With transgender people across the world facing discrimination, Trans Awareness Week is the perfect time to honour and celebrate trans lives. We may have other things on our minds right now, but times like these can remind us how essential love and community can be. That's why we're sharing positive, uplifting stories of trans love.
Visibility is important for many trans people, as a community and on a personal level. Finding the courage to step out of the shadows and be seen for who we really are can carry bigger risks for some than it does for others - particularly BAME trans people. But, taking risks - like giving yourself fully to a relationship and trusting someone else to know you - can be a liberating and healing experience.
We all just want to be loved for who we are, but for so many of us trans folk, love can be a sore subject. However, the countless happy, thriving trans people in our community show it is possible to find the kind of love where everything just falls into place. These four adorable couples share what finding love has meant for them, and how it's changed their lives.
Lorelei and Becky
"My fiancée Becky and I met five years ago at an event where I was the keynote speaker. We had some excellent conversation, Becky invited me to a party at her house, I accepted, and we fell for each other pretty much immediately," says Lorelai.
"To this day, looking at Becky puts a smile on my face that spreads through my whole being. She’s my lover, my partner, and my favourite person. It’s the most romantic and most mature relationship I’ve had, and I’ve had quite a few — both before and after I transitioned.
"So many narratives of cis/trans couples are ones of struggle — and those stories are real and important, but they’re not my story. Even before I came out, I was playing with gender pretty openly, so all my long-term partners have been as ready to accept and support my transness as I was at that time.
"Being trans is an important part of my identity, and it has shaped my relationships, but it’s rarely been a source of conflict in relationships. Becky is especially able to navigate this fine line with me: I am the woman she loves, not because of my transness and not in spite of it."
Romeo and Jada
"We first saw each other in May 2013 at an event and didn’t speak until we met the following month at another event. From the start we had an effortless connection with great chemistry," Romeo says.
"I became open about my gender and identity in 2018, even though I had 'come out' as gay in 2009. At the time it felt right, looking back I feel I was still repressing the truth. I had to acknowledge my mental health and dysphoria.
"Jada has been through the ups and downs of me struggling to be me. Without her, 'I love you for you' attitude it would have been much more difficult. Her love and support are unconditional, and I holistically love her and appreciate the woman she is.
"This is Jada’s only experience being with some that is trans and non-binary. I know that it’s no different for her than any other relationship. She loves me for who I am and as long as I am happy in myself that’s all she’s cares about.
"Honesty, trust and communication are key in our relationship. My wife stands by me and she is where I found everything."
Mikko and Jean Luc
“We met in 2015, in a dance studio Jean Luc trained and taught dance at. Mikko’s a Singer and Burlesque performer, who would rehearse at the same studio. Our first kiss was electric and intense. Mikko was going through a divorce and was surprised by the instant chemistry.
"We have both dated cisgender people in the past, however being with another trans person allows us to spend less time educating them about gender and more time just being in a relationship together. We understand each other on a deeper level and get to just be ourselves.
"This relationship has taught us patience, consent, and compassion. We try to bring joy to each other. We both always say to each other, 'I choose you'. Which is important to hear and say out loud asides from, 'I love you'. We also say, 'Don’t fuck it up' which keeps us accountable."
Kale and Dory
"It's our fourth anniversary coming up, so it feels fitting that it's also Trans Day of Visibility. We met as teenagers, Dory was my first 'boyfriend', and I their 'girlfriend'. It didn't last long and we lost contact," Kale says.
"Ten years later, I was watching YouTube and a beautiful trans feminine person was talking to their mum about what transition had been like for their family. I instantly empathised with their story and realised it was Dory. We started catching up. Months later, we met in real life and I sheepishly told them, 'I think I’m falling for you'. We started dating again, this time I'm the boyfriend and they're the girlfriend.
"Dory accepts me for who I am and gives me the space to work that out. We support each other’s creative endeavours and run FishOuttaWaterFilms together. We soon moved in together, but my health took a turn for the worst and I needed a wheelchair, which we couldn't afford. Dory set up a fundraiser and run of T-shirts speaking out against trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs).
"We now have our own little family [as pictured with their cat]. There’s room for communication, no weird expectations - sexual or otherwise - and there's room for growth as we regularly check in with each other. We are genderqueer, non-binary and transgender. My love story also reads as a coming out story and I couldn’t be happier!"
Donate to Pride Youth Network, an organisation that helps tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools and businesses, All Sorts, which supports and connect young LBGTQ+ under 26, and Mermaids, a charity supportive gender diverse under 20s.
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