News | Transgender | Twins

Twin Boys, One Transgender, Become Brother and Sister


ABC News reports on some unique twin siblings:

Wyatt always liked girl's clothes and movies, while his twin brother Jonas played with traditional boy toys.

Born identical twins, the siblings share the same DNA, but their gender identification took divergent paths. Now, at age 14, they are brother and sister, as Wyatt's transition to Nicole is well under way.

Nicole is 5-feet, 1-inch tall and 100 pounds; her twin brother is 5-feet, 6-inches and weighs 115 pounds -- and they are best friends. Their story -- marked by tearful emotions, bullying at their first school and eventually a lawsuit and a move to a different town -- was chronicled in the Boston Globe on Sunday.

Here's the Globe story:

“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.

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  1. This one's gonna turn into a sh*t show... going to pop some popcorn.

    Rick should come crawling out from under his bridge any second now.

    Posted by: endo | Dec 14, 2011 12:01:25 PM

  2. I read this article last night and have to hand it to the parents. They've done a great job of dealing with the twins and what the kids have both gone through. I have a friend who has 5 year old boy who feels that same way. From a very early age he asked when he would become a girl. Even for her, a woman who has lots of gay friends and a brother who identifies as a woman, it's been a struggle. Not so much for her to understand, but dealing with the school and the other children's parents has been an uphill battle. There's so much bigotry surrounding this issue, even from within our own community.

    Posted by: Gigi | Dec 14, 2011 12:11:42 PM

  3. I'm sure I saw another story similar to this one about two twin boys and one had always seen herself as female and her family obliged by turning her room pink with canopy bed and bestowing the dolls she wanted at Christmas. This story shouldn't be too surprising. Amazing story al tho I'm perplexed as to why, if they are identical, she is five inches shorter then her twin brother. Identical dna so what has kept her smaller in height? Best wishes to them both.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Dec 14, 2011 12:13:50 PM

  4. Awww how sweet! Get these kids a TV show!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Dec 14, 2011 12:17:37 PM

  5. @OS2Guy , since she has been on blocking hormones her uberty and growth spurt are stopped for now.

    Thier is a show on the OWN Network called "Jazz" about a little girl facing the same issues. It's on right after Becoming Chaz. '
    What a great family

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 14, 2011 12:19:53 PM

  6. Look at the movie clips on Youtube "Red without Blue" Same story, identical twins who did this through college. Most identical twins have the same sexuality. I do not understand how this occurs in identical twins.

    Posted by: Drake | Dec 14, 2011 12:22:20 PM

  7. Responding to about comment/question about height differences, although they are identical twins. If one is transitioning, she is likely on female hormones.

    Posted by: Drake | Dec 14, 2011 12:23:18 PM

  8. There's a lot more to sexuality than genes - the entire experience in the womb can affect each occupant differently given the way that the zygote splits, the DNA sequence is unravelled and how hormones affect the process. Most people only look at how this might happen at the gross physical level of hermaphrodites, babies with external female genitalia and internal testes, conjoined twins, or even single babies born with a conjoined "lump" that was a failed twin.

    There was a great BBC documentary years ago called "The Fight to be Male" which covered most of the common ways in which physical and mental expression of sexuality revealed itself as a result of genetic and prenatal effects.

    Posted by: MikeW | Dec 14, 2011 12:28:37 PM

  9. @Drake.. well I believe homosexuality occurs about 50% of the time in both identical twins. It seems if it were solidly about DNA then this would be a full 100% although there are twins in which one is left and the other right handed not that that is a correlation here. Clearly there is a genetic component to make it far more prevalent but not enough of it to make it always that way. I stands to reason that just like with sexuality in identical twins being varied so could gender identity.

    Posted by: cmh | Dec 14, 2011 12:33:43 PM

  10. thanks for posting.

    Posted by: josh | Dec 14, 2011 12:39:55 PM

  11. So I guess this proves that "I was born this way" is a lie, right?


    Posted by: Rick | Dec 14, 2011 1:11:57 PM

  12. Identical twins are fascinating. Many turn out quite differently from each other, whether it's sexuality, gender issues, susceptibility to disease, mental illness, height, weight, handedness, and on and on.

    This is why we rarely ever say "nature versus nurture"--that's an antiquated way to look at development. You can't separate the effect of the environment (both at the chemical level and at a grander scale) from the genetics. So cool! And so complex.

    Posted by: Sean in Dallas | Dec 14, 2011 1:12:05 PM

  13. Beautiful. This is progress, my friends - children are finding the confidence and courage to be who and what they are, despite a world that still refuses to understand it.

    Of course RICK is upset - a 14 year old trans girl just proved she's a bigger stronger and more courageous person that RICK will ever be.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 14, 2011 1:43:56 PM

  14. "Born this way" is not a lie.

    It is an appropriate way to summarize two extraordinarily complicated subjects: embryology and developmental biology.

    Concrete thinkers aren't capable of comprehending them; abstract thinkers are still hard at work trying to tease out the intricacies.

    I have no reason to believe that the transgender baby wasn't already wired to eventually become a girl by the time she was born.

    Posted by: Sean in Dallas | Dec 14, 2011 1:49:26 PM

  15. You know, they're both really modelesque. Somebody should hire them for a campaign.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Dec 14, 2011 2:33:28 PM

  16. I saw this story last night, too, and had some questions. I honestly think a kid is too young to decide that his or her physical gender is not the gender they "really" are - at least not to the point of making any hard-to-reverse changes. And I admit to being a bit upset with the inference that a desire to play with dolls or wear make-up means the child is a girl. I don't think liking historically "girly" things makes one a girl and I'm not at all convinced a young child can make that distinction from what society still puts out there as gender norms vs. what internally one feels more comfortable with as to gender.

    Yeah, trans issues confuse the hell out of me, and I bet it's not any easier for those they actually affect.

    Posted by: Zlick | Dec 14, 2011 2:58:34 PM

  17. ZLICK, are you trans? I'm a gay man, I knew I was a gay man well before i was 14. I'm pretty sure this young woman knows what she feels.

    she's not having any surgeries. she's living her gender. time to get un-confused - time to start listening to trans people.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 14, 2011 3:06:54 PM

  18. Rick = Clueless. Again.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 14, 2011 3:23:35 PM

  19. Right on time pRick show up.

    Posted by: Reynoldo | Dec 14, 2011 3:59:42 PM

  20. If she stops the hormones she will revert make to appearing as a male.

    Posted by: Kim | Dec 14, 2011 4:20:47 PM

  21. hey all, i've been reading this blog for years and have never posted a comment before (which has resulted in a bloodied tongue from the thousands of times i have restrained myself) but this discussion is one that i feel i must join. i read a lengthy article about these twins yesterday and so many of your questions/concerns are addressed within. right now nikki (as she is known now) is only on hormone suppressors which are only keeping impending puberty from coming. nothing that nikki has yet gone through is permanent. due to the therapy, she is smaller and more childish looking at her 14 years. the next step is estrogen therapy and reassignment surgery which all must wait until she is 18.

    the parents of these children have gone through an extraordinary journey and have received ACLU awards for the equal rights work they have done in Maine....MAINE! christ!

    it is also important to note that the family is working at boston children's hospital with a staff of endocrinologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. the brother and sister are extremely close and at this point, nikki is a girl, plain as day.

    please read this article, it is extremely thought provoking and might open your eyes to new ideas, whether you are or aren't trans-understanding.

    Posted by: Alanna | Dec 14, 2011 5:21:53 PM

  22. rick is developmentally delayed.

    born this way reflects the trans experience. they were BORN TRANS. lol! dummy

    Posted by: redball | Dec 14, 2011 7:42:00 PM

  23. I'd say this PROVES that "born this way" is true, but (as usual!) pRick is clueless...

    Oh well...

    Posted by: DeeperStill | Dec 15, 2011 3:37:53 AM

  24. "Red without Blue"--cited above as a similar case, though with older twins---is an amazing movie. After I saw it a couple years ago, I took my ex to it. He'd been trans-confused, and it fixed it for him.

    Then we discovered that the brother from the movie lived on our street. So weird, walking the dog one day, and seeing him and his boyfriend come out of their place.

    And cripes, would people please stop responding to certain other people who only post to be annoying? Some people like attention, positive or negative. Ignore them and they go away. I hate even having to say that.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 15, 2011 7:51:39 AM

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