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Monday
May072018

Transgender man on celebrating Mother’s Day: The kids ‘still call me mom’

Ashley Darling(NEW BALTIMORE, Mich.) -- Eric Maison, a parent of five who transitioned from female to male alongside his transgender daughter, is sharing how he and his family will celebrate Mother's Day this year.

"The kids do still call me 'Mom,' but sometimes they joke and say 'Daddy Mom,' or 'Mommy Dad,' which I think is absolutely adorable," Maison of New Baltimore, Michigan, told ABC News last week.

"Ellen, my 10-year-old, asked me if instead of Mother's Day, would I prefer to celebrate Father's Day," Maison added. "I said to her that I will always be her mother, a title which I am honored to have, and that I would love to still celebrate Mother's Day if she was OK with that. She smiled and said, 'Well, duh, I just wanted to make sure you were OK with it.'"

"I have the best kids in the world, I really do," Maison said.

Maison, 40, began socially transitioning to become male in the fall of 2015, after his daughter Corey, 16, started her hormone treatment to become female, Maison told ABC News in 2017. Maison, whose medical transition began in 2016, said that his daughter's bravery inspired him to come out as transgender.

He said he is currently 25 months into hormone replacement therapy and had top surgery Feb. 21, 2017.

In June 2016, ABC News spoke with Maison and daughter Corey to share the story about the transgender teen and her message against bullying.

Corey, then 14, was born with that name but was assigned male sex at birth. Corey has been identifying as female since she was 2 years old, Maison said in 2016. Corey said she was inspired by transgender activist Jazz Jennings and saw a therapist who helped her transition from a boy to a girl. Jennings, who was assigned male sex at birth, stars in the TLC reality TV series, "I Am Jazz," which documents her life as a transgender youth.

Corey is now two and a half years into hormone replacement therapy and hopes to have bottom surgery as soon as she is cleared by her doctors and mental health professionals to fully complete her transition, Maison said.

Corey told ABC News that she was always close to her mom, but that they are now "even closer" since the two have been transitioning together.

"It has been awesome," she said. "I know that I'm not alone, and he understands what I am going through, especially when I am having a rough day, or I if am really upset about something, he is always there."

In 2007, Eric Maison, then Erica, married husband Les Maison. The pair have five children: Chelsea, 24, Corey, 16, Kailee, 15, Ellen, 10, and Willow, 7.

Les Maison said that at first, Eric Maison coming out as transgender was a surprise to him. Later, Les Maison said he was glad that Eric would finally get to live his life as who he wanted to be.

"It has been great watching him finally find himself and be free to live his authentic truth," Les Maison wrote to ABC News last week. "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."

Les Maison went on to say that both Eric and his daughter Corey have "grown into their own skin."

"They are both much happier, and that happiness pours over into the rest of the family," Les Maison said. "Sure we still have our differences, but in the end we always work things out. That's what family is supposed to do."

This year for Mother's Day, the Maison children will be celebrating Mother's Day with a brunch just as they've done years prior.

"That is, unless the kids and Les have been being sneaky and have something special they plan to surprise me with," Eric Maison said. "In our family you just never know. We love to surprise each other and just have as much fun in life as we possibly can."

As for his advice to other nontraditional families, Eric Maison suggests that people do "what's best for their family" and "don't worry about what others think."

"The only people who matter are your loved ones," he said. "Also, for anyone out there struggling to accept someone they know or care about being trans, just remember to always love and respect them. You don't have to understand what they are going through to have compassion. Kindness goes a very long way for someone having an internal battle within themselves, and acceptance can mean the world to them."

Corey said, "We still celebrate my mom."

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