Updated: Aug 6
Let’s face it! We are in a world that doesn’t give you everything you want. Everyone expects you to conform to certain standards, even when you do not agree with them. However, you don't have to worry about other people's demands and can certainly do what you feel okay with.
Meanwhile, our way of life is currently witnessing more diversity than ever. That includes how we identify and express our gender. Today, there are numerous unique identities, with each one, bearing general and specific challenges, especially from the general public. Unfortunately, transgender individuals are not completely spared.
The process of understanding the situation and gaining acceptance is usually difficult and the questions you need answers to are unending. How are people going to look at me? Will my family disown me? This is why many people choose not to come out. Instead, they bottle it all in and suffer in silence. But that does not have to be you. Below are the steps for coming out as transgender.
Understand Who You Are
The first step before even thinking of coming out is to analyze your situation and understand yourself. Your situation may be confusing in the beginning or you may get lost along the way, but knowing who you are is what will keep you going.
Many people look out desperately for acceptance from others before they accept themselves, but this is a huge mistake. Accepting yourself is crucial in the process of coming out. In fact, it would make or break how much confidence you transmit, which in turn, determines if people would identify with you.
Some forward-thinking people will welcome everyone regardless of their sexual or gender orientation and others will need a little bit of explanation before they understand how much the world has evolved. And in between these two groups are those who are swayed by what they experience at the present and accepting yourself is what will help you win over these.
There is no specific rule for coming out as transgender. That is why you need to look carefully and decide how best to handle things. You can either make the announcement generally to everyone or take it, one person or group, at a time. Social media platforms have been helpful for the former.
If you’re not sure how to go about things, we recommend you take it gradually and start with those whose support you can guarantee. Their encouragement can help through the process. It is also okay if you do not want to open up in all aspects. Whatever works for you.
Timing is Key
While there is also no general rule that determines when to come out, you still have to make sure you time it right. Your timing will have to depend on a host of other factors and may vary depending on those you’re coming out to. For instance, if you’re coming out to a family member or friend, you want to make sure you do so when they are relaxed and likely to process your information properly.
You should also factor in the location since you may find some places more comfortable. All these would make you feel safer and ensure your audience can listen attentively. It is also better to keep someone who supports you closer in case your timing ends up being wrong.
The transgender community continues to grow and the resources you can use are abundant. You can utilize these to your advantage when coming out. Ask questions from someone who is experienced. Someone who has come out before you can give you glimpses of what to expect, even though your situation may not be related to theirs in any way.
You can also ask questions anonymously as a way of testing the waters. Although this also may not give the total picture. People react differently depending on who is coming out and how the person does it.
Seek and Accept Help
Seeking help is never a bad idea, as long as you do so from the right people. There is no better time to seek help than when you’re coming out. Support can come from several places, including others who’ve come out before you, friends, families, support groups, online communities, experts, national organizations, etc.
Above all, you need to remain open and give people time. While there may still be people who will react negatively, do not expect that from everyone. Numerous others would be willing to welcome you with open arms. They may get your pronouns wrong occasionally or need time to adjust, but they will remain supportive.
If you’re one of those finding it difficult to declare you’re transgender, we hope you will find this guide useful. Don’t forget to take things slowly and work at your own pace. One of the safest ways to join the transgender community is through trusted transgender dating sites.