Healthy lives for young people

Coming out as trans

When you’re ready to come out to other people, don’t tell everyone at once. Start by picking someone you trust and who you feel will be supportive and understanding.

If you wish, you could talk to a professional who has expertise in dealing with trans and non-binary people. This may help you prepare for telling loved ones who will probably have lots of questions.

If you get a negative reaction, give that person space and time to process things. It can be a shock and people may need time to think about it, research it and digest. Try to put yourself in their shoes and consider the time it took you to come to terms with your gender identity.

Making contact with other people who are in a similar situation can really help. It can help to build your confidence which can really help you to talk to your loved ones.

Being accepted by your loved ones is an enormous stepping stone to building your self-esteem. Explain this to them and be wise about moving away from those who cannot or will not accept you for who you are.

If you ask those around you to start calling you by a different name, try to be patient about the fact it may take them a while to get used to this.

Dealing with discrimination

Sadly it’s not uncommon for trans men and trans women to experience prejudice and discrimination but what most trans men and trans women tell you is that the most important thing is to feel comfortable with your identity and to live your life in the way that feels best to you.

Some helpful strategies for building your resilience include:

Finding your supporters:
these are the people who have your best interests at heart, who support you to be who you want to be and who you can talk to and share problems with.
Know your rights:
any form of discrimination, harassment, bullying or name-calling is a hate crime and is illegal. The police have a duty to deal with this. Discrimination is also illegal so wherever you’ve experienced it – in a shop, pub or even at work, report it. You can read about your legal rights on
Get the right information:
below is a list of trusted organisations that you can go to for help, support and information. Trust us when we say that making contact with these organisations will really help you in believing that you’re not the only one who is going through this and that it doesn’t have to define your life. They will give you advice on everything from medical services to your social and legal rights.

Content reviewed by Kirstie McEwan – Lead tutor in Gender Studies, Cambridge Institute of Clinical Sexology, accredited therapist and trustee of the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists.


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    What is the difference between sex and gender?


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