A couple who married as husband and wife now plans to renew their wedding vows as two women.
Jae and Rayna Harvey married in Jae’s hometown of Dallas, Texas, in 2018, nine years after their first interaction on Myspace in 2009.
According to BBC, “Rayna, 35, came out as transgender to her wife on their honeymoon, a few months later.”
“I didn’t feel like I was present at our first wedding. I wasn’t marrying you as myself,” she told Jae.
“It was maybe a month or two after we got married, she sat me down and said ‘I’m having all these thoughts and feelings, and I’m not really sure what it means,’” added Jae.
Jae, 32, said she understood Rayna’s identity crisis and decided to support her regardless of what people would say.
“I told her I was glad she told me and not to feel like she had to live in the dark and inauthentically. We tried androgyny and cross-dressing.”
“I thought her best opportunity to go out presenting as female would be our honeymoon because we wouldn’t know anyone. I bought make-up and hair stuff and let her borrow one of my purses and we went to dinner at Bella Italia,” she added.
“The server said “good evening, ladies” and I could see it all over her face.”
After returning to their cabin, Jae and Rayna openly discussed Rayna’s identity.
“I asked whatever I needed to ask and what it meant for us and what the transition would look like. It’s the person I fell in love with – not the body,” Jae said.
After accepting the fact that Rayna would no longer be her husband, but her wife from then on, Jae became her biggest supporter in everything.
She taught her different hairstyles and improved her makeup skills.
In December 2018, Rayna came out as a woman on Facebook and told everyone the truth about herself.
“We were met with total support by everyone, even Rayna’s 95-year-old grandma is on board and gives her granddaughter cards,” said Jae.
“I feel like me now,” added Rayna. “Life is a lot easier now I can go about my daily basis without worrying. I’ve struggled since I was 11 years old, but I didn’t know what being trans was.”
“I had predominantly female friends at school, and I loved dressing up and being someone else for Halloween.”
In 2018, Rayna began her transitioning journey with hormone therapy.
“Followed by an orchiectomy – a procedure to remove the testicles in May 2019,” wrote Daily Mail. “She also had a breast augmentation, facial surgery and finally, full penis removal in February 2022- her surgery totalled £70,000 which her parents helped her out with.”
“She has her final bottom surgery Spire Yale, Wrexham – as she remained on the NHS waiting list after an initial appointment five years ago.”
According to Rayne, 35, the final procedure nearly killed her as too much blood loss occured.“It was a total freak accident which is something that can happen in this surgery,” said Jae. “The doctor described it as “blood bath”. It is meant to take three-and-a-half hours, but it got to seven hours, and she was still in there.”
“She couldn’t bear to have a transfusion but took iron tablets – everyone calls her a machine because she’s never taken any painkillers after surgery.”
After her lengthy transition period, Rayna changed her name, driver’s license, and passport. Now she will also acquire a gender recognition certificate from the government to renew her wedding vows as a female.
“It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been transitioning or what you’ve done. The government have made it so difficult – there are so many hoops to jump through,” said Jae.
“I get there needs to be a process to verify who I am, but a lot of people struggle to get gender recognition certificates. It’s a soul-destroying process after having been through so much,” Rayna said.
“Jae and I can’t move forward whilst it’s a thing. We want to be visible.”
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