How we met: ‘When Hillary Clinton lost the election we decided to leave America’

Rebecca Roldán Gordon, 37 and Nick Reynolds, 38, met online as teenagers. They have endured ill-health and homelessness together, and have supported each other to transition to non-binary and male. They live in Andalucía

Like many teenagers, Rebecca Roldán Gordon loved spending time on the internet. In 1999 they began writing to Nick Reynolds, who was then known as Katherine. “We were on a fanfiction website for Trigun, a comic and TV series,” says Rebecca. “I read a story he’d written and told him it was the funniest thing I’d ever read. The next day I was so excited to get an email back.” Although they were living in different parts of the US – Nick in Georgia and Rebecca in Texas – they formed a close friendship online. “It wasn’t romantic at first, we just liked talking,” says Nick. “I found Rebecca very creative and we shared the same sense of humour.” Rebecca says he was “like a celebrity to me” because they were so impressed with his writing.

Their online relationship continued for years, graduating to phone calls and the exchange of a few photographs. By 2003 Nick wasn’t getting on with his mum at home and Rebecca realised they were in need of a change of scene. They made the decision to move to Florida and live together as roommates. “We got on just as well in real life,” says Rebecca. “We were making eyes at each other all the time but we were both a bit nervous about taking things further because we were living together.”

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