what was the thing that made you pull the trigger on coming out? Were you presenting more feminine before you did? Any tips or words of advice/love for a baby trans, whose just opening their eyes to this whole world
(PS Mega Crush)
Oh gosh, ok so I know you're talking about the BIG coming out, right? But like.. that's really not how it works.
Coming out is something you do over and over and over and over and I'll be honest I still don't think I've gotten good at it. So I'll talk about kinda the process of how I got here and maybe that'll be helpful to you?
I came out probably the opposite of how most people would in my experience. When I first made my decision that I needed to transition there were people I thought needed to know (like my partners and some very close friends who knew about my mental health struggles) and people who did not need to know. To that first group, I came out and all but one of them were great about it and wonderful and to this day I consider them amazing friends and allies.
Then I came out in places where I needed to, because I knew what changes I was going to undergo and I don't like surprises. So logistical places like work, right? If I were going to be fired I wanted to know that well before hand so I could start making arrangements.
Then I built a spreadsheet (I kid you not, I am this much of a Virgo) and started putting in the names of people I knew in it. And I ranked them all by how scary they were to tell not because I thought they'd react badly but because their reactions could hurt me. I needed security before I could talk to those people. So I started coming out to the least scary people first, because those were people I could cut off with no regrets if they responded poorly. So for instance when I met a cute girl on the street (who is now my partner, btdubs) I gave her my deadname but then I said.. "Well, in a few months it'll be Evey."
As I got practice I also developed a network of people who wanted to support me, even just casually and having those folks at my back gave me more strength to go to people who were scarier to tell. And on it went with me coming out one person at a time to this HIGHLY controlled group of people.
Then I started medically transitioning and a few folks caught on that I was making trips to Baltimore for undisclosed medical reasons. I have an autoimmune disorder (or something) and it nearly killed me a few years ago so.. they rightfully demanded answers. To those people I also came out.
After a few months of transitioning medically the results were starting to show faster than I'd anticipated. I had this whole scheme in my head based on timelines for transition I'd seen. Ok, I'd start medicines in February/March, and I'd probably start showing just about the time it started to get cold enough for me to dress in layers, so then I could hide my body under that. I didn't count on a few things:
- My body reacted to the hormones a lot faster than I anticipated.
- I was also dieting because the doctor told me to, so even my tight clothing was now loose on me.
I decided I needed to do a.. idk what you'd call it, a test run on being out out? I curated a list on facebook of about 150 people and sent out this post. I'll be honest, the response was amazing. People were so supportive. And for a while I lived in this strange half-out existence where maybe 30% of my Facebook friend list knew I was out but I hadn't changed my name on it.
I promised myself once I came out to my father I'd be out, out, out. Nobody scared me more than my father. I dragged my feet on it for MONTHS but August rolled around and with my birthday coming up (Aug 26, Virgo, what's UP) I knew I was going to see him. Last time that man had seen me I was 190lbs with a beard and now I was (at the time) ~140lbs and I had boobs. So there was a timer on this, right? I came out first to my brother and sister so, if he reacted poorly maybe they'd still want to be in my life. They were great, and so..
So I called him and told him and... it wasn't an AMAZING conversation but he didn't hate me — and that was enough for me at the time. I got off the phone with him and immediately typed this out, changed my name on facebook, and I have been Evey Winters ever since.
So, TLDR I guess, I let my body and my circumstances do a lot of the deciding for me about who I needed to come out to and when. But it really doesn't ever stop. I played around with the Facebook dating app for a while and I met a couple of men I was interested in on there that I thought were attractive and we had things in common and gosh it'd seem like it was going very well until we had to have the "the talk." Some of those folks are on my friends list now actually and they're very nice and I like them. Bummer they don't like girls like me but whatever.
AND I DEFINITELY HAVE WORDS OF ADVICE AND LOVE for you, baby trans.
You are so much stronger than you believe you are, and tougher than you imagine you can be. You've been walking around carrying an immense weight on your back and the more of that you put down the more you're going to realize you're powerful. And you're not just powerful, you're happy and smart and compassionate and you have all of this energy and zest to give to life that you didn't have before. The magic of transition isn't just about coming into this whole new you, it's about putting down things that should never have been put on you to begin with.
And trust people. I know it's hard, but please trust people. Your life will be infinitely better if you let yourself be vulnerable now and again. It's hard and I know that. But this isn't something you should do on your own and I can't say enough about how amazing it is to just have a family (both blood and not) to come to when your days aren't what you'd hope or you need strength or a lap to sob into.
Finally, baby trans, I am super proud of you. This world is made infinitely better for every person who chooses to live authentically. So if you feel like you've got nothing else, I'm rooting for you ❄️🌹❄️