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Fri May 10, 2013
Insight Into The Trials And Joys Of Transgender Relationships
What does it mean to love somebody no matter who they are or who they become?
A common pledge couples make to each other is to be faithful “in sickness and in health until death do us part.” That pledge is put to a major test for couples where one partner changes his or her gender identity.
Una Nowling and Fiona Nowling share their story of getting married and working through the gender identity transition.
The couple has been married nearly 10-and-a-half years. Fiona is a biological woman and Una is a transgender woman. Una was born with male sex organs, but says it did not feel right.
"I always felt more like a girl, and identified as a girl," she says.
Una says her gender identity was her biggest secret until her mid-30s.
" I felt like I was the only one in the world like this," she says.
The Internet not only brought her to her now wife, Fiona, it also gave her a safer place to come out.
But even Fiona's unconditional love couldn't save Una from the hardship that came along with being transgender.
"Even with her support, the depression I was suffering grew and grew over the years," says Una.
Una woke up one day last July and decided she couldn't take the pain and suffering any longer. She decided she would take her own life.
Fiona knew things were getting bad and urged Una to see someone. She came across Caroline Gibb's website and told Una, "someone has to help you."
Caroline Gibbs, director of the Transgender Institute examines the personal, logistical and relationship challenges that go along with the process, from relationships with family members to managing the transition at work.
We also hear the story of a relationship that didn’t last, and what happened next with Julie Raines.