— -- If Corey Maison’s story is any proof, sometimes the biggest things really do come in the smallest packages. Last week, the transgender teen from Detroit received a life-changing gift inside a little pink and white box: her first dose of estrogen. And her emotional response, caught on camera by her mother, Erica Maison, has gone viral.
“It was one of the best moments of my life,” Erica said in an interview with ABC News. “I can't remember a time I've been so elated in my life other than when I had my children.”
For Corey and her family, this moment was “long awaited.” Erica said that from the time Corey was young, she was “a little girly.” When Corey was in the fifth grade, Erica showed her a video of transgender teen Jazz Jennings.
“I said, ‘How do you feel about that?'” Erica told ABC News. “And Corey said, 'Oh my gosh, Mom, that's me.'”
Erica said Corey has faced a number of hurdles in the past two-and-a-half years, especially when she “still looked like a boy and was dressing like a girl.” She was turned away from neighborhood parties and scolded for her attire. At school, Corey was bullied so much, Erica said, that she pulled her out in the fifth grade and homeschooled her. Finding medical professionals that specialize in transgender people, let alone transgender teens, was a challenge.
Erica said that things have gotten easier. She and Corey found the gender clinic at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, where Corey underwent hormone treatments to stop male puberty. Now with her estrogen treatments, Corey will be able to start female puberty.
Once Corey “looked more like a girl,” Erica said, things became “so much easier.” Corey dismissed her neighborhood bullies, and many of them stopped picking on her. Some even became her friends. Corey even felt comfortable enough to re-enroll in public school for 8th grade.
Erica told ABC that she never expected the video of Corey to have so much of an impact.
“I expected to share it on Facebook with my little 200-and-some friends,” she said. The video had been viewed more than 1.8 million times. Erica said the response has been overwhelmingly positive: “Not one negative message, nothing but an outpouring of love.” Maison hopes that her video - and her message to parents of transgender teens - will help others.
“I want them to open their hearts and accept their children for who they are, not for what gender they do or do not identify with. Their hearts do not change because their outer appearance does,” she said. “We all just want to be loved and accepted by others. And that's all any transgender child wants, is to be loved and accepted fully by their parents.”