Hello, Nicole! I think many of the girls here could relate in some measure to the concerns you have. You’re young (yes, you are – I’m more than twice your age), so you likely have the whole kaboodle of relationships to worry about: job & co-workers, friends, family, and (possibly) girlfriend/wife.
It’s almost impossible that your life is going to be exactly the same after you come out. How could it be? Even if everybody gives you a “thumb’s up” on your announcement, you are now in some ways a different person to them, and they will, in some ways, adjust how they relate to you. The changes may be minor (e.g., they adjust their vocabulary a bit to account for you being a girl/woman), but they will change in some degree. And, yes, some changes could be negative, maybe hurtful.
If the fear of losing friends, or friendly family relationships, is your chief mental roadblock, you have to examine yourself and resolve the question of whether “the woman you want to be” is more important — and more necessary — to you than “life and relationships all going on exactly as they are.” Because – although you might get lucky – there’s a better than fair chance that at least a few people you know will be less than happy with your plan to become a woman. Even if the relationship does not evaporate or become openly hostile, there may be some “chilling” in how a “friend” deals with you. That’s the world as it is.
When I decided to come out to friends and family, I sat down and listed all the people – family and friends – I thought needed to know at the outset about my being transgendered and my decision to transition (being retired, I didn’t have to worry about an employer and co-workers). Family I spoke with directly or over the phone. Friends I dealt with in a batch email (I don’t mind admitting that working up the nerve to click that “Send” button took me a few minutes). I asked folks on the email to simply remain silent and not reply if they disapproved. From the others I asked for nothing more than a few words indicating support (“I’m with you” or “If it makes you happy, then I’m happy for you,” etc., etc.). I had mentally resolved that I would be lucky if I only get a 50% “positive” return. In other words, I had already pre-accepted the idea that some people I had thought of as “friends” were going to take my announcement as “a bridge too far,” and just disappear from my life. If you’re curious, I’ll let you know how my “big reveal” actually turned out. 🙂 My point here is: you have make yourself ready mentally, understanding that your coming out is very possibly going to be a game-changer for some people you know (or maybe not – you might be pleasantly surprised).
And here is where I mention “therapist.” Having a therapist doesn’t mean you’re crazy – it means you recognize that you have some issues that could use a trained, professional ear who can hear your issues and help you sort through possible solutions. Good news: there are therapists who specialize in helping people who are, or think they may be, gender dysphoric. Unless you live in a rather rural area, a bit of web searching should locate one or more qualified (trained and licensed) specialists reasonably close to you. Helping you weigh that question I posed above is something that should be right up a therapist’s alley.
Hugs! And best of luck. If you have questions, fire away. Either I or another lady here will be happy to try to help.
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