Sunday, November 21, 2010

An Email

For a few weeks now I've been saying that I absolutely must open communication with my brother by some means.  Shortly after those early mentions I wrote an email that came out to be fairly lengthy.  I opened by mentioning how hard it was to tell him in particular because the importance of his opinion and because I hate to worry him.  From there I gave a description of what it means to be transexual, a brief history of my lifelong issues, and a rundown of my current situation.  The huge steps coming in the near future were also discussed in short.  I closed with the most important part;  that whether he approves or understands, I hope that our relationship will not be damaged.

I read the letter over, occasionally making small changes, over the past few weeks.  No matter what though, it always felt blunt and jarring.  So I never sent it.  That is until last Wednesday.  The holidays are fast approaching, everyone in the county knows yet my own brother does not.  Something had to be done.  I reread the letter a few more times that evening and made a few small adjustments.  I realized at this point that no matter how you say it, there is no way to comfortably tell a very close friend and relative that you are transexual.  I could text, I could call, write a shorter email, a longer email.  In the end, emotionally it will be very much the same for the person receiving the communication.  There is no magical way to make it all easier.

My cursor hovered over the Send button for quite a while.  I wasn't scared like I have been sending similar emails over the past few years.  There was just a sense of gravity and anticipation.   He is one of the most important people in my life.  When I clicked Send finally, there was a strong sense of relief and I went to bed happy.  I had finally opened one of the most important lines of communication I ever would.

I.  I was a bit nervous waiting for a response, but not disappointed. I knew it would take some time for him to digest the information, and that the actual response might not be easy to write.    I checked at every opportunity, excited for news, but did not truly expect to hear anything back before the weekend.

Friday when I found his name in my Inbox I smiled.  As I read I just wished I could hug him.  He wrote back a letter every bit as long as what I had sent, and it was very clear that it was just as well thought out.  He told me that he had known something was up with me for a while, but had not known exactly.  The rumors had not found their way to him and Mom and Dad had hardly mentioned it.  He suspects our parents had decided to stay vague to shield him for now.  I find that very likely.  That was one of the reasons I waited to tell him too.  He is just so busy with school and work, and didn't need more to worry about.

He said it was hard to understand, but was trying and it would take time.  He wrote that he intends to be supportive though and that I'll hold no less of a place in his heart, though it is almost like having someone new step into the place reserved for his brother.  He also mentioned that his fiance is very supportive of me, which was great news as well. One of my favorite thing about his letter is that toward the end he was comfortable interjecting a bit of humor.

His response seemed very sincere and caring, and I couldn't have asked for more.  =)


Two Auntees said...


That is wonderful news that your brother will stand by your side. I hope that you can be yourself with your family these holidays. Have a truly Happy Holidays.

Anonymous said...

Just one more anchor removed from your heart...a heavy load lifted...a breath of fresh endorphin releasing event that will keep a smile on your face for some time. I'm so happy he has responded so positively. Keep up the good work young lady...your life as a woman has begun. :)Suzi

Tina said...

I am sooo happy for you honey! This is great news. Hugz! Acceptance is the very best response you could have gotten for sure. In my opinion, the understanding my never come. How can anyone understand the mind of another? Or, the laws of gender for that matter.

I just don't think it could have gone any better for you both. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. :)

Peace, Tina

Syl said...

AWESOME! It just had to work out. I think you'll find he will come around even more in time. He needs space to grieve a bit, my sister did much the same.

Best wishes!!!

Melissa said...

What good news, Shandy! Your brother sounds like a great guy. I hope he gets to meet the real you over the holidays.

Melissa XX

Rebecca said...

What wonderful news Shannon! I'm so happy for you!! This should be an extra special holiday season when you get to see your brother. *Big hug*

Caroline said...

How wonderful that you can be yourself for the holidays at last and forever more.

Caroline xxx

Leslie Ann said...

How exhilarating! The humor is the best sign of his sincerity, as you noted. My brother is still the same with me, lightly teasing me about my issues when in private. That always reminds me that things will be fine with him regardless.

I'm glad you finally hit Send, girlfriend. You're coming down the stretch to full-time, for sure.

Kristina Nicole said...

Well, that is just awesome news Shandy! I truly hope that all continues to be positive with your brother--that would be the best present that you could get this holiday season! Huggz :)

Jerica Truax said...

Yay! I'm so glad he seems supportive. My brother had a similar response.

I mean at first, he kept telling me NOT to do it, etc etc....but when he finally saw the pain I was in, he softened. He said he needed some time and nowadays he calls me by name and meets with me once in a while.

Love him to death

ms.shandy said...

Thanks everyone! I'm so thrilled with his response. I think it is all going to work out just fine. :)

@jerica My brother might would have tried to talk me out of it if he had known earlier on. This late in the process I think it is pretty clear that I'm committed to my course of action, and that my decision is not open to discussion.

@Kristina So true. This is one of the best presents I could have had. I'm feeling very blessed this holiday season in so many ways.

@Leslie Yes, the joking around was really important to me. Very encouraging!

@Caroline Very soon! It is such an amazing feeling.

@Rebecca It might be a little scary meeting him in person now, until I see how he's going to respond to being around me. :)

@Melissa We'll meet for a few days around Christmas. Can hardly wait!

@Syl That sounds right to me. There will be an adjustment process. I'm hoping meeting in person will help rather than hurt the situation.

@Tina Thank ya! Probably right about him never understanding fully. I do think he will probably come to accept my gender fully though, in time. We'll see!

@Suzi I guess my real, less inhibited, truer life really has begun. Just preparing for the grand opening now. LOL!

@Sarah I'll be myself this Holiday season, though fashion wise, I expect I'll end up doing the sort of semi-androgynous things I'm doing now. It's just one more time, and my birthday will be a few days after that. With Christmas over so that I won't be a distraction, I'll be ready to finally fully be myself.