“You represent me so I want you to look like someone I hired,” Ian’s eyes swept over my body, “beginning with new clothing.”
Ian eyed me like I was a piece of meat he was contemplating how much he wanted to pay for. Somehow, I think he already did that. “Next thing you’re going to tell me I need to do something with my hair,” I was prepared for it.
“No, I love your hair. I love the curls and how they bring out your freckles across your cheeks.” He pulled out his Silk card and handed it to me. “I just want you to buy more presentable clothing.”
I flickered the credit card in my hand as I tried to ignore the rush of feelings that coated my body. Ian was the only man who actually complimented my hair instead of trying to tell me how to straighten it. I don’t think I ever realized how badly I needed that compliment until now. “What’s my budget?”
Ian softly shook his head. “There is none.”
“You’re going to give a 21-year-old college student full access to your account and say have fun?”
“You’re going to make me change my mind,” he warned.
I was already out the door.
I needed new clothes.
Not just any new clothes. Not mall clothes. Not trendy boutique clothes. But Ferguson-worthy clothing.
It was time to go shopping and spend some money. There was only one person I could call to help me with this. I could’ve asked Rachael or Michelle, but I needed someone with a keen eye for fashion.
It was time to call Adrianne.
You need to understand something – Adrianne was born Adrian. He was my brother. She is my sister.
It’s hard to explain what a transgendered person is or when they figured it out. I’m still not entirely sure, to be honest. All I knew is one day I came home early from school and I found Adrianne in my makeup. I was mortified.
I was also hella jealous that my sister knew how to beat her face better than I did.
She calmly explained to me that day she always felt like a girl and was born in the wrong body. She knew very young, too, like before she even started puberty. But she tried in vain to convince me she was still the same ol’ Adrian and I had to call bullshit on that one.
This is the part I’m supposed to say I was super supportive from the start and I accepted my sister as is with no questions asked. This is the part where honestly, I didn’t. I ashamed to say I was disgusted and thought something mentally was wrong with Adrianne. I distanced myself from her for a while until I realized how silly it was and how judgmental of a prick I really was.
We both agreed it would be our hidden secret and not to reveal anything to our parents. It wasn’t until one day Samuel came home early and found Adrianne modeling one of our mother’s dresses. Yeah, Adrianne got the whooping of her life that night.
Adrianne also slashed her wrists immediately afterward.
A hospital stay with a mandatory 5150 hold later, our parents thought Samuel needed to be tougher on her while our mother felt she could pray it away because that’s what many black women do instead of facing their problems and seek therapy. So, Adrianne became a star athlete. She excelled at basketball. She was great at football. Adrian was Mr. All-Star State Quarterback. Adrian had endless amounts of tail thrown at him.
Adrian…liked to suck cock and wear women’s clothing as he did it.
She received a full academic and athletic scholarship to Morehouse, where she graduated at the top of her class with a degree in business. And as she attended those classes, Adrianne wore knee-highs, a garter belt, with a matching thong underneath her khakis.
My mother decided to accept it to an extent – Adrianne could do whatever she wanted outside the home but while she was in the presence of our parents, she was Adrian, their son. Adrianne decided she would wear gender-neutral clothing and lay off the heavy makeup (she was insistent on eyeliner) but she was going to be who she was.
A few years ago, Sam wanted to make amends with Adrianne and invited her over for dinner. Adrian showed up in full makeup, a weave better than Beyonce’s, and a dress.
Adrian became Adrianne.
A huge fight broke out and Adrianne left for good. She and Sam hadn’t spoken in years. Even at our mother’s funeral, she rode in the limo and sat next to me, without casting a glance at Sam. She didn’t even attend Sam’s wedding or even sent Christmas cards. I see her often and never tell Sam of her exploits or of our meetings together. The last thing I want to do is stir the pot.
I’m not going to lie and say it’s not weird. We’re not a reality-show family with a sit-down with Diane Sawyer and Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out” softly playing in the background. My sister could be in real danger each time she leaves her townhome and given how she makes some of her money, I’m terrified.
Feeling Some Kinda Way will be out on December 13th everywhere.