27 minutes ago
Instagram has shared with me what I posted a year ago. It's the first time it has. My first post on this account was a year ago.
It was the first time I shared a picture with my short hair, for everyone that knew me in real life to see. I was terrified.
The main thing that scared me was the inevitable misgendering that would ensue. It made me want to throw up. So I deactivated the comments on my post. And just wrote a short caption: "For living". Because that's what I had decided I was for. That was the purpose of this body of mine. It was made for living. Even in that pre-everything form.
Not for me to hate on, not for me to torture, to punish, to deliberately injure.
So I posted that picture with my anxiety at an unprecedented high. Comments off. And still, people found a way to message me privately to say how "pretty" I looked. I don't think I need to get into how painful that was.
No one was getting it. No one got any if it, of me, for a while. Those months were pure angst. Constant pain. And a general sense of hopelessness, of being lost. Of being alone.
I started finding some amazing people back then, people who are, a year later, friends. People who became instant friends as soon as we connected. That's how we get through those times. Friends who walk with us. Friends who are hope.
Today, reflecting on where I was a year ago has been intense. Feeling what that small version of me was feeling a year ago comes back easily. I just wish I could hug him. Show him this. Because if I told him, he wouldn't have believed me. And I don't blame him.
Present-day Leo exceeds all my expectations.