In August 2016, after getting engaged to her boyfriend of three years, Gabrielle Gibson, a transgender hairstylist from New Jersey, made an appointment at New York City’s Kleinfeld’s, the bridal gown store featured on Say Yes to the Dress. “I’m six-foot-one and I love to wear five-inch heels — my fiancé is five-foot-four — so I was a little worried about finding a dress with the right length,” Gibson, 33, tells Yahoo Style. “After booking my appointment at the store, I was informed that the show was filming that day, so I decided to audition.”
Say Yes to the Dress follows a bride searching for her dream dress with the help of Kleinfeld’s staff. The show broke ground with its first transgender bride in 2016, a 30-year-old motivational speaker named Precious Davis from Omaha, Neb. However, Gibson is the first transgender bride on the New York version of the show. “I loved watching Precious’s episode, and I was thrilled to be able to tell my own story,” she says.
And, as Gibson told Pink News, “with everything going on in the media surrounding violence towards trans women of color, I wanted to show that we are people who just want to live and be happy.”
On the day of filming, Gibson says, she was impressed by the crew’s professionalism and respect. “No one asked me nosy questions, treated me like an object, or gawked at me,” she says.
However, Gibson’s fiancé, Jaden Rogers, was even more chill about the process. “When he heard I was selected for the show, he said, ‘That’s great — I don’t want to see the dress,’” says Gibson. In the end, she chose a Pnina Tornai satin sheath fit and flare gown with infused glitter lace overlay .
The couple is set to wed on Nov. 5 at a rustic barn. “The theme is country chic,” Gibson says. “I’m a city girl who loves fashion, and my fiancé is a jeans-and-T-shirt guy, so it’s perfect.”
Gibson’s episode will air March 25 on TLC.