Happy Birthday Matthew
You’re 28! It's hard to believe either of us are in our “mid to late 20’s” but here we are. I am so proud to call you my brother but I never tell you how much I appreciate you. Any sister, no matter their gender identity, would be blessed to have you as their sibling. I feel so lucky to know that I can count on you no matter what, that you’ll always have my back, and that you love me unconditionally.
Although we’ve had our brotherly differences, our relationship as brother and sister is unparalleled. When I was 15 and you were 18 I told you I was transgender. Beforehand, I knew you were frustrated because no one was telling you what was going on with me. You thought I was gay and hiding it from you, how could you of known I was going to say otherwise? The weight lifted from both of our shoulders was apparent, but to be honest with you I don’t really remember the conversation or much after it...or much at all during that time of my life. Next time I see you I hope you’ll share with me how you remember it from your side… regardless, the important thing is that our relationship became stronger. Accepting my true gender identity, especially before the discussion of transgenderism in mainstream media, is incredible, and it shows your kind disposition. How many transwomen can say that their older brother visited them in the hospital after gender affirmation surgery and was giving them kisses all over their face? Not many, but I hope that will change in the years to come.
You are the prime example of what it means to be a good brother. You have always protected me, but the minute I became your sister, you became the over protective brother every girl should have. Not once have you ever made me uncomfortable about my transition or made me feel bad in any way about being transgender. Not even in the worst of our sibling rivalry have you used my identity against me. Our relationship could be the exact opposite very easily. You could have rejected my coming out to you, you could have shunned me, bullied me, had your friends gang up on me, never talk to me, or never tell me you love me. Instead, you treat me like the sister you always should have had. You would take me to lunch when I lived in New York and now that I’m in LA you call to catch up. You ask me questions about my life other than how I am, and you make an effort in us staying close as we grow up and become real adults.
I thank and love you for always taking me seriously (most of the time...okay half the time...), for playing Barbies with me (even though you’d color on them and chop off their hair and limps), for coming into my room and always obnoxiously waking me up from a glorious nap, for wanting to open up with me, for being excited to introduce new people in your life to me, for apologizing when you’re wrong, for being patient with me (which is probably the hardest thing for you to do), for trying to teach me how to play video games, and for attempting to read me Harry Potter even though I fell asleep during Chapter One each time you tried.
I love you so much and I can’t wait to see where the rest of our lives go. Here’s to you, for being the best brother I could have ever asked for. Happy Birthday !!!
Written by Corey Rae