So I had just had a birthday and treated myself to getting a manicure with some cute, pink polish. My brother was taking me out to a steak dinner as well. I had recently brought up various political topics with my friends and family to test the waters a bit. So far the responses have been exceedingly mild towards transgender issues and the topic doesn't hold a conversation for long. That changed during our dinner though.
My brother had seen my bag (messenger bag that I am using as a purse), my pink nails, and that my hair is growing. He jokingly said something like "Is that why you asked about transgender issues?" I took it as a joke and didn't respond. He asked about each and I told him the obvious and real reasons. I can carry more in a bag. I liked the color and wanted to feel pretty. I am growing my hair because I want to. That was it for a while. Eventually I worked up the courage to ask him if he would be alright keeping a secret. Not forever but for as long as needed. He said if it didn't affect him then he probably didn't need to know. I agreed that it didn't have a direct effect on him and that eventually it would be out in the open.
After a while he must have seen that I wanted to confide in him and asked me what the secret was. I have a rule for myself that I will answer a direct question as truthfully as I can. This helped me get the last bit of courage I needed to tell him the news.
The conversation could have gone better. I didn't make it clear initially that I was coming out. I said something like "So, about those issues we discussed and your comment on my nails, the answer is yes." Eventually I got it across that I had been on HRT for a few months and was going to the doctor in a couple weeks.
Understandably, my brother had a lot of questions. One of the first ones was about bottom surgery though. I was a bit annoyed by that. There is more to women than vaginas. He asked if there were any chest developments. I do have a little to show but nothing that would make anybody suspicious. Again, not really something that my brother needs to know, but I understand he is curious. It is still cold enough for sweatshirts though so I can still hide it under baggy clothes. He asked about various other things and overall I was comfortable talking about it. He said he didn't get it and I expected that because most people are not going through this in their life. He also said as long as I am happy he's fine with it. That is really all that matters to me. He said I could talk to him but might not be the best for it. I don't know that I will need to discuss it much with him really. He did say that unless I presented like a girl, which in his case meant stereotypical feminine, that he would not change any pronouns for me. I understand kind of where he is coming from but I told him that it will change whether I present female or not. Not all women wear skirts and dresses and they still get the proper pronouns. It's just a matter of respect. I am ok with him using the old ones for now because I am not out in the open yet and it might out me before I am ready. I can be reasonably sure that I will be presenting part time before I go full time but I hope he doesn't shift pronouns just because of the clothes I wear that day. Really it is as big a change for him as me to change pronouns.
Even though it went as well as can be expected I can learn from this. For example, I don't think I got the point across that I would like to be seen as a woman even if visually I don't look like a traditional woman. I also need to be more assertive. This time I didn't need to be but I need to make sure that when I tell someone I am showing that I am confident and the conviction I have that this is what I want. I don't have all the answers obviously and I am sure that will lead to someone trying to convince me I am just mentally ill or whatever else they can try to use to get in my head. I also need to try to come up with a better way of explaining why it seems like I suddenly made this decision. My brother said that it was all very unexpected. He later said that it kind of made sense. I am sure that over the years there has been behavior that others just wrote off as quirks but when all added together give a different image. So far the best I can do to explain it is that I had these thoughts for many years and always pushed them down. Eventually I found I was still having them and I can do something about it instead of making myself miserable.
For now I am glad that I told someone and that I don't feel like I am hiding myself. I am likely going to get my mother sometime soon and break the news to her. Same for my cousin that I am close with. I am just glad that my first confidant is my brother and that he didn't freak out on me. I am sure it will be awkward but really gender isn't the most important part of our relationship and I am still pretty much the same as before with a few exceptions.