Man proposes to partner weeks after he came out as a trans man

Transgender man who was ‘terrified’ his partner would leave him when he came out praises his husband for showing ‘unconditional love’ by sticking by him

  • Elvis Smith was ‘terrified’ his partner Ryan Smith would break up with him 
  • The pair met in August 2012 when they were 12 and Elvis ‘identified as female’
  • Ryan proposed to Elvis in North Carolina weeks after his partner came out

A man stuck by his childhood sweetheart after he came out as a transgender man and proposed a month later – with the couple now ‘happier than ever’. 

Elvis Smith, 23, from Pennsylvania, was ‘terrified’ his partner Ryan Smith, 24, would break up with him after he came out as a non-binary trans man five years into their relationship in June 2019. 

Both of them met in August 2012 when they were just 12 and Elvis ‘identified as female using the name Elorah’.

Throughout his school years Elvis continued to feel uncomfortable in his body and thought he might be transgender. 

When he came out as a trans man his partner accepted the news and proposed later that month on a beach in Outer Banks, North Carolina, before the couple eloped in June 2021.

Elvis Smith (right), 23, from Pennsylvania, US, was ‘terrified’ his partner Ryan Smith (left), 24, would break up with him after he came out as a non-binary trans man

Both of them met in August 2012 when they were just 12 and Elvis (right) ‘identified as female using the name Elorah’

Throughout his school years Elvis (left) continued to feel uncomfortable in his body and thought he might be transgender

Elvis began the physical transition in March 2012 by cutting his hair short, binding his chest and packing daily and beginning to style himself differently. 

Due to his autoimmune disease he is not taking any hormone treatment but is hoping to take them soon, as well as having top surgery. 

The artist credited Ryan for being his ‘rock’ and thanked him for the ‘unconditional love’ he has given. 

Elvis said: ‘I was terrified Ryan would break up with me when I told him I was non-binary and transgender, but he was immediately supportive.

‘The whole way through we’ve told each other, “If this isn’t what you signed up for then it’s OK to leave”. But Ryan has stuck by me.

When he came out as a trans man Ryan (right) accepted the news and proposed later that month on a beach in Outer Banks, North Carolina, US, before the couple eloped in June 2021

Elvis (left) began the physical transition in March 2012 by cutting his hair short, binding and packing daily and beginning to style himself differently

‘We’ve had many tearful conversations because I know he once had the expectation of a bride in a dress, but he’s been so onboard.

‘He helped me choose new clothes and picked a new name for me. 

Ryan, a nurse, said: ‘It’s been difficult at times. But we’re getting through it. We’ve always talked about having kids and when Elvis came out, it became a little more confusing as to what that would look like.

‘The difference in style and appearance were difficult for me to adjust to at first.

Due to his autoimmune disease Elvis (left, pretransition) is not taking any hormone treatment but is hoping to take them soon as well as having top surgery

Elvis (left, pretransition) credited Ryan for being his ‘rock’ and thanked him for the ‘unconditional love’ he has given

‘I’ve always viewed myself as straight and I was worried that I wouldn’t be attracted to someone who looked and dressed masculine.

‘But Elvis is so much happier and more themselves now so that’s actually more attractive.’

Elvis had a crush on Ryan from the moment he met him in August 2011.

‘We were in the same class together and I’d always tease him,’ Elvis said.

‘I think it was obvious to everyone but Ryan that I liked him.’

Throughout this time they told each other ‘if this isn’t what you signed up for then it’s OK to leave. But Ryan has stuck by him (Pictured: Elvis pretransition as a young child)

Elvis reached 19 he started to have some realizations about his identity (Pictured: Elvis pretransition as a young child on a swing)

The pair hit it off as friends and started dating after getting closer in September 2015.

But when Elvis reached 19 he started to have some realizations about his identity.

‘I’d see people on social media talking about transitioning and I’d think “I wish I was trans”. Then I realized that’s not something someone who isn’t transgender thinks.

‘It made sense why I’d always wanted to dress like a tomboy and got on better with males. I was always in baggy jeans and dinosaur t-shirts growing up.’

Elvis was scared to tell Ryan in case it would mean the end of their relationship but bit the bullet in June 2019.

Elvis (pictured right, pretransition) was scared to tell Ryan in case it would mean the end of their relationship but bit the bullet in June 2019.

Elvis, pictured, now binds and packs every day and enforces interchangeable he/him and they/them pronouns

‘I wasn’t exactly sure at that point what being transgender meant for me, but I told him I was a non-binary transgender man,’ he said.

‘It was a very surface level conversation at first, but Ryan was immediately supportive.’

‘We had lots of tearful chats and I made sure he was definitely on board before we got married,’ Elvis said.

‘He never signed up for a husband and we talked a lot about the future physical changes I wanted to make. But every time he was just supportive.’

Elvis now binds and packs every day and enforces interchangeable he/him and they/them pronouns.

‘We struggle sometime with outside opinions on us, but we have unconditional love for each other,’ Elvis said.

‘I’ve been on a huge self-love journey and Ryan has been a massive part of it. We can’t wait to have kids together, but we don’t know what that will look like for us yet.

‘We’ve talked about me being a seahorse dad, surrogacy and adoption and it’s my dream to foster one day.

‘When Ryan and I first started dating I’m not sure this is what he expected but we had to adjust our expectations and we’ve found that this relationship still works for us.’

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