Shawn Finch From "90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise" Discusses Supporting Alliya's Transition (EXCLUSIVE)

“I had to let go of this other person for the sake of this metamorphosis and just support the person I love,” Shawn said.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

May 28 2024, Published 10:17 a.m. ET

On Season 4 of 90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise, fans met Shawn Finch and Alliya Batista. In addition to navigating a long-distance relationship in two separate countries, Shawn and Alliya’s story includes Shawn finding new ways to show up for Alliya.

In a May 20, 2024, episode, Alliya says goodbye to Douglas, the name and gender she was assigned at birth.

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The Brazilian native did so by having her best friend translate a letter she wrote to Douglas, telling her younger self, “You were my foundation, but now it’s time for me to fly.” During her goodbye letter to Douglas, Shawn sat beside Alliya as she tearfully left her past behind.

In an exclusive interview with Distractify, Shawn told us why supporting Alliya despite his feelings was necessary.

(l-r): Alliya and Shawn on '90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise'
Source: TLC
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Shawn from ‘90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise’ says it was essential to support Alliya despite being “sad” about Douglas.

Alliya’s goodbye letter to Douglas coincided with dressing and styling her hair more femininely. Throughout the season, Shawn has expressed the challenges that can come when a partner embraces another side of themselves during a relationship.

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Nonetheless, Shawn was with Alliya and helped comfort her as she read her goodbye letter. He said that while he was “very sad,” he also had to let go of Douglas; he knew it was important to “somewhat represent the people around the person going through this change” and said it’s not as talked about as it should be.

“As they're finding themselves in their growing into who they want to be authentically, they're getting happier and happier, but the people around them might be getting more affected, and I was affected in a very sad way,” Shawn said of his and Alliya’s relationship. “I felt I had to let go of this other person for the sake of this metamorphosis and just support the person I love, but there is a cost to that. It's not easy, and so you know there's this struggle between the happiness and the sadness.”

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Shawn wishes he could “say goodbye to Douglas” before ‘90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise.’

Shawn’s grief for Douglas is often explored during their time on 90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise. He told us a significant part of his grief was that, although Alliya could let go of Douglas in her own way, he couldn’t.

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Shawn shared that Alliya’s transition occurred when they were in their respective countries, and he didn’t know the last time they were together would be the last time he saw that side of her. He also said since there was no talking or “nurturing” Alliya’s transition beforehand, he felt like the reveal was “jarring” and “like a car crash.”

“It was jarring because I didn't expect that,” he said of Alliya. “I felt so sad that I didn't get to say goodbye to Douglas. I never had any closure. So that was really hard.”

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And while Shawn knows he may never get the closure he desires, he is happy and in love with who Alliya is today and wants to continue being around for her journey.

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“The person going through this probably knows that this is an issue for them for years and years and years,” he said. “And they've been saying or wanting to say goodbye and shed their old skin and become the new person that they always wanted. So, if you're a good partner, you want your partner to be happy.”

Catch Shawn and Alliya on 90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise. New episodes air on TLC on Mondays at 8 p.m. EST.

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