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Families in Transition, Part III: Brother & Sister

Families in Transition, Part III: Brother & Sister

“There’s no way that anything’s wrong with Bailey, it’s just Bailey.”

Sister and brother Bailey and Eli Stiles live in Carthage, Missouri, a tiny Bible Belt outpost about 300 miles from St. Louis. They refer to their upbringing as “country” and both still play their favorite childhood card game — Pokemon. As one of Bailey’s two older brothers, Eli has always felt a responsibility to protect Bailey from the people who have had trouble understanding the way she presents herself. When Bailey began her transition while living in New York City a few years ago, Eli was worried the distance would only compound their family’s tendency to withdraw from people.

As explained in the video above, transitioning proved to alleviate the mental illness Bailey experienced for years while living as the gender she was assigned at birth. While her father hasn’t embraced her transition, undergoing such changes empowered her to have increasingly open conversations with her brothers and her mom, which strengthened their relationships.