At first glance, Arin Andrews and Katie Hill of Oklahoma are your average young couple. However, the two met under what some might consider unusual circumstances, and have found themselves in the limelight as a result. Katie and Arin are both trans, and met each other at a support group in Tulsa. Furthermore, the two have, as the British tabloid The Sun called it, "swapped genders", and met each other while both undergoing the transition process.
Two years ago, Arin and Katie were known as Emerald and Luke, respectively. One excelled at ballet and competed in beauty contests, while the other was the son of a Marine Colonel. Both struggled throughout their childhoods with their identities. 'The teachers separated the girls and boys into separate lines for a game… I didn't understand why they asked me to stand with the girls," Arin told the Daily Mail. "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." Meanwhile, Katie confided that "Even from age three, I knew deep down I wanted to be a girl. All I wanted was to play with dolls. I hated my boy body and never felt right in it." The two unfortunately had to endure bullying throughout their childhoods, which was one of the many reasons why they bonded so quickly during their first days together.
“Being transgender myself, I understand Arin better than anybody else — how good he feels and how complete he feels," Katie told The Sun. She also quipped to Daily Mail: "We're both size five, so we even swap our old clothes our [mothers] bought us but we hated."
Now that the two have successfully completed their transitions, they can resume their lives with each other in bodies they feel more comfortable in.
"Now when I’m out in a public pool or lifting weights, no one raises an eyebrow. They just think I’m a guy. … I can wear a tank top, which I couldn’t before, and I can go swimming shirtless. I can just be a regular guy. And I’m so lucky to have my family and Katie to rely on."
"We look so convincing as a boy and a girl, nobody even notices now. We secretly feel so good about it because it's the way we've always wanted to be seen."
HuffPost Gay Voices editor Noah Michelson, when discussing this story on the site, noted that…
"It brings to light the idea that sexuality and gender are not the same thing. So both of these individuals are heterosexual…They're not gay just because they're transgender, and that's something that blows people's minds still."
Although, if you ask Katie, she offers a much simpler analysis…
"To me, Arin’s just my Arin. He’s always looked manly to me. But now he’s had the surgery he’s much more confident and comfortable with himself."
Watch The Sun's original video and read the full story HERE.
You can watch HuffPost discuss the story on video HERE.