“It feels good that I’m already inspiring trans kids to be themselves,” Noella said of the appearance.
Current guardians Ray and Dee McMaher told the publication that Noella, a biological male, began socially transitioning at the age of 4. Both parents identify as non-binary, per Noella’s Instagram account.
“Noella really doesn’t ever get nervous or scared by anything. She’s a tiny professional,” Dee said of the child on the runway. “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,” the child’s parent continued. “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.”
Dee explained that a toddler-aged Noella used to throw tantrums over certain clothing, which led the child’s parents to seek therapy. That’s when Dee says Noella claimed to be a girl.
“Noella had a rough start to life as she was extremely unhappy being perceived as a boy,” Dee said. “Even when she was two, she said she’s not a little boy.”
The child’s parent went on to describe what happened after “socially transitioning” Noella into a girl.
“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,” Dee explained.
“She blossomed as soon as we realized and allowed her to finally be herself. When she was seven, she legally changed her name,” Noella’s parent continued. “She also began modeling 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.”
Finally, Dee insists that the child is the one pushing to go public.
“As a parent of a transgender child, it is my duty to protect her and make sure she is safe,” Dee told Metro. “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,” Dee explained. “She is the first person to tell others that they are wrong when they are being discriminative. She is so passionate about raising awareness of transgender people – she is going to make a difference in this world.”
Social media reactions voiced concerns over the parents pushing Noella into being an activist, especially considering that they are both non-binary.
“Look at the background of the little boy’s parents. They had already made the decision for him as a baby that they wanted a ‘trans child’ to promote their own agenda,” one Twitter user said after posting an image of Dee’s Twitter page, which includes they/them pronouns.
“Jesus! This could have been me! At aged 2 I refused to dress in girls clothes and wanted to be a boy. Fortunately my parents did nothing and I eventually grew out of my tomboy phase,” someone else agreed.
“I just googled Noella’s parents and ‘both Noella’s parents are trans masc.’ Something feels very off here,” a third person observed.