Dealing With the Fallout When Your Transition Goes Nuclear
By Mila Madison
Congratulations! Now it is time for you to come out, but that could be a scary proposition. As much as you prepare for it, nothing can make you ready enough for the fallout from telling everyone you are trans. It is the moment of truth when you learn who really loves you. None of us come out of it unscathed. For some, they nuke their entire lives, losing everything in its wake.
There is so much to consider before you take that leap off the ledge and throw yourself to the unknown. You have no control when it comes to how others will react to your news. You have parents, friends, and work. For some there may be a relationship or a marriage that will be tested. If you have kids, how do you tell them? How will they handle it? It is these worries that are the very building blocks of the proverbial closet that many of us have lived in or in some cases still live in.
“I ACCEPTED THE FACT THAT I MAY LOSE EVERYTHING I KNOW.”
Throughout my life I subconsciously prepared for the annihilation of my former self. I never got comfortable anywhere. I never allowed myself to be attached to any specific place. If a relationship ended I left everything behind, sometimes I took nothing with me but the clothes on my back. So when it came time to come out, I certainly had all the fears most of us have, but I accepted the fact that I may lose everything I know. I was ready to start all over if I had to. I just could no longer exist in the form I was presenting. For me, if I wasn’t living authentically, I wasn’t living at all.
When facing most difficult situations you often come out of it feeling it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be. When your coming out as transgender, most of your fears can and will probably happen. It is just a matter of the magnitude of it. I know so many people who lost everything. They nuked their entire lives, lost jobs, their families and their kids. Even if they do accept you, it is not easy. By coming out we are often forcing our partners or spouses to think about their sexuality as they decide whether they can be gay or straight given the circumstance. When there are children involved, they deal with the loss of a parent in some way regardless of how it pans out. There are tough choices here. Do you let your loved ones go on feeling safe without ever really knowing who you are or do you let them know your real self? If you choose the latter there is always the chance you may lose some of these people along the way.
“I HAVE RELATIVES AND FRIENDS THAT ACCEPT ME TODAY, BUT THERE ARE OFTEN TIMES WHERE I SEE THE FEAR IN THEIR EYES WHEN THEY SPEAK WITH ME.”
When you come out and begin to transition there will be fallout. There will be a time of assessment as the outcome draws the line where your life will begin again. For some it is a much longer road. I have relatives and friends that accept me today, but there are often times where I see the fear in their eyes when they speak with me. It is something I still haven’t gotten used to. There are those I lost, and though it was tough, I eventually became stronger about it. Eventually I realized I wanted no one around me who couldn’t accept me for who I was.
The facts are that people are afraid of what they don’t know. The little bit they do know comes from society’s misconceptions about who we are. Ultimately coming out may be the toughest choice you will ever make. Though there is much to lose, in some cases whatever you lost may have never truly been there is the first place. Once your bell rings, once you realize you are in fact transgender, it is impossible to put it back in the bottle. However hard we might try to run from it, there will be a day when it eventually catches up with us again.
Life is precious and it goes so fast. Make the most of it. Don’t let it end with regrets. Sometimes we may lose it all, but that is just the opportunity to start from scratch. Regardless of whether people stay or go, the road is tough. Just know you are never truly alone. You are part of a great community that accepts you and we all need each other. For our people, true equality will not be achieved until there comes a day when we don’t have to worry about the fallout from telling everyone we are transgender. People will just be able to say, “I am trans” and no one will bat an eye. I hope that day comes in my lifetime. So if you are thinking about coming out, just have a plan regarding how you will deal with the fallout. You will be okay. You will get through it. And though you may have to fight for it, you may one day find yourself and live the life you were meant to.
Stay safe and keep fighting for all of us!
Love and peace,