90 Day Fiance: The Other Way viewers rejoiced watching Gabriel Paboga propose to Isabel Posada.
Gabe had her father’s blessing, her kids’ blessing, and viewers’ blessing — but Isabel’s opinion was the only one that really mattered. And she absolutely said yes.
With that in mind, they’re making wedding plans. And the clock is ticking on his current visit to Colombia.
There’s just one catch: Gabe is trans, and some of his documentation might not be what he needs.
In a sneak peek clip of Sunday’s Season 4, Episode 11 of 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way, Gabriel Paboga and Isabel Posada sit down for an important consultation.
They are engaged. And they want to get married sooner rather than later.
If the time frame is right, they would love to get married before Gabe has to leave Colombia (since he cannot just stay indefinitely without documentation allowing that).
To Gabe and Isabel’s relief, the woman who met with them volunteered to alternate between English and Spanish.
Gabriel is conversant in Spanish, but some things — from coming out as trans to proposing marriage — are trickier than making small talk or asking for directions.
Clearly, legal advice is also a little more complex than everyday Spanish.
Speaking in both Spanish and English, she then explained what Gabe would need to marry, as an American, in Colombia.
He would need basic identification. And he would need his passport.
Those are pretty simple. If you’re visiting another country and don’t have either, you have bigger problems than not being able to marry.
Oh, and Gabe would also need his birth certificate. Colombian law requires it for a legal marriage.
All told, she said, the process might take a couple of weeks.
That is surprisingly short. Both Gabe and Isabel had wondered if it might take longer.
It’s always nice when international paperwork can move quickly.
(There are places where the wait time to marry is longer than this approval will take, so that’s great!)
However, just because a local government can process documents quickly doesn’t mean that it will be a speedy process. Because yes, there’s a catch.
Gabe wanted to note that there may be a hitch in one of his documents — his birth certificate.
He came out as trans, explaining that his other documents all list his gender accurately, but that his birth certificate does not.
It is a sad reality that, in a world where most people assume that almost everyone is cisgender by default, trans folks like Gabe have to awkwardly “come out” just to receive legal advice sometimes.
When people refer to “AFAB” or “AMAB,” it is an acknowledgment of paperwork, not gender. Gabe is AFAB — doctors Assigned him as “Female” At Birth, per the acronym.
His birth certificate still reflects that. And it’s easier to adjust those documents in some states of the US than it is in others.
Unfortunately, Gabe absolutely needs an up-to-date birth certificate in order to marry Isabel. It’s not fair, but it’s one of the little indignities that trans folks encounter every day.
The good news is that this is not a dealbreaker.
Gabe will have to update his documentation and present his revised birth certificate to the Colombian government.
After that, he and Isabel can legally wed.
There is a hitch.
Gabriel turned over a lot of documents, a decade ago, in order to get his updated identity papers.
And he did not get them back. So his birth certificate is probably in a government file folder somewhere, alongside documented evidence of his transition.
Isabel worries that this was irresponsible of Gabe. She’s right.
Gabe reminds her that this was a decade ago and he did not know what to expect. He’s right, too.
Now, he worries, it could take months for him to get an updated birth certificate.
That means months before he can marry Isabel, too.
This is a huge obstacle to their plans. And means that he will spend months back in Florida, away from his fiancee and her kids.
It’s not what he wanted. And it is also not fair. But Gabe and Isabel can make it through this.