Telling my sister I’m transgender

I’ve now told my most of my friends about being transgender and, with the odd exception, it’s all gone swimmingly. People, male and female, have been completely accepting and really suportive – I have amazing friends. But telling family? That’s a different story…

Back in the autumn, my sister threw a massive birthday party for her partner. It was a grand night, with a disco, fancy dress and great food.

After a few beers, I met a couple of old girl friends of my sister’s and sat down with them, merrily chatting away. I told them about breaking up with Georgie – and that led to talking about “the trans thing” and my wait for HRT.

They were both absolutely fine about me being trans – but they wanted to know if I’d told my sister. I said I hadn’t and that I was scared about doing so. She’s married to a guy who’s really lovely, but he’s a bit right-wing and certainly not an LGBT+ advocate.

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Not me and my sister – but this is how it felt!

I was afraid that some of the things I’d heard him say over the years might have brushed off on her and made her less tolerant. I was also worried about being rejected. Although we fought like cat and dog as kids, we’re really close now. She’s a fantastic woman – a great wife, a fabulous mother and the perfect sister. She’s smart, funny and beautiful – and I love her to bits.

So yeah, to risk being rejected by someone like that made me very wary. But her pals insisted I tell her – they said the GIC wouldn’t take me seriously if I’d not told her – and so I agreed.

I told her via Facebook Messenger just before Christmas and her response was along the lines of: it’s fine, I kind of knew already. It’s all cool.

She reminded me of a conversation we’d had at a fancy dress party months earlier. I was dressed as a woman and she asked me why I always did so at such parties. I thought she was having a go, so started being all “raar! raar! trans is beautiful!” at her. But she wasn’t having a go.

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Throw me another curved ball!

So she said she knew since that moment – but she didn’t know about my plans to start taking hormones or about being non-binary.

So I told her: there’s more to this than clothes, and we agreed to go for dinner so that we could talk about it. And that’s exactly what we did on Friday night.

And to say she handled it awesomely is the understatement of the year. She was absolutely fabulous. She just kept saying “it doesn’t matter” and “you are what you are”. It really was water off a duck’s back.

I told her about the DVT, all my history, laser, being non-binary, being on the waiting list for the gender clinic, the counselling, everything. Every time I threw her another curved ball, she just caught it like she’d been playing Major League Baseball for the past 10 years.

She said part of being so cool about trans matters was training she’s been through in her job, so hurrah for that. And as for her partner’s views, she says she frequently tells him off for expressing them.

I don’t remember much more as the wine was flowing for Dutch courage, but I just felt so happy, relieved and grateful after telling her. Thank you, little sister. Love you always.

Now I just need to decide whether or not to tell my mum and dad – and that could be a whole lot trickier.

Andie xxx

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