Absolutely nothing prepared me for having a transgender sibling. Nothing. I’ve marched in pride parades for 9-10 years and have been a fierce advocate for all of the letters in the GLBT+ alphabet, but this life event has completely knocked the gay wind out of me.
A Lifetime of Humbling Assumptions
For almost 30 years, my younger sibling was this tomboy/butch lesbian sister that I had always loved and cared for. I never gave the identity a second thought. Never. It wasn’t until a little over a year ago that he announced to me that he was undergoing transition after going through a process that helped him discover that this path was necessary for him.
I have so many transgender friends, near and far to me, but that might as well not have been the case at all because the news hit me like a ton of bricks. I literally was (eventually) speechless as the news settled in and as I began to process what it all meant. I still am, to a certain extent. I’ve been struggling with understanding how this will affect him (good, bad, and other ways), but I am sitting back to allow things to unfold on their own time line and helping where I am needed. The best explanation for my behavior/reactions is that I’m just doing what I think a brother would do for their brother, just like I did as a brother to a sister.
Lots of Crying
I have cried so much about this entire process as I continue to understand the breadth and depth of what it truly means to have a trans brother. It is a lot more than that, though. For many years, I was not close to my younger sibling, and I do not want this new chapter in his life to be like this. I’ve kicked myself so many times for missing out on what could have been some awesome times throughout the past 10-15 years. I’ll be damned if I let any more time pass doing the same thing. I have so many tears of happiness for him; for finally getting on a path that finally makes sense and places so many pieces of the puzzle into place.
An Immersive Experience
One of the things I have chosen to do to try to further understand this transition process is to embrace some of its own characteristics and qualities in my own life. I’m now on my third dye job on my hair (pink, blue/purple, and now red) and I’ve had my nails painted twice. I’ll be having them done in the morning because the gel finally started peeling. Side note: Gel nail polish is fucking FABULOUS!
I’m also continuing to embrace my love for bright and sometimes effeminate colors in my clothing choices. I’m even finding clothing that I can wear on an everyday basis that is advertised for women, but that I will eventually put on to wear out in public as a boy. Most of the stuff I have now I wear as a Sister with the Tampa Bay Sisters, which is a completely different thing than my boy persona and is NOT drag.
My Own Identity
I’ve only casually evaluated my own identity throughout this process, because I look in the mirror and still feel that my body aligns with my expressed gender. This experience has been to see how others react to the change, which has been quite interesting. I do get stares from people when I’m out in public, but for the most part, acceptance and positive compliments have far outnumbered any negativity that I can think of. My most recent nail color, fluorescent orange, was complimented several times by random strangers. Anyone who would seem to not like it kept their opinion to themselves.
One thing that has stood out to me during this process is some weird nagging thought about “how is this going to affect my social/sex/bdsm life?” I’m happy to say that it has not had that much of a negative impact at all. Sure, there are some guys that I have played with in the past that are uncomfortable with me having dyed hair or painted nails, but I’ve concluded that it is their problem, not mine. I have not had a lack of interest elsewhere when it comes to fulfilling my needs when they arise on occasion. Further, my first interest has become friends being of greater importance than fucking. Since adopting this life motto, I have found that sex may happen less often than it may have happened in the past (when opportunities were available to me) but is far more fulfilling when it does because it is with people that I have a far deeper connection with.
I am so proud of my brother for undergoing this process. It is such a difficult task to undergo, and there is so much ahead of him that he has to go through. I am here to stand next to him to do anything that I can as this process unfolds. I’ll continue to write on this topic as the journey unfolds. It is exciting for me, both for what he is going through, and what I am going through as well.