‘He said, ‘You can look like a wholesome American beauty, or you can look weird and androgynous. We want to wipe all of the wholesomeness out of you.’

“I started counting every calorie, I ignored my hunger, and I’d work out without eating much or anything after. I’d weigh myself whenever I could sneak into my parent’s bathroom. The scale dictated my happiness, the size of my clothes measured my worth. Hopefully I can sustain this starving myself thing for the next ten-ish years, I’d think to myself.”

‘I threw my baby in a dumpster. No goodbyes, no tears.’

“My hands shook as I grabbed a Dixie cup and gently scooped this little piece of flesh, my heart, my blood, from its watery grave. A moment later, I left the bathroom. My little burden wrapped in paper towels, and put it in my purse.”

‘I just got shot, I just got shot, I…got…shot.’ Trapped under a pile of squirming, scared bodies, I lay helplessly on the cold rooftop floor, blood inching toward my face. It wasn’t my blood.’

“I stared at a man next to me gasping for breath. A frantic woman gave him mouth-to-mouth through his blood-covered face, desperate to save him. He was alone. No one knew who he was. As the paramedics lifted me onto a stretcher and carried me down the stairs, I saw them cover his body.”

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