South Africa has long been known for its liberal social attitudes, and a large portion of its population, including the wealthy, has long flocked to the city of Johannesburg.
But now, the country is on the verge of having its first transgender wedding, a group of couples who are hoping to marry in the country’s capital city, Johannesburg, in 2018.
“I was so happy that I finally decided to do this because I think there is nothing that we can’t achieve together,” the bride-to-be, whose real name is Hyeon, told the Guardian.
“For the first time, I feel like I belong.
We have so much in common, we have so many goals, we know we have to be successful together.”
Hyeong, 28, has been married for just under a year, and the couple met through Facebook.
Hyeons parents, who are South African citizens, came to South Africa as refugees in the 1960s.
“My parents were so proud that they could take me and my sister to South America and they took us to Europe,” she told the paper.
“They thought that was going to be a better life for us than the life they had in South America.”
Haeon and Hyeondu, 29, have been married five times, but have had difficulties finding a partner.
“We went through a lot of difficult times and we were living in a very different environment,” she said.
“There were very few opportunities for women to marry and have children in South Korea.”
Hwang, 28 and Haeong, 29 met in 2016 when they were working in the same factory in the city, where they were also both working in different roles.
“He was so supportive and we got married after just two weeks of working together,” Hwang told the Associated Press.
Hwang said they have had some difficulties finding partners in South Korean society.
“People tend to say we are beautiful and talented but when it comes to the actual marriage, we are not,” she explained.
“In South Korea, we think that if we have good genes, we will be happy.
We are so good looking, but we are just not attractive enough.”
The couple said they will not be having children as they are not “desirable” as the two have “more in common than not”.
The couple have not been able to have children because they have not received their green cards yet.
“As of now, we cannot be separated by marriage because we are both South Africans,” Hyeodu said.