|Bonding: Jasmine Merino, left, and Ryan Said, right, are both transgender. Jasmine, who was born a boy, began transitioning two years ago, while Ryan has been living as a man for four years|
A transgender couple have found love despite them both being born the opposite gender. Jasmine Merino and boyfriend Ryan Said say they are treated like any other couple and plan to marry and have kids some day. Ryan, 24, from Ontario, Canada, has been living as a man for four years, and Jasmine, 18, who lives in California, started transitioning two years ago.
And despite not undergoing full gender reassignment surgery they say their sex life is great after learning to adapt. Jasmine said: 'Our relationship is perfect because we both know what it's like to be male and female so we totally understand each other and what we want. 'I like the fact that Ryan is transgender too because when I'm going through a rough time he understands me. 'He's the one person I can count on because he knows what I go through.'
But the pair faced many challenges before they found happiness together.
'Growing up was really hard - I didn't know who I was and I just knew something wasn't right,' Ryan explained. 'My parents forced me to be girly and I was always into boys clothes.
|Settling down: The pair say that they are treated just like any other couple - and are already looking forward to starting a family together, although neither has undergone full gender reassignment|
Childhood memories: Ryan, who is pictured in June 1994 when he was still known as Sarah, says that growing up was hard for him because he often felt forced into acting like a girly girl
Out of place: As a young girl, Ryan, pictured left in 2001 and right in 2004, says he always knew that 'something wasn't right'
|'My parents forced me to be girly': Ryan, who is pictured left in 2008, before his transition, says that his family found it hard to accept it when he came out and told him he was a 'disgrace'|
|Moving on: Ryan, pictured in September, began transitioning four years ago, and says that he now feels as though he is living as the person he was always meant to be|
'When I came out my family didn't accept it at all - they all gave me a hard time and said I was a disgrace. 'They took me to psychiatrists and therapists and thought I was sick.' Jasmine went through a similar situation growing up. She said: 'I always liked to play with Barbie dolls and the boy stuff didn't seem right. 'I've always known I was supposed to be a girl since maybe Kindergarten.
'At 16-years-old I remember hanging out with this transgender girl and I always wanted to be like her and I would talk to her about how she came out. 'One time I talked to my brother's wife and she told me to be who I want to be and not care what people say.
'The boy stuff didn't seem right': Jasmine, who is pictured in 2012 before her transition, said she always liked to play with Barbie dolls as a child and was never into the same things that other boys her age were
Role model: 'At 16-years-old I remember hanging out with this transgender girl and I always wanted to be like her and I would talk to her about how she came out,' Jasmine, pictured in 2012, explained
|Helping hand: Jasmine found support in her brother's wife, whom she turned to as a confidant. 'She told me to be who I want to be and not care what people say,' Jasmine, pictured in September, explained|
|Romance: Ryan and Jasmine meant on Instagram and began chatting on Skype before meeting in person|
'She took me shopping for back to school clothes and told me to dress in women's clothing and just helped me. I went to school as a female and liked it.'
The couple met on Instagram and chatted on Skype for a month before meeting each other in person. Ryan said: 'She messaged me first and I wasn't into her because I thought she was one of those Legally Blonde type girls but then I decided to give her a try. 'I just kept talking to her and she was the sweetest girl I ever talked to. 'I think it was love at first sight because I couldn't stop staring at her the whole time.'
Both Jasmine and Ryan take a series of hormones that help them transition into the bodies they've always dreamed of. Ryan said: 'I'm on testosterone it's called delatestryl - I have to take it every two weeks through injection.
Jealousy: Jasmine said it took her about two months to start growing breasts, adding that 'a lot of guys message me and hit on me since I've transitioned'
|Transitioning: Ryan is currently taking a form of testosterone called delatestryl in order to help his body change into that of a man|
|Looking ahead: The two are considering having full reassignment surgery and plan to get married in the future|
|Reassuring: 'Ryan sometimes gets upset but I try to make him feel more like a man and try to tell him he's just like any other guy and I like making him happy,' Jasmine explained|
'When I started growing facial hair I was so happy I never wanted to shave.'
Jasmine said: 'It took about two months to grow my breasts - not fully but they were little buds and I was really, really happy. 'A lot of guys message me and hit on me since I've transitioned. 'Ryan sometimes gets upset but I try to make him feel more like a man and try to tell him he's just like any other guy and I like making him happy.'
The two are considering having full reassignment surgery and plan to get married in the future. They would like to have children - using Jasmine's sperm and Ryan's eggs. Jasmine said: 'We plan to have some more surgeries before we have kids.' Ryan said: 'I want to let whoever's going through what we're going through know that they should hold on, not give up, and talk to someone there's at least one person out there who will understand where you're coming from.'