14 year-old Corey Maison gained a lot of attention this April after a picture of her captioned, “If this was YOUR daughter, would you be comfortable sending her into a men’s bathroom?” went viral and challenged the transgender bathroom debate. Now, the teen is speaking out against another form of transphobia: school bullying.
Maison partnered with The Bully Project, a social campaign to end bullying, to share her own story of being picked on at a young age. In the video, Maison holds up note cards recalling the times her classmates made her feel worthless. She goes into how one peer went as far as to encourage her to kill herself—and that she felt threatened to the point where she was removed from the school “I felt so stupid, like a freak, like a misfit,” a card in the video reads.
After years of feeling ostracized and hiding her habit of wearing dresses and makeup, Maison discovered Jazz Jennings, a transgender activist. “She was a beautiful girl that had been born a boy,” Maison notes in the video. “I said to my mom, OMG, I’m just like her. I AM a girl! It finally made sense.”
Now, Maison meets with a transgender therapist who’s helping her transition, and she’s re-enrolled in a small public school, where she’s able to use the girls’ locker and bathrooms and play on the all-girls soccer team. But Maison doesn’t want her story to end there: She wants to be a voice for other children facing similar issues.
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“I want to tell anyone being bullied, this is temporary and it will get better,” she wrote in the video. “Know that even though it may not feel like it now, you are incredible, you are beautiful, you are worth so much and you are loved.”
Watch the full video on Facebook.