A new mum has told of the “everlasting love" she feels for her childhood sweetheart, who came out as transgender after they had been dating for five years—revealing that the pair have now welcomed a son, with their lifelong friend acting as a sperm donor.
When retail store manager Desiree Moseley-Brunson, 30, first met assistant manager mechanic Daylin Brunson, 32, who was born female, at school aged 14, he went by the name Nancy, and identified as a gay woman.
Bonding over their love of comic books, the self-dubbed “super nerds" were initially just friends.
Desiree and Daylin when they were younger (PA Real Life/Collect)
In time, romantic feelings began to develop and, in 2007, aged 17, they became a couple—and though the relationship was going from strength to strength, inwardly, Daylin felt as if he had been born into the wrong body.
Then, in 2012, by which time he had been dating Desiree for five years and living with her for two, he came out as transgender.
Unconditionally in love with him, she supported him every step of the way—including through his transition to male, which began in 2016—and now the pair have even welcomed a little boy, eight-month-old Alexander.
Desiree and Daylin at their baby shower (PA Real Life/Collect)
Explaining that her son was born on July 1, 2019, after she had used an at-home artificial insemination kit, with a friend Nick Walter, 28, acting as her sperm donor, Desiree, of Houston, Texas said:
“Daylin had always been 'the man' of the relationship, and in a way, I guess I knew that it was coming."
“I loved him as Nancy and I love him as Daylin. I always tell people it's not the packaging that makes the person—it's what's inside."
When Desiree first met Daylin in 2004 through a school club dedicated to anime—a style of Japanese television and film—the pair hit it off immediately.
At the time, she was struggling with her own sexuality, so when Daylin—then still living as Nancy—asked her out, she shot down the romantic gesture.
“There was always a connection between us, but it was so difficult for me at the time that I basically drew a line under it."
For the next few years, Desiree and Daylin remained firm friends—though, looking back, they can both see that their feelings were more than platonic.
Daylin when he was living as gay woman, Nancy (PA Real Life/Collect)
Then, in 2007, when Desiree finally came to accept her sexuality, aged 17, while studying business management at Sam Houston State University, in Huntsville, Texas, she knew there was only one person she wanted to be with.
“I was chatting over the phone with Daylin one evening and I just blurted it out. I just said it—I was gay."
“Daylin found it hilarious and said, 'I told you so'."
Daylin has always struggled with his gender identity (PA Real Life/Collect)
“A few weeks later we were chatting over AOL messenger – the WhatsApp of the day – and I said, 'Why haven't we tried to make this a thing?'"
“He joked, 'I have tried—I asked you out!' But we agreed to give it another try, and here we are."
Though their relationship was blissful, Daylin was inwardly confused about his gender identity.
“It's something I've struggled with my entire life. I always knew that I was different. I remember being in first grade, aged six, and people asking if I would rather be a boy or a girl."
“I get why they asked. I always got along with the boys more and played the boy character in games. I just identified with boys more in general."
“There was so much pressure to be feminine—to wear dresses and makeup—but I never had any interest."
Desiree and Daylin at their baby shower (PA Real Life/Collect)
“Puberty was one of the hardest times. I had a lot of issues with the physical changes in my body. I was hyper-conscious of how I would move and how I looked."
“Even walking to the grocery store would make me feel incredibly uncomfortable. It's like grabbing a Snickers bar and it turns out to be a Mars—that's how I felt."
“It eventually became a constant struggle. It was all I could think about, and I knew I needed to tell Desiree."
“I was so nervous. She's a woman who likes women – I was concerned it would lead to her not wanting to stick to the relationship."
So, in June 2012, five years into the relationship, Daylin opened up about the turmoil he had been experiencing and told Desiree he was transgender.
“I just came clean and said, 'Hey babe, I know I can tell you anything but I can't guarantee you'll like what your about to hear.' Then I told her that, basically, I was a guy."
Claiming it did not come as a surprise, Desiree was happy to be part of Daylin's journey.
“After he told me I just said, 'Tell me something I don't know'."
“We've been best friends since we were kids, how could I not have known on some level?"
Desiree, Daylin's mum Elaine and Daylin (PA Real Life/Collect)
“He wasn't just butch—it was more than that—and it's been an honor to go on that journey with him."
Rather than pushing them apart, the revelation brought the couple closer together, and they married on September 21, 2014 in a Doctor Who themed bash.
Originally, they had wanted to wait until same sex marriage was legalized across America, rather than just in certain States.
But, fearing that day may never come, they decided to travel to Chicago, Illinois, where same sex marriage was legal.
It would not be until nearly a year later, on June 26, 2015, that a landmark civil rights case was decided in the Supreme Court which legalized same sex marriage across all States.
Recalling her big day, Desiree said:
“We had invitations sent out in the shape of the TARDIS, the bridesmaids all wore blue and the officiator was dressed like Dr Who himself."
“I even walked down the aisle to the theme tune in a vintage silk dress I'd bought from a second-hand shop."
Wanting to live married life being true to himself, after six months of counseling to ensure he was prepared to transition, Daylin began hormone treatment in June 2016, taking testosterone injections once a week.
“It was super exciting. It was like a science project. It still is—my body is continually changing."
“It wasn't easy, though. I was breaking out in acne and having lousy mood swings—it was like going through puberty as a grown adult."
Before long, Daylin began physically changing to appear more masculine, losing his hourglass shape and growing a beard.
By 2017, with her husband living full-time as the man he had been born to be, Desiree became overcome with “baby fever," and her thoughts turned to starting a family.
Daylin and Alexander (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I'd been on my own journey while Daylin was transitioning, and the biggest change for me was the overwhelming desire to have a baby."
“I suddenly found myself with nothing else on the mind. It was all I could think about and I made sure Daylin knew it too."
Eventually conceding to Desiree's desire to become a mum, Daylin agreed to begin looking into different methods in 2018.
In June of that year, the couple discovered Mosie Baby, an at-home insemination kit aimed at couples for whom traditional methods are not an option, and ordered one for $89.
Given that, though he is now living as a man, Daylin is biologically female, the pair knew they would need a sperm donor in order to start a family.
Approaching their lifelong friend and “fellow geek" Nick, they asked him if he could help.
Desiree and Daylin's son, Alexander, in hospital (PA Real Life/Collect)
Happily, he agreed to provide a sample.
“We basically turned up at his house one day and said, 'Look Nick, you know the situation and we think you could help'."
“He turned around and said, 'Ok sure'—and that was that'."
Baby Alexander (PA Real Life/Collect)
Jumping into action right away, Desiree soon realized that becoming a mother may not be as straightforward as she had hoped after three attempts to use the kit in as many months failed.
“I wanted it so bad. It was so hard with every negative pregnancy test."
“I was making all these plans for our future, like painting the nursery and buying baby clothes, based on something that hadn't even become a reality yet."
In October last year, Desiree decided to have one last try, paying no attention to traditional advice like tracking her ovulation, and leaving things instead “in the hands of fate."
Incredibly, her fourth attempt was successful, and on her birthday in November, she discovered via a home pregnancy test that she was expecting.
“I remember the date we found out—November 8. It was my birthday, and I was doing what every gay woman was doing in Texas that day—seeing Christina Aguilera live."
Alexander now (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I was still sat on the toilet when the first one came back positive, I did two more before calling Daylin into the bathroom."
“It wasn't until pregnancy test number nine—I'd bulk bought 100 tests—that it finally sunk in that I was pregnant."
“I went to that gig last night and celebrated my birthday extra hard with Christina."
"Not only is Mosie lovingly made to mimic a natural sperm expression, it’s rounded edges and thoughtfully designed… https://t.co/K2fwOoNjFS— Mosie Baby (@Mosie Baby) 1568127879.0
For eight months, Desiree enjoyed a smooth pregnancy—but during a routine scan on July 1, 2019, when she was 36 weeks pregnant, doctors discovered the umbilical cord had become tied around the baby's neck.
That same day, she had an emergency caesarean section, and her son Alexander was born at The Woman's Hospital of Texas, Houston, weighing 7lb 4oz.
Far from out of the woods, the tot spent his first 24 days in intensive care, where he was put into medically induced hypothermia in a bid to prevent any brain damage caused by the lack of oxygen when the cord was around his neck in the womb.
Relatively new, the treatment—known as neonatal therapeutic hypothermia, or controlled cooling—works by gently lowering an infant's body temperature from a normal reading of 37 degrees to between 33 and 35, where it will stay for around three days.
“The idea is that cooling down the baby's body gives the brain time to recover."
“Despite everything that could have gone wrong, he only came out deaf in his left ear—and that's it—so we count our blessings."
When you start trying to conceive, you might think "This is going to be easy!" You're likely not thinking about tim… https://t.co/0HvF44wyas— Mosie Baby (@Mosie Baby) 1567008362.0
Now with baby Alexander doing well, Desiree and Daylin have settled perfectly into their roles as mother and father—and Nick is enjoying being the “fun uncle."
One thing Daylin hopes to do before his son starts school is have reconstructive surgery on his breasts to remove them completely—known as top surgery.
“I want to get it done as soon as possible, but financially it isn't feasible. I would love to do it before Alexander is two or three and starts to recognize that his daddy is different."
“He is going to have a tough enough time with us as parents as it is, and I want to make it as easy as possibly for him."
“His dad not having breasts at the school gates will definitely help."
“I'd do it tomorrow if I could and I know Desiree would be there with bells on."
Reflecting on her remarkable love story, Desiree concluded:
“Times have changed so much since we were children. Of course, there will be negative comments about how Alexander came into the world."
“But when something is created out of love, like he is, it's hard not to feel it's all going to be okay."
“I'd mentally prepared myself in my head to be asked to be the sperm donor, so it didn't come as a surprise."
Alexander now (PA Real Life/Collect)
“My job took very little commitment compared to Desiree and Daylin."
“I'm happy just being the fun Uncle and knowing I helped them achieve their dreams of becoming parents."
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