I came out to my youngest brother last week. P was the youngest of three; we are each 3 years apart, with me being oldest. We were always very close, figuratively as well as literally. Brought up in a hostile household, with our father who worked nights and had an extremely short fuse, we stuck up for each other, even as we fought like cats and dogs. P was my tag-along, he looks a bit like me and he followed me around like I was cool or something.
Over time we grew very close and then very distant. Today we aren’t close, but we don’t avoid each other’s phone calls. So I think it was a shock for him when I told him that I was a woman. He did remember that I used to wear our stepmom’s clothes when I could get away with it. In my defense, they were Cato’s and pretty. He took things pretty well, though I don’t think he knew enough about transgender to understand the full ramifications of my confession. I believe he might be inclined to include it as a level of transvestite. I didn’t want to go into the full meaning and what it means for me in the phone call. He asked if I were getting surgery, and I said I was unsure at the moment. That is expensive and there are more factors than my happiness since I am a parent.
He mentioned that he is the most open minded person in our family, which is probably right. It makes me apprehensive about telling my other brother, S, who is the middle child. He is much like our Dad was, this kind of “practical” attitude people adopt when they don’t know something but think it’s ridiculous. Like there being more than two genders and not knowing the differences between sex and gender. That will be the attitude I will have to deal with, I think. Who knows, perhaps I am not giving him a fair chance. I’ve always had this thing about not wanting to appear foolish, it stems from having to live in a male body and not coping well with it. I always felt foolish, until I had the house alone and could be me, those few times I didn’t feel foolish.
I have to tell S, then I can move on to my cousins. I’m not really sure at what point my responsibility to tell people who I am ends. I mean, do I really need to tell family I will likely never see? I have cousins I haven’t seen since I was a teenager, what is the likelihood I would need to tell them?
I have to say, when I told my friends, I was elated, happy that I was able to tell them. I felt a weight lift from my shoulders, and I was grateful that they accepted me with not one single hesitation. I didn’t feel that way telling my brother, I don’t know it was different, like I should be ashamed. He didn’t say anything to make me feel that way I don’t think. I wasn’t ashamed, I just felt like I should feel that way.
Afterwards, I was just kind of left with this anti-climactic end of the conversation. I’m not telling people to make myself feel good, it’s a result of getting a secret out, of being able to be myself around those people. So, I’m not sure what this feeling I was left with means.