2. The account often spotlights their followers during themed submission weeks. The most popular is the “Then & Now” contest, which allows followers to submit a #tbt photo alongside a current photo of themselves:
4. From chopping off locks to taking steps toward transitioning, Demi and Helen think its important to celebrate the changes — big and small — that come with embracing yourself and your identity.
“It’s a chance for people to show themselves,” The founders told BuzzFeed News. Despite the account’s handle, the duo made it clear that the page is intended for the entire LGBT community.
“We want to spread the love within the community and want to make everyone feel part of it. We want people to see that everyone is beautiful, then and now.”
5. BuzzFeed connected with a few of the featured individuals to ask: What does it mean to be totally comfortable in your own skin?
6. “Being comfortable in my own skin means being able to order at a coffee shop and hearing ‘Have a nice day, sir!’ on my way out the door.”
“There are many things I could say about what it means to be comfortable in my own skin. However, simply speaking, being comfortable in my skin means loving myself and my body without worrying about others perceiving me as someone that I am not. Being comfortable in my own skin means being able to order at a coffee shop, and hearing ‘Have a nice day, sir,’ on my way out the door.”
—Kayden, trans man
7. “At the end of the day, you fall asleep in your own skin and only you can make you happy.”
“I hope seeing my changes empower other lesbians, trans [people], and whoever else that change is good. If that change is bettering you and makes you feel like you — nothing else matters. No other opinions matter but your own. At the end of the day, you fall asleep in your own skin and only you can make you happy. When you’re confident and comfortable with yourself, that speaks volumes to other people.”
8. “Identity is what’s inside a person, which makes them unique.”
“I want people to see that even if a person was born a certain way (female), that’s not their identity. Identity is what’s inside a person, which makes them unique. I want people around the world to take away from these transformation pictures that everyone who you see is comfortable with the people they have grown into.
“We are all walkin’ with our heads held high because our LGBT community is growing and support is coming from all over the nation. The world will see us!”
9. “It means closure between such a huge gap from my body and my soul.”
“With any transformation, whether it’s someone in my shoes who is transgender and finally becoming self-recognizable in their own bodies or someone who is working on losing weight for a more healthy lifestyle — we are all in this together, and you can do anything you put your mind to.
“What it means to be comfortable in my own skin is true serenity and happiness. It means closure between such a huge gap from my body and my soul. It means I can finally be free of the chains that pinned me down for so long.”
—Mason, trans man
10. “It’s much easier to be confident and go out into the world when you know who you are and you’re honest with yourself.”
“Being comfortable in your own skin is something I think many people struggle with, and for the transgender community it’s even tougher. The photos are just two snapshots in time for me, but my process of being comfortable with who I am has been a rocky one.
“It’s much easier to be confident and go out into the world when you know who you are and you’re honest with yourself. So now, whether I have long or short hair, top surgery or not, I am comfortable with the person on the inside, and it’s given me the best peace of all.”
—Morgan, trans man
11. “I still battle daily with how people perceive me, but being able to take the steps in living a gender-fluid lifestyle has allowed me to learn more about myself than I knew existed.”
“To be comfortable in my own skin is everything to me. I feel free in living life the way I want to, not living life to please others. I still battle daily with how people perceive me, but being able to take the steps in living a gender-fluid lifestyle has allowed me to learn more about myself than I knew existed.”
12. Do you have your own “Then & Now” photo? Share in the comments below!
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