Coming Out as a Trans Woman
Any individual who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community has to, at some point in their life, come out to those around them.
This can be stressful and anxiety-provoking, especially because there is no right or wrong way to do it.
Moreover, the prejudice surrounding the LGBTQ+ community does not help. Therefore, it is very important to determine when you are actually ready to come out. Don’t pressure yourself into taking this big step.
You need to be in the right mental space to come out, since you cannot predict the reactions of your friends and family.
Thus, emotional preparedness is the first criterion to come out. You must be ready for unexpected reactions.
This takes a lot of time and effort. During this period, it is important to remind yourself what matters- your authenticity and identity. If someone in your life cannot accept that, it is time to move on from that relationship.
At the same time, be ready to give your family some time to adapt and adjust. They may be shocked at first, but those who truly love you will come around soon enough.
When coming out for the first time, choose a person whom you can trust. The first time you come out is usually the hardest and thus, ensure that it is with a person whose reaction you can predict to a certain extent.
You can also reach out to the LGBTQ+ community in your neighborhood or even via online forums.
Being a part of a community that you can relate to can help alleviate a lot of the stress you may be experiencing.
Once you are ready to come out, rehearse exactly what you intend to say. This is another way to pacify your anxiety. But before you actually come out, assess your situation.
If you stay with your parents and believe that coming out could impact your safety or security, please defer this step.
You could always come out after you move out, once you are no longer dependent on your parents financially or otherwise.
Threat to your safety could be a result of your community or neighborhood too. Assess the situation and your environment carefully.
Start by coming out to one person. Slowly, you can reach out to others and eventually, you can come out to your relatives, friends, and so on.
But for the first few months, it is crucial to create a support group for yourself to help you get through this stressful time.
The next step, if you can afford it, is to seek the assistance of a therapist. They can help you through this overwhelming juncture of your life by just being there.
It is typically a very emotional time and to learn how to cope with all of it, cognitive therapy is an effective tool.
If your parents are not a threat to your safety, but you are unsure about how they would react, you can invite them to a therapy session and come out to them there.
That way, you are mentally and emotionally equipped to deal with their reactions.
Remember that it is an emotional time for people close to you as well. Worry and anxiety may result in reactions that they may later regret.
Be accepting of their apology if you can. Because you have had enough time to understand your identity, while they are just learning about it.
Allow them to take in the information, process it, and then react accordingly. Take their initial reactions with a grain of salt.
People are usually not comfortable with change, so don’t take it personally. Those who love you will quickly come around.
Finally, remember to inform your friends and family about your pronouns and genders. Similar to the above point, give them some time to adjust to them.
As long as someone does not intentionally misgender you, try not to take any offense. It is a big change for them and human beings are creatures of habit.
It will take them some time to get used to calling you by a different name.
We hope these points have helped you in some manner. If you are planning to come out soon, remember that your safety and security must be your top priority. Good luck!!