Growing Up With Charli
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Growing Up With Charli

You changed my perspective on life. Thank you.

Growing Up With Charli

To Charli,

Growing up with you was an adventure. We had two different moms and the same dad, which meant only seeing each other every other weekend. We never let that stop us, though; every chance we got during the summer we spent the time together. We fought, we cried, we laughed, we got in loads of trouble. We did everything together.

I've known you for 16 years now, but it was when I became aware of what sexuality was that I truly knew you. I didn't know that your life choices could impact me as much as they did. But I can honestly say the perspective you have granted me has led me to a positive life, and for that, I thank you.

The first sense of knowing I had was when we played. You were always the Dad or the dog when we played house. You only played Barbies with me if your action figures or superheroes could be my boyfriend, and at the end of the day you would've rather played video games. I knew.

I started to figure it out a little more when you got old enough to pick out your own clothes. You hated pink. I got all your girly clothes that Grandma gave you, including that hideous sweater. And one-piece bathing suits just didn't cut it anymore. Basketball shorts were your thing. I knew.

It was the year you stopped coming around that it actually hit me. I thought about it every day: The pain you went through, the loneliness, the confusion and frustration. It hurt me to know my baby sister was finding herself and I couldn't help. But it was something you had to do alone. I replay all the stories in my head that you told me about that dreadful year, and then I look at you now and applaud you. You knew, you knew it was time.

I believe in the term "coming out" because you did, you came out a new person. I always explained to people that when I first met you wasn't 16 years ago. It was in the fall of 2014 at a Chili's on Preston Highway that we met. You were still the same Charli I knew, except happier and with a boatload of confidence. My life changed. We both knew.

Your journey has taught me many things about myself and about life in general. You have taught me to always stand up for what I believe in, to go against the odds, and, most of all, you have taught me to be myself and own it. You're my inspiration, my motivation to be a better me, my big-little sister who I look up to.

No one wants their child to be LGBT––that's not the goal of an average human. Never did your mom, Dad, or I wish this upon you. We will never understand the struggle you went through, but we support you and all you do. We are so proud of you for being yourself and owning your sexuality and, I must say, you rock it. I say this on behalf of all of our family: thank you for letting us be a part of this journey. It has changed us all for the better.

All my love,


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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