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About Our Love

Jai and BerLyn’s Transformational Love

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Jai and BerLyn’s wedding bling. Photo courtesy of Digi Cambay Photography

Written by Zamara Perri

When BerLyn fell in love with Jai nine years ago, Jai thought he was a lesbian. However on her September 9 wedding day, BerLyn ended up marrying her husband, the love of her life.

Jai caught BerLyn’s attention back in 2007 when he was hosting an open mic. However, since they were both in relationships, they kept a respectful distance.

The Toronto-based couple later reconnected on a dating site and the connection was instant. “There was contagious laughter every time we spoke,” BerLyn recalls. When they became single, they dated other people while their friendship blossomed.

A year passed and they finally met up again face to face at a party. “I made sure that my whole ensemble was on point!” BerLyn recalls. “I walked passed her a few times before I acknowledged her. I saw her eyes locked  on my thighs, my smiles and much more. I  knew had her locked in. I gave her an unforgettable dance.”

Jai was already hooked before the party. He actually said he was “cyber hooked” from their great phone conversations, but played it cool.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off her smooth skin, big smile and gorgeous ‘hook em’ attire. She knew she came to hunt, and I was definitely hunted because when I went home that night without her, I wished I had taken her with me.

“Nine years years later, we are happier than we’ve ever been and ecstatic to [have] tied the knot. Sometimes when you’re not looking  love finds you, and I’m glad it did!” Jai says.

Lucky Number 9

But there is more to their story. Jai noted that they dated for three years, committed to a relationship with each other for three years and were engaged for three years. All that led to them solidifying their union on the ninth day of the ninth month of their ninth year together.

“It’s been an amazing journey! At each milestone, we both leaped at the same time. Nothing was rushed. I am more of the spiritual one, so timing is everything to me, “ Jai shared. “My wife is so special to me because she is the catalyst to my growth. Her humor and laughter is highly contagious. Our friendship is the strongest bond that we both hold on to and still work on each day. It is our safety net when we have turbulent times. ”

Awakening to The Real Jai

black queer wedding party trans

Jai is surrounded by his attendants on his wedding day. Photo courtesy of Digi Cambay Photography

Once Jai started realizing that he was a man, he didn’t know what the term or definition for what he was going through. He had been a lesbian for a long time. Today being a lesbian had been one stage in his journey to self discovery.

“I am ‘hueman’ on a colored spectrum so I have to transform into the higher dimension. Some transition mentally. Some are here to transition physically,” he explains. He had to do both.

It was about five years ago that he started to do the inner work of being Trans. “It consisted of me asking ‘Who am I?’ ‘Why do I feel this way?’ Every time I thought about living as my true inner Be-Ing, it excited me. It made me get a natural high.

But then it would fizzle out when thoughts of fear started to overlap. Fear of rejection, fear of losing family and friends, fear of living my truth in the workplace and be-ing in truth in a close-minded world.

These things also delayed the process. So that’s how I knew I wasn’t ready for my transition. I had more inner work to do.

Sometimes I would be at work crying on the spot and had no idea what brought it on.

I came to realize that I was grieving and my body and preparing to shed the old me, so crying was the way my spirit healed itself. Now I’m in a place of peace.

Read Jai’s tips for Supporting Each Other When Your Partner is Transitioning

The LGBTQ Community Must Learn Not to Oppress Each Other

black woman bride and bridesmaid party

BerLyn is surrounded by her bridesmaids on her wedding day. Photo courtesy of Digi Cambay Photography

And what was it like for BerLyn as Jai came into better understanding of himself? She says, “To be honest, from the beginning of our relationship I noticed when we would go out, people would call Jay ‘him,’ ‘he’ or ‘Mr.’ I would ask, “Does that bother you?” Jay would say, ‘Nope.’ We would chuckle about it and move right along.”

So it was not much of a shocker to me when Jai told her about the transition because they spoke about it a lot.

“Jai use to hit me with a bunch of “what if” questions meant to challenge my mind, my heart and my beliefs at times but made room for growth and much understanding. Our conversations would go a little something like this:

Jai: “What if I told you my gender doesn’t match my sex and I felt like a male all my life?”

BerLyn: “Well, if that’s what it is, I would only want you to live your truth with you being the man you are and me being the lady by your side.”

Jai: “Would you still love me if I start my transition? Or would you leave?”

BerLyn: “You are my love and I love everything about you, even your truth. I love all of you. I know it will be a long and tough process, but I’m ready to take this journey with you. You gotta do more than transition for me to leave you. I would never leave you because of who you are. This only makes me love you more for being true to yourself.”

While BerLyn jokes that she is in a heterosexual relationship by default, she never really considered herself a lesbian. “I consider myself queer and pansexual because I have the physical/emotional/spiritual capability of falling in love or being with someone regardless of their gender identity or biological sex,” she explains.

BerLyn also got many opportunities to connect with other trans folks in the community to educate herself on something she thought she already knew all about. She learned to respectfully address people as they see themselves rather them as she saw them, to use the correct pronouns and to not make assumptions.

“Being a part of our LGBTQ community, I think it is very important that we as members understand and educate ourselves on what our community is, the history and how not to oppress one another within the community,” BerLyn says.

Transitioning Into Married Life

black queer trans couple on wedding day

The bride and groom walk hand in hand into their future together. Photos courtesy of Digi Cambay Photography.

With the full support of his lady, Jai started looking for doctors to perform top surgery in 2014 and this year settled on a doctor. He has already had three visits with that doctor and is finally looking forward to taking his testosterone shots.

Since they plan to have children and BerLyn plans to carry, Jai plans to freeze his eggs between now and the new year.

With their incredible story, friendship and love to support them, the two love birds planted their feet into the universe as one on their wedding day. They both say that the best part of the day was their first dance to John Legend’s “You and I” as husband and wife.

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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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  1. Avatar

    What a beautiful love story! Best wishes for you both!

  2. Avatar

    Now this was a beautiful story! Blessings on your journey!

  3. Avatar

    So sweet, i always love to the positive side of our lives. Gives us hope for finding “the one” out their.

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