Transgender weddings: where are all the MTF and transfem brides?

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Transgender weddings MTF on offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Liz & Elly's wedding, as featured way back in 2012.

I love your site and I've been looking through all your genderqueer and transgender tagged posts, and it's awesome. I'm writing because I'm not finding much representation of transwomen or people who are non-binary, but present more femininely. I did find that great Jeffrey Marsh photo shoot, and this piece you have about transgendered wedding dresses. Most importantly, I found this post about Liz & Elly's wedding… which is WONDERFUL! But still, that's only three posts, and I was hoping for more photos of real transfeminine people at weddings, getting married, or as guests.

My partner's a transfeminine (non-binary but feminine, assigned male at birth), and is struggling MIGHTILY trying to envision what they might wear to our wedding. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your taking the time to read my message.


Ariel responds:

Heya, Rosie! The sad news is that if you've browsed our genderqueer and transgender archives, then you've seen not only everything that we've ever published that might be relevant… you've seen almost everything even submitted to us that might be relevant.

We feature almost every single trans-related wedding that's submitted to us, and the reality is that we see way way more FTM representation than we do MTF representation. I'm not sure if it's a cultural issue, or a gap in our readership, or something else… I'm curious, honestly!

In a decade of being online, Liz & Elly's wedding from 2012 is the only transfem/MTF wedding ever submitted to us. And as for that Jeffrey Marsh photo shoot, we went out hunting for it! We're working hard to get more MTF content onto our sister site Offbeat Home & Life, with posts like Stomping out transmysogynoir: An interview with badass black trans femme Brielle Nicole… but you've spotted an interesting blank spot in the offbeat world, for sure.

Rosie writes back:

I understand, and I assumed that it was a problem of not receiving submissions from transfem people.  It just sucks since there is already such an exaltation of being butch in the queer community — I just wish we could uphold transwomen as sexy and beautiful in a similar way in which we are now celebrating transmasculine people.

One thought is that trans people tend to be straight, or more straight than not (so I've read and anecdotally experienced), so most transwomen are marrying men, whereas most transmen are marrying women.

Since the entire wedding industry has centered ciswomen for ages, it makes sense that you get more submissions from ciswomen, the secondary effect of having so few from transwomen might be related in that way.  However, that is some deep sociological speculation that I would not repeat before extensive fact-checking. Hah.

I can only assume that if you continue doing what you're doing, you will eventually get more submissions with even greater variety.

Anyway, thank you so much for your work.  It's really the only place that I feel like we can reliably go to without feeling pushed off to the side as we envision our wedding.

Thank you so much to Rosie for asking this question and being willing to dig into the answers with me! As many of you know, deep sociological speculation without research is my favorite thing (HA!!), so I'd love to hear from y'all with your thoughts on this issue… when it comes to transgender weddings, why do you think we see so many FTM folks and so few MTF people?

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Comments on Transgender weddings: where are all the MTF and transfem brides?

  1. It’s pure speculation on my part but, as the mother of 3 sons, it seems to me that girls grow up with family and society talking about their weddings from the time they’re born, so FTM persons would perhaps have more interest/input from many sources while boys grow up thinking of their wives, not their weddings (at least with mine). I also wonder if many MTF persons want to be women/brides without having to identify themselves as having been born male. hmmm…..

  2. That’s interesting, because in reality I know more MTF transgendered people than FTM. But maybe the person doesn’t want to out themselves as transgendered- they might not call it out when submitting their stuff. Sure, OBB is an inclusive community, but if you have to live defensively to (attempt to) negate discrimination at work and in social groups, maybe you don’t want to call out your trans status on a public website? Just a thought.

  3. That’s not true… I submitted my wedding last November and it’s never been published 🙁 My wife is trans (MTF), but mostly we don’t make a big deal about it. I literally only put one line in my write-up, “my wife is trans but she didn’t want to wear a dress”… But I did submit it, honest! I probably still have the write-up saved somewhere if you want me to send it again 😉

    • I just looked at your pictures, and can’t wait to share them with my soon-to-be-fiancé. She is also MTF, and presents mostly butch, but wants to be beautiful for our wedding. Your wife is a perfect example of beauty and toughness. I think the boots alone will cause Jenn to swoon. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’m a ciswoman, so my voice may not be of much use to this conversation, but as a patriarchal society we put a lot of emphasis on a) the “importance” of “passing” and b) masc as the be all end all. Even when we look at nonbinary or androgynous folks, we tend to as a culture focus on those who present a bit more masculine (and especially those who are thin or white or both).

    Tl;dr: this is just speculation from an outsider, but maybe internalized misogyny plays a role?

    • This theory definitely has merit. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  5. Hi there,
    Im so excited to hear other people want to do this also – I really thought we were alone in a straight wedding universe. Hooray.
    My partner and I are getting married on the 23rd of September, and I was already planning to submit it. She’s trans (MTF) and wearing the dress, Im um… biologically female, and I”ll be wearing something else. We will send photos around the end of the year, after we return from honeymoon – stay tuned 😉

    • Hi Kymmie, that’s awesome for you!! My wife and I got married on October 1st so I think it’s cute that your date is 1 week shy of a year from ours 😉 <3 Can't wait to see your photos! We need more representation of cis women marrying trans women… hopefully cis men marrying trans women… well, just more trans & non-binary marriages in general! 😀

  6. You’ll be getting a wedding from us soon…ish. My wife (trans) and I (cis) are planning to get re-married in about two years so that we can have a proper lesbian wedding, rather than the hetero-passing one we did in a hurry before. We’ll be sure to take lots of pictures – after all, two dresses deserve many photos!

  7. Another future submitter here! Not until November 2018 but still xD

    I do think part of it may be a passing thing and not wanting to draw attention in a “public” place. I honestly wasn’t thinking about bringing up that I’m nonbinary when I submit because I’m not out to the larger social circle.

    Unfortunately I have no clue why you seem to have less trans women submit ions overall, and since I wasn’t amab I can’t really weigh in on that experience…

  8. I am transgender and be married in August, in May I will travel to Moncton, New Bruswick, Canada to try on the dress. Living in this province is awesome. The ladies will accommodate me at the bridal store.

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