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Home » tvChix Articles » Coming out as Transgendered

The Guide to Coming Out as Transgendered

Coming out is one of the most daunting aspects of being transgendered. How and when to do it are important things to consider. Being prepared can help reduce much of the anxiety associated with coming out as well.

When to Come Out

One thing to consider is whether or not you should come out at all. If you're in a situation where you are dependent on your family for support and you have reason to believe that they would withdraw that support if you came out, it may be in your best interests to first focus on finding a secure and safe situation. While many families can react negatively when they first learn that someone is transgendered, this strong reaction can fade with time and ultimately be replaced with acceptance. If you do not have to rely on them for financial support, the fear of their reaction will be lessened and both you and your family will have the space and time to deal with your coming out. Trusted friends and people in the transgender community may be able to help you arrange this.

How to Come Out

How to come out depends largely on what you're comfortable with and how you think others might react. If you feel comfortable speaking and believe that those you're coming out to will take it well, then simply stating your situation may be the best way to approach it.

Most transgendered adults prefer to come out with a letter, however. This way they can control exactly what they say, as they have the time to think it over and plan out their words. They won't be interrupted with questions either. If the person they're coming out to doesn't understand something, they'll be able to reread the letter and think about it before approaching their newly out loved one.

Of course, this doesn't mean that coming out via letter always works out perfectly, but it does reduce much of the stress and confusion.

What to Say

Because this can be a very confusing situation for the loved ones you're coming out to, it's important to reassure them. Let them know that you love them and that this isn't their "fault." There is no specific event or experience that caused you to be transgendered. This is simply how you are. Let them know that you do not want your relationship to change and you hope they'll be able to support you through this. Some detail on how you feel and how you've struggled will help show them that this is not a passing phase, but a part of your identity. If you are writing a letter, you can also include some information on books, websites or communities that might be of use to them for educating them further on transgender issues.

Don't worry about going into detail regarding what your plans are for the future. These are subject to change and a distraction from the important part of coming out. First they need to accept you as you really are. Whatever changes will come after that can be dealt with once that acceptance has been achieved. Likewise, there's no need to theorize on the causes of transgender identities. The focus is on you and your feelings, not on whether prenatal hormones or genes cause transsexualism.

Different people will respond differently to what you say or write, of course. A romantic partner is going to have different questions and concerns than a parent. One parent may have wildly different opinions from the other. You will want to tailor what you tell them based on your relationship and your knowledge of how they react to things.

After Coming Out

Hopefully, they'll accept everything positively and you can move forward from this point. That's the best possible outcome and will be a huge load off of your mind. However, even if they do react badly that doesn't mean it's the end of the world. They may just need time to come to terms with what you've told them.

If that's the case, retreating to a safe place and making it clear that you still love them and want to maintain your relationship may be best. When they're better able to accept your coming out, they'll know where to find you and know that you still care about them.

If they remain negative, remind yourself that this is about their reaction and inability to accept what you've told them. It's not a reflection on your worth. Simply reiterate your love and your willingness to talk.

Good luck and remember that you know your family far better than anyone else does. Once you get over the anxiety of coming out, you will have the greatest knowledge of anyone on the best way to approach them.



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21/Nov 12:07:43