The last time I wrote about Hannah on this blog, it was because she had been pestering me non-stop to write about her. I'm proud to say that in the banner year of 2015, this remains to be the case. But, to be fair, I flat-out wouldn't write a blog about Hannah if I didn't think I had something interesting or meaningful to say. Hopefully, someone other than the Delsohn family finds my thoughts on Hannah interesting or meaningful.
In the aforementioned Hannah post from several years prior, I focused largely on Hannah and mine's differences: aka, the easy stuff. For those just tuning in, Hannah is a tall, feminine loudmouth with lots of friends and a painfully relevant wardrobe, while I am a tiny, masculine-ish introvert who thinks the "Man of Your Dreams" t-shirt I found at the thrift store really is a hoot. In a sense, Hannah and I still stand as polar opposites, no matter how queer either of us tend; but over the years, it would seem that our similarities have grown, as our differences keep receding into their respective closets.
Growing up, Hannah and I used to have what I can only refer to as "mean contests." In our mean contests, Hannah and I would practice insulting each other, back and forth, for up to an hour at a time. I want to blame our suburban upbringing for such unbridled nastiness, but in a way, I think that may have been our fucked up version of bonding. When you're young, sometimes cruelty can seem like honesty-- if you say something to make another person cry, you must have said something true, because how could a lie result in tears? We both still remember individual insults from those "mean contests," even though we couldn't have been more than 8 and 6. For a long time, I think we both chalked this up to the idea that "the truth hurts."
Of course, as Hannah and I have grown older, we have learned the difference between truth and cruelty. We have learned that confirming someone's worst fears about themselves reinforces a false, hateful reality that only exists as much as the victim chooses to believe in it. Nowadays, we spend more time perpetuating a reality where we're both pretty cool people trying to make the world less shitty. We speak honestly with each other when we catch up on our each others' lives or ask the other for advice; we no longer need to point out the other's insecurities to demonstrate our closeness, or our awareness, or cleverness. I trust she sees me for the smart, observant person I am, and she trusts I see her for that, too.
It's a hard thing to admit, that you were ever mean, that you ever had to desire to bring about pain in someone else. But once you recognize you're part of the problem, it can propel you into greater realms of compassion and understanding. As Hannah has grown older, she has shed her capacity for childish cruelty expertly; I am genuinely bowled over by her kindness each time we get a chance to talk about our lives. Throughout my transition, no one has been so supportive, so unbelievably steadfast in her understanding, so quick to accept my perception of reality as valid, so proud to call me her sister, her brother, or any other label I may embrace next. The point is, she lives up to the word "family," and that's a privilege I can't believe I get to call mine.
I was admittedly stoked to realize Hannah had embraced lesbianism like I had; if you notice in that old Hannah blog, I write an entire section about Hannah making fun of me for how I spoke with my then-girlfriend-now-platonic-life-partner Emily. Since that blog post was written, I've caught Hannah speaking in that same awful voice THAT I NO LONGER USE OR CONDONE, OBVIOUSLY to a significant other of similar gender. She is a raging baby lesbian, and it is hilarious. We now have much more to connect on, despite my apparent emergence from lesbian culture into trans guy culture; I treasure the authority gained from my past experiences and cling to it regardless of the identity markers I claim. No matter how many Facebook friends Hannah has, and no matter how many hours I clock in at Dude World, I was the lesbian Delsohn first, and therefore reign supreme in all things lesbian knowledge.
But, to be fair, Hannah remains the "popular" Delsohn, despite her blatant deviation from the mainstream popularity narrative. Of course, she still has better clothes than me and can boast of higher-functioning when it comes to forming words in response to other people forming words. To the surprise of no one, she's been known to dominate our school's LikeALittle page (think MissedConnections, college edition) and to inspire romantic feelings in some freakishly attractive people. She may be embracing a new community now, but she's still undeniably Hannah, a fact I greet with both celebration and silent jealousy.
Wow, somewhere in there I digressed terribly-- the point is, I'm glad Hannah lives in Seattle with me, and that she caught the queer bug, but I'm thrilled that she's grown into such a thoughtful, patient, genuinely caring individual. I'm lucky to have her in my life, and proud to call her my sister. I'm hoping for many more happy years of distinctly queer catch up sessions and fashion advice. Happy birthday, sister.