By Nathalie Bonney @nathaliebonney

HIGH SCHOOL sweethearts Katie and Vince Gay have been a couple for over 11 years - however, nine years into their relationship; Vince dropped a bombshell: he – or they – were gender fluid

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Videographer / director: Istvan Lettang

Producer: Nathalie Bonney  

Editor: Helen Mckee

Identifying on some days as Natasha, a woman with long hair and bangs and an expert at makeup application, other days they revert back to the more traditionally male alter ego of Vince, the man that Katie fell in love with. 

A year ago Natasha went public and now Natasha and Vince enjoy shopping trips and coffee dates together where they live in Columbus, Ohio - but it’s only Vince that Katie is physically attracted to.

Katie, who has been happily married to Vince for five years, told Barcroft TV: “Initially, it's a bit of a shock just because I really didn't know what gender fluid meant.

“Is it really fair to judge someone just based on you know, what they look like?

“I definitely don't think that identifying as gender fluid is something that I would ever identify as. Just hearing Vince talk about how he feels and how it changes day to day. Like, I can understand the words he's saying but as far as that feeling I don't necessarily get it and I don't personally connect with that.”

The couple met at high school and the day Vince asked Katie out, he told her he loved her. They bonded over a shared love of sci fi and would text back and forth in class.

Vince said: “We’ve known each other ever since middle school where we were sitting next to each other and texting each other rather than talking."

Katie added: “We both have a lot of the same sort of like nerdy interests like Star Wars and Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Westworld, a lot of TV shows that we both enjoy.”

When Vince came out also as Natasha, the reaction has been mixed – while friends have been accepting, in effect, Natasha has been a new person for them to get to know. 

Both sets of parents have struggled with the new person in their children’s marriage and for Vince, a former school teacher, coming out has also affected their job hunt.

He said: “The coming out process to Katie was great, and to my friends was great. Coming out to my parents, not so great, coming out to her parents, not so great.

“Friends have responded mostly really well. We have quite a group of friends that have accepted us.”

Although accepting of her spouse’s new gender identity, Katie herself remains only attracted to men. And the couple are keen to stress the difference between gender and sexuality.

Katie said: "A lot of people confuse the gender with the sexuality.

“I'm not physically attracted in any way to Natasha. I'm attracted to men.”

Natasha agrees: “A lot of people think oh, you're a girl so you must like boys at that time. No.

“A lot of people are like, ‘Oh no, you’re just Trans’ and I’m not, I’m not Trans. No disrespect to those who are, but that’s not how I identify. 

"For me, I identify as gender fluid because, I look at it as if it were a rainbow. You have male on one side, you have female on the other. And from day to day, you go somewhere on this rainbow.

“Some days you might be all the way to the left, and you might be all the way male or some days you might be all the way female. Some days you might be in-between." 

Preferring to use the male pronoun on days he is Vince and the female on the days she is Natasha, Vince/Natasha accepts that ‘gender fluid’ may not be the ideal way of describing what he/she does – but it’s the best fit so far.

Vince said: “For me, gender fluid is a weird term. I don’t feel like it's accurate, like 100% defines who I am. But it’s by far the closest thing that’s out there.”

What’s more important is that even while Vince can change from Natasha and back again, at the core is the same person Katie fell in love with.

She said: “Part of me misses the old Vince mostly because it was easier when, you know, certain family members that have been less than accepting lately. But I mean, I still have the person that I married and I'm in love with.”

For Vince, being able to be completely honest with Katie makes their relationship even more precious.

He said: “Vince: I feel like I can truly be myself with her now, whereas before I always felt like I had to hide.

“I feel like that's something truly special that sets us apart from so many others.”