I am a BAD t-girl. And I don’t mean I am a naughty minx who is looking for sexy trouble. I mean days that are meant to celebrate our contributions as a community usually sneak up on me.
Yesterday was the Transgender Day of Visibility and I didn’t realize it until the night before. I couldn’t really, ah, celebrate it as my day started with a doctor appointment at 7am and ended with an actual honest-to-God blizzard. It would have been nice to have a day out en femme and, well, be visible but maybe next year.
I will try to plan better in 2024. Feel free to remind me. 🙂
At any rate, it’s a little weird when Pride month or other LGBTQ+ moments come around. I am between two worlds, between two gender identities, two lives. And they are pretty divided with little overlap. I feel like I am in the corner of a party in a way. I am THERE, I can celebrate… but I feel like a bit of an outsider. Like… I barely “qualify” to be in the room, if you will.
I suppose it’s because for the majority of my life no one really acknowledges these moments to me. It’s not unusual for my out LGBTQ+ friends and coworkers to hear “Happy Pride!” in the month of June, for example. I mean, even I tell my queer friends this in June.
Of course Hannah is told these words. Which makes sense as SHE is out but HE is not.
I suppose it’s just a small reminder that to most of HIS world I am not out to some of the most important people in my life.
To be clear, this isn’t a post about wanting to be out to more people. In retrospect I am glad I haven’t come out to more people.
But it is a little odd that such a giant and significant and important and special aspect of who I am is hidden.
It’s kind if like it’s your birthday and no one says anything. It would be weird to tell people but you sort of hope someone tells you happy birthday.
But like with most aspects of life, after a certain point it is what it is. You can’t always get what you want so you learn to make peace with things.
When I came out to my mom and sisters years and years ago it was with the naïve hope to, well, be a sister sometimes. My sisters meet up for coffee sometimes and yes, their brother could join them but for those of us who are go out en femme it would be a LOT more fun to do so as their sister.
But my mom and siblings don’t really *get* it.
And that’s okay.
Gender identity, especially when someone doesn’t feel completely “right” as the gender they were assigned to at birth can be a difficult thing to relate to. I also feel that when one doesn’t feel they have to, ah, commit to just one gender, it can be even a little stranger.
I suppose if I had come out in a different way, used different language, different words things might be different. But it is what it is.
These days my family knows about Hannah of course but she’s more or less like an estranged relative that is very rarely acknowledged. I suppose I could talk about her more often but I can tell she’s not someone that my family is interested in talking about. And before you get the wrong idea, the reluctance comes from her being a reminder that there’s an aspect of myself that is very hard to grasp or relate to.
My family is lovely. Please know this.
Sometimes it’s a little odd when I realize that there’s this whole part of my life that has accomplished pretty amazing things that aren’t really discussed or known. I mean, I don’t need recognition or validation but… well, I think it’s pretty cool that I’ve kept a transgender support/social group running for ten years.
But it is what it is.
Yesterday did bring a small but significant moment, though. One of my sisters texted me “Happy international day to you and or Hannah”.
It was nice on a few levels. It was an acknowledgement of the day itself but it was also my sister recognizing that, in a way, Hannah and her brother are two different people. In one soul and one body.
My wife and I will often talk about Hannah as if she is a separate person.
I’ll remind my wife that Hannah is going out next Saturday or my wife will be out shopping and send a picture of something and ask me if Hannah would like this dress.
It’s super validating but also super helpful. Like if my wife asks me what about shoe sizes or something. It’s easier if she is asking what my shoe size is or what Hannah’s shoe size is.
Anyway, it was tempting to reply to my sister and tell her that she and Hannah should meet up for coffee sometime. But I didn’t. My sisters know that the offer to go shopping or whatever is always there. I replied with a simple thank you and telling her that her text meant a lot.
Last June she texted me “Happy Pride!” and that also meant a lot.
I don’t think these messages mean my sister will see Hannah as a sometimes sister but maybe someday.
11 thoughts on “A Sometimes Sister”
Hannah – I LOVE this top photo of you in the red neglegee and black stockings – very feminine. Debbie / Tampa
Just so you know we appreciate what you do for us.
That was a wonderful gesture from your sister. Hopefully Hannah and your other side thanked her for the acknoedgement. Who knows this could be the spark that lights the fire.
I thank you for your visibility. It has been a tremendous help to me.
So happy transgender day visibility.
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As someone somewhere under the transgender umbrella, do you have the feeling of not being out enough or doing enough? I get that vibe… and those feelings too.
I think – and apologies if this sounds trite – we can only do what we can do. You run this blog, post on Twitter, and help run the group. All things to be proud of, IMO, and maybe you’re more visible than being outside on a particular day of the year.
PS: how kind of your sister to text you with that message.
I feel I am doing too little in almost every aspect of my life, lol. 🙂
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There are times, when you can only do the minimum. Sometimes that’s all you can, given the circumstances you find yourself (safety, money, time, mental health, rights, people, illness, etc).
It was sweet of your sister to acknowledge you and I think your response was perfect. You opened this door into your life some years ago. Perhaps there is reason to hope that some day your sister may choose to interact with Hannah in some manner. i hope so.
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I have a question for you and I don’t know how to get in touch with you. , exxept through this thread.Do you have a particular dress shop that makes it very comfortable to go And try On clothing?I found a lingeree shop that is great but dresses and makeup are questionable. I dont want to be obtrusive but would be concerned as to the comfort level that I would experience in the store.Do you have one that you like particularly well? Any advice?
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There’s a tab right at the top of my website titled ‘Contact’ in case you were looking to contact me directly.
I shop everywhere. Everywhere. Target, thrift stores, the mall, everywhere. Most of the time my adventures are incredibly boring. Sometimes they are filled with amazing and supportive clerks. Rarely do I encounter with someone who is rude. If I do, I leave. Easy as that.
This might be helpful:
Thank you for the advice.I just don’t want to put myself in the situation where i’m embarrassing some clerk in a store for my Little hobby. I feel very comfortable at allure of its, but as far as dresses are concerned. I’m not nearly as brave. I’m an albino and so a lot of people know me after having run a store in downtown Minneapolis for 35. Years. I just thought you might know some secure location that’s TJ friendly more than others.Thanks for your time you do a great job on your blog.I lost almost all my clothes. Leila Wright was storing them for me and when she tragically died I lost thousands of dollars Enclothing dresses lingerie And nightgowns .. It’s been a year and I’m just now starting to come back and get some of my stuff back. Sorry to bother you period Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
I have been following your excellent blog postings for many years now, and I think I have a reasonable understanding of what you are about and what you try to do in your life. I, like you, am in education, well, was in education, for most of my career. I am now, recently, retired, and because of that shift I sometimes look at my ‘productivity’ and have to take stock of what life is about. I don’t do much anymore that is considered ‘productive’ in the academic world and I don’t give a hoot about meeting anyone else’s expectations, or ‘society’s’ expectations about what a person should or should not do, or achieve. My mantra has become ‘Enjoy The Day.’ From what you post, I know that you do a great deal. A full time job, by itself, takes a lot of energy and dedication. A marriage, by itself, takes a lot of the same. As an experienced and thoughtful person I would urge you to cut yourself some slack and enjoy the good things that you do and selectively choose possible other things to develop. You have always sounded, seemed, to me, to be a very good person. Enjoy The Day!
Best to you,
Marissa in Ohio
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The rallies at the capitol on Transgender Day of Visibility were great! Especially as that is also the day that I celebrate as the start of my transition – the day I started HRT. But even without that, the crowd, the vibe, the speakers, the performers, they all created a very uplifting environment for the day. I’m not sure it will be the same next year, as we won’t be coming off the house vote to become a refuge state for trans individuals. But then again, I didn’t think I’d surpass my experience on TDoV last year, and this year did that and more. Put March 31, 2024 on your calendar, with a one week (or more) reminder… 🙂
On the family note, those have been some wonderful gestures by your sister. Having family acknowledge us is huge. I know. Not that long ago I was visiting family, and my sister-in-law was on the phone with one of her friends and mentioned that her sister-in-law was visiting. Hey! That was me! Simple things do mean a lot!
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