When They Say the Accept You, but They Really Don’t

How the effects of coming out as transgender can linger for years to come in the “The Weekly Rant” with Mila Madison.

When you come out to everyone you know it may possibly be one of the most eye opening experiences you will ever go through. You literally roll the dice on every relationship you have. It is almost like running for office, you say your case and then you have to wait for the results. You put your relationship with your loved ones, your friends and even casual acquaintances to the ultimate test. I always say; if you want to find out who really loves you, just tell them you are transgender.

With some people, you are able to confirm that they were always the person you thought they were. They tell you they will stand by your side no matter what, and that is a great feeling. You also have those who you knew would react poorly to the news of you being transgender, and their actions instantly confirm that assumption. But then you have those who surprise you. Someone you thought would never speak to you ever again ends up becoming your biggest ally. That is one of the most rewarding outcomes, when you realize that someone cares about you more than you originally thought. You also have those who may need some time to understand what is going on, and you have to see where that relationship ends up going.


Sometimes there are people who seem to really support you, but in time you start to realize that maybe they don’t. It can be subtle. You may notice that you are no longer being invited to events that you were traditionally asked to be a part of. A child’s birthday party for example. It can be a friend who despite multiple attempts on your part to get together with them, they now seem busy all the time. You hope that maybe they just have things going on in their lives, but over time you start to realize that maybe it is the fact that you are transgender. It really starts to get in your head.

At times find myself wondering, am I that different now? Is it the fact that I am a woman? Is it that these people embarrassed to be seen with me? Is it all in my own head? I guess I will never truly know the answer. What I do know is that despite my greatest efforts, many of my relationships were never given a chance since I came out. After all, it does take efforts on all sides for a relationship to flourish. I am beginning to accept the fact that though publicly people may say they are supportive of me, in reality they may not be.


I personally don’t know of anyone who came out and did not experience some form of loss. The losses we can experience can sometimes go beyond that of the nuclear moment when people outright reject you after you tell them that you are transgender. Some of the losses are gradual. You may not see them coming and they happen over time. I have learned to accept this as a simple fact as part of my transition. People will continue to surprise and disappoint even after you come out to them. In the end, all I can do is love and do my share in each relationship. But I do so realizing that I will lose some of these people along the way, but I will also gain some others.

In many cases, the fact that I am transgender will always be an issue in some of my relationships for better or worse. I will always be the “trans” girl in the room. It is something I just need to accept. I have also learned that just because you reach a certain step I your journey, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all your problems are behind you. Even though you may come out to the entire world, the jury will still be out regarding the effects of that action for years to come. You will continue to gain and lose people as you go. What I do know is that I am willing to accept these outcomes. I will live an authentic life regardless of what happens. I will cherish those who really support me and learn to let go of those who don’t.