Trailblazing '90 Day' Star Gabriel Paboga Shares His Journey to Love Since 'Feeling' His Trans Identity as a Kid

90 Day's new transgender star plans to come out to his girlfriend Isabel's family — after he moves to Colombia to pursue their love

Gabriel Paboga
Photo: Gabriel Paboga/Instagram

Gabriel Paboga is proud of the man he's become — and he's sharing his journey on 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way.

On Sunday night's season 4 premiere, viewers were introduced to Gabriel, the show's first transgender star, as he recounted what it was like growing up in a female body — and shared his trans pride by participating in a one-person pride parade.

"I'm trans," he said. "Once upon a time I was a girl, and now I'm a whole man."

The 32-year-old — who has dubbed himself "Big Daddy Gabe" — emphasized: "A WHOLE man, 'cause I already got my surgery."

Gabriel opened up about the confusing experience of intuitively sensing his true gender at a young age before hew knew the words to express his identity. "It's not like you just wake up one day and you're like 'Oh, I'm trans.' No," he said. "It's a feeling that you feel your entire life."

For him, that feeling came as early as kindergarten. At that age, he said, "My cousin had a friend that dressed like a boy. Once I found out that girls can wear boy clothes, I started with basketball shorts and I just wore [them] every single day."

Gabe and Isabel photographed for TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way, Season 4

At 16, Gabriel came out as a lesbian because "I didn't know that you can change your gender. I didn't know anything like that."

When he turned 22, Gabriel stumbled on a video of another man's transition and everything fell into place. "I knew," he recalled. "I didn't have no doubts in my mind."

This season, the next steps in Gabriel's journey will play out as he readies to propose to Colombian girlfriend Isabel Posada.

Telling Isabel he is trans was another thing Gabriel had no doubt about — the pair met one evening and hit it off so intensely that he came out to Isabel the next morning. She accepted him without question, texting him: "Gabriel, it's OK. I have no problem."

But even as Gabriel looks ahead to a life-long love story with Isabel, including moving from Florida to Colombia, he knows he has to to tell Isabel's family he is transgender before he asks for their blessing to marry her.

"They gotta know," he told a friend on Sunday's episode. "They accepted me. They love me so much, and I feel like every time I see them I'm like, 'Damn, I feel so bad' because they need to know."

He noted, "I'm becoming a part of this family now. When we get married, they are now my family. I don't want to have any secrets."

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90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on TLC.

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