Hi I’m a 17 year old FTM. I’m only out to a few friends at the moment. I’ve tried coming out to my parents but they only laughed it off and told me to ‘keep reading my bible and ill get better’. I’ve realized I’m transgendered about 2 years ago and I’m trying to live my life as best as I can right now. But I’m graduating high school next year and I’m worried. My parents expect me to stay here and attend college, but my plans are to move up to a friends house and start living up there and start actually beginning transitioning. I’m just worried about what to do because I’m so worried they won’t take it well and let me go up there or even let me transition. And I’m afraid of coming out to them again because my parents are very strongly against people of the LGBT* community. I don’t know what to do.
I want to thank you for writing to Ask Trevor about what’s going on in your life. Coming out to your parents was very brave, and it must have been hurtful when they laughed it off and told you to read your Bible; so your worry about what will happen when your parents learn about your plans is understandable. However, you should know that it is okay to be FtM, and there is nothing wrong with being who you are. Also, if you are the legal age in your state (eighteen or nineteen) when you leave home, your parents should not be able to keep you from leaving.
That being said, being safe is also very important. If you don’t feel safe coming out to your parents again, then what would make you feel safer? Would it be better if you moved in with the friend and then came out to them again? Who could you take with you when talking to your parents about your plans? What kind of location would make you feel safer: home or somewhere public? If you want some tips on coming out that might be helpful, you can check out this link: http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out.
Coming out to your family and friends once takes a lot of courage. Coming out twice takes even more courage. Transitioning also takes a very strong person, so you must have a lot of strength. However, if you do leave and transition, it will take more than strength and courage. What kinds of preparations have you made to make this move easier on you? Some things to consider are money: do you have enough money saved to pay rent, utilities, and other bills? Will you go to school, and how will you pay for that? What kinds of jobs are you considering? What can you take with you from home, and what are you willing to leave behind? What kinds of important documents do you need: ID, social security card, birth certificate, passport, etc.? This is all very overwhelming, but take it one question and one day at a time. You have this whole next year to work on preparations.
If you are worried how your parents will react, it might be a good idea to have a plan if they find out early. How do you think they’ll react if they find out before graduation that you are leaving? How would you feel about trying to talk to them? If you think they will react badly, it could be a good idea to have a bag packed: important documents, money, clothes, cellphone and charger, school books and work, and other items you might need. It might also be a good idea to plan where you would go. Who do you know that you could stay with until graduation if something happened and you needed to leave your home?
This is a lot to take in and think about, but you have time to consider all of the scenarios and what to do. Try mulling things over bit by bit and relax in between. Take some time out to enjoy some of your hobbies and time with friends. Also remember that things could go well. We planned a lot for the worst case scenario, but what might be the best case scenario?
If you need or want to talk, you can write to us; chat with us Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays, or Tuesdays from 1pm PST to 7pm PST; or talk to us at 1-866-488-7386. Best wishes and have a good senior year of high school.