As it has been mentioned in former articles, I moved back home where I was known. Not only was I known, but my last name was known too because I do actually have a brother. So, I may look more masculine, but my face still resembles my former self because I get the typical "you look familiar" comment way too often. It's a good thing and a bad thing, but I have run into several individuals from my past that have asked me something in regards to how they know me. Rather, they have run into me because I work retail at a store that is always busy.
So, when I am confronted with "you look familiar", I merely state myself as Ian Hodges and wait for their reaction. Knowing that my last name may ring a bell because my brother and I were both into sports and have received recognition in our Conference, I was prepared for a follow up question or statement. Thus, I make eye contact and wait for the wheels to turn in their head as Hodges is well known in Greensboro, NC.
Freshman Year - Center Field . Ragsdale High School #15
I hear the response and I am flabbergasted as I have never thought of myself as being a brother until I got asked this question: "do you have a sister named Erin?" Now when I say, I have never had my jaw hit the floor so hard, I am not lying. Sure, my brother may get this question, because he is my brother and I was his sister, but to hear someone ask about me as Erin when I am standing in front of them is wild. Sure, I do not identify as Erin anymore, but I am still the same person in a sense. There is not an Erin, Ian, and my brother because Erin and Ian are the same human. So, asking how Erin was as presenting myself as Ian, I was at a loss for words that cannot correctly be expressed using verbiage.
So, not knowing how to respond, I simply agreed, and we started talking about how she (Erin) was doing. Talking about myself in the third person to someone that has no idea that I was actually Erin is not only confusing, but incorrect and uncomfortable. Some may wonder why I don't just stop the conversation and state, "well, that was actually me, but now I am Ian." The reason being, the generational gap and living in the South.
I have not done this yet, because the individuals that have asked were my former friends' parents. Thus, I do not know how they feel in regards to the LGBTQ+ community due to the generational gap. If they were just my former friends, I would have no problem and have stated who I was when asked why I looked familiar. However, I do not feel like it is my job to educate individuals about who I am or how I identify when I have not seen them in years. I may have enlightened them and opened up about myself if the conversation persisted. However, knowing it is just simple conversation while I'm working, I prefer to keep my private life to myself.
In conclusion, I do not have a sister named Erin because Erin still exists in my hometown. But it is awesome to be recognized as a "brother" in some sort because I never thought of myself as such. It is different lingo and hard to grasp, but it's a change and change takes time.
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