Siblings and Self-Awareness

The New York Times Magazine has a new article out, When Brother Becomes Sister. Though it is ‘positive,’ as far as its exploration of what it means to be in relationship with a person who comes out as trans, I find myself ambivalent about the piece. And perhaps that is fair, as the writer’s experience is (still) ambivalent, as many folks’ are, in a similar situation.

I am sorta amused by the use of reference to a travel guide book as the parallel ‘story’ in the narrative. It’s classic NYT style, and fine prose… but just so very odd. The book is Jan Morris’s “Venice,” who is transsexual, so that part as parallel makes sense. But the use of actual bits o the travel writing in the current story felt very off to me, like they were mostly about taking up space. A writer certainly has a number of words to fill in any particular assignment.

I also wish that the author had at some point, when seeing her own response to her sibling would be that s/he “be content to stay semi-in-the-closet so he could keep his job teaching music at a Catholic school”.  The lack of self-awareness in some of these statements honestly surprises me, as does the lack of questioning of the school or the mere fact that her sibling would have to be someone other than who she was in order to keep her job.

On the other hand, the ending of the piece is sweet in the author’s interest in “competing” with her sister in terms of makeup and such.

My sister doesn’t talk to me, so I think a little competition sounds nice.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or create a trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Siblings and Self-Awareness”

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>