We were sisters battling the same feelings...
However, weird I was feeling, Kasey felt it, too
Racing towards the goal, I dribbled the ball with practised ease.
‘Pass it! I’m open,’ yelled my twin sister Kasey, then 10.
With a swift kick, the ball landed at her feet, before she booted it to the back of the net.
‘Yes!’ I shouted, racing over to give her a high-five. We were on a winning streak.
That was until our mum Shannon, 40, spotted our grass-stained uniforms and muddy knees.
‘Straight in the bath for you two,’ she said as we climbed into the car.
‘Do we have to?’ I grumbled. There was something about being in a muddy football kit that I loved. It made me part of the team. One of the lads. And a look at Kasey’s face told me she felt the same.
Even though Mum insisted we washed and changed now, she was used to our ‘tomboy’ ways.
We’d both played football for as long as I could remember, had always chosen to rough-house over playing with dolls.
In fact, if we could avoid anything girly, we would. That meant clothes, too – Mum bought us pretty dresses, pink pyjamas, all of which we shunned. We always choose to wear tracksuit bottoms and baggy T-shirts instead.
We’d steal our older brother Ryan’s jeans, too.
Wearing them felt a million times better than our own clothes.
Girly dresses and skirts just made me feel...weird.
But it was nice to know, however weird I was feeling, Kasey felt the same way, too.
That made things easier when, a year later, we had our first sex education lesson in school. Carted off to a room for the girls, we gave each other an awkward glance.
‘So, girls,’ began our teacher. ‘Your body is about to go through some changes...’ She spoke about periods, growing breasts…
I felt sick.
I didn’t want breasts or any of the accompanying baggage. Kasey looked horrified, too. ‘You’re all becoming women,’ the teacher finished. But I don’t want to be, I thought. Of course, I was powerless to stop it. And, sure enough, over the next few years, mine and Kasey’s bodies began to change.
Disgusting, I thought, whenever I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I hated what I saw. Nothing felt right with the way I looked, and even playing football wasn’t helping much.
We both struggled, until we thought finally we’d come up with the answer. ‘I’m gay,’ Kasey, then 12, confessed in June 2012. A few months after that, I made the same announcement. Our parents were both supportive, and I thought I could finally relax. I thought this was going to be it – the answer that we’d both been searching for.
But our decision did nothing to put my mind at ease.
If anything, I was more confused than ever.
I still felt like something was wrong with me.
Then, in August 2015, as we drove to our home in California, Kasey turned to me.
‘I have something to tell you,’ she started. ‘I think I’m going to come out as transgender… and this is me coming out to you.’
For a moment, there was silence.
My twin sister was telling me she was really a boy. Then I smiled.
‘I’ll be by your side, no matter what,’ I told Kasey firmly.
But, honestly, Kasey’s revelation left me more confused than ever.
I hadn’t even considered that I might be transgender, or that transitioning was even an option.
Suddenly, I had a lot to think about…
I told Kasey (left) I’d always be by her side
We shunned girly clothes