Transgender sibling

Recently, one of my siblings came out as transgender. I accept them and I’m not angry or anything like that, but it is going to take a while until I’m used to the reality of seeing a sister instead of a brother. I know the best thing to do would be to ask them how they would like to be referred to, in terms of pronouns and if I should actually call them my sister instead of my brother. How would I go about doing that? I wouldn’t say I was ever really close to them, we grew up apart, but I still care about them.
Could someone point me in the right direction of or offer advice about when someone who comes out as transgender as an adult? Whenever I’ve tried to search for resources about how families “deal with” (for lack of a better term) when their relative comes out, it’s always been about young children coming out to their parents.
Thanks for taking the time to read this :slightly_smiling_face:


Sounds like you and your sister need to sit down and just have a heart to heart. Whether in person or over the phone. I imagine as a transgender from male to female that they probably would appreciate being referred to as the preferred gender. But only your sister can tell you that. So just approach them kindly and let them know that you want them to be happy and want to respect them, and ask how you can best be a support for them. What they’d prefer to go by as far as a name and what pronouns to use. Offering even just this is often a huge step.

Love your sister as they are and for who they are. That’s generally what most people want.

A talk would be good. (:

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Thank you for seeking advice here - I can tell you really care and want to keep your relationship with your sibling healthy and that’s awesome!

If she is coming out as a trans female, I believe it would be best for you to do whatever you can to mentally accept that you have a sister now. When you talk about her, use “she/her” pronouns, call her sis when she’s around (only if you’re comfortable with that, of course), ask her if she has a name she would prefer to be called if it’s different than her birth-given name and refer to her with that name. Another thing I think might be helpful is if you’re talking about her to family members, use those pronouns and that name if she has one, so as to solidify it both within the family and within your own mind.

I hope this helps :slight_smile:

  • Sunny

Thank you for your advice! :smiley:
I feel like this will definitely help :slight_smile:

It will be all good
were just humans with different necessities and different ways for us to shine
your lucky you have a sister that will help you and support you in hard times.

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So the main thing you can do here, is whether its behind his back or to his face is treat him with respect. The worst thing you can do is drag on a little mistake. If you use the incorrect pronouns rather than saying “im a bad sibling sorry for messing up” say “oh sorry, he” and then go on. The fact that you are approaching a community like this shows that you care and that is incredibly bold and something I hope to offer someone else one day. I have a trans sibling myself so this is an experience I am very familiar in that is dear to me.
The biggest thing is actually the little things. Using the name that they chose rather than their birth name (often referred to as dead name) and showing effort to breaking habits.
You’re gonna mess up, you’re gonna use the wrong pronouns, you’re gonna use the wrong name. It’s ok to mess up but by fixating on that you’re only making that person feel worse. Just a simple “i meant he, my bad” or something like those lines and then going on after that.

If you have any other questions I will happily answer them!

EDIT: Someone who is Transmale was born in the Female body but is Male and uses He/Him/His pronouns.
Someone who is Transfemale(aka Transfem) was born in the Male body but is Female and uses She/Her/Hers pronouns.

It’s important to step out of your comfort zone, don’t ask about the surgeries, don’t ask about the Testosterone or Estrogen injections. That can cause dysphoria and it’s generally sort of a taboo subject to talk about unless mentioned.

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Look up Julia Kaye and her Up and Out comic. The comic is about her transition into a female and all her struggles, it may help you understand your sister better. The best thing you can do is just be supportive. Call them by their pronouns and their chosen name. Respect them as they are and help them when they need you

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TheMouse how did all of it end up going? How are things with your sibling?


Hello! Thank you for asking. Still getting used to the idea of having a sister, but I did communicate with her over text as to how she would like to be referred to in terms of pronouns and names. As I had mentioned in my original post, we aren’t really close, but having that conversation did help to clarify things. I actually sent her a text with a joke in it recently; a play on words with the word “trans”. She seemed to find it amusing :slight_smile:

Thanks for posting a reply to my post; welcome to the HeartSupport community!

This is one of the most unknown and highly controversial things in modern life at the moment. Like most others, I have my own views and feelings about it, which may be true and valid, or may be false and invalid, or a mixture of both (as is usually the case);

However, my head-heart-spiritual response is as follows:

  1. Call them by the name you know them by from a child;

  2. Call them your brother, because they still are to you, and they need to both understand and accept that;

  3. Apologise that it may sound like a repeated comment and cliche to them right now, but tell them how you feel about it right now;

  4. Ask for enough time to get your head around it, however long that may take;

  5. Ask for them to forgive you;

  6. Forgive them and or tell them you are doing your best to forgive them for anything they might have said or done in the past that has upset or confused you);

  7. See how it goes from there!