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Freedom Requires Wings FRW The #1 QUILTBAG opinion blog on the web. We aim to open minds and help the queer community. News, blogs, video, worldwide suicide prevention and more. Worldwide

A Tale of Two Sisters

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My sister I and are complete opposites in many ways. I have brown hair, fair skin, and brown eyes with a little green. She has dirty blond hair, olive skin, and green eyes with a little brown. I am shy and introverted; she is a social butterfly. I was born a week early; she was born a week late. I'm a tomboy; she likes "girly" stuff. Yet somehow, when we were growing up, our differences never stopped us from playing together and generally getting along. Sure, we fought like all siblings do, but at the end of the day, we loved each other and enjoyed spending time together. I've always felt protective of her, and as the older sister, I took my duty to watch out for her very seriously. The night before she started middle school, I sat up with her late into the night, talking about her worries and fears, and reassuring her that she would do just fine. That night holds a very special place in my heart, because it was one of the last times I got to play my "big sister" role. Once she started middle school, everything changed.

My sister came home from her first day of middle school happy, excited, and bursting at the seams with stories about all the new friends she had made. Being the introvert that I am, I was a little incredulous, and asked her how she could possibly have made all these friends already. She said simply, "I walked up to them and said, 'hi, I'm [insert her name here], who are you?'." I was a little shocked - in elementary school, she had always been kind of a nerd, and this was the first time she had ever really shown her extrovert nature so assertively. I felt a little unnerved, like somehow my little sister was surpassing me. Which, honestly, she was, at least socially. What I didn't realize at the time was that we had reached the point of no return. I would never truly feel like the "big sister" again.

My sister had boyfriends starting from around age 14, all the way through high school, and college as well. Meanwhile, I managed to make it all the way through college without so much as going on a date (although I did fall in love once, but that's another story for another time). I found out my sister was sexually active in about the worst possible way I can think of. Her boyfriend at the time was a mutual friend (he was actually much closer in age to me, but he knew her first, and the two of them had been best friends for years before they started dating), and he had gone to visit her at college. He called me, drunk, at 2 am, from a hotel room near her campus. Essentially, they had had a fight, and he went to a hotel. But being drunk, he proceeded to vent to me how he was really upset, because they had been each other's first and only sexual partner. This upset me, not because my sister was sexually active (I had assumed as much anyway), but for two reasons. First, because I had heard it from him and not from her. And second, because once again, I felt left behind, like my little sister was all grown up and I was left in the dust behind her.

Flash forward several years. My sister graduated from college and moved to New York to pursue her lifelong dream of being on Broadway. The feminist education she had gotten in college crept in, though, and she took a part-time job working at, as she put it, a "feminist, women-friendly adult toy store". As time went on, she focused more and more on her work at the store. She was trained to lead workshops on various things such as blow jobs, massages, and other sexual activities. She became a sex educator, and she loves it so much that she has given up her Broadway dreams for the time being in order to pursue a career in sex education. So my sister has become a sex-positive, feminist activist who works to ensure that all people can have access to information and tools for great sex lives. Meanwhile, in the past couple of years, I have gone through a journey of my own, as I have realized and am working on accepting my asexuality (and ironically, my sister is the only person in my family who I’ve come out to at this point). Part of what I'm constantly struggling with is letting go of this notion that my sister is somehow more "grown up" or more advanced than I am simply because she has sex and I don't. The truth of the matter is, I am asexual and she is most definitely sexual, and both of those are equally valid and acceptable states of being. I'm still working on being completely okay with that. I guess it's just one more way in which my sister and I are opposites. But the important thing is that we both love and respect each other for who we are. And that's something I am thankful for every day.
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