Mark Cummings,49, and Jessica O’Donnell, 39, from Wilton Manors, Florida, are getting engaged, as reported by the Daily Mail. So, what is special about that?
Well, they can’t really be classified as as a “regular” couple in the generally understood meaning of the term. Mark was born as a girl named Maritza, and Jessica as a boy called Shawn.
They have each had to face a lifetime of discrimination simply because of their sexual identities. In her teens, Jessica even attempted suicide, and her family virtually disowned her when, aged 35, she told them her secret. Mark also suffered from bigotry and prejudice throughout his teenage years.
Two years ago they happened to meet, and it was love-at-first-sight. Earlier this year, Mark helped Jessica find the confidence to remove her testicles. They plan to wed next year.
Mark, who is an occupational therapist and bodybuilder, said:
“Because she has gone through the same journey as me she knows the pain and suffering that it can be to be a transgender person.”
“Now I don’t believe being transgender is a curse and I want to make other trans people feel good about themselves.”
“If people want to judge us for our relationship I would say, what makes your relationship better than mine?”
Jessica said that for many years she thought that she was actually a gay man. But now she understands that she is a straight man, just locked into the wrong body. She added that their relationship is the kind that people dream of: “Our first kiss was magic.”
The couple co-host Transition Radio, which is a show aimed at raising awareness about issues facing transgender people.
“Growing up knowing I wasn’t who people said I was left me feeling alienated and alone.”
“I couldn’t see a way out, it was the worst feeling in the world.”
“The first time I saw Mark I thought he was cute but I would have never guessed he was born female.”
“When he told me I was wanted to know more about him.”
“To the outside world we are a normal heterosexual couple but being transgender I feel like we are even more in tune with each other.”
“Having been a female I can understand what Jessica is feeling and vice-versa. We share this incredible bond, which is almost like sharing the same brain.”
He also revealed that he lost his virginity to Jessica, saying that it was an incredible experience which he would never forget.
Jessica says, “Meeting Mark helped me to fully accept myself and love who I am as a trans woman.”
Mark adds,”I love fulfilling the role as Jessica’s provider and protector. I love taking care of her – I call her my princess.”
(Image: Daily Mail)