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L.A. Affairs: For years, we were Matt & Ted. Except I wasn’t Ted. I was Amie

Levi Hastings / For The Times

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We met online in 2004 before Hinge, Bumble or even the iPhone existed. My friends thought I was as likely to get killed as I was to find a match. But I wasn’t worried. I could tell from his profile that he was funny, absurd, modest, artistic and practical. We would get along beautifully.

We met at Paru’s Vegetarian Indian Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. I got there a minute early, Matt a minute late. We joked for years that it was the last time I was on time and he wasn’t.

After dinner, we drove to the Tiki-Ti. We drank mai tais and made each other laugh.

Things were tough. We didn’t know how to establish boundaries or communicate well. I also was exasperated that he could not cook anything at all — not even scrambled eggs.

May 31, 2024

He didn’t spend the night, which seems silly because he left at 5:30 a.m. It was the last time he didn’t spend the night.

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For the next 17 years, we were a unit: Matt & Amie.

Except I wasn’t Amie. I was Ted.


We traveled together. We saw 50 states and nine of Canada’s 10 provinces. (Had we stayed together longer, we were coming for you, Saskatchewan.)

We also walked a lot, from Echo Park to West Hollywood, from East Hollywood to the Music Center, from everywhere to the cheap seats of the Hollywood Bowl.

We threw strange parties: a garden party with a “make your own hat” bar, a dinner party full of spontaneous performance art and a birthday party called Lord Pontchartrain’s Cosmic Saturnalia.

We sang a ridiculous amount of karaoke. We rented a six-bedroom house in East Hollywood for $1,900 a month, subleased two of the bedrooms and still had space for a karaoke room. We built a stage and installed curtains and stage lighting. We had a smoke machine and costumes. We had 100,000 songs and sang them into the morning.

We both worked hard but never prioritized our careers over a beautiful experience, a meaningful conversation, a unique meal, a practical joke.

And we made each other laugh. Matt is the funniest person I’ve ever known.

Then why did it end? The easy answer is that I transitioned. I was not the person I was meant to be. I was Ted, and Ted was too afraid to transition and too happy with Matt to take the risk.

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The pandemic changed that. On June 8, 2020, during the COVID-19 shutdown, I said for the first time out loud that I was trans.

L.A. Affairs is a first-person column in the Los Angeles Times chronicling romance and relationships. We are looking for original essays. Here’s how to send us yours.

June 3, 2024

We were living on a farm between Solvang and Los Olivos. It was a perfect place to weather a pandemic — it was hard to get within six feet of another person if you tried. The isolation from the shutdown also gave me freedom from social pressure. I had cross-dressed my entire life — never in shame but always in private. I now began to live as a woman full-time.

Matt asked if this was going to be an “everyday thing.” I said yes.

So we confronted the great compromise of our relationship. Every day I imagined myself as a woman, and Matt is only attracted to men. For years, we’d had a mostly unspoken bargain: I would live my trans life after he went to sleep and whenever he was out of town.

But I couldn’t keep it hidden any longer.

For all the chaos of our last year together, for all the sadness of watching a happy relationship end, we still cared a lot for each other. In January 2021, Matt said to me, “If you’re going to live your life as Amie, you need to do it where you can be you, on your own, separate from me.” That might be the kindest, hardest, best advice I’ve ever received.

As soon as I got my COVID-19 vaccine, I moved to San Francisco.

Two days before I moved, Matt and I took our favorite hike up Figueroa Mountain. We were married on that mountain six years earlier. Now, at our favorite vista, we took off our wedding rings and buried them under a tree.

On Friday, Matt drove me and a medium-size U-Haul to my new apartment. We had takeout sushi and a bottle of wine. He spent the night with me in what used to be our bed. On Saturday, we sat in silence at our favorite Mexican spot, El Farolito, and together ate the saddest Mission burrito in California history.

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Then we walked out to the street. And we said goodbye.


Matt said the best time to leave a party was just past its peak. No one will want you to leave, but it’s the right call. Leave ’em wanting more.

That’s what we did with our relationship.

That’s the hard answer as to why we broke up.

I live in Las Vegas now. I’m Amie, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Transition isn’t easy, but challenges and all, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

Love with my musician boyfriend has always been different. Maybe it’s because falling in love again was so unexpected after my husband died.

May 24, 2024

I’m dating, and so is Matt. We both use the now-familiar dating apps. Every couple of weeks we hop on the phone to swap horror stories.

I’m planning to find love again. I hope my new person can live up to Matt. I’m not sure we’ll be able to throw parties quite so absurd. I know he won’t make me laugh as hard.

I’m grateful for the 17 years I got to spend with the man who is now my ex-husband.

It was quite a party.

The author is a writer and founder of the education company Amie Teaches. She lives in Las Vegas. She’s on Instagram: @amie_in_blue

L.A. Affairs chronicles the search for romantic love in all its glorious expressions in the L.A. area, and we want to hear your true story. We pay $400 for a published essay. Email LAAffairs@latimes.com. You can find submission guidelines here. You can find past columns here.

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