Over the past 3, 4 or 5 years i’ve been in the closet and trying to make everyone happy by being the stereotypical girl they think I am. Though i’m not. Over the past 2 years or so, i’ve been trying to find the best way to come out as Transgender to my family and friends. Though I don’t know how, and i’m afraid of their reaction if I do. I know that after my dad came out as trans about a year ago, most of my family cut him off and refuse to talk to him. I know there’s a chance that they’ll accept me… But there’s also that chance that they’ll do the same thing they did to my father. I do plan on coming out soon, seeing as it’s starting to put a toll on me emotionally as i’m trying to hide who I am. Anywho, i’ve written more than I would’ve liked and I’m just gonna stop beating around the bush. What I want to ask is this: What would be the best way for me to come out, or what tips (if any) do you have for me?
Thanks so much for reaching out to Ask Trevor. Being closeted is not easy, and it’s hard to figure out how to come out, particularly if you’re afraid that you won’t have the support from your family. Being transgender is particularly difficult, and comes with its own challenges as well. That being said, it’s great that you are taking steps to move forward with your life and doing what you need to do to ensure your own emotional health and well being.
In regards to coming out, find a trusted friend or family member that you feel comfortable with that you can talk to. If your father came out as transgender, he could be a great resource. Talking to people you trust about your feelings openly is a great start to the coming out process, and you can build a support network one-by-one with those who you trust the most. You might find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf helpful. In addition, on
http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be of help to you. Also, if you’re worried about your other family members, think about what sort of questions or concerns they might have that you can be prepared to address. Your family may have many questions about your sexuality/gender identity and may need time and help to become more understanding and supportive of you. There is an organization called Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on “For Family & Friends” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your family members/friends to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life. On their website, you can search for a chapter near you. If no chapter is near you or if your family members/friends won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help them become more understanding of you.
Best of luck, and know that The Trevor Project is always here as a resource – whether through letters, TrevorChat or our hotline, 1-866-4-U-TREVOR.