For many starting the transition journey, after potentially years of being made to feel ugly and unworthy of love, a major concern is wondering if finding love is ever going to be possible. The answer is of course yes and there have been transgender weddings that are inspiring a new generation of trans people to find someone for them. Here are some of the transgender weddings to give you hope:
Britain’s highest-ranking transgender soldier, Army Captain Hannah Winterbourne, aged 31, married her long-term partner, actor Jake Graf, in a gorgeous wedding at Chelsea Town Hall in London in 2018. Their ceremony, in front of close family and friends, had two readings and simple vows. Hannah looked fabulous is a strapless white dress and they both cried as she walked down the aisle. Friends and family donated flowers, the cake, and generously contributed towards their surrogacy fund instead of giving us presents.
In May 2018, transgender couple Surya and Ishaan K Shaan became the first trans pair to ever marry in Kerala, India. The couple were married in front of over 500 people in a beautiful ceremony at Mannam Hall in Thiruvananthapuram, after a change in Indian law allowed for trans people to marry. Ishan has said the journey to the happy day was painful as he did not want to hurt his parents, yet his father, mother and sister were all present at the wedding. The marriage was registered at the sub registrar’s office under the Special Marriage Act.
Terry and Joanne married in a combined religious and civil ceremony at Old South Church in Boston, US, one of the first to bless gay unions and have been welcoming to trans people. Terry proposed and Joanne asked her for more time before the wedding so that she could learn all about weddings that she had missed out on, having been raised as a boy. Joanne found a wedding planner comfortable working with a transgender woman, and together they found the perfect bridal gown. Terry wore a suit and led Joanne in the first dance.
The wedding of Jamie Eagle and Louis Davies in 2014 was like most others, with a beautiful bride, heartfelt vows, speeches, cake and dancing. Yet this was a day that both doubted would ever happen as they have both endured their transgender journey. Sky Living’s Forbidden Love series filmed the occasion, offering an educational, insightful and often moving view into the lives of two people who, for as long as they can remember, have felt they were living with the wrong body parts. This is the couple telling their own story.
San Antonio native Alexis Valerio walked down the aisle to her groom on the arm of Chris Wilson, a man she says was so supportive when at high school she was coming out. Valerio married Frank Davis in Houston, where they both now live, at the Grace Lutheran Church in Houston's Montrose neighbourhood, which holds weddings for straight, gay and transgender couples. Valerio lived her dream with 15 bridesmaids and groomsmen and a strapless white gown and veil.
Weddings are a time of bliss, romance, commitment and, of course, stress. Yet couples in which at least one partner is trans, experience challenges not faced by others getting married. Legally, once someone has undergone sexual reassignment surgery they may marry someone of the opposite sex with no problem. For pre-op couples that biologically are the same gender, or those who transition and fall in love with someone of the same gender, a same-sex marriage is permitted.
Once the legal issues are said and done, there are still complications that arise specifically for the trans community. Finding a celebrant and a welcoming venue may be challenging, particularly for those for whom “passing” as their identified gender is not a priority and who may not have had both top and bottom surgeries. Transgender individuals may need their partner to help support and fight for their rights as they move through the process, whilst also sitting back on certain issues.
Current FTM celebrities are those who are not just good at their jobs, but also raise awareness and advocate for social justice and acceptance for transgender people.