a sea of mystery. Instead of being afraid of and condemning what we don’t understand or empathize with, we owe each other patience, compassion, and respect.
Since 2012, Speciesism: The Movie director Mark Devries has been secretly using spy drones to investigate and expose the environmental devastation caused by factory farms. In this investigation, the drones capture shocking aerial video footage of several massive facilities that supply pigs for Smithfield Foods.
You may have heard of drone racing, but people keep coming up with new ways to enjoy these flying machines.
One of the latest twists on drone sports comes from Latvia.
A company called Aerones has developed a drone to use for droneboarding, a new sport that’s just what it sounds like — a snowboarder being pulled through the snow by a powerful drone.
When the company first tried droneboarding last year, as a way to test the strength of its drones, the sport didn’t even have its name. “We didn’t call it like that in the beginning, but somebody, somewhere said droneboarding, and that’s how it took off,” Aerones CEO Janis Putrams says.
One of Trump’s first acts as president was an executive order to ban federal money going to international groups that perform or provide information on abortions. Making it clear that he’ll only provide billion-dollar funding to terminate young lives overseas if some kind of US-made drone is involved.