I Was Flooded With Fan Art After I Stood Up To Trolls
I was born with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, a genetic bone and muscular disorder, characterized by facial differences; I spent much of my childhood in hospitals and had some 25 surgeries by the time I turned 15.
Otherwise, I was a pretty regular kid, who loved sleepovers with friends, family time and watching lots of TV. I discovered a passion for writing in high school, then got my start as a weekly columnist for my hometown newspaper. I went on to write for publications such as the New York Times, ELLE, and the Washington Post.
By my mid-30s, I had a career I was proud of, but otherwise, a quiet life ― until September 2019, when I became the target of an army of cyberbullies.These artworks makes me feel seen and understood in a way I never really was before I stood up to the cyberbullies.
It all started after I wrote an anti-Trump op-ed for CNN. A Conservative YouTuber with hundreds of thousands of followers referenced it in one of his videos, and the commenters were less interested in talking about my politics, and more about how much they disliked my face.
One of the trolls even went to the effort of finding my Facebook account and sending me the link in a DM, to be sure I saw what everyone was saying. Suddenly, I found myself reading hundreds of hateful comments.
I withdrew from social media for the next few days, weighed down by self-consciousness, sadness and anger. But I couldn’t help returning to look, the following week. By then, there were more than 5,000 comments on the post.
As I scrolled, I noticed someone had written I should be “banned from posting photos” of myself because I was “too ugly.” Something inside me snapped. Rather than remain silent, I let those cruel words inspire me to tweet this:
“During the last round of Trollgate, people said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself, because I’m too ugly. So I’d just like to commemorate the occasion with these 3 selfies ...”
During the last round of trollgate, people said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I’m too ugly. So I’d just like to commemorate the occasion with these 3 selfies...