MANILA – Just two months into their relationship, model Joey Mead already knew that businessman and car enthusiast Ian King – now known as Angelina Mead King – likes wearing female clothes.
In an exclusive tell-all with Rogue Magazine published online, Mead said it all started when she saw women’s underwear in their laundry basket.
“When Ian and I started dating – this is funny – maybe two months into the relationship, I noticed in the dirty clothes, in the hamper, there was women’s underwear! Is this my underwear? Whose underwear is this? And then I was calling my friend in Singapore and I was like, ‘Anj, uhm, I don’t know, but I found women’s underwear in the hamper… And I don’t think he’s seeing anyone. Maybe it’s like an ex-girlfriend’s or something, and the househelp had misplaced it.’ She goes, ‘just talk to him.’ How do I bring that up?
“And then it was so funny, a day or two later, Ian tells me, ‘I want to share something with you, and I’m really ashamed about it: I like wearing women’s underwear.’ [I said] ‘What?! Thank God! I thought it was another woman! Oh my God. That’s it? [He said] ‘Yeah’ – because he’s really shy – ‘I wanted to tell you because I want to have a relationship with you and I love you.’”
After learning about the cross-dressing ways of her husband – now wife – Mead showed her full support and introduced King not only to lingerie but also dresses, skirts, blouses and even makeup.
(LOOK: Meet Angelina Mead King)
This went on for a few years, until King said, “I wanted to live my life like this regularly.”
“And I said, ‘What? But this (cross-dressing) is just fun, this is something for you and I, right? No, I can’t, I can’t,’” Mead recalled.
“This is when I started having difficulty as a partner. I could hear his pain. I did understand – but there was a part of me that was like, wait, where are you going? So I had to deal with a lot of my own abandonment [issues],” she added.
Eventually, however, Mead realized that she is willing to start this new journey with King, saying she loves her even if she came out as a transgender.
(READ: After coming out, Angelina Mead King shares her story)
“You can’t stop a charging train. So you jump along. I’m going in for the ride. It’s going to be a roller coaster, but I’m going to ride it until the wheels fall off – because I have fought hard for our love. We’ve been together for ten years, and I’m not fazed by how Ian, Angie, my wife, my partner, my soulmate – all these titles – I’m not fazed by how you will look. Nothing. I don’t see it. I just see that I love you. And that’s how it’s always been,” she said.
Now that their secret is out, Mead said she is happy that she and King can express themselves more freely.
“I’m astounded by our country, that people are so accepting,” she said. “Us Pinoys, we always have an opinion on something, and there will always be these opinions. [But there are people who say] ‘But you know what, they love each other’ and ‘What can you do?’ That’s why we’ve been using the hashtag, #loveislove.”
“I will fight for us, because I don’t see anything wrong with it. If we have to break a boundary to inspire someone else to do the same, sure, man, follow suit. But we’re doing our own thing because it works for us. And I think that my partner is beautiful. And she, he, should live, his, her life, whatever way she feels.”
King’s transition has drawn confusion not only from the public, but even from Mead. She said that at one point, she also found herself asking if she is a lesbian, given that her partner is a transgender.
“I find myself asking, ‘Am I a lesbian now?’ Some people have asked, ‘Joey, are you a lesbian?’ But I’m not a lesbian. I guess it looks that way,” she said.
Mead went on to say that she is attracted to King both when she looks male or female.
“I just look straight at Ian and I’m attracted either/or… breasts, no breasts, hair extensions… I’m still highly attracted to Ian in whatever,” she explained, adding, “You’d think that as a woman, this is not cool, this is not what I’m attracted to. But I’m still highly attracted, and my partner’s still highly attracted to me.”
(WATCH: Joey Mead, Angelina Mead King kiss)
While she said she will support King all the way, Mead said she has been encouraging her partner to stay away from surgery. “I’m always, like, try not to do surgery. Try to still be your authentic self without surgery. Try not to change so much of yourself.”
“But if you do, if you want to enhance your pair of breasts, by all means, go for it. But it’d be wonderful to just work with how your body’s doing it on its own,” she said.