Les Maison, Eric's husband, supported the transition of his partner and daughter ; the family is closer than ever.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 3, 2021. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of bullying that some readers may find distressing.
Corey Maison knew she was a girl when she was two years old, despite being assigned 'male' at birth. She wanted to transition but was afraid to tell her parents. “I wanted to make my parents proud of who I am, but I thought that they would not like me,” she said. At the time, she didn't know that one of her parents was coming to terms with his gender as well. Corey Maison eventually opened up to her parents and embraced her true self at the age of 11. Her dad, Eric, wanted to transition but was worried about how his husband and five children would react. Four years after Corey's transition, Eric drew courage from Corey's transition to make his own in 2016. They've now become a pillar of strength for each other. Corey Maison and her father both say their transitions have brought the family closer. "We're stronger as a family," said Eric.
The family went through a difficult year as they navigated the dynamics and changes but at the end of it, Eric started his transition. Eric said that he felt an instant calm and relief that he'd never known in his life after taking the first dose of hormone therapy. He had a double mastectomy as well and feels better than ever.
Eric remembers his daughter being bullied as a kid. One of the first incidents of bullying was when Corey was pushed down a hill covered in frozen ice. She suffered injuries to her face and was forced to move to another school, as a result, said Eric, reported ABC News. Eric said the new school's staff and students were more accepting of his daughter and treat her just like any of the other girls. "She's allowed to use the girls' bathroom and locker room, and play on the girls' sports team and cheer team if she wants to," said Eric. "We are just like any other kids. We only want people to accept and love us for who we are," said Corey.
Corey had also appeared in an anti-bullying video titled "Misfit" by the Nashville-based duo High Dive Heart. She held up flashcards narrating her story. "I might look happy now, but I haven't always been," read a card in the video. "I've known I was different all my life. When I was little I loved to play with dolls and play dress up. I loved painting my nails too. Wearing my mom's high heels was my favorite! But only in the house. Never outside ... because I was born a boy. I never had many friends. I didn't fit in with girls, and the boys made fun of me. In 5th grade, I was bullied so bad. Almost every day I came home from school crying. One of the kids told me I should kill myself because no one liked me anyway. He told me no one would miss me if I was dead," the cards on the video read.
Corey then flashes a bright smile and explains how she overcame bullying and her life turned for the better. "When I turned 14 I started taking female hormones to start puberty as a girl," reads the flashcards being held up by Corey. "The day I took my first dose was the happiest day of my life. I am so happy now. To all kids out there, bullying is never OK." Jason Reeves, one-half of High Dive Heart who wrote the song playing in the video, praised Corey. "It takes an incredibly brave human at 14 years old to be a pioneer and spokesperson for what she's going through," said Reeves. "I know Corey was inspired by Jazz Jennings and now Corey is inspiring other children who are watching this."
Eric feels much at ease after having transitioned. "The kids do still call me 'Mom,' but sometimes they joke and say 'Daddy Mom,' or 'Mommy Dad,' which I think is absolutely adorable," said Eric, according to Good Morning America. Eric's husband Les Maison is happy for him. "It has been great watching him finally find himself and be free to live his authentic truth," said Les. "He knows I will always be there right beside him through everything, not just transitioning. When I said 'I do,' I meant it until I die. No matter what life throws at us, we will face it together until the very end."
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