For a long time, you have agonised over whether to tell your friends you are trans. Finally, you get the courage. You did it, you came out, what a relief. It took a lot of guts to be honest. However, you didn’t expect to be rejected. You wish your friends could accept you for who you are. You can’t understand how they could be so shallow and reject you just for coming out.
Now what do you do?
You have just done a very brave thing, you made yourself vulnerable and shared this truth. Just because your friends rejected you it doesn’t mean they are right. This is your life and your identity and no matter what they say you are who you say you are.
It’s OK to ignore invasive questions
You may be faced with some horrible invasive questions about your body and sex life. Remember you do not need to answer these questions. Sometimes turning the question around to ask a cis person can help you – and them – realise how inappropriate it is.
It’s not your job to educate
It can be exhausting for trans people to feel like they have to continually explain what being trans means, why pronouns are important, and that not every trans person wants surgery! Send your friends to reputable trans websites to learn for themselves. Here’s a list of some websites to start with: www.sussexrainbowcounselling.com/lgbtq-websites
Don’t give up immediately
Your friends may not be meaning to be transphobic; they may just be in shock and confused. They may have never met anyone who is trans before and might need some time to learn more and get used to the idea. Sometimes people say things in the heat of the moment that they don’t mean. Consider giving your friendships some space rather than giving up on them immediately.
Many clients I have seen over the years say that with time many people who initially rejected them as trans have come to terms with it and some have even become solid allies. However, it is also OK to let go of friends that are not able to accept you in the long term.
You are not alone
There are hundreds of groups and communities online where trans people like you have had this experience. It might help to reach out and connect with new people to get some empathy and friendship at this isolating time.
Meeting other trans people has the added benefit of not having to come out and explain yourself so you don’t risk further rejection which I am sure is the last thing you want to happen. Many trans people in my networks have found trans groups on Discord and Facebook particularly helpful for making new friends.
Lastly, coming out was a brave step. I believe in you and there are people out there who’ll accept and love you for who you are.
For more from Chloe, click here to read her support resources.
Chloe Foster has a background in working in mental health and youth work. Today she runs Sussex Rainbow Counselling where she specialises in counselling LGBTQ clients online.
Chloe holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapeutic humanistic counselling from The University of Brighton. She is also an approved accredited registrant member of the National Counselling Society, and an accredited gender, sexuality and relationship diversities therapist with Pink Therapy.