Laurence Anyways tells the story of an impossible love between Frédérique and her long-term boyfriend Laurence, a man who reveals his inner desire to become his true self: a woman. Set during the late 1980s and early 1990s, the story spans a decade, chronicling the doomed love of Fred and Laurence, as well as the trials and tribulations that they face.
The film begins by introducing Laurence, an average 35-year-old man, who is an award-winning novelist and literature teacher in Montreal. He is very much in love with his girlfriend, the fiery and passionate Frédérique. On the day of his birthday, he reveals to Fred his biggest secret: he has felt for his entire life that he was born in the wrong body and says that he has been living a lie. He wishes to rectify his situation and restart his life as a woman. Fred accuses him of being gay, and takes the news hard. They separate for a short time, but she arrives at the conclusion, much to the chagrin of her mother and sister, that she must be there for Laurence. Their romance resumes and Fred becomes Laurence’s biggest supporter. She teaches Laurence how to do her makeup and buys her a wig. She urges Laurence to dress as her true self, in female clothing. Laurence shows up to work one day in a dress. All seemingly goes well until she is released from her position at the school due to the negative reception of her transformation. Fred falls into a state of depression and eventually leaves Laurence and moves away. She marries a man named Albert, and has a son named Leo.
Laurence, although living with another woman named Charlotte, is still deeply in love with Fred. Laurence stalks Fred regularly, often driving and parking outside of her house in Three-Rivers. After publishing her book of poems, Laurence sends a copy to Fred, who decodes the secret message within meant for her. Fred contacts Laurence, and the two meet and run away to the Isle of Black. However, the romantic getaway turns sour and the two argue. It is revealed that Fred was pregnant when Laurence confessed her true identity, but Fred had an abortion. Albert learns of Fred’s whereabouts from Charlotte, which damages Fred’s relationship with Albert beyond repair. Laurence leaves Fred in the night and the two do not speak for several years. Whilst being interviewed for her biography, the interviewer asks Laurence about Fred. Laurence admits that she had recently reconnected with Fred, now divorced, however their meeting did not go well. Laurence concludes by telling the interviewer that she has chosen to age as a woman.
The final scene shows Laurence and Fred’s first encounter – on the set of a commercial shoot. After the shoot wraps, Laurence approaches Fred because of a bet and asks her out on a date.