NewNowNext commissioned nonbinary photographer, designer, and producer Landyn Pan to capture the many faces of trans love, and the results are nothing short of stunning.
Below, find gorgeous portraits of nine couples—some #TransForTrans, some with one cisgender person and one trans person—complete with commentary about their journeys, their individual identities, and their relationships from the subjects themselves.
Photography and Creative Direction: Landyn Pan (@landynpan)
Makeup: Katie Nishida (@k3ik0)
Set Design: Sheenie Yip (@1995gorl)
Jari and CoreyLandyn Pan
On dating while embarking on their individual transitions:
Corey (She/her, @corey_meets_world): I joke with Jari that we mothered each other throughout our transitions, which isn’t too far from the truth. Having someone by your side 24/7, who has closely lived your experience creates a trust and understanding that would be hard to attain dating someone who lives and navigates opposite of you.
Jari (She/her, @iamjarijones): Romance and passion with someone who knows your experience is magical, you skip all the basic learning which can be exhausting, especially teaching your body to someone who is foreign to its makeup. Having someone who knows exactly, 100% what you are going through mentally or physically makes an experience, which is sometimes scary or outrageously vulnerable, bearable and worth it.
Victoria and LukeLandyn Pan
On what she loves most about Luke:
Victoria (She/her, @victorianyc): Besides the fact that he’s super adorably handsome, I absolutely love his creativity and humor. Whenever I’m thinking something he always has the same ideas or plans. Whenever I’m feeling a mood, he’ll put music on make me pancakes and dance. It’s the cutest thing ever. Through all my emotional moments, he knows exactly how to navigate through it. Also his personality is larger than life like mine! He has a “let’s kick ass everyday” ambition, which I love!
On dating another trans person as a trans man:
Luke (He/him, @cooltransluke): I would say that if you’re trans, don’t count out the possibility of dating another trans person. It’s really changed so much of my perspective and outlook on life. We can have it hard at times, being trans … and when you find that partner who can truly empathize with you, you’ll feel unstoppable as a team. I just know personally, the reason it took me a while to ask Victoria out is because I had it in my head that I couldn’t see myself with a trans woman. But, I took a chance and now I feel like an idiot that I ever had any preconceived notions. Don’t let fear lead you.
Jevon and ChristinaLandyn Pan
On what he wants to see from allies to the transgender community:
Jevon (He/him, @stonecoldlegend): I would like people to just think of trans people as human and stop looking at gender. If someone is nice, and they have the qualities you are looking for in a mate, then go for it. It shouldn’t matter what they identify as. You could be blocking a blessing by having a criteria or a special characteristic. Accept people for who they are, not what they are.
On what she loves most about Jevon:
Christina (She/her): Jevon’s best quality is his heart. He will give you the shirt off his back genuinely. His determination is unstoppable. He pays attention to the little things and that makes me love him over and over.
Veronica and RoseLandyn Pan
On how she met Rose:
Veronica (She/her, @theveronicaviper): We met performing. She was a go-go dancer, and it was my first showcase at the Slipper Room. Over time of seeing each other out at shows we began to get closer to each other and she asked me to hang out. I love her kindness and compassion. She feels everything to the core.
On what she loves most about Veronica:
Rose (She/her): I love that Veronica is unapologetically herself, confident, and unafraid to sing and dance in the street. She knows something about everything and I’m constantly learning from her and she’s eager to share her knowledge. (Did you know a cherry is a stone fruit?) She is spontaneous and curious and open to trying new things. She can Macgyver anything in minutes and is a true artist. She makes me grilled cheese with tomato when I need it most, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. She also has the cutest smattering of freckles, and I like to count them when I’m trying to sleep.
Gabe and GregLandyn Pan
On why their relationships just works:
Gabe (They/them, @neutralwolf): In this relationship I feel like I can be myself, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you have had to hide yourself for years when being around others—it’s such a nice change. We’re just like everyone else when it comes to dating; we just happen to identify differently and have extraordinary experiences. There’s no need [for the world] to treat us differently.
Greg (He/him, @tiagreg): I don’t have an answer or words for my relationship. I just know that it feels good and that it works. Ironically enough, ending up in a position with more questions than answers and still going forward and loving anyway, is liberating. I want people to know that the unknown isn’t always scary. In the unknown lies mystery and magic, and it’s where adventures are born.
Daria and MiyagiLandyn Pan
On how they met and fell in love:
Daria (She/her, @darlingdaria_): We met February 8, 2018, at the LGBT Center in Manhattan. It was a Valentine’s Day dance. I actually told myself I wouldn’t date after my last ex who was a cis straight male who just didn’t understand certain parts of me and my sexuality. It ended so badly that I wanted to just not be with anyone for a while. At the dance, Miyagi was talking to some of my friends before we started talking. Then, this conga line started and we both happened to go to join it. I have no idea what made me so bold, but I took his hands and put them on my waist. We danced together the rest of the night.
Miyagi (He/him, @iconicvoyager): Being trans, I remember originally feeling like I’ll never find anyone who will love me for me. So, I convinced myself that living on a private island alone would be suitable. Then, Daria came into my life, and now I want a wife and kids, vegetable garden, rose bushes—you get the point. I like everything about her, even when she annoys the crap out of me.
Kai and AsherLandyn Pan
On how they first met—and how their relationship and individual identities have evolved since then:
Kai (They/them, @k.breauxx) and Asher (He/him, @freuds_ashtray): We started dating at 17, just before setting off for different colleges. At the time, Asher identified as a cis butch lesbian, and Kai was just beginning to explore their queer identities. Our relationship quickly became very close and very intense but eventually ended as we settled into our new environments. We didn’t speak for a long time, but eventually reconnected. That was five years ago! Since then, our bond has grown and shifted. Now both aware of our transness, the elevating nature of T4T [trans for trans] connections and the understanding, support, and unique solace they can offer characterizes our relationship.
Amanda and TobiasLandyn Pan
On being a trans couple—and what they’d like to see from cisgender and heteroseuxal allies:
Amanda (They/them, @a_onte): I think we both center the importance for non cishet-passing trans couples’ relationships to be accepted over our own. I want people to understand the exceptional beauty and validity of trans people, to accept all our identities, and behold the power of trans love.
On how they’ve grown personally in this relationship:
Tobias (They/them, @_______tobias): My ideas on my own sexuality and gender have changed so much during this relationship. We are poly, and Amanda has encouraged me to explore my sexuality and gender. So many things I hadn’t allowed myself to be they have encouraged and made me feel valid in.
Alexandra and AlexanderLandyn Pan
On honoring each other as partners:
Alexandra (She/her, @highvibrationalwomxn) and Alexander (He/him): We honor each other’s hurts and lived experiences, and we are committed to understanding each other’s worlds and wounds. As conscious partners we live by our own core values of abundance, accountability, communication, vulnerability, love, honesty, respect, interdependence, joy, understanding, family, responding not reacting, and seeking to ensure that each of us is becoming a better person by at least 1% every day.