Man who fell in love with transgender prison mate marries her after release
Couple marry after meeting as prison inmates
Adriel and Monae Alvarado fell in love while they were both in prison in Pennsylvania.
Trans woman Monae, had already started to take hormone replacements before being incarcerated but she hadn’t yet had surgery.
At the time of her sentencing, it was policy to incarcerate pre-surgery transgender people based on their gender at birth.
Adriel had been working in the laundry room when he first noticed Monae, 29. The pair locked eyes and instantly felt a connection.
It didn’t take long for the two to start dating officially, meeting in the library, gym or for movie nights to be together.
In the early days of their relationship, it wasn’t just finding ways to meet up that was a struggle, they also faced hostility from fellow inmates and prison staff alike.
In spite of the opposition the couple faced from both sides of the prison bars, they took their relationship to the next level, with Adriel proposing to Monae.
Although they had hoped to marry while they were both still inmates, ultimately they had to wait until Monae was released.
And now Adriel is also out and the couple is now doing everything they couldn’t do when they were in prison.
In spite of the opposition they faced, the couple believe meeting in prison is the reason they have been able to overcome so much.
Adriel explained to Truly: ‘I think being inside was the foundation that made our relationship.
‘I saw Monae at her lowest, Monae saw me at my lowest. I saw her at her happiest, she’s seen me at my happiest.’
Monae added: ‘We had that unique bond in prison, so I guess what makes us stronger.’
Adriel added: ‘We wanted to get married as inmates in the prison but there was no policy in place to marry two inmates at the time’.
Once Monae got out, she was able to go directly to the courthouse to get the right paperwork and the couple were finally able to get married while Adriel served the remainder of his sentence.
It also gave Monae the time to have top and bottom surgery ahead of their wedding day.
Monae’s mother and godfather were the only family that attended, and after exchanging vows and taking pictures, the couple had to say goodbye again.
Adriel said: ‘I got my hair braided, I got my state browns pressed with starch and all that. It was in the visiting room. Nobody was there, it was just me, Monae, Monae’s mother, Monae’s godfather, a couple of councilors, union manager and the lady that officiated the wedding and the reverend.’
Monae also braided her hair and wore a white dress that she bought online.
She said: ‘It was a happy and sad day, but mainly sad because obviously you want to spend time together. We expected when we got married that we’d be together, but we had to leave each other.’
When Adriel got out, the couple found themselves in the unique position of being a married couple who hadn’t even done the simplest of things together.
Monae said: ‘Our memories were in prison and we never were able to make memories out here.
‘Now it’s about to happen it’s like it’s going to be like the first time for everything for us, it’s like starting new again.’