Kiera Hagen-Brenner, 26, California
This is a five-page comic I drew in 2019 based on a journal entry when I felt I was at my worst. Comics and writing have always been my chosen medium for self-expression, especially when sharing my personal stories. Unfortunately, when I posted this on my main Instagram account, some relatives saw it and requested I take it down as it creates a "bad image" of me (especially for potential employers). I felt devastated that they asked me to do that, but I did as they said and deleted it from my page, despite the outpouring of support I got from others.
I wish we lived in a world where we could feel safe sharing our vulnerabilities. Not only would we feel like we are not alone and are part of a larger community, but I truly believe it could save lives. It hurts deeply when the people you love tell you to hide your imperfections instead of embrace them.
In sharing my comic again, I hope I can encourage others to speak about their weaknesses, their insecurities, and I also hope it encourages people to be more accepting of others who are different than them.