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The first openly trans man is graduating from Spelman. Here's his incredible story.

This commencement season, one Spelman College student is making remarkable history.    

Keo Chaad O'Neal says that he is the first openly trans man to graduate from Spelman College, one of the most well-known single-sex historically black colleges (HBCUs) in the nation.

In a social media post that's now gone viral, O'Neal stands proudly in a Spelman stole, grinning from ear to ear. The response to his accomplishment was profound.


O'Neal's undergraduate journey was not a linear one.He transferred out of Spelman, an all-women's college, to a predominately white institution (PWI) because he couldn't be his "full queer self." Though O'Neal initially found women who encouraged him to be live authentically, he found himself constantly having to choose between being queer and being unapologetically black.

"I felt like no matter what, I was sacrificing a part of myself, so then it came down to which fight I wanted to fight," says O'Neal. "This became one of those instances where you have to choose your race over your sexuality which, unfortunately, a lot of QPOC (queer people of color) have to do."  

O'Neal's choice is all too relatable for many queer black kids navigating higher education spaces.

Some institutions normalize blackness, while others normalize queerness. It's rare for kids of color find a place that affirms both.  

Intersectionality, which describes overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage — such as race, gender, and sexuality — is something that many queer black kids grapple with in society. Having various identities, all of which are discriminated against in compounding ways, can be a heavy burden.

Being unapologetically black and queer shouldn't be mutually exclusive, but for many black youth, it is.

Fortunately, O'Neal had a support system that gave him the confidence to transfer back to Spelman and be himself there, each and every day until he graduated.

Particularly helpful to O'Neal were Dean of Students Fran'Cee Brown-McClure and the Spelman Wellness Center's Coach Makeba Reed-Johnson. "I wouldn't have been able to finish out at Spelman if it were not for them," says O'Neal. "They defended, protected, and extended themselves to me."  

He also found a supportive network of friends, including Spelman junior Abeo Chimeka-Tisdale.

"I think that Keo's graduation is important to the atmosphere at HBCUs because it shows that there is a place for us at the institutions, even if we have to create that space for ourselves," Chimeka-Tisdale says in an email. "It shows that even when these institutions try to erase or ignore us, we can persevere and thrive on our own."

O'Neal's support network serves as an example for other institutions looking to create a more inclusive student body.

Mount Holyoke College, a single-sex school in South Hadley, MA, likely has one of the most progressive policies the nation. The college admits students designated male at birth who identify as female or nonbinary, as well as those designated female at birth who identify as male or nonbinary.

In September 2017, Spelman announced that it would admit transgender women, becoming one of many colleges around the nation revisiting admissions policies as it pertains to trans and nonbinary students.

Though encouraging, admissions policies are just the beginning of true change. Single-sex college campuses must work to foster environments that make queer and trans students feel safe and included in the student body. The necessary shift is slowly in the works, particularly in the black community, according to O'Neal.

"Since my coming out, people are a lot more curious and a lot more willing to learn about sexuality and gender and more importantly, learning the difference between the two," he says. "I find that people are a lot more genuine when talking to me about queerness because they really just want to understand, which is something I never got my freshman year."  

Working toward systemic change is no easy undertaking. But O'Neal says that starting with yourself, your campus, or your community — even if it's hard — is the best first step.

"Sometimes you have to carve out your own spaces to exist, and that is OK, but do not allow anyone to put you in a corner," O'Neal says. "Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it."

Photo courtesy of Keo Chaad O'Neal, used with permission.

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Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

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During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

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A woman treats her miniature pig like a toddler and it even 'talks' with electronic buttons

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Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash

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Pigs are cute. Well, piglets are cute, but they usually don't stay those tiny little snorting things very long. That is unless you get a mini pig and name it something majestic like Merlin. (I would've gone with Hamlet McBacon, but no one asked me.)

Mina Alali, a TikTok user from California, has been going viral on the internet for her relationship with Merlin, her miniature pig. Of course, there are plenty of folks out there with pigs—mini pigs, medium pigs, pigs that weigh hundreds of pounds and live in a barn with a spider named Charlotte. But not everyone carries their pig around on adventures like it's their child.

Alali's videos of her sweet interactions with her little pig have gotten a lot of people wanting their own piggy, but training Merlin wasn't always easy. According to Yahoo Finance, the 25-year-old told SWNS that she has wanted a pig her whole life and finding Merlin was a "dream come true," but she wasn't expecting how challenging it would be to train him. If you've never been around pigs, then you may not know that they squeal—a lot—and unless you're living on an actual farm, that could be a problem.

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Studies show that for people looking for a serious relationship, real life may be the better option.

According to Newsweek, a study by Illinois State University sociology professor Susan Sprecher found that young people who first met face to face were 25% more likely to report feelings of closeness than those who initially met online. Aditi Paul, a communications professor at Pace University in New York, found that people who first met in real life lasted four times longer than those who met online.

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It’s hard to see these stories in the news every few weeks—or days—and not get desensitized, especially when lawmakers have made it clear that they will not do anything substantive to curb the availability of assault weapons in the U.S.

After the assault weapons ban, which had been in effect for 10 years, lapsed in 2004, the number of mass shootings tripled.

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People rally behind a 12-year-old actress who was 'humiliated' with a 'Razzie' nomination

The parody awards show has now enforced an age limit rule to its nominations.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the 2022 film 'Firestarter'

Since the early 80s, the Golden Raspberry Awards, aka the "Razzies," has offered a lighthearted alternative to the Oscars, which, though prestigious, can sometimes dip into the pretentious. During the parody ceremony, trophies are awarded to the year’s worst films and performances as a way to "own your bad," so the motto goes.

However, this year people found the Razzies a little more than harmless fun when 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong was nominated for "Worst Actress" for her performance in the 2022 film "Firestarter." She was 11 when the movie was filmed.

Sadly, this is not the first time a child has received a Razzie nom. Armstrong joins the ranks of Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," as well as Macaulay Culkin, who was nominated three times.

Armstrong's nomination resulted in a flood of comments from both industry professionals and fans who felt the action was cruel and wanted to show their support for the young actress.

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Two small dogs were surrendered to Marin Humane Society in Novato, California and the female had recently given birth to puppies. It's not clear if the previous owners felt like they couldn't care for both the older dogs and the puppies so they just kept the puppies, or if something else prompted the drop-off.

Either way, this mama dog was in distress after being left at the shelter without her babies. She refused to leave the corner of the large kennel and just looked so sad. The employees felt for the sweet mama dog and decided to do some detective work to see if they could figure out where the puppies were located.

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