My Brother Used To Be My Sister
Yes, you read the title right.
My brother used to be my sister.
My “sister” was born two and a half years after me.
After my “sister’s” birth my parents were told by the doctor that they had a healthy baby boy. The doctor had to correct himself a few moments later when they realized that the baby was in fact a girl. I only learned recently (from my brother) that this mistake was probably made because of the way “her” extremities were appearing (very swollen).
Because we grew up knowing of the doctor’s error, it was always in the back of my brother’s mind.
Growing up, my “sister” would frequently be mistaken for a boy. “She” would get strange looks and comments when “she” would walk into the girl’s washroom. People were shocked when we went clothes shopping in the girl’s section. It happened every where we went.
My “sister” and I were complete opposites as kids. “She” was outgoing and loud; I was shy and quiet. “She” was messy; I was a neat freak. “She” liked to play with ninja turtles; I liked Barbie dolls. “She” was athletic; I was a book nerd. “She” played hockey; I played the organ.
We just thought “she” was a tomboy.
Turns out we were wrong.
After moving out East shortly after our mom passed away, my “sister” came out. “She” began dating women. I was so proud that “she” was finally happy.
But inside “she” was still struggling with who “she” truly was.
A couple of years ago “she” had a difficult talk with me. “She” told me that “she” had always felt “she” should have been a boy. “She” was going to live her life as a male and that “she” would begin the process to change her current gender.
At first it was difficult to accept. But I still loved my brother. Nothing would change that. I would love my brother no matter what.
The hardest part for me was mourning the loss of my “sister.” And I cannot even really explain that statement but it did in fact feel like my sister had died.
A good friend put it into perspective for me. She said to me, “don’t think of it as losing a sister, think of it as gaining a brother.” I never thought about it that way. I was gaining something new. Something that was unknown and somewhat exciting.
Besides, now that my brother was in transition I would be the only girl in the family. That has to have some advantages, no?
I know a lot of people have trouble wrapping around their heads around this. Transgender? What does that mean? How can someone live their life as a girl one day, and then a boy the next?
A lot of people, including some of our family members, still struggle with my brother’s transition. However, most of them are accepting it and are now referring to my brother as a “he” and calling him by his chosen name. Others still refer to him by his birth name. My brother really dislikes that but it’s habit. It’s going to take time.
I know I still slip and refer to my brother by his former name. My 6 year old son even corrects me. I sat him down a few months ago and told him that his aunt is now his uncle. I thought the sooner I told him, the better. When kids are young they are more open minded. The talk went well. I asked Big Boy if he was confused. He replied that he was. I said to him that that was OK. That it is a wee bit confusing and even Mommy was a bit confused. But we still have to love and support Uncle just the same. He is still the same person inside and that is all that matters.
Some people believe that what my brother is doing is wrong. I don’t want to start a controversy but I believe God made us all. God loves us all. He created each of us with a purpose in mind. I think part of my brother’s purpose is to share his story and to help others just like him. Maybe this will help people to become more understanding and accepting. Then, perhaps we could live in a world free of discrimination. One could only dream right?
My brother is the bravest person I know. I do not pretend to understand what he has gone through. I just try to be there for him whenever he needs. I will be his constant support. Forever and always.
I am in awe of my brother.
I am so proud that he is living his life the way he was meant to be.
All I want for him is to be happy and he truly is now.
Love you C!
Your Big Sister