The Beautiful Gift Of Having A Queer Sibling

The Beautiful Gift Of Having A Queer Sibling

I do not remember when it happened, but I remember how cold the couch felt the night I took my older brother’s phone and did the invasive thing of going through his messages on WhatsApp. We were seated together and having a conversation when he suddenly got up to ease himself, leaving his unlocked phone next to me.

Looking at the light of his bright yellow Nokia Lumia still showing, I picked up the phone and immediately opened WhatsApp. The first and only conversation I remember looking at was one he had with another man. I do not recall the context, but I remember the other man he was in a conversation with was a hairdresser, and he seemed to be complaining about something to my brother. It was a very adorable conversation because it was riddled with lots of endearing terms and some sexual innuendos. I immediately realized that the conversation I was reading was between my older brother and someone I suspected was his boyfriend at the time.

The next thing I did was unbelievable, and every time I think about it, I laugh.

What did I do? I copied the number, saved it, and sent “hello” to this boyfriend. I do not know why I did that, but it felt like something I was supposed to do. He replied to the message with a “hello”, and without thinking, I immediately blocked his number and never texted him again.

In retrospect, I believe my brother did this intentionally. I guess that was his way of coming out to me without necessarily sitting me down to have the conversation. I kept that secret with me, and nothing about my relationship with him changed, in spite of what I had learned about him. I was shocked, but also very happy to learn that I wasn’t alone, but I didn’t know if I could trust him to come out to him. I believe that is why I was silent about my knowledge of his secret for a very long time. There is an eight-year gap between my older brother and me. We also did not grow up together, so we did not have the very strong relationship a lot of male-sibling pairings usually have, but knowing my brother was queer like me made me feel like I had a special connection with him. To me, we didn’t need to be the best of buddies; knowing that I wasn’t alone was enough for me.

However, that changed for the better in 2018. I had started talking with someone whom I will call Paul, and we had a lot of conversations over the phone. My brother was at home on vacation at the time, so we shared my room together. I had the option of always stepping out to talk to Paul or ensuring our conversations happened whenever my brother wasn’t around, but I chose to always have these conversations in his presence. I guess I was taking a page from his coming-out-to-your-sibling-without-coming-out-to-them playbook. Knowing he was queer, for as long as I had known, made me comfortably and confidently talk to another man in his presence.

One night, while on the phone with Paul, he suddenly piped up, “The boy you’re talking to… what’s his name? I hope he is not lying to you.”

It was unexpected because he’d never butted in on my past conversations with Paul or asked any questions after we wrapped up our conversations. I was still on the phone with Paul when my brother asked that, and he heard the question. I told him it was my older brother, and he was shocked, because the next thing he said made his surprise clear: “Your brother knows you are talking to a man?” To which I answered, “Yes, he knows.”

At this point, my brother sought my permission to speak to Paul, and I handed the phone to him. They had a brief conversation, but I recall they exchanged pleasantries, and my brother subtly warned him not to break my heart.


When I ended the call with Paul, my brother asked me his name, and when I told him, he asked me where he was from. I answered, “He’s from Edo.” Upon hearing that, my brother got up and said I should avoid men from Edo State. He spent a few minutes telling me to steer clear of Edo men. I don’t know what Edo man broke my brother’s heart, but I should’ve listened to him, because Paul ended up hurting me.


That night was special because it was the first time my brother and I ever talked about our queerness, not in an I-know-you-are-queer way, but in a way that was natural, like we had always known and always talked about our queerness together. It just flowed, and for a first-time conversation, there was nothing awkward about it. There were no holdbacks, just free, unabashed vulnerability between two brothers. It felt good, and it has not stopped feeling good. Our relationship as brothers changed that night. It was as if life had meaning for the first time. It was after that night that my brother told me he had a crush on my friend and wanted me to set them up together. He became a new person to me in a way that I loved and cherished.

My brother has not stopped teasing me about being single, even though he is single himself. On my birthday this year, he said to me over the phone: “This girl, when are you bringing a man home? How are my in-laws? I want to meet them. Better tell them not to misbehave because I will fuck them up. I am coming home soon and I want to meet your man.”

All I could do was laugh while he was saying that, but it felt so good to have a family member say those words to me. When I quizzed him about his own singleness, he threatened to hang up on me and said it didn’t matter that I was younger than him; that I could marry before him. It was absolutely the best thing I heard on my birthday, and that affirmation made me very emotional. It is also extra special to me because later that day, I attended a party where I met someone, danced with him, and we have been in love with each other for a month now. I joke to him sometimes that my older brother spoke our relationship into existence and I cannot wait to hear my brother scream on the phone when I tell him he now has an ‘in-law’.

Written by Big Bad Judy

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  1. Someone's Someone
    October 21, 22:03 Reply

    This is such a beautiful story. I believe my younger brother is bisexual because he once opened up about a “6-9” experience with a guy while in the university. He has never spoke wbout his male sexcapades again. He knows I’m gay. I’d love to have a queer brother, it would be wholly beautiful.

  2. Ay
    October 23, 12:16 Reply

    Fascinating 🥂🕊️

  3. King Mufasa
    October 23, 17:38 Reply

    Beautiful story… but are we just going to pretend like it’s okay to go through someone’s phone? :/

  4. Miles
    October 23, 22:43 Reply

    Hi @pinky
    Welcome back from the long hiatus. I do hope all is well. Please, for sake of us who are addicted to this blog, can we be warned before you head for a break.

  5. Alex Dare
    October 25, 04:39 Reply

    First up ..I second what @Miles said

    Second..I absolutely love this story.
    I wish it were that easy for the rest of us because, no one really wants to lie to themselves or mask from others. .And who better to be free with than your siblings ..One step at a time i guess.

  6. The Enigma
    November 22, 04:42 Reply

    Damn! If only…

    And I totally ”third” what Miles said earlier.

  7. ken
    January 04, 14:12 Reply

    Most people claiming the story is sweet and warming, would rather sit on burning coals than discover that a sibling is also gay.

    If we are real, most people do not want a gay brother. In my experience, many gay people psychologically perceive homosexuality as something to be ashamed of or at least something to be locked tightly in the closet i.e Something nobody should ever know. To discover that a sibling is also gay, would take some serious getting-used-to before it becomes okay, let alone cherished.

  8. Romeo
    May 19, 09:48 Reply

    This is awesome😊👏👍the feelings of knowing someone got your back is fascinating

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