Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The last close relative

    As a fitting conclusion to a very busy fortnight, on Saturday I had the Long Chat with my sister. It didn't come as a surprise that she was familiar with transgender issues, the nature of her work means that she's extremely widely read.
    I've become somewhat of a connoisseur of Long Chats over the last few months. I've not had one quite like this though, not even when I came out to my mother. In my mother's case she was accepting and there was no horror, but it was pretty obvious that she had erected a few walls. For instance I've yet to talk to her about my crossdressing, just at the moment she doesn't want to countenance the idea of me in girl mode. I'm sure when the time comes she will be very surprised to find simply a rather large girl who looks a bit like her son rather than a flamboyant drag queen who looks like me, but that's a story for another day.
     My sister though had none of these walls. Which meant I could talk about everything. Growing up, family stuff. Our relationship with our other sister, with whom we've rather fallen out. Our parents. A very honest and open conversation, the like of which I haven't had with her before. She surprised me with her insights into the whole business, and I hope she found the opportunity to deal with some of the family stuff to be of use.
    I don't think she expected to be advising her brother on the best way to change into a dress while sitting in a small car. Amazingly the experience doesn't seem to have scarred her for life.


  1. The confrontation with sisters is interesting and slightly different from others.

    Their experience of watching us grow at close quarters and the emotional effects of loosing that which they thought they could take for granted allows them to be a little shocked and then more open with their reactions and advice than even your best friends can be.

    With luck like me you get accepted as a sister and get along better than before.

    Caroline xxx

  2. Am so happy that you have found a compassionate ear to bend. We never know how a family member will react. You seem to have been closer to this sister than the other, and she might be a strong allies in pulling everyone together.

  3. I came out to my older sister and her daughter last fall, and after the initial shock, they were both very accepting. I did it in an email, and included pictures. My sister was surprised to see how much I looked like her, since in boy mode I look more like my dad. I never came out to my twin sister, and she died last October having never known the real me. I think she would have had a more difficult time with it though, since she was a virtual clone of my mother, who knows, but remains in denial about my true nature, and of course I don't push the issue with her.

    Congratulations on telling your sister! I'm so glad for you, that she was good with it.

    Melissa XX

  4. Thanks all.

    I've certainly never had a conversation quite like this one. She's five years older than me, so we were at war as teenagers, so I've got to know her afresh as an adult. Our other sister, between us in age, is the Family Black Sheep who has blotted every copybook for miles around, so sadly I doubt there will be any reconciliations in that department any time soon. Which is a shame, because before she went off the rails we were very close.

    I think there's been a recalibration and a shift of the brother-sister axis. Certainly felt weird to have "girl" conversations with my sister!