The internet is riddled with stories of transgender individuals and their stories as they go through the process of transitioning. But little is known among kids and teens, including trans woman Emmie Smith, 17, as they brave this life-changing procedure.
Emmie’s journal to womanhood was documented by National Geographic’s Lynn Johnson from pre-operation preparation until she went out of the operating room. She was born as Walker with her twin brother Caleb, who both became popular children in their local church.
Their mother, Reverend Kate Malin, is a well-respected leader in their Episcopal church in Massachusetts. It was only recently when Kate came into terms with the idea that her daughter is choosing a life she wanted: the life of a girl.
As for Emmie, like the story of any other members of the LGBT community, coming out wasn’t a walk in the park. She shared that the idea of living a life of self-denial scares her more than the judgment she would get.
It took her years before she decided to come out. It was tough, for sure, she recollected. In retrospect, Emmie said that coming out to her friends and family offered enormous relief. No wonder she was able to brave the pressure she went through while preparing for the operation.
Coming Out Wasn’t Easy
“It was stressful and scary at times, but it almost created a mission other than just recovery,. We were making something together. I’m not sure I could have taken another few years of being closeted,” she said in a report from the National Geographic.
It was only this year that she decided to would push through with the operation. After a while, she decided she would undergo the gender reassignment surgery on August 30, 2016.
According to Federal data, there is an estimated of 1.4 million Americans who identify themselves as transgender. In a study from the UCLA School of Law, the number of Americans who identified themselves as transgender nearly doubled compared to previous estimates. Remember, this data only represents those in the U.S., and those who openly identify themselves as such.
— National Geographic (@NatGeoMag) January 5, 2017