Coming out is a very personal process that is different for everyone. Today, I’d like to talk a bit about my journey in coming out to my parents, friends, co-workers, and classmates.

For those who don’t know me, I’m a trans woman who’s still in the middle of her transition. To those online, and those that I’m very close friends with, I’m known as Chloe. To everyone else, I still present as masculine until I finally muster up the courage to come out to everyone else. As a bit of background, I came out as bi almost 4 years ago now. My parents had the typical reaction of “are you sure?” and “this is a really big change for you.” The irony, of course, is that I was definitely sure, and it’s not really a big change. I’ve always felt the ways that I have, so all I was doing was just telling them (although now i’m not so sure I always have).

As for being trans, that’s something that I’m still working out. After my parent’s first reaction, I’m somewhat unsure of what my parent’s reactions would be. Because of that, I’ve been really careful with what I wear, what I do, and how I act, among other things. What’s so difficult about coming out as trans is how visible it is. Being gay is an invisible trait. No one can know you are gay unless you tell them. If you’re in a crowd of people who would hate you just because you’re gay, you can mostly avoid them by not telling them. People who’ve always known you can still call you the same things, and for them, nothing really changes. When you come out as trans, everything changes. Suddenly you go by a new name, new pronouns, have a new look. When you’re around people who you don’t want to cause drama with you can’t hide that you’re someone different than you used to be.

When it comes to classmates and co-workers, who I wouldn’t necessarily consider strangers, I try to keep to myself. If there’s no reason for them to know I’m trans or bi, they don’t need to know. Only those that I consider closest to me (who are often also trans and/or queer) do I tell. This brings me to where I’m at now. About 10 or so people know me as Chloe, but in my day-to-day life, I go by a completely different name. This often puts me in a personally difficult situation, as I’m almost never in a place when I can comfortably go by my preferred name and pronouns. Even though there are some people that I work with and go to school with who I’m comfortable, there’s usually at least one other person who’s around who I’m not comfortable around. Until I do get comfortable, or can at least pass well enough, I’ll probably still go by my old name. My new name will stay a closely held secret between me and my most valuble friends. At the very least, the anonimity of the internet will let me explore myself for the time being.

Until then, I hope you have a wonderful day (or night). Thanks for reading, and remember, you matter more than you think you do.