Tina Turner really hit the nail on the head when she asked the generational question, ‘What HAS love got to do with it?’ Trans stories and more importantly, our legacies are a narrative that is often taken out of our own hands, and painted in a light that aligns us as the problem in society. Often, we are seen to be unable to exist as people worthy of love, respect and kindness. Dating and togetherness, a concept so many take for granted, is deemed inaccessible for so many trans folks.
This photo series – produced by GAY TIMES Contributing Editor Jamie Windust – looks at the mundanity, beauty and strength of trans love. Our couples showcase how their love isn’t limited by their transness, and their relationships are in fact enhanced by it.
No matter if you’re trans and you’re in a relationship with a trans, or a cis person, the bond that occurs during queer relationships is one that needs to be shared. This series showcases that bond, through the normalcy of our everyday lives. Trans people’s lives aren’t a spectacle, they’re spectacular, and our love is no different.
Kelly Allen & Zoey Allen
Location: Cardiff, South Wales
“It is wonderful to be part of a project that celebrates how trans couples, and other couples and families with trans folk involved can experience love stories in the same way as everyone else. It is great to help raise more awareness and visibility for those in the trans community whilst emphasising that ‘love is love’.”
Cat Jones & Turay
Location: Los Angeles, California
Pronouns: He/Him & They/He
Turay: “In my experience, trans love stories signal possibility, are life-affirming and normalize trans inclusivity. I feel that love is a communal effort. In the best instances, trans love stories reveal the reality and richness of community support and authentic witness.”
Cat: “It means that I can answer to my younger self and say that this type of existence is possible.”
Tabby & Dexter
Pronouns: She/They & He/They
“For us, it’s all about showing positivity. We all see enough anti trans rhetoric in the media that it’s easy to assume trans people are simply victims – sharing trans love stories is a lifeline to young trans people, showing them that happiness and love is possible for them.
“Our story isn’t wild and unusual – to be a happy trans person is pretty common and to be in a T4T (trans for trans) relationship adds an extra layer of comfort. Being trans masc and trans femme, we come at things from opposite ends of the spectrum but we have a mutual understanding of our experiences and we learn and grow from each other, which makes our relationship extra special.”
Sujay & Erick
Location: Currently in Rome, Italy
Pronouns: He/Him & He/They
“Telling trans love stories is showing that trans love is trans joy, trans laughter, trans tears, trans pain, trans(ing) together. It’s showing that trans-for-trans love is a (big) part of our community. And for us, it’s about showing the beauty, strength and possibility of trans-masc-for-trans-masc love. It’s the love we’ll always choose every day.”
Dais Hale & Katie Greenall
Location: North/North East London
Pronouns: They/Them & She/They
“It’s important for us to show that there can be softness and safety in trans love stories. When you’re taught about love, you’re told about romance, safety and companionship but too often trans* people are told those narratives are unobtainable for them.
“For us however, a couple in a cis/trans relationship, we have all those things we were told were reserved for cis-het relationships. And the thing that I (Dais) value most is feeling completely safe and held in that space. Katie has always normalised this between us and with our wider circle.
“Putting trans love stories in the media that aren’t about trauma or politics is, in a way, one of the most radical things you can do, because it completely normalises the existence of trans love.”