They Are Like Angels, These Ones

They Are Like Angels, These Ones

A poem about visiting a South African Orphanage.

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They Are Like Angels, These Ones

By Joergen Ostensen

5.4.19

I wrote this poem after volunteering at an orphanage in the township of Alexandra, which is outside of Johannesburg. As I was leaving, one of the little girls would not let go of my hand. The woman who runs the place helped me say goodbye to the child and, as she did, she said to me, "They are like angels, these ones."


They are like angels, these ones

She says

With starlight in their eyes

Running, swinging, kicking

Their deflated rubber ball.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

Sitting with their backs to the wall

In the shadows

Out from under the never ending sun.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

Smiling as he is lifted into the air

His off brand superman cape

Catching the wind.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

Digging for worms in the dirt

Among the rocks, pumpkins

And forgotten potatoes.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

As they chatter away in their languages

And their stuffed guerrillas

Look on with big, sweet, round eyes.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

With dogs that say woof

On their t-shirts

And beads in their braided hair.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

Sharing water with each other

Pouring it out into the bottle cap

From the top of the sun scaled play-set.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

Here inside the walls, sharing life together

Here on the other side

Of the trash, the rubble, the pain.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

So young they can fly

In their dreams

Like the bird on her blue shirt.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

As they sing together

While eating from the plastic plates

Cross legged on the floor.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

Little tiny angels

Forgotten angels

As the same song keeps on playing.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

With starlight in their eyes

They are like angels, these ones

Whose parents are the ones in heaven.


They are like angels, these ones

She says

As her fingers will not let go of mine

They are like angels, these ones

With starlight in their eyes.

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It's The Biggest Party Of The Year–Here's All You Need To Know About NYC Pride 2019

Think: glitter, glamour, freedom, and a whole lot of love.

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As this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a series of violent demonstrations by members of the LGBT+ community against police officers in New York City following a police raid beginning in the early hours of June 28, 1969, you know New York City is going to go BIG.

In the weeks leading up to Pride Month's finale Pride March on June 30, however, NYC presents daily and nightly offerings to immerse the public into the worlds of LGBT+ cinema, rallies, fashion, art, rooftop parties, street festivals, and more. Here's a for-all-ages play-by-play of events for the week leading up to Pride March weekend:

Friday, June 21, 2019 - Family Movie Night

Appropriate for all ages, this year's family movie night welcomes everyone to Hudson River Park's Pier 45 to enjoy quality time and a night under the stars, hosted by legendary drag queen Miss Richfield 1981. The event is free for all families to enjoy, but for premium ticketing options, all proceeds benefit Heritage of Pride, NYC Pride, and numerous other LGBT+ organizations. For more information, click here.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 - Cosplay & Pride

Hosted at Pier 40, this year's Cosplay & Pride is co-hosted by drag queens Aja, from Ru Paul's Drag Race season nine, and Petra Fried, one of New York City's most glamorous drag performers. This event invites everyone to "get their cosplay" on, and come dressed as whatever they like. Whether your cosplay style is a comic book character, film star, drag, or a combination of the three, all are invited to celebrate who they are and dress up to be at Cosplay & Pride 2019. For more information, click here.

Sunday, June 23, 2019 - Pride Luminaries Brunch

Back for its seventh year, the Pride Luminaries Brunch, sponsored in-part by Thrillist, celebrates LGBT+ business leaders and visionaries whose efforts have changed the LGBT+ experience in the workplace and beyond throughout the year. Sip mimosas and dine alongside proud politicians, media magnets, and other industry leaders for a brunch experience unlike any other. Ticket purchases include a four-hour unlimited open bar and brunch buffet, as well as a VIP gift bag. All proceeds go to benefit NYC Pride and its organization of other free Pride events throughout the month. For more information, click here.

Monday, June 24 - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - Human Rights Conference

Hosted at the New York Law School, this year's two-day Human Rights Conference brings together students, activists, policymakers, artists, journalists, educators and others involved in making a difference for and within the LGBT+ community to open a global dialogue about the challenges, successes, policies, politics, and future of the LGBT+ community. With talks and performances by community visionaries including Raquel Willis, Tracey "Africa" Norman, Janet Mock, and Haarnam Kaur, the event aims to address human rights and what it means to be a member of the LGBT+ community today through the lens of personal experiences. For more information about times, location, tickets, and more, click here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - GameChangers

Through a partnership with GLAAD and New York's SVA Theatre, NYC Pride proudly presents GameChangers, an event celebrating and focusing on LGBT+ leaders who have changed the entertainment industry forever. With a panel discussion and followup Q&A; with George Takei, Trace Lysette, and Leyna Bloom, GameChangers offers an immersive and eye-opening networking experience for everyone. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - WorldPride Opening Ceremony

This year's opening ceremony at the Barclay's Center, formatted as a benefit concert for leading NYC-based, LGBT+ organizations including the Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality, and SAGE, is hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, and features performances by Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Chaka Khan, Ciara, Daya, and Todrick Hall. For tickets to this unforgettable night, click here, and for more information, click here.

Friday, June 28, 2019 - Savor Pride

If you love food, friends, and a great community atmosphere, this event is for you. In partnership with Thrillist, NYC Pride & God's Love We Deliver are co-hosting an evening of professional LGBT+ and ally chefs to create gourmet dishes alongside in-depth discussions, demonstrations, and tastings for all to enjoy. Hosted on the chic outdoor terraces of God's Love We Deliver's NYC headquarters, this event is sure to excite your tastebuds and enhance your Pride experience. For more information, click here.

Friday, June 28, 2019 - Rally: Stonewall 50 Commemoration

In an era where human rights are under attack, join fellow activists, politicians, organizers, allies, and more in commemorating the Stonewall experience, 50 years to the day later, as well as taking a stand against current injustices. Followed by a candlelight vigil, this rally is free for all who attend and includes speakers like Barbara Poma, owner of PULSE nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and Harnaam Kaur. For location and time information, click here.

Friday, June 28, 2019 - Saturday, June 29, 2019 - Pride Island

This multi-day event located at NYC's Pier 97, the Pride Island experience features performances by Grace Jones, Teyana Taylor, and Brazil's most famous drag queen, Pabllo Vittar. If you're looking to sing, laugh, dance, let go, and celebrate all-things Pride, this is the place to be. For more information, click here.

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - Youth Pride

This event, free for those under 21, celebrates being proud, young, and free in an evening packed with fun, interactive games, fashion shows, entertainment, and experiences while listening to performances by "Sweet but Psycho" singer Ava Max, Deetranada, and POSE actresses Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross. Everyone is required to register, but a $10 registration fee is required for those over the age of 21. For more information, click here.

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - TEAZE

In a celebration of all-things Pride, T-Mobile and Dapperq sponsor this inclusive five-parties-under-one-roof event celebrating the inclusivity and diversity within the LGBT+ community. Although you must be 21 or older to attend, events include bklyn boyhood, TRUUU, Set It Off, Rose Gold, and Yellow Jackets Collective. For more information on location, times, and tickets, click here.

Sunday, June 30, 2019 - Pride March

Also known this year as WorldPride / Stonewall50, New York City has dedicated the entire month of June to hosting or sponsoring over fifty Pride events, culminating on the weekend of June 30 with the world's largest Pride March around lower Manhattan, passing monuments like the Stonewall Inn itself, as well as the New York City AIDS Memorial. (For a complete route map of the march, click here.) First held in 1970, the annual Pride March has acted as a civil rights demonstration for members of the LGBT+ community around the world. With an annual average attendance of over 3 million individuals from around the world, the Pride March brings together activists, actors, speakers, icons, allies, and more to showcase the history, art, culture, struggles, triumphs, and beauty of the LGBT+ community.

As a part of the greater Pride Fest, including performances, VIP appearances, Drag Queen Story Hour, Kid Fest, markets, and Food Fest, this day offers something for everyone all across lower Manhattan. For a complete map of the day's events, click here, and for more information regarding special appearances, venue details, and times, click here.

The 2019 WorldPride Parade will kick off at 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, 2019, at the NW corner of Madison Square Park (26th St. & 5th Ave.) in NoMad, Manhattan, New York City.

Sunday, June 30, 2019 - World Pride Closing Ceremony

Although Pride is every day, on Sunday evening from seven to ten p.m. in New York City's iconic Times Square, the world will say "Until next year!" to the month's incredible Pride celebrations. With influential speakers as well as musical performances by Grammy-award winners and nominees, Broadway actors, and chart-topping artists alike, you won't want to miss the goodbye party of the year! For more information about prohibited/permitted items, location and artist details, click here.

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What It Feels Like To Be Home From College After Graduating

What's next?

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You are finally free from all school obligations, especially if you graduated with a Bachelor's (exclude that if you're going straight to work or grad school). It doesn't seem too real that you are now home from college and with nothing else to do.

You probably still have your plastic boxes filled with your dorm essentials and with some clothes. Of course, you might leave your winter clothes in there and take out the pieces that you need.

For that person who is comparing themself to the person next to them whom they graduated with, please stop it. Some people may be going to grad school, work, or taking a year off, maybe.

You wake up in the mornings happy to actually be alive and be able to experience that rush of not having anything to do.

However, if you are still an undergraduate student, you may have a summer job you need to tend to. But still, every day you want to do something productive, because, let's be real: we feel that, if we do not do something every day, it feels like we are wasting our time and our summer in general.

Days get warmer, drinks get colder, events start happening in your community. BBQs, here I come.

If you are fortunate enough to live near a beach or a beach town, you can expect to be making a couple of short trips there with your best friends. All without the worry of having to do anything that involves school.

You're happy to visit the places you longed for while you were away at school and happy to see the people that you missed from home. Time to catch up with your friends over some food or drinks.

You will also be desperately looking for jobs, internships, grad school opportunities, with the bad luck of being denied from jobs. Trust me, as a recent graduate, this is true. Unless you've got luck on your side.

If you did not take your car with you to school, now you will want to drive everywhere, like when you were recently granted your license when you were back in high school. Now you want to drive to the beach, to your friends' house, and have that be your excuse.

But no matter what you do, you'll be happy to be home for the summer.

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