For so long, i've tried to get away from my past. if it was ever brought up, i would instantly shut down the conversation. but i've come to terms that, there's no need to run from anything. there is nothing to hide. because who i was before, is what made me the man i am today. everything that i went through, that i battled, that i conquered, has made me that much stronger. even though i was laughed at, mocked, labeled as an outcast amongst my peers, nothing slowed down my will to fight for myself. to fight to look in the mirror to see myself as a whole starring back. i found this old shirt that i used to wear all the time back in the day. i remember all the adventures i had wearing it, all the memories good and bad, all the love i had for it in general. when i came out at the age of 7 to my grandma, the first person to ever know, she bought me this shirt, knowing how much i loved pokemon, and the meaning it held behind it. when i came out to her, we were watching pokemon on an early saturday morning. i had my cards layed out across the couch with my action figures. the show came on, and i would flip through my cards naming all the ones i had. as the show played on, my grandma asked me why i watched the main character so closely and would try to mimic him. it was in that moment, i didn't say i wanted to be a pokemon trainer, but i answered her in the most sure way a 7 year old could. i said, "no, i want to be like ash, i want to be a boy, because that's who i feel like i am." all she did was smile and nod, and gave me a reassuring look that i will hold dear to my heart as long as i live. she told me she loved me no matter what, and from then on out, called me her little boy. so this picture is for her, to see how that little boy, grew up to be a man. and i will never be able to thank her enough, for giving me the love and guidance she did to get me to where i am right now.
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