Meet the non-binary couple travelling the world together
Max and Jaye, who both identify as non-binary, fell in love after meeting through work and have now vowed to travel the world together with their cat, Voldemort and their dog, Sir Bosley.
They bonded over their love for the great outdoors, and while climbing a mountain in Utah earlier this month, Max proposed to Jaye.
“I’m so thankful to have a forever partner who understands me and doesn’t judge me,” Max explained.
“It has always been a struggle finding someone who understands my gender and doesn’t judge me.
“On most days, I don’t even understand my gender and it’s refreshing to have someone so patient in my life.”
Max, originally from LA, was raised in a religious household and grew up with “no idea that gender wasn’t set in stone.”
They told PinkNews: “I think it’s important to share our story online because I didn’t have access to people like me when I was younger.
“I consider myself non-binary transmasculine. I use they/them pronouns and really enjoy things like button down shirts, bowties, suspenders and snapbacks.”
Jaye, from Pacific Grove in California, added: “I’m all over the gender spectrum. I relate to being genderqueer on most days.
“I like to present mostly masculine, but have fun with adding some feminine touches. I feel masculine and feminine are social constructs.
“I just like presenting how ever feels right for that day. I also enjoy challenging expectations and keeping people guessing.”
From the Grand Canyon and Zion, to the Santa Cruz Mountains, New Orleans, and Lake Tahoe, they have loved exploring in the company of someone who understands what it is like to navigate spaces while non-binary.
Max explained: “Having a partner who is non-binary and understands me is super cool. I honestly didn’t think I would find someone who understands me as well as Jaye does.
“Travelling is interesting because we get a lot of eyes on us, depending on where we are going. I usually get referred to as ‘sir/he/him’ when we go out, so it’s always entertaining to pass in public.
“But the outdoors is like therapy for me. It’s helped me work through a lot. I’m able to exist in a space without societal anxieties.
“I hope to create a sense of community and to inspire others to get out into nature if possible. A lot of the backpacking and hiking community tends to be cisgender or heteronormative – I want to show people that there is space in nature for queer and non-binary people as well.”
Jaye added: “It’s hard to choose a favourite trip together.
“My favourite backpacking trip has been the skyline to the sea trail because it was our first together.
“All the trips have been amazing in their own way, and Max is the perfect travel partner for me. We just work really well together.
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“To have found someone whom I relate to so closely, and seem to have similar goal and dreams is a beautiful thing.
“Travelling with them makes me feel a lot more comfortable in myself. Some places we’ve been, we get stares. But knowing that we’re in this together and both understand each other’s experience makes those situations a lot easier.”
Their wedding is planned for a year’s time – they will get married on their favourite trail with “just the two of us, our dog, and a witness.”