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When One Identical Twin Has A Sex Change | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

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OPRAH WINFREY: Take a look at this picture if you will. Take a look at this. OK, this is a four-year-old Brenda and her identical twin sister, Bonnie. And growing up, the girls were inseparable, so close they would finish each other's sentences. Friends and family had trouble really telling them apart. Physically they were identical. But unlike Brenda, Bonnie felt drastically different. And it would take years for Bonnie to finally discover what she felt was wrong with her. This is what Brenda and Bonnie look like today. And here is their story. BRENDA: My identical twin sister and I were very close. I'd answer just as easily to Bonnie as I would Brenda. AIDEN: When we were younger, we would sometimes switch places. If we switched coats, that's all it would take to throw even our closest friends off. OPRAH WINFREY: Bonnie's first memory of feeling different from her identical twin was about 9 years old she says. AIDEN: My twin sister and I would play together a lot. She typically took the mom role. I typically took the dad role. I know that I didn't feel like a girl. People would say Bonnie is the tomboy and Brenda's the lady. I loved wearing dresses. I couldn't wait to wear makeup. And I don't recall my twin sister Bonnie feeling like that was ever necessary. AIDEN: There were times that I was required to wear a dress. And I was very, very uncomfortable. I felt like people would find me out, that I wasn't supposed to be wearing a dress. As we got older, though, the differences were increased. I feel like the biggest deviation happened at puberty. BRENDA: I got as boy crazy as I think you could get. AIDEN: Dating boys wasn't something I was interested in. OPRAH WINFREY: Not only was she not interested in boys. She also started to resent her body changing from a girl to a woman. AIDEN: I was mortified at starting to develop breasts. They just seemed very foreign on my body. I started slouching so that they wouldn't be visible at all. BRENDA: I'd watch her walk down the hallway in school and I would be mortified, because I'd think, wow, that's so tomboyish. I'd check in with my friends, do-- do I look like that? Do I walk like that? I felt guilty about not wanting to be mistaken as my twin sister. OPRAH WINFREY: Bonnie says she realized she was a lesbian in college. AIDEN: The friends that I was hanging out with fessed up to me that they were lesbians. And in that instant, I knew that I was too. I needed to tell my sister because it was a big deal. She's my best friend. I didn't know how she would react. BRENDA: I received a phone call from Bonnie. She told me she had an encounter with a woman and kissed her. I got really upset about it. Because we're twins, we're supposed to be identical. So for the next 15 years, Bonnie lived as a lesbian, got married to a woman, and even adopted a daughter. But once again, she started to feel that things were still not quite right. AIDEN: I lived as a lesbian, pretty much the predominant part of my adult life. I didn't really question my gender for quite some time. The issue of gender identity came into my mind in this sexual situation with the woman I was seeing, where I just did not feel like things felt right. Just something wasn't jiving. I actually had met two different guys who had transitioned from being female to male. I did feel like we were very, very similar. OPRAH WINFREY: Bonnie made the most difficult choice of her life. She decided to become a man. She knew that telling her twin sister Brenda was going to be tough. AIDEN: I hopped on a plane and knew that I owed it to my sister to be there for her on this one. OPRAH WINFREY: Brenda was crushed when she heard the news. BRENDA: I was having all kinds of emotions. That was-- it was hard. It was very emotionally difficult. The part of it that hit me like a ton of bricks was how it made me feel about who I was. Because I'm an identical twin. Can you take that away from somebody? Can it be taken away. And yet, it was, because I wasn't going to have a sister anymore. I was going to have a brother. OPRAH WINFREY: Bonnie's mother also had trouble accepting this news. I didn't want to lose Bonnie, that was the hard part for me. I felt like I was going to be losing my daughter. And I wasn't sure what I was going to get in return. So despite her family's reaction, Bonnie was determined to become a man. AIDEN: The name I was born with is Bonnie. And the first thing I did around my transition was to change my name. And I changed it to Aiden. The first step for me for physically transitioning is I got a prescription for testosterone. Hot flashes started happening. I got hungry. I probably gained about 10 to 15 pounds. Body fat shifted, my hips got thinner. My energy increased. My menstrual periods stopped. My voice changed. Pretty dramatic and noticeable was getting body hair. Started from my around my belly button creeped up my chest, creeping across my back. But it is pretty interesting to start shaving your face when you haven't done that before. My own genitalia has changed. The clitoris does grow longer. OPRAH WINFREY: To look more like a man, Aiden then decided to have his breasts removed. AIDEN: That was a scary thing to do. That was a no turning back kind of moment. The chest surgery that I had involved liposuction and ultrasound. Pretty shocking to walk out in the world the first time or so without my shirt. It's kind of liberating. OPRAH WINFREY: At this time, Aiden has decided not to have the surgery to construct a penis. AIDEN: I personally, at this point, am not interested in having any of the lower surgeries. There's a lot of reasons for that. It's not cheap. I don't want to risk it, messing anything up. OPRAH WINFREY: For Aiden, adjusting to life as a man has had its tricky moments. AIDEN: Going into the men's room is really challenging. Shopping is difficult. I'm 5-foot-6. It's hard to find any clothing in small sizes. Whether this is going to be the right decision as far as my identity in the world, I don't know the answer to that. When I get really ticked off at Aiden, I'll just look at him and say, hey, I want to talk to Bonnie. It's been very interesting. Yeah, I miss Bonnie. It's so weird, because as soon as I say I miss Bonnie, I'm like there she is, you know, she's right there.

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