Coming out, at least a little bit

After a year on HRT, I made a monumental decision: I came out to someone. After much deliberation, I told my sister that I was transgender. This is a decision that I have been considering for a long time, I had almost come out to her a few months ago but decided against it at the last minute. Despite my previous hesitancy, I came out to her last week and it went incredibly well.

I had considered coming out to my sister several times before, however, I would eventually decide against doing so every time (The last time: To share, or not to share). I always intended for her to be the first person to know, but I was always too nervous to tell her. She is fairly liberal politically and has expressed support for LGBT rights in the past so she seemed like a fairly safe relative to come out to. However, there is a difference between supporting trans people generally and supporting a particular individual. I had never discussed anything gender-related with her before, so it would seem like a very sudden change to her. I was concerned that this appearance of a sudden change would result in her questioning my transness. In light of this concern, I would always decide against coming out.

This time was different, however, largely due to my upcoming visit to my parents (Currently waiting on a second shot of the vaccine). I am uncertain if I will get out of this upcoming visit without being outed and that presents a problem. It is very important to me that I be the one to tell the important people in my life about my transition. I want to control the narrative of my transition with these people and definitely don’t want them hearing about it secondhand filtered through the lens of a transphobic or ignorant narrator. The only person on this list of important people that my parents speak to is my sister, so I made the decision to tell her ahead of the visit. This would ensure that I could be the one to tell her.

Despite my concerns, my sister’s response to me coming out really exceeded my expectations. She was super positive and supportive about my transition, which was very encouraging. She was curious and asked a considerable amount of questions, but she was incredibly respectful and didn’t ask anything rude or inappropriate. I never felt judged once during the conversation, which was meaningful to me. I did wait until later in the conversation to tell her that I had been on hormones for a year, which did surprise her, but she seemed to understand my reasons for doing so. Most importantly, she also agreed to not tell anyone else, a promise that she seems to have kept so far (I haven’t gotten any accusatory phone calls from other relatives, which is a good sign). Even several days later, I am still surprised and elated that coming out went so well.

While coming out to my sister went incredibly well, I don’t have any plans to come out to more people yet. Coming out to my sister now was really prompted by the upcoming parental visit, I don’t know if I would have done so without this event. I have always wanted to be pretty far into my transition before coming out and the success of the conversation with my sibling did not change this. I am probably two to four months away from being in a place where I would feel comfortable coming out to more people.

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