written by Adrian

Coming out to those close to you?


Donnagirl wrote about her coming out:

It has cost me one very close friend that has hurt me badly, and by association I'm also counting as lost a number of common CD and TG friends in SA. That part really hurts...

Sadly I think there is a lot of truth in DonnaGirl's observation.

As a community we are heavily fragmented into little groups...each designed to provide comfort to those who want to inhabit them. Heaven knows - life in the past has been pretty tough on anyone who put their head up and admitted to being gender diverse. So for every manifestation of gender expression you can find groups who have come together to provide mutual support - frequently on the lines of "its OK to be like you are because we are like that too".

In the past (and I stress this is a historical observation) the most entrenched groupings were for those who identified as transsexual and saw their journey to SRS and for part-time crossdressers who limited their gender expression to the closet or monthly society meetings. These two groups had built protective walls round them to distinguish themselves from other trans people, and those within each would periodically lob insult grenades into the other camp.

Whilst you appeared to conform with the norms of a particular group then they will welcome you and be your "friend" - but if you challenge the group by taking actions they are not generally comfortable with then you will loose their support.

Coming out to those around you is a particularly challenging concept for those who rightly or wrongly live in fear of identification. If it works well for you, then you are threatening in some way the reasons behind their decision to stay hidden.

So yes, coming out to those close to you can, and probably will change your circle of friends - as your journey of gender discovery takes you between or outside the groups. But your true friends (not in a Facebook sense) will stick with you all the way.

A sad observation, but one I can vouch to be true.

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