Through it all, Kim's mom, Carol, has been supportive of her decision.

Carol says she never saw any hint or sign when Kim was younger that she might be struggling with gender identity. "I think I hid it well," Kim says. "I think I was trying to hide it from myself."

Now, Kim regrets not telling her mother earlier in the transition and wishes she hadn't asked her mom to keep it a secret from their extended family for as long as she did. "I put her through a lot," Kim says. "I wish I hadn't done that."

While some people believe homosexuality and gender reassignment are sinful, Carol says she never questioned Kim. "With me, it was never a question of, 'Do I believe in the Bible?' I believed in my child," she says. "I believed that this child was thoughtful, intelligent. ... I just knew that this was a decision that was painfully arrived at."

With her mom and girlfriend by her side, Kim says she's ready to move forward with her life. "It feels like the first part of my life, I was trying to deny the fact that I was really a girl. The second part of my life, after I transitioned, I was kind of trying to deny the fact that I had ever been a boy," Kim says. "Now I kind of feel like I'm in this stage where I'm just trying to make peace with both sides and kind of make peace with my past."


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