7 Tips Of Coming Out As Transgender And How To Know If You Are Trans

come out as trans

“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.” - Elliot Page, actor

If you have come out as a transgender person or trans person, you will know that it is because your gender identity is different than the sex assigned to you at birth. On your baby birth certificate, it might say ‘male.’ But now that you have grown, you feel that your gender identity is actually female.

Most people realize they are trans from a young age. For others, they can’t figure out where they really fit or feel until much later in life. Many realize they have more leanings and feelings toward the opposite sex of what they were assigned at birth.

What it means to “come out”?

Coming out [1] as a transgender person might mean that you are telling family, friends, work, etc. that you are living your life from now on as the gender you believe you feel most comfortable with, and they should refer to you as ‘he’ or ‘she;’ whatever they have transitioned to. You might tell everyone that you have changed your name and now wish people to start calling you by that name.

Coming out is a very personal decision and it’s all different for everyone. Some people come out before they have surgery to transition and some even choose not to have surgery. They will be the ones to decide when to come out; when the time is right.

Here are some excellent tips for coming out:

1. If you choose to come out as transgender, make sure it's to people you trust and that you have a support system in place

Your support system can be family, friends, support groups, and forums. It's important to feel as confident as possible so that coming out won't jeopardize your safety, health, or living situation. Give yourself time so you can think about how you are going to do it and where and when; and what you will say. Think about the person who you think will be the most supportive of you and come out to them first. You will soon get a sense of how friendly they are towards opening up to them – watch how they react when the topic comes up in conversation.

2. Do your own research so that you have all the information you need about being trans [2]

Perhaps you would prefer to come out by writing a letter or email to the people concerned. It might make you feel more comfortable coming out that way instead of in person.

After you decide who you’ll come out to, what you’ll say to them, and where and how, be prepared to wait as they digest and accept this ‘surprising’ or ‘shocking’ information. Give them the time they need to think about all you’ve said – to understand what they are trying to process.

If you find that it is way too daunting to tell a few people all at the same time, start with just one. Be calm; explain yourself in the best way you can. Some of your closest family members might react negatively, but it could be that they are scared for you.

It can take a while for the people you have told to get used to this ‘new you.’ It might take them longer, for example referring to you as a ‘he’ when you used to be a she! There will be some that might surprise you with their openness and acceptance of what you have told them.

3. Make connections and get connected

Chat with other transgender people and get online – all this you can easily do from the comfort of your own home. You will find plenty of vlogs online, like on YouTube or support groups on Facebook – you will find plenty of friends there to encourage and support you.

4. Be prepared and be patient with the not-so-positive reactions

Remember that not everyone will understand you straight away. Those who know you well, though, will soon realize that you are being true to who you need to be.

You will also find people who will think you are just confused, but they will soon see that you are confident and comfortable since your transition. Then they will realize it was right for you. You will need to realize that even some of your closest friends and family might battle at first to call you by your new name and use the right pronouns. Remember to be patient.

5. Be patient with yourself and your transition

Lots of transgender people want to snap their fingers and believe they are fully transitioned. But it can all take a few years to take on hormone treatment as well as surgery. And then, of course, not everyone wants to go the medical route either. They just want to be who they believe they should be.

6. Your life might be a case of pushing the “pause” button as you transition

This will be because it might be hard to focus on anything else. But you will be able to catch up later. A good bit of advice to you is that you should not let your transition stop you from achieving your dreams.

7. Don’t feel like you are going it all alone

There are people who will listen to you – just reach out to Ditch the Label Community here. Another good place is the Human Rights Campaign's Transgender Visibility Guide. Using these valuable resources will soon help all the people concerned in your life to soon understand you and your new identity. Good luck!

How do you know you are trans?

You no doubt will feel certain that your gender identity conflicts with who you really are. You will usually feel a strong desire to hide the physical signs of the sex that you don’t want to identify with.

So you want to also physically transition?

Then your first stop is at your local GP. He or she will refer you to a local psychologist. This person will then refer you to a Gender Clinic. That all might sound a bit terrifying to you. You might even find it difficult to explain yourself. Just ensure you get exactly what you need.

You will find that the right doctors are fully clued up on transgender issues and will get you all the right referrals. The Gender Clinic will probably ask you for proof as in your birth documents. This will enable them to push you in the right direction. All these documents and whatnot enable you to change your title and name, and to have your ID altered.

You would also have to inform your college, school, or workplace so that they can change all the necessary details as well. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are coming out to the whole world. But the people in charge will need to know so they can sort out all the necessary documentation.


So you have decided to invest your energy into something that you greatly believe in. You have decided to come out about being transgender; you want to be free and to be open and honest with your family and friends. And you want to tell them that you are transitioning to be the person you have been hiding away from for such a long time. Well, we have some great tips to help you with your “coming out”. It might be hard in the beginning but it will get easier as you go along. You’ll be so glad you did!


[1] https://www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/media/1054/coming-out-guide-for-t-people.pdf
[2] https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbtq/transgender