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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.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."