A transgender woman has revealed how her boyfriend turned her down when she approached him while still living as a man – then fell in love with her after she embraced her true identity.
Blonde Erin Anderson, 22, from Owensboro, Kentucky, who was born a boy named Aaron, says she knew she was born in the wrong body as a three-year-old when she began wearing her grandmother’s high heels.
She was 18 when she first got in touch with her crush Jared Norris on Facebook but said ‘he was having no part of it’.
But two years later, after Erin had come out and seven months into her course of hormone replacement therapy, Jared, 28, like one of her Instagram pictures, and the couple struck up a romance.
Two years on the couple are still going strong – despite receiving death threats from cruel online trolls.
Now Erin has undergone two years of hormone replacement therapy, had breast augmentation, and is hoping to have gender reassignment surgery.
However, Erin, who is happy being ‘passable’ as a trans woman, says her partner remains indifferent about her undergoing the procedure, which would see surgeons constructing a vagina for her, traditionally by means of penile inversion.
‘She wants to look more feminine, but to me, she already looks beautiful,’ Jared said of his girlfriend’s desire to have sex reassignment surgery.
‘I understand it’s not about me but at present, we couldn’t afford surgery for her to become fully female.
‘I will still love her exactly the same, she is still the same person regardless, I think she looks feminine enough, but understand gender dysphoria is a big thing.
‘I love the fact that she is willing to be herself even with the ramifications of that, I’m glad she can put herself out there.’
She said of approaching Jared for the first time: ‘While still living a boy, I messaged Jared on Facebook saying “Hey what’s up” – I knew of him and added him on Facebook because he was cute.
‘But he was having no part of it and didn’t seem interested at all, so I decided not to try anymore with him.
‘It was two years later when he liked one of my pictures on Instagram – by that time I had come out as trans and a woman.’
It was all the encouragement Erin needed, and she swiftly sent him her number.
‘Within five minutes, I got a message from him and we started talking,’ she said.
‘The next day was my birthday, I hung out with him and a week later we were dating officially on Facebook and have been together ever since.’
It’s Erin’s first serious relationship, and she said previous boyfriends had confessed to being too afraid of being judged to commit to her.
‘Prior to dating Jared, I had been seeing people but nothing serious came about because they were afraid to tell their family or friends,’ she said.
‘They would tell me they really liked me but couldn’t risk their family knowing I was trans and that was what hurt the most.’
But Jared doesn’t care about the prejudice the couple has faced.
‘Jared didn’t fear that [going public] – he told his family that I was trans and everything, he doesn’t care what other people think,’ said Erin.
‘We talk about our love story and us getting together often actually, I admitted that two years prior I wanted him and now I finally have him, which we laugh a lot about,’ she added.
Jared said: ‘I hung out with her a lot and really enjoyed it, we had a lot of things in common even after talking for just a couple of days.
‘I was thinking, I could fall in love with this person, at first I didn’t know where it was going to go, but one day while lying in bed with her watching TV I told her how I felt.
‘I was like, “I love you and think we could make this work easily,” and despite all the haters I wanted to go public and proudly show everyone we are dating.’
Speaking about the backlash, Jared, a computer science student, said: ‘It wasn’t really well known that I was dating a trans woman at first, but when everyone found out, it was a big shocker.
‘I received a lot of death threats online with one guy saying ‘I will beat you up f*****, which kind of sucked and was depressing.
‘It’s always the same rigmarole things like, “I hate you”, “you’re disgusting”, “you’re dating a dude”, and other comments.
‘After getting all these death threats we talked about it and decided to ignore everybody, whether they are sending love or hate.
‘Thankfully I had some messages encouraging us and telling us to ignore the haters, it reminds us that people like that are not worth our time,’ Jared said.
Erin says she knew she was destined to be a woman when she began wearing her mother’s make-up – and even wrapping t-shirts around her head to emulate long hair as a young child.
At school, while living as Aaron, she says she was bullied by the boys who found her overly effeminate and ostracised by females for not being a girl.
‘At three-years-old, I was an autistic child, I would always draw myself as a girl all the time,’ she said.
‘Then I would wear my grandma’s high heels, put mom’s makeup on and more, all of these are things a little boy wouldn’t do.
‘I was bullied by both the boys and girls, the guys would ask why I would act like a girl and make fun of me, making me feel less than what I was.
‘Then the girls would see me as a boy and not want to hang out with me.’
Erin tried to suppress her feelings until the age of 18 when she started questioning her gender.
‘By then, I was not happy with my born gender as a boy anymore, but I was dumbfounded about how to change, I had no knowledge of the subject or where to begin.
‘I thought I was too old to start transitioning until my friend reminded me that life is too short and that I couldn’t keep living my life so unhappy.’
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