Category Archives: Health Care

Pediatric study claims fewer kids die from guns in states with stricter laws

This study was conducted for only a five-year period.

They speak about “mandated universal background checks” as if some states don’t even have UBCs.

From Yahoo (via USA Today): Children living in states with more restrictions on firearms are less likely to die from them, a new study says.

States with the strictest gun laws had about 40% fewer firearm-related deaths among children compared with states with the most lax laws, according to the study, published Monday in journal Pediatrics.

“This means, that we may be able to reduce the pediatric death toll in our country by nearly half with strengthened gun safety laws,” lead author Monika Goyal told USA TODAY.

Her team also found that states mandating universal background checks prior to gun purchases had 35% lower gun-related mortality rates in children.

Goyal, an epidemiologist and research director of the emergency division of Children’s National pediatric hospital in Washington, D.C., said she feels compelled to find ways to prevent gun violence – which many say has become a public health crisis. “As a pediatric emergency medicine physician, I personally have cared for too many children who have been unfortunate victims of gun violence,” she said.

Increasing gun-related deaths among children have become a key issue in the USA. A study released last fall found that firearm-related injuries were the second leading cause of deaths among children in the U.S. in 2016.

Rebecca Cunningham, lead author of the 2018 study and emergency medicine professor at the University of Michigan, said guns are especially dangerous around children because of a lack of maturity.

“Children and adolescents do not have the brain maturity to resist impulsive behavior successfully,” Cunningham said. “In other settings, this lack of mature impulse control is not fatal. When reaching for a gun as a toddler or as a depressed or angry teen, that impulsivity is often fatal due to the lethality of the firearms.”

The Pediatrics study found that 21,241 people under 21 died of firearm-related injuries from 2011 to 2015. This means more than 10 children die from gun violence every day, Goyal said.

Lars Dalseide, National Rifle Association spokesperson, said the NRA has made strong efforts to promote the safe and responsible use of firearms. One example is the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, a gun accident prevention program that teaches kids about gun safety.

Dalseide said he was skeptical of the study’s methods. “Any social scientist worth their salt has to question a study that cherry-picks a microscopic 5-year time window of data when there is more than 50 years of data available,” he said.

There’s still more work to be done in order to understand how legislation may effectively reduce gun-related deaths among children, Goyal said, but it’s a similar process to researching the relationship between car safety and laws.

“Just as we have invested in rigorous scientific research to inform policies related to motor vehicle passenger safety – which have in turn dramatically reduced the number of pediatric deaths from motor vehicle collisions – we must embrace the same evidence-based strategies if we wish to curtail the firearm epidemic in our country,” Goyal said.

Cunningham co-leads the Firearm-Safety Among Children & Teens Consortium (FACTS) researchers across the country working to prevent gun violence against children. She said it’s critical to pursue research into gun violence to gain a full understanding of the issue.

“We don’t have to accept the continued rise of deaths among our children and teens by firearm injury,” Cunningham said. “This is an addressable public health issue, that can be accomplished by injury prevention science while respecting the rights of our citizens.”

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UK Christian doctor lost his job after refusing to identify a six-foot-tall bearded man as “madam”

The good doctor fired for his religious beliefs

From The Telegraph: A Christian doctor lost his job in a government department after he refused to refer to “a six-foot-tall bearded man” as ‘madam’, a tribunal heard.

Dr. David Mackereth, 56, claims he was sacked as a disability benefits assessor by the Department of Work and Pensions over his religious beliefs.

The father-of-four alleges he was asked in a conversation with a line manager: “If you have a man six foot tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs.’, would you do that?”

Dr. Mackereth, an evangelist who now works as an emergency doctor in Shropshire, claims his contract was then terminated over his refusal to use transgendered pronouns.

He argues that he was dismissed “not because of any realistic concerns over the rights and sensitivities of transgender individuals, but because of my refusal to make an abstract ideological pledge”.

The doctor is now suing the government at an employment tribunal for discrimination on the grounds of his religious belief.

A hearing in Birmingham was told how Dr. Mackereth believes transgenderism is a “delusional belief” and an ideology “which I disbelieve and detest”.

In a statement admitted into evidence, he told the court: “If you believe in gender fluidity, gender is no more than one’s own fantasy about oneself.”

The trained theologian and “unashamed” Christian, who has 30 years’ medical experience, secured a job as a Health and Disability Assessor at Birmingham’s Fiveways assessment centre in May 2018.

He told the tribunal he was suspended the following month after being “interrogated” by his boss, James Owen, for refusing to “call any six-foot-tall bearded man ‘madam’ on his whim”. The medic claims he was told he was “overwhelmingly likely” to lose his job unless he agreed.

Dr. Mackereth left his role on June 25, 2018, after an email exchange with Mr. Owen in which he was instructed to follow the “process as discussed in your training”.

The email read: “If however you do not want to do this, we will respect your decision and your right to leave your contract.” Dr Mackereth replied: “I am a Christian and in good conscience cannot do what the DWP is requiring of me.”

He insists he did not resign his position and is the victim of direct discrimination and harassment.

Dr. Mackereth told the hearing: “The very fact a doctor can be pulled of the shop floor for an urgent interrogation about his beliefs on gender fluidity is both absurd and very sinister, even more so if it results in a dismissal.

“If something like that happened in a church setting – people being pulled out of a pew, questioned, and then excommunicated – that would be seen as an outrageous example of religious intolerance and bigotry.”

The DWP argues that Dr. Mackereth’s views are in breach of the 2010 Equality Act. APM, the recruitment company who hired the medic, is also being sued for religious discrimination.

The company claims that the doctor’s beliefs “are not compatible with human dignity”.

In a statement put before the court, Dr. Mackereth said: “I appreciate that in the present political climate, some people, including some of those who believe they are transgender, may find my beliefs to be offensive.

“However, in a free society, this is not a good enough reason to censor my beliefs and coerce me to act contrary to my conscience. Moreover, as a doctor, my responsibility is always to act in good conscience in the best interest of the patients – not to adopt various fancies, prejudices, or delusions, to avoid offence at all cost.”

Dr. Mackereth added that his inherent belief is that transgenderism is a “rebellion against God, which is both pointless and sinful”.

He said: “I am, of course, aware that there are men or women who believe they have been trapped in a wrong body, and I do not question the sincerity of their convictions. “A small number of such people have always existed. Up until recently, such a belief was considered by medics to be delusional and a symptom of a medical disorder.

“It is only recently that transgenderism has been recognised as normal and such delusional beliefs accepted at face value. What is responsible for that change is political pressure, not scientific evidence.

The legal case, which is listed until next week, is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
Chief executive Andrea Williams described Dr. Mackereth as “a Christian hero who chose to sacrifice his distinguished professional career rather than compromise on the Bible and his conscience”.

The hearing continues.

h/t Moonbattery

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Beyoncé exposed her crotch at premier of Disney children’s movie ‘Lion King’

Yesterday, July 14, the Disney movie “The Lion King” premiered in Leicester Square, London, UK.

Among the “celebrities” in attendance were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (in a one-size-too-small $4,343 dress designed by Jason Wu), Beyoncé, who voices Nala in the movie, and her satanist husband, Jay Z.

The Lion King” is a live-action remake of the 1994 animated movie of the same name, which 34-year-old Prince Harry says is his favorite movie of all time, having watched it more than 20 times. Arrested development, anyone?

This is what 37-year-old Beyoncé wore for the premier of a children’s movie — a yellow gown slit to the waist, which exposes her legs, and which, when she walks, reveals her (unshaved) crotch.

Warning: Not Safe For Work (NSFW)

From a public health perspective, I sure wouldn’t want to sit down where she had sat without giving the seat a thorough wipe-down with bleach.

Well, at least we now know for sure that her blonde hair comes from a bottle.

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~Eowyn

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The beauty of government-run healthcare: NHS waiting lists hit another record with 4.4 Million people waiting for ROUTINE operations

From Daily Mail: The NHS waiting list has hit another record high with almost 4.4 million people now waiting for routine treatment.

For a third month running the figure has risen to a new high, increasing by a quarter of a million people between February and May alone.

Other statistics also revealed by NHS England today show the number of A&E patients stuck on trolleys waiting for an inpatient bed has increased by 70 per cent in a year.

Health leaders said the next Prime Minister must tackle the problem or risk ‘chaos’ in the health service.

With waiting times at A&E departments worse in May and June this year than in the run-up to Christmas, it has been feared the NHS is now in a ‘year-round-crisis’.

The Royal College of Nursing Director in England, Patricia Marquis, said the total 4.39 million waiting list did not come as a shock. ‘This is no surprise when NHS England themselves attribute the delays highlighted in the monthly waiting time statistics to “continued staffing and bed pressures”,’ she said. ‘A new Prime Minister will have no alternative but to get a grip on this situation.

‘Today’s statistics show that whether it’s a hospital treatment, a cancer diagnosis or care or a simple GP appointment, patients are having to wait longer and longer.

‘With one in ten nursing posts currently vacant in England alone, the situation will not change unless the NHS manages to recruit more staff.’

The waiting times refer to patients who are waiting for routine but important operations such as joint replacements. Those included in the 4.39 million on the waiting list are the ones who have been referred for surgery by a specialist but have not yet had the procedure.

May’s figure was around 90,000 higher than April’s. The rise, from 4.3 million to 4.39 million people. In comparison, a year ago there were 4.09 million people on the list, and two years earlier it was 3.81 million.

More than 1,000 patients have been waiting more than a year for their treatment – however this figure has slowly been decreasing over the past few months.

Read the whole story here.

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FOTM helps you to stave off senile dementia!

Losing memory as we age is a sign of mild cognitive impairment, which can be a gateway to senile dementia, including Alzheimer’s. By using and keeping active our brains, however, we can help keep it sharp.

According to a new study published online July 10 in the journal Neurology, keeping our brains active as you age, whether it be working on a computer, playing games or being socially involved, can ward off memory loss.

For the study, psychiatrist Dr. Yonas Geda of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, and his colleagues followed 2,000 men and women (average age 78)  who didn’t suffer from mild cognitive impairment for 5 years. The participants answered questions about mentally stimulating activities they engaged in when they were 50 and when they were 66 and older. Participants also took thinking and memory tests every 15 months. During the 5 years of the study, 532 people developed mild cognitive impairment.

The researchers found that:

  • Those who used a computer (such as accessing, reading, and commenting on FOTM!) during middle age had a 48% lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. Using a computer after age 66 was linked to a 30% lower risk. Computer use during middle and old age reduced the risk of thinking and memory problems by 37%.
  • Involvement in social activities (being with friends, going to the movies, etc.) and playing games were both tied to a 20% lower risk for mild cognitive impairment.
  • Doing crafts in later life was linked to a 42% lower risk for mild cognitive impairment.
  • The more activities people engaged in, the less likely they were to develop mild cognitive impairment:
    • Doing two activities was associated with a 28% lower risk of developing memory and thinking problems, compared with those who didn’t do any activities.
    • Those who did three activities lowered the risk by 45%.
    • Doing four activities reduced the risk 56%.

Heather Snyder, senior director for medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer’s Association, said: “This study aligns with a growing body of evidence that there are steps you can take today to help keep your brain healthier as you age, and perhaps also reduce your risk of cognitive decline. Keeping your brain healthy is a lifelong pursuit and staying engaged in a variety of mentally and socially stimulating activities is important throughout one’s life.”

Dr. Geda said why keeping mentally active has this effect isn’t known, but it might be that the brain responds positively to increased use “like watering a flower.” It’s also possible that people who engage in mental activities also have other good behaviors that benefit brain health, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet.

Regardless of why being mentally active staves off senile dementia, the good news is that even people over 70 can benefit from mental activity. Dr. Geda said: “Our study shows that it’s never too late to engage in mental activities. These activities don’t need to be expensive, they’re accessible and simple and reduce the risk for mild cognitive impairment.”

Source: Medicine Net

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~Eowyn

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Some prescription drugs, incl. antidepressants, have 50% higher dementia risk

Dementia, also known as senility, is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term decrease in the ability to think, remember, and speak. such that a person’s daily functioning is affected. Approximately 7.7 million new cases of dementia are identified every year—which amounts to one new case every four seconds.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a severe form of dementia that makes up 50% to 70% of all cases of senile dementia, affecting an estimated 5.2 million Americans, according to 2013 statistics. As many as 1 in 9 seniors over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s, and the disease is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer.

Other common types of senile dementia include vascular dementia (25%), Lewy body dementia (15%), and frontotemporal dementia.

While we cannot change your age and family history, there are modifiable lifestyle factors we can control to reduce our risk for developing senile dementia. Those factors include diet, physical activity, weight (obesity), cognitive activitysmoking (tobacco), and diabetes.

Now comes news that certain prescription drugs, specifically anticholinergic drugs, carry a 50% higher dementia risk.

Anticholinergic drugs inhibit parasympathetic nerve impulses by selectively blocking the binding of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to its receptor in nerve cells. The nerve fibers of the parasympathetic system are responsible for the involuntary movement of smooth muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, lungs, and many other parts of the body.

Anticholinergic medicines have short-term cognitive adverse effects, but scientists have also long found a possible link between those drugs and an increased risk of dementia

The link is now confirmed by a recent study of more than 284,000 UK adults, aged 55 and older, by a team of 6 medical scientists in England who found statistically significant associations of dementia risk with exposure to the following anticholinergic prescription drugs:

  • Antidepressants such as paroxetine or amitriptyline.
  • Antiparkinson drugs.
  • Antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine or olanzapine.
  • Anti-epileptic drugs such as oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine.
  • Bladder antimuscarinics such as oxybutynin or tolterodine to treat overactive bladder.

The study is published as “Anticholinergic Drug Exposure and the Risk of Dementia: A Nested Case-Control Study” in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, June 24, 2019. The authors are Carol A. Coupland, PhD; Trevor Hill, MSc; Trevor Hill, MSc; Tom Dening, MD; Richard Morriss, MD; Michael Moore, MSc; and Julia Hippisley-Cox, MD.

The study:

58, 769 patients with a diagnosis of dementia and 225, 574 controls 55 years or older were matched by age, sex, general practice, and calendar time. Information on prescriptions for 56 drugs with strong anticholinergic properties was used to calculate measures of cumulative anticholinergic drug exposure. Data were analyzed from May 2016 to June 2018.

Of the entire study population (284 343 case patients and matched controls), 179, 365 (63.1%) were women, and the mean (SD) age was 82.2 (6.8) years.

Results:

The researchers found “there was nearly a 50% increased odds of dementia” associated with a total anticholinergic exposure of more than 1,095 daily doses within a 10-year period, which is equivalent to an older adult taking a strong anticholinergic medication daily for at least three years.

The odds of dementia increased from 1.06 among those with the lowest anticholinergic exposure to 1.49 among those with the highest exposure, compared with having no prescriptions for anticholinergic drugs.

Happily, the study found no significant increases in dementia risk associated with other classes of anticholinergic drugs, such as antihistamines, skeletal muscle relaxants, gastrointestinal antispasmodics, antiarrhythmics, or antimuscarinic bronchodilators.

Conclusion:

Exposure to several types of strong anticholinergic drugs is associated with an increased risk of dementia. These drugs should be prescribed with caution in middle-aged and older adults. 

Carol Coupland, the leading author of the study who is professor of medical statistics in primary care at the University of Nottingham, England, said: “The study is important because it strengthens a growing body of evidence showing that strong anticholinergic drugs have long term associations with dementia risk. It also highlights which types of anticholinergic drugs have the strongest associations. This is important information for physicians to know when considering whether to prescribe these drugs.”

Coupland cautions that “this is an observational study so no firm conclusions can be drawn about whether these anticholinergic drugs cause dementia,” and that people taking these medications are advised to consult with their doctor first before discontinuing the meds. 

However, if the association between these anticholinergic drugs and senile dementia is causal, this could mean that around 10% of dementia diagnoses are attributable to anticholinergic drug exposure, which would equate to around 20,000 of the 209,600 new cases of dementia per year in the United Kingdom.

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~Eowyn

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Biden vows to bring back Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty for not having insurance

From CNBC: Joe Biden, former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, said Friday he would bring back the individual mandate, the penalty for not having health insurance, which was a pillar of the Affordable Care Act.

“Yes, I’d bring back the individual mandate,” Biden said in an interview on CNN. The individual mandate would be popular now, “compared to what’s being offered,” he added.

Biden played an integral part in crafting the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare. However, President Donald Trump eliminated the individual mandate in 2017 by signing the Republican tax bill, effective the 2019 tax year.

Nearly all of the Democratic presidential hopefuls support some kind of government health-care plan.

While he does not support of “Medicare for All,” Biden said people should have the option to buy into Medicare if they want it.

“If you provide an option for anybody who in fact wants to buy into Medicare for All, they can buy in,” the Democratic presidential front-runner said.

Biden also took a nuanced approach Friday, saying he supports providing emergency health care for undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

“I think undocumented people need to have a means by which they can be covered when they’re sick,” Biden said. “In an emergency, they should have health care.”

Read the whole story here.

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Obese model Tess Holliday comes out as queer while her husband calls himself a “queer dad”

Eye bleach warning…Also, the photo below may not be appropriate to view while at work 🙂

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Tess Holliday/Instagram photo

If you don’t even know how to describe your sexuality at 33 years old, then how can your life suddenly make sense? Liberal logic never makes sense to me…

From Daily Mail: Tess Holliday has opened up about navigating her own sexuality, revealing that she has recently realized she is queer.

The 33-year-old model graces the cover of Nylon magazine’s July 2019 digital issue in a flirty yellow swimsuit, and during her interview, she recalled recently chatting with a man at a hotel pool in Mexico when he asked if she was bisexual.

‘I said, ‘Thank you so much for asking. I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship to my own queerness, and I think the word pansexual speaks to me more than bi does,’ she said, but it turned out the guy was only asking if she was ‘buying’ ⁠— not ‘bi.’

Tess isn’t exactly sure how to describe her sexual identity, but the interaction is proof that it is something that has been on her mind. When asked if she would be in a romantic relationship with a woman, she said, ‘Yeah!’ adding, ‘I might not know, like, what to do. But I feel like I’d figure it out.’

Though she now knows she is queer, the realization is more complicated because she has been in a monogamous heterosexual marriage with her husband, Nick Holliday, since 2015. Nick, an artist from Australia, describes himself as a ‘queer dad’ on his Instagram bio, and the couple will be celebrating their four year wedding anniversary on Friday.

‘I feel like a lot of stuff in my life now makes sense. A lot of the things that I felt when I was younger make sense. A lot of the relationships that I had make sense,’ Tess said of realizing she is queer. ‘I definitely have a sense of relief. I can connect with people on a more intimate level than I was before, because I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not.’

Tess shared a similar sentiment on Instagram Monday when she posted a photo of herself modeling a rainbow bra and a pink lace thong. ‘Happy Pride y’all!’ she wrote. ‘I’ve always been an ally for the LGBTQ community & I find myself trying to navigate my own sexual identity. I’m still figuring out how I identify and that’s okay because everyone’s journey is different. Love y’all.’

During her interview with Nylon, the plus-size star also opened up about getting an abortion as a mother-of-two, sharing that she opted to have the procedure done at Planned Parenthood instead of at the private doctor’s office in Beverly Hills that she was referred to.

Tess grew up in the Bible Belt of Mississippi, a state that had just one abortion clinic, and she is an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood. The mom first discussed the abortion on Instagram in May in response to Alabama’s decision to impose a near-total ban on abortions, including those for victims of rape or incest.

In her post, she explained that she couldn’t mentally handle being pregnant again after suffering postpartum. Although it was a difficult decision, she said it isn’t one that she regrets. Tess, who has been candid about her struggles with postpartum depression on social media, has a three-year-old son named Bowie with Nick and a 13-year-old son named Rylee from a previous relationship.

The social media star has more than 1.9 million followers, and she is not shy about using her platform to fight for what she believes in. However, she told Nylon that there are certain brands that will send her free clothes but won’t work with her because of how controversial she is.

‘Why is it controversial that I chose to talk about my abortion?’ she asked. ‘And the fact that I got an abortion when I was in a marriage and could have financially supported a child, why did I feel so much shame for that?’

She continued: ‘Why is it controversial to talk about the fact that fat people deserve to take up space and deserve to be sexy? All of that just makes me so angry, because I see so many people that are plus-sized figures and figures in general, like celebrities, and they will post Black Lives Matter in their Insta-Stories, but not on their page because they don’t want to mess up their beautiful feed.

‘It just makes me so mad because this is why people are dying, this is why people feel so alone. We are not showing up for these people, and we are not telling them that they matter.’

Tess, who has been working with trainer Massy Arias since last summer, prepared for the physically challenging beach shoot in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, by working out five days a week for months ahead of time. She was also mindful about what she ate but pointed out that it was ‘not in a toxic, diet culture-restrictive way.’

However, on the day of the shoot, Tess struggled with posing while her feet sunk in the sand and the waves crashed around her. A blister on her foot also popped, making it a somewhat uncomfortable experience for her.

Although Nylon editor-in-chief Gabrielle Korn said the model was a ‘hard working professional’ during the shoot, Tess feared she was coming off as a diva. ‘Obviously I probably have internalized fatphobia about myself and what the world has ingrained in us,’ she said, adding: ‘I allowed a lot to just get into my head, and I tried so hard to get out of it, but I felt like I just kept digging further.’

See also:

Make It Stop: Obese model Tess Holliday again promoting unhealthy body size

Size 26 Tess Holliday leads an army of curvy models at London Fashion Week to promote “body positivity”

‘He is a PIG’: Plus-size model Tess Holliday dons ‘Dump Trump’ T-shirt for new fashion ad

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High arsenic levels in two bottled water

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports released findings that two brands of bottled water contained nearly double the federal limit of arsenic in water.

Now, Consumer Reports‘ findings are confirmed by California’s non-profit Center for Environmental Health.

HeathDay News reports, via Medicine Net, June 21, 2019, that these two bottled water containing levels of arsenic higher than tap water in violation of federal and California guidelines, are sold at Whole Foods, Target and Walmart:

  • Penafiel, owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper.
  • Starkey, owned by Whole Foods.

High levels of arsenic can cause reproductive damage and cancer, as well as hormone disruption and organ damage, especially in children. Products that violate recommended state levels of arsenic must carry a warning, according to California law.

Michael Green, CEO of the Center for Environmental Health, said in a statement: “Customers typically purchase bottled water at exorbitantly high costs with the assumption that it is safer and healthier to drink than tap water, unaware that they are ingesting an extremely toxic metal linked to birth defects and cancer.”

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not recalled either brand of bottled water.

~Eowyn

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Guess what a Washington state public library is raffling for tweens during Pride Week…

Chest binders!

The Renton library, part of the King County public library system, held a Teen Pride event yesterday. From their web site:

Suitable for: Teens, Tweens

Type: Celebrations

Description:

A pride celebration designed by teens for teens!

Learn about local organizations here to support you! Free lunch and dinner! Fun crafts! Loads of activities! Open mic! Karaoke! Advice panels! Safer sex presentations! A drag show! Free swag! Free binder raffle!

The most rainbow filled fun you can imagine!

Chest binders are used by women who want to flatten their breasts. But there are medical risks associated with binders such as numbness, chafed skin, back pain, overheating and shortness of breath, among other things.

But never mind that…it’s the most rainbow filled fun you can imagine!

DCG

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