Rebecca and Myranda Veal met a little more than a year ago at a PFLAG-Genesee County meeting and it was electric. The two quickly hit it off. So much so that in a month the couple plans to get married. Rebecca said that their first meeting happened when Myranda reached out to her.
“She was in the process of doing a documentary on the transgender community at the time and I was president of Transgender Connect,” said Rebecca. “I had some information I thought she could use and we just started going places to get footage.”
There was a comfortable chemistry between the two from the start.
“I was doing what I normally do in helping the trans community,” Rebecca said. “I thought her documentary would be a good idea so I’d take her to places she could get background footage. The more I was with her the more I wanted to be with her.”
Rebecca had been married before, but never presented as her authentic self. In fact, when she presented as male she was married to a cis woman for 42 years.
“That was before I started my transition,” said Rebecca. “I have three kids and eight grandchildren. I lost my first wife in 2010 to cancer,” Rebecca said. “I found Myranda and she filled the void for me. When you lose a wife of 42 years you have quite a void. And now with Myranda, our spirits are really attuned to each other.”
Myranda agreed, attributing that spiritual connection to their deep bond.
“She is like the other half of me,” Myranda said.
A Wedding to Remember
However, deep spiritual connection or not, planning the wedding requires a bit of compromise one’s other half. The two are gearing up to tying the knot on April 23 at a meeting of Transgender Connect, the social club Rebecca founded.
“I would have been fine with a justice of the peace but Myranda wanted to have a full-blown wedding,” Rebecca said. “So it was planned with that thought in mind, wanting to give Myranda what she wanted. My thing is Myranda gets what Myranda wants because I’m a firm believer in ‘happy wife happy life.’”
And Myranda was thankful Rebecca didn’t put up a fight because of the social commentary their marriage makes.
“A wedding ceremony gives us visibility,” she said. “I always wanted a big wedding. I love all the flowers and the dresses and the community.”
And in classic fashion, both women will wear white.
“Both of us are wearing white because this is our first time being married as trans women,” said Rebecca. “The white was essential. Most trans women dream about wearing that white dress growing up. Trans women are little girls growing up and we have the same feelings as little [cis] girls.”
The two had their final fittings just last week.
“I have a princess dress that laces up the back,” said Myranda. “It’s sleeveless and I have gloves to go with it and a gorgeous veil.
Rebecca has a chapel length gown with a chapel-length veil. And we got these big, beautiful bouquets that we made up that have draping flowers. We had a good couple of nights putting together all the vases and the bouquets for everybody.”
In all this preparation, though, the family has been incredibly helpful for the Veal’s. Rebecca’s daughter has been instrumental in organizing the wedding.
“Thank God for my daughter,” Rebecca said. “She is making our cake, she is helping with floral arrangements and she’s the one who did the final fitting on our dresses.”
Rebecca’s daughter is one of two of her children who will be attending.
“My oldest son lives in South Carolina and we don’t know if he’s going to make it or not,” Rebecca said. “My youngest son is going to walk me down the aisle and my daughter is one of my bridesmaids.”
There will be a potluck dinner following the ceremony. Then, on July 21, the couple will host a Hawaiian luau complete with a roasted pig as their official reception.
“The main reason we went with such a big event is we wanted to provide some visibility within the community,” said Rebecca. “We may be trans women but we’re just the same as anyone else in the world. We can love, we can get married. We’re not always in the dark and hiding from people.”