She Simply Knew

Nicole Maines and her brother Jonas were born identical twins, but they look very different at age 14. Nicole was named Wyatt at birth, but showed signs of female identity from a very early age.
Once, when Wyatt appeared in a sequin shirt and his mother’s heels, his father said: “You don’t want to wear that.’’

“Yes, I do,’’ Wyatt replied.

“Dad, you might as well face it,’’ Wayne recalls Jonas saying. “You have a son and a daughter.’’

That early declaration marked, as much as any one moment could, the beginning of a journey that few have taken, one the Maineses themselves couldn’t have imagined until it was theirs. The process of remaking a family of identical twin boys into a family with one boy and one girl has been heartbreaking and harrowing and, in the end, inspiring - a lesson in the courage of a child, a child who led them, and in the transformational power of love.

Nicole, who has been living and attending school as a girl for years, underwent treatment to delay puberty and is looking forward to surgery and hormone treatment to complete her gender reassignment. The twins' story raises questions about identity: not only do they have the same genes, but they have shared the same environment since they were conceived.
The Maineses decided to tell their story, they say, in order to help fight the deep stigma against transgender youth, and to ease the path for other such children who, without help, often suffer from depression, anxiety, and isolation.

The Boston Globe has the story of Nicole's physical transformation as well as the reactions of her family, schoolmates, and others. Link -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff)

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This is fascinating in so many ways. I also don't believe I've heard of one identical twin, with both living in the same household, self-identifying as a different gender. It puts the biological basis for transgender identification to a serious test.

That said, and with Miss Cellania's 3-dimensional knowledge space, Nicole's identity is female, her preference is not specified, but her genetics are male. It makes me wonder if our society forced her to identify as female, rather than being an effeminate male. (Of which I've known several - some being gay, some hetero, and some bi -- being effeminate appears to be separate from gender identity, similarly to how being masculine (for women), is separate from their gender identity and sexual preference.)

Is it possible that Nicole was effeminate by nature, and her family and friends *made the assumption* that she should therefore be female (even if the assumption was never stated out loud), and that forced her into her choice?

I would also raise the issue about her age and her sexual preference. While some youths may know at an early age what their preference is, many don't know until it hits them. (For instance, I was thirteen when I first became aroused. That solidified my preference, and it hasn't wavered since. But before that, I *never even thought about it*.) I would argue that before the onset of puberty, no person can know their own preference.
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Very good article. Similarly, there is/was a show on OWN called I Am Jazz, about a girl that started her transition from a VERY young age. Shes 11 but has the wisdom of someone 3 times her age.

I am not sure the status of the show though. It started a few weeks ago and suggested it would be on weekly, but I havent heard anything since.
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I once explained that identity, preference, and biology are like three different dimensions, with a spectrum for each, and that a particular person could be anywhere in that 3-dimensional space.

But of course, even that is too simplistic, because there may be more dimensions. For example, biology can mean genital appearance or DNA, because they don't always line up together.

Then again, it's not totally necessary to understand someone in order to accept them.
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