Sister, Cis-ter: A Sibling’s Syllabus for Trans Understanding

Bluestockings Magazine


My sister and I sat on her bed in Baton Rouge a week and a half ago having a relationship-changing conversation. No, I wasn’t coming out to her; I did that last year.

She said something that socked me in the gut, something that I as a trans activist, and hell, as a sibling had completely overlooked, “There’s a huge difference between lending your brother women’s clothes and accepting that you have a sister.”

She’s been nothing less than fantastic about changing my pronouns from he/him/brother, which she’d been saying since our mother’s ultrasound, to both they/them/sibling and she/her/sister in the course of a year, so I assumed that she knew everything she needed to know about my transition. The biggest part of my assumption was that she, mathematically, knew more about everything than I did.

She’s nine years older than I am, queer-identified, and poly, so she…

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