By Chloe Sweet
Scroll down for the full story
Videographer / director: Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing
Producer: Nathalie Bonney, Ruby Coote
Editor: Beth Angus
Chase and Elan Storey, from Canada, both identified as women when they started their relationship in 2017. However just last year, the couple were pronounced as husband and wife.
After leaving a toxic relationship with a cis-gender male, 28-year-old Elan took to Tinder to seek out her first lesbian relationship. When she matched with Chase, also aged 28, they clicked instantly and knew that they had to meet.
Elan told Truly: “His picture was with maybe six or seven other people… So I was like, ‘Wow, I don't even know who this person is or what they look like, but I'm swiping it right.
“Then you matched me at work, and we talked literally all day.”
Chase added: “I remember just like, going through [Tinder] and I saw her profile...I was like ‘This girl's way too beautiful.’”
When they first met, Chase told those around him that he was a lesbian woman, despite claiming that he was never fully comfortable with how he identified.
He said: “I tried to discover transitioning about 10 years ago or eight years ago. I really did not have a great support system back then.
“It was always a constant in my mind. I was just too afraid.”
Two years into their relationship, just as they were approaching their wedding day, Chase drops a bombshell that he believes he was born in the wrong gender.
“We were just laying in bed and I was circling, like thinking about it, because I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I don't want to get married. I want to be your husband. I don't want to be your wife.’”
Met with support and affirmation from Elan, Chase began using he/him pronouns and the couple were later married as husband and wife.
Elan said: “I wasn't surprised. The dynamic of our relationship always leaned more to like a male-female couple. So I wouldn't say that like I knew he was going to come out as trans but it definitely did not surprise me.
“We did not want to wait to get married. We were so impatient. We got engaged in April and we got married in August. So we actually got married pre-transition,” Elan said.
“I think there was a little bit of worry on my part that it might be weird for other people. But to me at that point. it didn't bother me at all.”
Chase started his life-long course of testosterone hormones in September, but he is yet to undergo any surgical procedures.
He said: “I’m nine months on T (testosterone) this past month and it’s been really cool. The changes that have happened. Obviously physically - I now have facial hair which is like a huge giveaway.
“With the Coronavirus and everything, elective surgeries were put on hold for top surgery. So eventually I'd say, in the next four months, hopefully, I'll get a phone call to book a consult. And that'll be the only surgery that I've considered at this point.”
“Watching the extensiveness and the processes of bottom surgery, I don't think that's my pathway.”
The feelings surrounding Chase’s transition amongst their loved ones have been mixed, they say, with some family members affirming Chase’s identity and others unwilling to accept it.
“There are some people who didn’t necessarily adapt to it immediately,” Chase said.
“Some people made it kind of difficult and upsetting.”
The couple recently began to share their story on social media, in the hopes of offering some representation and support to partners of trans people.
Elan said: “There's a lot of YouTube channels or Instagram accounts that are fully showing the person going through the transition, but it was so hard to find a couple's journey or how a partner can deal with it and handle it in their feelings.”
While the couple say that they receive overwhelmingly positive feedback on their posts, they have sometimes had to face hurtful comments from online trolls.
“We've gotten one [comment] being like, ‘You'll never be a real man’ and I'm just like, ‘Cool. Delete. This is not the space for like really like stupid negative things like that,’” Chase explained.
Elan said: “I feel like we've been extremely lucky when it comes to our online presence and our social media platforms. We still mostly get positive comments.
“I answer every single DM, like, no matter how many we get, we'll answer them all.”