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7 Steps to Coming Out as Trans to Your Family

7 Steps to Coming Out as Trans to Your Family

7 Steps to Coming Out as Trans to Your Family
Basil_Soper

Self-acceptance is the first step towards living a happy life, right? Well, yes, but that doesn't mean the entire world is ready to accept you when you come out as trans. Here are seven steps to make coming out to friends and family easier. 

 

Step 1: Call a family meeting

While you don't owe anyone a Q&A, it's nice to talk through what being transgender means. Calling a family meeting and inviting your close friends is a good way to get through the questions. If the thought of being in the spotlight terrifies you, you can simply talk to one person at a time, or tell someone before the meeting so you have support.

 

Step 2: Prepare to come out multiple times

Come up with an elevator speech because you're going to need it. The coming out process is not usually calm or discreet. It's more like an avalanche. You'll need to be direct in your desire and open to questions. You may want to collect a few resources to handout to everyone.

When I came out as trans, I thought the process was over. Little did I know, I would change throughout my transition, and come out again when my sexuality changed. It's a repetitive process, but you can do it.  

 

Step 3: Be patient with your family 

Transitioning takes time; it can be a messy process. And, transphobia is a really big issue that you will encounter after you come out. Some people might have good intentions, but are not going to understand immediately.

Eventually, you may get tired of answering questions; don't get bogged down by others' lack of understanding and insecurities. You are who you are, regardless of what anyone else says of thinks.

While it can be very trying, have patience with your friends and family, and take care of yourself. If you feel overwhelmed, you can try yoga or meditation. 

 

Step 4: Connect with the trans community

When you start coming out, chat with other trans folks. If you don't know other trans people, there are awesome blogs, tons of vlogs on YouTube, and support groups on Facebook to unite you with other trans people. Coming out can be isolating; just remember you're not alone. 

 

Step 5: Consider talking to a therapist

Having someone to talk to is really important, especially if your family doesn't react as you'd hoped. Many trans people experience depression and suicidal thoughts before, during and after transition. Before you take too many steps, you should talk to a therapist to "confirm" you are transgender. If a therapist is out of reach, look into sliding scale therapy at clinics.

 

Step 6: Love and affirm your identity

If you can, buy a new binder or get electrolysis and take time to focus on you. Life is better when you feel confident and happy in your own skin. And, affirming yourself, will help you stay positive during the early phases of transition.

 

Step 7: Don't let coming out take over your life

Starting your life as your true gender is challenging. If I could only give you one piece of advice, it would be to not let transition stop you from living life and achieving your dreams.

Focus your energy, or as much energy as you can, on other aspects of your life. Explore new creative outlets; try writing a blog, playing music, or learning photography. Stay positive. — it will all be worth it.

Photo: Shutterstock

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Basil Soper

Basil Soper is a transgender writer, activist, and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's an astrology enthusiast and tears up when he watches unexpected-animal-friend videos on the internet. Basil's life goals are to write a memoir and be the best uncle ever to his niece, Penelope. Learn more about Basil at ncqueer.com.

Basil Soper is a transgender writer, activist, and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's an astrology enthusiast and tears up when he watches unexpected-animal-friend videos on the internet. Basil's life goals are to write a memoir and be the best uncle ever to his niece, Penelope. Learn more about Basil at ncqueer.com.