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Nobody gave these kids a chance until one young former inmate followed his dream.

David Lee Windecher didn’t exactly have the kind of start in life that sets a person up for success. He grew up poor after moving to the United States from Argentina in the 1970s, and, he says, “poverty led to my first arrest out of desperation.” “It opened the door to the darkest years of my life.” At 13, David witnessed his first murder, and the trauma of that moment led to more trouble — joining a gang for protection. He also dropped out of high school, and experienced abuse…

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People called Emma Watson a ‘white feminist.’ Now, she admits, they weren’t wrong.

Emma Watson has long prided herself on being a feminist. And it’s not just lip service. The 27-year-old actress served as a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador and spoke to the assembly in 2014 about the importance of gender equality. She continues to speak out about women’s rights at almost every opportunity, even while promoting her films or walking the red carpet. Watson is all-in, right? Watson speaks during International Women’s Day at The Empire State Building. Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images. But there’s one big problem: Watson’s brand of…

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31 Days of Happiness Countdown: A gay chorus tours the South. (Day 18)

Thanks for stopping by Upworthy’s 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we’re sharing stories we hope will bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It’s been a challenging year for a lot of us, so why not end it on a high note, with a bit of happiness? Check back tomorrow for another installment! Picture this: 300 smiling gay men storming through the small-town South, waving rainbow flags and singing their hearts out. That’s exactly the vision Tim Seelig, artistic…

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John Legend visits ‘Sesame Street’ to talk about kids with incarcerated parents.

“Sesame Street” is at its best when it’s tackling some of life’s trickier issues, and their new video is no exception. Singer John Legend sat down with the cast of “Sesame Street” to discuss the 2.7 million U.S. children with parents in jail or prison. The short segment featured a few of these kids telling some of the “Sesame Street” characters how they cope with not being able to see their parents on a regular basis. (A lot of them seem to enjoy drawing pictures.) There’s sadness in the kids’…

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This brilliant TED Talk nails 3 important truths about being a ‘real man.’

If you haven’t heard actor Justin Baldoni’s name, you at least probably recognize him. Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for NALIP. Best known for his role as Rafael on “Jane the Virgin,” Baldoni is the epitome of Hollywood’s “tall, dark, and handsome” stereotype. He is every bad boy with a sinister past. Every womanizing billionaire. Every domineering playboy. In a recent talk at TEDWomen 2017, Baldoni joked about the string of characters he’s been typecast as (most of them appear shirtless a good majority of the time). “Most of the…

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A 9-year-old just perfectly broke down what living with autism is like for him.

George Yionoulis is pretty much your typical 9-year-old. The fourth-grader from Raleigh, North Carolina, loves “Harry Potter,” making art, and eating tacos. Oh, and he loooooooves dancing. The kid has some serious moves. While it’s pretty easy to understand why George loves tacos (who doesn’t?), there are some things George does that aren’t quite as easy for people to understand. That’s because when was 2 years old, his parents discovered has an autism spectrum disorder. George’s autism makes it harder for his classmates at Douglas Elementary School to relate to…

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The Celebrity Perv Apology Generator is hilariously, depressingly accurate.

Why are celebrity apologies so … bad? Like … head-scratchingly bad? Harvey Weinstein prefaced his by saying that he “came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior in workplaces were different.” Louis C.K. noted that he “never showed a woman [his] dick without asking first.” Kevin Spacey felt the need to say, “I choose now to live as a gay man.” For having access to some of the best public relations professionals in the world, it seems celebrities just can’t seem to put together…

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This photo of Pink ‘shading’ Christina Aguilera went viral. Now she’s shutting it down.

During the American Music Awards, Christina Aguilera performed an emotional tribute to the late and iconic Whitney Houston. Houston’s ballads are notoriously challenging to sing, and not everyone thought Aguilera was up to the task. Some viewers even took screencaps of different celebrities in the audience who producers cut to during the performance, a few of whom appeared to be cringing or grimacing. Including singer Pink, whose reaction face went viral on Twitter. The look on Pink’s face! Priceless!#AMAs pic.twitter.com/ZZfxjG7rcK — Brad (@BradEdmonds96) November 20, 2017 .@Pink‘s face was all…

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Historians say the time ‘when men were men’ never really existed.

Who decided “big boys don’t cry”? It’s not rare to see powerful and high profile men overcome with emotion at times, but when they do, it’s usually met with some form of criticism or seen as a display of weakness. Simply put, in today’s world boys and men are simply not expected to display vulnerable emotions like sadness and grief. (But anger is usually A-OK!) When we think of the founding pillars of “manliness,” we think of strength, bravery, and stoicism, and we often assume that it’s just always been…

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20 things Mike Pence did while you weren’t looking and why it matters.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images. With the exception of an infamous trip to see Hamilton last November and a controversy about whether it’s OK to dine with women other than his wife, we’ve heard relatively little about Vice President Mike Pence since the election. In May, CNN even ran a story with the headline, “Mike Pence’s Disappearing Act.” He’s a heartbeat away from the presidency and seems interested in following his own political ambitions beyond this administration, so what exactly has Mike Pence been up to lately? A lot, actually….

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Why Michelle Obama says Barack needs more friends.

Speaking at the Obama Foundation Summit earlier this week, former first lady Michelle Obama heaped praise on her husband — with one big caveat. Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Glamour. She praised Barack Obama’s decency, honesty, and integrity and talked about how important those things were to her own growth and success — but she was careful to note that he is just one part of her much larger support network. “I love my husband, and he is my rock, but my girlfriends are my sanity,” she said while…

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An ongoing list of ‘good kids’ and ‘thugs,’ according to Fox News and Trump.

I’m trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. You see, when a trove of previously unreleased court documents revealed that former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had given false testimony to investigators about his contacts with Russian operatives during the campaign, Fox News’ Sean Hannity attempted to exculpate the ex-aide by emphasizing his tender age: 29. “He admitted, OK, he lied to the FBI. I think he is 29 years old” pic.twitter.com/MRxUhUHc1q — Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 31, 2017 I get it. We all make mistakes in…

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A homophobic ad was placed next to this pizza shop. Their response was delicious.

Wiseguise Pizza didn’t really want to be embroiled in the middle of a heated social debate. But, when it happened anyway, the pizza shop more than rose to the occasion, with a great sense of humor to boot. After a polarizing political message appeared on a billboard adjacent to the restaurant in Mowbray, Tasmania, in Australia, the pizza shop could no longer ignore the elephant in the room — or, more specifically, the bigotry on the nearby street sign. “IT’S OK TO SAY ‘NO,’” read the billboard — a message…

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Chechnya is still killing gay men. Now a prominent Russian singer may be dead.

In August, Russian singer Zelimkhan Bakayev traveled from Moscow to Chechnya to celebrate his sister’s wedding. Then, he vanished. His online activity came to a halt; his Instagram account was deactivated. With few options and even fewer answers, his mother called on Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov last month to provide clarity, desperate to know what had happened to her son. How does a high-profile Russian singer simply … disappear? It’s likely, officials believe, Bakayev was swept up in Chechnya’s horrifying and ongoing anti-gay purge targeting queer men like him. Missing…

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Why don’t women come forward after sexual assault? This comment nailed it.

“Why didn’t she say anything sooner?” It’s the question that frustrates sexual assault prevention advocates and discredits the victims who bravely come forward after they’ve been targeted. Stars Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow — who both disclosed to The New York Times they’d been sexually harassed by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein years ago — are among the latest women now having to trudge through a predictable wave of victim-blaming following their disclosures. Gwyneth Paltrow (left) and Angelina Jolie. Photos by Jason Kempin/Getty Images and Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images. Paltrow and Jolie’s…

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