LGBT

"Never Give Up": Trans People Share Messages Of Love And Support For Trans Day Of Visibility

“You are beautiful, you are brilliant, and you are worthy of love.”

Amos Mac / BuzzFeed News

2. To celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility, Instagram, GLAAD, and genderqueer advocate Jacob Tobia gathered a group of leaders in the trans community to shoot a video in honor of the holiday — but the participants didn’t know what to expect.

3. Inspired by Jimmy Kimmel’s celebrity “Mean Tweets” but with an uplifting twist, the unsuspecting participants were filmed reading kind comments posted from their followers to their Instagram accounts.

Instagram

4. Trans leaders involved in the video, which was shared exclusively with BuzzFeed News, included advocates and activists ranging from YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous to Transparent actresses Trace Lysette and Alexandra Grey.

Trace Lysette by Amos Mac / Via instagram.com

5. A creative team of trans professionals behind the scenes included stylist Cetine Dale and photographer, publisher, and producer Amos Mac, who was featured on HBO’s The Trans List. Mac took the following series of portraits for the project.

Amos Mac / Via instagram

6. Inspired by the #KindComments video, we asked some of the participants to share what kind comments they have for themselves — and what they tell queer and trans friends when they’re feeling down. Here’s what they had to say.

7. “When queer and trans folks have internalized so many of the negative things that the world tells us, simply telling someone you love ‘you don’t deserve this’ can be revolutionary.” —Jacob Tobia, writer and producer

Amos Mac

Jacob’s self-affirmation:
“When I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed, like when I have an audition or an interview or a red carpet or something, I make it a habit to look myself in the mirror and say ‘You are beautiful, you are brilliant, and you are worthy of love.’ It really helps me feel at home in my body again, at peace with myself.”

Jacob’s message of love and support for queer and trans friends:
“I think an important component of kindness within the queer/trans community is just acknowledging that the pain folks feel is real. So much of what I do for my friends is affirm that they are justified in how they feel, that they aren’t being too sensitive or too dramatic, that how they feel is legitimate. Too often, queer and trans people are told to simply suck up the shit that the world dishes us. Acknowledging that we shouldn’t have to — supporting one another in the hope that we one day won’t have to — is a radical act of kindness. When queer and trans folks have internalized so many of the negative things that the world tells us, simply telling someone you love ‘you don’t deserve this’ can be revolutionary.”

8. “I tell myself that I’m strong, beautiful, and talented, and that I have a purpose to do good in this world and help my community.” — Alexandra Grey, Actress

Amos Mac

Alexandra’s self-affirmation:
“Well because I am human, there are days when I don’t feel my best. The thing I tell myself is to remember how far I’ve come and then to remember where I’m going. I tell myself that I’m strong, beautiful, and talented, and that I have a purpose to do good in this world and help my community. Keeping that in mind always reminds me that i have no choice but to keep trying hard.

Alexandra’s message of love and support for queer and trans friends:
“I’d say what I say to myself. Give yourself more credit. Know that you are doing so great. If you have to cry, go ahead and let it out but make sure you pick yourself up right after and keeping pushing for your dreams. Be strong and have courage.”

9. “Surround yourself with the positive things in your life like laughter, friends and family.” — Gigi Gorgeous, YouTube Creator

Amos Mac

Gigi’s self-affirmation:
“Live every day like it’s your last. As you see in This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, I lost my mother at a young age. It taught me life can be taken away at any moment and you should enjoy it while you can. Appreciate what you have today.”

Gigi’s message of love and support for queer and trans friends:
“Surround yourself with the positive things in your life like laughter, friends and family.”

10. “When I’m at my lowest, I always remind myself of the worst times I had and how I thought they’d never end, but they did. And I got through it.” — Schuyler Bailar, student and trans advocate

Amos Mac

Schuyler’s self-affirmation:
“When I’m at my lowest, I always remind myself of the worst times I had and how I thought they’d never end, but they did. And I got through it. And I’ll get through this one, too. I think about small good things in my day — the sunrise, the sunset, giggling with a friend, a message from someone that makes me smile. I remind myself to allow happiness to seep into even the bad days, because it’s there — I just have to let it.

Schuyler’s message of love and support for queer and trans friends:
“I remind others who are down of the fact that they’ve had hardship before. And they are still here today. In fact, nothing has ever stopped them and this won’t either. They’ll be happy again, and they’ll be okay. And then I try to remind them of little things they enjoy and distract them.”

11. “My #1 mantra is never give up.” — Angelica Ross, transgender advocate and actress

Amos Mac

Angelica’s self-affirmation:
“My #1 mantra is never give up, a spirit encouraged in me through my Buddhist Practice and mentors Daisaku Ikeda, Josei Toda, and Tsnuseboro Makaguchi.”

Angelica’s message of love and support for queer and trans friends:
“Understand that ‘your best’ changes from day to day, even moment to moment. Many factors play a part in us not being able to be our best or do our best, but those factors should never ultimately determine who you are or what ‘your best’ looks like. Think about ‘your best’ as ‘your best spirit.’ The next time you find yourself in a bad or challenging situation ask yourself, “Do I have the best spirit possible in this situation?” If the answer is no, then do something about it. If the answer is yes, accept it and prepare yourself whether through rest or activity to bring your best to the next available moment.”

12. “The world is full of love and beauty and you deserve all of that. Go towards love.” — Rocco Kayiatos, hip-hop recording artist

Amos Mac

Rocco’s self-affirmation:
“My mantra for myself is: This is your one life! Live it bravely, authentically and unapologetically. You are a magical person.”

Rocco’s message of love and support for queer and trans friends:
“My words for others are: If someone isn’t loving towards you, their opinions do not matter. The world is full of love and beauty and you deserve all of that. Go towards love.”

13. “Remember, you’re flipping fabulous, and you are you, and you are perfect the way you are.” — Zoey Luna, teen activist

Amos Mac

Zoey’s self-affirmation:
“When I’m feeling anxious or really insecure I just tell myself “Zoey Luna, you are Zoey Luna. Your family loves you, friends love you, boys would die over you, some girls or boys don’t have that so just relax keep doing you and try to pick someone else up while they’re down because you are so privileged.”

Zoey’s message of love and support for queer and trans friends:
“I hate seeing any of my friends feeling sad for anything, and when I see anyone in the LGBTQ community (my friend or not) feeling sad about being themselves, it hurts me deeply because I’ve been exactly through that, I tell them “Hey, you’re awesome sauce! I know it’s sucks being bullied or feeling like an outsider, but be proud — you can say that you’ve made it this far, and you’re going to get further. Life is tough, you and I know it very well, but life can also be bliss. Don’t let this sad moment ruin everything for you when you have a long time to keep making new experiences and great memories. Remember, you’re flipping fabulous, and you are you, and you are perfect the way you are.”

Messages have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

14. See the full series of portraits here, and spread the love on Instagram with #KindComments.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Shannon Keating is the LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Shannon Keating at shannon.keating@buzzfeed.com.
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