When Erica Maison approached her daughter Corey with a camera, asking her to look for a package hidden behind a pillow, the 14-year-old responded with a mix of apathy and curiosity typical of any teen. “C’mon, what’d you do this time?” she asked her mom. But as soon as Corey looked at the box, her jaw dropped: She had received her first prescription of estrogen.
“Do you know what that is?” Erica asked. A tearful Corey responded by jumping off the couch to give her mom a hug.
Corey’s video has garnered over a million views since Erica posted it to YouTube on Sept. 25. Though comments on the YouTube video are disabled, all of the comments on Erica’s original Facebook post are glowingly congratulatory.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Erica confirmed that Corey’s reaction was entirely genuine. “I could tell she really had no idea what was happening,” she said. “I was very anxious and couldn’t stop smiling.”
Corey came out as transgender over two years ago after watching a video of Jazz Jennings online, her mom told BuzzFeed. “She said, ‘Mom, I’m just like her, I AM a girl,’” she recounted. Jazz’s story first received national attention in 2007, when she and other transgender children were interviewed for 20/20 by Barbara Walters. Today, the 14-year-old is a YouTube sensation and the star of TLC’s groundbreaking series I Am Jazz.
Since coming out, Corey has been waiting for the official approval from her therapist to begin hormone treatment. Though the family knew she would be approved after her 14th birthday, the Maisons were not given a specific date. “We have been waiting months for the readiness letter to be finalized and sent to Chicago, so had no idea on a timeline of when it would actually happen,” Erica wrote in the video description.
Erica hopes that, much as Jazz Jennings inspired her daughter, Corey’s video will inspire and educate others. “I think one of the biggest issues with our society today is that people just don’t understand what being transgender actually means,” she told BuzzFeed. “I want people to watch this video, and see the raw emotion of a transgender child that can finally live her life the way she feels inside. I want people to see this, because maybe it will open their eyes.”
H/T BuzzFeed | Illustration via Tiffany Pai