Telling Mum: Transgender woman comes out

Telling Mum: Transgender woman comes out

When Ahren decided to become a woman, that was the easy part. The thought of telling mum about it was far harder. So Ahren, now Dakota, enlisted the help of 3D reporter Sarah Hall.

It was the hardest phone call Dakota Hemmingson ever had to make, phoning her mother to tell her that her son was transitioning into a woman.

Dakota was seeking advice and support and then asked 3D to film her journey as she came out to her parents. 3D agreed on the condition not to include their reaction if they objected.

"I have dialled the number a million and one times," she says. "I've had the conversation in my head a million and one times. I've started the conversation and freaked out and just reserved it. I have seen her in person and tried to have the conversation with her. It's the hardest thing to do, to feel like you are going to disappoint someone because that's how you are forced to feel.

"I'm a very strong person and I'm a very headstrong person, but this will be the hardest thing I ever do in my life."

Dakota says she has always felt different. She was never happy in her skin.

"It's been my whole life since I was child. I felt like I was born in the wrong body and I identified as the wrong person. Every night I would cry myself to sleep. I was so unhappy. I was miserable. I hated myself."

Dakota is not alone. More than half of all transgender people try to kill themselves. Dakota was so worried about coming out to her parents that 3D enlisted the help of the country's most famous transgender person – former MP Georgina Beyer.

There's been a huge change in public attitudes about the transgender community since Ms Beyer came out. Most recently there was the public acceptance of Caitlyn Jenner – formerly double Olympian and father of the most world's most famous reality family, the Kardashians.

Dakota threw up a party and came out to her friends a few weeks ago, and all of them were accepting. But telling your friends is one thing, your parents another.

Watch the video for the full 3D report.