At New York Fashion Week 2022, one little model made history on the catwalk.
Ten-year-old Noella McMaher became the youngest trans model ever to walk the runway at Gotham’s premiere garment gathering.
The pint-sized cover girl started social transition at the age of four. She legally changed her name at age seven.
“Noella doesn’t ever get nervous or scared by anything. She’s a tiny professional!” exclaimed the little model’s mom, Dee McMaher, to Metro UK. “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.”
Noella worked it for designer Mel Atkinson and the Trans* Clothing Company, an all-inclusive brand with clothes for trans and gender nonconforming people of all types.
“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,” mom Dee said. “Noella already has so many transgender people of all ages contact her for advice, support.”
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According to Noella’s proud parents, she started saying she wasn’t a boy at two.
“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.”
At four, her parents took her to therapy, where Noella declared to the doctor that she was a girl.
“She blossomed as soon as we realized and allowed her to finally be herself.”
While mom and dad say Noella is too young to transition medically, she made the social transition at four. At seven, she legally changed her name. That’s also when she started her modeling career.
“It has been so incredible and pure seeing her embrace who she is,” Dee said. “She has no fear when on stage.”
“As a parent of a transgender child, it is my duty to protect her and make sure she is safe,” mom said. “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.”
“My spouse and I are also transgender,” Dee told Forbes magazine. “Noella transitioned way before we did. She is the most self-assured person I know. I tell her all the time I want to be like her when I grow up.”
Mom says Noella’s brother, however, has drawn the line. “My son sat us down and told us he is a boy and is staying a boy.”
Noella’s short career is already blowing up: she’s booked up for modeling work through November.