My Sister Became My Brother 30 Years Ago

when i was 14 i was told via a short letter from my sister that she wanted to turn into a man. this was extremely traumatic for me because i was very close to that sister and she was 10 years older than me. this was a very uncommon thing, unheard of at the time. also, i was becoming aware that i also was not fitting in at school (later i realized i am a lesbian) so this made school even rougher as i was stuck trying to explain to my friends what was happening to my sister. i think this was very unfair to us 6 younger siblings since no one even knew what a transgendered person was then. she went ahead with it and i think the results were catastrophic. she looks nothing like a man, the scars are hideous and i heard the testicles fell off after surgery at one point. our family is very screwed up and my sibling went to the same therapist as my parents marriage counsellor! I heard later that he was found to have been a fraud as a doctor, maybe not even a doctor at all.

my sibling was certainly tortured about gender identity, but the idea of changing genders is absurd. you have to continually inject with hormones because your body remains your birth gender no matter how much surgery you have. it wants to change to what your chromosomes say you are (my sibling is not intersex, nothing physically different than a normal woman). what i doubt my sibling told any doctor is how misogynistic my grandfather was, how my father was so disappointed that his first born was not a boy that he could will the farm to. in other words, i can see many reasons created by terrible experiences in our family that drove my sibling to have the surgery. i suspect many others also have causes like this, making the person believe they ought to be the other gender.

i came out as a lesbian about 10 years after he legally became a male, but my family rejected me completely and i am estranged from them to this day. not even my transgender sibling supported me when i came out to him. i believe this is because me and my female partner will never look "normal" to them, i'll always be a freak they'll have to explain to the grandkids. they're catholic and so they believe i'm the immoral one, not my oldest sibling. he's not a freak to them because when he married a woman, it looked normal - a man and a woman. all my 6 siblings and parents attended the transgendered wedding and my sibling got everything he ever wanted - now he is the most favored, oldest son and has ultimate power in the family and is totally respected and accepted. when i married my longtime girfriend, no one from my family showed up and my mother told them all to boycott the wedding.

i know how unpopular an opinion this is, and i know i would be accused of a double standard, but transgendered surgery and being gay are NOT at all the same thing. i think having irreversible surgery because you wish you were the other gender is not the answer. the answer is for society to stop expecting everyone to conform to gender stereotypes. after 30 years of having to think about this, i strongly believe that few if anyone would risk their lives having these operations if society could accept people as they are. that means accepting "effeminate" men and "masculine" women. but that is still too difficult for our society to do; those who do not look and act in accordance with beer ad standards of appearance and behavior are mercilessly humiliated, so no wonder people eventually think, well, it would be easier to become the other gender. i do not believe it is fair or accurate to lump the transgendered with gay people. being gay is a behavior, it's about who you love. to "transition" to the opposite sex one has to first live as the target gender for a year. absurdly, no one seems to have noticed that this actually consists of living by the most extreme gender stereotypes possible. the test you have to "pass" is in the eyes of a fallible doctor, who is really doing nothing more than judging how closely you conform to our society's current gender stereotypes. they don't put it that way, of course, but i can't imagine a male wishing to become female would be allowed the full surgery if he lived that test year looking like me, a dyke who doesn't fit the female stereotypes at all. so, i wouldn't pass the test for femaleness and i AM a woman and happy to be a woman!

the doctor who pioneered these surgeries did not have any background in gender studies because that didn't exist then. they simply had the medical knowledge to do the surgeries and many people in pain and apparently wanting the procedure, so away they went. now, they are common of course and the public has been convinced to accept this is a normal part of medicine even though there have been no follow up studies, long or short term. many people regret the surgery, but no one hears back from them because they are really in a mess when they have regrets because they can't really go back 100%. many commit suicide, and others just hide out of shame. the fifth estate (cbc documentary in canada) did a story on this years ago. one person who was brave enough to talk on camera said, "they never should have let me have the mtf surgery. if you have a person who says they're jesus christ and want to be crucified, you don't crucify them. you help them. they should have helped me figure out why i thought i was a female when i actually am a male." he went back to being a male, but of course, his genitals are nothing like what he was born with. it's heartbreaking.

i think there are especially many lesbians who are told they are too dykey and they are not accepted as women even though they ARE women, they just don't conform to what people see on tv. i know a number of lesbians who had the surgery instead of spending their lives being humiliated for being gay. apparently it's easier to have radical, irreversible surgery rather than be accepted as a lesbian - unless you are a "lipstick lesbian". lesbians are never portrayed accurately in the media unless they want to ridicule us.

so, i think the movement towards more transgendered surgeries is a step in the exact wrong direction. and their goals and the steps toward their goals are exactly opposite to a gay person's struggle for acceptance because they are in effect reinforcing gender stereotypes whereas gay people are trying to do away with gender stereotypes. we want freedom in who we love, how we act, how we dress, etc. i hate being put in the same category because it represents a total misunderstanding.

i love my sibling. i miss the kind happier sister i used to have, but i accept the choice he made (i went to his wedding; he didn't come to mine). i wish he could accept who i am. my personal opinion is that he made a terrible mistake, but it is his life, not mine. he seems so unhappy and bitter with his life after the surgery. even though he has a lovely wife and two children by AI, he seems angry all the time. i think it is because he knows he can never really be a man, his penis does not function, all the surgery in the world couldn't make his children biologically his, nor make him taller than his 5 feet and very petite. i personally think he is really a lesbian because he made the decision to become a male when he fell in love with a woman.

that's my opinion, based on my life experience of 30 years. i wish people would try to solve their pain without medicalizing everything with drugs and surgery. i wish everyone would be accepted as they really are. i wish everyone peace.
typetome typetome
46-50, F
Jul 15, 2010