Meet The First Transgender Bride featured On Say Yes To The Dress
I was watching TLC’s ‘Say Yes to The Dress’ and was excited to see that TLC made a leap in the right direction by featuring their first transgender bride! A total win for the LGBTQ+ community. I was even more excited when I realized that I recognized the bride! Gabriella is my old high school boyfriend’s cousin and I had spent a lot of time with her when I was younger (and still lived in NJ!). Being the wonderful and awesome human being she is, she let me pick her brain and learn more about her experience on the show.
Meet Gabriella Gibson, a 33-year-old hair stylist from Pennsauken, New Jersey.
What does being “transgender” mean?
Transgender is when in your mind you identify as one gender and it does not correspond with the gender you were assigned at birth.
When did you know and feel that your gender was different than your sex?
I knew at a very young age. I was 5 years old when I really started noticing something was different about me. It was kind of scary. But as I got older I found my way.
How smoothly was your transition?
In the beginning, it was kind of rough. The only kind of makeup I knew how to do was drag makeup, and I was kind of muscular so it took some time for my hormones to really soften my appearance. So it was kind of a rocky start but I was very fortunate to have amazing friends and family who helped me through everything.
Do you love the TLC network? Well, this bride just made Say Yes to The Dress history! http://bit.ly/2pLpenL
How did your family react to you coming out as transgender?
My family was shocked but they are SO supportive of me. When I told my mother, she basically said that she knew this day was coming but didn’t know when. My dad is an absolute saint, he was upset but I was an adult when I started my transition and there wasn’t much he could say. So, my parents, siblings, and extended family have had my back ever since.
What would you say to someone who is scared about transitioning or coming out?
The best advice I can give someone is to really know and love yourself. This is a hard lifestyle to live. However, there are tons of great resources available now to help get you through the beginning stages of transition. And to parents of young transgender children, be open minded and show compassion and instead of suppressing your child’s feelings. Take the time to learn and research with them. Approach this new journey with an open mind and an open heart the real people will stick around.
How did you meet your fiance?
We met through mutual on Facebook. Jaden reconnected with my best friend from Delaware and he just started asking her about me, and then he messaged me. It has been us against the world since then.
What do you love most about your fiance?
He is the exact opposite of me, and he makes sure that I’m comfortable. He makes me feel safe and beautiful (even when I’m having a bad day) and he is very responsible. We love each other unconditionally.
How are you preparing for the wedding?
Jaden is the big Planner! He just wants us to have a perfect wedding. He’s a graphic designer and is taking care of all the details. He told me to focus on organizing the bridesmaids, picking the colors, and to make sure I’m calm and relaxed on our special day. So, I’ve been working out, getting my glam squad together, and working hard to make sure everything is paid off on time.
What was your Say Yes to The Dress experience like?
It has to have been one of the most exciting moments of my life! I have always been such a big fan of the show. As soon as I got engaged I knew I wanted to go to Kleinfeld Bridal, just to get the experience of being there. I took a chance submitted an application and a week later, I was picked to be on the show. The crew was amazing and Shay and Randy were a dream to work with. As a transgender woman, I had such a positive experience.
What wedding dress did you decide upon?
I fell in love with an ivory satin sheath fit and flare gown with an infused glitter lace overlay made by my favorite designer, Pnina Tornai.
Who came with you to Kleinfeld?
I brought three members of my bridal party— My Maid of Honor, Shanae Morgan, my Bridesman, Jose Corrigan, my Bridesmaid, Sierra Feliciano. And I can’t forget the most important person, my mom, Dr. Frances Colon Gibson!
How do you think you being the first transgender woman to be featured on Say Yes to The Dress impacts the LGBTQ+ community?
I believe that being on the show has brought more visibility to the community. I just wanted to show the world that we (transgenders) are just normal people who want to be love and can be loved openly and honestly by someone. That we don’t to settle on just being someone’s dirty little secret. I’m Gabrielle Gibson and I am loved openly and honestly by Jaden Rogers. We as people should all know that feeling. I’m glad I got to show the world how happy I am.
How many more days till your wedding?
198 days until we are Mr & Mrs. Gibson!! #TheGibsons2017
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