I actually sat here and wrote two different posts about two different things before I decided to share what was really on my heart.

Growing up with my brother, I always had a best friend. I have five older brothers but “Tay” is the only one I actually grew up with. We are three years apart and I honestly could not see myself going through life without him by my side. He knows absolutely everything about me and I know absolutely everything about him. He didn’t start keeping things from me until recently. 

He was barely 16-years-old when he told me he thought he was homosexual. My initial reaction: I cried. Our family is very religious and my first thought was, “I don’t want my brother to go to hell.”  

It has been quite a few years since then. I love my brother for who he is and vowed to always be there for him no matter what. Other family members turned their backs on him, talked about him, and completely shut him out of their lives. He had experienced pain I would not wish on anyone. He’s had sleepless nights and has felt so alone. But he knew he could always call on me. 

But recently, things seemed different. I would call, no answer. He was always out of town. I honestly didn’t know what to think.

I then received a friend request on Facebook from a lady who looked familiar but I didn’t know the name. When I scrolled through the pictures, I realized this person was my brother. My initial reaction: I cried. Not because he had chosen to become a woman, but because I felt like I had lost my brother.

I sat and just reminisced on us growing up together and all the crazy things we did as children and how great friends we had become as we got older. There was no bond like ours. I was afraid that I would lose all of that. How could I accept that I would not longer have him….as him?

When we finally spoke and he explained everything he had been feeling and the reason for his decision, I was able to understand his feelings. But I also wanted him to understand my feelings. Was that selfish of me? I was feeling as though he didn’t think about anyone else but himself when he made this decision and I felt it wasn’t fair. I was thinking like a five-year-old who had their favorite toy shredded and was given a replacement toy that was no longer the same. I can admit, I used a whole day to be angry and selfish. I wanted my little brother back. 

The next day, we talked again. I could tell he was happy. Happier than he had been before. And it all made sense to me. He deserved it. He deserved to be happy and to live a life he was proud of. He had felt limited to what others thought and what they felt about him for so long and he had finally made up his mind to live his life the way he wanted to live it; carefree and comfortable with who he was. I would not dare to stand in the way of that. I had to be who I always promised him I would be for him; no matter. 

I love my brother. I will always love my brother. And he will always be my brother. Things are different, he is different, but my love for him will forever remain the same. Of course, it will take time for me to be completely comfortable with his decision, but I will never stop supporting him and I will never stop protecting him. 

Kristie McCollum

Kristie is a mom of 2 beautiful kiddos, a full time student, blogger, health coach, and lover of life! She loves all things pink and sparkly, decorating her planners, and spending hours on Pinterest. She enjoys writing, reading, traveling, and spending quality time with her family. She currently resides outside of Raleigh, North Carolina.