Coming Out as your True Self to Others

What coming out means – and the emotional stress that it causes

Coming out must be one of the single most difficult thing that a person has to do in their lives – by doing so they risk rejection by everybody that they love and hold dear to them. However I found this video clip by Ash Beckham on Youtube which kind of summed it up in a different way and made me, personally, look at it in an entirely new light. Have a look at the video and see what you think…..please have a watch, it is very worthwhile:-

Switch to HD version if you have a fast broadband connection

We all come out to those around us, parents, family, friends in different ways and several years ago I ran a small survey which analysed how to come out – and the results confirmed what my heart told me was true. Those people who came out as a face to face conversation (much more difficult I know) suffered the least rejection, whilst others who came out via a letter or text (the latter getting the most rejections) fared far worse. Of those who came out face to face found a 75% acceptance by the people that they came out to, those that came out via an impersonal letter or text message found only a 25% acceptance rate. Now it might well be that those who came out via letter or text feared rejection and hostility anyway and that is why they chose to do it in that way, but everybody fears that and I personally feel that if somebody can see the pain and torment in our faces and in our voices when we come out to them, then they will have a much greater empathy and compassion towards us – and as a result will find it easier to accept us as the people that we are.In the video, Ash talks about the ‘gay’ grenade whilst for many of us reading this, it is the ‘trans’ grenade (and just maybe the ‘gay’ grenade as well). But what she says is correct, we all have these grenades in our lives and unless we let them go, then they will destroy us.

Here is another video revealing the thoughts of a young trans guy about his coming out and people’s reactions to him and the complex range of emotions that coming out can have on a person and those surrounding that person.

Coming out can be a time of considerable stress for the person considering doing it. Generally they will have agonised about this moment for weeks, months or even years in advance of doing it. This is a time when quite often suicide ideation is very common as the person battles with their thoughts about what people’s reactions are going to be – will they lose the love and support of their parents, their siblings, other family members, their friends – will they be thrown out of their homes if they are still living with their parents, will they lose their job, their partner (if they are in a relationship) – will they be hated and despised.  If you are battling with these emotions, then it does help to be able to speak to somebody – there are many online and personal support groups out there that will help (this organisation is one of them) – don’t be afraid to reach out for support, there are many caring and compassionate people out there who can help you deal with these emotions.

If you are desperate (and in the UK), then Samaritans have a 24 hour free helpline that you can call (116 123) or they will talk to you face to face at one of their centres (restricted hours generally – mainly until 10pm) or by email. They have a guaranteed confidentiality policy and are completely non-judgemental.

Transfigurations also has a helpline on 07476 151717 that you can call and talk about these issues – please see here for our opening times or you can text to that number and we will text you back a.s.a.p. to give you an out of hours time to call. We will not call you back unless you specifically state in your text that it is safe to do so, as otherwise this could potentially jeopardise your security. Many other countries have similar organisations that you can contact for emotional and practical support during this extremely stressful time. If you are too inhibited to do that, then please use our forums for support, but as they are not staffed 24/7, then it could be a little while (generally less than 12 hours) before anybody will respond.

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