Twin telepa­thy

We were sis­ters bat­tling the same feel­ings...

Chat - - CONTENTS - Shea Opilla, 20

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

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