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Jake's younger brother Jason was 13 when Julia transitioned. Jake says Jason has helped him become more masculine. For example, Jake still referred to things as "cute" after he transitioned. "And [Jason would] be like, 'No, you don't say [cute],'" Jake says.

Although Jason has been supportive, he says he still struggles with their new relationship as brothers, which he says is more competitive than protective. "Sometimes I wish she could still be a girl. I miss my sister," Jason says. "It's been hard on me, too, because for the past couple years [my parents have] really been focused on her, so it's like, you know, I've been kind of pushed off to the side. I never thought that my dad would be teaching my sister how to shave before me, so it's kind of weird."

Jason's struggle has also affected Jake. "It makes me sad," Jake says. "I usually am the one causing [Jason's pain]."

Although he's "Jake" to the rest of the world, Jason still calls his sibling "Julia." "I guess the name means something special because it was my first word, so it kind of has a bit of a meaning, a value. So it's going to be hard to change that. If I want her to stay in my life, I have to accept whatever she wants to do. I don't want to lose her altogether," Jason says. "She seems happier. She seems normal again…just a different body."
FROM: Born in the Wrong Body
Published on September 28, 2007