The little boy who stook beside President Barack Obama as he signed his historical Affordable Care Act into law some six years ago is all grown up and has recently come out as transgender.
According to CNN, who conducted a profile on a now 17-year-old Marcelas Owens, the teen, though born male, has identified as female for quite some time.
"I'm going through a reinvention process," she said. "I'm growing into adulthood. I'm not the Obamacare kid anymore."
Speaking on the public's curiosity on where she went prior to coming out, she said, "If I wasn't me, I would like to know, where did he go?... I like it that I can be called the Obamacare kid, but in some ways I wish I could look past the Obamacare kid and become Marcelas and people would have the same reaction to me that they had with the Obamacare kid."
Sharing more about her coming out story, Marcelas, who lives in Seattle with her two younger sisters, Myanna, 12, and Monique, 13, revealed that the first person she told about being transgender was Gina Owens, her grandmother. She and her sisters have lived with their grandmother since their mother Tiffany died at 27 from pulmonary hypertension.
Tiffany died because she did not have health insurance. After her initial diagnosis in 2006, the illness caused her to miss several days of work, leading to her losing her job. When she applied for Medicaid, she was denied because she had earned too much money the year prior.
This story motivated a then 7-year-old Marcelas to take a stand for those like her mother.
Owens, who admitted she "didn't like the idea" of Marcelas identifying as trans, initially, has come around. Just last week, she wrote a heartfelt birthday wish to her, publicly giving her blessing and love:
"On this day [March 10] you were born to the world as your mother's 1st child," she wrote. "You are 17 now, and have in so, so many ways, made your mom & me very proud. We both have watched you grow & become the person you are today... So today, on your 17th birthdays; I tell you AND the world; My grandson is on a new journey in life... I am so happy that SHE has trusted our relationship enough where SHE felt more comfortable sharing with me first; BEFORE the rest of the world... I give my heart & blessing to HER. I LOVE YOU AND YOUR COURAGE IN LIFE, MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW. Walk your journey in love & light."
Making it a full-circle moment, the teen keeps a gentle reminder of the "old Marcelas" in the form of a signed photo from President Obama with the inscription: "To Marcelas. You helped make history at an early age. Barack Obama."
(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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