We can get a lot of inspiration from our parents, but sometimes they use us as an example, too. That’s what happened with Eric and Corey Maison, a father and a daughter from Detroit, who both came out as transgender just a few years apart. After struggling separately for years, Eric and Corey are now transitioning together.
In an interview with Australia's 60 Minutes, Eric and Corey open up about their transitions and the power of going through the process together. During the interview, Eric says he realized he wanted to transition after watching a documentary about Jazz Jennings, a transgender teenager. Corey, now 15, came out four years ago, telling her parents she was transitioning to live as a girl, and last year her father Eric followed suit.
“I wanted to make my parents proud of who I am, but I thought that they would not like me,” Corey says during the interview. You might remember Corey from her viral video about being bullied for her identity.
While that was happening, Eric was struggling with his gender identity, and had been for years. In the interview he reveals he had always hoped to have his breasts removed and thought about living as a man. Corey’s transition served as an example for Eric, particularly since Eric was worried about how his family, including his husband, would react.
“The first feeling was relief, the second was terror,” he tells Australia’s 60 Minutes. “Fear for what my future would hold, fear for how my family and children would...fear for what the rest of my life was going to look like.”
But Eric’s husband supports him, saying Eric is still the person he married. And after having top surgery as part of his transition, Eric feels better than ever with both his body and his family. Eric’s only regret, he says, is not coming out sooner.
“But that’s OK, because I have five beautiful children,” he says. “I have an amazing husband and an amazing life. My life’s pretty good now. It’s awesome.”
This story originally appeared on Teen Vogue.
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