Well, suck an elf but I’m flabbergasted!
I phoned my older sister this afternoon. The one who once locked me up in a cupboard and paid for that sin dearly. I hadn’t come out to her yet and was nervous about it because she’s not mentally stable.
Initially, when I came out to my parents they agreed that they would tell her. Gentle, and little by little – though frankly I don’t know how they thought to achieve the little by little part. Then they backtracked and said they were not going to tell her. I understand that. They’re still too shaken.
After some deliberation I made the decision to tell her myself – even though I might well mess up completely and end up upsetting her to the point where she’d go into a full psychotic episode. I had to take that risk. Not telling her was not an option and would ultimately not have worked anyway.
Trying to keep it small, I started out by saying something like, “Remember how I’ve never been a very girly girl?” and, “I never really felt like a girl and after I grew up I never really felt like a woman.” I continued to tell her that I’m seeing a therapist at the gender clinic and will start my transition as soon as I get my formal diagnosis.
“So you want to be a man?”
I explained it’s not really about wanting to be a man, but already being one on the inside and just wanting to adjust the outside to what I already am.
She wanted to know my new name and then, out of the blue, she said “I might develop a crush on you when you’re a guy.” I laughed and said, “You don’t get crushes on your brother.” Then she laughed and said, “Oh, but I can.”
No doubt she could. She’s been having crushes on guys for as long as I can remember. Even when we were little. She’d always have a boyfriend. It’s one of the things I never understood about her, and now I don’t know why I was surprised she said she might get a crush on me. Not that I’d be acting on her crush. She’s my sister. I can’t imagine having romantic feelings for either of my sisters. But her talk of probably developing a crush on me did break the tension I still felt up till then.
She had more questions, of course (some of them impertinent because her curiosity got the best of her) and I answered them as best I could. Observant as she is, she also asked, “Is that why Mum and Dad are angry with you?” Yep. You nailed it, sis. “Well, I think you’re very brave for doing this, and for telling me.”
She may be mentally unstable but she’s not stupid. And she’s got a heart of gold. I often get mad at her for doing dumb things, but quite honestly she’s a better and more loving person than me. I could learn a thing or two from her.
There’s still the risk this news might send her into a psychotic episode. I hope with all my heart this won’t happen, but if it does it most likely could not be avoided. At least I know – even if this happens – she won’t blame me.
I’m going to try harder to be a better brother to her than I ever was a sister.