MTV’s newest show Teen Mom spinoff, Young & Pregnant, chronicles the lives of five young women coming to grips with the reality of unexpected pregnancies while also juggling turbulent relationships.
In an interview with PEOPLE, Brianna Jaramillo discusses the realities of raising a son with a disability and the experience of being in an on-again-off-again three-year relationship with her transgender boyfriend, Danae, in one of the most compelling storylines in the show. Danae is transitioning from a woman to a man.
Jaramillo, who became pregnant at 17, is now the proud mother of a 6-month-old son, Braeson, who was born without a left forearm and hand. She tells PEOPLE that while she was shocked hearing the news, she wouldn’t change anything about her baby.
“It was definitely hard hearing about it and realizing he might grow up and realize that he’s different from everybody else,” says Jaramillo, 18. “That was definitely hard. But, talking to my doctor about it — it made it a lot easier to handle it, and I realized it wouldn’t slow him down.”
“He’s going to adjust to living with it because he was born with it. It’s not like he had an arm and lost it,” she adds. “He’s going to learn to do everything that we do but without it.”
Jaramillo leaned on Danae, who is not Braeson’s biological father, as she came to grips with her son’s disability. (The two were separated when the teenager became pregnant by an old friend.)
Despite their differences and Jaramillo’s pregnancy, Danae vowed to love and raise Jaramillo’s son as his own during the show’s premiere, telling her, “Me being trans, I can show him there is so much more to this world.”
During Monday’s episode, Danae’s mother, Robin, and sister, Cierra, visited the couple in Wisconsin from Danae’s native Chicago. While Danae’s mother appeared to be at ease with her son’s situation, she continued to struggle using he/him pronouns.
“I’m sorry, I have to stop you. Everybody here is saying ‘he,'” Danae told Robin. “You keep saying ‘she,’ and it’s really kind of like …”
“What? Bothering you?” Robin asked.
“Yes. I prefer male pronouns, I do,” Danae said.
“Well, give me some time because it’s not just something that’s going to happen overnight,” Robin explained.
Jaramillo tells PEOPLE that scene was “really hard” for Danae to fully understand “because it is his mom.”
“I feel like a lot of transgender and LGBTQ people struggle with their families not understanding right away,” she says. “I don’t think she was trying to make it a big thing or be mean about it because that is her child and it’s hard for her, too.”
If Braeson were to have his own coming out, Jaramillo says she’d fully accept him as he was.
“I wouldn’t be mad or upset,” she says. “Honestly, I would be happy if he came home with a girlfriend or boyfriend, I would be happy because I want him to be who he is at the end of the day.”
Teen Mom: Young & Pregnant airs Mondays (10 p.m. ET) on MTV.