One of the most endearing couples on the 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way Season 4 premiere was Gabriel and Isabel.
Gabriel Paboga is an entrepreneur from Florida. He met Isabel Posada while on a work trip to Colombia. They hit it off, and now he’s prepared to uproot his entire life to be with her.
While some of his loved ones worry that he’s jumping into things too quickly, Gabe has his own concern.
Isabel’s parents don’t know that he’s transgender. He wants to make sure that they know before they give their blessing — or don’t — to their eventual marriage.
Gabriel Paboga introduced himself to the camera, explaining his business — he makes, essentially, padded underwear for trans men like himself. The idea is to replace heavy, clumsy packers.
If you want an analogy that cis people might use, think of a padded bra. Except one that helps with dysphoria. For that matter, a cis woman using a padded bra might arguably be using it for just that.
Gabe was quick to show off his sense of humor as he hand-molded and cut the foam.
Gabriel loves making a product that helps people to live their lives. Not all trans men wear, want, or need packers, but for those who do, having a product that a fellow trans man made can make a difference.
Meanwhile, Gabe himself is delightful. He’s charming, handsome, and has a great sense of humor.
And we should acknowledge that he is long, long overdue representation for the 90 Day Fiance franchise.
He also opened up about his personal journey. Not every transgender person has the same experiences. One could say the same of cisgender folks, albeit with less significance. Or oppression.
When he was young, Gabriel did not yet realize that what he was feeling was his own gender. He felt mesmerized by women who wore “men’s clothing.” He eventually identified as a lesbian.
Gender and sexuality are complex, often more than labels would allow. But in this case, it was a matter of Gabe just not being able to put his finger on what made him sure that he wasn’t fitting in. That was, until he learned about other trans men. Gabriel is now free to live his best life.
Gabriel traveled to Colombia, looking for a manufacturing partner related to his business. He met Isabel at th ehome of a mutual friend. The two had an instant connection.
They had a day of fun, hugging and kissing and hanging out. Isabel told him that she doesn’t have sex on the first date, which suited him just fine. Gabriel wanted to tell her that he’s trans first. That is his prerogative.
Isabel accepts him for who he is. Before long, Gabriel obtained an apartment nearby so that he could regularly visit her.
In June of 2020, historic civil rights protests and COVID-19 lockdowns dominated much of the world.
At that time, Gabriel began a tradition of one-man pride celebrations.
Simply put, he celebrates himself and others in the face of adversity. And he looks great while doing it.
Gabriel’s friend, Kion, was clearly happy for him. But he had some understandable questions for his bestie.
First of all, is it safe for a trans guy in Colombia? Not everyone would clock (that is, recognize that his is not cis) Gabe, but if someone did, violence and hostility could follow. But Gabriel says that it’s pretty similar there to how it is in Miami. So … a mixed bag.
This is when Gabriel noted that he wants to tell Isabel’s parents. He doesn’t want to move ahead with his goal of marrying Isabel until her family knows. Kion seemed to agree that this would be for the best.
To highlight his commitment, Gabriel received an “Isabel” tattoo from a friend. That friend is also the boyfriend of his sister, Monica.
Monica showed up … to poke a lot of holes in Gabe’s plans while her man poked holes into his skin.
She worried that her brother is being impulsive again. He has an ex-girlfriend’s name tattooed onto the back of his neck (he’s getting it blacked out, but still). Is he ready for any part of this?
Monica also pointed out that Gabriel had previously vowed to never again date a woman with kids. Isabel has two — a teenager and a tween.
He said that things were different, because these kids aren’t so little. He can talk to them, and has a good dynamic with them, rather than feeling like a babysitter.
But Monica countered that he’s still footing the bill for Isabel’s kids. So things are not as simple as he might wish.