New Baltimore family getting through mom and teen's transition day by day
NEW BALTIMORE, Mich. (FOX 2) - A mother and her teen in New Baltimore, Mich. are believed to be the first parent and child to identify as transgender and publicly transition.
The transition began in 2015, on Corey Maison's 14th birthday, when she was surprised with her first dose of hormones.
"I opened it, I read the top and it said, 'Estrogen.' I stopped and froze for like a second, I was so happy I started crying," she said.
"It was such a relief. It had been so many years, waiting," Corey's mom told us back then. Little did Corey know, though, that her mother was struggling with her own gender identity, too.
"The day that I realized that Corey was trans was the same day that I realized I was trans but, as a parent, I had to completely put that on the back burner and focus on my child," Mom told us. They both helped realize their true gender identity while watching YouTube videos of Jazz Jennings, the youngest publicly documented transgender person.
Once Corey was in the midst of her transition, her mother, who now goes by Eric, began his. FOX 2 sat down with both of them in 2017, and they told us how grateful they were to have each other to lean on during the transition.
Eric says he finally found the courage to tell his husband after watching the movie "The Danish Girl," a love story that follows a transgender pioneer and her wife.
"I was just, sobbing. I was crying uncontrollably and I looked at him and I said, 'I'm so sorry you got stuck with a freaking Lilly.' And he didn't understand what that meant at first, and I said, 'I'm just like Corey. I was born in the wrong body.'"
"No matter what, we would make it work," Eric's husband told us in a Skype conversation. "We would find a way that the outside, the body, didn't necessarily mean as much to me as the person I fell in love with, and still love to this day."
Together, they both continue to raise their five children. Eric is still considered "Mom" in their family, although he identifies as a man.
"We are basically taking things day by day and living as a family, we're raising our kids. We're together as a couple; we're doing the best we can for our family," Eric said.
Meanwhile, Eric and Corey find comfort in their unique bond.
"I come home with a sad look on my face, and he's like, 'One of those days?' And I'm like, 'Yep.' Because we both know we go through the same things, we understand," Corey said.
Both were given the opportunity to take a deeper dive into their truths last summer in Destination Canada's docuseries "Vacations of the Brave." Free to be themselves, they took on adventures like kayaking and rafting. It was an unforgettable experience that's stayed with both of them when they're forced to confront the obstacles of life.
Corey, now 17, is on her third school as she is often bullied when she is honest about her journey.
"It makes me feel like I'm worthless and I feel like I'm a doormat and I'm just getting stomped on," she said. "It's been a bumpy road, but, just like a bumpy road you fix your tires and you keep going. I think that's important."
Eric has already made the decision to have his breasts removed, something he says has helped him feel more complete. Corey is waiting for her 18th birthday to undergo a gender affirming surgery. In the meantime, she's modeling and is preparing for college and hopes to become an attorney or social worker to help other teens go through similar transitions.