Maison Family: Savanna, 4 (Neice), Willow, 5, Ellen, 8, Kailee, 13, Corey, 14 (trans), Erica, 39 (trans + mom), Les, 51 (dad).

Life is complicated in the Maison household. Corey has been transitioning from male to female for the past several years and now. Erica, inspired by the same Barbara Walters / Jazz Jennings interview that tipped Corey’s transition into awareness and action, has given herself permission to act on a deeply hidden need to do the same. 

They are moving in opposite directions on the gender spectrum—Corey from male to female and Erica from female to male. She is increasingly calling herself, him and Eric. The family has been fairly supportive of both “mother” and daughter to date but as Erica becomes more Eric tensions may increase.

Transition is profoundly different depending on the age of transition. Young people who are able to take hormones to delay puberty and normal development of secondary sex characteristics are often spared some of the trauma that adults experience as they try to wind back the time line of their gender history.

This is clearly more difficult for Erica/Eric. She/He thought the discomfort and distain she felt for her body was normal. She lived a life of hiding and shame,
 walking hunched over to hide her breasts. Picture day at school was a nightmare as her mother forced her into a dress. She told herself she had been a man in a previous life.  Not five minutes after her first shot of testosterone Erica felt “complete”, experiencing an overwhelming sense of calm. She is planning top surgery in the near future. Eric/Erica is determined Corey will not have that same experience of shame. She has helped her make her way from freckled boy to a modeling teenage girl who routinely tosses her hair and is glued to social media.

Social media is an issue and a threat. Everyday, mother and daughter huddle to monitor the positive and negative of photo and chat streams—cheerleaders, hate mongers and stalkers.

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