Ways To Come Out As Transgender
How to Come Out As Transgender
Coming out as transgender can be a scary step to take. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help make the coming out process easier for yourself and the people around you. Overtime, your confidence will grow as you find acceptance and support.
Figuring Out What You Want to Say
Know your audience.Think about the people in your lives, and that ones who you trust. You may have certain friends or relatives who are more understanding and loving than others. Evaluate both the people who will likely support you and those who may not.
- If you are a minor, the coming out process may be more challenging since your parents are still legally responsible for you. If you are concerned that your parents will not be accepting, consider talking first with a friend or family member who you can trust. You may want to have someone on your side before coming out to your parents.
- Focus on preparing to come out to trusted and loving friends and family first.
- You don't need to come out to everyone all at once. Be strategic and tell those who are likely to be your allies first.
Inform yourself and do your research.Be knowledgeable about transgender issues. Understand the questions that your friends, relatives, and others may have about gender identity. By being more informed, you will show maturity and thoughtfulness in your coming out as transgender.
- Find literature or reading materials in your community or online. There may be LBGT community centers or youth groups in your area that provide information and helpful brochures.
- Learn about ways that your friends and family can be your allies via GLAAD:
- Understand your equal rights as a transgender person via the National Center for Transgender Equality:
- Find support as a LGBTQ youth about your coming out concerns via The LGBT National Help Center: 888-843-4564 or
- If your concerns about your gender identity are making you feel suicidal, contact The Trevor Project: 866-488-7386 or or The Trans Lifeline: or 877-565-8860
Consider writing a letter first.Get your thoughts out on paper as a way to find your voice and focus on what you want to say. No matter who the letter is intended for, be courteous and give them space to process the information.
- A letter can help you to focus on what you want to say without interruption.
- If you use a letter as a framework for coming out, it allows for the possibility of revision until you feel more comfortable with what you want to say. For example, let's say your tone is at times angry about being hurt in the past, and feeling unloved. Consider revising it to focus on how you are a stronger and more confident person about who you are, and what feels right for you.
- Sometimes a letter can reduce the pressure of face-to-face conversations, and can be useful if the person who you're coming out to is far away. For example, "I know it has been a while since we last saw each other. I hope that we can see each other soon, and I can tell you more about what I've been going through. I have been struggling with my identity for many years. I want to be able to talk openly in the future about what I'm going through."
- Consider having this letter handy when the day comes that you meet and talk in person about coming out.
Practice what you want to say out loud.Sometimes it's good to practice in the same way you might practice when giving a speech or preparing a presentation. It can help you find the right tone and words to use. It can help you become more comfortable with saying "I'm transgender."
- Find a private room or space where you can practice.
- Consider practicing with someone who you trust and who you've already come out to.
- Don't try to rush and say everything at once. Pace yourself, and allow the audience to process each part of what you have to say.
Identify the best time and place to come out.Think about the "who, what, where, and when" of coming out. Be sure about who you want to tell, and that you trust them. Choose somewhere that is neutral and safe. Consider spaces that are more private, where there aren't people who you know who could be eavesdropping.
- Choose a time that won't feel rushed or shortened by other activities, events, or obligations. Make sure that there is ample time to talk.
- Consider places that aren't at school or at work. Avoid spaces where there are people you know and don't trust.
Be patient when coming out.This process won't happen overnight, and will continue to shift and change as you and your loved ones understand more about being transgender. Know that as you get older, go to different schools, get jobs, or interact with new people that you will still be coming out throughout your life. Be patient with the process.
- While it may be nerve-racking at first, being honest with yourself and others about who you are will be deeply gratifying and make you feel better over time.
- Be accepting that others may not understand this process in the same way. Be patient with others who may want to help, but have ignorance about what you're going through. For example, if someone says, "You don't seem like someone who's transgender," be patient, and explore what being transgender means to you, rather than trying to correct them.
- Focus on how to remain calm, centered, and relaxed. Do things that help to relieve stress in healthy ways before you plan to talk about coming out.
Sit and talk about coming out.Learn to be open and direct in a loving way with your friends and family. Allow them time to respond and ask questions. They may react with shock, support, or frustration, but no matter what, remain calm and respectful. Tell them about your journey, and that you wish to transition or identify as transgender.
- Be open to answering their questions, no matter how small or odd the questions may seem. If you are not sure of how to answer, then provide them with resources or reading materials to help them.
- Give them time to respond, and understand that their first reactions may not represent how they feel later on. Sometimes shock or confusion can affect how a person responds.
- Consider that some people may react out of ignorance, be concerned for your safety, or try to change your mind. Tell them you are taking the process of coming out seriously and have thought about their concerns.
- Help to break down any stereotypes or myths. For example, they say, "Are you going to be a drag queen?" then you could respond with information about what it really means to be transgender.
End the conversation if it is not going well.In some cases, having a conversation about coming out might not work out as you hoped it would. If you feel like the people you are coming out to are not being supportive or kind, then you might want to gracefully end the conversation for the time being.
Consider the pros and cons of coming out via social media.The wisdom of this depends on your audience. There may be some people who may not be accepting when you come out. However, you may be surprised at how much support you will receive! Many people have different "circles" for different social media accounts, or may have more followers on one account than the other. You can start off by coming out on whatever site (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) you feel that people would be most accepting.
- Decide how you want to come out. Would you like to include a photo in your coming out post? Would you prefer a simple "I'm trans", or a longer paragraph? It's up to you. Just try not to be over-the-top or tacky.
- After you post, remember to like and reply to all positive comments.
- Don't respond to negative comments, if you get them. Just delete the comment, and be prepared for a few to drop you. If it does happen, just forget about those people. If someone wants to unfollow, unfriend, or block you, it's their loss. You may have much better friends who are supportive.
Seek advice from supportive friends or family.Continue to reach out to those who trust and have been by your side in the past. Ask them about challenges they have faced in their own lives, and how they overcame them. Show them that you care about what they have to say.
- Finding advice and support in person can be reassuring and helpful as you continue to come out and let others know about your gender identity.
- Understand that even if your friends or family have not personally experienced what it is like to come out as transgender, they may have personal struggles with their own identities. For example, ask them, "Have you ever faced feeling like you didn't belong or fit in?"
- Feeling different or misunderstood is something that everyone goes through from time to time in their lives. Use this as a way to connect with others who feel this way, rather than distance yourself.
Talk to supportive professionals about your physical transition.Many people who want to transition as transgender wish to make physical changes to their body. You may be struggling with what you plan to do both physically and emotionally. Seek advice from experts who have helped others find their path.
- Talk with your doctor about making physical changes to your body. This may involve hormone replacement therapy or surgery. Talk with your doctor about a possible referral to a specialist in these types of medical procedures. Ask, "I am considering transitioning as a man (or woman) and want know about the medical treatments available in this area. Can you help me or make a referral?"
- Possibly meet with a counselor or therapist about the coming out process. They may help to give you insight into your concerns, and help you cope with your concerns. There may be a counseling center in your area that focuses on the needs of the LGBT youth and adults. Talk with them about individual or group therapy.
Connect with the LGBT community.Whether it's online or in-person, there is an LGBT community out there that can help you navigate your coming out process and what feels right for you. You don't have to feel alone or isolated as you make choices about how to talk with your family, or what to do when things are tough. Seeking support will make the process easier for you.
- Find online forums or support groups. This can be helpful if you're not yet ready to talk with people face-to-face.
- Find community centers in your area. Go to CenterLink and find a directory of centers:
- Find peer support and counselors to talk with by phone or by chat. Go to the LGBT National Help Center:
QuestionI told my mom and she took it upon herself to tell my whole family (cousins uncles grandparents) without my permission. Thought she was trustworthy but guess not. What can I do about this situation?
M.A, Clinical Mental Health CounselingM.A, Clinical Mental Health CounselingExpert AnswerIt sounds as if you’re feeling betrayed, and you have every right to be. I’d encourage you to try to imagine some of the reasons your mom might have done that, as a way to build some empathy for her. Maybe she was seeking support from others because she is confused? Or maybe she didn’t know that it was important to you to keep your gender identity a secret? Try to see her side and then talk to her about having lost your trust and how she can make amends.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 56 years old. I know I've been transgendered for many years, but I am still in the closet. I enjoy my life as is, but I hope that if I come out, my life will still be a happy and enjoyable time for me. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo matter what age you are, coming out is a process that is yours. You can decide what makes you feel comfortable and happy. Many people often feel relief and less anxious after coming out. Often the stress of being closeted for a long time can led to guilt and anxiety. Ultimately it's your choice.Thanks!
QuestionI am 13 (almost 14), and I am 90% percent sure I am transgender, but I don't want to come out and then say "never mind" because I don't want them to think it's a phase or something. The weird thing is, I just started feeling like this a few months ago, that is what confused me the most. Suggestions?Jordyn Leigh BourdessCommunity AnswerGive it a bit more time, there's no rush to coming out. Try writing down what you'd say while coming out and then look back at it again. See if what you wrote describing the situation still applies to you or not, and see what you've changed your mind about. Take time to fully explore your feelings about it.Thanks!
QuestionI'm only 12 and I've tried to tell my mom but she has dismissed me wanting to be transgender as a phase. How can I get her to take me seriously?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLook up a therapist who specializes in transgender patients. Say that you've thought about this a lot, and you want to see an expert. The expert can help guide your mom through the process. It may also help to show her articles about trans kids, and statistics about mental health outcomes, such as depression and suicide, based on how supportive the family is and whether transition is allowed. Your mom may be afraid to lose you, so explain that this is how to keep you healthy, happy, and safe.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you know your parents aren't supportive, but you are desperately wanting to take hormone meds to disrupt puberty? I am an ftm, and I need to stop growing stuff!wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you're under 18, unfortunately you need parental permission to get the prescription. However, at the age of 18, you can get all the hormones and testosterone. If you want, get your parents or doctor to start you on a severe birth control. This can result in stopped periods, making you feel more masculine. Perhaps ask the more understanding of your parents to accompany you to the doctor to discuss this further.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you're moving to a new place, and you want to come out before the new school year starts, but are still worried about how your parents will react?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTiming can be important. If you are trying to make a "fresh start" at your new school and home, then consider using this time as an opportunity to talk with your parents. Prepare ahead of time about what you want to say, and where you want to discuss it with them.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I prove to my mother that I am old enough to make these decisions for myself?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerResearch transgender specialists in your area, explain your feelings to your mom, then tell her that you'd like to see an expert to determine the extent of your gender dysphoria. The specialist can help walk both you and your mom through the process.Thanks!
QuestionI am a trans 12 year old female. (No, it's not a phase.) My mother said that she would support me if I was in fact transgender, gay, bisexual, etc. I am still frightened to come out. She does reject me enough already and I don't know if I should wait until I move out. Help?Ebit78Community AnswerI realized I was trans when I was about your age. When I came out, my parents blamed my school (an art school), I had to change schools and everything got so complicated but over time, my mom has become more accepting. The fact that your mother said she would support you is a good sign. Just be prepared for any possible consequences and if you want to wait a bit, that's totally fine.Thanks!
QuestionHow should I tell my parents? They are very biblically dependent and believe I was made female for a reason.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust tell them as it is, tell them that you are transgender. You'll find that even transphobic parents will become more accepting if their child comes out as it's out in the open and nobody can play games. That being said, if you are under 18, don't come out unless you know you'll be safe if they react badly.Thanks!
QuestionI'm afraid to tell my mother than I'm trans, but I want to start male hormones. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUnderstand that you may have limitations in what you can do medically to start your transition process if you are under 18. Try discussing your thoughts and feelings with your mother one-on-one and in a safe space. Be ready with information if your mother has questions.Thanks!
- Don't rush and be confident in who you are. This is an ongoing process of self-discovery that can be ultimately rewarding.
- Plan your discussion time when coming out accordingly, so you won't be interrupted and will have ample time for questions.
- Give people time to adjust. It can be a shock, but with time, most people will come around.
- If you are feeling unsure about how to talk about it, try writing your feelings down.
- If you transition and change your name, come out to your human resources, boss, teachers/professors, or administration office. If you've legally changed your name, let your workplace or school know immediately. Even if it's not changed legally, many places allow the use of preferred names.
- Nobody is forcing you to come out. Give yourself time and don’t rush it.
- This may cause some family and friends to not want to talk to you. Unfortunately, this is a by-product of ignorance and resistance to change. Focus on the people who will talk to you and love you no matter what.
- Make sure you have a safe place to go if things do not go the way you planned and you are put in danger. A friend's house is usually best, or a family member who lives close by (grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc.).
- Don't hesitate to contact authorities or trusted adults if someone harasses you or threatens you. Put your safety first.
Sources and Citations
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