5 Important Tips When Coming Out As Trans

Coming out as a trans person is exciting, but also a little nerve wracking. Here are 5 tips on how to approach it.

HomoCulture Coming Out Avery Lea

This article was published on January 12th, 2023

“Coming out” is a phrase the LGBTQ+ community is all too familiar with. It’s often a time of great celebration and self-expression. We’re coming out and want the world to know! Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way for everyone.

Coming out as trans has a different weight to it, and it’s an unfortunate truth that existing as a transgender person can create a huge amount of contention with others. Our mere existence is considered “political,” and we clearly have an agenda when, realistically, it’s just a matter of trying to go about our lives just like everyone else. It’s this attitude that makes coming out as trans a scary and daunting task. But don’t worry, you’re not alone in this! With the right support system, this can still be a fun and exciting new chapter in your life, and you can still be your true authentic self. Regardless of which circumstances you’re faced with, here are some tips for coming out as trans! 

Photo by Sinitta Leunen on Unsplash

1. Know yourself, and who you are

Obviously, if you’re reading this, you may already have this locked down, but it can be easy to “jump the gun” as well. In your readiness to come out, you are going to be faced with a lot of questions. Like, a lot. So before you start telling everyone, be sure to sit down with yourself first. Gender identities can ebb and flow, and some things may change down the road, and that’s alright! But at least knowing the answers to why you feel the way that you do—”how long have you known?” Everyone’s favorite question… the more readily you’re able to answer these questions, the less speculation and “it’s just a phase, sweetie” you’ll have to deal with. When you’re sure of yourself, others will see that. 

2. Gather your resources

For some extra help, having resources available for those that you come out to can be very helpful, especially if you are coming out as non-binary, but it’s beneficial either way. While the discussion around transgender identities has become a mainstream topic, depending on where you’re located, this may not be the case. Even coming out as MTF or FTM can confuse people. “Why would you want to change your gender?” This is a good time to send them some links from trusted sources, and there will be sources listed below to help get you started. 

3. Start with the people you trust most

Starting with your closest support system is the best way to begin your “coming out journey,” as these are the friends and family that you know will support you regardless. This way, you can start off on the right foot with a positive outlook. Other encounters might not feel so supportive, to put it nicely, so having a support system there to back you up can be a huge game changer. If you don’t have anyone you can have this conversation with, one of the links below will help you find a local support system! It’s good practice for having that coming-out conversation, which leads into the next point:

4. Be prepared for every possible reaction

It’s the aspect of being trans that no one really wants to think about, but it needs to be discussed. There are people out there who… disagree with being transgender, “changing one’s biology,” etc. You’ll potentially be faced with ignorance, hatred, being misgendered in the workplace, and violence in the worst-case scenario. Because of these factors, some trans people don’t come out at all and live “stealth” lives until they’re in a position to be out. You’ll likely be asked some intrusive or downright inappropriate questions. Ultimately, it’s up to you and how much you’re willing to put up with. While educating others on what the trans experience is like may be a helpful teaching moment for some, others won’t care that much, and no matter what you say, they just won’t get it. You can decide how much emotional labor your time is worth. 

5. Stay Confident in Yourself and Have Patience

This may go without saying, and it circles back to the initial point. Whether you actively come out to everyone or remain stealthy and just quietly begin your transition, being true to yourself will get you far. Don’t let ignorant people bully you into rethinking how you feel when you’ll know yourself better than anyone! Also, patience is key. It may take some time for the people in your life to adjust to new names and pronouns. Gentle reminders are the best way to go, however if you feel as though you’re being intentionally misgendered, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself or seek support. Ultimately, it’s your life and your body! No one else is living it, and they have no say in how things go. It’s all about you and no one else.

Resources and Helpful Information

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