Transgender teens are taking to social media to proudly share their stories of transition with a hashtag that is sweeping social media. #MomentsInTransition was started by 17-year-old Gabrielle Diana, who shared her own experience on Instagram with a photo and a poignant message.
"I used to wear my moms dresses and make-up...I was just a gay boy experimenting with my image," she wrote. "But now I'm a transitioning woman, almost getting to the next step of a major surgery that I never imagined would be in the cards."
Following her powerful message of hope and personal strength, many of her followers and supporters took to Twitter to share their own stories and pictures of transition:
Gabrielle told DailyMailOnline that she has been happily surprised by the reaction and response her message has received: "Our transitions are completely personal and these moments are defining as who we are, also remember that we are always developing as people and we have no real idea of what the future holds for us!"
She continued, "I was inspired by many things. Particularly looking through old photos of me...I saw how much progression I've made, and I thought of how far I've come instead of thinking about the desires I have for the future."
Another one of her goals was to raise awareness about trans rights, as she knows there is still a lot to be done. "I would like to believe that there is more acceptance and understanding but the reality is, the more we gain representation and recognition, the more people want to fight against us." She added, "There is still a long way to go for the trans community, and we are doing the most we can to create awareness, now it's up to the people who are targeting us to end the violence towards trans identifying people."
Gabrielle's bravery has inspired many to be just as brave, and the more people come forward about their own strides, the more people will feel free to be who they really are in the future. It is people like Gabrielle who are helping change the narrative around LGBT issues.
Watch BET's groundbreaking documentary film Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church:
(Photo: Kita Nicole via Twitter)