Corey Maison may look like just any other cheery teen, but there was a time when the 14-year-old was not so happy.
Maison is transgender. As part of the BULLY Project, a social action campaign inspired by the documentary Bully, she created a video—which has now gone viral—in which she uses a series of flash cards to tell her emotional story.
She starts off by explaining that when she was younger, she loved playing with dolls, painting her nails and wearing her mom’s high heels. But growing up wasn’t easy—she felt like she never fit in at school and kids would make fun of her. One boy even told her to go kill herself. She would go home crying every day.
Eventually Maison’s parents made the decision to homeschool her. During this time, Maison would wear her mom’s clothes at home. One day, she decided to go to the grocery store dressed like that and people there were bullies, too. Passersby pointed and even took photos.
When Maison was at one of her lowest points, her mom showed her a video of Jazz Jennings, a fellow trans teen and activist (who you might know from her TLC show). Maison realized she wasn’t the only one out there who felt this way. On her 14th birthday, she started taking hormones—and it was the happiest day of her life.
Now, Maison is at a new public school that lets her use the girls’ locker room, washroom and play on the girls’ soccer team. Her message to everyone? Bullying is never OK. And to the kids who are being bullied: It will get better.
This girl’s bravery is astounding. We applaud Maison for not only standing up for herself, but standing up for others.