Apparently it’s a very British thing, but it just feels so wrong to say that you’re proud of something. You have to be like: ‘it’s okay’, or ‘I’m quite pleased’, or ‘well, but I was lucky’ etc etc. So, this is surprisingly difficult.
What am I proud of?
I’m proud of my brother. He was bullied badly from a very young age. After a few days at reception my parents were bathing him and he had bruises all over. They didn’t understand why and he didn’t either. He didn’t know anything else; didn’t know it was wrong. Another parent told ours’ that he was being beaten up. We moved house and schools when we had enough money, and the bullying continued. Less physical, more psychological. Up to Secondary School, and it continued. Eventually our grandparents kindly partly with a lot of their savings and he went to a private school. He was still a ‘misfit’ and bullied to some extent, but it was so much better. We all suffered. He was so angry all the time that he would physically attack me and my mother; he bit her quite badly once.
But now they (they’re gender neutral) are amazing. Brilliant exam results for GCSEs, AS and A levels. (No surprises there). Ended up going to a terrible university on clearance because it was the only one he could go to that would accept him and his girlfriend. Everyone told him it was an awful idea; they wouldn’t stay together; look at the amazing uni’s he was throwing away. He did what he wanted.
Then, a 2 year MA at Oxford. Then Oxford and Cambridge both offered him spaces for PhDs. He went for Cambridge (why not, just so you can you’ve been to both the top uni’s in the country) and came out as they to us earlier this year.
They’re a new person. Not since becoming ‘they’, from a long while back. They’re sociable. They go to parties. They get involved. They are STILL with that girlfriend (screw that all you oldies who said they’d split up within a year). 12 years. And they have grown up to be such a generous, easy to be with, wonderful person.
There’s no one else on worth who I am prouder of.