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It's really difficult for him to blend in, so he doesn't anymore.

Here's what it looks like when you truly embrace who you are.

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The Atlantic Philanthropies

Dipped in white paint, Umlilo is wearing a long, flowered skirt.

His hair is swept up by bandages covering his face, accented by blue and green makeup.


"How I dress and how I like to do my hair — a lot of things seem to not reflect exactly what everybody else expects."

The musician makes no apologies for his unconventional appearance in his music video "Magic Man."

He describes the song as "a personal story of me traveling through life and trying to figure out where I fit in. ... I'm constantly aware of being this young, queer, black South African." His lyrics dive deeper into his message:

“Live in a world where you're either man or woman,

black or white, Christian or heathen.

The roadway you're supposed to walk morally,

how bright with your beliefs intact.

Then comes the oppressor with his artifacts,

when someone who's never fitted in.

I always look beyond that road.

It ain't easy being him."

In a place where being openly gay and/or transgender is considered "un-African" and could possibly get you killed, despite protection from the South African constitution, Umlilo uses music as a personal tool for freedom. He enjoys playing with the strict perceptions people have around gender roles and bending them until they break.


So he doesn't.

Umlilo stands out and stands up for LGBTQQ rights through his music. Once people are drawn in by his striking appearance, he talks to them about what really matters.

"People's lives are at stake. I think we're finding ourselves in the same conundrum as we did with fighting for black pride. Now, it's who you love and your sexuality. ... If people make that connection, they can see the humanity in it."

Because of Umlilo's bold voice, some media outlets are already calling him a brand ambassador for South African LGBTQQ youth.

Vice's Noisey says:

Umlilo "is a shining queer voice from a continent often mired in homophobia. ... He's a singer whose art is activism, without getting in your face about it."

Africa is a Country adds:

"His presence is demonstrating that there can be space in urban South African youth culture for an open embrace of queer/trans aesthetics, despite the challenges that those communities face in daily life."

While these words are undoubtedly cool, Umlilo says that he's not necessarily the mouthpiece for all LGBTQQ youth of color. He's just sharing his story, hoping to incite change.

"I've been brave enough with this one to be able to write about me and turn the focus onto the personal rather than any kind of larger scale."

By sharing his perspective, he hopes to raise more awareness about the need for equal treatment for LGBTQQ people globally.

To hear more from Umlilo, check out this clip from "Magic Man."

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

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Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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