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A Florida student turned state's controversial new law into a viral lesson on the Stonewall riots

Is there anything these kids can't do?

A Florida student turned state's controversial new law into a viral lesson on the Stonewall riots

Stonewall Inn, West Village.

One thing that screams amazing is Gen Z kids and the empowerment they exude. Whether it’s organizing protests or demanding to be taken seriously as their true selves, they can be truly awe-inspiring. Teens in the '90s perfected the eye roll and developed a “Clueless” croak, but teens and young adults of today seem to be activists from birth. Bucking the system that attempts to put them in a box or quiet their voices, today’s youth are in a league of their own, and it’s something to take in.

Will Larkins is one of those precocious Gen Zers that is breaking the mold on what society deems appropriate for teens to do. He's a junior at Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida, and has been making his presence known through his LGBTQ+ activism. He is the president and co-founder of his school’s Queer Student Union. On March 7, he led a walkout of more than 500 students in protest of Florida's proposed "Don't Say Gay" bill. Larkins, who uses they/him pronouns, posted a video to his Twitter account showing him teaching a history lesson on the Stonewall riots, which occurred in 1969. His history class was covering history spanning the 1960s and '70s, and he asked permission to include this bit of LGBTQ+ history that many people don’t learn about in school.


After his history teacher gave him the go-ahead, Larkins got to work. The teen created a PowerPoint presentation that centered around educating his fellow students about the history of LGBTQ+ and the fight for civil rights. When he arrived to class that day, he donned a red tea-length fitted dress, a fur cropped jacket and a beautiful double strand of pearls. The students in class appear to be engaged in his presentation on the historic events.

The Stonewall riots were a series of uprisings in New York City following a raid on a local gay bar that resulted in a lesbian being knocked unconscious as she was being put into a police car. The onlookers were horrified and began to throw things at the officer who had injured the woman as he was putting her into the police car. When Larkins asked his teacher if the class would be covering Stonewall during their lesson, his teacher had not heard of the event, which prompted the presentation.

After Larkins posted a short clip of him presenting on the riots, some commenters were confused at why he decided to wear a dress, but the answer was simple. Because he wanted to. Larkins often dresses in clothes that would be deemed feminine by societal standards, but he doesn’t let that stop him. The presentation went viral, and has been viewed more than 457, 000 times.

While Larkins may still be in high school, his activism and courage to stand up for what he believes in will take him far. He's already looking toward the future by helping eligible Gen Zers register to vote in time for the primaries. This kid is going places, and he’ll look fabulous doing it.

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Native Siberian shares what daily life entails in the coldest village on Earth

See how the people of Yakutia, Siberia take showers, do laundry, go to school and more in minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

A man in the Yakutia region of Siberia takes an ice bath in minus 50 degrees Celsius.

For most of us, waking up to a temperature of minus 50 degrees would spell catastrophe. Normal life would come to a screeching halt, we'd be scrambling to deal with frozen pipes and power outages, school and work would be canceled and weather warnings would tell us not to venture outside due to frostbite risk.

But in the Yakutia region of Siberia, that's just an average winter day where life goes on as usual.

When you live in the coldest inhabited area on Earth, your entire life is arranged around dealing with ridiculously cold temperatures. Villages don't have running water because freezing pipes wouldn't allow for water treatment. Kids go to school unless the temp drops below minus 55 degrees Celsius (which is then considered dangerous). Showering involves spending hours stoking a fire in the bathhouse to create a steamy, warm room.

Native Siberian Kiun B. has created a series of documentary short films detailing what daily life is like in Yakutia's frigid winters. She was born and raised in Yakutsk, Siberia, widely recognized as the coldest city on Earth, where average winter temperatures hover around minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit. As seen in her videos, smaller villages in the Yakutia region regularly dip down into the negative 50s, with the lowest recorded temp in the Yakut village of Oymayakon reaching a mindblowing minus 96 degrees Fahrenheit.

The popularity of Kiun's YouTube channel demonstrates how curious people are about life in such harsh conditions, as her videos have been viewed by tens of millions of people in the past year alone.

Check out this video detailing a day in the life of a family in a Yakutia village.

Can you imagine going out to use an outhouse in minus 40 degrees? Oof.

Another of Kiun's videos goes into more detail about how people shower and do laundry in the region. You might assume they wouldn't line-dry their laundry outdoors, but they do.

Watch:

What do people wear to protect themselves from the negative temperatures? Frostbite is a real risk, so it's important to have the right kinds of clothing and outdoor gear to stay safe and relatively comfortable.

Kiun shared some frigid fashion norms from Yakutsk, which include traditional fur hats and boots as well as lots of layers and down jackets.

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The way humans have learned to adapt to drastically different environments, from the sweltering tropics to the Arctic tundra, is incredible, and it's fascinating to get a close-up look at how people make life work in those extremes. Thank you, Kiun B., for giving us a glimpse of what it's like to experience life in the dead of winter in the world's coldest inhabited places.