Born to be brothers
I began to resemble the person I’d always been inside
Watching as Kasey told our mum and dad Rick, 65, the truth, I saw him instantly relax. This heavy weight and burden lifted off his shoulders.
He explained how, after watching documentaries about transgender people, he’d had this realisation.
These other people were telling his story.
And now, finally saying it out loud, he felt relieved.
He started living as a male, keeping the name Kasey.
I was happy for him, truly. But I struggled.
In June 2016, Kasey started hormone therapy, and slowly began to transition physically.
Then, in August, he had surgery to remove his breasts.
From then on, the change was absolutely amazing.
Suddenly, my twin Kasey looked like a man.
He’d wander around our bedroom topless, and I was instantly envious of him.
‘You OK?’ he’d ask. ‘Fine,’ I’d lie. I was anything but, and it didn’t seem fair Kasey felt so much happier than me.
I still felt like an alien in my own body and was insanely jealous.
It was also strange, my identical twin suddenly looked and sounded so very different. But watching Kasey’s journey helped me come to terms with my own feelings.
Maybe I was meant to be a man, too, I thought.
And, almost a year after Kasey’s big revelation, it dawned on me
– I’d been born in the wrong body as well.
So, in July 2017, I confided in Kasey.
‘I think I’m meant to be a boy, too,’ I said.
I think on some level, he’d always known, but hadn’t wanted to rush me.
‘I’ll help you as much as I can,’ he said.
We faced Mum and Dad together, and though breaking the news felt easier the second time around, it didn’t make it any less devastating. If anything, I felt somewhat guilty.
We had two other brothers. I was our parents’ last daughter.
Their last chance for a father-daughter dance, for a wedding-dress fitting and a baby bump. I ripped that away from them. So I knew it would take time for them to adjust. Still, I began taking hormones in September 2017. I started going by my middle name Shea, and had my breasts removed in March 2018.
One day soon, I’ll feel complete, I thought. Hoped. Kasey was a massive help. ‘You’re not playing catch-up to me. You’re on your own path,’ he’d tell me.
And it was a good reminder to have.
I was desperate for results, but knew they wouldn’t be immediate.
When my voice finally started to get deeper last September, and hair began to sprout on my chin, it felt like a huge win.
Slowly, the reflection
I saw in the mirror began to resemble the person I’d always been on the inside.
The best thing was, Kasey and I even started to look identical again. Amazing! Though we haven’t finished our journeys yet, we’re in such a good place.
Our family are so accepting, and it has really helped to bring us all closer. Especially Kasey and me. We’ve been sisters, brother and sister – and now we’re brothers.
But, through it all, we’ve always been a team.
And, after everything we’ve been through, that bond is even stronger.
A team – that’s me and Kasey (right) We even look identical again!
He supported me through surgery