Coming out as Transgender in Identity
Information on how to come out to your friends and families, revealing you are transgender.
What does coming out mean?
Coming out is when someone tells another person about their sexual or gender orientation. It is usually an ongoing process for a transgender person, rather than a one-off event.
When should I come out?
It’s entirely up to you when you come out. If you don’t feel ready then don’t pressure yourself to do it.
Many trans people come out because they reach a point where they don’t want to hide who they are anymore. Telling friends can provide extra support and can make relationships feel more honest and real.
If people do react negatively, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t love you, they might just need some time to process it. Remember, you’ve had ages to think about it but they haven’t.
Remind them that your gender is only one part of you and that you are still the same person.
Coming out to your parents/guardians
Coming out to your parents/guardians can feel especially daunting because they have known you as the gender you were assigned at birth for longer than most- maybe your whole life.
Some parents may feel like they have ‘lost’ a son or daughter and will need time to accept your new gender.
Many parents, with time, can become your biggest advocate, actively supporting you through your transition.
Coming out at school
Before doing so, why not speak to your guidance teacher or the head teacher to discuss how the school will support you? You could also ask for a copy of the school’s anti-bullying policy to see if it mentions transphobia.
Coming out at college or university
Before enrolling for a course at a college or university, it might be useful to check if they have an LGBT society. It’s also worth reading the college/university’s mission statement to see if it mentions equality.
For more information on coming out visit the coming out guide for young people on the LGBT Youth Scotland website.
Why should I come out?
According to LGBT Youth Scotland, there a number of positive reasons for coming out:
- Living as you want to live
- Helping/supporting other trans people
- Gradually feeling at ease with yourself
- Educating others/breaking down stereotypes/myths
- Being a positive role model for others
Things to consider
- Some people might try to talk you out of it
- Others might not listen to or understand you
- It is a lengthy process, so be patient
Remember – there is always support and help out there for you, and there are laws to protect you from bullying and discrimination.
Support for you
Check out the LGBT Youth Scotland website.
Their advice section contains an excellent guide for young people considering coming out.
You can also get advice and details of local support by texting 'info' plus where you are in Scotland to 0778 148 17 88.