I Had “The Conversation” With My Brother…

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    • #140647
      DeeAnn Hopings

      Previously I mentioned that I had not had The Conversation with my brother. He tends to be a bit excited about things sometimes (remember Johnny Carson talking about his agent, Bombastic Bushkin?) and that can make it difficult to understand what his thinking is. Also, after many years of doing barely legal and often downright illegal things for many years, he discovered religion about 10 years ago. Anyway, for those two reasons I was not clear about how things would go. As I said, we were going up to the Laguna Seca road course (aka WeatherTech Raceway) for the last IndyCar race of the season and that would lend itself to quite a bit of 1/1 time.

      I live in Cathedral City and did the ~2 hour drive to pick him up at the airport in San Diego last Wednesday. After spending the night at my house, we drove up to Monterey on Thursday and went to Laguna Seca race course on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

      I decided to talk to my brother on the drive up to Monterey. What I said was:

      ”There is something that I need to tell you. Don’t worry. There is no medical emergency going on. What I need to tell you is that I am a transgender person.”.

      There was a pause and then he said: “I know.”.

      I didn’t ask, but I suspect he saw an E-mail or two that went out from DeeAnn’s account rather than from Don’s. On occasion I didn’t pay attention to which account I was in and a few messages went out from DeeAnn’s account that should have been from Don’s. I didn’t feel the need to ask as it wasn’t important.

      Anyway, we had a very relaxed conversation for the better part of a half hour. Ultimately my brother said that he was glad for me and that I seemed happier compared to how I used to be. Over the course of the weekend we had another two or three brief conversations. As he thought of more specific topics, he would ask and that initiated those shorter conversations.

      So, on the last day before he went back to Ohio, we went to the Palm Springs Air Museum. As DeeAnn is a docent there, I dressed in our “uniform” which is a white baseball cap with the Museum logo on it, white sneakers, khaki bottom (skort for me this time, but also includes skirts, shorts or pants) and a white polo shirt with the Museum logo and my name tag. For the last few weeks I have been wearing a white shell as I’m waiting on a new shipment of polo shirts. I ruined my previous one as it has a stain that I cannot remove. Anyway, the look was complete with makeup, jewelry and breast forms.

      Anyway, no issues as I had mentioned that I would dress when we went to the Museum. My brother even told me that I looked nice.

      I took him back to San Diego last night and he is back home in good shape.

      I often attend motorsports events my myself, so it is always an unexpected treat when someone goes with me. We both had a very good time and will likely do it again as time and finances allow. While I am retired, my brother is still working and is 16 years younger.

      The Moral To The Story?

      I think it is always a good thing when we tell our Truth. To me, two things happen:

      1. We no longer have to be concerned with worrying about what was said and to whom. As my grandmother used to put it: “Lies have short legs.”.
      2. We know where the other person stands; Ally or Enemy.

      As always, the energy that we invest in keeping secrets can be put to much better purposes.

    • #140649

      I’m glad the conversations went so well.   Also, think it’s true.  Telling the truth simplifies life in so many ways.

    • #140670
      Lauren Mugnaia

      Hi DeeAnn,

      So happy for you, it is so freeing when there are no secrets!

      All of my family and friends know that I am transgender and have transitioned, and now I’m in the process of letting everyone know that I am also an intersex female.
      That has had an interesting effect on many people. There was always an attitude from some of them where they felt I had chosen to be transgender. Now they know I was literally born this way and they seem to have softened their objections.


      Ms Lauren M

      • #140671
        DeeAnn Hopings

        The problem is that people continue to hold the belief that we “become”. That has NEVER been true. We “are” and have always been. There is No Choice.

    • #140712
      Michelle Lawson

      You know, I suspect more of our ‘that conversations’ would turn out that way. But there is only one way to find out. While the ‘fear factor’ can run the gambit based on our family dynamics, I hope the bad reactions are always the outliers…. Hugs, Michelle

      • #140715
        DeeAnn Hopings

        My late Uncle Sam liked to play poker with a group of his contemporaries. He would always say:

        You Have To Pay To See George.

        It was his way of saying that you had to Call to see the other guy’s cards. In this context, in order to understand what the situation really is, the only thing that you can do is convey your truth in order to understand how the other person really feels. From what I’ve seen here and in other places is that people often do not prepare for what they are going to do. They don’t think about what they are going to say and how they are going to say it. They have no documented information upon which to draw. They may as well be just twisting in the wind. It is not unlike taking a test in school. The better that you are prepared, the less stress, anxiety and fear there is.

        My hope for this forum is to give people some tools and things to think about BEFORE they just blurt something out. I suspect that is almost always a one-way conversation that is EXTREMELY difficult to reverse.

    • #140717
      Charlene K

      DeeAnn, thank you for sharing. Every story like this shared by the women on this site bolsters my confidence that my own “conversations” when they take place may not turn out near as negative as I currently imagine. And that increases hope that maybe, just maybe I can be Charlene, out and authentically, with the support and love from those whom at this moment it seems so improbable.

      • #140731
        DeeAnn Hopings

        Two things stand out for me:

        • Think about the person that you will be talking to and about how to approach them so that you can be heard.
        • Preparation!

        When you do initiate the conversation, let us know here what you thought, how you prepared, what you did and how it went. What I would like to do is build a bit of a knowledge base here. As you know, you won’t be the first and you certainly won’t be the last!

        Altogether, this was about my 10th or 11th time. In all cases the words were pretty much the same and my delivery was just putting out a simple statement without any odd vocal tones or hesitation. We should know that this is serious business. Anything that we might do to upset that mood is not helpful and may allow someone to think that this is BS or a “phase” or tapping into something that seems to be trendy, when in fact it is None Of The Above.

    • #140758

      Glad it went so well for you DeeAnn.  Now you will be able to do things, go places as DeeAnn  with your brother.  I’ll bet you wish you had told him years ago now seeing how well he has taken everything.

      We all get to where we are at from different directions.  For me after my EX fund out my ‘secret’ she told our 3 grown kids then threatened to tell my 4 brothers.  I ended up telling them myself, then since I was out to all important people in my life I went fast into starting transitioning.

      Today I am so glad I told them, 3 of them either don’t care or are supportive.  The 4th doesn’t want to see or talk about Cassie.


      • #140763
        DeeAnn Hopings

        We already have been out together. Just before he flew back to Ohio, we visited the Palm Springs Air Museum. I am a docent there and I dressed as I normally would for being on duty. Afterwards, we went to lunch.

        We don’t see each other that often. Such is the distance between Ohio and California. The previous time was 2018 when I was in Toledo.

        The important thing for me was doing this in person. Since that is fairly infrequent, it is was it is. With the exception of my daughter and son, all of the coming out discussions I’ve had have been in person. My kids and I have not lived in the same state for over 20 years. Those discussions were done by individual phone calls. Flying to Chicago and Atlanta from New York State wasn’t an option.

        For all of the people with whom I’ve had The Conversation with over the years, I’m fairly practiced with it by now. For the others that I come in contact with in daily life, either they don’t care or don’t wish to talk about it.  No one has brought it up. The only thing counter to that is 2 people over the last 7 1/2 years trying to tell me that I was entering the women’s rest room. My response was simply: “I Know.”.

        There’s another part to this that some may not realize. I saw some survey data a few years ago that said well over 60% of the general populace knew someone who was gay or lesbian, but that number was only about 30% for trans people. It becomes very easy to demonize people that you don’t now and don’t have contact with.

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