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At age 11, his parents 'returned' him. This is the orphan experience we don't often hear about.

What do Harry Potter, Moses, and Luke Skywalker have in common?

Harry Potter. Superman. Batman. What do they have in common?

They're fictional characters, of course. But they're also orphans.


You're an orphan, Harry. GIF via "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Hollywood's obsessed with characters like them — fostered, adopted, and orphaned characters, that is.

Matilda, Annie ... the list goes on and on. I mean, these are characters who've had it rough, right?

Audiences love underdogs who overcome big obstacles. Who's more lovable than someone who's triumphed over the loss of his or her parents (and then gone on to, like, defeat the darkest wizard of all time or something)?

Admiring these characters is great. But we don't admire the Harry Potters of the non-fiction world like we should.

In the TED Talk below, renowned poet Lemn Sissay points out how we commend fictitious Batmans and Supermans yet fail to prioritize the wellbeing of actual children who are being taken care of by the state — the kids right in front of us who face extraordinary challenges.

He makes an excellent point.

"Why have we not made the connection between these incredible characters of popular culture ... and the fostered, adopted or orphaned child in our midst?"

Sissay uses his own turbulent history to address the bigger issue at hand and call out why it's our problem to solve.

GIF via TED Talk.

Growing up, Sissay had been rejected by foster parents, forced to live in multiple children's homes, and unfairly incarcerated as a teenager. He knows a thing or two about the system's failures.

He also knows whose responsibility it is to fix it: All of ours.

"You can define how strong a democracy is by how its government treats its child," he says in the clip below. "I don't mean children. I mean the child of the state."

Check out his TED Talk below.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

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Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

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Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

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Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

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This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

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Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

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