I met my girlfriend when she was a boy

Transgender people are still badly stigmatised in the 21st century but, as the UK's first trans-themed TV show begins, we ask if their romantic partners have it even worse.

 

According to the transgender actress and campaigner Laverne Cox, who was nominated for an Emmy for her role in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, “Most men who are attracted to and date transgender women are probably stigmatised more than trans women are.”
The UK’s first ever trans-themed sitcom, the BBC’s Boy Meets Girl, explores precisely these issues. The show tells the story of a trans woman starting a relationship with a younger man and how their community deals with their unusual romance.
We spoke to three couples to find out how challenging it is for trans people and their partners to come out.
These are their stories.
Civil servant Jacqui Gavin, 47, and consultant Stephen Gavin, 60, have been together for 23 years

 

“My first wife died of multiple sclerosis back in 1992,” says Stephen. “A few months later, some friends invited me to a party and I saw this stunning woman. I couldn’t understand why she was so quiet and shy given the way she looked. We started chatting and got on very well.
“At that point I didn’t know Jacqui was trans. I didn’t call her until a few months later, because I was still grieving, and we had our first date. That’s when she told me about her past. She was very upfront. I was fortunate because I’d already met Jacqui the woman.”
The fact that Stephen had met Jacqui post-transition without any knowledge of her past meant he had already started to fall for her.
“I suppose I did have a preconception of what trans people would be like, and would look like,” he says. “But she didn’t fit into any of that.”  


Jacqui transitioned in 1983, aged 15, after moving out of her family home in Scotland. “I left because of difficulties being bullied at school. I was living in London waiting on tables. I remember putting on make-up and just feeling like me.
“But then, at 16, I had to return home because my mum was ill. I had to ‘detransition’ which was hard. I joined the RAF. One day they found a bra and knickers in my bag. I could have said they were a girlfriend’s but I didn’t want to lie.
“I was called in for a meeting with my supervisors who were furious. They were going to demote me - but I decided to just leave instead.”
Jacqui began gender reassignment surgery and, aged 20, started modelling. She had a successful career but after a tabloid ‘outed’ her a year later (her clients hadn’t known she was trans), she says, “I was dropped like a stone because I wasn’t seen as a woman anymore.”
A few years later, she met Steve. And in 1995, the couple wed. “It was tough to find somewhere to get married,” says Jacqui. “The Gender Recognition Act didn’t come in until 2004 so we couldn’t do it in the UK. We ended up going to the Caribbean.” 

 

Steve says he didn’t experience much stigma – to his surprise, even his traditional Catholic father accepted Jacqui’s past immediately. By this point he’d already known her for two years and said, “As far as I’m concerned, Jacqui is and always will be the most beautiful daughter-in-law.”
But, in 1995, newspapers got hold of their wedding photos and connected them to Jacqui’s modelling career.
“It was everywhere,” says Steve. “All over the media. Back then it was probably still seen as, ‘Are you gay?’ People think you’re going out with a bloke.
“Of course you worry about what people think. But then you find out that people who are worth a damn, don’t give a damn.” 

1 comment

  1. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you gotta watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Want your ex CRAWLING back to you...?

    ReplyDelete

Follow by Email

 

Blog Archive

Contributors

My photo

Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
Worked well for Website DA, Entrepreneurship, Starting a Blog, Payoneer MasterCard, Sex Tips, Phone Sex, So how do you think? Want to get into her pants? Read here