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Lizzo called Beyoncé her ‘North Star’ during her ‘Carpool Karaoke’ appearance

Lizzo told James Corden about how listening to "B'Day" helped her out of depression after dropping out of college.

Biden: Americans will be “seeing for the first time” details of Jan. 6 riot during tonight’s hearing

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting at the Summit of the Americas on Thursday.
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting at the Summit of the Americas on Thursday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/AP)

Ahead of the House select committee’s Jan. 6 hearing, President Biden said many Americans will be “seeing for the first time” details that occurred during the insurrection at the Capitol.

The President said the actions taken on that day were a “flagrant violation of the Constitution” and that the committee’s hearing is going to “occupy” the country.

“I think it was a clear, flagrant violation of the Constitution. I think these guys and women broke the law — tried to turn around a result of an election and there’s a lot of questions, who’s responsible, who’s involved,” Biden said in Los Angeles at the beginning of a bilateral with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

2 witnesses who interacted directly with the Proud Boys during the Capitol riot will testify tonight

Nick Quested will testify during the Jan. 6 House select committee hearing about his experience filming members of the Proud Boys during the riot at the Capitol.
Nick Quested will testify during the Jan. 6 House select committee hearing about his experience filming members of the Proud Boys during the riot at the Capitol. (Mike Pont/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

The Jan. 6 House select committee says its hearing tonight will include testimony from two witnesses who interacted directly with the Proud Boys during the riot at the Capitol.

The panel announced earlier this week that it will call documentarian Nick Quested to testify about his experience filming members of the Proud Boys in the week leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021, and Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was injured after she was part of an altercation involving members of the Proud Boys while defending the US Capitol.

Quested has already been deposed by the committee and Justice Department officials about his experience and has provided the committee and the department with video footage from the filming of his documentary.

He was embedded with the Proud Boys for a significant period of time leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, and is considered a firsthand fact witness because of the amount of time he spent with the group.

Some background: Leaders of the Proud Boys were involved in some of the early clashes that overpowered police lines and breached the Capitol. The group has been a focus of the Justice Department for months, and on Monday the agency charged the head of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, and four other leaders with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 attack.

These are the most aggressive charges brought by the Justice Department against the Proud Boys, and the first allegations by prosecutors that the group tried to forcibly oppose the presidential transfer of power.

Tarrio and his co-defendants previously pleaded not guilty to an earlier slate of charges.

DAREDEVILS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES DURING INSANE STUNTS

base jumper

Human beings have been craving adrenaline since the first caveman dared the first lion to “catch me if you can.” That’s not to say that we all crave danger, but it’s so much a part of our DNA that if we don’t chase those thrills ourselves, we enjoy watching other people do it. If we didn’t, YouTube probably wouldn’t exist. But the awful truth about daredevils and their envelope-pushing stunts is that one day, their luck will run out, tragedy will strike, and loved ones will have to pay the price. Here are a few notorious examples of stunts that went horribly wrong.

WING-SUITS ARE DANGEROUS EVEN IF YOU’RE EXPERIENCED
In another tragic base jumping accident, well-known climber Dean Potter and his friend Graham Hunt died in Yosemite National Park when they jumped from Taft Point wearing wing-suits and crashed into a rocky ridgeline that Yosemite’s chief of staff described as “spiny skechers outlet like a stegosaurus.” This accident highlights the sad fact that experience doesn’t necessarily protect you — Potter had made the exact same jump at least 20 times, and Hunt was probably similarly experienced.

Dean Potter was well-known in the extreme sports community and particularly well-known in Yosemite, where climbing is a popular sport. He was the first person to “free climb” (using only hands and feet, although safety ropes can also be used) three-quarters of the way up Half Dome, the granite peak that is roughly 4,800 feet above Yosemite Valley.

Potter was also controversial — he’d been kicked out of Yosemite a couple of times for such crimes as sleeping in the meadow and breaking the stems off a head of broccoli in the park store. More telling, he’d lost a couple of sponsorships because of his increasingly risky stunts, such as climbing the Delicate Arch in the Arches National Park, and base jumping, which was just a little too dangerous for the popular brand Clif Bar to stomach.

Other climbers expressed regret at Potter’s death, but the words of fellow climber Doug Robinson may have summed it up best: “We’re very sad … but not very surprised. He was pushing the envelope all his life.”

KYLE LEE STOCKING WENT SWINGING

worlds largest rope swing youtube video
You know how television shows about daredevils always have that standard “don’t try this at home” disclaimer? If only YouTube had the same requirement for their daredevil videos. Although seriously, just because some caption says “don’t try this at home” doesn’t mean people aren’t going to try dangerous things at home.

According to ABC News, in March 2013, Kyle Lee Stocking attempted to duplicate a feat he saw on YouTube. If the stunt had gone as planned, the 22-year-old would have swung beneath the 110-foot Corona arch near Moab, Utah, after jumping off the top. But bluetooth headphones he misjudged the length of the rope he was using, and instead of swinging he struck the ground. The impact killed him.

The tragedy highlighted a growing problem of people trying to imitate stunts they see on YouTube, from swallowing cinnamon (which can give you a collapsed lung) to jumping off moving vehicles.

While YouTube claims to prohibit content that encourages dangerous behavior, the video that inspired the fatal stunt is alive and well as of this writing. And still no “don’t try this at home” warning, either.

LIM BA HAD A HEART ATTACK WHILE LITERALLY COOKING HIMSELF IN A STEAMER

lim ba

The human capacity for dreaming up bizarre stunts is perhaps only surpassed by the public’s desire to watch people do bizarre stunts, which is a pretty lethal combo when you think about it. In October 2017, Malaysian magician Lim Ba attempted a “human steam” stunt, which basically involved him sitting inside a giant wok with some rice and sweet corn. If the stunt went well, Lim would come out unscathed with some ready-to-eat grains, presumably to pass out to onlookers or something.

Lim was a veteran of this particular stunt — he’d been performing it for more than a decade, and his record was 75 minutes, according to the Independent. But he was also approaching 70, was being treated for high blood pressure, and had recently sperry shoes had a heart bypass. So really, he wasn’t in peak physical condition at the time of his death.

Lim started knocking on the inside of the wok about 30 minutes into the performance. When onlookers removed the cover they found him unconscious, and by the time medical personnel arrived he was dead. The cause of death was a heart attack, though police also noted Lim had second-degree burns.

IT WORKED FROM A PLANE, BUT NOT FROM THIS BRIDGE

perrine memorial railroad bridge

In yet another base jumping tragedy, 73-year-old James E. Hickey of Claremont, California, jumped off the Perrine Memorial Bridge (pictured) in Twin Falls, Idaho, and died. First, he set his parachute on fire. According to USA Today, Hickey was attempting to recreate a stunt he’d already successfully performed, only the last time he’d jumped from an airplane instead of from a 500-foot bridge.

If the stunt had gone as planned, Hickey would have set his first parachute on fire, then disconnected it, then deployed a second chute in order to float to safety. But something went wrong, and the second chute opened too late. A video showed a fireball engulfing both chute and jumper. According to the coroner’s report, Hickey died of blunt-force trauma.

Hickey was an experienced base jumper who had completed more than 1,000 jumps over a 10-year period, thus proving once again that experience can’t save you when the base jumping grim reaper finally decides your time is up.

SAILENDRA NATH ROY USED HIS HAIR FOR EVERYTHING

sailendra nath roy

Some people are known for their super-strong arms. Some people are known for their super-strong legs. Sailendra Nath Roy was known for his super-strong hair. According to the BBC, throughout his pseudo-career as a daredevil (he also worked as a driver for the police department) he did a lot of crazy stunts with his hair, including pulling a narrow gauge train with his ponytail, which he claimed to keep strong with mustard oil and incredible feats of hair strength.

Roy held the Guinness record for farthest distance salomon boots on a zipline using hair, so he wasn’t new to the hairy circuit. But the 48-year-old might not have been in the best physical shape, and when something went wrong during his final performance, his heart was unable to withstand the stress.

Spectators said he stopped moving down the zipline after about 300 feet. He struggled for close to 30 minutes, shouting for help, but there were no emergency personnel on hand and no one could understand what he was saying. At the end of the half hour, he became still. When paramedics finally cut him down he’d already died … of a “massive heart attack.”

Officials said Roy didn’t have permission to do the stunt, and if he’d had a professional support team on hand the outcome might have been different. Instead, the stunt he promised his wife would be his last really did end up being his last, but for all the wrong reasons.

Marjorie Taylor Greene buys up to $50,000 worth of Trump SPAC stock during week of wild fluctuation

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 22: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), joined by members of the Freedom Caucus, speaks at a news conference about the National Defense Authorization Bill at the U.S. Capitol on September 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Freedom Caucus announced they will not support the military funding bill, saying it does not hold President Biden accountable for the Afghanistan withdrawal, it undermines homeland security and they oppose the female draft amendment to the bill.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., purchased as much as $50,000 in stock of the company that plans to merge with former president Donald Trump’s new media firm, the congresswoman disclosed in a filing on Tuesday.

Greene, an ardent Trump supporter, skechers outlet on Friday purchased between $15,001 and $50,000 in shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. The firm is a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, created to buy another business and give it a stock-market listing. Digital World trades on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker “DWAC.”

Digital World’s stock price swung widely on Friday, opening at $118.79 per share and rising as high as $175 per share. At its lowest, a share in Digital World sold for $67.96 that day. It is not clear what price Greene bought the shares at.

On Tuesday, when Greene disclosed the purchase in a congressional filing, the stock closed at $59.07 per share. On Wednesday, it closed at $64.89. The disclosure was first noted by congresstrading.com, which tracks stock purchases by members of Congress.

Since news of Digital World’s proposed combination with Trump’s company, the “meme stock” had been the subject of posts on the Reddit channel WallStreetBets, a forum where day traders have seized on stocks like GameStop and AMC.

Trump Media and Technology Group said last week that it would merge with Digital World as it announced the development of a new social media platform called Truth Social. Trump said in a statement that the network would “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.” The former president was booted from Facebook and Twitter after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

The chief executive of Digital World, Patrick Orlando, said last week that “given the total addressable market and President Trump’s large following, we believe the [Trump Media and Technology Group] opportunity has the potential to create significant shareholder value.”

Other social media platforms, including several targeted at conservatives, have tried, largely unsuccessfully,bluetooth headphones  to chip away at the hold that Facebook and Twitter have in the United States. Parler was briefly popular after Trump was forced off Twitter and Facebook, but it was shuttered for weeks by Amazon, which pulled its cloud support over concerns that the platform was not doing enough to moderate incitements to violence. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Trump has been planning Truth Social, which is set to launch in November in beta form and in full next year, for months. After the launch of his blog, “From the Desk of Donald Trump,” was deflated by low readership, he told his advisers he was concerned that the underwhelming performance could cast doubt on the platform he wanted to create, The Washington Post previously reported.

His new company also plans to launch a streaming service that offers “‘non-woke’ entertainment programming, news, podcasts, and more.”

Before it was publicly released, Truth Social was already the subject of online trolling. The site was briefly accessible to the public after the announcement last week, allowing people to claim usernames. One account, under the username “donaldjtrump,” posted a photo of a pig defecating. A Post reporter was able to register and post under the username “mikepence.”

The platform, which appears to be the main focus of Trump’s new media company, bears significant resemblance to Twitter – the platform that paved the way for Trump’s rise to the presidency and defined his four years in office. On Truth Social, users can post “Truths,” like tweets, and “Re-Truths,” like retweets.

Greene, a conspiracy theorist sperry shoes whose rise to political power came with the aid of Trump allies, has repeated the former president’s false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen.” On Twitter, from which she has been suspended several times, she describes herself as “Pro-Life Pro-Gun Pro-Trump.”

“Tell me who’s your president?” Greene asked a crowd at an “America First” event in Florida in May. “Donald Trump!” the crowd replied.

Greene won her seat representing Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, a reliably Republican part of northwest Georgia, in 2020.

Donald Trump said that he did ‘pretty much the opposite’ of what Dr. Fauci advised during the COVID-19 pandemic

Trump Fauci
Former President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci, in April 2020. 
  • Former President Donald Trump said he did “the opposite” of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s advice during the pandemic.
  • Trump said he decided against firing Fauci because he would have “taken heat” for it.
  • Trump and Fauci have often criticized each other for their differing approaches to the pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump said he did “pretty much the opposite” of what Dr. Anthony Fauci advised during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump made the comments in an interview on Friday with David Brody on Real America’s Voice.

Brody asked the former president whether hey dude he regretted not firing Fauci, who is now Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor and was formerly a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Trump said that while he “got along” with the doctor, he ignored his advice during the pandemic.

“He was there for like 40 years or something. He was a part of the furniture. But if you think about it, I really did pretty much the opposite of whatever he said,” Trump said.

“I actually got along with him, you know? I actually found him-he was a character. He’d say, ‘Just call me Tony. Just call me Tony, sir.’ And, you know, he’s a better promoter than he is a doctor.”

Trump said that he made his own decisions about handling the pandemic, which was often at odds with Fauci’s advice.

“He didn’t want to close our country to China. I did it immediately. I didn’t even hesitate. And he said three months later that I saved thousands of lives by doing it. He didn’t want to close our country to Europe, and I did it.”

In the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci said that restricting travel was “not a good idea at this time.”

However, he was generally supportive of the Chinese travel restrictions that Trump later announced, according to Politifact.

During the interview, Trump also criticized Fauci for changing his stance on the importance of masks.

“He also said masks don’t mean anything. Then he became a radical masker,” Trump said.

Fauci initially said masks were not useful in preventing the spread of the virus and then advised the general public not to buy them and cause a shortage for medical professionals, Politifact said.

In April, the Centers for Disease Control first recommended that people cover their faces in public.

Fauci previously remarked that Trump dr martens boots disliked masks because he saw them as a “sign of weakness.” Unfortunately, many Americans followed his lead, he said.

Trump said in the interview that he decided not to fire Fauci as it was a no-win situation, and he would have “taken heat” no matter what he did.

“But I did what I wanted to do, and I made the correct decisions,” Trump said.

Fauci said that the former president “very likely” cost American lives by spreading COVID-19 misinformation.

In the interview with Real America’s Voice, Trump also claimed that there were no issues with vaccine hesitancy during his presidency and that everybody “wanted the vaccine.”

“I think people just don’t trust the Biden administration or Biden. Because since I left now, you have the mandate fight, and that’s a big fight, by the way, and you have to allow people their freedom,” he said.

“I took the vaccine,” Trump said. “A lot of people took the vaccine, and it’s been very effective.”

Stephen Amell explains what really happened during ‘shameful’ flight incident with wife

Stephen Amell opened up about what happened in June when he was kicked off a flight for supposedly arguing with his wife. On Tuesday’s episode of the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast, the Arrow star said he’s “deeply ashamed” over his behavior, clarifying that Cassandra Jean Amell had nothing to do with his outburst.

“I had too many drinks and I had too many drinks in a public place,” the 40-year-old began. “I was pissed off about something else that had nothing to do with Cass, my wife, and I picked a fight. I picked a fight because I wanted to be loud and upset. hey dude And it was a fight, it was not an argument.”

Stephen was traveling on a Delta flight from Austin to L.A., but was asked to deplane before takeoff. The Heels star remembers “being loud” and “probably dropping a few f-bombs” while he had noise canceling headphones on.The actor previously stated on social media he and Cassandra “got into an argument,” but that he wasn’t “forcibly removed.” However, his wife was upset at the way he phrased the statement.

Stephen Amell, here with Cassandra Jean on Aug. 10, reveals where he and his wife stand today after he got kicked off a flight
Stephen Amell, here with Cassandra Jean on Aug. 10, reveals where he and his wife stand today after he got kicked off a flight. 

“In order to have an argument, two people have to be talking. My wife said one thing the entire time, which was, ‘If you don’t lower your voice, they’re going to ask you to get off the plane,'” Stephen continued. “I can’t even remember what I was upset about… It clearly wasn’t important, I was just upset and wanted to be upset.”

“I refereed to it as an argument… and it wasn’t,” he clarified again. “This is 100 percent my fault. I feel I went the better part of 10 years without being an asshole in public — I was an asshole in public.”

Stephen said Cassandra was “super pissed” about the ordeal and got “even more pissed when I said argument instead of ‘pick a fight.'”

“The whole thing sucks,” he added. “It’s really,balenciaga shoes really shameful and it makes you kind of look in the mirror.”

The actor admitted to not being able to handle his alcohol “on occasion.” He said he’s trying “to make amends” for his behavior, “specifically with my wife.”

“It’s a work in progress, it’s not the best,” he said of where they stand today. “You can work through things, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

Stephen said he had a heads up TMZ was going to run a story about the incident.

“Can I just f*** up in peace, please?” he added.

 

Youth basketball team suspended, player banned after punch, alleged anti-Asian slurs during game

A youth basketball team has been suspended and a player permanently banned after a punch followed the alleged use of anti-Asian slurs during a tournament in California last weekend.

Members of the San Francisco Generals allegedly used slurs against the majority Asian-American members of the South Bay Snipers during a game, parents told San Francisco’s KPIX. Video obtained by the news outlet shows a member of the Generals punching a Snipers player in the face after an altercation on the floor.

How the attack happened

The video shows a 14-year-old Snipers player named Evan and a Generals player tussling on the floor for a loose ball. The players then shove each other on the floor before Evan stands up. As he stands up and walks toward the Generals player still on the floor, another Generals player shoves Evan back to the ground.

Evan stands back up and starts to walk away. When he turns around to face the Generals player who shoved him, the two appear to exchange words before the Generals player punches him in the face. The video provided does not show what happens next.

Basketball on court floor

Parents: Slurs were used, tournament officials didn’t intervene

Parents of Snipers players told KPIX that officials didn’t intervene or whistle a technical foul and allowed everyone to keep playing. Evan’s mother Lennie told KPIX that Generals players directed an anti-Asian slur toward her son.

“Not one single parent stood up to go protect my son,” Lennie said. “I ran across the gym to get him. … They did use the C-word.”

The parents who spoke to KPIX declined to provide their last names. One told the outlet that the director of the tournament hosted by a group called Grassroots 365 initially refused to review video of the incident and only did so under pressure from parents. Grassroots 365 initially suspended the player who threw the punch from the next game after watching the video, according to a parent.

Generals coach apologizes: We don’t ‘condone violence or hate’

San Francisco Generals Coach Donte Brown said in a statement that they “apologize for the unfortunate incident to Evan and his family” and “do not condone violence or hate.” He told KPIX that the player who threw the punch was banned from the team.

That player’s parents have not publicly spoken on the incident.

Grassroots 365 wrote in a statement that “we strongly condemn anti-Asian racism and any and all forms of discrimination” and that an investigation was underway following the KPIX report.

On Monday, Grassroots 365 issued an update announcing that the Generals were suspended from the organization’s events and that the player who threw the punch was banned. That player “adamantly stated that racial slurs were not used,” according to the statement.

The organization states that tournament staff members immediately intervened and “properly de-escalated the situation.” It also announced a zero-tolerance policy on “racial comments” and that it is “fully committed to being a strong advocate for equality, justice and racial harmony.”

Evan’s parents told KPIX that their son suffered a concussion and that they plan to file a report with Oakland police.

Study Says Women Use 4 Specific Techniques To Up Their Pleasure During Sex

A new study provides language around techniques women use to increase their pleasure during vaginal penetration, and researchers hope it marks a major contribution to the study of sexual health. (Photo: Carlo Prearo / EyeEm via Getty Images)
A new study provides language around techniques women use to increase their pleasure during vaginal penetration, and researchers hope it marks a major contribution to the study of sexual
health.

Enjoying sex so often comes down to good communication, and new research provides specific names — and descriptions — for four techniques women use most often to boost their pleasure during vaginal penetration.

The findings, which were drawn from the second “pleasure report” by the instructional website OMGYES, and published in the journal PLOS ONE, come from a survey of more than 3,000 women, ages 18 to 93, from across the United States. Women were asked how they tend to increase their own pleasure during sex. (This particular study focused specifically on vaginal penetration, and the majority of the respondents identified as heterosexual.)

When the researchers analyzed the women’s answers, four techniques emerged:

Angling

Nearly 90% of the respondents said they use “angling,” which involves rotating, raising or lowering their pelvis and hips during vaginal penetration in order to adjust where a sex toy or penis rubs in the vagina.

Shallowing

Roughly 84% of women said they make vaginal penetration more pleasurable by using “shallowing,” or some kind of penetrative touch just inside of the entrance of the vagina.

Rocking

About 76% of survey respondents said they increase their own pleasure during vaginal penetration through “rocking,” where the base of a penis, or a sex toy, rubs against the clitoris during penetration by staying completely inside the vagina, rather than thrusting in and out.

Pairing

Lastly, roughly 70% said they use “pairing,” which refers to when a woman or her partner reaches down to stimulate the clitoris (with a finger or sex toy) during penetration.

While the findings do not necessarily present new or groundbreaking information, the study researchers said they hope that simply giving women clearer language around specific techniques will make it easier for them to recognize and communicate what they want, and empower more women to advocate for their own sexual pleasure.

“Holistic approaches to sexual health increasingly emphasize the positive contributions that sexual pleasure — particularly for women — provides to physical, social and emotional well-being across the lifespan,” the study’s authors write. “For example, research has shown that sexual pleasure contributes to women’s reports of greater happiness, and lower levels of depression, stress and anxiety.”

In a press release, Julia Robinson, a senior editor with the journal PLOS ONE, also argued that it is critical for scientific journals to publish this kind of research. “It contributes to the base of academic knowledge and explores an under-studied topic that is related to women’s health and well-being,” she said.

Outside experts agree, and hope that women find information in the study that will be helpful to them.

“What’s so interesting about this study — and so needed — is the ability of women to read this and feel legitimized in their ability to govern pleasure, and have language for it,” Kate Balestrieri, a psychologist and certified sex therapist, told HuffPost. (She did not work on the study.)

“Women are often taught to be receptacles of sex … when we talk about changing the language about how to tilt hips or move your own body, it’s a gift to ourselves. We are now in control of our own bodies. It’s not a passive experience,” Balestrieri added. “There’s nothing wrong with having a passive experience if that is your ‘jam.’ But for many women, they really would like to take more ownership about what’s happening.”

Black gay dads reflect on the meaning of Father’s Day during an intensely emotional time: ‘We take it very seriously’

Rodney Chambers, left, and Ron Covington with sons Charles and Carlos. The family was one of six that took part in a now-viral video, "Don't Rush Challenge: Black Gay Dads Edition." They're now talking out about the meaning of Father's Day. (Photo courtesy of Rodney Chambers)
Rodney Chambers, left, and Ron Covington with sons Charles and Carlos. The family was one of six that took part in a now-viral video, “Don’t Rush Challenge: Black Gay Dads Edition.” They’re now talking out about the meaning of Father’s Day. (Photo courtesy of Rodney Chambers)

Like many parents have done during the coronavirus pandemic, O’Brian Banner turned to social media to stay sane — as did his husband and their close-knit group of other Black gay dads, who joined their creative forces in April to create a video (below), celebrating their families and their bond, for Easter and as part of a TikTok “Don’t Rush Challenge.”

But the joy radiated by the “Black Gay Dads Edition” makes it perfect for yet another holiday: Father’s Day. In honor of that, Yahoo Life spoke to some of the dads featured in the video, which has since blown up across social media platforms. They reflected on the meaning of the day, particularly during these extra-intense parenting times of the swelling Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ Pride Month and a pandemic.

O’Brian Banner and Daryl Fields

Dads to 3-year-old twins, Keithen and Camden Bannerfields, Maryland

O’Brian Banner, left, and Daryl Fields with sons Keithen and Camden. (Photo courtesy O'Brian Banner)
O’Brian Banner, left, and Daryl Fields with sons Keithen and Camden. (Photo courtesy O’Brian Banner)

From O’Brian, who works as a special assistant to Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser —

On the importance of Father’s Day: “It’s special and important for me because I didn’t have a constant father figure growing up. … Ultimately, it’s just the constant celebration that we now have the ability to offer that, and let our backgrounds influence how we raise our children as best we can.” He adds, “To me, Father’s Day is a celebration of the gift of being able to have kids.”

On being Black fathers in America: “We’ve been blessed and fortunate that they are still a little young, so they don’t have a lot of questions. … We live in an area that’s predominantly African American and pretty affluent, so they constantly see people that look like them in powerful positions … and their friends are very diverse. But there will come a time we have to talk about it…”

“I think that as an African American culture, we get so used to internalizing things, and taking it and taking it and never letting it out. … My job created a space where everybody could talk. I didn’t realize until it was my turn to start talking how emotional it made me … I was emotional, it made my coworkers cry, I said: ‘It might be a little too raw right now.’ Everything [upsetting] I saw, before the kids, I put on me — thank gosh it’s not me. But now everything I see is a reflection of what could happen to my kids. I’m constantly worried about that. That’s where the emotion came from.

“Right now, I can hover, and they have this huge support system and I just want to make sure we keep that going. … At the end of the day, all we can do is give them the resources they need … give them the know-how, and basically, at the end of the day, we leave them with a prayer.”

On being gay dads in America: “We were worried about it, but the neighborhood we live in is extremely gay-friendly, we’ve been blessed. … Though our first experience [with homophobia] was with schools, we were taking them to different ones, and a lot in the area are private-religious and had the issue that it was two dads. But they would find clever ways to say it, like … they weren’t sure how our family dynamic would fit in. Our thing was, that’s your loss. Our kids are brilliant, I might be biased, but they would only help your school, and if you can’t look past who we love and who we marry, then that’s not a good school anyway.”

Richard and Carlos Seigler-Carter

Dads to Timothy Seigler-Carter, 3, Orlando, Fla.

Carlos, left, and Richard Seigler-Carter with son Timothy. (Photo courtesy of the Seigler-Carter family)
Carlos, left, and Richard Seigler-Carter with son Timothy. (Photo courtesy of the Seigler-Carter family)

From Richard, who works as an education consultant —

On the importance of Father’s Day: “I didn’t grow up with my dad. I never met him. We try to make it a point … to avoid some of the individual traumas that we felt as a result of our fathers being absent. … And making the commitment when we adopted our son, to honor him and make sure we are providing [the] best resources possible, and all the love that he needs to know he belongs. I think [Father’s Day] is a renewed commitment every year. … And it’s also a day to reflect on fathers or father figures we have lost or never met.”

On being Black fathers in America: “We always recognize that we’re both visibly Black men raising a sort of racially ambiguous child, and although our son is Black and Puerto Rican, he doesn’t present as Black. It’s a reminder for us that we have to not only protect but educate him about his culture and birth parents and where they came from … all while recognizing the struggles his fathers face because we present as Black. So we often say, we’re going to have to reverse conversation with him — most Black parents with a Black son are saying, ‘This is what you do when you get pulled over by police, etc.’ We’re going to have to explain why we may be pulled over because of how we present. … He will get a pass, because depending on how he styles his hair, he will pass as white.”

On being gay dads in America: “Where we live is kind of upper-middle class … so not as diverse in terms of the racial makeup. … There are gay dads down the street … so the collective support of being a same-sex parent is pretty high, but with those who look like me, it’s kind of absent. We have sort of a double whammy, Black and raising a kid as a same-sex couple. … I think where the looks come from are that I look and present very young, and I look and present very trendy even though my job and education level doesn’t match that. … I think they’re just surprised someone who looks like me with the type of family I have and the type of car I drive … it’s like they see you as an imposter, though no one has overtly said that.”

On parenting through a pandemic: “I’ve sort of been locked in my office for the past four months, and I’m also going for my PhD right now … what it’s forced us to do is be much more structured with their home time. … His school did try to do some virtual learning, but for a 3-year-old [it] is a joke. We have taken this time to try to potty train.”

Rodney Chambers and Ron Covington

Dads to Charles Chase Covington-Chambers, 11, and Carlos Carter Covington-Chambers, 9,
Maryland

Rodney Chambers, left, and Ron Covington with sons Charles and Carlos. (Photo courtesy of Rodney Chambers)
Rodney Chambers, left, and Ron Covington with sons Charles and Carlos. (Photo courtesy of Rodney Chambers)

From Rodney, who, with Ron, owns a government contracting firm and a soon-to-open family entertainment center, Party HQ —

On the importance of Father’s Day: “It just means so much, because we get to celebrate as fathers something you maybe thought, growing up young and gay, that you wouldn’t be able to have — that you wouldn’t have a family. … We were originally going to do surrogacy, so we went in for the consultation, paid our deposit, then came home and said, ‘Let’s just see if we like it. Maybe we should do foster care first.’

“So the whole time we were waiting to do foster care, we said, ‘Our sons are going to be named Carter and Chase.’ Then when we got the call with our placement, we got a little nervous and almost didn’t do it. But I asked, well, what are their names? And she said, ‘Carlos and Charles.’ So we had to go for it, and they wound up staying with us. They were 2 and 4 when we got them. The first night with us, the oldest one said, ‘Is this our new home?’ and my partner said, ‘Don’t say nothing,’ but I said, ‘Yes, it is.’ We kept a relationship with their biological family so they have my mom as grandma, Ron’s mom as grandma, biological grandma, grandads, all these aunts and uncles — their family literally adopted us.”

On being Black fathers in America: “I am a news buff, so all I watch is CNN and MSNBC … so my kids will sit there and watch, and they are pretty well-versed on what’s going on right now with everything. We had a conversation with them about two weeks ago when this thing happened with Mr. [George] Floyd that no matter how much education you have, how much money you have … you still are a Black man and that you have to be aware of your surroundings, and if you do have any interactions with the police, good or bad, please just comply. … We told them different things, like I’ve been pulled over for no reason, just for driving while Black. … I was very offended, but I complied. My parents always taught me just be respectful.”

On being gay dads in America: “It’s always hard for them around Mother’s Day. They still have a mother, but they don’t see her that much. … You have all these grandmothers that love you, and aunts that love you. So don’t be sad — you’re safe, you’re well taken care of … and there are different things to be grateful for.”

On parenting during a pandemic: “We go to Amazon Prime for exercise videos, we do like the hip-hop jazzercise, where we’re all sweating, trying to do push-ups!”

Algernon Cargill and Ronaldo Coxson

Dads to Elle Cargill-Coxson, 16 months, New York, N.Y.

Algernon Cargill, left, and Ronaldo Coxson with daughter Elle. (Photo courtesy of Algernon Cargill)
Algernon Cargill, left, and Ronaldo Coxson with daughter Elle. (Photo courtesy of Algernon Cargill)

From Algernon, who is a pediatric emergency physician —

On the importance of Father’s Day: “It’s a dream fulfilled, because being a father is something I wanted to be for so long, and I thought, because of my sexuality, that it wouldn’t be possible.”

On being a Black father during this time in America: “It’s a time for major change, and I think that this change has been long overdue, and I hope, as a father, that my daughter will not have some of the same challenges or experiences that I’ve had. … It’s a time of change, and of necessary changes. … It’s very important that during our story time that I include diverse images of characters that look like her. That’s something that we are very cognizant of.”

On parenting during a pandemic: “I think it’s been more impactful on my career. I go to work regular full-time hours, and it’s been more challenging finding childcare, our nanny was not comfortable coming to our house, so it’s been very difficult finding people to watch her while we’re at work. We have a whole routine to keep my family safe [when I’m getting home from work]. … I’m very strict about social distancing.”

Aaron Clay and JaRel Clay

Dads to Noah Clay, 4, Maryland

JaRel, left, and Aaron Clay with their son Noah. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Clay)
JaRel, left, and Aaron Clay with their son Noah. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Clay)

From Aaron, an attorney —

On the importance of Father’s Day: “I never celebrated Father’s Day because I didn’t have a father. So, four years ago, it became a thing. … And not only does he have the father I didn’t have, but he has two. It changed everything — not for him but for us, so we take it very seriously. A lot of the families you see in the video, we’ve done group trips for Father’s Day to celebrate all of us…

“And Father’s Day is doubly important: It not only gives us an opportunity to celebrate our children, but to celebrate ourselves and what we’ve accomplished through adversity, especially being Black and gay and especially during this time which prompted us to have conversations for the first time with our son who is biracial but also Black. It’s harder being a Black gay man than it is for other LGBT. I just feel like this is a very special time, not just for us, but for our country.”

On being a Black father in America: “We watched the CNN “Sesame Street” special and they did a really great job. … It’s difficult, because it’s like, children aren’t born racist, and they don’t see the issue, so it’s a double-edged sword … we didn’t want to create an issue that wasn’t there. But we did have a very serious conversation with our 4-year-old because we don’t want him to be in danger with him experiencing a situation that he’s not prepared to respond to. As Black children, we have to be prepared at a very young age, unfortunately.

“We talked about not treating people differently because of how they look … he appears Caucasian, he is mixed but very light-skinned, but he honestly believes he is Black, and he doesn’t understand the difference in his skin tone. It also proves the point that children aren’t born racist, they are raised to be that way. … But we are part of a very diverse friend group, that includes biracial children, persons of color, Native American, it really does span the spectrum. It’s been a delicate, interesting dynamic. Not having a father figure kind of complicates it, because I don’t really have an example to go off of.”