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Editor's Note: Every Thursday, I'll be rounding up my favorite pieces from the past week so that PolicyMic Pundits can more easily read and comment on the great content being written about sex, sexuality, gender, and race in politics and culture, in addition to updates from our community and GIFs galore! You can subscribe to get updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Highlights This Week:

In case you missed the memo, tomorrow is National Coming Out Day!

Jared Milrad makes the case that tomorrow's celebrations should resonate strongly on Capitol Hill:

"This Friday marks the 25th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, a celebration of what it means to be openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or an ally. But it also marks nearly two weeks of an ongoing and escalating crisis in Washington, with a worsening government shutdown and a fast-approaching debt default.

"At first glance, a national celebration of what it means to be LGBT and to express one's identity openly and honestly may seem completely unrelated from political brinkmanship. But as I thought about my own coming out story, I wondered if our political leaders could benefit from the dose of humility and empathy that one gains from difference."

Read more: Congress Could Learn a Thing Or Two From National Coming Out Day

Speaking of embracing difference, PolicyMic's new Identities vertical – which I have been working on for a long time, aided by Thomas McBee – is currently seeking writers. The initial writing position is unpaid, but there are opportunities for paid positions along the way. Help us find the new, fresh, voices we want to hear from by emailing, sharing, and Tweeting our call: "You Could Be the Writer PolicyMic's New Vertical is Looking For"  

Updates From Our Pundits:

Tracey Vitchers gets some great print at MSNBC for her work with SAFER. Read her article on the subject here: "The Shutdown's Awful Effect On Campus Violence Prevention Programs"

Natalie Smith's piece on the generation gap in environmental activism gets a nice retweet.

What did you do last week? I'll share any outstanding writing achievements in our community, and highlight the great work that all of our Pundits do offline as well. If you have anything you'd like for me to include about yourself or a fellow PM writer, please send it along!

Must Reads From Last Week:

1 in 10 Young People Have Committed Sexual Violence (Tracey Vitchers, @TraceyEVitchers) —  And over half of them have never been caught, or punished. So what's this have to do with sex ed? 

[5 Mics, 1 Comments, 16 Shares]

Black People Are Not Amused With White People (Angel Evans) — Thoughts on the digital gaze, flipped.
[5 Mics, 8 Comments, 7 Shares]
Coming Out As An Ally in Straight-Laced Singapore (Cherlynn Low, @CherlynnLow) — In my modern city, it's illegal for me to be to be the advocate I am.
[1 Mics, 0 Comments, 27 Shares]
Enough With the 'Strong Female Characters' Already (Sarah Dunn, @Sarahdunn) — Why Hollywood should listen to Natalie Portman.
[10 Mics, 5 Comments, 49 Shares]
I Used to Care About the Nobel Peace Prize (Mrinalini Shinde, @MrinShin) — Until I realized this.
[15 Mics, 10 Comments, 47 Shares]
Don't Ignore That Chris Brown Was Raped Just Because You Hate Him (Danielle Paradis, @DaniParadis) — Chris Brown may be epically misogynous, but that doesn't make his recent revelation any less disturbing.
[10 Mics, 13 Comments, 73 Shares]
The Incredible Short-Sightedness Of Education Reform (Eli Hager, @EliBHager) — Seen from the inside, the willful blindness of the ed reform movement is glaringly obvious.
[9 Mics, 20 Comments, 136 Shares]
Why Students Judge Female Professors More Harshly (Easha Acharya, @eashakiren) — And what we all lose in the process.
[6 Mics, 23 Comments, 25 Shares]
When the Controversial Decision to Cast Only Women Of Color Makes Sense (Trip Eggert) — Eve Ensler's 'The Vagina Monologues' has long been a voice for the voiceless. Instead of fighting about who should speak, we should all learn to listen.
[10 Mics, 19 Comments, 381 Shares]
Young Mormon Feminists Are Doing It For Themselves (Rachel Redfern, @RachelRedfern2) — Religion, whether it's yours or someone else's, has a huge impact on our culture. These Mormon women want female voices brought into the fold.
[6 Mics, 13 Comments, 81 Shares]

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