When 10-year-old Noella McMaher, the youngest transgender, will walk the runway at the New York Fashion Week in September she will already be counted among the show's veterans. Noella now has plans of walking the runway in Paris next year. Fashion insiders say she could earn her first million in the next year, making her a star in her own right.
Noella's parents claim that she had a "fierce and confident sense of identity" from birth. She made her NYFW debut in February as one of the several trans and non-binary models walking for the Trans Clothing Company. However, she was the event's youngest participant in history. Her parents both identify as transgender, and she has a young brother known as a "theybie."
Star in Her Own Right
Noella, who was born a girl but now identifies as non-binary, has an active social media presence and what appears to be a happy home life with her parents, Dee McMaher, 35, and Ray McMaher, 32.
At age 7, Noella had her first show during Chicago Fashion Week, according to her mother Dee, who spoke with Forbes earlier this year. She watched YouTube tutorials to be ready after hearing about open auditions from an out trans youngster.
At her very first audition, she was booked by two designers. She has participated in two Chicago Fashion Weeks and other smaller exhibitions since then.
"My spouse and I are both non-binary," Dee stated in an interview with The Daily Mail on Sunday.
'In terms of gender identity, Noella came out before either of us. She was born with a fierce and confident sense of identity. It first started at two-and-a-half nearing three. Someone would say to her that she was a cute boy and she would snap back and exclaim, 'I'm not a boy, I'm a girl!'" Dee told The Daily Mail.
While speaking to the New York Post last week, Dee said even as a toddler, Noella frequently displayed outbursts and disliked donning manly attire. Dee claimed that after they eventually took her to a gender clinic and she felt liberated to be a female, she came into her own.
"Our job as parents for all three of our children is to embrace their individual needs. With Noella we have a child who has known who she was from very early on," she told the outlet.
It's Her Choice
Dee said that Noella was never forced to be a girl. "My spouse and I probably own two pairs of shoes between us," she said. "We're not into fashion at all. Noella is the opposite. She loves glitter and makeup and clothes. We wouldn't even know how to encourage that kind of femininity."
She made national news last week when she walked the runway as the youngest transgender model at a New York fashion show. She is currently flooded with modeling offers, and she will walk the catwalk this year during Paris Fashion Week.
According to The Daily Mail, a Hollywood agent said "Noella is a phenomenon. She's only ten but represents so much in terms of where the world is now. We are seeing more transÂgender models and she's the ultimate in terms of being a woke role model. She is so confident for someone so young. She's capable of making a million to two million dollars in the next year."
Dee and her then-husband, Chicago-area physicist Timothy McCord, welcomed two daughters into the world: Noella and her younger brother Levi (whose parents claim he is a boy and wishes to stay one).
However, it emerged that the media profiles that were published in the United States last week had been edited and Noella's biological father's face was airbrushed.
Also, McCord allegedly once tried to force the child into boys' pajamas and broke her arm since he was so opposed to her transition. He and Dee were separated at the time and he was just visiting.
A legal nightmare, according to McCord, led to his detention and several nights in the Cook County Jail in Chicago. He claimed that after realizing that fighting the judicial system would be futile, he decided to plead guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment.
Last week, he said he had not seen Noella or his son Levi since: "I tried to get back into their lives but it was too contentious and stressful for everyone."