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‘We kept choosing each other, every single day’: coming out as trans in a romantic relationship

An illustration featuring two femme-presenting individuals. The person on the left is holding an open book in their hand with their head turned towards the person on the right. They are kissing the person on the right's forehead warmly. The person on the right has their hand in the lap of the person on the left and they are smiling with their eyes and lips closed as they receive the kiss. The person on the left has shoulder-length dark hair, light skin and is wearing a T-shirt with the trans flag on it. The person on the right has chin-length dark and curly hair with mocha-colored skin. They are wearing pink lipstick. The background of the illustration features the outlines of various flower shapes.
Charnel Hunter

A gender transition means a lot of changes in a person's life — and a lot of changes for their romantic partner. Two couples share their experiences of staying together after one partner came out as trans.

March 31st marks the 15th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility. TDOV uplifts the contributions of trans folks in the Queer Rights Movement and shines a light on ongoing challenges faced by the trans community. In honor of this celebration, we’re featuring trans love and the experiences of couples who have navigated a romantic relationship through a partner’s transition.

“I think I’m trans.” With those four words, Summer Tao took the first step in affirming her gender identity ... but she didn’t make this trek alone. In July 2020, Summer said those words to her long-term partner, Lucy Aalto. The South African pair share with host Anita Rao the unexpected ways in which Summer’s transition brought them closer together. Plus, they give their advice to couples who may be at the beginning of their own queer journeys.

Anita also speaks with married couple Patty and Kate Redman about Kate’s transition at the age of 57. Patty and Kate reflect on changes to their sex life, social circles and religious ties over their 28 years together.

Special thanks to Anya and Jackie of the Youtube channel “Wives vs World” for their contribution to today’s episode.

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Paige Miranda is a producer for "Embodied". Previously, she served as WUNC’s 2023 AAAS Mass Media Fellow.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.