Deep down, I have always known my brother is gay. But knowing it and accepting it are two completely different things. I was officially told by a friend of my brothers when I was in Grade 10. I think after that I was still in denial. In my first and second years at varsity I was still in denial. It was not until I became friends with someone in my 4th year at varsity that I finally opened my eyes and accepted it.

I have always had an open mind about homosexuality and have had nothing against it. My brother is two years older than me and we are very close; yet when I turned 25 years old we had still never spoken about his sexuality. I never really saw the point. He knew that I knew and that I was okay with it and to me, that was enough and nothing else needed to be said. It was only long after I accepted it that we finally spoke about it.

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One night about a year and a half ago, I was out with my friends at a ladies evening. Someone I had just met was talking to me about her good friend being gay and how she had just found out. I cannot really remember the details of the conversation but at that moment, I picked up my cellphone and I smsed my brother and told him that I knew he was gay and that I was happy about it.  I know smsing was not ideal, but at least it was the first step. My brother got the shock of his life and tried to phone me a few times. He even tried to phone my boyfriend who wasn’t with me at the time, just to check that someone had not stolen my phone. I smsed him back and told him I couldn’t talk as I was in a noisy place, but to be honest I don’t think I could of handled speaking to him then. When he knew that I was okay; he smsed me back to let me know that he felt very relieved and happy, that he needed to tell our other family members and that he would do it soon.

After that I felt so much better about it all and it was a great feeling. I cannot imagine the kind of feelings my brother was experiencing. When I saw him after that in person, we actually spoke about it and he started telling me about his past boyfriends. It really was an awesome feeling. I could finally speak to my brother openly and honestly about it, not having to pretend it wasn’t there when it always was.

I’m sure growing up and not being able to express who you truly are in front of your family members is unimaginable until you have experienced it. I am sure there are a lot of homosexual people out there who would rather die than tell their parents or family members the truth, a lot of people who will live the rest of their lives in denial, only to please their parents. Many people will grow old, never having lived the life the way they wanted to. It saddens me that we still live in a world where homosexuality is condemned in so many countries; where homesexual people are never really accepted (even though people may think they are, they are still very judgemental). I can say that as a sister of a gay brother, finally talking to my brother about his sexuality was a huge sigh of relief. I now realise that merely knowing and accepting it was definitely not enough. We needed to talk about it and we did.

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