David and Cat Kaufman met and fell in love over 20 years ago, they got married, had a kid and lived the life of a traditional family, while each harbored a not-so-traditional secret.
David, now Dani, had never felt comfortable in her body, even as a child. “When I was 5 years old I just wanted to be a girl so badly,” Dani told CBS Sacramento. Her inner struggles led to several suicide attempts, but she continued to do what everyone expected of her, getting married and having two kids. After her divorce, Dani met Cat.
“We were each other’s best friend,” Cat said. “It never occurred to me that it would be anything but forever.” But four years ago, Dani realized she was attracted to men, just as Cat had come to grips with her own sexuality.
“I just said, ‘You know, I need to tell you something,” Cat said. “I need to tell you that I’ve been thinking that I would like to date women.”
Dani’s reaction came as a shock. “And I remember saying, ‘Oh my god, get out of town! I just figured out I’m gay!’” They realized that they were at a crossroads — the end of the life they knew and the beginning of a new life for each of them.
Then last year, Dani realized that she was not just a gay man, but that she was transgender. She began transitioning and after more than 50 years, she finally felt whole. “It felt so good to be me. It felt so good to be a woman, to be Danielle,” she said. “This is incredibly cool.”
The Kaufmans now live in separate homes, minutes away from each other, and while they don’t resemble the couple that got married over 20 years ago, they’re still each others best friends.
“Inside she’s the same person that I married, and just the outside has changed,” Cat said. Dani, meanwhile, has written a book on their extraordinary love story, Untying The Knot: A Husband And Wife’s Story Of Coming Out Together.