Editor’s Note: Sam’s little sister Josie, who is four years younger than him is a budding writer, not to mention one of his fiercest allies. At age 11, she took it upon herself to write the following post so that Transparenthood readers could experience a sibling’s point-of-view firsthand.
“Josie!” I heard my name being called from Sam’s room. I ran down the hall to see what the problem was. “I’m being picked up for basketball, and mom is not here to put my hair in a ponytail! Help!” Sam pleaded. I grew accustom to helping Sam with these things. When it came to hair I was the one taking care of Sam even though I was the little sister. Looking back I really had no idea that I was the only sister. I had no idea that Sam was really a boy. I did think that it was odd that when we went shopping we would split up and go to different clothing departments of the store. I would fantasize about the pretty nail polish when Sam was thinking of men’s cologne. When we went to Target, Sam would look at the men’s deodorant as mom evaluated electric razors, trying to convince Sam to shave her legs. I would always be asking girly questions to which Sam would shake her head and say, “I don’t know.” Hand me downs were usually a let down for me. Mom would clean out Sam’s closet in the spring and give me a bag overflowing with clothes that Sam had outgrown. I would look over all of them but was always disappointed. Inside were always boy shirts that were boy colors and were usually souvenirs from some place that we traveled to as a family or would have some sort of sports team mascot on them. Not exactly what I would consider girl’s fashion.
“Why is your sister wearing boy’s clothes?” Questions from my classmates were the worst part for me, especially when Sam started to transition. After we began to use male pronouns, more and more questions would come about. When I thought that I couldn’t take it anymore I decided to tell my best friend.
“Casey, you know my sister right?” I could feel my heart pound out of my chest. I didn’t know what the reaction would be when I said that Sam was transgender. “Well she’s a boy. Sam is transgender and she is becoming a male.” I closed my eyes and then opened them to a smile. “That’s cool,” she said, and then skipped off to class. When I shared that experience with my mom she first asked how Casey reacted. “She was cool about it,” I said. As soon as the words escaped my mouth I could see a sigh of relief flush over my mother’s face.
I would never learn from my older sister how to do my hair or makeup, especially now that I have a brother and not a sister. The sister that was supposed to teach me girl things and to uncover the secrets of the world for me was never really there to begin with. But we are happy together as a brother and sister and I feel lucky to have such a good role model no matter what gender he is.