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'What's not to love?' This 'Orange Is the New Black' star is what self-acceptance looks like.

Before "Orange Is the New Black" or her stand-up comedy career, DeLaria struggled like so many others.

'What's not to love?' This 'Orange Is the New Black' star is what self-acceptance looks like.

Sometimes, coming to terms with yourself can be a lifelong process.

That's the message Lea DeLaria puts out in a recent video she did for StyleLikeU.

You probably best know DeLaria as "Big Boo," Litchfield Penitentiary's resident confident butch lesbian on the Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black." And while her on-screen persona aligns in a number of ways with her own life, it wasn't always that way.


GIF from "Orange Is the New Black."

The video begins with DeLaria explaining what it is she strives for in life: self-acceptance.

Fans of stand-up comedy might remember DeLaria as the first openly gay comedian to appear on a late-night talk show — a feat accomplished in 1993 on "The Arsenio Hall Show."

"It's hip to be queer, and I'm a bi-i-i-i-ig dyke!" she famously announced to her TV audience.

"I hated myself for not being 'normal.' At that time, [being gay] was still considered a mental disease."

Still, behind that bravado was someone desperate to debunk myths about what it's like being a butch lesbian.

All remaining GIFs via StyleLikeU.

Like many, DeLaria struggled coming to terms with her own identity and coming out to others.

She touches on her path to stand-up comedy, which followed a stint as a carpenter.

"Stand-up comedy in those days was a big activist tool, so that's what I started doing," she says. "I'm very grateful for that because I probably would have, you know, put a gun in my mouth if I didn't have that. ... I think, personally, my coming out experience was very, very difficult ... because I thought I was the only one."

Afraid of rejection, she didn't come out to her parents until she was 28. To her surprise, they accepted her.

When she eventually came out to her parents, her father had no idea. "Let me just say to that, 'Look at me,'" she jokes. Her parents' acceptance was made a bit easier by her career success (she guest starred on an episode of "Matlock" around that time).

"I hated myself for not being 'normal.' At that time, [being gay] was still considered a mental disease."

Introspection didn't end with her sexuality. There was another issue to tackle: accepting her weight.

Working in the entertainment industry, she was hit with a lot of the sexist double standards around appearance and weight.

"Men can weigh any f*cking weight they want. They can be any weight they want. No one gives a sh*t about it."

But when it comes to women? Women are constantly sexualized and told their value hinges on how attractive men find them. But DeLaria isn't having it. "There's nothing wrong with [being fat]. It's that simple."

According to her own words, she's not beautiful. She prefers "handsome" — thank you very much.

Earlier this year, she got engaged to her longtime girlfriend, fashion editor Chelsea Fairless.

DeLaria bristles at the question, "When do you feel the most beautiful?" replying, "I never think of myself as 'beautiful,' so that's a very strange word to apply to me, I think."

"I'm more of a handsome person. When my fiancée looks at me with this look in her eye, and I can see that she's completely and utterly in love with me, she makes me feel really handsome. Even when she's mad, I can still see it in her eyes."

You can watch the complete interview below.

Just an FYI, it contains some explicit and NSFW language.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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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."