Transgender Teen Couple Transitions Together: The Amazing Love Story Of Katie Hill and Arin Andrews (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Jul 24, 2013 11:38 AM EDT
Arin Andrews and Katie Hill struggled with their gender identities throughout their childhoods, suffering from bullying and depression. But when the two met at a trans support group in Tulsa, Okla. after each had begun the transitioning process, they instantly fell in love and soon began an amazing journey together, the Huffington Post reports.
"All I saw was a handsome guy. We're perfect for each other because we both had the same troubles growing up," Hill told the Daily Mail of when she first met her boyfriend.
"We're both size five, so we even swap our old clothes our mom's bought us but we hated," she explained. "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."
Katie, 19, whose father is a Marine colonel, spent the first 15 years of her life as Luke, the Daily Mail reports, while Arin, 17, was born a girl called Emerald who competed in beauty contests and danced ballet.
Today the two are now content with their new gender identities, but getting there was far from easy.
"I hated my breasts, I always felt like they didn't belong. Now I finally feel comfortable in my own body," Andrews told The Sun about surgically removing his breasts last month. "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."
"Being transgender myself, I understand Arin better than anybody else - how good he feels and how complete he feels," Hill said.
Hill suffered from depression for years before discovering that she was transgender. On an segment of "Inside Edition" last year, Hill said that as a child she was "bullied and abused. Ridiculed. Ashamed and embarrassed."
On her 15th birthday, Hill asked her parents for help in transitioning into Katie.
"Knowing what Katie went through for eight-plus years - there's nothing worse than watching your child suffer," Hill's mom, Jazzlyn, told Tulsa World. "It's still my baby - male or female, she's still my child. And I don't have to kneel at her grave."
Andrews's mother feels the same about her son, telling The Mirror that "seeing Katie go through her surgery was helpful to Arin."
"It was being around it and seeing her getting to transform," she said. "And being a couple at the time was I think just the cherry on the cake. Every transgender person would love to have the transformation physically because it just completes them as a person."
Click here to see photos of the teen couple spending time together, very much in love.