A patron tips Notorious L.E.Z. (Tyler Rinallo) during his drag performance at Tilt Nightclub in Rochester, N.Y. on April 9, 2015. Tyler has enjoyed performing in drag for the past 11 years. Performing on stage as man was one of the first times that Tyler realized that he felt more comfortable as a man than he did as a woman. He still refers to himself as a drag king because he believes people are more likely to come see a drag king perform rather than a trans man.
Tyler fixes his hair in preparation of his drag performance at Tilt Nightclub on June 11, 2015 in West Irondequoit, N.Y. Before he began transitioning, Tyler wouldn’t leave the house until his hair looked perfect, “It was the one thing I could always control,” explained Tyler.
Tyler twirls Jess around him as the couple spends a rare afternoon together on June 11, 2015 in West Irondequoit, N.Y. The couple has been under enormous stress due to their busy schedules and the changes in their relationship as Tyler’s transition continues to affect their relationship.
Jess embraces Tyler as he leans into her on the hot summer afternoon of June 22, 2015 in West Irondequoit, N.Y. Both Jess and Tyler are advocates for legal love in America for everyone, even though they now define as a heterosexual couple.
Tyler rests on a bridge after hiking with his dog on June 22, 2015 in West Irondequoit, N.Y. Tyler describes this location as his peaceful place where he can clear his head and just be himself.
Tyler Rinallo rests his head on Jess Rinallo’s shoulder in the waiting room of Trillium Health on Aug.12, 2015 in Rochester, N.Y. as they wait for his appointment to learn to self-inject himself with testosterone shots. Tyler had been self-applying testosterone in gel-form since Feb. 2015. Even though Jess was unsupportive of Tyler’s decision to transition from female to male in the beginning, months later she is now a large part of his support system, attending every doctors appoitment and even learning how to inject Tyler herself.
Tyler and Jess walk their dog Gunner and Jess’ dad’s dog Geronimo while they dog sit on July 27, 2015. The couple likes to stay active and enjoy working out together or even just walking their animals when the weather permits.
Mr. and Mrs. Rinallo stand at the alter during their wedding ceremony on June 28, 2015. Two days earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right for same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states. This was a huge win for the entire LGBT community, and for both Jess and Tyler since at the time Tyler was still legally a woman. It wasn’t until November 2015 that Tyler’s documents changed to reflect his chosen name and gender.
Tyler shows off his new muscles to Dr. Bill Schafer at his doctors appointment on May 13, 2015. Jess didn’t smile at this, she had some concerns she needed to bring up such as adjusting Tyler’s anxiety medications. Tyler and Jess’ relationship became very tense once Tyler started hormone replacement therapy, there was a lot of anger coming from Tyler, “Like beet red, like hulk anger, to the point where I just shut down and would stand there and let it happen and then go about my business,” explained Jess.
Tyler's pill bottles sit on his dresser on Oct. 29, 2015. Tyler takes three and a half pills for anxiety, a hypothyroid, and sleeping along with his weekly testosterone injections. When Tyler was applying gel-hormone replacement therapy, it was applied daily to his biceps. *His address has been redacted from the pill bottles.
Tyler exercises with his personal trainer, Eric Shaw at Irondequoit Fitness on Sept. 25, 2015 in in West Irondequoit, N.Y. Tyler has been training with Eric for two years. Currently he trains with him once a week and goes to the gym on his own as often as he can to bulk up more so his outside can begin looking more like his inside feels.
Tyler puts on his chest binder in his room after taking a shower on Oct. 29, 2015. Tyler wears a binder everyday which often causes irritation and rib soreness. Tyler has started a Gofund me page called “Transforming Tyler,” to raise money to get a mastectomy. For him, even though the binder makes him sore, it’s a small price to pay for him to feel comfortable around others.
Jess watches as Tyler applies his fake facial hair for his drag performance at Tilt Nightclub on June 11, 2015. Jess always makes sure Tyler looks good before he leaves because she knows he’s very insecure about himself. Tyler is going through a time where people around him are unsure what pronouns they should use for him.
Tyler heads downstairs to leave the house to go to Tilt Nightclub for a drag show on April 9, 2015. Tyler gets ready at home for most of his performances because the dressing room at Tilt is very small and usually filled wall to wall with Drag Queen attire.
Tyler in the Tilt Nightclub dressing room with two drag queens before his performance on April 9, 2015. Most of the drag kings and queens perform twice a night, interacting with the crowd while lip-syncing and dancing to music, “When I first started performing I was a very shy person and by performing on stage it has allowed me to break out of my shell,” says Tyler.
Jess and Tyler lay in bed as they go to sleep on Nov. 19, 2015. The couple often doesn’t get to sleep together because they have different work schedules. Most of the time, Tyler is just getting home as Jess leaves for work in the morning, so when they do, they always cherish the time with each other and their animals.