OK, well I just..I’m having a hard time with coming out to my parents about me being FTM Transgender. I always feel like I can’t even act like myself around them. It’s like I’m an alien whenever I get the courage to tell them and I just get so scared I feel like vomiting. And well I wanted to know some ways I could ease my parents into telling them I’m trans. Thank you and good day. -Nathen (Trapped inside)
Letter submitted by:
Coming out to your loved ones can be challenging. It is completely normal to feel alienated and afraid when you want to share something so important about yourself that you feel others may not understand. It is wonderful that you have embraced your gender identity as FTM transgender. You deserve to be happy and comfortable with who you are, especially around people you care about! Coming out can be a very liberating experience. It takes tremendous courage to come out, and it is important that you feel ready and supported.
There is no right or wrong way to come out. While coming out to your parents may feel frightening, it may be comforting to consider the benefits it might bring. Being more open with your parents may strengthen your relationship with them and allow them to better support you as their child. Coming out would also reduce the stress and anxiety from hiding who you are. It is difficult to predict how they may react, but you may be able to determine their general attitudes toward LGBT people by bringing up an LGBT-related news event, movie, TV show, or book. If their reactions are positive, there is a better chance they will be more accepting of your gender identity. Starting a conversation in this way may also help you to ease into coming out. Some people who have difficulty coming out to family may feel more comfortable seeking advice from a trusted friend or adult, such as a school guidance counselor. If your parents aren’t as accepting as you might hope, it could be because they’re misinformed on LGBT issues. It may be helpful to explain to them that transgender is a term used to refer to people whose sex (based on anatomy) and gender (based on internal identity) do not match – this is completely normal! Sometimes it just takes education and time for your loved ones to understand the way you feel and identify.
One resource you may find helpful during the coming out process is a guide published by the Human Rights Campaign (http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf). This can be tremendously helpful as you prepare to come out to your parents, and it provides a list of additional resources you might seek out for support. For information and support surrounding gender diversity, you can refer to www.GenderSpectrum.org. You can also refer to PFLAG’s (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Transgender Network (http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=266) for education and support for yourself and your parents. If you find these resources confusing, seek out a trusted adult or friend to talk about it. This may help you to better communicate with your parents and help them to best understand how you’re feeling.
Also, please remember that we are always here for you. Feel free to write again, log on to TrevorChat, or call the Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR if you need any more advice.
The Trevor Project