Trans Lifeline Library:

The Coming Out Process and Considerations


Safety Considerations, General Coming Out Notes

Trans Youth



The Coming Out Process and Considerations


Safety Considerations, General Coming Out Notes


When you’re beginning to think about coming out, it’s often necessary to first think about how other people’s reactions may affect your safety and stability, and what you can do to prepare for those risks. For example, do you know if the other person has a generally positive or negative view on trans folks? Are they a person who seems quick to react with anger or impulsivity? Is the person you’re coming out to someone that controls your access to money, housing, vital needs, education, or transportation? Do you have backup plans if one or more of those needs is suddenly not being met?

If you’re concerned about a reaction you may receive, but still want to come out to someone, it’s often safest to either share that information over the phone, or in a safe public place–this can help you avoid potential violence. This is especially important when you’re coming out to potential romantic/sexual interests–some people have a hard time rationalizing their attraction to a trans person, and choose to react with aggression or violence. Their reaction is never your fault–you didn’t trick them into liking you, and you’re not lying to anyone by being yourself.

Coming out will be a constant process–besides just coming out to friends and family, you may also need to come out to your doctor or care providers, your teachers and school administrator, your job (if applicable), the government (when you update documents), and social media.

The Human Rights Campaign has a resource called “On Our Own”, which acts as an extremely helpful guide in case you do face housing/financial instability after coming out. This guide helps explain what documentation you need to have/get sorted out, what needs to prioritize first, and how to make sure that you have what you need.

While coming out can be scary, it can also be an incredibly liberating experience to claim your own identity. By being out, you can help show other folks that they do know trans people, and that makes it safer and easier for others to also come out.


Planned Parenthood–Coming Out as Transgender AND/or Nonbinary

Trans Youth Equality–Disclosure

HRC–On Our Own: A Survival Guide for Independent LGBTQ Youth

HRC–Coming Out: Living Authentically as Transgender or Non-Binary

Trevor Project–Coming Out Handbook

GLSEN–Coming Out

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