Bianca And Nick
Bianca Bowser, now 33 years old, was born as a boy named Jason. Nick, on the other hand, now 28 years old, was born as a girl named Nicole.
While growing up, both began to realize they didn't feel too comfortable with their own bodies. But how did their lives cross paths and when exactly did they realize they were transgender?
Bianca's Childhood Days
Let's start with Bianca. Born as Jason, Bianca grew up in a strictly religious family in a rural town in Georgia. She felt she was different from the rest of her friends ever since she was five, but at first, she struggled to make out why.
"It’s not that I hated Action Men and played with Barbies (...) But I was always more comfortable with girls and my mannerisms were feminine", Bianca told ABC News.
Moments Of Liberation
According to Bianca, she was only six when she started sneaking into her mother's closet to dress in her clothes. "I remember sneaking into mom’s closet when she was off at work and putting on a pair of heels", she recalls.
In her own words, she always felt liberated each time she put on her mom's heels, nightgowns, or dresses. However, at that time, she didn't know what a transgender was, so she never imagined that choosing her own gender was actually a possibility.
At age 17, Bianca realized she liked men and came out as gay to her friends and family. In spite of this, she continued feeling that something didn't quite add up. However, once she was on the gay scene, she started meeting transgender people for the first time, and in her own words, doing so "was like an epiphany".
It wasn't long before she started wearing "women’s" clothes full-time. “It was scary. It was like going through puberty again, but I never kept it secret", she recalls. But when did she finally come to terms with the fact that she was transgender?
Coming To Terms With Her Sexual Identity
It wasn't until her early 20s that Bianca started coming to accept being transgender. "Twenty is when I started to live my life as a woman, applying the makeup, wearing women’s clothing", she said.
In an interview in 2013, she said RuPaul helped her accept who she was. While the famous drag queen isn't transgendered, Bianca realized he was proud of who he was, and this helped her come to terms with her own identity. But wait a second... what about Nick?
Just like Bianca, Nick was born in a small town in Georgia, although to a family with a more conservative mindset. Born as a girl, he never felt comfortable with the gender assigned socially assigned to him at birth.
"From a young age I wanted to play like boys, to look like them and especially to dress like them", he recalls. "I looked at boys. I saw, you know, boys with their shirts off, and I was like, ‘That’s what I want to look like'", he added.
Exploring His Sexuality
Just like Bianca, Nick initially came out as lesbian after turning 17. However, he was aware that there was more to his feelings other than his sexual orientation. In fact, it wasn't long before he began dressing with "boy's" clothes.
Just like Bianca, Nick didn't know that changing one's gender was a possibility. "When I came out being a lesbian I could dress like a guy, have short hair, and date girls but it took me another fours years to learn what being transgender was", he said. But coming to terms with this wasn't easy for either of them.
They Faced Discrimination
As you can see, both Nick and Bianca grew up feeling as if they were trapped in someone else's body. Embracing their own identity took quite some courage, as they both faced quite a few obstacles on the way.
Both faced cruel taunts both at school and on the street. "I faced name-calling, being picked on and bullying. My mannerisms were more effeminate and I just didn’t fit the mold", Bianca said. This undermined their self-confidence, to the point where neither of them expected they'd find a life mate. But destiny would prove them wrong...
Shortly after finishing high school, Nick moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he landed a job as a bartender in a well-known nightclub called Paris. It so happens to be that Bianca had been working as a performer in that very same bar for the past three years.
Bianca was getting ready for her show the first time he saw Nick. "I asked my bartender friend if she knew who he was, and she said ‘yeah’. And I said ‘well just let him know I think he’s cute’", she recalls.
Love At First Sight
As regards Nick, Bianca had him with 'hello'. He fell in love instantly, and it was only a matter of days before they began dating. But there's one detail we're missing out of, and it's that by the time they met, Nick actually still wasn't Nick!
As a matter of fact, meeting Bianca gave him the strength to transition into a man. "He was still Nicole but looked very butch and that attracted me. A few months later we got together and he spoke to me about making the transition. He started binding his breasts for the first time", Bianca recalls. But this love story didn't end there!
Tying The Knot
After going out for a whole year, the couple got engaged and finally tied the knot in 2010, holding a small ceremony with their closest friends in Georgia.
Even though they were both transgender, they still had the same sex organs they had been born with, as neither of them could afford reconstructive surgery. And it wasn't long before they addressed what many couples do: becoming parents.
The truth was that both Nick and Bianca dreamed of becoming parents. "Having them is what I always wanted. I just didn’t dream I would find anyone to do it with me", Bianca confessed. But what were the options?
Aside from adoption, naturally conceiving a child wasn't off the table, as Nick hadn't had sex reassignment surgery yet. Just in case, he scheduled an appointment with the doctor to make sure whether the hormones he took could have a detrimental effect on a potential pregnancy.
To Nick and Bianca's relief, the doctor encouraged them to give it a shot and conceive naturally, and guess what? Nick got pregnant at the blink of an eye, and nine months later, he delivered the couple's first child, Kai, by C-section.
Only one year later, the couple found out Nick was expecting another child. Before they knew it, they were the parents of a second beautiful baby, who they named Pax. But in spite of the excitement, going through pregnancy was tough on Nick.
A Shocking Experience
Ever since he was a kid, Nick had never been comfortable with his female body, so seeing himself pregnant was a shocking and earth-shaking experience. "It was more difficult for him than it was for me", Bianca acknowledged.
"The almost 20 months total of my life [when they had both kids] was probably the darkest time in my entire life. My brain was telling me that I was one person. My body looks like a completely different person. It was a daily struggle between mind and body", expressed Nick.
It Made Him Miserable
In fact, Nick confessed that pregnancy made him feel miserable. "I decided to carry our sons because we wanted our children to be ours, but being pregnant made me absolutely miserable", he admitted.
"My body looks like a completely different person. I didn’t want to leave the house", he added. Terrified at the thought of natural birth, Nick chose cesarean instead. "It cut out part of the very female process of giving birth", he explained. But how did everyone else take it?
According to Bianca, much has to be done in terms of social acceptance towards sexual diversity. This being said, each time someone in the street would realize that Nick was pregnant despite being a man, he would be aggressively stared at or receive nasty comments and slurs.
"My pregnancy was not the norm for a lot of people and so they stared. I couldn’t handle the whispering and pointing and by the time of the third trimester I couldn’t leave the house", he painfully admitted. "I only left for doctor’s appointments. People are afraid of what they don’t understand”, he added. But this is not all they had to go through...
Fighting For Her Rights
When the couple's first boy, Kai, was born, the medical staff didn't know they were both transgender, so they thought they were a lesbian couple. While neither of them were fussed about it, things got uglier when Bianca tried signing her name in the box for "father" in the forms.
The employees thought she was lying and were reluctant to accept the form. However, Bianca knew she couldn't tick the box for "mother" either. AFter all, sex change prior to reassignment surgery wasn't legal in Kentucky. "They didn’t believe it. I had to fight and it did upset me”, she recalled. But what is this power couple up to now?
Let's Embrace Diversity
Nowadays, Nick and Bianca are happier than ever and live with their kids in a small house in Louisville, Kentucky. As they recently told ABC: "the basic definition of what a transgender person is,” but they live together as man and woman".
While some people still find their story shocking, it's crucial for society to acknowledge the fact that there are many possible types of family structures and configurations. "We’re different, but we’re the same type of family everybody else is", Nick concluded. But here's something we can't help but wonder: are the kids aware of their parents' identity?
Opening Up To Their Kids
According to Bianca, the kids still have no idea that their parents have chosen a different gender than the one socially and culturally assigned to them at birth. "I don’t know when we will start to tell them, maybe when Kai is around six, but they will need to be old enough to understand", Bianca explained.
"It is important they know because it’s a big secret to keep from your children and if they found out another way they could hold huge resentment", Bianca added. But does the thought of having this talk with their kids worry them?
Nothing To Hide
Nick and Bianca know that their kids will some day start feeling curious and asking questions — for instance, regarding how, when, and why they underwent such changes and body transformations. However, they both feel prepared to speak their minds and show themselves as they are.
According to Nick, it all comes down to the way you raise your kids. If you teach your children to embrace diversity and respect others, why would they mind having transgender parents? "But I don’t worry about how they will react. And young kids are accepting and non-judgemental", he said.
On top of this, both Bianca and Nick have undergone some physical changes ever since they gave birth to their kids. As far as Nick is concerned, he had his breasts removed, something he had been dreaming of for a long time.
As to Bianca, she still hasn't saved enough money for sex re-assignment surgery, though she has undergone breast augmentation as well as laser hair removal. However, regardless whether or not they can ever afford surgery, they have both come to accept their bodies as they are.
Paving The Way For Greater Trans Visibility
The Browsers' story has become viral and the "dad becoming pregnant" news received widespread media attention worldwide. Never had they imagined they would become that famous!
While not all transgender people want to have children or even identify themselves as "men" or "women", their story will definitely help foster a greater respect and understanding of trans lives. It's definitely a great step towards trans visibility!