23-year-old Jace and Jack Grafe are identical twins who were born as females but are now brothers after coming out as transgender and transitioning to male bodies.
Jack and Jace, born as Jaclyn and Jennifer, grew up in a conservative Christian home in Baltimore, Maryland, that was filled with joy. However, as the brothers admitted, despite having been brought up in a good family, they always felt trapped in their own bodies.
Jack and Jace said they didn’t know what it means to be transgender at that time, but they cried themselves to sleep every night in hopes that they would wake up as boys.
The twins, who now reside in Monroe, Georgia, came out when they were 18. They are now both in relationships with women and are going through the transition process together.
The pair began growing facial hair in April 2017 after they began taking testosterone supplements. They also underwent a chest surgery in August.
Now, the brothers who work in law enforcement both shared their touching story in an attempt to comfort and inspire others going through similar changes.
“As a kid I would cry and pray to God that I would wake up in a male body, not even understanding that being transgender was a thing,” deputy sheriff’s officer Jack said.
“Now, I am the happiest with myself that I have been in my entire life. That uncomfortable feeling we had before has completely gone.”
“When we came out, it was to our whole family – mum, dad and our older sister.
“Our parents had never seen anything like it. They have never experienced gay or transgender people and my dad is a pastor. We live in Georgia.”
Speaking of their battles against oppression, Jack said:
“At work I have had my fair share of people calling me a ‘sh*t’ – she, he, it. Usually they just don’t understand.
“People still refer to us as female. Whenever I hear ‘she’ or ‘her’ it is like a kick in the stomach. It hurts but I get it. At a young age, I was skeptical of it myself. For some people, it is a hard pill to swallow.
“There are times when I wish I was just born – and I don’t mean this in a negative way -but ‘normal’, and that I was biologically male.
“People say, ‘You will never be able to change your chromosomes, you can only change the outside.’
“There are still times when I come home and break down.”
Jace, who also just started working at the police academy, added:
“Honestly, the twin thing has helped. If I was to go back to when I was 15 or 16 I would never think in a million years that I would have got to this point.
“It was a fantasy and I always wished it was going to happy but I wasn’t brave enough. I didn’t have the guts.
“Being a twin means I don’t feel alone. Somebody else is experiencing the exact same things as I am going through and that made me stronger.”
Going through their youth, Jack and Jace wore boyish clothes and had crushes on female classmates. Since they were attending a strict religious school, however, they were afraid of letting anyone (even each other) know about their feelings.
At the age of 16, after a year of cosplaying as male characters, the twins came out as gay, while they came out as transgender at the age of 18.
“It was even hard to tell each other that we liked girls, but when I told Jace and asked if he would have a different opinion of me he was like, ‘No, I feel the same way.’
“When he said ‘me too’ I felt relieved and not alone any more. It was scary.. I was honestly terrified,” Jack said.
Deputy Officer Jace continued: “I felt the same way about the whole thing. We talked to each other about everything but this was the one subject we were awkward about.
“We were raised in a really religious household and didn’t want to tell each other how we were feeling because we were scared the other would judge us.
“I was scared because I held my twin’s opinion higher than anybody else so if he didn’t accept me I would be devastated.
“At one point I even tried to date a guy to see if the feelings would go away but they didn’t. I found out Jack was transgender through a Facebook post on his profile, which was specifically for our cosplay friends and had no family.
“I was like, ‘If you feel like this why didn’t you tell me?’ He said it was awkward, that it was much more than saying, ‘Oh, I like girls.’ I said, ‘Well, if you talked to me you would have known that that is how I feel as well.’
“After that, we decided to refer to ourselves as brothers and asked our cosplay friends to refer to us as male.”
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