A gay teen posted a before and after picture of herself as an example of a "glow up"—a phrase that usually means a beautifying transformation, or going from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. But 17-year-old Caitlin Crowley's glow-up had nothing to do with her looks, and everything to do with leaving the closet.
Crowley told BuzzFeed she is still friends with her date from the first picture, but she's happy to have been dating her girlfriend for a year now and to have been fully out of the closet for the past six months.
"Hearing the stories of complete strangers and their own coming out fears really hit me hard, because when I was first coming to terms with my sexuality I didn't know a single lesbian," Crowley said to BuzzFeed.
"To anyone who's still in the closet: take your time, you are not alone, and you are valid!" she added.
Her tweet resulted in dozens of gay teens—mostly women—sharing photos of themselves dating before and after coming out. "I could see the difference in my 'glo up' from being so uncomfortable with my body and the person I was dating to how I am now!" one participant, Anissa Cruz, said.