From being forced to live on the streets to even being abducted, life has not been easy for Ecuadorian transgender couple Fernando Machado and Diane Rodriguez.
Yet despite the fact they’ve often been stripped of the rights and respect most receive, they have fought hard and achieved much.
Diane Rodriguez, who was born a man named Luis, first made news in 2013 when she became the first transgender person to run as a congressional candidate in her homeland, the Daily Mail reports.
Then in 2015, the couple made South American history when Diane’s transgender male partner, Fernando — born a woman — became pregnant.
“Being a mother was never something I thought I would do because I am a transsexual,” Diane said.
“The law before demanded that to be recognized as a woman you had to be castrated.”
Now in 2016, the couple happily celebrated the birth of their first child in June, making their mark once again as one of the world’s few transgender couples to become parents.
“I started crying with happiness, fear and dread, all at once,” said Fernando, recalling the moment he learned he was pregnant. “It was the most beautiful moment. I had never felt like that before. Wow, at last, I am completely happy.”
The child was conceived naturally as neither parents have undergone lower body surgery.
Both opted to share their pregnancy journey with the world on social media, even posting photos of the caesarian scars afterwards.
“Guess where we are and that is what we are doing,” Machado wrote under a picture of the couple in hospital robes while at the maternity ward.
By being so transparent, they hope to dispel stigmas and prejudices, the BBC reports.
“We are the same as other families. Even though we might not have the same rights, we’re the same,” proudly declares Fernando.
“We live as man and woman,” adds Diane. “I’m a transfeminine woman and Fernando is a transmasculine man. The process to get here was complex for each of us. Knowing it’s our right, we decided to add another member to our family.”
Sources: Daily Mail, BBC / Photo credit: Fernando Machado/Facebook via Daily Mail, Wladimir Torres/CEN via Daily Mail