By Jasmine Kazlauskas
A transgender woman has revealed her jaw-dropping transformation from brawny dad to yummy mummy – and insists her eight-year-old daughter is her biggest supporter.
Single mum Stephanie Daugherty, 26, made the lifechanging decision to come out as transgender in September 2017 after enduring a ‘torturous’ lifetime of feeling trapped in the wrong body.
The mum-of-one, from Indiana, USA, became a dad after her first encounter with a woman ended in pregnancy when she was just 16 years old – and daughter Zevaeh, now eight, was born in 2010.
But the pipe layer revealed her daughter was more understanding than most adults when she revealed she was trans – and instantly made the switch from calling her ‘dad’ to ‘mum’.
Stephanie, who was born Michael, now plans to undergo full gender reassignment surgery in the future.
She said: “I tried to live like a guy, and the first time I was intimate with a woman, she got pregnant.
“I couldn’t believe it. But I was so excited and happy to become a parent.
“It changed my entire life when I held my daughter. Happiness doesn’t describe it.
“I was blessed as a father to build such a great bond with her.
“She grew up such a spoiled daddy’s girl and was always attached to my hip.
“We’re so close, and I think all of that has to do with always feeling like a mother inside.
“I started to come out to my daughter in stages last year.
“We would get matching leggings and would paint each other’s toes the same colour.
“I started to talk to her about how love is love, and we would watch shows like Modern Family together which I think normalised it.
“I was so nervous fully telling her that I was going to transition into a woman.
“We were having a day out at the park, and I just told her that I’ve always felt like a girl not a boy.
“I asked her how she would feel if I became a girl. She said, ‘what do you mean?’
“I explained to her how her mummy has long hair and wears dresses and makeup and said that I wanted to do that as well.
“She was so excited and really happy for me. I couldn’t believe how accepting she was.
“I cried my eyes out. She said, ‘I’ll love you no matter what and I want you to be happy’.
“Then she began telling me all the girly things we were going to start doing together.
“She called me mummy ever since then. It’s an incredible feeling.
“She watches me do my makeup and plays with my hair as it grows and brags hers is longer.
“We paint our nails together and have matching swim suits.
“She pushes me so much when I feel like I’m embarrassed or nervous.
“She is by far my biggest supporter.
“It was my first Mother’s Day earlier this month and it was one of the best days of my life.
“She loves me unconditionally and without judgement. The world could learn so much from her.”
Despite being haunted by her innate feelings, Stephanie said she was never able to embrace her true identity due to her religious family
And after a secret relationship with her first boyfriend came to light, the teenager she was relentlessly bulled at school and taunted with homophobic insults.
Stephanie was ‘scared to death’ to come out as a woman in fear of retaliation, so she suppressed her feelings by living as a man – which she said propelled her into a ‘dark and depressive’ place.
After Zeveah was born, she did her best to embrace the role of being a devoted dad, hiding the fact that she longed to be known as her mother instead.
But when she came out as trans, her daughter made the choice to call her mummy straight away – and the pair even celebrated their first Mother’s Day together earlier this month.
Stephanie now lives full time as a woman and is currently undergoing hormone replacement therapy and plans to undergo full gender reassignment surgery in future.
While she is not together with Zeveah’s mum, she said she is completely supportive of her transition and the pair work together to raise their daughter.
And while she currently works in a stereotypically-male environment on excavation sites, she dreams of being a makeup artist – and said wants to support trans parents around the world.
The 26-year-old said: “I always knew I wanted to be a girl.
“When I was eight, I was caught wearing a dress and I told my parents I was a girl.
“They’re very religious, and I got into loads of trouble for it.
“I tried to suppress my feelings, but they were always there.
“I always wore girl clothes under all my boy clothes. It was the only way I could be myself.
“I had my first boyfriend when I was a teenager. My classmates found out and made my life hell – I was bullied every day.
“I was scared to death to come out as a girl after that. I never thought I’d be accepted.
“Living as a man had a huge impact on my mental health.
“I went into a really dark place. I was severely depressed and struggled with self-harm.
“But I got through it and having my daughter has been the best thing to ever happen to me.
“When I started being my true self I gained this happiness I’ve never felt before.
“I finally felt free and like I could breathe.
“You always need to be honest with your children. If you’re not happy they can feel that tension.
“A child is as loving and accepting as you raise them to be.
“They deserve the best you that you can be even if that means stepping out of the comfort of society’s standards.
“My bond with my daughter has never been stronger. She is my entire world.”