Meet Noella, the youngest transgender model to ever walk the runway in New York Fashion Week.
At just 10 years old, Noella has hit the catwalk for Mel Atkinson, the designer behind Trans Clothing Company.
‘It feels good that I’m already inspiring trans kids to be themselves,’ said the mini model.
Her parents Dee McMaher, 35, and Ray, 32, are incredibly proud of their daughter who began socially transitioning aged four.
Dee, an event director, said: ‘Noella really doesn’t ever get nervous or scared by anything. She’s a tiny professional!
‘She was so excited to go down the catwalk, excited to see all the people and the cameras. She knows exactly how to work a crowd.
‘We are so proud of Noella for being the first trans child in New York Fashion Week, we are in awe with her confidence and determination.
‘Noella already has so many transgender people of all ages contact her for advice, support.
‘Noella is very outspoken and an amazing advocate for other trans kids.
‘It’s great that she can provide this trans visibility on a global scale. She is showing them that trans is beautiful.’
Noella was once a troubled toddler who often threw tantrums and refused to wear the clothes her parents tried to put her in.
Everything changed when, at four years old, Noella went to therapy and declared that she was a girl.
Her parents feel their daughter is too young to begin medically transitioning, but have allowed her the freedom to explore her identity in the meantime.
‘Noella had a rough start to life as she was extremely unhappy being perceived as a boy,’ said Dee.
‘Even when she was two, she said she’s not a little boy.
‘She would refuse to wear boy clothes and have tantrums because she was so young, she knew what she wanted but didn’t have the words to say it.
‘I should have known earlier as she hated anything masculine so I brought her to a gender clinic.
‘She blossomed as soon as we realised and allowed her to finally be herself.
‘When she was seven, she legally changed her name.
‘She also began modelling on catwalks.
‘It has been so incredible and pure seeing her embrace who she is.
‘She has no fear when on stage and knows exactly how to work the crowd and camera.’
Noella’s career has totally taken off, and she’s already booked up as a model until November 2022.
She hopes to use her platform to encourage other trans people to accept who they are.
Dee said: ‘As a parent of a transgender child, it is my duty to protect her and make sure she is safe.
‘But Noella is an activist for transgender rights and she wants to put herself out there.
‘For ten years old, she is very mature for her age and self assured.
‘She wants to show other transgender kids that it is ok to socially transition and accept who they are.