As you may know from my many #flemingsisters?show posts, my sister and I have an amazing relationship based on having a blast together. What you may not know is that until very recently we did not get along.

It wasn’t easy for me, being the fat, queer sister who always felt like an outsider. It wasn’t easy for her, being the “responsible” one, expected to conform. The shame and obligation others put on us tore a massive rift between my sister and me most of our lives.

Then our brother died, and shame and obligation were wiped away by a tidal wave of grief. Suddenly, we were all we had.

Sitting together in that darkness, we made a pact to help each other shine. Together and separately, we rebuilt our lives to be full of joy, passion, and fun.

Her shine does not dull mine. My sparkle does not take away from hers. Instead, our combined glow lights up our lives and the lives around us.

#showmeyourbawdy Day 1 2017

I mourn the years we spent hating each other, the time wasted shrinking and dulling ourselves for others, but I am so glad that in our hardest, darkest hours, we chose – and continue to choose – to shine.