Coming Out as a Trans or Non-Binary Youth: Sample Coming Out Letter + Support Resources
Finding the words to come out to someone close to you can be hard, especially when it’s a close family member or a person who you’ve known all of your life. Finding the words when you’re a teen can be so much harder.
(Important Note: We understand how challenging it may be to live authentically by coming out to your loved ones and family members, especially if you live with them. However, if they’ve made prior remarks or showed attitudes about the trans/LGBTQ community that make you feel that they may react very badly or not allow you to live in their home, we recommend waiting until you are independent before you come out.)
Before you come out, you may want to speak with other trans youth and hear their experiences. We recommend you try to reach out to other trans, gender non-conforming, or non-binary people in your school’s GSA or in your hometown, if possible. A great tool to find LGBTQ+ Centers and Support programs is here: https://www.lgbtcenters.org/LGBTCenters
For those youth who feel ready and safe enough to come out to their parents, but may not know how exactly to say it, the below is a template for a coming out letter. We hope it’s a starting point to make your process less stressful, and gives you room to personalize it as you need.
Sample Coming Out Letter
This letter is a bit difficult for me to write, but I feel that it is important for me to write it. There is something I have been carrying inside of myself for some time now, and I now feel ready to come to you with it.
I am transgender. Specifically, I identify as [insert gender identity here], which means that I [insert either the proper definition of your gender, or the most easily understood explanation for your gender identity that you feel they will understand (i.e. “I feel like a girl on the inside.”)].
I know this may be a bit difficult to understand at first, and it may be very new to you, but it is something I have known for some time. I trust you with this information about who I am, and I would like if in return that you start calling me by my chosen name, which is [if applicable, here], and using my pronouns, which are [here].
I plan to [insert aspects of social transition you plan to pursue here, such as changes to your presentation. If you plan to pursue a medical transition in the near future, such as hormone replacement therapy or surgery, you may mention this here, too.] This is to help me feel more at home in my body as well as the world, and it’s a feeling I hope that you can understand.
I’m still your child, with the same likes and dislikes – I’ll just be living more authentically as the true me. And I know that you may have some slip-ups calling me [Name] or using [pronouns] at first, and that is okay. I would just like to know that you are trying your best to learn, understand, and support me. If you do slip-up, you do not have to make a big deal out of it. Correcting yourself is enough for me to see that you care about and respect who I am.
If you have questions, I want to talk about them and help answer them. I also understand you may want to speak with other parents of trans children to learn more. There are plenty of resources for parents and families in person and online, and I am happy to show you some of them.
Thank you for your understanding and your support,
- To find an LGBTQ Center near you, for possible in-person groups or support: https://www.lgbtcenters.org/LGBTCenters
- PFLAG is the United States’ first and largest organization uniting families and allies with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). Find a chapter: https://pflag.org/find-a-chapter
- The Gender Spectrum Lounge is an online space for teens, parents, and professionals to connect with one another: https://genderspectrum.org/lounge/
- Planned Parenthood Resource Guide: Coming Out as Transgender
- GLAAD Resource Guide: Tips for Allies of Transgender People
- Teen Vogue Resource Guide: How to Come Out to Parents
- Support for yourself: https://www.glaad.org/transgender/resources
Written by Point of Pride
Point of Pride provides financial aid and direct support to trans folks in need of health and wellness care.