They fell in love on a Greyhound Bus 35 years ago. They’ve been together ever since

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(CNN) – She was at a crossroads when Tiffany Woods met Bridget.

It was February 1987 and Tiffany was 23 years old. She was married two years ago. Now her marriage was on the rocks and the divorce seemed imminent. Tiffany was training to be a police officer, but her heart was not in it.

Tiffany, who is a trans, was also yet to come out. For most of her life up to that point, she had tried to undo her identity.

Tiffany wasn’t sure where she was going. For now, she was focused on standing in line at the Sacramento bus station to catch the Greyhound bus back home to San Francisco.

Passengers began to deposit their bags in the bus hold. Tiffany didn’t notice, but then a young woman rushed to the line to give Tiffany a luggage tag.

“You’ll need one of these to check your bag,” said the stranger, smiling.

“Oh thanks,” Tiffany said, stepping out of her excitement.

Tiffany and Bridget meet at Sacramento's Greyhound bus station.

Tiffany and Bridget meet at Sacramento’s Greyhound bus station.

Courtesy of Tiffany Woods

The woman with the extra luggage tag was named Bridget. The 18-year-old then lived and worked in San Francisco, and returned from a weekend visit to her parents in Sacramento.

Bridget and Tiffany start chatting – first about luggage tags, then about the next trip.

The man between them, realizing that the conversation was not going to end soon, asked if they wanted to change places so that they could stand together. Why not, Tiffany and Bridget thought, and they switched.

“We were just talking back and forth. And we’ve been waiting a long time in that line,” Bridget, who has been asked to mention only her first name for personal reasons, told CNN Travel.

The two were enjoying each other’s company. When they finally got on the bus, sitting together, the next step seemed clear.

The journey by car from Sacramento to San Francisco usually takes about an hour and a half. But with multiple stops at Greyhound and unavoidable traffic, the bus was on the road for many hours.

Tiffany and Bridget did the whole thing.

Tiffany describes this interaction as “one of those conversations where you meet a stranger and you spend many hours with the stranger as if you have known him all your life – and you also believe that you will never meet him again.” No, that’s why your defense is down. “

The two talked about everything, but also kept some things private. Tiffany did not mention that she is still married. Bridget added a few years to her age, telling Tiffany she was 21 years old.

A few hours after the journey, a woman sitting in front of the pair, fascinated by their apparent connection, asked a question:

Shortly after their first visit, Tiffany and Bridget were inseparable.

Shortly after their first visit, Tiffany and Bridget were inseparable.

Courtesy of Tiffany Woods

“How long have you been together?” She asked.

Tiffany and Bridget turned to each other and laughed. Then Tiffany turned to the woman, and told her that they were together from kindergarten. Without leaving the beat, Bridget named the fictional teacher who taught the fictional class where they are supposed to be.

Tiffany recalls, “We just started playing with each other like we were together since kindergarten.” “I guess we had that chemistry.”

The bus eventually pulled around the steel of the San Francisco Transbay terminal, where Tiffany’s friend was waiting to pick her up.

Bridget was planning to catch a two-area rapid transit train to her aunt’s home, where she lived at the time.

The late arrival of the bus meant she missed the last train, so Tiffany offered Bridget to go home.

Along the way they exchanged pizza restaurants, then a bar and a phone number. When Tiffany finally leaves Bridget at home, he kisses her goodnight.

“It was so sweet,” Bridget recalls. “And the rest is history, as they say.”

Openness and communication

Both Bridget and Tiffany had vague plans to return to Sacramento next weekend. Sometimes during the week they would connect on the phone and arrange to travel together.

Bridget planned to stay with her parents over the weekend, so she suggested that Tiffany might break up there as well. Tiffany agreed, and so less than a week after they met while waiting for the bus, Tiffany met Bridget’s parents.

“I spent the weekend with her. We went to her parents’ house and then to her sister’s high school play. She later introduced me to her friends,” recalls Tiffany.

Since that weekend, she adds, “we’ve never been together.”

That Friday evening, both were curled up on the bed in Bridget’s parents’ living room. It was 3 o’clock in the morning and everyone else was asleep. They drank champagne. A fire broke out in the fireplace.

“She was stroking my hair and she said, ‘Oh, what’s your favorite color?'” Tiffany recalls. “And I said: ‘Purple.'”

Tiffany suggests that in 1987 CIS was an unconventional choice for the opposite sex. By telling Bridget this fact about herself, she hoped to provoke a deeper conversation.

“I think I have gender issues,” she said.

The next morning, feeling a slight hangover, Tiffany panicked, and tried to return to what she had said.

“It’s okay, we’ll find it. You’re fine. You’re fine. You’re perfect the way you are. We’ll find it together,” was Bridget’s response.

Tiffany recalls today, “No one told me that before.”

It was everything she had ever hoped for.

“Because there was no expectation of a relationship or anything, there was openness, there was no result – there was just complete trust in each other’s natural understanding of what it was. And as the relationship grew, it stayed there,” says Bridget. .

Tiffany says, “I think there was always a soul mat connection between us.”

Growing together

As February slipped into March, Bridget and Tiffany continued to get to know each other. Their relationship was getting closer, but Tiffany wasn’t sure how to bring the fact that she was still married.

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She didn’t immediately mention it, and now it has become a mystery.

Eventually, Bridget found out. It was full.

“I was very angry,” says Bridget. It took a while to work through. He says today that the memory is “one of the smallest scars.”

“I took full ownership of it,” says Tiffany.

Tiffany and his ex-wife, who were already separated, divorced. By September 1987, Tiffany and Bridget moved into a small apartment in San Francisco.

The two began to make a living together, working through what they wanted for their careers, family and themselves.

Being a cop, Tiffany decided, was not for her.

“I was going to be a police officer because I could never see a way out of the transition,” she recalls. “And that’s what we did as trans people in the 70’s, 80’s, 60’s. We went into a kind of hyper-masculine business.”

But her unconditional, supportive relationship with Bridget allowed her to re-evaluate. Together Tiffany and Bridget began to see how Tiffany could be.

Tiffany now says, “If you can’t find your gender identity and your problems in a healthy way and start building a healthy foundation, it will always be a struggle,” now Tiffany says.

In the late 1980’s, there was no Internet to turn on. There was also a lack of trans representation in the eyes of the media or the public.

“It was very different, there were no resources, there was a lot of stigma, still there,” says Tiffany. “I mean, we’ve come a long way now – we still have a clear response to trans visibility – but at the time, I was just trying to figure out if that was a reality.”

But as the new decade progressed, the two found a new sense of belonging as they immersed themselves in the San Francisco LGBTQ + community.

“We’ve just got a lot of relatives and a place and a relationship and a purpose,” says Tiffany.

It was a turning point, but the impact of the AIDS epidemic on her community, as well as the “double life” that Tiffany, who did not come out for her family, say she was living at the time, was difficult.

When she decided to make the full transition, Tiffany stopped talking to her family.

“Fear is a huge obstacle,” she says. “I was afraid of rejection. So I rejected them first, because then I could handle the rejection. But me too, I didn’t give them a chance to convince or support me. That’s the other side of it.”

Spontaneous marriage

The couple married in December 1996.

The couple married in December 1996.

Courtesy of Tiffany Woods

Bridget always wanted to get married. Tiffany was less sure – she was already married and it ended badly.

But by 1996, the two had agreed that it was the right thing to do.

Encouraged by their gay friends, who were unable to get married at the time, Bridget and Tiffany were told they should “marry for us,” and they were married on December 28, 1996.

Tiffany and Bridget weren’t sure how the minister would react if they both dressed traditionally feminine, so Tiffany wore a men’s tuxedo with soft make-up and a ponytail.

But later, the couple’s housemates, who specialize in drag queens and styling, helped Tiffany get ready for the evening’s celebration. The newlyweds then went out for lunch and cake with their close friends.

A few years later, with the dawn of a new millennium, Tiffany and Bridget decided to have children.

Bridget always wanted kids, but Tiffany took longer to make that decision.

“I thought the kids would reject me because I didn’t know how to communicate – you know, at the time, the number of trans parents wasn’t high,” she says.

The two decided that the first step was to rebuild their relationship with Tiffany’s family.

“We wanted to change the narrative and create a new way for our family to be healthy – also knowing that we need the support of our families, navigating the world as a trans woman and being seen as a lesbian couple,” says Tiffany. Says Tiffany.

After years of silence, there were minor injuries, but Tiffany’s family was excited to support Tiffany and Bridget through paternity. The old wounds slowly healed.

Today, Bridget and Tiffany have three teenage children.

Tiffany’s fears of rejection from her children proved unfounded, as Bridget always said they would. They give it to him, Tiffany says, “nothing but unconditional love.”

‘Things happen for a reason’

The couple says they are proud of where they are today.

The couple says they are proud of where they are today.

Courtesy of Tiffany Woods

Today, Tiffany and Bridget say they focus on doing their best to change the world and raising their children to do the same.

Bridget has her own company, while Tiffany works as a state transgender health specialist for the California Department of Public Health.

Tiffany is also on the executive board of the California Democratic Party and co-chairs the LGBTQ Caucus.

Today, whenever they see a greyhound bus on the road, they both think of their immaculate visit. They haven’t been to the greyhound together since, but they do enjoy road trips together from time to time.

Tiffany and Bridget say they are both proud of where they are today and how they have grown together in their 35-year relationship.

“Anything is possible, you just have to believe you can make things work,” says Bridget.

“Don’t be afraid to take chances,” Tiffany agrees. “I think we all meet for a reason, things happen for a reason. And we don’t understand what the reason is, but we’re open to them. And don’t let fear hold you back.”

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