Today Harris has been very busy with writing a paper so I offered to write his blog post for him and give a bit of family perspective. I am Harris’ little sister, Sarah. Here’s a little bit about me: I’m 19 years old, I am a sophomore at the University of West Georgia, and I plan on finishing the process of getting my major in ecology at the University of Georgia after this year.
Today, a little bit of celebration is in order. One year ago today I was making lasagna roll-ups when Harris got home. We were both sitting on the couch, and suddenly he started crying and said,
“Sarah I have to tell you something.”
I immediately assume someone close to us had passed away, and naturally I panicked. Then he said,
“I want to transition.” I’m just like,
“IS THAT IT!?!?! I thought someone DIED!” And I have fully supported his decision ever since. So today marks one year since Harris came out as transgender to me. And it’s been a year since I last made lasagna roll-ups. Coincidentally, we did eat Italian food for dinner tonight.
How has this impacted me? Not really at all. At first it was difficult to remember to use “Harris” and he/him/his pronouns, but I kind of expected that. Hell, to be honest I think this has brought Harris and me closer together. The hardest part of Harris coming out as transgender has easily been the fear for his safety. Suddenly I wanted to rush the process of the testosterone shots and the top surgery so Harris would more safely blend in with cisgender men. I had already heard of LGBTQ hate crimes. I did a research paper on transgender people and read about the horrors done by people who refuse to even try to understand. I read disheartening statistics about depression and suicide in the trans community. Just a couple of weeks ago I read about the devastating shooting in Orlando and thought, what if that had been Atlanta? What if Harris had been one of those victims? I think people would understand better if they had seen my mother crying for the victims of the Orlando shooting, asking herself the same questions. If I were in his shoes I would be so angry and bitter with the world, but here he is happy and finally living life as his authentic self.
So how is it being the cisgender sister of a transgender man? Terrifying. And a wonderful experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.
We are still short on funds to cover the expenses of Harris’ top surgery, and if you would like to make a contribution the link is included below. Please remember that as little as $10 or $15 adds up quickly, and of course all donations are incredibly appreciated.