Oklahoma teens Arin Andrews, 17 and Katie Hill 19, are a typical young couple that are head over heels in love, but their love story is far different than most regular lovers. Both are transgenders supporting each other through their transitions.
UK's Daily Mail reported that the teenage couple were born as the opposite sex. Hill, born as a boy named Luke, is a son of a Marine lieutenant colonel in the U.S. "I'd been so unhappy growing up," she said. "As I got older it got worse and I couldn't help being really girly with a high-pitched voice and high cheekbones."
At the age of 15, she found out what 'transgender' meant by browsing the Internet. "When I was 15 I found the word 'transgender' while desperately searching the Internet and instantly knew it was me."
Her parents struggled to deal with their son's identity problem and had her sent to 15 therapists to cure her depression. Hill tried to end her life until her mom finally agreed to help her while her dad was upset at first for losing his first son.
"We made a list of all the things I wanted to do, like wearing bras and panties, getting hormone therapy and maybe one day having gender realignment surgery."
Her dream finally came true when four days after her 18th birthday, an anonymous donor touched by her story paid for the gender reassignment surgery worth £25,000 ($40,000).
Meanwhile, Andrews was named Emerald when she was born and used to excel at ballet dancing and win at beauty contests. "Girly things didn't interest me, but I was worried what people would think if I said I wanted to be a boy, so I kept it secret."
His mom wanted him to become an accomplished female ballet and clogging dancer. He loves motocross biking with his dad, triathlon and rock-climbing.
Andrew's determination to bravely live his life as a male comes from years of being bullied and humiliated, calling her a lesbian in school. She was expelled from her Christian school when her teachers learned she was dating a girl.
"They kicked me out because it was a religious school, even though I was a top pupil," she said.
Her mom finally supported her and paid for his testosterone shots. His breast was surgically removed last month. "Now I finally feel comfortable in my own body," he told The Sun.
Andrews and Hill met at a transgender support group in Tulsa, Oklahoma while both are going through a process of transitioning and soon fell in love.
Hill also told The Sun, “Being transgender myself, I understand Arin better than anybody else — how good he feels and how complete he feels.”
Though their families have been very supportive of their transition, the couple struggled to maintain their relationship with their friends. Andrews lost one of his best friends while going through transition, while Hill's friends stopped talking to her.
“I think they found out I was trans through gossip and decided it was too much for them," she said.
It has also been difficult with their families who also lost some of their own friends. "There are still a group of people we don't interact with any more. I know that they questioned me as a parent, they're not comfortable with it," Mrs Andrews told The Mirror.
"A lot of people worry about losing the gender of their child. But as you look through albums and realise your babies are growing up, we also watched them grow up and turn into somebody different. Whether they stay the same gender or not, they become independent," she added.