Coming out as Trans — or deciding not to

Written by Jen Bell

Telling people about your gender journey or “coming out” as trans can range from scary and difficult to exciting and liberating. It’s a very personal decision and different for everyone. Coming out is not a one time thing; for most people it’s a series of decisions that they encounter in every new setting they enter.

The first step involves understanding yourself and your gender identity. Talking with your friends, family, or other people about your identity is something to do when and only if you feel you want to do it.

Coming out as transgender might mean that you ask people to call you by a new name, use your preferred pronouns (he, she, they, etc.), and think of you as the gender identity that you’re comfortable with.

Many people are “out” in some spaces and “in” in others. They might be out (or not) to their family, friends, classmates, coworkers, or their religious community.

You might choose to come out to different people at different times, or to not come out to some people at all. Some people choose to come out before they transition and some choose to come out during the process or afterwards. All of this is OK. Deciding when and where to come out involves questions of safety, comfort, trust, and readiness. Only you can decide what’s right for you!