A transgender father and daughter from Michigan are telling the inspiring story about their individual transitions.
Corey Maison, 15, came out to her parents four years ago that she identified as a girl, but it wasn’t until last year that her mother (Erica, now Eric) also struggled with gender identity.
Before understanding what it meant to be transgender, both Corey and Eric felt uncomfortable in their skin.
"I was always sad and angry all the time, and I didn’t know what to do about it."
"I knew that something was off, but I didn’t know what that was. I knew that I hated my body, I was very ashamed of it, but I didn’t know, cognitively, why. Honestly, I just thought it was me. I thought there was something wrong with my brain."
As for why Eric waited to follow in his daughter’s footsteps and come out with his own truth, he shared:
"I wanted to make sure that my child was taken care of. I wanted to do everything to make sure her transition was smooth and everything was in place. As a parent, you want to put your kids first."
After experiencing bullying at school, Corey spent a few years being home-schooled — before she ultimately headed back to a welcoming local Detroit school:
"There was an issue with a few parents complaining that there was a trans girl in the bathroom with their children, and the principal basically said, sorry but, President Obama set these guidelines and we’re going to stick by them."
Ugh, Barack Obama, we miss you!!
In 2015, Corey began taking hormone treatments, and this past year Eric started taking testosterone and underwent top surgery to remove his breasts.
Of the support he’s received from his husband, Les, Eric shared:
"It actually came about by accident. [Les and I] were watching the movie The Danish Girl, and the transgender girl named Lili dies at the end, and when she dies I was crying so hard, more than you cry from a movie, and my husband hugs me and says, ‘Are you okay?’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry you’re stuck with a freaking Lili.’ And he took a minute to think and process that and he said, ‘I love you, and no matter what we’ll make this work.’"
"It’s kind of ironic that something needed to be removed from my body to feel more complete. It was a major turning point for me. My biggest area of dysmorphia, my whole life, from puberty, from the time I started developing breasts, was my chest."
The dad/daughter duo has been spreading their message of trans rights, and even landed in National Geographic‘s Gender Revolution issue:
@Regrann from @natgeo – Sometimes our children lead the way. Corey, 14, socially transitioned from boy to girl in the past few years. She gave her Mom, Eric(a) the courage to begin her own transition from female to male. They are moving in opposite directions but toward their true selves. After her first shot of testosterone Erica said she finally felt "complete". Photo by @ljohnphoto for Nat Geo’s Special Issue-Gender Revolution. @natgeo @thephotosociety #gender #nonbinary – #regrann #thisiswhattranslookslikeA post shared by Corey Maison (@coreymaison) on Jan 13, 2017 at 4:48am PST
For more on this inspiring story, ch-ch-check out the 60 Minutes Australia feature on the family (below)!!