Coming out as trans can be a challenging process and most likely will not be a one-time event. Below are some coming out tips in different situations as well as resources you may find helpful.
Coming Out As Trans
Congratulations! Making the decision to come out as trans/genderqueer can be an important first-step towards being who you are and living the life you deserve. As you probably know, coming out is a long, constant process on a journey that you don't have to make alone. At the U of M, there are many student groups and programs you can be a part of to meet community members who have similar life experiences.
Coming Out To Professors
Contacting your professors prior to the beginning of the semester could make your coming out experience much easier. An email can be especially useful to professors who knew you prviously by a different name. Additionally, if the name on class rosters doesn't match your current name, contacting them directly will help avoid uncomfortable, public conversations.
Some things to consider putting into your email would be:
- Stating the legal name currently on their class roster
- Your preferred name and gender
- Whether you're willing to disclose publicly about being trans or would prefer not to
- Offer them a chance to email you with questions
- Provide your contact information
Here is a sample email template from the "Transgender Teen Survival Guide:"
I am a student in your (insert class name here). I am getting in contact with you to let you know that I identify as (insert identity here). My name will probably show up on your roster as (insert legal name here), but I would prefer to go by (insert chosen name here) and (insert preferred pronouns) pronouns. I will be putting (insert chosen name here) on my assignments and would appreciate it if you called me that in class. If you have any questions for me regarding this, please don't hesitate to contact me. My email address is (insert email address here) and my phone number is (insert phone number here).
Thank you very much for your understanding, (sign with chosen name)"
Coming Out To Your Roommate
There's no one-size-fits-all way to disclose your trans identity to a roommate. You may want to come out prior to meeting your roommate, or wait until you've met; this depends on your needs and how safe and comfortable you feel.
You may want to consider:
- Do you want to be direct? "I want you to know that I'm trans."
- Do you want to casually mention it? "I'm planning on joining the Transgender Commission when the semester starts."
- Be prepared for any response; it could be a non-issue, or may require additional conversation.
- Remember, you can't control how your roommate will respond to your coming out nor are you responsible for how they react.
- Provide your roommate with resources about trans identities
- Make sure you have a support system in place - family, friends, a mentor, etc.
If you are living in a dorm on campus:
If you come out, and no longer feel comfortable with your roommate assignment, email Housing and Res Life immediately for a new assignment. Gender Neutral Housing options are available as well as Lavender House, the U's LGBTQIA Living and Learning Community.
If you do not live in the dorms:
Currently, there is not an LGBTQIA Housing Directory in the Twin Cities. However, the Queer Exchange Facebook group posts housing advertisements and requests daily. (Disclaimer: This is a group outside of the U of M and is not endorsed by or monitored by our office or the university.)
Coming out in the workplace
This helpful guide is for transgender workers, from new graduates just entering the workforce to seasoned working professionals, as well as employers and hiring managers. Learn more about current transgender workplace rights, how to navigate some of the biggest workplace and job hunting concerns, and see what employers can do to lay the foundation for safe and inclusive work environments.
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