‘Bachelorette’ Star Opens Up About ‘Really Tough’ Journey


In a new interview, “Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” star Connor Brennan opened up about his trans sister and his family’s journey with LGTBQ+ allyship, which he admitted “was hard at first,” but he’s so proud of his sister for her bravery and his parents for being so supportive.

Here’s what Brennan had to say about his family’s journey:

Connor Brennan’s Sister Came Out As Trans to Their Parents in 2017

In an interview with Bachelor Nation, Brennan talked about the first time his sister Deirdre came out as trans to their parents. He already knew, but she told their parents over Christmas break. It was really hard for her to get the words out, but Brennan said his parents could not have handled it better.

“[She] started sobbing,” Brennan recalled. “She tried to talk but couldn’t for 10 minutes, and my parents said, ‘Whatever it is, it’s going to be OK.’ She finally told them that she is trans and that she’s a woman and my mom just said, ‘OK. Everything is great. We’ll figure it out.'”

Brennan continued, “My dad’s reaction was best, though. He took a second and then looked at her and said, ‘OK, is this going to make you happy?’ and my sister said yes, and he just replied, saying, ‘OK, great. Well, we love you no matter what. Now I gotta go mow the lawn.’ It was so amazing because it was casual, and while it took us some time to educate ourselves, now we know it should just feel as normal as that.”

He went on to say that “being trans is a part of life,” it’s not “some big showstopping thing.”

“I want to try to teach people that — because it’s a beautiful, normal part of everyday life. Just because it might not be how you experience the world doesn’t mean it’s not real,” said Brennan.

Brennan Did Say That it ‘Was Hard at First,’ Though, & His Family Had to Educate Themselves

Brennan admitted that it was hard for him to suddenly go from thinking about her as his little brother to his little sister.

“I’ll be honest; it was hard at first. It wasn’t just, like, drop-of-a-hat change because it’s someone I’ve known for 22 years that I thought was my little brother and that’s how I thought of her for my whole life. If I’m being totally candid, my mind pushed back at first and said that can’t be true,” said Brennan.

He added, “Like at first, I felt like I was losing a brother, like he was dying, which is so dramatic and it does not have to be like that. I am upset at myself that I even felt that way, but that’s how I felt in the moment. I quickly started to realize though that my sister was the exact same person, just happier.”

But he has always considered himself an LGTBQ+ ally, so he realized that who is he to “tell someone that who they are is wrong?”

“People try to impose their own worldview on everyone else and that’s really self-centered. The only way to live isn’t just your one lens. We can’t know everything, so I had to step outside of my own life experience. Unfortunately, many others refuse to do that, but that’s where I started. My mom really led us all and I started unpacking and unlearning on my own,” said Brennan, adding that once they started using Deirdre’s proper pronouns and she could “express her gender freely, she lit up and really came into herself.”

“I could truly see her glow,” said Brennan.

Brennan Said the Anti-Trans Legislation Has Been ‘Really Tough’ On Their Family

In the past couple of years, there have been numerous states enacting anti-trans legislation in the form of outlawing gender affirming care to people under 26 or guardians and teachers being allowed to misgender a student’s pronouns or banning books about gender fluidity or pronouns.

Brennan said that has “been really tough” for his family and his sister, not mincing words in saying that just talking about the legislation is making his blood boil.

Brennan said:

This past year, there has been so much awful legislation against trans people and it can honestly be really discouraging. We’re from southern Illinois near St. Louis, and my sister just moved across the river to Missouri. Missouri has some really terrible anti-trans legislation going on right now. It’s so hard because I’ve finally gotten to see my sister be herself, which has brought her so much joy, but every time a new bill comes up, it really deflates her.

It’s a reminder that, well, it’s a reminder that people wish she was dead. That’s really what it comes down to. They are trying to legislate trans people out of existence. Call it what you want to call it, but they just really wish trans people would disappear. I’m getting emotional now just talking about it and I feel my blood boiling because it’s been really tough on us.

He said that it gets “overwhelming” at times, but they are trying to push back against it any way they can.

“My mom continues to go to meetings in St. Louis and does talks at colleges and churches to be a voice. We have hope that most people don’t feel the way that those really loud, angry voices feel. Unfortunately, though, many of them hold positions of power. It can feel like the world is against us, but really, it’s just a small group of assholes. I also think that some of them don’t even actually care — they are just trying to get votes and stay in office. We’re trying to stay loud and stay positive,” said Brennan.

He said that fortunately, his whole extended family has really embraced Deirdre and that it’s so important for trans people to feel that support.

“My mom told me a statistic once that if even one person in a trans person’s life supports them it can cut the suicide rate in half. Be that one person,” said Brennan.

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