Non-Binary Love

Ethan Alexander Patron (he/they), 29, transmasculine and Addison Rose Vincent (they/them), 26, transfeminine, on creating a completely new, beautiful vision. 

We first met technically on the dating app Tinder in July 2016, but with Addison having just moved back to Detroit to live with their family and Ethan still living in Los Angeles, the conversation did not go very far.

We met in person for the first time a few months later when Addison returned to Los Angeles for a new job serving survivors of violence in the San Fernando Valley. It was at the TransLatin@ Coalition’s annual fashion show fundraiser event when Ethan approached Addison. Ethan was serving as an event volunteer and Addison was an impromptu model for a friend’s fashion line. 

There was an instant attraction and connection, and we began messaging each other and commenting on personal social media posts the weeks following the event.

Our flirtation grew into a more romantic relationship the night of Quest, an annual transgender advocacy pageant hosted by APAIT. Addison was competing as a candidate, and Ethan volunteered to escort them on stage for the evening wear category. 

“Being two non-binary trans people, we believe that our identities help us connect and understand each other in ways that cisgender people have not or could not.”

That night after getting dinner, we went back to Ethan’s house and talked for hours sharing our deepest secrets, shame, fears, dreams, and desires. We opened to each other in ways that we couldn’t with others, knowing that we respected each other incredibly well and could trust each other to hold our hearts. 

We knew that night that whatever direction our relationship would go in, whether as a platonic or romantic one, it would be rooted in a deep friendship built on vulnerability, courage, healing, and unconditional love.

It has been two and half years since that night, and our relationship has grown deeper, stronger, and more resilient. Ethan has since come out more publicly as a non-binary transmasculine person, and Addison has been growing out a beard after a year and a half of hormone therapy. We often feel like pieces in a puzzle box who, to others, seem misshapen or out of place, but when combined fit perfectly together and create a completely new, beautiful vision. 

Being two non-binary trans people, we believe that our identities help us connect and understand each other in ways that cisgender people have not or could not, but we understand that these identities are just a small part of ourselves and not the defining characteristic of our individuals lives or relationship.

There is a great sense that when we come home each day from work, events, or general errands, that we can find comfort, safety, and validation in each other’s arms from whatever we face. 

Despite the harassment we face and the fears that may haunt us, we work as a team to protect, support, and empower each other. We try to live in the present, in the now, for who knows what tomorrow may bring. 

And for now, we celebrate the fact that we still exist, both as individuals and as a couple, and that we deserve happiness and love.