To share, or not to share

For the last two to three months, I have been debating coming out to one of my relatives. I am reluctant to do so, it would run counter to my original plan of not coming out until around the 2-year mark. However, having someone who is aware of my situation would solve several small issues that I am dealing with.

I am not very close with any of my family members. There isn’t any single reason for this, we have just never been a very connected family. Of all my relatives, the person that I was contemplating coming out to is probably the family member that I am closest to. But more importantly, they are pretty open about their progressive politics. They are very left-leaning politically and have expressed support for the LGBT community (although never in the explicit context of trans people). Of all the family members that I could come out to, they seem to be the safest.

There are some benefits to me sharing that I am trans. First, and most important, it would give me an emergency contact. Because I am not out to anyone in my personal life, I didn’t list anyone as an emergency contact with my HRT provider. My HRT provider is also my primary care physician, so this isn’t an ideal situation. Having someone that I could contact if there ever is an issue would be beneficial. A second benefit is that it would give me someone in my personal life that I could talk about my transition with. It is difficult being unable to even talk about the most important thing going on in my life right now. It would be nice to be able to share and express the joy of my transition with other people.

I was planning on telling them about gender identity and transition in the days following Christmas, but decided against it at the last minute. Admittedly, the reality of coming out to someone was a major factor in my changing my mind. It is a lot scarier to stay committed to coming out the day of than it is to decide to come out in a month. While that likely played a role subconsciously, the primary reason I changed my mind was because it wasn’t worth the risk. Despite their politics, I had never heard them actually discuss trans people, positively or negatively. I don’t know how supportive they are or if their support for the LGBT community was abstract. Even if they were supportive, I couldn’t guarantee that they would be discrete with this knowledge. They might be accepting, but I know that the rest of my family likely won’t be. I don’t want to deal with that hassle yet. I may change my mind later, especially as I get closer to the 1.5-2 year mark on HRT. By then, I should be in a position where I will be insulated in it gets out to the rest of my family.

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