When Ian Young sat down next to a beautiful woman in a packed cafe in Kuala Lumpur, he had no idea they would one day be married. Nor did he know that his pretty companion was a man. In just three years, Ian has gone from being a straight lad from Derby - who was with his previous girlfriend for eight years - to being in a full-time same-sex relationship.
Ian married 36-year-old Fatine, who is a transsexual, in a British civil partnership ceremony in May.
But now Fatine faces deportation back to Malaysia, where homosexuality is ILLEGAL.
Ian, 30, who owns his own property maintenance company, says: "I know it is hard for people to understand but I love Fatine. I feel lucky to have met such a caring, wonderful person.
"It doesn't matter to me that she is a transsexual - it's the person she is inside that I care about and love. "I can't contemplate the idea of us not being together. I look at her and see a beautiful woman." Ian met Fatine in a Starbucks cafe in the Malaysian capital's famous Petronas Towers in August 2006. He was working as a security officer in the country at the time.
He says: "I asked if I could nick the seat next to her. When she looked up and said, 'Yes' I was overwhelmed by her striking eyes and exotic features.
"We started talking and I was immediately impressed by how good her English was. When she got up to leave I asked for her number.
Ian and Fatine got married in a civil partnership ceremony in the UK in May 2009.
"I know it is hard for people to understand but I love Fatine. I feel lucky to have met such a caring, wonderful person. It doesn’t matter to me that she is a transsexual – it’s the person she is inside that I care about and love. I can’t contemplate the idea of us not being together. I look at her and see a beautiful woman." He described how Fatine was upfront about her sexuality the first time they met: We started talking … when she got up to leave I asked for her number. That’s when she said she might not be what I was looking for and that she was actually a transsexual. I just said, ‘Oh’ and blushed with embarrassment. But for some reason I wasn’t put off. I’d never met a transsexual before and my instinct was that I liked Fatine. Even if it was just as friends, I wanted to meet her again. It just felt right. My first impression in the coffee shop was that Fatine was a woman. If she happened to have male sex organs then that was some sort of birth defect. I never thought of her as a man.
2 days after the first meeting, they met again and kissed. They then met two more times before deciding they were in love with each other.
In October 2007, they commenced a “physical relationship.”
In December 2008, Fatine traveled to the UK on a tourist visa, which turned into a long-term stay. However, Fatine’s Leave To Remain Visa was rejected in September 2009 because of an “incorrect passport photo.” A second application was also not approved because Fatine’s tourist visa had expired – and she was told to return to Malaysia.