Reply To: The Process of Coming Out…

Emily Alt

When I think about coming out, 2 things always come to mind.  Owning the narrative, and not wanting to hide anymore.  I’ll talk about the latter first because it holds more weight than the former.

Not wanting to hide is closely tied to decades of denial.  Simply put, I’ve been hiding for decades and I’m sick of it.  I have a strong need to shed the male facade I’ve worn for years.  It hurts emotionally to present as someone I’m not….to hide.  Not wanting to hide is the single biggest reason I’m out to most people that know me.

When I decided to transition, I knew I couldn’t do it without coming out.  Eventually, the physical changes would be impossible to hide.  And if I ignored that fact, sooner or later I would get outed by someone else.  If I let that happen, I’m forfeiting the narrative to someone else.  They’re the one that starts the conversation, spreads the rumors, and very possibly a lot of damaging misinformation.  Then I’m on the defensive….and possibly in damage control mode.  Far better to seize the narrative by coming out on my terms.  I get to control the how and when of the message.  I get to speak facts and the truth.  And maybe I’ll get an opportunity to change a skeptic into an ally.  It’s very difficult to turn the tables once you’ve forfeited the narrative to someone else.


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