Eric Maison and his daughter, Corey, used to be mother and son. Then, as they watched a documentary about a transgender girl together, they both had their "eureka" moment.
“That’s when we both learned what it meant to be transgender, and realized that that explained both of us exactly,” Eric tells PEOPLE.
Both Eric and Corey have felt uncomfortable in their bodies their entire life, but didn't really know what that meant.“I was always sad and angry all the time, and I didn’t know what to do about it,” Corey says.
“I knew that something was off, but I didn’t know what that was. I knew that I hated my body, I was very ashamed of it, but I didn’t know, cognitively, why,” Eric said. “Honestly, I just thought it was me. I thought there was something wrong with my brain.”
Corey came out to parents three years before Eric transitioned. Despite the fact Eric knew what he felt inside, he wanted to put his daughter first.
“I wanted to make sure that my child was taken care of. I wanted to do everything to make sure her transition was smooth and everything was in place,” he says. “As a parent, you want to put your kids first.”
Then years later, after Eric was watching The Danish Girl, a film about a man living as a woman, he came out to his husband.
“We’re just happier overall,” Eric says. “Holding a secret breaks us up and puts up obstacles. We’re better people and have better relationships with our family members.”
While this situation is certainly uncommon, we're thrilled Eric and Corey can fearlessly be who they are.