be yourself

‘I’d cash my check for thousands, cry-jerk alone in bed, hop in my Rolls-Royce, and pretend it never happened.’: 26-year-old woman ditches deceivingly ‘glamorous’ lifestyle, now living life ‘truly, unapologetically’

“I was making 6 figures, had 3 cars. My ‘friends’ would come for parties in my huge house. But the second I was blackout drunk, not a single soul noticed or cared to ask where I was. In my OWN house. I’d wake in the bathroom, wipe off the vomit, then scroll through photos of me looking perfect, side by side girls with shots in hand, with captions like, ‘best friends forever.’ It literally made me sick.”

‘Please, when I wake up, change me into a boy.’ I’d make deals with God and wake up excited. Nothing changed.’: Transgender man finally ‘at peace,’ loves who he sees ‘looking back in the mirror’

“Growing up, there was this football field behind my house. I’d go there and lie down in the middle of the it, looking up at the sky and begging God to strike me with a lightning bolt. And just change me. Change my body. Every day I did this, and woke up sobbing. I didn’t have a word for how I felt. I knew I was attracted to women. But I also knew I felt like a boy trapped in a girl’s body.”

‘How can your mom kiss you with that face?!’ My cysts were so bad they’d literally explode at any time.’: Young woman with Acne Conglobata embraces skin, gave her ‘confidence, resilience’

“I’ve had acne since I was 7. My skin would literally stretch to the point where it would break and stain my clothes, desk, and exams with blood and pus. People treat me like I’m unworthy as a human being. I know now it wasn’t ME that needed to change, it was my environment. My skin condition doesn’t have a cure, but I no longer think it needs one. My acne has made me resilient. And I’m proud of it.”

‘You look like a snake. You’ll never get a boyfriend.’ I made up my mind the whole human race was beautiful, and I was ugly.’: Woman survives 4th degree burns after ‘hide and seek’ game gone wrong, learns to embrace unique beauty

“My friend invited me to a local nightclub. Before I knew it, I was dancing with someone and their hands were rubbing up and down my back. He whispered in my ear, ‘Are you wearing a corset?’ That scared the absolute life out of me. It was my scars, once a gaping hole through my back, and he could feel them through my clothing.”

‘Mom, I’m gay.’ I was crying so loudly. ‘So what? You’re my son. Nothing is going to change.’: Man loses mother to heart attack, wishes he ‘thanked her for her words’

“It was Christmas time. I’d just finished getting my tree and laid down when my brother called. ‘Mom passed.’ Time stopped. Silence. I instantly threw up. The next day, I drove home. The first thing I saw was her pile of presents. She’d wrapped them and when she finished, she sat down and never got up again. I wish I could’ve thanked her, told her how much her words meant to me. I thought I had more time but, out of nowhere, time ran out.”

‘I went to get my hair done, sat down with my stylist, and the chair BROKE. I needed to make a change.’: Woman starts world’s first ever plus-size salon, reminds us ‘beauty has no weight limit’

“Strangers vandalized my business out of hate. Destroyed air conditioners, smeared human poop on our windows. I received death threats. But through it all, I let it roll. off. my. shoulders. I was creating a safe space for women of all shapes and sizes to feel glamorous and pampered. The world is such a cold place. I can’t change that. But what I can do is keep a positive attitude!”

‘The weird looks. Names. Disgust. Laughter. Violence. I just couldn’t fit in.’: Woman with Congenital Melanocytic Nevus claims ‘beauty is diversity,’ learns to love her ‘endless birthmarks’

“Before I could prove myself, they already knew what they thought of me. Judgement straight away. To be honest, nothing feels more discouraging than not even getting a chance. Over the years, teachers just accepted the bullying. I can’t even remember how many times my parents spoke to the principal, but I’ll always remember him saying, ‘We don’t care.’ I was alone, scared, broken. It was my son that got me through the worst. When everyone else left me alone, he always offered a home to my soul.”

‘My boys asked me to build a fort. Seriously, it was amazing. Until they asked me to spend the night with them.’: Mom learns to accept all the things she ‘just can’t do anymore’

“I did it. I obliged. I smiled and pretended to have fun. I slept in that teeny tiny space. But I paid for it the next morning. Boy, did I ever. Y’all. I can’t do that anymore. I’m too old, or too grouchy, or too in-love with sleep. Whichever it may be, I just can’t do that anymore. I’d give just about anything for my 16-year-old body again.”

‘She’s so beautiful.’ ‘Yeah, RIGHT. She’s Christian! You don’t have a chance.’: LGBTQ couple thrives despite hate, claim ‘love is so much stronger than words’

“Then, she slid in my inbox! ‘I dare you to come outside and kiss me.’ We met at the stairs, looked at each other, her hand softly grabbed my face. Her lips felt like my missing puzzle piece. Everyone told us it wouldn’t work, that same-sex couples were an abomination. I’m so glad I didn’t listen. When you know, you know.”

‘The bride who refused to cover her birthmark.’ People wonder why I’m not ashamed.’: Woman with nevus birthmark celebrates her ‘distinctive look,’ reminds us to ‘love ourselves’

“At church, I made eye contact with a lady. She gestured for me to remove my birthmark from my face. I ignored her, but every time I gazed her direction, she’d make the same gesture. At the end of the service, the pastor asked if anyone had final remarks. She stood up. ‘I want the young lady to remove what’s was on her face.’ I was 9 years old.”

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