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Michael Angelakos came out as gay. He also loved his wife. That says a lot about human sexuality.

'I'm gay, and that's it,' Michael Angelakos said. 'It just has to happen.'

Michael Angelakos came out as gay. He also loved his wife. That says a lot about human sexuality.

Michael Angelakos, lead vocalist of the band Passion Pit, made a life-changing announcement on Nov. 9, 2015.

"I'm gay," he said. "And that's it. It just has to happen."


Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images.

The news spread rapidly among fans of the group, made famous for indie-electronic hits like "The Reeling," "Sleepyhead," and "Take A Walk."

He opened up about his sexuality while chatting with Bret Easton Ellis on the author's podcast.

"It's always been about putting it off in my head — not consciously," he explained, noting that up until the day before the interview, "very few people" knew about his sexual orientation.

"When you're teetering on the edge of heterosexuality or homosexuality and you don't know what's going on, it's just so comfortable to keep coming back to what you know."

A big reason why Angelakos stayed in the closet? He desperately wanted to make his marriage work.

The Passion Pit frontman announced he was getting divorced from stylist Kristina Mucci in August 2015. And it hadn't been an easy decision.

Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images.

"I just wanted so badly to be straight because I love her so much," Angelakos said. "I think that was one of the most painful things, when we decided to separate."

But the singer also noted Mucci's support had, in a certain way, been the inspiration behind his decision to come out.

“She said, 'You need to figure out what's going on with your sexuality because you can't hate yourself anymore,'" he said, as Us Magazine reported, explaining how Mucci had "spearheaded" his coming out process.

This isn't the first time Angelakos has made headlines for opening up about his personal life.

The musician was diagnosed as bipolar as a teen and began discussing his mental health publicly back in 2012, when it became more and more difficult to hide from fans.

Photo by Alli Harvey/Getty Images for Spotify.

"I just didn't believe in lying about cancellations," he told NPR. "And I remember having to cancel a number of shows because I was hospitalized for I think about the fourth time. And I was like, 'This is what I deal with, and you can't lie.'"

Angelakos' mental health and sexuality are personal matters, yes. But it's important when they make headlines, too.

There is still significant stigma surrounding mental health, which makes asking for help a way more difficult task than it should be. And while acceptance of LGBTQ people is on the rise, we still live in an era where being queer means, in more ways than one, you're treated less than equal.

Passion Pit's Jeff Apruzzese (left), Michael Angelakos (center), and Ian Hultquist (right). Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for MINI USA.

For Angelakos to speak candidly about how he both loved his wife and knew that he was gay speaks volumes about the complexity of sexuality and societal norms — a big gray area many people are trying to find their way through.

Although we live in a world that largely categorizes human sexuality into convenient boxes — man, woman, gay, straight — both gender identity and sexual orientation aren't so simple, as YouTuber Hank Green explains perfectly in one of his videos.

That's why it matters when people like Angelakos speak out about their own experiences: because it helps countless others who don't fit squarely into a box.

Support from fans poured in immediately.

After news broke about his sexuality, the musician assured his Twitter followers there was been a whole lot of love being thrown his way.

From the sounds of it, things are looking up for Angelakos.

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


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Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.