The other day, my younger sister shared a video with me. I’m not 100% sure the one below is the exact same video, but it is the same song, and it definitely captures her feelings on my transition.
Though I understand her pain – we’ve always been very close, and now she feels like she’s lost a sister – there’s unfortunately not much I can do about it.
So hun, this one’s for you.
I see where you’re coming from. Or at least I think I do. You feel like you’ve lost me, when the truth is, you really haven’t. I still love you as much as I always did. We can still be as close as we used to be, because I haven’t changed.
Now I know this is hard for you to wrap your head around, and you feel like I have taken a U-turn, but reality is, I’ve only stopped fighting myself. I only finally set myself free to become who I’ve always been.
You think you lost a sister, but though it seemed like I was a girl, I never really was. Outwardly I was, but on the inside? Never. Like it or not, but you’ve got a brother. A brother who loves you to pieces and would like nothing better than to see you happy.
We don’t get to choose who we are. If we could, I’d have chosen to be a girl. To be your sister. Heaven knows I tried hard enough. But I can’t do it anymore. It’s too hard. Trying to be a woman almost killed me. Twice. And even though I never tried to end my life after that second time, I still have had to fight my suicidal ideations again and again and again.
I never told you, or Mum and Dad, or anyone else, but I’ve been on anti-depressants on and off ever since that last time back in 1990. And I only got them when my depressions got so bad I was actively planning suicide again. It would take weeks (horrible, frightening weeks) before they kicked in, and then I’d take them for half a year or longer, until I felt I could manage without them again. All because of the gender dysphoria.
As much as I love you, I cannot go on living that way. I will not. I don’t want to die from being forced to live in a female body.
I know you suffer. I know Mum and Dad suffer, but try to imagine what it would be like for you if you had to live in a male body for all those years, knowing deep down that you were female. How would you feel? That’s roughly fifty years of constant suffering. Day in day out, with no holidays or even a single day off. Would you want to live that way? Would you want someone you love so dearly to live that way? Of course you don’t!
You may think you lost me, but you never did. I’m still the same person I always was.
If you think back for maybe a little over a year when I finally allowed myself to dress the way I felt comfortable… you didn’t think you lost me then, did you? But that’s when I embarked on this journey. I just changed my hairstyle and the way I dressed, and nobody thought anything of it. Which is weird, considering that it was a gigantic change. From hyper-femine (this is called over-compensation, BTW) to what felt good and normal to me, but is in fact, quite masculine.
All this time, you’ve been fine with me dressing as a man, but only now that I came out as transgender, you suddenly feel that you’ve lost me. That seems a little irrational to me. Yes, I changed my name – though unfortunately I cannot change it legally yet. But my new name doesn’t make me a different person. Also, when you changed your name, did that make you a different person? I don’t think so.
My body will change, yes, but so did yours. Your added weight didn’t turn you into a different person, did it? So why would a different fat distribution turn me into a different person? And would a lower voice, or hairier arms, legs and chest all of a sudden turn me into a different person? What do you think?
I’m still me. What’s more, I don’t desire to be anyone but me. Don’t run from me. That does neither of us any favours. Don’t be afraid. The changes will not happen overnight and you will get time to adjust to them. But only if you come along on this quest with me. It’s not as scary as you think. I promise.