Thursday, February 13, 2020

Groom with gender fluid fiance didn't know if he'd marry man or woman on big day

A gender fluid newlywed, who spends much of his time as a woman, shocked wedding guests when he walked down the aisle as a man.

Chris Law and Douglas Davidson planned out their wedding at the Cromlix House hotel, owned by Scottish tennis star Andy Murray, where the couple had both their first date and got engaged - Douglas went down on one knee holding a solitaire diamond ring.

But right up until the big day, Chris, who was born a man, was unsure whether to marry the love of his life as Chris or Fiona, who he spends much of his life as.

“Everyone had assumed I would arrive as Fiona,” Chris told the Daily Record. “Because I spend about 90 per cent of the time when I socialise as female.”

Regardless, whoever they had picked, groom Douglas was delighted to be marrying his partner in September last year.

He said: “If that was what Chris had wanted, I would have been fine with his choice.

“I have married Chris, who is gender fluid, and I don’t like to think of them as two different entities.

“A lot of our friends thought Chris would be dressed as Fiona but he chose himself.

“I am proud of them both and I love them both, because they are my life partner.”

Chris, 37, and Douglas, 51, from Stirling, central Scotland, got together almost nine years ago after meeting on an online dating site.

It was the first full gay relationship for Douglas, a rugby-playing prison officer who feared he’d be rejected by his family if he came out.

Or that, having been adopted by them, they’d be disappointed by the boy who’d been so grateful for the life they’d given him.

He said: “I slept with a guy at my college once but never did anything else until I was 38. I did try to deny my sexuality and I did have girlfriends but they never went on for long.”

Chris had come out as a teenager, but it wasn’t without its problems, he admitted, describing himself as "quite a feminine child" with only female friends.

“It was probably when I was 15 that I realised I was actually attracted to men," he continued. "I spent most of my teenage years being ridiculed or bullied for being a flamboyant, feminine boy.

“I never had a relationship with my dad as I wasn’t the rugby-playing football sort of a son he wanted, so I grew up feeling like – and expecting to be – a disappointment.

"My mum has always been a huge support, encouraging me to express myself and defending me from criticism or abuse. We’ve always been extremely close.

“I spent years in therapy and counselling, many years sedated by anti-depressants, before I could actually say that. I can discuss it now because it’s in the past – but it took me a long time to accept being gay.”

Chris, a social care officer, had had two long-term relationships before Douglas but said both were “terrible messes” which left him not wanting to be with anyone at all.

But he added: “I started chatting to Douglas and, while I tried to keep him at arm’s length for a few months, I soon realised he was nothing like my previous relationships. In fact, he was the only person I could ever really see a future with.”

Gender fluidity had never been something Chris had considered until about year into his relationship with Douglas.

He said: “I had always dressed for Halloween or an event like a stage show but it was almost like a cabaret. I had, though, always been interested in the trans world and I have quite a few friends who are transgender.

"Some of them have completely transitioned and some live as I do, as gender fluid.

“It took me a long time to realise that it wasn’t something I was doing as a mask, to cover myself up.”

Douglas was more than happy to support his choice.

He said: “We have a friend who is gender fluid – Rachel, who was our bridesmaid – and I have been involved with the LGBT community and helped a person transition to a woman. So it didn’t shock me or bother me.

“I don’t feel any different whether I’m with Chris or Fiona – although I’m probably more protective when she’s Fiona because of some people’s opinions of gender-fluid people.

“I don’t even ask whether I’m going out with Chris or Fiona – all I do ask is what he is going to be dressed in to make sure there’s time to get ready.”

Chris stressed that, while it can be for some people, being female is not a sexual thing for him.

He and Douglas are gay men, both attracted to each other. He said: “Douglas appreciates how I look when I dress female but it’s not a case of coming home and going in the bedroom. It’s completely separate.

“He knows I have always liked make-up. I like to dress up, I have always been flamboyant.

“A lot of friends don’t understand. Most people thought I was transitioning – at one point even I wondered if I was unhappy with my body. But I’m happy and gender fluid which, although it became the new buzz word, seemed to fit for me.

“Rachel has always been a close friend and she helped me buy clothes online initially.

Chris said: “The atmosphere, the diversity and the love felt by everyone during the ceremony was lovely.

“Marriage has brought a renewed warmth and making our commitment official was as important as it was wonderful and that doesn’t change whether I’m Chris or Fiona.

“Gender fluidity doesn’t define me.”