We Asked LGBTQ People To Show Us How They Changed After Coming Out Of The Closet, And The Transformations Are Dramatic
Because everyone loves a good old-fashioned gay glow-up.
1. "I wish the little guy on the left knew that a decade later, all his dreams would come true: I'm living as an expat in New York City, working in diversity." —Michael B.
2. "Boom. Three years of YouTube makeup tutorials, opening the closet door, and adapting plaid into my wardrobe." —breyonnamorgan
4. "All my life I’ve felt beat down. I battled brain cancer, hence the baldness, but I am the happiest queer you could imagine. I am in touch with my mind, my body, and my queerness, and I would never change that." —ChipBuzz
5. "I joined the Air Force when I was 18 to serve my country and to be a police officer. I thought the lifestyle would make me act like a 'man.' Ten years later, I’m out of the closet, loved by my wingmen, and I learned what a real man really is." —Cody
6. "The 'before' me tried bangs and heavy eyeliner and had no idea she was bisexual. The 'after' me has no time for makeup (most of the time), smiles more authentically, and is proud to be a bisexual female dating a man no matter who tries to put her in a box!!!" —Olivia
7. "From an awkward performing arts kid to a proud pansexual queen with the best partner ever." —Alexa
8. "2008 versus 2018. I wore striped tights literally all the time, and somehow my family was still stunned when I came out as bi?!" —Casey
9. "I was painfully in the closet and depressed till I was 28 years old. When I came out, I decided to switch my whole life up. I started working out, eating healthy, and living my best open life! I’ve never been happier!" —Evan
12. "I was scared of not knowing if I was gay and how the world would accept me, full of insecurities; now I am comfortable in my own skin and very happy being part of the LGBTQ community and helping others as much as possible!" —ferfornelli
13. "I used to be an awkward, dorky weirdo trying to be as pretty and girly as possible. Now I'm much more comfortable in my own skin." —Eleanor
14. Going from looking like a ninth runner-up on The Bachelor to a fierce bi prideista is a solid glow-up." —Hannah
15. "Surprisingly, coming out of the closet meant making moves away from the V-neck shirts." —esoken
16. "People in high school were always trying to get me out of my shorts into skirts. I never felt like I was good enough. Since then, I’ve cut my hair off and found a style to fit me, and I’ve never felt better. I’m more confident in myself now, and I’ve never felt more at home in my own skin." —Ray
17. "I was a total tomboy and totally 'straight' thanks to internalized homophobia; now I'm out-and-proud gay! (And still a total tomboy with better hair!)" —Sophie
18. "From a closeted 15-year-old to a super-gay, super-married 25-year-old. I am more happy, more fulfilled, and more successful than I could possibly have imagined." —Tony
20. "First one is from right around Father's Day 2016, and the second one is from Mother's Day 2021." —Valerie
21. "At 17: beauty queen, valedictorian, Mormon, model oldest child. At 27: fat, bisexual, nonbinary, tattooed, rebel auntie (Doc Martens not pictured)." —ljeppso
23. "From being in a sorority and hiding, to quitting a sorority and being a proud 'she'/'they' queer." —countsk288
25. "Sixteen-year-old me, who wore mostly bigger clothing and a coat no matter how hot it was because i was insecure, versus 26-year-old me, who is out, proud, and loud 🏳️🌈 ." —Marcel Walker
26. "Prom photo, from when I was 16 and super closeted. I'm now 22 and out and proud as agender/demiboy and queer!" —forest_nymph24
28. "From in the closet at 13 (don’t know how any of us missed the signs there) to being my most authentic me at 30 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈." —boheezyinak
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.