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Sistersister

How to Deal With Childhood Gender Roles and a Transitioning Sibling

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Sistersister

My brother just told me he thinks he may be transgender (he is still using He/Him pronouns). I love my brother more than anyone in the world, he is my best friend, and I'd do anything for him. I consider myself to be very open minded and I absolutely believe in trans rights and supporting and loving trans people. I've known and been friends with trans people over the years and I've never had any problem. But I'm struggling with my brother coming out. We were raised very religiously and with strong gender roles and so the family dynamic growing up was one in which he got to run and play and do anything he wants while my sister and I stayed behind to help clean or learn how to cook. My entire family has since realized the flaws in this system and we've turned away from it but I'm still having trouble. I spent so many years being jealous of how care free he could be, while I had to worry about changing his diapers. Being raised to be a caretaker is intrinsic to my experience as a woman, and how I relate to the other women in my life. How do I get over this and wholeheartedly accept my new sister?

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MaryMary

Teach him how to clean and find him a job as a babysitter. So he will learn and know what it was/is like for you. Meanwhile, sit down and just watch him and laugh :D I used to babysit when I was young and it helped me a lot when it was time to take care of my 2 child

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MaryMary

I changed a lot of diapers, lol oh boy... good memories.

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MaryMary

It’s so special for me reading this because when I was young my mother was a mechanic and my sister a soldier. I was the more feminine one in my family. Woman in my family would never hold a special defining place for care taking in their identity. I understand what you mean tough and think that in that case maybe it’s better to live in the present and to understand she will fit in the big picture of the whole society

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Sistersister
5 hours ago, MaryMary said:

Teach him how to clean and find him a job as a babysitter. So he will learn and know what it was/is like for you. Meanwhile, sit down and just watch him and laugh :D I used to babysit when I was young and it helped me a lot when it was time to take care of my 2 child

 

4 hours ago, MaryMary said:

It’s so special for me reading this because when I was young my mother was a mechanic and my sister a soldier. I was the more feminine one in my family. Woman in my family would never hold a special defining place for care taking in their identity. I understand what you mean tough and think that in that case maybe it’s better to live in the present and to understand she will fit in the big picture of the whole society

Hahaha, that's a good idea. I'm already laughing at the idea. Thank you so much for responding, your advice is really helpful. I think living in the moment will be really important for me, and I'm excited to see how he'll grow into his future role in society. And a big part of me is really excited for him to be able to live more authentically (we have a date set for this week for me to teach him how to put on mascara). But I am still concerned about how I treat him in the future, if he does decide that he is a woman. A big part of our relationship is that I take care of him, part of that is just that I'm older than him but part of it is the gender roles we were raised with. Do I stop taking care of him so much?

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MaryMary

well, that's a question of opinion. I think you should stop, I don't what age he is but if he's old enough he must be able to take care of himself anyway. But, that's just how I see it. I have a sister that's 12 years older then me and she never took care of me beyond the age of 8 or 9. I think all of this does not have to be about gender roles, just what's best and growing up (again IMO). If you still support him and accept him and if you are there for him as a sister, you know, then it will be great. I don't know if he will transition, but if he does then he will need those big sister tips for womanhood, you'll have to show him how it's done and if he put a dress that's ugly (because he'll probably do) then tell him ;)

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