On Coming Out

I have a confession to make– I never really came out.

I wrote my three closest, queerest friends a letter saying that I wanted to be called “Maalik” and was going to use “he” from then on, but at that point it was pretty much assumed that I was trans. And I never bothered to tell my other friends, I let them read Facebook and figure it out.

It worked the same way with my family. I never had the ‘sit down, I have to tell you something’ discussion. They just assumed and I eventually clarified that I am, indeed, a boy. I’m on a LGBT speaker’s bureau at my school, so anyone who sees a panel knows I’m trans and in class I just accept whatever label people put on me; by the end of the semester, they seem to figure it out, too. Now, however, I am confronted with my first real need to come out. And it’s terrifying.

I am living in apartment-style housing for the summer and I’ve got four roommates. They’re all really cool women, but they think I am also a woman. Between living with them and starting T in the next month (woohoo!), I think I need to tell them the truth. I have no idea how to go about it, though– I’ve never done this before! Should I sit them all down? Say it casually in passing? Come out to them one at a time? Ah…

I feel closest to one of my roommates and I think she’s more likely to be an ally, so I’m thinking about coming out to her first and working my way around. But even with this plan, I don’t know what I should say or how I should say it. I’ll keep you updated, hopefully I do it without going crazy!

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One Response to “On Coming Out”

  1. To be honest, I avoid planning my coming-outs. I know it might be easier if I organized my thoughts first, but I get nervous when I think ahead of these situations.

    This is how it ends up: I say I need to bring up something important; then I have no idea how to proceed; the other person can tell I feel nervous and scared and they calm me down; when I relax, the words come to me.

    Well, this is what I do with people with whom I feel really safe; it makes me feel more at ease than if I were following a script, and the other person can tell I’m being really honest and open with them (and since I can trust them, I know they’ll be careful with my feelings).

    I know this “method” isn’t the best for everybody –heck, it might not be the best for me– but my point is that not everyone *knows* how they’re going to come out before the moment they do it.

    Best of luck, and I’m excited about the T! I think I’m going to start a couple of weeks after you.

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