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Your gender identity doesn't match your sex assigned at birth? Want to embrace your trans identity like actress Tommy Dorfman? Well, we're not necessarily talking about being on the cover of Time Magazine, but about daring to live according to the way you feel deep inside. Easier said than done ? We take stock together to find out everything about trans coming out.


How do I know if I'm trans?

For most people, gender identity (male/female) corresponds to the sex assigned at birth by civil registration.

What does transgender mean? Definitions

A transgender person is someone who does not identify with their birth sex. That is, a person whose gender identity (male, female, non-binary, or other) does not match their sex.

Gender identity is defined as "the inner and personal experience that each person has of their gender. It is about the feeling of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or being at another point in the gender continuum. A person's gender identity may or may not match the sex they were assigned at birth. »

Traditional standards are based on sex assigned at birth:

  • One reproductive organ with penis = man
  • One reproductive organ with vagina = woman

The identity of transgender people does not fit this pattern.

What is a transgender person?

There are several categories of trans people, depending on their gender identities:

  • Trans man for a person assigned female at birth, whose gender identity is male. Also called FtM (Female to Male).
  • Trans woman for a person assigned male at birth, whose gender identity is female. Also called MtF (Male to Female).
  • Neutral, agender or non-binary person for someone who does not define themselves or not exclusively by one of the two genders, regardless of their sex assigned at birth.

A transgender person does not necessarily undergo hormonal treatment and sex change or other operations are not necessary to define their trans identity.

Trans coming out, a coming out like the others?

The trans coming-out corresponds to the definition of coming-out but has its own particularities, in the same way as the lesbian coming-out

From feelings to life

So, the main steps in coming out of the closet are:

  • Self-acceptance, through an inner work of discovery, but also research to find the right words to apply to one's feelings.
  • Preparing for coming out as trans, taking care of your own psychological and physical well-being.
  • The announcement of his transidentity, after having prepared this first revelation to others to carry it out in the best possible conditions.
  • Life after this first transgender coming out knowing that other announcements are possible and will probably be necessary.

Moreover, the perception of your gender identity can evolve over time, along with you.

The particularities of trans coming out

In some countries, the rights of trans people are declining, such as in Hungary, where the ban on sex change in civil status was voted in May 2020. It is a condemnation for transgender people to live permanently and in a official non-recognition of their identity.

In the United States, many states are preparing transphobic bills, the American NGO ACLU counts no less than 60 in 25 American states in 2021.

In France, it is now legal to openly live your trans identity, even if the path is sometimes complex and paved with transphobic discrimination.

For example, before obtaining the change of marital status, the transgender man or woman presents his identity papers which reveal involuntarily, but systematically, his transidentity with a first name and a gender that do not correspond to him. Beyond the discomfort of the situation, the possible justifications to be provided, voluntary misgendering, these situations can also lead to transphobic remarks or acts.

Thus the main particularity of trans coming-out is to be largely curbed, or even prohibited, by administrative or legal measures.

How do you tell your parents that you are trans?

We will never repeat it enough at HappyGayTV, but your trans coming out must be done in the most secure way possible for your physical and emotional integrity. Surround yourself with a caring community, start discussions with people around you who you trust, who share your values, protect yourself from toxic relationships in the event of violent rejection, etc.

Announcing your trans identity to loved ones is often an opportunity to raise awareness of gender identity. Although it is obviously not your responsibility to educate your family or friends, you are certainly one of the best sources of knowledge on this subject for them.

To help your relatives and friends deconstruct their prejudices if they wish, you can:

  • Take stock of how you feel, your fears and the confidence you have in them;
  • Explain to them the importance of using your chosen first name, if there is one, instead of your deadname;
  • Give them the pronouns you identify with;
  • Lay down clear rules on the level of confidentiality of your trans identity, to avoid involuntary outings.

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