By Ali Gostanian
Adrian Brown was 20 when he told his mother he was transgender, a little old for a traditional gender reveal party. But she planned a celebration anyway — and the photoshoot of the event has now been shared thousands of times on social media.
Growing up, Brown always had an inkling he wasn’t like the other girls. He hated wearing dresses and said shopping for bras made him cry, but he didn’t entirely understand why.
After doing some research, consulting with friends and taking time to think about it, he came to the realization that he was transgender.
Brown decided to come out to his mother, Heather Lundberg Green, and his brother last September.
“The decision to come out was really scary,” Brown told NBC News. “The hardest part was coming out to myself, accepting myself and loving myself for who I am.”
Luckily for Brown, his family was extremely supportive and understanding.
“We’ve always been a very inclusive home that believes in equality for everyone,” Lundberg Green said.
She remembers congratulating him and telling him she was excited for the journey they were about to embark on as a family.
“I knew that I wanted to celebrate this huge milestone in his life,” Lundberg Green said. The idea for the gender reveal photoshoot grew from there.
Lundberg Green didn’t have a gender reveal for either of her children when they were first born, but given the current trend, she thought it would be a fun way to celebrate her son’s coming out.
When Brown’s mother told him about the idea, he thought his mother was crazy.
“We’re going to do a gender reveal for me? Isn’t it a little late?” he remembered asking her.
But after giving the idea more thought, Brown agreed it would it would be the perfect way to share the news about his transition.
Lundberg Green wanted to publicize her son’s transition to family and friends.
“I wanted everyone to know what’s going on and that this is how we’re handling it. We’re going to celebrate it,” she said.
The Facebook post has since been shared over 15,000 times.
Lundberg Green told NBC News she’s grateful that the majority of the reaction to her post has been warm and positive.
One commenter wrote: “My heart is full knowing that Adrian is loved and accepted by his awesome family. Adrian you are brave and genuine. I hope you inspire others to live their life. And then there’s this amazing photoshoot. Epic!! LOVED the photos! Peace, love, and hugs to you all as your journey continues!”
Since coming out, Lundberg Green noticed that her son has become more confident.
“He holds his head high now,” she explained. “He walks with strength and dignity.”
“My son is happy and healthy and that’s what matters.” Lundberg Green added.
Brown hopes that his story inspires other LGBTQ teenagers and young adults to be comfortable with who they are.
“I want them to know it’s going to be OK,” he said. “It gets better.”
To his mother, he’s already an inspiration and a role model.
“I want the world for him. There’s nothing he can’t do,” she said.