Reading this headline, you might think it’s shocking, even strange. You might even roll your eyes and dismiss it as another “out there” kind of story. But this is not a fantastical story for the sake of shocking people. This is merely the story of two people who happen to be family and also, who both happened to feel trapped in a body that didn’t reflect who they were.
It takes a lot of guts to be who you really are, especially when being who you are can raise eyebrows and bring dramatic change. But this is what Eric Maison and his daughter, 15-year-old Corey, have done together. The best part of this story is that it was the daughter who encouraged her father to become the person he truly was.
This is because Eric and Corey weren’t always father and daughter. Just a few years ago, Eric was Erica and Corey was a little boy. But when Corey started watching a reality show about the inspiring transgender Jazz Jennings, Corey knew her feelings weren’t as strange as she had thought.
“Wow, I’m just like her,” Corey remembers saying when she watched Jazz Jennings going through life as a transgender teen. “I’m a girl trapped in a boy’s body,” Corey had said. The teen explained how she was always acting very girly and posing, that’s what came naturally to her.
At that time, Eric was still Erica. The latter had given birth to five children and she was married to her husband and Corey’s father. But when she saw her daughter Corey and started listening to her, she realized her daughter was just like her. Erica too was trapped in her own skin. She always felt like a man, not a woman.
And so, Eric, who was still Erica at the time, gave his daughter the best present she could get. Corey got her her first set of hormones. She was given the chance to start transitioning and stop puberty from giving her a deeper voice and facial hair.
When Eric saw how courageous his daughter was “in the face of so much adversity,” he knew he too had to be true to himself. So Eric lost the “a” and started his process by cutting his long blonde locks and giving himself a very short do. He would also start taking testosterone injections so that his voice would deepen and he would get facial hair.
For Eric, a defining moment of his transition was when he had a double mastectomy. It was the moment he removed that defining part that made him a woman. It was a surgery that would finally free him and make him feel like the man he has always felt.
It sounds amazing and it was for the father and his daughter. Feeling trapped in your own skin is not something anyone should go through and it was wonderful that these two were courageous enough to be true to themselves. Still, it doesn’t mean that the process was easy for the people around them.
And yet, this husband proved to be supportive and understanding. “It’s difficult because I married this beautiful woman," he explained. “But I’m getting the opportunity to see someone become who they truly are.”
Amazing? Yes. Not many spouses would find the understanding and the love to see their spouse change gender. And yet, this husband has proved that it is possible and letting the person become who they truly are is a great way of showing undying support.
The father and daughter look happy as they’re finally living their authentic self. There’s only one regret Eric has and that is that he didn’t educate himself before on transgenderism. Maybe he could have wasted less time and transitioned sooner.
Still, he has transitioned now and witnessed his son turn into the person she really is. Eric too has proved to be courageous in changing into the person he’s always wanted to be, despite having a family. This man has proved that it’s never too late to become the person you’ve always wanted to become.
But then, Eric never had the education and exposure to different people as Corey has had. Jazz Jennings and other inspirational transgender people are only now beginning to have a voice and help people who feel trapped in their own body. So let’s hope Eric and Corey’s story will also help someone else become who they’ve always felt they were.