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Struggling with coming out

So in the past year or so I've been doing my research and I am fairly certain I am ftm transgender. I've thought about all the experiences when I was younger and how uncomfortable I became especially at the beginning of puberty and even now how uncomfortable I am with almost everything that indicates I am not male. 

I know I'm ready to come out and become who I'm meant to be and I know I will have support from family, friends and my school, but I'm not sure how to start this conversation. Unfortunately "I'm transgender" doesn't really slide into conversation nicely although I have had multiple experiences where it would have been perfect timing such as when I basically explained what transgender is to my mum but I don't think she related what I was saying to my own lived experiences.

 

I think I want to start by talking to a teacher at my school but I'm not sure which one will react the best and I'm also not sure of how to put it exactly. Do I explain what I'm feeling? Do I say that I'm a boy? Do I say I'm transgender? And then what do I say after that? I can't say that I'm still me, because the "me" everyone in my life has known is not actually me (if that makes sense) and I can't say that nothing will change because it will change and I want it to change. 

 

I know I'm ready because I don't think I can stay in the closet for much longer- it is making me too sad and I'm becoming lonelier as a result. I can't hide my youtube history forever or all the transgender websites I visit. 

I don't want to be sad like this forever and be treated as a girl forever.

I think my problem is that I am too scared of being vulnerable and care too much about other peoples opinions that I know don't actually matter.

Sorry about the really long rant I'm just a bit fed up with myself

Re: Struggling with coming out

Hi @not-an-otter! Thank you for sharing your story with us. I think it's very brave of you to share these thoughts. I'm proud that you want to express your identity! Heart

Starting a conversation like that can be really hard. There are no right or wrong answers about how to go about it. I think it could be a good idea to talk to a teacher you can trust. Are there any ones who have a counselling or student support role? Perhaps your school has psychologists or counsellors that you can have a chat to.

Have you heard of QLife? If you contact them, they might have some ideas about how to go about having the conversation. Another thing you can do is practice the conversation in front of a mirror.

I'm sure other ReachOut members will have some more ideas. Smiley Happy

Re: Struggling with coming out

Hi @not-an-otter. Knowing you want to come out is already a good step!!

 

There are lots of ways to come out, and there are no right or wrong ways, it just depends on what makes you most comfortable. Some people write a letter, make a phone call or sit down and talk. At least one person came out by getting a congratulations-on-having-a-baby card that said "It's a boy!!!" and wrote "(I'm trans)" on the inside.

I came out to my best friend via text, and to my parents by showing them a weird animation I made (it involved a penguin explaining the concept of non-binary gender. I still don't know why I chose a penguin, but hey, it worked).

 

There are a lot of resources out there on coming out, do you think it would be helpful if I found you some links? 

 

I know what you mean when you say "the "me" everyone in my life has known is not actually me". It's kind of a weird feeling.. 

But perhaps you could put it as allowing you to be a more authentic version of yourself, or saying that you want them to have the opportunity to know the real you?

Re: Struggling with coming out

Thanks for the response @WheresMySquishy and @Tiny_leaf it has really helped!

 

I'm not too sure about talking to the school's counsellor because I find him a bit intimidating and also any time a student goes to the well being centre for a meeting, it has to be recorded and I'm not sure I'm ready for my parents to know I went to see the the school's counsellor.

 

I like the idea of writing a letter or making a card so I think I'll work on that and then decide if I want to give it to my family.

I have heard of Qlife and I think I might try the webchat this afternoon (i'm not very good on the phone Smiley Tongue)

Re: Struggling with coming out

@not-an-otter same, I hate phone calls...

My school has the same policy about letting parents know about meetings.. I ended up just lying and saying I was going there for help with social anxiety rather than explaining the actual reason....

 

I just remembered something though. You can give people a kind of "test drive" by bringing up trans/ queer issues and seeing how the person reacts.

Like if there's anything like IDAHOBIT or Pride going on at the time, you could ask them something like "What is it for exactly?".

It can be a fairly quick way to find any transphobic people before you come out to them, and also figure out who you might need extra support coming out to. 

Re: Struggling with coming out

@not-an-otter  @Tiny_leaf  Wow, that's kind of a weird policy. You would think that counselling sessions would be confidential. I can see how it would discourage people from going. This kind of reminds me how a long time ago, my sister used to see a school counsellor, but we thought that she was repeating what was said to other people without letting her know first, so she stopped going. She also took it upon herself to call medical professionals in an attempt to push my sister into getting a certain kind of treatment she didn't want to have and which ended up being a complete waste of time because it didn't do anything and the medical professionals in question were downright nasty, which traumatised her. When we found our own doctor, he treated her a different way and said that the other doctors were doing it completely wrong. We saw much better results with him. I don't think the counsellor had any credentials or anything like that. It was a really stressful time for us.

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Re: Struggling with coming out

@WheresMySquishy yeah, I had to come up with an excuse to see mine - one of the few times social anxiety comes in useful. 

And wow... I can't believe she broke confidentiality like that!! She must've been so irresponsible! My school psych accidentally referred me to a less than brilliant organisation too, but then put heaps of effort into trying to get them to treat me properly.

 

But yeah, that policy does make things more difficult, especially if it's about something you're not ready to tell your parents about...

Re: Struggling with coming out

@Tiny_leaf  I think those policies are pretty crazy. I can understand the psych or counsellor informing your parents if you're at risk of harm or other people are, or other things with your permission. But to inform the parents that a student has made an appointment or the topic of the session is a bit over the top if you ask me. I also wouldn't feel comfortable with the sessions being recorded unless I gave permission in advance and knew exactly how they were being stored, who would have access to them, the purpose of the recordings and what was going to happen to them (for example, young people's psychology records can usually be kept until they are 25). Recordings can be easily compromised as well so I would like to know what steps were being taken to ensure that only the counsellor would have access to them.

I also think it could potentially put a student at risk of repercussions if the family were informed that they were seeing a counsellor or psychologist. Some families are really distrustful of them and don't want their kids to see them.

I honestly have no idea how that counsellor became a counsellor. She could have at least asked for permission or let us know in advance that she would be making contact with doctors. After my sister told her that she didn't want to go through these doctors because of some concerns she had and wanted to just stick to her own professionals, the counsellor should have just respected her decision because it's not like she was refusing treatment. She shouldn't have tried to change her mind. It was a massive breach of trust. She only went through with the treatment because the school was pressuring her into doing it. When it didn't work, the medical professionals in charge of it blamed her and our parents because according to them, we must not have been following their advice. It didn't occur to them that not every treatment has a 100% success rate.

Re: Struggling with coming out

@WheresMySquishy I know...

I actually know of a few people who couldn't get help from my school psych because their parents said no. Smiley Frustrated

 

And ugh.... perhaps she moved and started working as my old case manager...

Re: Struggling with coming out

@not-an-otter how's everything going, have you had a chance to talk with Q-life?