Coming out

What does “coming out” mean?

“Coming out” is the process of becoming aware of your trans identity, accepting it, and telling others about it. Navigating who to disclose your trans identity to and when to do it is a lifelong process – but it generally gets easier over time.  There isn’t a simple set of steps to follow. However, this page will give you a few pointers to help along the way.

I think I might be trans

Visit our “I think I might be trans page for tips on how to explore, acknowledge, and embrace your identity.

What can I do to feel more positive about my trans identity?

Visit our “What can I do to feel more positive about my trans identity?” page to find sources of affirmation if you know you’re trans but are struggling to embrace this part of yourself.

Should I come out?

Visit our “Should I come out?” page to explore options around keeping your trans identity and expression private all or part of the time, as you have the right to choose whether or not to disclose this part of yourself.

Who should I come out to first?

Visit our “Who should I come out to first?” page to explore who is most likely to be accepting of their trans identity and will be part of your support network if you choose to come out to people who may respond negatively.

Options for coming out

Visit our “Options for Coming Out” page to explore ways to develop your support network (coming out in person, by phone, through email or letter, or by writing a letter that you read in person).

What should I do before coming out to someone?

Visit our “What Should I Do Before Coming Out to Someone?” page to explore options around feeling safe coming out to this person; making a timeline to indicate who you want to come out to and when, based on your own life circumstances and goals; and what might happen if you come out to people who respond negatively.

Responding to negative reactions

Visit our “Responding to negative reactions” page to explore the different degrees of negative reactions.

How can I connect with other trans people

Visit our “How can I connect with other trans people?” to explore ways that you can connect over the wide range of gender identities and expressions, learn strategies for navigating the world as a trans person, and anticipate potential challenges associated with coming out.

What would I do if I’m outed?

Visit our “What should I do if I’m outed?” page to explore ways that you can work through a situation where someone discloses or discovers your trans identity without your consent.