Brittney Kade, a transgender teen, had dreams of becoming a model someday while gaining larger followings on YouTube and Instagram. But before the 17-year-old from southern California embarked on her career, things were somewhat bleak.
Brittney — then known as Brandon — and her mother realized early on that she was "born in the wrong body."
Childhood was tough for Brittney. She was bullied and tormented by her classmates. At school, she faced an onslaught of verbal and physical abuse.
"It was just very hard for me and I was miserable," she told Barcroft TV. "I needed to take a step back and find out who I was."
That's when things started going Brittney's way.
Brittney began taking hormones after she started homeschooling. As a result, she gained confidence in herself and her body.
Along the way, she received incredible support from her mother and her stepfather, who called her "one of the bravest people I know."
"She's brightened up," her mom told Barcroft TV. "It's like watching a flower bloom."
Brittney began using social media to share her inspirational story to others.
"Growing up there were no trans women that I had to really look up too, aside from the trans women that I had discovered on YouTube at that time," she wrote to a blogger in an October interview. "Now almost five years later, I really wanted to be someone that I wish I could have had to look up to (at the time) when I seriously began to question my identity as well as the early beginning of my transition."
Her advice to people in her position?
"It's better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you aren't."