Dear Annie: A few years ago, my brother announced that he should have been born a female. He started counseling and three years ago legally changed his first name and began living as a woman. This devastated my parents and two of my siblings, and they have disowned him.
I have not seen my brother since then. Our youngest sibling, “Paul,” embraced the change and kept in touch with him. Paul is getting married soon and wants a family wedding, complete with his sister “Jane.” My parents are devastated all over again. They refuse to attend the wedding if Jane is there. Jane has no desire to be in the lives of our family at all, except for our youngest sibling.
Any suggestions on how to deal with this? – Feeling Overwhelmed in Smalltown, USA
Dear Overwhelmed: Paul gets to invite whomever he chooses, and your parents and siblings get to decide whether or not to attend. We hope everyone will show up, not only to be supportive of Paul on his big day, but also to reconnect, even from a distance, with Jane. It always makes us sad when relatives reject a child because of his or her sexual orientation. We urge you (and, hopefully, your parents and other siblings) to check out PFLAG ( pflag.org) for information on transgendered individuals. Jane undoubtedly would be grateful for your support.
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