Today is National Coming Out Day, and it’s an awesome day to be on social media. LGBTQ people celebrate by sharing their stories of coming out and their pride in who they are. It’s heartwarming and inspiring, but also sometimes heartbreaking to hear that they were outed without their consent or that people in their lives didn’t celebrate with them.
Today is also the day that some people will find the courage to come out for the first time in their lives. As an ally to the community and to LGBTQ people everywhere, how should you react if someone comes out to you as transgender? Here are some tips:
Say “thank you”. Thank the person for sharing something so personal with you. It takes an extraordinary amount of trust for a person to be open and vulnerable, knowing that rejection is always a possibility.
- Congratulate them if you are one of the first people they are telling. This could be a big moment in moving forward to live authentically.
- Ask how you can support them. Don’t make assumptions!
- Don’t center your feelings during the conversation. You might be confused or nervous, but now is not the time to think about yourself, your questions, or your concerns. While the other person has known this information for a while, it’s new to you and you need time (away from the person) to process whatever you are feeling. (If that person happens to be your child, one great way to process your thoughts and emotions is to join Trans Families so that you can talk to others in our online support groups and forums.)
- Remember that the person you are talking to is the same person you have always known. But now…you might just get to see an even better and happier version of them.
And now for a lighthearted look at how you might come out to another person if you are trans, Jamie has a some ideas for you!