How to Come Out as Trans - 6 Tips and Advice
For transgender people, one shared experience is related to coming out as a transgender person. Interestingly enough, it is not a one-time experience.
Trans people find themselves in positions where they come out to multiple people at different occasions.
Regardless of how common an experience this is, it can still be daunting and overwhelming.
Many people scour the internet for tips on how to come out to their social circles. While there is no right or wrong way to come out, and how you choose to do it would largely depend on how open your friends and family are, there are a few tips that can help ease the process.
This article will delve right into that!
1.) Prioritize Your Safety
If you have any reason to believe that your safety might be jeopardized once you come out, it becomes particularly necessary to undertake various precautions.
One way in which you can ensure your safety is by masking your identity until you are financially independent.
If you stay with your parents and believe that they could cause you any kind of harm- emotional or physical- once you come out, it is best to disclose your identity once you move out.
Moreover, if you are still emotionally vulnerable, it may be a good idea to wait till you grow in that sphere before making this big decision. Coming out should not come at the expense of your physical and emotional security.
2.) Write it Down
Today, millions of people are open about their identities and the LGBTQ+ community is larger and more diverse than ever.
That is why, it is a great idea to come out to the community before you do so in your social circles.
You could do this on forums or offline meets or anywhere else where the people from the community engage with each other.
The people from the community will be more open, receptive, and understanding of your identity as they are in the same boat.
When you tell a random stranger on the internet about your identity before anyone else, it serves as a way to practice your coming out experience. Moreover, you have nothing to lose.
Since the LGBTQ+ community is highly inclusive, they will be there for you even after you come out to your social circles if, god forbid, things don’t go as expected.
3.) Find One Special Person
Within your social circles, find one person you want to disclose your identity to before anyone else.
This could be your best friend, sibling, or even a parent. By turning to your comfort person first, you know you’d be in a safe place once you come out.
Often, acceptance is something that transgender people seek during this daunting process and that can be guaranteed by sharing this news first with a person that you completely trust.
When you do that, you will feel less lonely; your shoulders will no longer be burdened with that big secret you have been hiding for as long as you could remember.
Things can’t go wrong when you come out to your favorite person, so that’s a great place to start.
4.) Remember that it’s Continuous
As stated before, coming out is not a one-time event. It is a process and you might have to keep repeating it throughout your life, as you meet new people and they become an important part of your life.
After you disclose your identity to your special person, you might find yourself in that place all over again in a few days, when you decide to come out to another close friend or your favorite cousin. T
he reason is that our society is still extremely heteronormative. In other words, people casually assume that everyone is cisgender or straight.
Thankfully, each time that you come out, you will notice that the process seems to get easier and less overwhelming.
Typically, the first four or five times that you come out are the most important experiences, so make sure you do that with your closest circles.
Once you have an emotional support group, life becomes a lot easier.
5.) Time Helps
Take some time to accept yourself and to understand that some people in your immediate circle might not be accepting of your identity.
You need to take the required amount of time to prepare yourself for all the possible reactions and responses so you are not caught off-guard when things don’t go as expected.
Remember that you and your identity are valid, and if someone cannot accept you as you are, you are better off without them.
As long as you take the time to accept yourself, other people’s opinions won’t have an adverse effect on you when you finally come out.
Please also try to understand that some people may feel shocked and surprised, but once they are over those feelings, they will most likely accept you.
It is important not to begin a conflict when you notice that they are shocked or do not react in the manner that you expected them to.
6.) Seek Help
As stated above, an emotional support group can go a long way in making the process of coming out easier.
Build one such group before you decide to come out to those who are not a part of your immediate circles.
You can reach out to support groups or online communities as well to find safe spaces. In fact, looking for a therapist is also a great idea, if you can afford one.
They are skilled at helping transgender people through these kinds of overwhelming situations, provided you go to one who specialized in trans issues.
We hope these tips have helped you determine how you want to go about the coming out process.
Regardless of how people around you respond, remember that you and your identity are valid and self-acceptance is more important than anything else. Good luck!!