My Hometown Doesn't Recognize Me As The "Sister," Rather I Am Now A "Brother"
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My Hometown Doesn't Recognize Me As The "Sister," Rather I Am Now A "Brother"

Now when I get asked why I look familiar, I roll with it and pretend to be Erin's brother, because it's much simpler than stating I'm nonbinary transgender queer to individuals that have not seen me in years.

My Hometown Doesn't Recognize Me As The "Sister," Rather I Am Now A "Brother"
Ragsdale Softball 2011

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