I called my sister on her birthday.
I couldn't not tell her. It wouldn't be a good phone call catching up with my sis about our lives if I couldn't tell her the single most significant thing going on in mine.
So after the usual pleasantries, I came out to her. As non-binary, which I guess wasn't quite correct, but I was still figuring things out.
My sister certainly knows people of all kinds of gender identities, and she was really supportive and happy that I told her. But when it came to understanding her own little sibling, I don't think I gave her a lot to work with at first.
It's not like there were a lot of signs from when I was a kid, at least none that were easily distinguished from me just being a weird kid who idolized my big sister.
(I wonder if she noticed the time I borrowed her leg razor.)
I don't remember exactly how the conversation went, but my explanation of my genderqueerness relied a lot on gender essentialism at the time. So she was supportive but with an undertone of "okay but hold on" that I think was justified.
Anyway, in this phone conversation, she gave me encouragement and asked me to keep her updated. And she left me with a really cool recommendation: the Boston Gender-Free Contra Dance that she'd heard about.
My heart was pounding after that phone call. Telling a family member made it extremely real, more than just telling a few friends and walking around in a skirt.
It was also clearer than ever that I needed a name.