A video recorded for National Geographic captures the process of a teenager undergoing gender surgery.
The clip (below) features Massachusetts teen Emmie Smith, 17, explaining her decision to undergo the procedure and preparing for the surgery.
Smith – who is taking a gap year to help transition before starting college – explains that she allowed cameras in because she wanted to demystify the surgical process.
She said: “I think people are fascinated by gender reassignment surgery. They’re insatiably curious about it – but they also don’t know how to have a conversation about it.
“It’s not science fiction or mythology. It’s what happens to women just trying to be at peace with themselves and their bodies.”
National Geographic photographers filmed with Smith’s family in the days running up to the surgery, including her identical twin brother Caleb – who is not transgender.
The clip shows parts of the surgery in graphic detail, as her penis is removed and the skin transformed to create a vagina.
The teen says she has never regretting transitioning, adding: “Being closeted was one of the worst parts of my life.
“If you’re not living freely that’s time wasted, and I felt my time was wasted pretending to be a boy. [Coming out] was the best decision in my life.”
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Her decision to undergo surgery was supported by her mother Kate, who is a pastor at an Episcopal church.
She told her congregation early on about her daughter’s plans to transition, announcing from the pulpit: “As most of you know, Bruce and I have three children.
“Caleb and [Emmie], who are 17, and 13-year-old Owen. [Emmie]’s new name is Emerson, and she prefers Emmie or Em. She’s wearing feminine clothing and makeup and will likely continue to move in the direction of a more feminized body.”
The editor of the prestigious magazine was branded a “child abuser” by right-wing groups.
Watch the clip below (it may tak a little while to load):
Trolls also sent abuse and threats to the family of 9-year-old Avery Jackson after she appeared on the cover.